IIT Guwahati Current Affairs - 2019

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IIT Guwahati Researchers develop portable device to detect bacteria without lab tests

A team of researchers at Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IIT-G) has developed portable diagnostic device to detect bacteria without cell culture or microbiological assays. Researchers team work has been patented as well as published in July 2019 issue of Journal of Materials Chemistry of Royal Society of Chemistry.

Key Highlights

Function: This hand-held device is well equipped to detect bacteria instantaneously without need for lab tests. The device has a bio-compatible sensor that can also diagnose time-critical illnesses such as meningitis. These rapid detection kits are like those used for blood sugar monitoring or pregnancy detection.

Working Principle: It is Organic Field Effect Transistor (OFET)based Bacteria Sensor (or Bacterial Diagnostic device) which has been shown to have ability to detect bacteria and distinguish between Gram positive bacteria (such as S pneumoniae) and Gram negative (such as the common E. coli) types. Currently detection of bacteria in body fluids is done in laboratories. OFET is an electronic device that works on principle that charges in vicinity of channels of certain semiconductors can induce a current in them. Therefore, charges on surface of bacterium, induces a current in OFET, which is registered and read.

OFET devices developed by IIT-G team consists of a unique and hybrid tri-layer dielectric system built on simple glass and flexible PET (a kind of plastic) substrates, and can operate at ultra-low operating voltages.

Need: Across the world bacterial infection is a common cause of morbidity and mortality and even despite development of a range of antibiotics, challenge continues to lie in diagnosing bacterial infection early on. Also,

Significance: Present techniques used are extremely time- consuming as cells derived from a patient are cultured or grown in laboratories to detect and microanalyse bacteria. However, this new portable device, can instantly detect charges on cell walls of bacteria.

Application: This research has enabled rapid detection of bacteria, which is not just important in healthcare but also in anti- bioterrorism measures as well as environmental monitoring.

MoU: signed between IIT Guwahati and ISRO

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati has signed a Memorandum of Understanding MoU with The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to set up an IITG-ISRO Space Technology Cell (STC)

About IITG-ISRO STC

  • About: The Space Technology Cell (STC) would be a first of its kind in the North-East region that would augment research and capacity building processes in field of space-technology.
  • Located: STC will be established at new academic complex and research and development building that was recently inaugurated by Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi at IIT Guwahati campus.
  • Objective: Through STC IIT Guwahati aspire to partner with ISRO so as to perform cutting edge research that not only caters to socio-economic needs of Northeast but also contribute towards basic research activities of various ISRO projects across India.
  • Constitutes: faculty members from IITG, visiting scientists and experts from ISRO, technical staff and research students.

Significance:

  • STC is a major milestone for IITG as it gives opportunity to kick start collaborative research activities involving its faculty members and ISRO scientists for short term and long term solutions in areas of challenging space-research problems.
  • It would serve as a platform for involving and motivating undergraduate, post graduate (PG) students and research scholars and orienting them towards field of space-research activities.

Way Forward

  • The research and development activities always play an important role in shaping our nations progress mainly in realms of science and technology.
  • To lead mankind to the path of wellbeing, IIT fraternity must use its wisdom and expertise for extensive application of research and technology such as nanotechnology.
  • The realm of Nanotechnology is a domain of future that has opened vistas for newer medical avenues for welfare of mankind.
  • To achieve this distinctive profile IITs plays a crucial role and their brilliant students should take proactive role in dedicating themselves for great vision of transforming nation with help of Nanotechnology.
  • Role of IIT: IIT’s in India empowers students with quality technological knowledge, skill and ability and help them inculcate right attitude and holistic values. In addition to this the teaching methodology and imparting education, IITs should additionally highlight importance of entrepreneurship and must prepare students to use their creativity and freedom to set up business ventures and showcase ability to generate wealth and employment avenues.