A High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (HRTEM) facility was inaugurated at the Amrita Center for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, on August 25, 2014 by Sri. K. Babu, Honorable Minister for Fisheries, Ports and Excise, Kerala.

This is one of the most advanced versions of high resolution transmission electron microscopes and is the first instrument installed in a medical college hospital in Kerala for bio-medical and nanotechnology applications. Funded by Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, the cost of the electron microscope is 4.5 crore.

HRTEM is a highly sophisticated electron microscope used for understanding materials and molecules with atomic scale resolution. This instrument generates a narrow beam of electrons under ultra-high vacuum and passes through thin sections of biological tissues or cells to analyze the microstructure and arrangement of molecules and atoms in test samples.

The information produced is critical for advanced characterization of tissues and cells for disease diagnosis as well as fundamental understanding of biological processes which may pave the way for developing new drugs including molecular medicines. This instrument also helps to see how nanoparticles and nanomedicines interact with biological tissues, cells or proteins at atomic scale, which is important in developing new nanotechnology based diagnosis and therapy. Further, this instrument is useful to understand the toxicity issues associated with industrially produced nanoparticles and other materials in paints, cosmetics, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.

Speaking on the occasion were: Br. Anaghamrita Chaithanya, Sri. Tony Chammany (Honorable Mayor of Kochi), Dr. Dhananjay Tewari (Joint Director and Programme Officer, Nanobiotechnology RNAi Task Force, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India), Dr. Y. K. Gupta (Chairman, Nanobiotechnology Task Force and Head, Department of Pharmacology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi), Dr. Prem Nair (Medical Director, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences), Dr. Shantikumar V. Nair (Dean of Research, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and Head, Amrita Center for Nanosciences) and Dr. Manzoor K. (Professor, Amrita Center for Nanosciences).

August 25, 2014

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