Dr. Bipin Nair,
Dean-Biotechnology, Amrita University
Shantikumar Nair, Ph.D.
Professor & Director, Amrita Center for Nanosciences & Molecular Medicine, Amrita University, India
Spatially Distributed and Hierarchical Nanomaterials in Biotechnology
Although nano materials are well investigated in biotechnology in their zero-, one- and two-dimensional forms, three-dimensional nanomaterials are relatively less investigated for their biological applications. Three dimensional nano materials are much more complex with several structural and hierarchical variables controlling their mechanical, chemical and biological functionality. In this talk examples are given of some complex three dimensional systems including, scaffolds, aggregates, fabrics and membranes. Essentially three types of hierarchies are considered: one-dimensional hierarchy, two-dimensional hierarchy and three-dimensional hierarchy each giving rise to unique behaviors.
Nader Pourmand, Ph.D.
Director, UCSC Genome Technology Center,University of California, Santa Cruz
Biosensor and Single Cell Manipulation using Nanopipettes
Approaching sub-cellular biological problems from an engineering perspective begs for the incorporation of electronic readouts. With their high sensitivity and low invasiveness, nanotechnology-based tools hold great promise for biochemical sensing and single-cell manipulation. During my talk I will discuss the incorporation of electrical measurements into nanopipette technology and present results showing the rapid and reversible response of these subcellular sensors to different analytes such as antigens, ions and carbohydrates. In addition, I will present the development of a single-cell manipulation platform that uses a nanopipette in a scanning ion-conductive microscopy technique. We use this newly developed technology to position the nanopipette with nanoscale precision, and to inject and/or aspirate a minute amount of material to and from individual cells or organelle without comprising cell viability. Furthermore, if time permits, I will show our strategy for a new, single-cell DNA/ RNA sequencing technology that will potentially use nanopipette technology to analyze the minute amount of aspirated cellular material.
Jaydeep Unni, Ph.D.
Sr. Project Manager, Robert Bosch Healthcare Systems, Palo Alto, CA
Remote Patient Monitoring – Challenges and Opportunities
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is gaining importance and acceptance with rising number of chronic disease conditions and with increase in the aging population. As instances of Heart diseases, Diabetes etc are increasing the demand for these technologies are increasing. RPM devices typically collect patient vital sign data and in some case also patient responses to health related questions. Thus collected data is then transmitted through various modalities (wireless/Bluetooth/cellular) to Hospitals/Doctor’s office for clinical evaluation. With these solutions Doctors are able to access patient’s vital data ‘any time any where’ thus enabling them to intervene on a timely and effective manner. For older adult population chronic disease management, post-acute care management and safety monitoring are areas were RPM finds application. That said, there are significant challenges in adoption of Remote Patient Monitoring including patient willingness and compliance for adoption, affordability, availability of simpler/smarter technology to mention a few. But experts contend that if implemented correctly Remote Patient Monitoring can contain healthcare expenditure by reducing avoidable hospitalization while greatly improving quality of care.
Sneh Anand, Ph.D.
Professor, Center for Biomedical Engineering, IIT-Delhi, India
Interdisciplinary Research Outcome of Biomedical Engineering
Natural science is an engineering marvel. All innovations in health care technology have been inspired by biological systems. A joint venture of the two premier Institutes has facilitated research in Biomedical engineering. Over the years the Centre is a premier in the country with global recognition. This interdisciplinary base platform has lead to several innovative technologies which have been patented and validated by clinicians as well. The R&D contributions in mass health care, diagnostics, therapeutics and rehabilitation reinforcement. Graduate exposure to the field can enhance creativity among graduates from all engineering disciplines.
Founder & CTO, InnAccel Consulting Services, Begaluru, India
Seeram Ramakrishna, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Nanofibers & Nanotechnology, National University of Singapore
Biomaterials: Future Perspectives
From the perspective of thousands of years of history, the role of biomaterials in healthcare and wellbeing of humans is at best accidental. However, since 1970s with the introduction of national regulatory frameworks for medical devices, the biomaterials field evolved and reinforced with strong science and engineering understandings. The biomaterials field also flourished on the backdrop of growing need for better medical devices and medical treatments, and sustained investments in research and development. It is estimated that the world market size for medical devices is ~300 billion dollars and for biomaterials it is ~30 billion dollars. Healthcare is now one of the fastest growing sectors worldwide. Legions of scientists, engineers, and clinicians worldwide are attempting to design and develop newer medical treatments involving tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, nanotech enabled drug delivery, and stem cells. They are also engineering ex-vivo tissues and disease models to evaluate therapeutic drugs, biomolecules, and medical treatments. Engineered nanoparticles and nanofiber scaffolds have emerged as important class of biomaterials as many see them as necessary in creating suitable biomimetic micro-environment for engineering and regeneration of various tissues, expansion & differentiation of stem cells, site specific controlled delivery of biomolecules & drugs, and faster & accurate diagnostics. This lecture will capture the progress made thus far in pre-clinical and clinical studies. Further this lecture will discuss the way forward for translation of bench side research into the bed side practice. This lecture also seeks to identify newer opportunities for biomaterials beyond the medical devices.
Satheesh Babu T. G., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Sciences, School of Engineering, Amrita University, Coimbatore, India
Nanomaterials for ‘enzyme-free’ biosensing
Enzyme based sensors have many draw backs such as poor storage stability, easily affected by the change in pH and temperature and involves complicated enzyme immobilization procedures. To address this limitation, an alternative approach without the use of enzyme, “non-enzymatic” has been tried recently. Choosing the right catalyst for direct electrochemical oxidation / reduction of a target molecule is the key step in the fabrication of non-enzymatic sensors.
Non-enzymatic sensors for glucose, creatinine, vitamins and cholesterol are fabricated using different nanomaterials, such as nanotubes, nanowires and nanoparticles of copper oxide, titanium dioxide, tantalum oxide, platinum, gold and graphenes. These sensors selectively catalyse the targeted analyte with very high sensitivity. These nanomaterials based sensors combat the drawbacks of enzymatic sensors.
H S M Kort, J-W J Lammers, S N W Vorrink, T Troosters
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a disabling airway disease with variable extrapulmonary effects that may contribute to disease severity in individual patients (Rabe et al. 2007). The world health organization predicts that COPD will become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2030. Patients with COPD demonstrate reduced levels of spontaneous daily physical activity (DPA) compared with healthy controls (Pitta et al. 2005). This results in a higher risk of hospital admission and shorter survival (Pitta et al. 2006). Pulmonary rehabilitation can help to improve the DPA level, however, obtained benefits decline after 1â€“2 years (Foglio et al. 2007).
In order to maintain DPA in COPD patients after rehabilitation, we developed a mobile phone application. This application measures DPA as steps per day, measured by the accelerometer of the smartphone, and shows the information to the patient via the display of the mobile phone. A physiotherapist can monitor the patient via a secure website where DPA measurements are visible for all patients. Here, DPA goals can be adjusted and text messages sent.
Three pilot studies were performed with healthy students and COPD patients to test the application for usability, user friendliness and reliability with questionnaires and focus groups. Subjects also wore a validated accelerometer. For the Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) 140 COPD patients will be recruited in Dutch physiotherapy practises. They will be randomised in an intervention group that receives the smartphone for 6 months and a control group. Measurements include lungfunction, dyspnea, and exercise capacity and are held at 0, 3, 6 and 12 months.
Results and Discussion
The application was found to be useful, easy to learn and use. Subjects had no problems with health care professionals seeing information on their physical activity performance. They do find it important to be able to determine who can see the information. Correlations between the accelerometer and the measurements on DPA of the smartphone for steps per hour were 0.69 and 0.70 for pilot studies 1 (students) and 2 (COPD patients) respectively. The version of the application in pilot study 3 contained an error, which made correlations with the accelerometer unusable. The RCT study is now being executed.
Arathy R and Binoy B Nair
PC based heart sound monitoring system
Heart diseases caused by disorders of the heart and blood vessels, are world’s largest killers. Early detection and monitoring of heart abnormalities is essential for diagnosis and effective treatment of heart diseases. Severalmethodologies are used for screening and diagnosing heart diseases. They are auscultation, electrocardiogram (ECG), echo-cardiogram, ultrasound etc. The effectiveness and applicability of all these diagnostic methods are highly dependent on the equipment cost and size as well as skill of the physician. This paper presents the design and development of a low cost portable wireless/tubeless digital stethoscope which can be used by the physician for monitoring the patient from a distance. The stethoscope system interfaces to a PC and is also capable of analyzing the heart sounds and identifying abnormalities in the heart sound and its classification. Storage of heart sound for later analysis is also possible.This advanced functionality increases the physician’s diagnostic capability, and such a PCG is not still available in most hospitals. Acoustic stethoscope can be changed into a digital stethoscope by inserting an electric capacity microphone into its diaphragm (Wang, Chen and Samjin, 2009).
Pandiaraj Manickam, Niroj Kumar Sethy, Kalpana Bhargava, Vepa Kameswararao and Karunakaran Chandran
Designing electrochemical label free immunosensors for cytochrome c using nanocomposites functionalized screen printed electrodes
Release of cytochrome c (cyt c) from mitochondria into cytosol is a hallmark of apoptosis, used as a biomarker of mitochondrial dependent pathway of cell death (Kluck et al. 1997; Green et al. 1998). We have previously reported cytochrome c reductase (CcR) based biosensors for the measurement of mitochondrial cyt c release (Pandiaraj et al. 2013). Here, we describe the development of novel label-free, immunosensor for cyt c utilizing its specific monoclonal antibody. Two types of nanocomposite modified immunosensing platforms were used for the immobilization of anti-cyt c; (i) Self-assembled monolayer (SAM) functionalized gold nanoparticles (GNP) in conducting polypyrrole (PPy) modified screen printed electrodes (SPE) (ii) Carbon nanotubes (CNT) incorporated PPy on SPE. The nanotopologies of the modified electrodes were confirmed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Cyclic voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) were used for probing the electrochemical properties of the nanocomposite modified electrodes. Method for cyt c quantification is based on the direct electron transfer between Fe3+/Fe2+-heme of cyt c selectively bound to anti-cyt c modified electrode. The Faradaic current response of these nanoimmunosensor increases with increase in cyt c concentration. The procedure for cyt c detection was also optimized (pH, incubation times, and characteristics of electrodes) to improve the analytical characteristics of immunosensors. The analytical performance of anti-cyt c biofunctionalized GNP-PPy nanocomposite platform (detection limit 0.5 nM; linear range: 0.5 nMâ€“2 Î¼M) was better than the CNT-PPy (detection limit 2 nM; linear range: 2 nM-500nM). The detection limits were well below the normal physiological concentration range (Karunakaran et al. 2008). The proposed method does not require any signal amplification or labeled secondary antibodies contrast to widespread ELISA and Western blot. The immunosensors results in simple and rapid measurement of cyt c and has great potential to become an inexpensive and portable device for conventional clinical immunoassays.
Anupama Natarajan, James Hickman and Peter Molnar
Novel Cell-Based Biosensors for High Throughput Toxin Detection and Drug Screening Applications
Over the last decade there has been focus on the development of cellbased biosensors to detect environmental toxins or to combat the threats of biological warfare. These sensors have been shown to have multiple applications including understanding function and behaviour at the cellular and tissue levels, in cell electrophysiology and as drug screening tools that can eliminate animal testing. These factors make the development of cell-based biosensors into high throughput systems a priority in pharmacological, environmental and defence industries (Pancrazio J J et al. 1999, Kang G et al. 2009, Krinke D et al. 2009). We have developed a high through-put in vitro cell-silicon hybrid platform that could be used to analyze both cell function and response to various toxins and drugs. Our hypothesis was that by utilizing surface modification to provide external guidance cues as well as optimal growth conditions for different cell types (Cardiac and Neuronal), we could enhance the information output and content of such a system. An intrinsic part of this study was to create ordered or patterned functional networks of cells on Micro-electrode arrays (MEA). Such engineered networks had a two-fold purpose in that they not only aided in a more accurate analysis of cell response and cell and tissue behaviour, but also increased the efficiency of the system by increasing the connectivity and placement of the cells over the recording electrodes. Here we show the response of this system to various toxins and drugs and the measurement of several vital cardiac parameters like conduction velocity and refractory period (Natarajan A et al. 2011)
John Stanley, Satheesh Babu, Ramacahandran T and Bipin Nair
Pt-Pd decorated TiO2 nanotube array for the non-enzymatic determination of glucose in neutral medium
Rapidly expanding diabetic population and the complications associated with elevated glycemic levels necessitates the need for a highly sensitive, selective and stable blood glucose measurement strategy. The high sensitivity and selectivity of enzymatic sensors together with viable manufacturing technologies such as screen-printing have made a great social and economic impact. However, the intrinsic nature of the enzymes leads to lack of stability and consequently reduces shelf life and imposes the need for stringent storage conditions. As a result much effort has been directed towards the development of â€˜enzyme-freeâ€™ glucose sensors (Park et al. 2006). In this paper, a non-enzymatic amperometric sensor for selective and sensitive direct electrooxidation of glucose in neutral medium was fabricated based on Platinum-Palladium (Ptâ€“Pd) nanoparticle decorated titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanotube arrays. Highly ordered TiO2 nanotube arrays were obtained using a single step anodization process (Grimes C A and Mor G K 2009) over which Ptâ€“Pd nanoparticles where electrochemically deposited. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) analysis revealed the diameter of the TiO2 nanotubes to be approximately 40 nm. Elemental analysis after electrochemical deposition confirms the presence of Ptâ€“Pd. Electrochemical characterization of the sensor was carried out using cyclic voltammetry technique (âˆ’1.0 to +1.0V) in phosphate buffer saline (PBS) pH 7.4. All further glucose oxidation studies were performed in PBS (pH 7.4). The sensor exhibited good linear response towards glucose for a concentration range of 1 Î¼M to 20mM with a linear regression coefficient of R = 0.998. The electrodes are found to be selective in the presence of other commonly interfering molecules such as ascorbic acid, uric acid, dopamine and acetamidophenol. Thus a nonenzymatic sensor with good selectivity and sensitivity towards glucose in neutral medium has been developed.