Accolades for ACNS
December 28, 2012
Amrita Center for Nanosciences
The Amrita Centre for Nano Sciences (ACNS) continues to make headlines. Its research efforts were recently applauded during the International Bangalore Nano Conference organized in December.
A leading annual event, Bangalore Nano is jointly organized every year by the Departments of Information Technology, Biotechnology and Science & Technology of the Government of India and the Government of Karnataka.
Over the past years, it has emerged as the foremost gathering of experts in nanosciences and nanotechnology. This year’s conference was the fifth edition. The 700 delegates represented over a dozen countries. Scientists and research scholars came from over 174 Indian and international organizations.
At this distinguished gathering, ACNS research scholar, Ms. Archana P. Ratnakumari, was felicitated as an outstanding PhD student. The National Weikfield Malhotra Prize she received carried a cash award of Rs. 50,000 and a certificate.
The award was given to Archana for her doctoral research in the development of nano medicines for refractory leukemia.
Refractory leukemia refers to that condition wherein the cancer, having become drug resistant, needs treatment with drugs not previously used. In a person suffering from leukemia, an abnormal increase in the white blood cells is seen.
“Sometimes, even after treatment of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia characterized by excessive white blood cells in the bone marrow, the level of white blood cells remains the same. This condition is known as refractory leukemia. We are now developing nano medicines that would be helpful in such cases,” explained Archana.
Archana received this award from Professor C N R Rao at the International Conference.
In addition to Archana, another ACNS PhD student, Ms. Sreerekha P.R. was also honoured for her research work at the conference. She received the third prize for her poster presentation, from among 120 delegates who had displayed posters.
The title of the winning poster was Fabrication of a prevascularized multiscale electrospun PLGA-Fibrin patch for myocardial regeneration.
“Myocardial tissue engineering is an effective treatment strategy to restore heart function after a massive heart attack. It is an evolving field of study which seeks to prolong a victim’s life after a heart attack. The biomaterials, cells, and scaffold design play important roles in engineering of heart tissue. In our study, we developed a fibrin-based multiscale electrospun composite scaffold for myocardial regeneration,” explained Sreerekha.
Not only is ACNS work in nanobio being recognized and applauded, its focus on renewable energy is also making news. An Indian Delegation was led by Dr. Shantikumar Nair to participate in a workshop on Nanoengineering for Renewable Energy in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil during October 10-13, 2012.
Other members of the Indian delegation included Dr. Juzer Vasi from IIT Bombay, Dr. Srinivasa Reddy from IIT Madras and Dr. Sreekumaran Appukuttan from ACNS.
Brazilian participants were led by Dr. Walter Suemitsu, Dean of Engineering at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.
“The Indo-Brazil workshop resulted in a consortium plan among all participating institutions to together focus on nano engineering for renewable energy. The consortium will seek funding from the respective governments to pursue this goal,” stated Dr. Shantikumar Nair.
The Brazilian government plans to make massive investments to the tune of $235 billion in renewable energy and biofuels during the coming decade. Already about 84% of the electricity produced in Brazil is through renewable energy, primarily through sugarcane ethanol. In India, only 12% of the electricity is produced by renewable resources but investments in renewable energy are growing substantially. In 2012, for example, India had the highest surge in renewable energy investment in the world at 54% from the previous year.