DRDO Current Affairs - 2020

“Ultra Swachh” Booth developed by DRDO to disinfect PPEs

The Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO) developed a disinfection unit called Ultra Swachh. The unit is used to disinfect articles such as electronic items, Personal Protective Equipment, fabrics, etc.

About the unit

The Unit uses an advanced oxidative process called Ozonated Space Technology to disinfect the items. The device also uses Ozone Sealant Technology that involves trapping of Ozone.

The Ultra Swachh Unit houses a catalytic converter that makes it environment friendly. It also holds several safety features such as door interlocks, emergency shut down, delay cycle, dual doors, leak monitors, etc.

The system complies to International Standards of Industrial, Personal, Occupations and Environmental Safety.

Ozone as disinfectant

Ozone is an oxidizing compound that rapidly oxidizes organic materials, manganese, iron, etc. Ozone is highly unstable and oxidises to form oxygen within 15 to 20 seconds. This property of ozone is used in disinfection.

Because of its high oxidization potential, ozone disinfects or rather oxidises cell components. When the cellular wall or membrane of a cell gets damaged, the cell falls apart. This process is called lysis. It is through this process, ozone oxidises or kills microorganisms.

COVID-19 culture for vaccine development and drug testing

The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology cultured COVID-19 from the patients infected with the virus.

Highlights

The virologists at CCMB will isolate infectious virus from the patients. The isolated virus will be used for vaccine development and drug testing.

Significance

Virus Culture is important for development of antibodies. The inactivated virus when injected into human bodies will trigger antibody responses. The antibodies generated are processed, collected and purified and used for therapeutic intervention.

The cultured virus also helps in the process of drug screening.

Status of the study

Under the study, the researchers of CCMB are to produce large quantities of COVID-19. The researchers will also test potential drugs with partners such as DRDO (Defence Research Development Organization).

Challenges

COVID-19 enters human cell through ACE-2 receptor. The respiratory disease in the case of COVID-19 is caused in respiratory tract and mainly is because of the infection caused in epithelial cells. However, epithelial cells cannot be grown in the lab.