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Bioengineering

Bioengineering is a multi-disciplinary field of research which involves application of engineering techniques for basic understandings and development of innovative technologies for improved quality of life. The Department of Biotechnology has taken an endeavor to apply principles and techniques of allied quantitative sciences such as physics, mathematics, chemistry, computer sciences and engineering in the domain of biological sciences to effectively address the biomedical challenges.

The main scope of this program is to foster and support innovative ideas in fields of Biomaterials for various therapeutic/biomedical applications, Bio-instruments/Bio-medical devices and implants, Bio-medical sensors, Bio-imaging for improved diagnostics/existing medical equipment, Tissue engineering and other allied areas.

The central concern at DBT is improving the quality of life and to that end, bioengineering is a crucial field of activity.

Till now there have been some interesting achievements.

The Journey So Far

The Department has supported several projects during XIth Five year Plan (2007 to 2012) in key areas of bioengineering. Some of the significant achievements are as follows:

Devices and Implants

Implantable device for multifunction prosthesis hand control has been fabricated successfully. The implantable device pickup and transmit electromyographic signals transcutaneously. An auxiliary device placed over the skin receives the transmitted signal and also supply electrical power by electromagnetic induction. The signal transmission uses a digital packet radio network to provide high reliability of the EMG signal. The final design and fabrication of the circuits for implantation completed and miniature electronics with power and data transmitter accomplished. The prototype testing in animal models are under process.

Mannequin-based training simulator specifically for detection of different types of heart attacks or AMI (Acute Myocardial Infarction) has been developed to train the cardiologists (trainer). The researchers have developed an interactable (hardware) mannequin, with software simulated Cardiovascular System incorporating parameters like radial artery pulse measurement, ECG determination, BP measurement, heart sound, injection of life-saving drugs etc that can be programmed by the trainer.

Bio-artificial liver– Designing and optimization of a support for the temporary treatment of patients with acute and acute on chronic liver failure is being developed under this project. The idea behind is to help in bridging the gap for patients awaiting for an appropriate liver donor, as well as aid in spontaneous native hepatic regeneration.

Fiberoptic Laser Raman spectrometer has been standardized to develop and evaluate fiberoptic probes designs for the diagnosis of oral precancers (erythtoplakia, leukoplakia and OSMF) and cancers in the clinical setting.

Non-invasive, hand-held, compact and wireless technology based easy-to-use device for display of ECG signals for monitoring chest pains devised successfully. The technology has been combined with mobile phone technology using GPRS.

Biosensors

A low cost biosensor for rapid detection of Salmonella typhi has been developed by surface modification of nylon membrane & polyacrylonitrile fibre (PAN) with an aim to use them as solid matrices for ELISA/FIA.

A digital and plug-based microfluidic system is being developed to study the aggregation kinetics of the β-amyloid peptides towards understanding the cause of neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer.

Bio-instruments

Calibration-free pulse oximeter has been successfully developed for non-invasive measurement of oxygen saturation in arterial blood. A couple of novel algorithms has been designed for computation of oxygen saturation and method is independent of source intensity, detector sensitivity, coloration of skin of patient or volume of intervening tissue. Three prototypes have been developed and field testing is underway.

Robotic wheelchair to provide comfort or to give independence of mobility to physically challenged persons has been designed successfully. Prototypes of two models have been developed: a low cost one and an advanced one. The most important feature of the advanced version is its autonomous navigational capability in user’s residence and office.

Biomaterial for biomedical applications

Microparticle-based dual drug delivery system for the treatment of lung cancer has been extrapolated as a therapeutic option for solid tumors. A model drug, ampicillin along with an anti-cancer drug has been incorporated within the delivery vehicle for the study of release kinetics and bioactivity on various lung cancer cell lines.

Nanostructured Surface/Tip enhanced Raman Substrates (TERS) have been developed for recording unique Raman signatures of normal and malignant oral cancer tissues. TERS substrates were used for tissue imaging from ~ 20 cancer patients. Unique differential signature pattern were identified for normal and cancer tissue sections.

Process optimized for developing suitable machinable green ceramics and dental crown of custom specific products fabricated through direct machining of green ceramic compacts using computer numerical control (CNC) machine.

Novel intelligent peptides for targeting PNA (Peptide-nucleic acids) into cells are synthesized for its use as antiviral therapeutics.

Flexible and microporous biopolymeric hyrdrogel bandages based on alginate, chitin and chitosan with non-toxic ZnO/Herb Hemigraphis ulternata nanoformulations developed for wound dressing applications.

Tissue Engineering

An animal model of physical injuries in the goat successfully demonstrated utilizing the autologous chondrocyte culture.

Tissue engineered osteochondral grafts developed and tested successfully in vitro in terms of gene expression, biochemistry and biomechanics. Significant efforts also undertaken modifying tissue engineered cartilage system to develop in vitro disease models of Osteoarthritis.

Silk protein scaffold for tissue engineering/biotechnological applications: The silk fibroin proteins isolated from domesticated mulberry, Bombyx mori and wild non-mulberry; Antheraea mylitta silkworms have been exploited to develop multilayer 2D films for controlled drug release. The study envisages the versatile and tunable properties of silk making them exciting candidates for the tissue engineering and biotechnological applications.

Task Force on Bioengineering

Contact address

Group Head

Arvind Duggal
Adviser, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Block 2, Room No. 619, C.G.O Complex, Lodi Road, New Delhi-110003;
Email: duggal[at]dbt[dot]nic[dot]in

Programme Officer

Dr. Kakali Dey Dasgupta
Scientist “D”, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Block 2, Room No. 619, C.G.O Complex, Lodi Road, New Delhi-110003;
Email: kakali[dot]dey[at]nic[dot]in