Newsletter - Amrita Center for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine
Amrita Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine became so prolific in the last ten years, reaching out to many institutions here in India and abroad with its cutting-edge research and publications, that we felt it was about time we began to share news about us with the national and international community about our research, our academics, the achievements of our students and faculty and the products that are germinating in our labs. Science is truly global today and sharing is important to build collaborations and benefit from each other. In this spirit we are starting our first newsletter as we near the end of 2016, a year where our Centre has received much impetus from the Government of India, and the year of our tenth anniversary!
Tale of 10 years
Exactly ten years ago this centre was truly the inspiration of the Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham’s Chancellor, lovingly known as Amma (mother). Amma felt that advanced research in new materials, including nanomaterials and advanced composites could contribute significantly towards new and affordable healthcare products. Amma is always fond of giving the example of how so many poor in South India die of heart valve disease because they cannot afford costly imported valves. The dream of the Centre was to develop innovative products using advanced materials that can be both indigenous and affordable. Ten years later the centre is proud of its many products in the pipeline towards fulfilling this vision of Amma.
Quality science and social responsibility evolved in the Centre as two sides of the same coin. The state of the art facility set up in picturesque Kochi, Kerala, (God’s own country, is the motto of the state) can be the envy of any scientist. Transmission Electron Microscope, 7 Tesla Animal MRI, Mass Spec, XPS surface analytical tool, Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope, Confocal Raman Microscope, among a host of other instruments, provide the scientists with all the tools to probe materials... Read More »
Scientists at Amrita Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine have developed a “light sabre” for cancer. When the light falls...»»
When light of specific frequencies fall on certain biomarkers they reflect certain vibrational frequencies, called Raman signals ...»»
The Bone marrow is one of the most complex factories in the human system that sustains our lives through the maintenance...»»
For the first time fruit flies were infected with green fluorescent protein tagged bacteria at Amrita centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine...»»
Amrita Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine developed the first fully scalable process for making nano- cloth and nano- threads...»»
Amrita has invested in a state of the art 3 cluster vacuum deposition tool for the research and development of solid state Li ion batteries...»»
Scientists at Amrita Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine developed a polymer protein, or protein-protein core-shell...»»
Researchers at Amrita Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine were able to utilize small amounts of cerebrospinal fluid and, using a specially...»»
Dr.Bindhu Paul and team, while checking the toxicity potential of nano zinc oxide on teleost fish model, Japanese medaka ( Oryzias latipes)...»»
Dr. Shantikumar V. Nair, Dean of Research, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, and Director of Amrita Center for Nanosciences and Molecular...»»
Dr. Jayakumar, currently Professor at Amrita Center for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine specializes in the area of Biopolymeric Nanomaterials...»»
Students at Amrita Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine, Centre for Storage Integrated Solar Panels, at Amritapuri, Kollam, Kerala...»»
Dr. Manzoor Koyakutty, Professor of Nanomedicine, started Amrita Nano’s first spinoff company named LuxMatra, meaning molecules activated by light...»»
Amrita Center for Nanoscience and Molecular Medicine, under Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham had been fortunate in its ability to successfully...»»
The next generation …….
NANOTECH – THE CHEMISTRY BETWEEN PHYSICS MATHEMATICS AND BIOLOGY
Manzoor Koyakutty, Professor, Cancer-Nanomedicine, ACNSMM
Nanoscience has mesmerizing ability to sparkle romance between physics, chemistry, mathematics and Biology. Amrita Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine (ACNSMM) began its journey at this beautiful interface of scientific disciplines. We try to understand the physics of nanometer dimensions, including quantum effects using advanced measurements and mathematics, do chemistry to engineer matter at atomic scale to control or alter complex biological mechanisms of diseases. I and my colleagues came together at ACNSMM, nearly 10 years back, from completely different interdisciplinary background and experiences. I worked on quantum physics of doped semiconductor nanocrystals at Defense Research & Development organization, prior to joining ACNSMM, and now exploring the methods of treating cancer using nanomedicines. Dr. Deepthy Menon, my colleague, was also a physicist with photonics background, now investigating novel drug-delivery systems using polymers. Dr. Jayakumar, an organic bio-polymer chemist from Japan, now exploring the best ways to heal a difficult wound. As the Centre was established inside Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, the research began with a strong focus on physics and chemistry but with a view towards medical applications. Applications of quantum clusters and doped biominerals like calcium phosphate for medical imaging, the physics of polymer electro-spinning to produce nanofibers of various geometries for tissue engineering, implantable drug-delivery systems , injectable bio-resorbable nano-gels , etc were some of our areas of interest . Over the years the team expanded to include specialists in different areas of biological sciences and more interactions with clinicians, so that the focus of the expanded team shifted towards translation and therapy. Lately, we opened up a new area of intrinsic nano-theragnostics, where the nanosystems act as both contrast agent and drug. Image guided surgery and tracking of drug delivery pathways has become a reality. Today the centre is excited with more than 100 patented nano-innovations spanning from cancer-nanomedicine, vaccines to auto-immune diseases and tissue engineering. With the flourishing arm of molecular medicine, new biomarkers have been discovered which could then be combined with nanosystems to provide sensitivity and specificity in diagnostics and therapy, not imagined before.
After ten years we have just scratched the surface, but the potential has been proven. We enjoy playing physics, chemistry and mathematics at nano-size scale to solve the problems of human health. But our drawing board has changed to life sciences. We engineer physical nanosystems to treat diseases by trying to understand its biology. ACNSMM has its work cut out with ‘clinical-translation’ as the focused agenda for next 10 years.