222, Chemical Engineering
Du Pont Young Professor Award 2008
Prof N R Kuloor memorial award and medal for the best PhD thesis in the Department of chemical engineering IISc Bangalore for the years 2002 and 2003.
Laboratory methods to produce unilamellar vesicles of a definite size either rely on an external energy input (such as sonication or extrusion), using multi-component systems (such as catanionic, lecithin+bile, etc.) or by inducing a spontaneous curvature through certain molecules. We have developed a method where lipids spontaneous assemble from a solution phase that results in predictable diameter vesicles. In this method stationary phases (one containing the lipid and other being aqueous) is brough into contact without any advective mixing. The time of synthesis of liposomes by this method can be made as low as 15 minutes. This method is being further improved to be used in portable devices for point-of-care drug delivery and in industrial systems for bulk production of vesicles.
It is observed that nanoparticles enhance mass transfer of solute particles. While there have been many beliefs around what causes this apparent increase, there is no fundamental theory or experimental evidence to back any of them. Our group is designing elementary experiments to isolate various possible interferences and factors that are reported in the experiments of enhanced transport. Our hypothesis of the phenomenon is around a driven motion of the nanoparticle itself, which inturn leads to a flux of the solute. There are various known and well understood motions of colloidal particles which are being tested.
For a populous developing country such as ours, there is a need to develop indigenous solutions for examination systems, matching the quality of the best solutions available in the market. The science and engineering behind these technologies are well known. It is therefore possible to develop software solutions using open source tools, and make available open source solutions which can be further developed and maintained by the community of users. We are developing a language neutral software system for on-screen evaluation of digitised paper based answer booklets, associated answer book design, printing and post-exam booklet handling standards and protocols, marking statistics and MIS for an unbiased, secure, and error-free evaluation