Prof. Govind Rao, Director, Center for Advanced Sensor Technology (CAST) and Professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA delivered a guest lecture on Disruptive Innovations to Lower Healthcare Costs at SSSIHL on 30 Jan 2020. The lecture was attended by students and faculty of the University, as well as doctors from Sri Sathya Sai Higher Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthigram.
Prof. Rao highlighted the growing cost of healthcare in the United States, costing close to $4 Trillion per annum while 71% of world population lives on a $10 per capita per day income. Under these circumstances, where medicare is beyond the reach of the masses, the Center for Advanced Center Technology (CAST) has developed next generation bio-manufacturing technology with the ability to manufacture protein-based therapeutics at the point-of-care. Under Prof. Rao’s able guidance, cell-free systems have been used to produce lifesaving biologics in under 8 hours. His talk centered around the application of non-invasive sensors, minimizing pain and removing infection risks especially for vulnerable infants in neonatal care.
He also spoke about the development of low-cost cardboard incubators for new born babies that is currently in clinical trials in India. Overall, he highlighted the application of sensor technology in reducing healthcare costs and reducing disparity by making disruptive and innovative low-cost devices for use in low resource settings.
They young students and researchers greatly benefitted from the talk and had a chance to interact with him after the lecture.
Dr. Sai Sathish Ramamurthy, Asst. Professor, STAR Lab, Dept. of Chemistry, SSSIHL in collaboration with Dr. Shivakiran Bhaktha B N, Photonics Lab, IIT Kharagpur and alumnus SSSIHL, have been working on amalgamation of plasmonic and photonic crystal-based sensing technologies.
The novelty of this work is the creation of a highly precise platform for the detection (1 femtomolar) of environmentally hazardous aluminium ions in drinking water. In common parlance, it is not just the equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack, but even the eye of the needle. This is done using nanocavities; ‘hot-spots’ as they are called.
Under their supervision, Sri Seemesh Bhaskar, Dr. S Venkatesh (SSSIHL) and Mrs. Pratyusha Das (IIT Kharagpur), have theoretically and experimentally investigated electromagnetic modes supported by photonic crystals in different nano-architectures.
Read the paper published in ACS The Journal of Physical Chemistry C: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.jpcc.9b11092
#SSSIHLResearch #SSSIHLChemistry #photoniccrystal#femtomolarsensing
The #periodictable of elements – the backbone of Chemistry – turns 150! Back then, a Russian Chemist and inventor, Dmitri Mendeleev, formulated the Periodic Law, and his farsighted version brought us the Periodic Table. Most of us have fond (or in many cases, not so fond) memories of trying to memorize this table when we were in school.
As part of this celebration, the Department of Chemistry, SSSIHL arranged a talk by Prof. V Chandrasekhar, Centre Director, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Hyderabad, on 8 August 2019. He spoke on the topic, Periodic Table @150: Some Stories.
He started with historical anecdotes of Mendeleev and his contributions to the development of the periodic table. He elaborated on why we need a periodic table and why (at all) do we need to establish a relationship between the elements? The answer lies in the fact that we use many — if not all the elements — as part of our daily lives.
Pluto stated that all matter is made of elements (earth, fire, air, water and space), and thus began the journey of science. Chemistry, on the other hand, began with the alchemist’s search for the philosopher’s stone to convert base metals into gold. In this regard, there were many alchemists, such as Henning Brand (who discovered Phosphorus – flask glowing in the dark), Robert Boyle (who gave the gas laws) and Lavoisier (who quantified science by coming up with the law of mass conservation).
In time, there were many elements and a growing number of attempts on finding a relationship between the elements, starting with Dobereiner triads, Newland’s octave and finally Mendeleev. Against all the odds, he completed his education and went on to develop a periodic table that was first arranged, based on the atomic mass of elements. He not only arranged the elements into a table but also predicted the possibility of the discovery of new elements by proposing gaps between the existing elements. Then, Lord Rayleigh and Sir William Ramsay discovered the noble gases and Chadwick discovered the isotopes.
The final piece of the puzzle in the periodic table, as we know of today, was solved by Henry Moseley, who arranged the periodic table by atomic number and then several gaps were filled later by the discovery of more elements of the periodic table by scientists such as Seaborg. The talk looked at the development of the periodic table from the layman’s perspective, offering a fusion of science and history. It was delightful, insightful and invigorating.