Indian-Origin Doctor Invents Solution To Turn Mud Water Into IV Fluid For U.S. Army
Soldiers in the United States Army not only defend American borders but also are deployed all over the world to fulfil the geopolitical needs of the world’s lone super power. And in fulfilling this role, they consume water, whatever may be the sources, by cleaning or purifying it as much as best as they could do..
But if they get injured on duty and need surgeries/operations, they require IV (Intravenous) fluid that needs to be absolutely pure. And this is a Herculean task.
But thanks to the research of an Indian-American, the US Army can now overcome this problem. US Army medical researchers have collaborated with a Colorado-based research firm of which Dr. Girish Srinivas of the Indian-origin is the CEO . This research has resulted in the development of a device that purifies groundwater or ‘ditch water’ into an intravenous (IV) fluid — a life-saving necessity for treating wounded soldiers on the battlefield.
It is really a ‘game-changing’ system in the form of a briefcase-sized device, called the Lactated Ringer’s Solution Generator. It is capable of making a one-litre bag of the medical solution from ground water in just six minutes.
Water is injected with a sterile concentrate of sodium, potassium and calcium, and the mixture is filtered into IV bag where it becomes ‘the correct concentration.’
The idea is to produce portable, sterile Ringers Lactate, or lactated Ringer’s (LR) solution, which is the sodium, potassium and calcium combination. “This unit can make LR solution from practically any water source, including ditch water,” said Austin Langdon, a former Army flight medic who serves as the assistant product manager on the project. “Without question, this small device will dramatically reduce the Army’s logistical footprint of having to ship and store Lactated Ringer’s solution, which is the fluid of choice for resuscitation if blood is not available on the battlefield.”
The device weighs just 11 pounds (5 kilograms) and is stored in a hard-shell case measuring 18 inches (46 centimetres) tall, 10 inches (25 cm) wide, and six inches (15 cm) deep. It runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion cell that can produce more than 30 bags of LR solution per single charge.
This solution is vital for military medics in a war zone, as it treats dehydration, wounds and injuries. As Dr. Srinivas says, “the source water flows through this device and there is [a lactated Ringer’s] concentrate that is injected and the source water ends up going through filters into an IV bag and ends up making the correct concentration of LR in IV bags,” adding, “We created this just for the Army.”
Dr. Srinvas’ farm received a little over $1 million for the project from the Defense Health Agency’s Small Business Innovation Research program in 2018 to design and build the device. However, the device is still one or two years away from being deployed on the battlefield, said Srinivas, adding that the device “is not fully ruggedized; it’s a prototype.”
Dr. Srinivas has been with TDA for 19 years and he has more than 23 years of experience in process, chemical engineering and catalysis R&D. He is involved in managing TDA’s R&D projects, as well as commercialization of TDA’s technologies. He has patents on more than 25 projects at TDA. His research interests include such areas as Biopreservation, Cryopreservation, Cryoprotectants, Ischemia, Organ Preservation, Organ Transplantation, Perfusion, Regenerative Medicine Vitrification.