Two technologies developed under DBT supported Biodesign Programme implemented jointly at All India Institute of Medical Sciences & IIT Delhi have been licensed to startup companies.
One of them is a switchable Doppler stethoscope that can amplify & easily monitor fetal heartbeat. The other is an advance wound care dressing that can effectively heal difficult wounds that extend beyond the dermal layer by increasing oxygen supply and reducing pressure on the wound (technically called, applying negative pressure).
Secretary DBT, Prof K. VijayRaghavan congratulated all the innovators and the companies and appreciated the involvement of international collaboration in the endeavor underlining its role in building excellence.
A Novel Switchable Doppler Stethoscope
This technology transferred to Brun Health Private Limited from Telangana, has been developed by SIB Fellows (2013) Balaji Teegala, Dr. Prashant Jha, Abhinav Ramani and Anirudh Chaturvedi, a team with multidisciplinary skill set to address a simple need of fetal auscultation. It acts both as a standard annular Y-shaped stethoscope and as a Doppler stethoscope. The uniqueness and novelty in the design is established by just one simple approach – re-imagining the use case without distorting the comfort of an iconic piece of medical equipment.
The technology uses micro sensors to amplify fetal heart beat and makes it convenient for the cardiologist to check it with minimum pressure on the womb and easily detect discrepancies in it.
The resulting device called Brünacousta aims to address a $1 billion fetal monitoring market globally. This is an innovative product, which will significantly improve the quality of care worldwide while being a symbol of unique identity for Obstetricians. The technology for brünacousta is being licensed by BCIL to the start-up company founded by the inventors and led by Balaji Teegala for further development and commercialization.
Advance wound care dressing
The advance wound care dressing transferred to Inochi Care Private Limited has been developed by SIB Fellows (2016 batch) Neelarnab Dutta, Shivani Gupta, Roshan Gurung and Taihei Fujii, bringing together multidisciplinary skill set to develop a technology that would be beneficial for millions of people suffering from different kind of wounds worldwide.
The novel dressing is a versatile, dual therapy dressing, which enables accelerated healing of medically complex hard to heal wounds. It utilizes more than one proven therapeutic means, configured to enhance wider range of bio mechanism favourable for wound healing. The approach is to provide advance wound-healing modalities using single dressing to attain enhanced clinical benefits for faster healing of complex wounds.
By combining the oxygenation and negative pressure, the technology helps increase mycropages as well as capillary blood flow at the wound site and helps it to heal better.
This easy to use dressing can be used for wounds of various shape and size at different anatomical locations in single therapy as well as for dual therapy mode. It is a technology that is easy to use by any paramedic, does not need any high level of skill, low-cost and can be applied sooner as it combines two treatments into one.
This “Dual Therapy Dressing” aims to address a $14.9 billion wound care market worldwide. This innovative product will significantly reduce the disease burden of more than 20 million people suffering from non-healing wounds in India. The technology is being licensed by BCIL to the start-up company founded by the inventors for further development and commercialization.
Rapid Fire: Technological achievements showcased
- DBT-ICT 2G-Ethanol Technology
- Bio-refinery Platforms
- Bio-based chemicals from the Synthetic Biology and Chemical routes
- Algal Technology
- Enzyme development
- CO2 to biodiesel and high value products
- Life Cycle Analysis of Bio-fuel technologies
Department of Biotechnology participated in showcasing various Biofuel technologies & products developed by 4 DBT Bio-energy Centers and other R&D projects supported to various Institutes, Universities across country at the Urja Utsav organized by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas at Pune.
On behalf of DBT, presentation was made on various initiatives in Bio-energy, achievements so far and various opportunities available for students & scientists. Also through IISc Bangalore Information Kiosks were developed for educating school children and creating awareness among farmers. The videos and film showed were very much appreciated and response was overwhelming from different communities right from students/scientists and farmers levels.
At the exhibition, the Centre showcased their achievements in DBT-ICT 2G-Ethanol Technology, Bio-refinery Platforms, Bio-based chemicals from the Synthetic Biology and Chemical routes, Algal Technology, Enzyme development, CO2 to biodiesel and high value products, Life Cycle Analysis of Bio-fuel technologies.
The DBT-ICT 2G-Ethanol Technology was showcased along with engineering service partners.
The key visitors to the stall were Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Honorable Minister for State (I/C) Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Chairman and Senior officials of OMC’s, farmers, students, scientists, industry personnel’s etc. More than 3000 visitors visited the stall. The content shown was highly appreciated by all the visitors. Few queries were sought about technology readiness and its deployment. Students and farmers in particular were amazed to see the samples exhibiting waste biomass being converted into ethanol.
Anchor- T V Venkateswaran
Guest : Dr Anil Kumar Suri
Director, National Institute of Immunology, Delhi
ON AIR TIMINGS:
Date of First On air –
Saturday – 4 pm —- 12th August 2017
Sunday – 12 pm —- 13th August 2017
Thursday- 5 pm (Repeat)
Youtube – You can also watch RSTV live on youtube
- DBT is supporting Biotechnology based Programme for Societal Development
- DBT extend support for undertaking training & demonstration for employment generation
- Banana tissue culture promoted to uplift weaker section youth to get engaged in cultivation
- Floriculture activity promoted for In-Vitro propagation & bio-farming of Anthurium & Gerbera
- In Manipur, youth trained on improved production system & breeding of pigs
The Department of Biotechnology is supporting Biotechnology based Programme for Societal Development with an aim to promote the use of biotechnological processes and tools for the benefit of the disadvantaged section of the society comprising women, rural population, SC/ST and weaker section. The activities are supported for undertaking training and demonstration for self-employment generation. The youth belonging to rural background and SC/ST community are being trained on various interventions on agriculture and allied sector health, nutrition and sanitation, value chain and post harvest agripreneurship development, biodiversity conservation, skill development among the youth. The projects are mainly rural based, village based and resource based and specifically supported to create platform for self employment generation in the backward region of the country.
Recently we have witnessed the World Youth Skill Day celebrated on 15th July to understand the challenges faced by the young work force and the skills the youth are needed to excel in their professional career. To commemorate International Youth Day and especially to address the department’s efforts for social upliftment, the programmes encourages youth to take action to face challenges in today’s society to make their efforts for the livelihood and ultimately for the social commitment. The Department of Biotechnology supplements the mission of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and to provide opportunities to resource poor youth by involving them in various income generating activities and entrepreneurship development through DBT programme in nation-building activities.
The empowerment of tribal women through livelihood generation and nutritional security in tribal areas of East Godavari District were taken up through community based approaches by CTRI, Rajamundry created entrepreneurship development among the tribal women. The introduced supplementary diets and weaning foods played a key role in reduction of malnutrition of children to an extent of 60% to 80% in the adopted tribal villages and helped in introduction of nutripreneurial activities through homestead units for processing of horticulture produce, fruit and vegetable preservation.
Banana tissue culture was promoted to uplift weaker section youth to get engaged in cultivation through adoption of tissue cultured protocol and create income generation with use of tissue cultured plantlets cultivation. Production and distribution of tissue culture plantlets of banana among the youth encouraged to undertake profitable enterprise to start with.
Floriculture activity was promoted for In-Vitro propagation and bio-farming of Anthurium (Anthurium andreanum) and Gerbera (Gerbera jamesonii) in Terai-Dooars region of West Bengal, helped the rural youth to start Gerbera cultivation under low-cost polyhouse both in Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri districts.
Activities introduced in softer biotechnologies by Agri Biotech Foundation, Hyderabad through introduction of technologies of organic farming viz. bio-fertilizers, bio-pesticide, tissue culture, vermicomposting for production of bio-products for organic farming. Youth trained on hands on skills in preparation and application of bio-products in seed treatment, seedling and soil application methods. This has created avenues for self employment and marketing in the agriculture sector as self employment generation.
Kerala Agricultural University has introduced entrepreneurship skill development for Scheduled Caste/Tribe women through floriculture.
In North-Eastern region in the state of Manipur, youth trained on improved production system and breeding of pigs to enhance their livelihood and family income considering pig rearing is the mainstay of livelihood generation.
A goat rearing was popularized among women for sustainable income generation by College of Veterinary and Animal Science, Parbhani among women SHGs for sustainable income generation. Trained beneficiaries were motivated through training and mass awareness programme for rearing of Osmanabadi goats. Women Self-Help Groups were also trained in COVAS on quail farming for adoption of profitable quail production.
Youths were trained on integrated fish farming as a sustainable profitable model; the trained youth have adopted fish-poultry-vegetable integrated farming in Champawat District of Uttarakhand for their livelihood.
Technologies were popularized for utilization of ‘WEEDS’ among the un-employed youth to create opportunities for income generation in Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Assam. The trained youth are preparing market demand articles like Furniture, Flower Basket, Vegetable Basket, Dustbin, Fancy Article (toys) and Computer tables etc. with these weeds for their sustenance as livelihood option.
Lac cultivation demonstrated through training by SKUAST-Jammu has created livelihood opportunities for Kandi youth of Jammu through state of art technology developed for lac production including pruning, inoculation, crop protection, lac processing and brood production on Palas and Ber.
Inputs from Dr. Arun S. Ninawe, Advisor, DBT
- Forty percent of the world’s children in their school going years are reported to be anaemic
- Flour fortification with iron (Fe) is the cost effective & sustainable way in reducing the prevalence of anaemia.
- Wheat is currently the primary staple food for nearly one-third of the world’s population
- NaFeEDTA-fortified whole wheat flour fed children showed significant improvements in iron status by the end of the study
Iron status indicators of children fed with iron fortified wheat flour showed significant improvements by the end of the study conducted at St John’s Medical College and Research Institute, Bangalore.
Iron deficiency (ID) and iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) are widespread globally. Forty percent of the world’s children in their school going years are reported to be anaemic and cereal flour fortification with iron (Fe) is the most cost effective and sustainable way in reducing the prevalence of ID and IDA. Wheat is currently the primary staple food for nearly one-third of the world’s population and forms the major cereal food consumed by the people living in Northern India.
Wheat flour fortification with elemental iron is technically challenging, primarily due to poor absorption from elemental iron and the presence of phytic acid. Sodium iron ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (NaFeEDTA) is a unique fortificant, since it protects Fe from the phytic acid present in foods by binding more strongly to ferric Fe at the pH of the gastric juice in the stomach and then exchanging the ferric (Fe) for other metals in the duodenum as the pH rises. It is two-to-four fold more bio-available than ferrous sulphate, particularly in meals with high phytate content, thereby making it ideal for use in wheat flour.
A randomised controlled study (RCT) was carried out by St. Johns’s Medical College, Bangalore to test if NaFeEDTA-fortified whole wheat flour could reduce ID and improve body iron stores (BIS), and iron parameters. Iron deficient (ID) school children (6-12 year old, n=401) were randomly assigned to either a daily wheat-based lunch meal fortified with 6 mg of iron as NaFeEDTA (as chappatis or dosa), or an otherwise identical unfortified control meal. Haemoglobin (Hb) and iron status were measured at baseline, 3.5, and 7 months.
Sensory assessments showed wheat flour fortified with NaFeEDTA was not different in appearance, taste, colour or texture from non-fortified wheat flour, and children consumed all the meals provided over the study period. Over 7 months, the prevalence of ID and IDA in the treatment group significantly decreased from 62% to 21% and 18 % to 9%, respectively. Iron status indicators such as Hb, serum ferritin, transferrin receptor, zinc protoporphyrin and BIS showed significant improvements by the end of the study (all P<0.0001). Testing of urinary zinc over the trial period showed that NaFeEDTA did not affect urinary zinc excretion. As per FSSAI standards, NaFeEDTA, due to its better bioavailability, can be fortified to a lower level than other iron salts in atta, maida or rice to a level of 14-21.25 mg/Kg.
This month saw DBT take several major strides like the launch of the National Biopharma Mission, dedication of a device for screening hearing ability of new-borns to the Nation. DBT participated in an exhibition on Science & Technology in the Parliament, displaying activities and products supported by the department so that members of Parliament can facilitate their use for the benefit of people while Public feedback was invited on the newly formulated The National Guidelines for the Stem Cell Research.
Sohum—hearing screening device for new-born
The Honourable Minister of State, Ministry of Science and Technology & Earth Sciences, Shri Y.S. Chowdary, launched Sohum – the newborn hearing screening device developed by SIB start-up M/s Sohum Innovation Labs India Pvt. Ltd. on July 17th, 2017 at Prithvi Bhavan. The indigenously developed Sohum was formally launched by the Minister in the presence of Prof. K. VijayRaghavan, Secretary DBT and other dignitaries, as a valuable contribution to the Make in India campaign of the Government.
This innovative medical device has been developed under Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology; Government of India supported School of International Biodesign (SIB). SIB is a flagship Program of DBT aimed to develop innovative and affordable medical devices as per unmet clinical needs of India and to train the next generation of medical technology innovators in India. This Program is implemented jointly at AIIMS and IIT Delhi in collaboration with International partners. Biotech Consortium India Limited manages techno-legal activities of the Program.
Sohum is a low-cost and unique device, which uses brainstem auditory evoked response, the gold standard in auditory testing to check for hearing response in a newborn. As of now, this technology is prohibitively expensive and inaccessible to many. Start-up Sohum has made the technology appropriate for the resource constrained settings and aims to cater to nearly 26 million babies born every year in India.
National Biopharma Mission Launched
In a bid to create a globally competitive biopharmaceutical industry that addresses the country’s major concerns around barriers to affordable healthcare, Hon’ble Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science & Technology launched the Innovate in India (I3) program on 30th June 2017 in New Delhi. The 250 million USD program of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology; is a first of its kind mission that brings together industry and academia to promote entrepreneurship and indigenous manufacturing in the biopharmaceutical sector. This flagship program of the GOI in collaboration with World Bank will be implemented by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a Public Sector Enterprise, set up by DBT.
The mission was launched in the presence of Dr. K. VijayRaghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology; Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank India; dignitaries from the concerned Ministries: Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, DG ICMR; Dr. J.P Prakash; Secretary Department of Pharmaceuticals, Dr. GN Singh DCGI and DBT officials.
The Hon’ble Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated “This Mission is anticipated to be a game changer for the Indian Biopharmaceutical industry. It aspires to create an enabling ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship and indigenous manufacturing in the sector”. The programme will specifically focus on the development of new vaccines, bio-therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices to better address the rising burden of diseases in the country. It will also bring isolated centres of excellence together, enhance regional capabilities and strengthen the current bio-clusters network in terms of capacities as well as quantity and quality of output.
Expanding on the scope of the program Dr. K. VijayRaghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology & Chairman BIRAC shared that “This endeavour will help nurture next-generation technical skills; promote entrepreneurship; and support institutions in adoption of global innovations, technologies, and licensing models. It will provide young entrepreneurs the confidence as well as the systemic support to pursue their aspirations in biotechnological innovation, and transform India into a global hub for cutting-edge biotechnology research and development”.
Responding to an initiative by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, DBT participated in an exhibition on Science & Technology in the Parliament displaying activities and products supported by the department so that members of Parliament can facilitate their use for the benefit of people. Several MPs demonstrated avid interest in the products supported by DBT and expressed enthusiasm about their benefits for society.
DBT and ICMR jointly formulated draft National Guidelines for the Stem Cell Research – 2017 and invited feedbacks and comments on the guidelines from the public, an initiative to encourage public participation in policy making.
Proposals were invited for research collaborative projects in areas like pulses and oilseeds research, India-UK Industrial Waste Challenge, Indo-U.S. Genome Engineering/Editing Technology Initiative (GETin).
6th August, 2017
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Hon’ble Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences inaugurated the new Administrative and Research Buildings of two national institutes under the administrative control of Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India namely National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI) and Center of Innovative and Applied Bioprocessing (CIAB) in Mohali, Punjab on 6th August 2017. Prof. VijayRaghavan, Secretary, DBT, and other senior DBT officials were also present on this occasion.
NABI is the first Agri-Food and Nutritional based Biotechnology Institute, which has been set up by the Dept. of Biotechnology in the Knowledge City, Sector -81, Mohali. CIAB has been set up adjacent to NABI and is the first institute dedicated to generation of secondary agriculture bioproducts through value addition to unutilized and underutilized biomass. Both the institutes area part of agri-food cluster in the Knowledge City, Mohali along with its neighboring institutes, like; IISER, ISB, INST and Biotech Park. The campus comprises of laboratory buildings, 15 acres of land for field experiments, a large glass house, transgenic net houses, office area, housing, guest house, research scholar hostel, utilities and other requisite services. Total entire area of the campus is 50 acres. The building complex of CIAB has a total floor space of 77000 square feet built at a cost of Rs Forty three crores whereas NABI has a total floor space of 3,17,500 square feet built at a cost of Rs one hundred and thirty five crores.
The institutes apart from providing quality research in the field of agricultural biotechnology and bio processing also provide innovative technologies in the field of food processing.. Under reach to community program NABI is playing an important role in conducting motivational course to the students of local schools to increase their awareness in life sciences. Their products of nutritionally rich crops and processing of crop residues in useful products will be provided to the local farming communities to increase their income.The industry ready specialized products like high anthocyanin have already been taken by local industries under specific MOU. They are acting as nodal agencies for local organization in the areas Agri food and nutritional biotechnolgy.
Following the inauguration, the Hon’ble Minister expressed his pleasure in dedicating both the institutes to the nation, and emphasized the need for quantitative output that can reach common man in a form that can be easily perceived. He encouraged scientists/students to exploit the biotechnological tools to address the problems related to quality of food and malnutrition. Hon’ble Minister urged both the institutes to address the problems of hunger & malnutrition and to bring nutritional revolution in the country. Dr. Harsh Vardhan also said that young researchers and students should aim big and work hard to achieve their goals.
While interacting with the faculty, Dr. Harsh Vardhan emphasized the need for doing new innovations that have an immediate societal impact with the common man as the target. He counseled researchers to shift from routine to out of the box thinking and to dream big to translate their efforts to greater innovations. He also said there should be a method for scientists to work to set timeframes to achieve their targets. He also planted one tree each in lawn area of both the campuses and was very appreciative of the overall development of the institute.
- India’s first home grown technology to convert biomass to ethanol with speed and efficiency
- Rate of conversion faster than other technologies currently available in the international market
- Such technological breakthroughs can make India stand out as a leader in the worlds struggle to save the earth from challenges of global warming
- Technology transferred to BPCL and HPCL for building commercial scale biomass to ethanol plants expected by 2018
The Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), Mumbai has developed India’s first home grown technology to convert biomass to ethanol with speed and efficiency.
The technology which converts agricultural waste into ethyl alcohol, or bio-ethanol, is superior as the rate of conversion is four times faster than other technologies currently available in the international market.
With other technologies, the time taken is 4 to 7 days, the one developed by the DBT-ICT Centre for Energy Bio-Sciences team at Institute of Chemical Technology; Mumbai converts it in 18-20 hours and produces about 300 litres of ethanol per ton of biomass. The produce can be blended with petrol to be used in vehicles as fuel.
The country’s first second-Generation (2G) Ethanol plant was inaugurated by Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan at Kashipur in Uttarakhand.
Subsequently, the technology was transferred to Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) to build commercial scale biomass ethanol plants based on the technology. The plants are scheduled to be operational by 2018.
Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) were signed by Institute of Chemical Technology with the petro giants BPCL and HPCL for technology transfer and building commercial scale biomass to ethanol plants entirely based on the technology developed by the DBT-ICT Centre for Energy Biosciences.
BPCL is setting-up 2G Biomass Ethanol Bio-refinery in Bina, MP with a capacity to process 400 tonnes/day of Biomass (equivalent to 100 KL/day of ethanol generation capacity). The plant is expected to produce around 32000 KL Ethanol/year. A 100 KL per day capacity Second Generation Ethanol plant is proposed to be set up by HPCL in Bhatinda, Punjab. The proposed plant is expected to utilize approx. 140000 tonnes of biomass per year and yield 32000 KL of ethanol.
Using agricultural waste as raw material will deter farmers from burning it away, as practised by most rice and wheat farmers in the Indo-Gangetic plains. Production of bio fuel, in turn, will not only help cut down the country’s oil imports, but also reduce carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.
“The technology is suited for both Indian and global needs and it is projected to be capable of converting all types of agricultural residues like bagasse, rice and wheat straw, bamboo, cotton stalk, corn stover, wood chips to ethanol in less than 24 hours, with optimum product yields,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said during the inauguration of the Kashipur plant.
He pointed out that if successfully operated and scaled-up, it will establish India as a major global technology provider in the arena of renewables and reduction in carbon-emissions, besides effecting considerable savings in import of crude-oil.
He added that more such examples are needed, for the initiatives like Make in India and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to be truly successful and that such technological breakthroughs can make India stand out as a leader in the worlds struggle to save the earth from challenges of global warming,” he noted.
The Government has set a mandate of 5 per cent blending of renewable biofuel in both petrol and diesel. While diesel biofuel blending is near zero, the petrol blending today stands at an overall of about 3 per cent in the form of first generation (1G) or molasses-based Ethanol. While the annual requirement of 1G-ethanol stands at about 500 crore litre, the current total installed capacity is about just 265 crore litre.
A technological breakthrough
The technology developed by ICT involves three steps—chemical fractionation, enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation. In the first step, lignocelluloses are broken down to cellulose, lignin and C5 sugars by means of acid fractionation. A mixture of cellulose and lignin through alkali fractionation then separates to cellulose and lignin streams.
Cellulose through enzymatic hydrolysis breaks down to C6 sugars.
The non-sugar organic components can be simply converted into energy by direct burning while inorganic silica can be recovered and sold as by-product. The burning provides steam, as energy, required for ethanol distillation, while both C6 and C5 sugars through fermentation yield the desired ethanol.
While fermentation of C6 sugars is relatively simple, C5 sugars (xylose) need special yeast strains. In the new technology, innovative fermentation has led to innovative bioconversions of both C6 and C5 sugars to ethanol. High-density continuous fermentation with controlled concentrations of clean sugars gives high-speed efficient fermentations with high yields.
At present, the cellulose degrading enzymes used in the process are imported, and the challenge is to produce these enzyme production technologies in India. The DBT-ICT Centre is working alongside several other Indian institutes to meet this objective.
Today, the technology stands out as potentially one of the best in the world for efficient and controlled fractionation of biomass to its components cellulose, hemi cellulose and lignin; rapid enzyme hydrolysis of cellulose with enzyme recycle and reuse using a patented technology; and high cell density continuous fermentation of both C6 and C5 sugars using our own developed strains to provide rapid and efficient fermentation.
Biomass structure is complex and varies with feedstock and its age. The challenge is to treat all types through a single technology and yet obtain intermediates of a consistent quality. Specific enzymes break cellulose structure in complex ways. Understanding their action is key to their effective use at a large scale.
A two-step controlled chemical deconstruction of any biomass gives consistent high quality of cellulose. Xylose and lignin is recovered for processing. Carefully designed slurry flows permit rapid reactions with high efficiencies. This followed by a continuous and rapid enzyme hydrolysis yields clean sugar in high yields for efficient fermentation.
Important features of the DBT-ICT 2nd generation ethanol technology are low capital cost compact technology; continuous processing from size reduction to fermentation; recycle and reuse of chemicals, enzymes and water; high recoveries of sugars with almost zero toxics formation. The last feature helps effective production of sugars that can also be diverted to other products.