Dr. Parikshit Moitra and Dr. Deepa Bhagat from Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru were given the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award-2017 for developing a prototype of A Novel Bio-engineering Approach to Generate an Eminent Surface Functionalized Template for the Selective Detection of Female Sex Pheromone of Certain Agriculturally Hazardous under guidancep of Prof. Santanu Bhattacharya.
Plant pests exert serious effects on food production due to which the global crop yields are reduced by ~20-40% per year, as estimated by FAO. Hence to meet the world's food needs, loses of food due to crop pestsmust be reduced. Herein silicon dioxide or zinc oxide based MEMS devices are covalently functionalized for robust and efficient optical sensing of the female sex pheromones of the pests like Helicoverpa armigera, Scirpophaga incertulas and Bactocera oleae for the first time in literature.
The relative sensitivity of the functionalized MEMS devices is improved by the variation in functionalization protocols that either increased the number of amine or β-cyclodextrin functionalities on each anchor site. The functionalized devices are also capable of selectively measur ing the concentration of this pheromone at the femtogram level which is much below the concentration of pheromone found at the time of pest infestation in an agricultural field. Again, the reversible use of the functionalized devices in any season under ambient conditions, photochemical and thermal stability of the devi c e s and absolut e ly t roubl e f r e e transportation of these pheromone nanosensors heightens their potentials for commercial use. Overall, a novel and unique approach is reported herein for the selective and reversible sensing of female sex pheromones of certain hazardous pests which may be efficiently and economically carried forward from the research laboratory to the agricultural field to determine the stage of prior pest infestation. Necessary actions can then be taken as and when necessary in a confined region of alerted pest attack.
Dr. R A Mashelkar, Chairperson, Research Advisory Committee, SRISTI and NIF, honored Dr. Parikshit Moitra, Department of Agricultural Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, with the prestigious Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Award 2017 at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhawan on March 5.