DOST-PTRI inaugurates Medical Textile Testing Center, introduces newly-renovated testing labs

The Philippine Textiles Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PTRI) has inaugurated the PTRI Medical Textile Testing Center (PMTTC) in Bicutan, Taguig City, showcasing new equipment and capabilities of the PMTTC for testing medical textiles to ensure the safety of the materials and products used in the health and hygiene sectors.

DOST-PTRI Director Celia B. Elumba (from left,), DOST Secretary Fortunato T. dela Peña, Dir. James E. Empeño of the National Training Center for Biosafety and Biosecurity and PMTTC Project Leader of PMTTC Donna A. Uldo during the inauguration of the PMTTC. (Photo courtesy of DOST-PTRI)

"As the Philippines and other nations continuously battle the COVD-19 pandemic up to this day, it is apparent that a stronger support system should be implemented and utilized to eliminate the epidemic in the country," DOST-PTRI said in a statement.

To this day, medical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as face masks, coveralls, gowns, and drapes remains to be the primary defense of the people, such as our healthcare front liners, against the Covid-19 pandemic.

As it is still actively affecting the worldwide population, DOST-PTRI mentioned that the use and production of PPEs, especially face masks, heightened the need to test the safety and quality of the PPEs being produced or existing in the market.

The inauguration event, with the theme, “Instilling Trust Amidst Pandemic and Post Pandemic Era through the PMTTC”, introduced the newly-renovated component testing laboratories of the PMTTC–the Chemical Testing, Physical Testing, and Microbiological Testing Laboratories.

DOST-PTRI stated that these tests for medical safety regulations were only available in other countries so the tests need to be sent to foreign laboratories which increases not only the waiting time for test results but also the costs.

With this, DOST-PTRI said that PMTTC is the newest facility of the DOST that aims to offer and provide an extensive solution to the limited testing services for healthcare and medical-related textile materials in the country through its newest testing services.

Prior to the establishment of PMTTC, the institute through its Quality Textile Testing Laboratories has been testing some PPEs for community face coverings (non-medical cloth face masks) and for reusable non-medical grade PPE.

"With this addition, DOST-PTRI will now serve as the center for medical textile testing and development in the country and will be offering complete tests for both community face coverings and medical-grade face PPEs," the agency said.

"This local testing capability will likewise encourage more research and development initiatives that aim to help the current pandemic response," it added.