Sanjay Kumar and his team member Pulak Bhushan won the award appreciation for developing a Paper-based device for rapid detection of Dengue. He carried his project work under the guidance of Prof. Shantanu Bhattacharya, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.
Dengue virus is diagnosed using conventional techniques like PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), and even though these methods are highly accurate they need a highly clean lab and expert people to perform these tests. They are also highly expensive and time consuming. The previously developed devices have one major limitation from the commercial point of view. They utilize saliva or serum as their samples. Even though they are an important source of biomarkers and have less interference, they require pre-processing before they can be used. The pre-processing can only be done in a laboratory rendering it useless for developing commercially available lateral flow test strips. Several rapid diagnostic devices are available in the market for detection of dengue. The devices that detect NS1 are only capable of doing so after 3-4 days, since that is when the concentration of Ns1 increases to a considerable amount. Whereas, the devices that can detect IgM and IgG, suffer from the problem that these antibodies are produced in the body only after 4 days and 7 days respectively (primary infection), hence rendering them useless for early detection purposes. The primary objectives of this project are as follows: Development of a device which can detect dengue NS1 in the first 1-2 days itself, when the concentration of NS1 is considerably low. This shall make the device capable of providing an early diagnosis which will further aid the doctors in treating the patients in an effective way. Using whole blood as the sample, eliminating the need of pre-processing which requires external equipment and expertise.
Dr. Francis Gurry Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) honored Sanjay Kumar and his team member Pulak Bhushan, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, with the prestigious Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Award 2017 Appreciation at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 5th of March.