Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences (DIPAS)

Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences (DIPAS)

Historical Background

Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences (DIPAS) was officially established on 20th September 1962. In India, research in military physiology was initiated in the year 1950 through a small group of scientists and medical physiologists within the realm of Defence Science Laboratory, Delhi. In 1962, with the thrust area identification of high altitude physiology, nutrition and biochemistry of human in severe stress environment and also with the urgent need felt for ergonomic assessment of workstations and man-machine interface, a full-fledged laboratory was established.

In 1968, the laboratory was relocated within the premises of Army base Hospital, Delhi Cantonment. In the year 1993, the lab was shifted to its present permanent premise at Lucknow Road, Timarpur, Delhi.

During the early years, DIPAS has contributed extensively in all major areas of immediate application to defence operation, viz. ration scale and nutrition of soldiers sizing clothing, load carriage and distribution in infantry soldiers, thermal comfort zone identification, nature of heat casualty, salt & water requirement in summer, habitability survey of naval ships and physical training and conditioning schedule.

While continuing with these issues related to immediate operational needs as faced by the users, research studies also emanated in tune with the time and the emerging technology.

Extensive research work was carried out on yoga and adaptogen as performance enhancer in extreme environment, body water distribution on heat induced hypohydration and its correction, neurophysiological mechanism of HAPE, development of protective mechanism against noise induced hearing loss and thermal evaluation of protective clothing.

Today, DIPAS is a leading laboratory in physiology and biomedical research in the country with the primary mandate of promoting human performance in extreme environment of Defence operation.

With 50 scientists, 200 technical officers & support staff members and 30 research scholars in its strength and a very specialised infrastructure, it has its characteristic research abilities to conduct studies on human volunteers in actual field conditions and in laboratory simulated environments.

Its Ergonomics lab with Motion Analysis and Force Plate System has developed into a state of art competency in biomechanics research. Animal models are used for invasive organ system studies. Cell line research has been inducted for biological screening of plant extracts of interest in Program Charak: Herbs for Health of Armed Forces. Other program in hand viz. Biotechnology 2000 and studies on molecular mechanisms of acclimatisation employ molecular biology tools extensively. The laboratory has an elaborate networking with the biomedical agencies and academia within the country and abroad.

Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences (DIPAS)


Carbogen Breathing System for Ameliorating Noise Induced Hearing Loss:
Breathing Carbogen (CO2: 5% and O2: 95%) for 5 minutes before and after exposure to noise offers protection against noise induced hearing loss. A user-friendly system developed, clinically tried and is ready for induction in establishments where operators are engaged in high noise work environment.

Combating Cold Injuries in the High Altitude:
Development of Aloe Vera Cream for prevention and treatment of Cold Injuries
A Combination of Petoxyfylline, Vitamin C, and low dose Aspirin along with Aloe Vera application in soldiers showing early signs of cold injury is found to be effective in reducing the morbidity due to frostbite in glacier region. The role of prophylactic application of Aloe Vera cream has been successfully studied in soldiers deployed in Northern Glacier for prevention of cold injuries.

Development of Heating Gloves and Socks for use in Glacier:
Electrically powered heating gloves and socks have been successfully evaluated for their effectiveness in providing protection against cold stress especially to the extreme parts of the body (fingers and toes) at an ambient temperature of -15oC. The device is being developed in collaboration with MECON, Ranchi.

Development of Delivery System for Nitric Oxide and Oxygen Gas Mixture:
Administration of Nitric Oxide (15 ppm) in nitrogen with oxygen (50 %) has been found to help in treatment of High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE). A simple, safe and efficient delivery system developed for precise administration of Nitric Oxide & Oxygen breathing gas mixture. Mark I of the Delivery System has been installed at DIPAS for detailed testing and is found to be satisfactory. The user-friendly version Mark II delivery system with a mass flow controller for the NO delivery is presently under development in collaboration with R&DE (Engrs), Pune.

Development of Hyperbaric Chamber for Naval Divers:
A multicrew Hyperbaric Chamber complete with a monoplace transfer chamber and pressure related physiological monitoring system is in final stage of development in collaboration with R&DE (Engrs), Pune. The Chamber will facilitate conduct of studies on naval divers under simulated deep sea diving conditions and in therapeutics of any possible accidents in under water operations.

Development of Thermoelectric Cooling System for Heat Stress Management :
A miniaturized Thermoelectric Cooling Unit along with Cooling Garment has been developed in collaboration with CVRDE, Avadi; DEBEL, Bangalore and MECON, Ranchi. After incorporating necessary modifications, two such systems have been successfully evaluated for their efficacy in providing an effective heat (300 W) transfer from human body to the environment while operating under extreme hot environment.

The Unit on its integration into the MBT tank had been successfully evaluated for its cooling efficiency using the liquid cooled garment. Further, users demonstration trial of the Unit was held at Mahajan Ranges, Suratgarh and found to perform satisfactorily in terms of body cooling of a single user. The system has been recommended for modification for Multicrew use in the tank.

Preparation of Anthropometric Database of Air Force personnel :
A user oriented project on Air Force personnel titled ‘Anthropometric survey of Air Force personnel to formulate height-weight BMI nomograms and to determine sizing parameters for clothing and personal life support systems’ has recently been completed on 7000 Air Force personnel in order to look into the status of body composition and offer an ideal height weight Chart for its intended use in induction and during review of annual medical. The study also generates a huge database for sizing of uniforms, personal equipment, protective clothing and life support systems.

Stress Management Programme in Coronary Artery Disease Regression:
Lifestyle intervention studies consisting of low fat, high fiber vegetarian diet, moderate aerobic exercise and stress management through Rajyoga meditation have been carried out on 518 angiographically documented coronary artery disease (CAD) patients to evaluate the effectivity of this new modality of stress management in helping regression of CAD as monitored by repeat angiographies, cardiac events, TMT, echocardiography, blood chemistry and hormonal profile. This intervention technique was found to produce remarkably effective regression of CAD.

Acclimatization Schedule and Tenure of Posting at High Altitude
Research on problems at high altitude assumes special significance in the national context of deployment of a large population of troops along the Eastern and Western Himalayas guarding our Northern borders. Extensive research has been carried out by DIPAS to assess various physiological, biochemical and psychological responses on early induction and during acclimatization to high and extreme altitude. Based on these studies, acclimatization schedule and the tenure of stay were formulated for different heights.

Ration Scale Formulation and Review
DIPAS conducted extensive studies on nutritional requirements of troops operating in different environmental conditions, such as high altitude, deserts and submarine, and ration scales were formulated on the basis of studies on energy and nutritional requirements in actual operational conditions.

Yoga for Stress Management
Yogic exercise found to improve several physiological, and psychological functions in young and middle-aged soldiers. It has also been seen to enhance the tolerance to stress, which may be environmental or emotional in origin. Based on a series of studies, recommendations were made to introduce yogic exercised in selected areas where the ease of practice of PT may be limited due to logistic constraints

Adaptogens for Stress Management
Herbal preparation of traditional use in the country for their adaptogenic effects to stress were evaluated for their efficacy, initially in the lab animals and subsequently in limited field trial and large scale field trial. Administration of a Composite Indian Herbal Preparation (CIHP) was found to have significant adaptogenic benefits in ameliorating stress induced psych-physiological dysfunctions.

-Studies on the Mutagenic and Carcinogenic potential for Microwave
-Immunomodulatory effect of Agents of Plant Origin
-Kombucha Tea: Studies on Chemistry, Stress Tolerance, Immuno-Modulation and Toxicity

-Large Scale Field Trial of Composite Indian Herbal Preparation I & II (CIHP I & II) for introduction in the Army
-Coronary Artery Disease regression through Life Style Changes: Vegetarianism, Moderate Exercise and Stress Management through Rajyoga Meditation.
-Effect of Yogic Exercise on Physiological and Anti Oxidant system in Man.
Physiological Evaluation of NBC Clothing

-Studies on Oral Glutamic Acid (Glu) supplementation in Ameliorating High Altitude Stress and improvement in Cognitive Functions.
-Role of Zinc in Combating Heat stress and Hypoxia Stress in Humans: Moderate Altitude/Extreme Altitude.

-Studies on the treatment of cold injury: Using Therapeutic rewarming in decoction of tea leaves and combined therapy of Pentoxifylline, Aspirin and Vitamin C with prophylactic application Aloe Vera Cream.
-Effect of Extreme Altitude on Sensory Threshold and Cognitive functions.
-Facilitation of Man-Machine interface in Military Environment
- Biomechanical study on the Optimization of Load Carriage in Indian Army Personnel
- Anthropometric Database on Women induced in Indian Armed Forces and female NCC Cadets.
-Acclimatization and performance of Armed Force Personnel at High Altitude
Occupation Noise Induced Oxidative Stress and remedial measures

-Anthropometric survey of Air Force Personnel to formulate height-weight-BMI nomograms and to determine sizing parameters for clothing and personnel life supports system.
-A pilot study on molecular mechanism of High Altitude Acclimatization by differential gene expression analysis:
-Assessment of nutritional requirements of armed forces personnel at various condition of climate and training
-Miniaturization of Solid State Cooling unit for the tank crew.