Students of Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, Shibu Chameettachal, Dr. M S Sridhar won the award for the research project Decellularized Corneal Matrix (DCM) Based Injectable Hydrogel For Strengthening Cornea Matrix In Severe Corneal Keratoconus. They carried their research work under guidance of Dr. Falguni Pati.
Keratoconus (KC) has been classically described as a non-inflammatory pathology, characterized by a conical shape of the cornea, as a result of thinning and protrusion and finally blindness. The etiopathogenesis is still under research and it may be the final manifestation of diverse pathologic processes. Keratoconus (KC)is considered the most common ectatic disorders of the cornea associated with corneal biomechanical instability. The existing treatment procedures are either risky or complicated surgical interventions. We propose an extracellular matrix based tissue engineering approach as an alternative treatment strategy by thickening the stromal area using a novel injectable decellularized caprine cornea matrix (DCM) hydrogel that would integrate with the existing thin stroma. Upon longer time period the filled area becomes transparent via remodelling with the cues from microenvironment. We envision that this technique has a huge potential to replace current treatment strategies those are complex surgical procedures like ICRS, DALK , PK, Bowmans layer transplantation and collagen UV crosslinking treatment which required highly skilled hands and make it risky and costly. We believe that this approach has the potential to change the clinical landscape by eliminating the current dependency on surgery and most importantly the success of this project will reduced the dependency for human cadaveric cornea for transplantation.
The Hon’ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind awarded the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (BIRAC – GYTI) Award to Shibu Chameettachal, Dr. M S Sridhar, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad at the GYTI 2018 Awards function held at Rashtrapati Bhawan on March 19, 2018.