Students of Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, Manikuntala Mukhopadhyay and Rudra Ray won the award for a research work of Image Analyzing Drying Patterns of Blood And Plasma Droplets For The Rapid Detection of Thalassaemia Carriers. They carried her project work under the guidance of Prof. Sunando DasGupta and Prof. Maitreyee Bhattacharya.
Thalassaemia is one of the most common single-gene disorder in which the production of haemoglobin is impaired. This autosomal recessive disorder is highly prevalent in Indian populations accounting to ~10% of the world’s thalassaemia carriers. The beta-thalassaemia carrier state resulting from a heterozygous mutation in the beta-globin gene is clinically asymptomatic and thus remain undiagnosed. At present, the gold standard method that is used for carrier detection in hospitals requires expensive instruments, skilled manpower and time, thus, making it difficult to be used as an onsite method. A rapid, portable and automated technology for thalassaemia carrier screening is hence of significant importance. The present study has conclusively proven the distinct patterns observed on the drying of whole blood droplets for carrier and normal samples. Length of the radial cracks is significantly shorter for carrier samples as compared to normal ones. A sample whose average crack length is less than 800 microns can be classified as a carrier sample, whereas the ones with larger radial cracks are considered as normal. Identifying the carrier samples by this image analysis technique gave zero false-negative results.
These patterns can be further utilized to create a databank for automated classification of carrier samples, by employing appropriate techniques from computational pattern recognition and deep learning. The proposed method will examine the images of dried blood drops, extract its distinctive features and categorize as normal or carrier samples by comparing it with reference images stored in a databank. This automated process will remarkably increase the number of the total population screened for thalassaemia per year in the country and will reduce the burden on the state-run advanced health facilities along with a significant reduction in costs incurred for a screening of each sample.
The Hon’ble Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu awarded the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Award to Manikuntala Mukhopadhyay and Rudra Ray, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur at the GYTI 2019 Awards function held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on July 06, 2019.