Category Archives: Education

IIT Hyderabad develops novel skin patch for constant drug release

Optimum “The drug gets released quickly when the pore size of the nanofabric is 100 microns,” says Mudrika Khandelwal (second from right).

The amount of drug in the patch can be modified so that it is released at desired rate

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad have developed a novel drug-delivery system that releases a commonly used pain killer (diclofenac sodium) at the target site in a controlled fashion such that there is constant release of the drug for as long as 12 hours. The drug has low half-life of one–two hours and so constant release for up to 12 hours becomes particularly significant.

In normal circumstances, the drug gets metabolised very quickly, thereby requiring frequent dosing to maintain the desired therapeutic levels. The fluctuation of the drug plasma level is one reason why the medicine cases adverse effects.

To prevent burst or quick release of the drug, a team led by Mudrika Khandelwal from the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering at IIT Hyderabad fabricated a transdermal patch containing the drug and made the patch highly hydrophobic (water repelling). The high hydrophobicity of the patch ensures that the highly water-soluble drug is released in a slow and sustained fashion. The results were published in the journal Applied Surface Science.

Tuning the patch

What makes the transdermal patch particularly significant is the freedom to increase the amount of drug present in the patch so that the drug is constantly released at a therapeutically desirable dosage for a longer duration.

The patch was prepared by mixing the drug with cellulose acetate bio-polymer and electrospun in the form of a nanofabric. Ordinary nylon mesh with different pore sizes (50, 100 and 200 microns) was used at the site of the collector and this allowed the nanofibres to get deposited with micron-sized gaps in between.

“The non-wetting capillary action of the air pockets pushes the water away and this changes the water contact angle from about 30 degrees to 138 degrees and makes the nanofabric hydrophobic.

There is higher non- wetting capillary action of the air pockets when the air gaps are smaller in size,” says Prof. Chandra Shekhar Sharma from the Department of Chemical Engineering at IIT Hyderabad and one of the authors of the paper. “Since the drug is released through a diffusion process, the increased water repelling nature (hydrophobicity) of the fabric reduces the effective area in contact resulting in reduced diffusion rate, which also reduces the drug release.”

Constant release

“The drug, which is embedded in the transdermal patch, is released at a constant rate for up to 12 hours, when the pore size of the nanofabric is 50 microns. We achieved constant release for only three hours when the pore size was 100 microns. The drug without any micropatterning was released in just one hour,” says Dr. Khandelwal who is the corresponding author of the paper.

“We tested transdermal release using a membrane that mimics the skin. The membrane separates the drug-loaded nanofabric from a solution that in turn mimics the body fluids,” says Dr. Khandelwal. “Different drugs can be loaded in the nanofibres to achieve constant release for a long time.”

“We embedded ciprofloxacin antibiotic in the patch and achieved similar results. The transdermal patch loaded with the pain killer [diclofenac sodium] can be used for treating local muscular pain. It may not be possible to treat deep-seated pain using this patch,” says Shivakalyani Adepu from the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering at IIT Hyderabad and the first author of the paper.

The researchers plan to develop transdermal patch prototypes and test them on animals.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Sci-Tech> Science / by R. Prasad / November 11th, 2017

Stanford, Harvard universities vie for Hyderabad student Amita Gondi

Amita is squash, swimming champion who aced competitive exams.

Amita Gondi

Hyderabad:

While other students struggle to secure seats at reputed universities, Amita Gondi from Hyderabad is spoilt for choice. This grade XII student of Oakridge International School has received offer letters from Harvard as well as Stanford.

Amita plays squash and racquetball at the international level and is a national-level swimmer. She has many awards to her name and is currently ranked first in India, in squash, in the girls under-17 category. She has finished in the top three at major tournaments including the 2016 US Junior Squash Open, the 2015 Canada Junior Open and the 2016 Canada Junior Open.

Amita received a letter from Harvard University in July 2017, inviting her to visit their campus and finalise the admissions process. She then received an offer from Stanford University, which she accepted earlier this month. Luke Hammond, the assistant coach of the Harvard University Men’s and Women’s Squash Teams, had written to Amita in July, asking her to visit the campus for an official visit and interview, upon which her acceptance would be dependent.

Subsequent to her visit, she received a letter from Stanford which read, “It is a tribute to your outstanding achievements as a student-athlete that our Department of Athletics has requested an early review of your application for admission to Stanford for Fall 2018. I am delighted to share this good news with you ahead of our regular notification period. We offer congratulations on your distinguished accomplishments and welcome you to Stanford.”

Ranked first in India in the girls under-17 category

SAT Score: 1530 (Math: 800, English: 730)

source: http://www.deccanchronicle.com / Deccan Chronicle / Home> Nation> Current Affairs / by Anusha Puppala, Deccan Chronicle / October 30th, 2017

Hyderabad IT institute working on components of driverless car

Hyderabad :

The International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H) is working on components of driverless car technologies.

“We are actually working on components of driverless car. We are not hoping that the car will be running on Hyderabad roads without a driver,” IIIT-H director P J Narayanan told reporters.

But it is a problem that practically every good group in the world is working. It poses several academic challenges,” he said.

Though the goal is a driverless car, the research into the subject would help understand many other things, he said.

“Driverless car, that’s our goal. It’s not easy to have a driverless car on Indian roads… But, the purpose is you develop technologies for it, you learn a lot for other things.

“Instead of driverless car, how can you make our car safer. How can you help our drivers with automatic help…,” he said.

The institute is working on a project for providing data on the condition of roads in Hyderabad to the government agencies, Narayanan said.

Under the project, a car fitted with cameras is proposed to be sent on the roads and the cameras would capture images on the condition of roads.

“…Just send a car with a video. Not driverless. Somebody driving it. And the car will record the video and at the back end information algorithms will detect where are the problem points. This information will help GHMC (Hyderabad civic body) or government to collect,” he said.

The institute runs a car with the technology within its campus under controlled conditions as part of its research, he said.

source: http://www.economictimes.indiatimes.com / The Economic Times / ET Home> Industry> Auto> News> Industry / PTI / October 24th, 2017

Bullet train logo has Hyderabad youth’s stamp

Hyderabad :

The logo designed by a 27-year-old city youth will adorn India’s first high speed rail network project, namely the bullet train connecting Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Chakradhar Aalla, a resident of Lakdi-ka pul, bagged the first prize in the logo designing contest held by the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL).

At a function organised in New Delhi on Wednesday Chakradhar was presented Rs 1 lakh by renowned architect and painter Satish Gujral, who also headed the judges’ panel in the contest. It took Chakradhar three weeks to design the logo.

Chakradhar, a second year PG graphic designing student at the National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, said, “It was a very encouraging experience and a great learning opportunity for me. I found a whole new platform for creative exploration.” He had earlier graduated in architecture from the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Trichy.

The Cheetah-inspired design indicates the high speed of the bullet train. The symbolic portrayal represents the movement of the bullet train as it charges through all the stations aerodynamically. The dots connected with the train at the top of the logo symbolises the services of the NHSRCL, which unlike other high speed rail services, also caters to short distance travellers with several halts. Blue, red and grey colours have been used in the design process to signify safety, speed and comfort respectively.

Chakradhar’s father Aalla Sivakoti Prasad said, “I feel proud that my son was awarded by a legendary person like Gujral. It is a great opportunity to be associated with an organisation like NHSRCL. May he achieve success in fulfilling his dream of making learning enjoyable for schoolkids to help improve education standards.”

source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/ The Times of India / News> City News> Hyderabad News / TNN / October 26th, 2017

IIT Hyderabad uses activated jamun to remove fluoride from water

n business: Activated jamun powder was able to reduce the fluoride content of Nalgonda groundwater from 3.2 ml per litre to 1.5 ml per litre. | Photo Credit: K_Ananthan

The activated jamun powder can be reused up to five times by heating it to 50 degree C

Now, while removing excess fluoride from drinking water, the usual problems such as high operational costs and getting rid of toxic sludge will be a thing of the past. Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad have used activated jamun seed powder to bring the fluoride content in drinking water to less than the WHO limit of 1.5 mg per litre. The results were published in the Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering.

The team led by Dr. Chandra S. Sharma from the Department of Chemical Engineering at IIT Hyderabad mixed the jamun seed powder thoroughly with potassium hydroxide and heated it to 900 degree C for an hour to produce activated jamun powder. The activation increases the pore volume several times and the surface area by more than 50 times. As a result, the fluoride adsorption efficiency increased several times compared to samples that were not treated with KOH but heated to 900 degree C.

The fluoride ion removal increases with a decrease in pH, with maximum adsorption found at pH 3. The activated jamun seed acquires a positive charge at low pH and the positive charge attracts the fluoride ions while the negative charge in an alkaline medium repulses the fluoride ions.

With fluoride adsorption capacity of 3.65 milligram per gram, activated jamun seed was close to tea ash (3.75 milligram per gram) but much higher than other substances such as banana peel, coffee husk, and coconut shell.

“Besides testing the activated jamun seed powder in the lab we also tested it using groundwater taken from Nalgonda village, which is one of the worst fluoride-affected villages in India. After two hours of contact time, we were able to reduce the fluoride content from 3.2 milligram per litre to less than 1.5 milligram per litre, which is the WHO limit,” says Dr. Sharma.

On heating the activated jamun powder to 50 degree C, the fluoride gets desorbed and the jamun powder can be reused up to five times. “About 96% of the fluoride can be desorbed. So there is a loss of only 4% efficiency after each desorption,” he says.

Disposal of sludge

Disposal of the fluoride sludge is another area that the team is working on. “The fluoride ions desorbed from the activated carbon will be present in very small quantity of water. We can add sodium hydroxide to this water to produce sodium fluoride,” he says. The major objective of the current study was to evaluate the fluoride removal efficiency using a novel, low-cost activated carbon.

“We will next be testing the efficiency of the activated jamun powder in water containing multiple ions such as fluoride, arsenic and heavy metals,” says Ramya Araga the Department of Chemical Engineering at IIT Hyderabad and the first author of the paper.

“We have so far carried out all tests in batches. We need to now undertake column studies,” says Araga. The continuous flow parameters have to be optimised to achieve best results; during the batch studies, two hours of contact time was needed for the fluoride to be removed.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Sci-Tech> Science / by R Prasad / October 21st, 2017

Welfare college girls on top of Europe’s highest mountain

Malavath Poorna was the youngest girl to climb Mt. Everest in 2014

Malavath Poorna has done it again! The daring student of the Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS), currently studying in the newly established residential degree college at Ibrahimpatan, has now climbed the highest mountain in Europe Mt. Elbrus (Russia).

Along with 16-year-old Sri Vidya of social welfare residential school at Alair, she successfully scaled the mountain on Thursday. The duo began trekking on July 24 and reached the peak (5642 metres) at 7.30 a.m Moscow time on Thursday. “I have so far conquered three highest mountain peaks in the three continents of the world — Mt. Everest in Asia, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa, and Mt. Elbrus in Europe. My aim is to conquer the top peaks in all seven continents,” said Ms. Poorna.

She became the youngest girl to climb the world’s tallest peak of Mt.Everest in 2014 and recently actor Rahul Bose made a critically acclaimed feature film on her exploits. Both her parents are agricultural labourers and although Ms. Poorna hails from a tribal hamlet in Nizamabad district, she is currently pursuing undergraduate course at the newly launched residential degree college.

Her partner Vidya hails from Nalgonda district and her parents too work as daily wage labourers to eke out a living. “It is difficult to describe how tough the climb was, but I resolved to achieve the impossible against odds,” she said. The duo’s biggest thrill upon reaching the top was to hoist the portrait of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao!

“The Chief Minister sanctioned 53 welfare residential degree colleges which no other State has done before. He has been supporting us in exploring new horizons. If not for these colleges, most of my mates would have been married off by now,” the girls pointed out. In fact, Ms. Poorna had hoisted the Telangana flag on Mt. Everest when she reached the peak then.

The joy of their mentor and TSWREIS secretary R.S. Praveen Kumar on the achievement of the young mountaineers was even more. “Our children may be poor, but they are never poor in energy, enthusiasm and determination,” he gushed and thanked the CM and Minister for SC Development G. Jagadish Reddy for supporting the welfare residential educational institutions which the other States too were trying to emulate.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Special Correspondent / Hyderabad – July 27th, 2017

Kairavi waltzes her way to World Roller Games

Roller skater Kairavi Falguni Thakkar in action. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangements

First girl in Telangana to compete at the global level

Kairavi Falguni Thakkar has made it to the World Roller Games to be held at Nanjing in China from August 25 to September 10. The first year BA student of St. Francis College, Begumpet, would be the first girl from Telangana to compete at such a global level and in the junior (under 19 years) solo dance event.

Currently in the Indian camp at the National College indoor stadium at Tiruchi in Tamil Nadu, she braved ups and downs before choosing to climb rather than sink in despair. “My lecturer-mother Falguni Thakkar is my backbone from whom I’ve inherited the ultimate attitude — never give up,” she told The Hindu.

The 18-year-old is quick to point out the other pillars of support — siblings Anup Kumar Yama (an Arjuna awardee) and Amar Nag Yama. “I idolise my coaches, who have inspired me to scale new heights,” says Kairavi.

Stepping into a rink for the first time when just eight years old, she has evolved into an artistic roller skater. Ask her why not tennis or badminton and Kairavi turns eloquent spokesperson for her passion.

“A skater should ideally have the strength of a tennis player, the balance of a tight rope walker, the endurance of a marathon runner, the precision of a badminton player, the agility of a gymnast, the cool nerve of a golfer, the grace and poise of a dancer,” she reckons.

“It involves dance, jumps and spins as in ice skating, but on roller skates,” she stresses. Yet in the not too distant past, the gritty lass was skating on thin ice. With a dash of daring, she jetted off to Portugal in March for training with Filipe Sereno, just before her 12th board exams!

Kairavi’s cupboard is crammed with medals from district, State and national-level competitions in freestyle, figure and solo dance skating. Going by her confidence level, her first international medal could well come from China.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by A. Jospeh Anthony / Hyderabad – June 18th, 2017

MCEME graduates make cell-controlled lighting system

Appreciating efforts: JNTU Hyderabad Vice Chancellor Venugopal Reddy interacting with students who designed the street lights control system and exhibited at Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering during convocation ceremony in Hyderabad on Thursday. | Photo Credit: K.V.S. GIRI

If it were left to young engineers of Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering, Country’s street lights would be auto-operated. The 91st graduating batch of the college produced a GSM connected, cell phone-operated lighting system which can be turned on and off based on requirement.

The power-saving circuit built by Noushad M.E., Ashish Kaushik, Sumit Dhanda and Akhil A.R. cost ₹ 57,200. It could be used for both civilian and defence purposes, the innovators said. The model also allows operators to operate just one or two light bulbs in a whole series. “If the operator thinks that just a few light bulbs are enough for lighting any area, they could turn off the rest by texting the details into the circuit,” said Mr. Akhil A.R. The model displayed in MCEME contained a circuit connected to six bulbs.

“The model also detects faulty operations if there are any. If a light bulb goes off, it will alert the operator,” M.E. Noushad told The Hindu. Mr. Sumit Dhanda said the project will be useful in huge military campuses which use power. “If the model is adopted by city development corporations it could cut power costs by one third,” said Mr. Dhanda. The MCEME awarded its annual best project prize to the four officers at its Convocation Ceremony on Thursday.

The MCEME passing out batch had also come up with a simple solution – a microcontroller-based automatic ventilation system – for car interiors which get heated when parked in the open. The ventilator contains a small control unit and a solar-powered exhaust fan which runs on external battery.

The microcontroller which is programmed to check the status of temperature and humidity inside the car every two seconds, triggers the exhaust fan when needed, to clear out the heat,” said an officer Vipin Jaiswal and the team leader. Other members of the project were Mukesh Thakur, M. Hariharan and M.S. Shakhavat.

Military boost

The college displayed a solar rechargeable backpack for troopers among its exhibits. The backpack with solar panels can be used as a tracking devise when soldiers go for long treks in the field, graduates said. “In any dire circumstance if the user presses a button on the backpack it sends a Save Our Souls message to control base. It will help officers to track those who are in danger during combat situation,” said Pankaj Saini who was the syndicate leader of the team which came up with the model. The other members in the team were Harmeet Singh, Sachin Yadav and Sagar.

Speaking at the convocation, A. Venugopal Reddy, Vice Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University asked the graduates to pay attention to new developments in cyber security and be abreast of technological innovations. “Your convocation is not like others’ passing out functions. You leave this institution to serve the motherland,” Mr. Reddy said.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Nikhila Henry / Hyderabad – June 16th, 2017

IIT-H develops biodegradable nano-particles to treat cancer

Some of the members of the IIT-H team working to make cancer treatment better, on the institute’s campus in Hyderabad. | Photo Credit: Mohd Arif;Mohd Arif

Team working on finding alternative to chemotherapy

The Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad (IIT-H) has developed biodegradable non-particles that could be instrumental in treating cancer.

A team led by assistant professor Aravind Kumar Rengan has been working on finding alternative ways to chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer treatment to minimise side-effects caused by these therapies. He designed a novel nano system which kills the cancer cells by photothermal therapy.

The group is currently working on making more cost-effective nano particles for photothermal therapy, integrating these particles with cancer specific drugs to have an enhanced effect in killing cancer.

The team members involved in the research are Tejaswini Appidi, Syed Basseruddin, Deepak Bharadwaj, Anil Jogdand, Sushma, Anula — all Ph.D. scholars; junior research fellow Rama Singh, and postdoctoral fellow Surya Prakash Singh.

Photo thermal therapy is a treatment procedure where light (photo) energy is supplied by means of an external laser to nano particles which absorbs this energy and converts it to heat (thermal) energy. This heat generated by irradiation of laser would increase temperature within the tumour and result in the death of cancer cells.

No side-effects

The important aspects of the research is that the treatment procedure has no side-effects, since the nano particles would be accumulated in the tumour region, and also the irradiation is specific to particles, which means the heat is generated only within the tumour and not elsewhere in the body.

Also, the laser used to provide light energy would not harm the healthy cells around the tumour region as these healthy cells would not absorb this light energy as they remain transparent to this irradiation.

The nano particulate system is very unique in its own way. The particles, after generating the heat required to kill the cancer cells, will degrade inside the body and further breakdown into much smaller particles which will be excreted from the body.

“This procedure had very good results in experiments carried out in mice, and is expected to show the same in humans too. This treatment is now under clinical trials and once the trials are completed, this would be available as an alternative treatment procedure to cancer,” Dr. Rengan told The Hindu.

Dr. Rengan was recently awarded the prestigious INSA award in the young scientist category for his outstanding research in treatment of cancer by photothermal therapy using biodegradable particles.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by R. Avadhani / May 19th, 2017

Adilabad remembers Samala Sadasiva

Sahitya Akademi award winner, Sadasiva’s 89th birth anniversary is celebrated on May 11.

Samala Sadasiva.

Adilabad:

Erstwhile Adilabad district, the heartland of Adivasis, has not only produced tribal legend Kumram Bheem, but eminent literary personalities. Kendra Sahitya Akademi award winner Samala Sadasiva, poet Vanamamalai Varadacharyulu of yesteryears, and poet and lyricist Guda Anjaiah are a few to name. Sadasiva’s 89th birth anniversary is celebrated on May 11.

A native of Tenugupalle in Dahegoan mandal of present Kumram Bheem Asifabad district, Sadasiva was a teacher by profession. He was born on May 11 in 1928. He passed away on August 7 in 2012. He had ventured into literature field in 1950 when he was barely 20. Also, he had excelled in music and translation. His work titled ‘Swara Layalu’, on Hindustani music, fetched him Sahitya Akademi award for the year 2011.

Dr Udari Narayana, a senior writer of Adilabad, told ‘Telangana Today’ that Sadasiva was a confluence of both literature and music. The octogenarian had rendered matchless services to the two fields for a period of over 60 years. He had introduced nuances of Marathi, Urdu and Persia for Telugu readers by recreating several classical texts of these languages.

“Sadasiva had meticulously studied both ancient and modern Telugu literature. He had produced extraordinary works in this language. He was an eminent critic, linguist and translator. His book Yaadi, on literature and literary personalities of Telangana, is a reference to writers and poets belonging to this region. He had inspired many to venture into the field of literature,” Narayana remarked.

Importantly, the multi-faceted writer had played a vital role in the inclusion of a lesson on Kumram Bheem in school textbooks in 1972. He was awarded honorary doctorates by Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University, Hyderabad and Kakatiya University, Warangal, for his unparallel contributions to Telugu language and literature. He was awarded Prathibha Rajiv Purashkaram by State government in 2005.

Some of creative works of this versatile teacher are Prabhatam (1949), Sambasiva Satakam (1950), Nireekshanam (1952), Viswamitram and Sakhinama, all of which are now collected in an anthology entitled Sadasiva Kavyasudha (2002), novels: Apashriti (1952), historiography — Urdu Sahitya Charitra (1963) and Parsi Kavula Prasakti (1975), biography — Mirza Ghalib (1969), translations: Amjad Rubayeelu (1963), Moulana Rumee Masnavi (1967), Kesava Sut (1970), Hindustani music: Malaya Marutalu (2001), Sangeeta Sikharalu (2006), and memoirs (Yaadi, 2005).

source: http://www.telanganatoday.com / Telangana Today / Home> Telangana> Adilabad / by Padala Santosh / May 10th, 2017