Sanitary Napkins Current Affairs - 2020

Injectable Silk-Fibroin based Hydrogel developed by JNCASR

The JNCASR (Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research) has developed injectable silk-fibroin based hydrogel to deliver sustained insulin to diabetic patients.

The fibroin-based hydrogel was developed using biocompatible additives. The gel developed will ease insulin delivery in diabetic patients. The gel was first tested in rats and was successful.

Highlights

The researchers have found that subcutaneous injection of insulin with fibroid based hydrogel formed an active depot under the skin. This helped to leach out insulin, restore physiological glucose for a longer period of time.

Diabetes

The body cells of Diabetic patients do not get glucose. This is because insulin that helps glucose in blood reach body cells is not secreted properly in these patients.

The fibroin-based hydrogel increases insulin level in the blood for a longer period. The scientists found that it made insulin available in the blood for even four days without lowering blood glucose.

What is Fibroin?

Fibroin is an insoluble protein. Silk has two proteins in its raw state called sericin and fibroin. The fibroin is produced by silk worm. It has three chains and light and heavy glycoprotein.

What is a Hydrogel?

A Hydrogel is a network of polymer chains. They are made of polyvinyl alcohol, acrylate polymers and sodium polyacrylate and copolymers.

Applications of Hydrogel

Hydrogels are highly absorbent. They are used in tissue engineering. The hydrogels that are responsive specific molecules are used as biosensors. They are also used in diapers and sanitary napkins. They are also used in breast implants.

Injectable hydrogels are used as drug carriers.

What are smart hydrogels?

The smart hydrogels are used in artificial intelligence systems. They are environmentally sensitive. They have the ability to sense changes of temperature, pH, concentration of metabolite, etc.

Sanitary Napkin Disposal Bags to be made mandatory from 2021

On March 8, 2020, the Union Environment Minister Prakash Javedekar announced that sanitary napkin disposal bags are to be made mandatory.

Highlights

The sanitary napkin manufacturers have to supply a biodegradable bag along with every napkin from January 2021. There are high possibilities for the “Swachhta Sevaks” or the women garbage collectors to get infected as they are handling the sanitary napkin wastes directly from the garbage.

The Minister also announced that sanitation and cleanliness norms are to be applied for all villages with population more than 3,000.

Legislation

The soiled diapers, napkins, blood-soaked cotton and condoms from the households are received by the municipal waste collectors. The Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) rules, 2000 makes it mandatory to dispose these wastes after segregating them biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste. However, some napkins contain layer of plastics and some don’t. Therefore, it is difficult to sort them.

According to Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) rules, 1998, items that are contaminated with bodily fluids should be incinerated to destroy pathogens.