Dual action of SPIONS in effective removal of heavy metals and mosquito larvae from water.

Student of Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai, Roshini S. M., Karthika M.and Lavanya Agnes Angalene J. won the award for a Dual action of SPIONS in effective removal of heavy metals and mosquito larvae from water. They carried their project work under the guidance of Dr. Antony V Samrot.

Water is vital for all known forms of life. Due to industrialization and improper effluent disposal, the natural water bodies in many parts of our country are alarmingly contaminated with heavy metals like Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, As, Pb and Zn which are well known for their toxic impact to environment and human health. In the case of mosquitoes, it is reported that the presence of heavy metals enhances the breeding potency thus supporting the outbreak of various life-threatening diseases like malaria, chikungunya, yellow fever and dengue. Here with the support of Nanotechnology, a commercially available larvicide is used to eradicate the mosquito larvae as well as effectively remove the heavy metals from its breeding platform, water. Super Paramagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles (SPIONs) are employed as the core carrier molecules which are nanoformulated to achieve the dual action.

Chemically synthesized SPIONs are surface modified and tagged with a commercially available larvicide, further encapsulation was performed using a biopolymer. The biopolymer encapsulation of the tagged-SPIONs helped the nanoformulation to accomplish stability and also offer biocompatibility. The biopolymer and SPIONs help in the heavy metal removal and eventually the tagged larvicide exhibit its lethal action against the target, mosquito larvae. Since SPIONs are magnetic nanoparticles, the application of magnetic field eases the removal of both SPIONs incorporated dead larvae and the targeted heavy metal after treatment. This action not only minimizes the release of larvicide in water but also removes the targeted heavy metals and mosquito larvae, thus making the water favourable for use. The ultimate goal of this innovation is to design a unit in association with conventional water treatment filters to bring out the aforementioned dual action and ensure the supply of heavy metal free and larvae free water

The Hon’ble Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu awarded the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Award to Roshini S. M., Karthika M. and Lavanya Agnes Angalene J. Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai at the GYTI 2019 Awards function held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on July 06, 2019.

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