Targeted Theranostic Nanomedicines for Brain Cancer Therapy

Sonali Singh Doharey including her team member Rahul Pratap Singh, Poornima Agrawal won the award for the research project Targeted Theranostic Nanomedicines for Brain Cancer Therapy. She carried her research work under the guidance of Dr. M. S. Muthu, Prof. B. L. Pandey Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi.

Brain cancer is considered as one of the most devastating diseases because it is hard to treat and cure. Chemotherapy is the most common method for the treatment of different types of brain cancers. Unfortunately, the diagnosis and therapy of brain cancer are very unsatisfying because of the existence of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which excludes more than 98% of small molecules and almost 100% of large molecules. Another obstacle in cancer therapy is to maintain the desired concentration of therapeutic agents and/or diagnostic agents at tumor site.

Sonali1The innovator developed targeted and controlled release nanomedicine systems including transferrin conjugated D-alpha-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate (TPGS) micelles and transferrin / arginine – glycine – aspartic acid (RGD) conjugated TPGS liposomes (i.e., transferrin conjugated liposomes and RGD conjugated liposomes) to deliver docetaxel (DTX) and quantum dots (QDs), simultaneously through receptor-mediated active delivery for brain cancer therapy. Innovator demonstrated that RGD or transferrin TPGS decorated theranostic liposomes were highly effective in delivering desired concentration of therapeutic agents and diagnostic agents across BBB without any signs of brain damage or edema in brain histopathology. These advanced platforms can diagnose brain cancer at early stages, initiate first-line therapy, monitor it, and if needed, rapidly start subsequent treatments. In future, brain theranostics will be able to provide personalized treatment which can make brain cancer even curable or at least treatable at the earliest stage.

Prof. Anil K Gupta, Co-ordinator, SRISTI and Founder, Honey Bee Network honored Sonali Singh Doharey, and her team, Department of Pharmacy, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, with the prestigious BIRAC-SRISTI Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Award 2017 at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Revealed: Dual Functional Characteristics of Escherichia Coli Outer Membrane Protein Wzi And Its Implications In The Design Of Novel Antibiotics

Shivangi Sachdeva and Narendar Kolimi won the award for the research project Revealed: Dual Functional Characteristics of Escherichia Coli Outer Membrane Protein Wzi And Its Implications In The Design Of Novel Antibiotics. she carried her research work under the guidance of Dr Thenmalarchelvi Rathinavelan, Indian Institutes of Technology, Hyderabad. 

The emergence of multidrug resistance in bacteria is a major cause of infection and mortality worldwide. In Gram-negative bacteria, polysaccharide layers are one of the major virulent determinants that are involved in the evasion of host immune response as well as offers impermeability to antibiotics. Thus, inhibiting the capsular polysaccharide (CPS) biogenesis or surface exportation or its attachment to the bacterial surface may be an attractive strategy to generate avirulent Gram-negative bacterial strains. Here, the focus is on multidrug resistant Gram-negative Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is a common cause for urinary tract infections (including infections in the kidney), bloodstream infection, intra-abdominal infections such as peritonitis, skin and soft tissue infections, neonatal meningitis, diarrhea and food borne infections.

An E.coli outer membrane protein Wzi that acts as an anchor for CPS onto the bacterial surface (viz., a lectin) also exhibits a bidirectional passive water conduction property (viz., a porin). Such a dual functional role of Wzi was not realized earlier due to the occluded pore, a property that can be used to treat E. coli infections. It is observed that three water specific entry points across extracellular face regulate the water diffusion involving different mechanisms and a luminal hydrophobic plug governs water permeation across the channel. Thus, a drug molecule that can either interfere with the water conduction by Wzi or the attachment of CPS to Wzi may aid in reducing the bacterial virulence and make them susceptible to antibiotics or host immune response

Dr. R A Mashelkar, Chairperson, Research Advisory Committee, SRISTI and NIF, honored Shivangi Sachdeva, Narendar Kolimi, research scholar, , with the prestigious BIRAC-SRISTI Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Award 2017  at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

A Novel Hybrid System for Textile Dye Waste Water Treatment

Bhaskar Bethi won the award for the research project A Novel Hybrid System for Textile Dye Waste Water Treatment. He carried his research work under the guidance of Dr. Shirish Hari Sonawane Department of Chemical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Warangal.

In this project, Ultrasonic irradiation is used to initiate the emulsion polymerization to form hydro gel through the generation of free radicals as well as the uniform distribution of clay across the hydro gel polymer matrix. Recently, some attempts have been made to modify the properties of polymeric hydrogels by the incorporation of nano- or micro-particles of inorganic materials, such as montmorillonite, kaolin, mica, bentonite into the polymer networks. Hydro gels loaded with dispersed clays are a new class of composite materials which combine elasticity and permeability of the gels with high ability of the clays to adsorb different substances. The developed hybrid system for the treatment of dye waste water can be easily scaled up to industrial scale for the treatment of bulk volume of textile wastewater. It is due to its simplicity in design, less cost of material construction, low cost of operation and higher cavitation yield compared to the ultrasounic cavitation. The developed technology will be efficient for the removal of dye from aqueous medium with in short duration of operating time compared to the most of the conventional treatment techniques such as biological wastewater treatment as well as the single treatment techniques include adsorption, coagulation etc. This innovative technology mainly involves unique feature of both the degradation and subsequent absorption of dye organic pollutants from the waste water in a single set of unit.

Dr. Prof. K. Vijay Raghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, honored Bhaskar Bethi, research scholar, Department of Chemical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Warangal, with the prestigious BIRAC-SRISTI Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Award 2017  at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Atomic power plant leak – Pallava Bagla

Dear all,

Greetings from Techpedia!

Inviting students working on material science, chemistry or any other discipline to suggest possible reason.

MUMBAI, Mar 19 (PTI): In a highly guarded Indian nuclear reactor complex, toughened radiation resistant pipes have contracted ‘small pox’. As a consequence, literally in a plot similar to a Bollywood thriller Indian scientists are burning the midnight oil to unravel the mysterious nuclear leak at the Kakrapar Nuclear Power Plant in Gujarat. This 21st century atomic pot boiler is actually unfolding through the hard work of scientists, who actually share a wall with the famous property where renowned Bollywood film star Raj Kapoor used to live.

Here, they are working over-time to find out the real cause of the cryptic leaks at twin reactors in southern Gujarat. To avoid any panic and any further accidents, the Indian nuclear watchdog – the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) – has shut down the affected plants till the cause has been found. Nuclear experts say pipes, made from a rare alloy, have contracted what seems like ‘small pox’ and this contagion has spread all over the critical tubes in two Indian Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR) at Kakrapar in Gujarat.And, to make the matters worse, after more than a year into the investigation, the teams of scientists really do not understand what has gone wrong.

It was on the morning of March 11, 2016, and as fate would have it exactly five years after the Fukushima reactors in Japan started exploding, unit number 1 of the 220-MW PHWR at Kakrapar developed a heavy water leak and had to be shut down in an emergency.

The indigenously built nuclear plant suffered a heavy water leak in its primary coolant channel and a plant emergency was declared at the site. No worker was exposed and no radiation leaked outside the plant, confirmed India’s Department of Atomic Energy. India’s nuclear operator, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) said “reactor had shut down safely” and “no radiation leaked out”. It confirmed that safety systems had functioned normally.

The atomic thriller really begins when experts are trying to find out why a leak recognition system failed, in the first place it should have given an alarm. “There is a leak detection system in place in all PHWRs, but in this case it failed to detect the leak on March 11, 2016,” confirms AERB Chairman S A Bhardwaj. AERB speculates that the crack developed so rapidly that the electronic leak detection system just did not had the time to react. Subsequent investigations revealed that the leak detection system was fully functioning and the operator had “NOT shut it down” to cut costs.

Nothing in the core of a nuclear reactor can be done in a jiffy and several weeks after the first leak, initial probe using a specially designed tool revealed that four big cracks had formed on a coolant tube which led to the massive leak.

The discovery of the crack was only the beginning of the mystery, further efforts to find the root cause established that the outside of the tube, the part which was not exposed to high temperature heavy water, was also for some unexplained reason “corroded”.

This was a stunning discovery, since the outside of the failed tube was exposed only to high temperature carbon dioxide and there had been no recorded case of a similar corrosion having been seen on the outside of any tube. It is also very hard to access this part since the space was very tiny in the annulus.

The AERB then ordered that all the tubes made out of a special alloy of zirconium-niobium be checked on the outside, to their surprise, they discovered that the contagion of the “nodular corrosion” or what in layman’s language can also be described as “small pox-like” was very widespread in many of the 306 tubes. Tubes made from the same batch and used at other Indian reactors continue to operate faithfully, without corrosion. The needle of suspicion now pointed to the carbon dioxide, a gas known to be very stable in high radiation environments.

A further post mortem revealed that the Unit-2 which is twin of the affected reactor had also been affected by a similar leak on July 1, 2015 almost ten months before the Unit 1 had a sudden appalling failure in March 2016. Investigations into why the Unit-2 failed were ongoing but no conclusive result had been found. This literally back-to-back failure of two fully functional nuclear reactors befuddled the engineers.

Unrelenting in trying to find out the root cause, the AERB ordered that entire assembly and not just the affected tube be safely pulled out and brought to India’s foremost nuclear laboratory, the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) in Mumbai for detailed failure analysis. It is this laboratory located at Trombay in Chembur, in Mumbai that shares geography with India’s famous Bollywood Kapoor family. In addition, since India operates another 16 similar nuclear plants, a full-fledged investigation was carried out on the coolant channels of all atomic power plants and lo-and-behold the investigating team found that the “small pox” like corrosion was confined only to the two units that operated at Kakrapar.

While this gave a sigh of relief to the NPCIL but it increased the complexity on trying to unravel the true cause of the leaks at Kakrapar. Today, Bhardwaj says the investigators are wondering if the carbon dioxide used in Kakrapar may have been contaminated which caused the “nodular corrosion” on the outside of the pipes.

The source of the carbon dioxide was further back traced and it seems only the Kakrapar plant was sourcing its gas from a “Naptha cracking unit” and possibly it has some contamination of hydrocarbons. No conclusive evidence on the contamination has been forthcoming and forensic analysis is still under way.

As it turns out nuclear engineers are masters of book-keeping especially when ageing of equipment is concerned and a more detailed check in the history of the plants revealed that in 2012 two tubes had been extracted from the Kakrapar plant as part of routine maintenance and had been safely stored in a safe warehouse. When these were re-examined in 2017, the investigators were surprised that the “small pox” like corrosion on the exterior of the tube was not present.

This now makes the investigators suspect that something went wrong after 2012. Meanwhile, the AERB and the atomic energy establishment has also reached out to the vast global nuclear community to try and help resolve this mystery.

The global watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna and ten other global forums have been informed that a mysterious leak is dogging the Indian reactors at Kakrapar and if the global community could be of some help. The international community is as much at a loss in explaining the failures as are the Indian teams. India operates 18 PHWR reactors and over the years it has accumulated some 348 years of operating experience of these unique nuclear plants powered using natural uranium and in all these years, the Department of Atomic Energy asserts no radiation related death has taken place at any nuclear plant and no radiation has ever leaked out of the Indian PHWR’s.

In addition to it, 29 PHWRs are today functional in Canada, Argentina, Romania, China, South Korea and Pakistan and none have reported any issue like the ‘small pox like corrosion’ on any of its nuclear plants.

Bharadwaj says right now there are only hunches but teams at BARC are exposing the Zircalloy tubes to carbon dioxide spiked with various contaminants and they are being placed in a high radiation environment to accentuate the aging process to try and determine the exact cause of the two processes—“small pox like nodular corrosion and the development of cracks in the coolant tubes.” These could be linked or independent, says Bhardwaj, who feels that in the next few months, the root cause will definitely be deciphered till then the reactors will remain shut.

India currently operates 22 nuclear reactors with an installed capacity of 6,780 MW and hopes to ramp up nuclear output to 32,000 MW by 2032. Meanwhile, the continuing nuclear mystery is giving the vast Indian nuclear establishment and its atomic sleuths ‘nuclear jitters’.

By – Pallava Bagla

Comments by Prof. Anil Gupta

a) non-uniform alloy itself, that is if alloy has been made in batches , then some batches may have had slight difference leading to patches like distortion; b) using an analogy of with disease in chickpea, where the fungus exists among roots of healthy plants also but disease manifest only in patches, probably because of changing c/n or c/p ( carbon phosph or nitrogen) ratio in those patches; the root cause may be more widely prevalent but problem may come in patches, c) is it possible that surface physics has to explain the problem.

Rotary ultrasonic Bone Drilling

Dr. Vishal Gupta received the award for the research project Rotary ultrasonic Bone Drilling. He carried his research work under the guidance of Prof. Pulak Mohan Pandey Mechanical Engineering Department, IIT Delhi.

Bone drilling is one of the steps in a typical surgical operation i.e. performed around the world for reconstruction and repair of the fractured bone. Fracture of bones is a common problem due to age factors, sports injuries, transport and industrial accidents, etc.There is always a necessity to minimize the magnitude of drilling force and torque during the bone drilling process. Thus, to minimize the rise in temperature, force and torque during surgical bone drilling process for more efficient and successful orthopaedic and trauma surgery. To attain the aforesaid, a new noble bone drilling method has been introduced recently named as RUBD. In the present research, a novel bone drilling technique i.e., rotary ultrasonic bone drilling named as RUBD has been successfully attempted to minimize the forces, torque temperature and microcracks during bone drilling. In order to perform the experimental investigations to find out change in temperature, force, torque, temperature and microcracks with RUBD using diamond coated hollow tool on bone, rotary ultrasonic tool assembly was designed and fabricated in house.

The drilling experiments were planned and carried out on porcine bones using design of experiments (Response Surface Methodology). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was carried out to find the effect of process factors such as rotational speed, feed rate, drill diameter and ultrasonic vibrational amplitude on the force and torque. Statistical models were developed for the force and torque with 95% confidential interval and confirmation experiments have been carried out to validate the models. The results of microcracks by SEM revealed that RUBD process offered a lower force, torque, temperature and minimum microcracks, making it a potential process for bone drilling in orthopaedic surgery. It was also found that RUBD generated a much lower temperature, force and torque as compared to the CSBD.

Dr. R A Mashelkar, Chairperson, Research Advisory Committee, SRISTI and NIF, honored Dr. Vishal Gupta, with the prestigious BIRAC-SRISTI Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Award 2017 at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

A Virtual Reality (VR)-based Immersive Simulator for Endoscopy Training

Shanthanu Chakravarthy received the award for the research project "A Virtual Reality (VR)-based Immersive Simulator for Endoscopy Training". He carried his research work under the guidance of Prof. G. K. Ananthasuresh, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.

Virtual Reality (VR) together with haptics offers an immersive and flexible platform for training doctors in medical procedures. In this project, a VR-based endoscopy simulator together with the force-feedback system is developed. Endoscopy is minimally invasive and is used as an important diagnostic tool to detect abnormal tissues, ulcers, tumours, polyps, cancers, etc. Gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy, including colonoscopy, is a complex procedure involving a high degree of hand-eye coordination.

These procedures are generally carried out by highly skilled clinicians. In order to practice endoscopy safely, a training system that does not involve patients is deemed important. VR-based training system developed in this work has many advantages. It is economical over a long run and usable any number of times; the training model can be changed and designed as per requirements including the incorporation of in-situ cases. It can be used for quantitatively assessing skill as recorded training sessions can be used for identifying mistakes. The developed endoscopy simulator also has many novel features. It consists of a three Degree of Freedom (DoF) haptic device, force models for real-time interaction, computer graphic models for visualization, and an ins t rumented endoscope for reali s tic interactions.Shanthanu Chakravarthy3

All the units of the simulator are uniquely integrated to provide immersive endoscopy s imulation. The device is kinematically designed to mimic real endoscopy. Furthermore, the endoscopy simulator developed in this project has the potential for extension to other interventional procedures such as colonoscopy, bronchoscopy, and endovascular training.

Dr. Francis Gurry Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) honored Dr. Vikram Singh, Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, with the prestigious BIRAC-SRISTI Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Award 2017 at Rashtrapati Bhavan.​

White Light Emission from Vegetable Extracts

Dr. Vikram Singh received the award for the research project White Light Emission from Vegetable Extracts. He carried his research work under the guidance of Prof. Ashok Kumar Mishra, Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

White light emission (WLE) is generated from natural dyes extracted in the laboratory using a green and simple procedure. The optimized mixture of vikram singhtwo suitably chosen plant extracts using acidic ethanol, aided by a FRET cascade from polyphenolics to curcumin to anthocyanins, generates almost pure white light, with CIE values of (0.35, 0.33) in solution, (0.26, 0.33) in gelatin gel and (0.33, 0.25) in PVA film. The colour temperature of the WLE is conveniently tunable by simply adjusting the concentrations of the component emitters. The primary emitting pigments responsible for contributing to WLE are pol yphenol s and antho c y anins f rom pomegranate, and curcumin from turmeric. WLE from such cheap and nature friendly resources could be important in the context of lighting and sensing application. It would be interesting to see if such system can be used as dyes for tunable dye laser applications. Given the vast number of excellent natural fluorescent dyes obtainable from renewable biosources, approaches similar to the present could lead to a more extensive range of low-cost and efficient WLE biomaterials with ease of adjusting colour temperature, which will obviate more expensive alternatives currently being pursued.

Dr. R A Mashelkar, Chairperson, Research Advisory Committee, SRISTI and NIF, honored Dr. Vikram Singh, Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, with the prestigious BIRAC-SRISTI Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Award 2017 at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

BioInvest 2017 in Bengaluru, April 04, 2017


BioInvest 2017 in Bengaluru, April 04, 2017

Greetings from ABLE!


I am writing this to invite you to join as at BioInvest 2017!


Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE) is organizing a one day BIOINVEST conclave on April 04, 2017 at Shangri-La Hotel, Bengaluru. The aim of the conference is to provide the networking platform for the Lifescience Start-ups,Institutional investors, Investment Bankers, Financial sponsors, and the industry to explore market opportunities and understand sectoral trends.


BioInvest conferences are by invitation only. Feel free to contact my colleague Pavana Praveen at



You can join as at BioInvest under one of the following three categories:

(i) As a Company Seeking Investment (Start-up)

(ii) As an Investor

(iii) As a  Delegate



(i) Companies Seeking Investment: Registration Fees

  • Rupees Five Thousand (Rs 5000 /- for a maximum of two people from the organization)

  • 16 companies get a  seven minute  (7 minute) opportunity to make their pitch

  • Companies will be selected by ABLE Panel after assessing the start-ups requirement and profile

(ii) Delegate Registration Fee

  • No fee

  • Only 30 seats available.

  • Entry on first-come first-serve basis.

  • Once shortlisted, invitation is not transferable.

  • No walk-in entry


(iii) Investor Registration Fee

  • No fee

  • Only limited seats available.

  • Entry on first-come first-serve basis.



Find below the links to complete the registrations under the relevant category.Click to Register.

(i) Companies Seeking Investment: Registration Fees

(Deadline – March 17, 2017 to submit your application. March 21, 2017–Intimation by ABLE on shortlisted names and confirmation / Fee Payment)

(ii) Delegate Registration Fee

(Deadline – March 20, 2017)


(iii) Investor Registration Fee

(Deadline – March 21, 2017)


Shangri-La Hotel, Bengaluru,
No 56-6B Palace Road, Bengaluru, 560052
Event Timings: 1030 – 1640 Hrs on Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Low cost and field-portable smartphone platform water testing kit for detection and analysis of contaminants in drinking water

Iftak Hussain won the award for the research project ‘Low cost and field-portable smartphone platform water testing kit for detection and analysis of contaminants in drinking water’. He carried his research work under the guidance of Dr. Pabitra Nath and the other member of the team includes Dr. Kamal Uddin Ahamad, Department of Civil Engineering, Tezpur University. 

As per the eleventh five-year plan document of India (2007-12), there are about 2.17 lakh regions in the country with more than half affected with excess iron, followed by fluoride, salinity, nitrate and arsenic in drinking water. Iftaq HussainMajority of such cases are contributed due to unclean water supply and poor sanitation. Most of the detection methods for water contamination are confined to laboratory due to its timeconsuming measurement procedure and the use of bulky instruments such as spectrophotometer in colorimetric tests. Water samples from these regions are usually sent to the central water quality monitoring laboratory and the process of estimating fluoride concentration is an inefficient and time consuming process. In the present invention, the smartphone is converted into a laboratory grade low cost, robust and field portable water quality monitoring kit to detect and quantify water contaminants such as fluoride, turbidity and salinity. Using the same kit, all the colour based water quality monitoring can be possible. The illumination sensor or ambient light sensor (ALS) of the smartphone is used as a detector and its optical led flash is used as a light source to convert the smartphone in to a photometric sensor for its utilisation in water quality monitoring. Thus, a simple and user friendly, low cost android platform based application for real time detection and analysis is developed. The visual gesture indication is incorporated in the application so that people without any proper scientific knowledge can easily handle the kit. Using the same application real time reporting and data sharing is made possible using the existing communication facility of the phone.

Dr. R A Mashelkar, Chairperson, Research Advisory Committee, SRISTI and NIF, honored Iftak Hussain, research scholar, Department of Physics, Tezpur University, with the prestigious BIRAC-SRISTI Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Award 2017  at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

IIT Kanpur: Students felicitated for developing Braille slate ~

Students of the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K) were given the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award-2017 for developing a prototype of a Braille slate called 'Anubhav' at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhawan on March 5.

Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Awards celebrates the spirit of student innovation in all the fields of engineering, science, technology and design through extremely affordable/frugal solution or the ones pushing the technological edge.

As per an HT report, there were 2,715 nominations from 308 institutions and universities from 27 states and two Union Territories across 54 different subject disciplines. This year, 22 innovations were selected for the award and another 17 for appreciation. 

First device to help visually impaired read and write simultaneously:

The idea was to develop 'Anubhav' was initiated by Sachin NP and Vimal Chandru, design programme students who worked under the guidance of Prof Shantanu Bhattacharya. According to them there was no single device that could help the visually impaired read and write simultaneously before this.

Sachin, who graduated from IIT-K and is currently working with a German company, said: "The award is a reward for our hard work. It will inspire us to do more innovation and bring about a change in society. Technology should be used for the betterment and welfare of society."

 "So we thought of sorting out the issue. The idea was to make a single device that can perform the functions of both the Braille slate and the Taylor's board," said Sachin and Vimal.

87165 The Braille slate has two polymer-based pads hinged to one side, a single row of metal stencil with Braille cell patterns etched on it and an ergonomic stylus with a hollow cylindrical tube.

'Anubhav' consists of cells with raised dots arranged on a slate and a stencil that slides down vertically from one row to the other. Using the hollow-tube stylus, the raised dots can be embossed on a paper placed between the pads. 8041IMG_20160503_164708

"The device has been tested with visually impaired children in Kanpur (Andh Vidyalaya students), and the results have been very encouraging," claimed Sachin, adding, "This project has been in progress for the past one year. 'Anubhav' was the result of thorough research. Now, we are trying to approach the state government to make this product available in the market."

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