Centre of Excellence for Paper Based Microfluidics

Any medical treatment starts with the right clinical diagnosis of the patient. Today diagnosis is being carried out in a healthcare or a diagnostic lab. The challenge to decentralize the current diagnostic setup and take it outside of a clinical facility (hospital, healthcare centre) has been extensively researched by scientists & engineers globally. Since the inception of modern microfluidics in the early 1990’s there has been a major focus to overcome these challenges and accomplishes point-of-care sensors and diagnostics. The major breakthrough came with the introduction of home blood glucose monitoring (HBGM) for Diabetes Mellitus or hypoglycaemic patients. With a blood volume of 0.3 to 1 μl the level of glucose in blood can be measured but the challenge is their affordability. The exciting part about microfluidics is that we can embrace technology to screen multiple parameters with same sample. The intrinsic features of microfluidics are a natural fit for a point-of-care (POC) diagnostics device (i.e. a diagnostic test performed near the patient without a clinical lab): low consumption of reagents and sample, miniaturization of device, and fast turnaround time for analysis. Thus, it comes as no surprise that much research is being carried out in this area.

The current decade is seen as the era for developing frugal diagnostic devices that can benefit people in developing and under developed nations and provide them access to affordable diagnostic devices. Providing open access to diagnostics was posed with questions about the affordability and cost of production of these diagnostic devices by global research groups from Harvard University & University of Washington D.C. technological approaches from leading scientist from Harvard have answered it, Paper a abundant material that can function as a ideal material for low cost point of care device.

The objective of this group will enable researchers in key areas of microfluidics focused on developing affordable diagnostics for infectious disease & chronic illness prevailing in third world countries. The working group will enable microfluidic research at Bharath University with its students and staff engaged in a focused stream to develop point-of-care-diagnostic devices and also discover molecular biomarkers for diseases of unknown origins.

Vision

The Centre of Excellence for Paper Based Microfluidics aims to develop point-of-care microfluidics devices for people living in rural and urban low-resource settings by embracing technology

Mission

  • To find cheap diagnostic setups for common diseases
  • To develop point of care paper based diagnostic tools.

THRUST AREA

  • Identification and study of infectious diseases for third world countries.
  • Develop simple and affordable diagnostic tools with microfluidic approach
  • Develop non conventional techniques for fabrication and detection.
  • Advancing research with respect to non immune sensing techniques.
  • Developing strategies for next generation affordable point of diagnostics and theranostics devices in microfluidic platform.
  • Extend developed prototype to products.

PROJECTS

List of the Projects(Completed)

Sl. No. Name Funding Agency Amount(INR) Status
1. In silico analysis of inflammatory Genes associated with Asthma. Internal BIHER Rs.200,000/- Completed
2. Genomics of Nonmicrobial mediated inflammatory Diseases Internal BIHER Rs.500,000/- Completed

List of the Projects(On Going...)

Sl. No. Name Funding Agency Amount(INR) Status
1. Identification and evaluation of Gene expression profiles in inflammatory lung diseases Internal BIHER Rs.500,000/- Ongoing
2. Identification of drug target sites on food pathogens using bioinformatics tools Internal BIHER Rs.600,000/- Ongoing
3. Evolutionary studies on Mora eel with in-silico drug designing Internal BIHER Rs.400,000/- Ongoing
4. Development of Bioinformatics tools for understanding ligand drug interactions in new drug discovery for anti-Cancer compounds Internal BIHER Rs.200,000/- Ongoing
5. Identification, Characterisation and Structural Elucidation of Keratinases Producing Fungi and their applications. External InfobaySofttech Private Limited Rs.200,000/- Ongoing

Equipment Facilities:

Basic setup for SDAM facility is divided into Fabrication lab, Fluid control & Testing lab & Microscopy Characterisation lab

Fabrication Instrumentation

S.NoInstrument CostManufacturer
1Solid Wax Printer200000Xerox
2Filters,papers & Films150000GE Whatman/Mbi
3Photo resist,Developer & PDMS200000Dupond/Dolomite
4Photo mask maker1000000
5Photo mask aligner6500000
6Laminator & LASER plotter400000NA
7Programmable Spin coater200000Dolomite
8programmable Hot plate160000Torry pine/cole-parmer
9Curing Oven40000
10Plasma system50000Elveflow
11Desiccators&vacuum pump50000Millipore
12Laminar Hood100000godrej
13Table top sputterer300000NA
14Lab wares120000Cole-parmer
15Yellow room1000000NA

Fluid control & Testing lab

S.NoInstrument CostManufacturer
1Fluidics System1100000Elve flow
2Syringe pump600000Micronit
3Tubing’s100000cole-pharmer
4Flow control system1000000cole-pharmer
5Valve Control system700000Micronit

Microscopy Characterization lab

S.NoInstrument CostManufacturer
1L-EDIT software200000Tanner
2Light microscope100000Zeiss
3Electrochemical + Potentiostat Workstation400000NA
4Chemicals200000NA

CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIETY

The Bhramastra against Cancer

“…Today we fight. Tomorrow we fight. The day after, we fight. And if this disease plans on whipping us, it better bring a lunch, 'cause it's gonna have a long day doing it….” - Jim Beaver, Life's That Way: A Memoir

Cancer has been a leading cause of death in the Human race. While several techniques have been developed to fight this scourge; a lot of them are not accessible to the common man as the technologies have not been able to penetrate into interior geographies given cost constraints.

Bharath University in collaboration with International firms is planning to lead the fight against cancer. We are developing technologies in which blood is extracted from the patients, the cells programmed to fight cancer and reintroduced into the patient. This helps the patient’s own immune system fight his potentially fatal condition. The Resesarch Centre for Metabolic Engineering develops technologies that may be used to enhance the production of substances that lead the fight against cancer. The Research Centre for Genomic Research is coming up with novel ways of discovering the early markers of cancer through detection and advanced statistical analysis

Camps are also being conducted to detect Breast Cancer in women through the use of infrared imaging. This is sure to help bring the advantage of early detection to the lowest of strata. Studies are also being conducted to detect the feasibility of using commonly used equipment to detect these conditions.

FUTURE PLANS

  • To obtain the level of International appreciation and promote infectious and non-infectious diagnostic kits using microfluidics technology which will benefit to the society and economy of our country.
  • To obtain research funding from National and International agencies
  • To collaborate with International research bodies and industries