January 5, 2011
Center for Nanosciences, Kochi
The 3rd edition of Bangalore Nano was recently organised by the Departments of IT, BT and S&T, Government of India in collaboration with the Karnataka state government.
The main theme of the conference was Frontiers of Nanotechnology: Impact on India.
“It was among India’s most prestigious nano conferences,” stated Dr. Shantikumar Nair, Director of the Amrita Center for Nanosciences (ACNS) in Kochi.
At the conference, Dr. Shanti joined senior scientists and administrators from across the nation to address delegates who were part of the Nano for the Young program.
Over 500 students from engineering and medical colleges in the city participated in this program designed to highlight immense possibilities in current nanotechnology research.
Together with Prof. C. N. R. Rao (JNCASR), Prof. Ajay Sood (IISc) and Prof. Santanu Bhattacharya (IISc), Dr. Shanti helped open up the exciting world of medical applications of nanotechnology to the curious and motivated youngsters.
The students asked him many questions.
“What is the principle whereby gold nano particles are used for cancer applications?” one student wanted to know.
“Gold is extensively used as a hyperthermia agent,” Dr. Shanti replied. “When targeted to cancer cells, gold particles effectively absorb light radiation and prevent scattering of light by the tissue. This heats the cancer tissue and kills the cancer cells.”
Another student participant enquired whether graphene was safe for drug delivery in human beings.
“Graphene is not biodegradable and hence its long-term impact on the body is to be further investigated,” cautioned Dr. Shanti. “Our initial results do show that it is an effective drug delivery agent when properly bio-functionalized.”
At the conference, Dr. Shanti also chaired the session on Nanomedicine. Dr. Manzoor from ACNS delivered an invited talk titled Theragnostic Nanoparticles Targeted to Aberrant Pathways in Cancer.
ACNS PhD student Anitha A. won the best paper award for her paper titled Nanocarrier Based on Carboxymethyl Chitosan (N, O-CMC and O-CMC) for the Delivery of Curcumin to Cancer Cells.
She authored this paper in collaboration with classmates S. Maya, N. Deepa, K. P. Chennazhi and S. V. Nair. Prof. R. Jayakumar guided her in the research.