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Two-Day Seminar on ‘Nanomedicine and Medical Devices in Healthcare’

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Prof. R.S. Dhankar, Vice Chancellor, Apeejay Stya University

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Apeejay Stya University, organised 2nd National Seminar on ‘Nanomedicine & Medical Devices in Healthcare’ via online mode on 17th and 18th May, 2021. Opening the seminar, Dr. Anupama Diwan, Dean at School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, urged all budding pharmacists to contribute to the well-being of the society. The keynote Address was delivered by Prof. R.S. Dhankar, Vice Chancellor, Apeejay Stya University. He said the secret of living well and longer is: eat half, walk double and laugh triple.

We must tap India’s affordable medical devices market

Prof. Alok R. Ray former Professor and Head of Biomedical Engineering, IIT Delhi and AllMS New Delhi

In the first session, Prof. Alok R. Ray, former Professor and Head of Biomedical Engineering, IIT Delhi and AllMS New Delhi gave a presentation on ‘Development of Affordable Medical Devices’. 

He said Artificial Organs and Biomedical Devices such as Cochlear Implants, Ceramic Teeth, Vascular Grafts, Artificial Hips, Biodegradable Screws, Contact Lenses, Artificial Heart & Valves, Pace Makers, Metal/Polymer Stents, Artificial Knees and Hip Implants have helped in the treatment of complex health problems. As our population lives longer, the demand for biomedical devices is expected to grow. Prof. Ray explained how potential entrepreneurs, engineers and medical practitioners can tap India’s affordable medical devices market. Currently, 80% of all medical devices and equipment are imported, 30% public hospitals cater to 80% of the population and public hospitals tend to have poorly-functioning or outdated equipment.

Prof. Alok gave numerous examples of biomedical products developed by his team for use in human medicine and surgery. These are: a device to efficiently gain intraosseous (the process of injecting directly into the of a bone) access in emergency patients, a device to manage faecal incontinence in non-ambulatory patients, a limb immobilization device to temporarily immobilize lower limbs in trauma patients, a novel hearing screening device for newborns in resource constrained setting, among others.

Non-invasive biological fluids to detect biomarkers secreted in oral cancer patient

Prof. Bansi D Malhotra
Prof. & Head, Department of Biotechnology, Delhi

In the second session, Prof. Bansi D Malhotra, Prof. & Head, Department of Biotechnology, Delhi gave a presentation on ‘Nanostructured Metal Oxides-based Biosensors for Cancer Detection’.

He said a biosensor is an analytical device that recognizes and converts a biological signal into a measurable signal. A biosensor has five main components: Biorecognition element, Immobilization matrix, Transducer, Signal detector and amplifier and Digital readout. Prof. Bansi said a Biomarker is a biological molecule that is found in blood, other body fluids, or tissues whose concentration changes in response to certain physiological stresses, abnormal conditions or disease. He said oral cancer is often diagnosed at later stages of development due to negligence and misdiagnosis. Also, 5-year prevalence of oral cancer is much higher in the less developed regions of the world including Africa and South-East Asia. Thus, there is need of diagnostic devices that have on-site availability and are cost-effective. He said apart from saliva it should be interesting to utilize other non-invasive biological fluids such as urine, sweat, tear and nose wax etc., to detect biomarkers secreted in oral cancer patient.

Biodegradable Polymers in medical applications

Dr. Dhiraj Chopra
Vice President – R&D, Amneal Pharmaceuticals

In the third session, Dr. Dhiraj Chopra, Vice President – R&D, Amneal Pharmaceuticals talked about ‘Biodegradable Polymers Based Particulate Drug Delivery System: A case study’. He said science is not at all about innovation; rather it’s an art of providing right solution for the right problem.  

He talked about the success story of Depot injection. In depot injection, controlled release formulation based on Microsphere Technology where Active Peptide Drug is dispersed in bio-degradable Polymer (PLGA) Matrix. He said Poly Lactic-co-Glycolic Acid (PLGA) and polyanhydride are the most accepted polymers for this purpose because of their biodegradability, biocompatibility and non-toxic nature.

He said research into Resorbable polymers was initiated in 1960s and the PLGA based Depot formulation was patented by Dupont in 1973.  The first Depot injection came out in market in 1986 of Triptorelin Decapeptyl by Ferring. He explained in detail factors governing PLGA degradation such as Chemical Structure and Chemical Composition, (Lactide/Glycolide ratio), Molecular Weight, Viscosity, Presence of End Groups, Morphology (crystallinity), Monomer Concentration and Microstructure.

Vaccine is simple in principle but complex in practice

Dr. Amulya K. Panda Director, National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi

On day 2, Dr. Amulya K. Panda, Director, National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi gave a presentation on ‘Challenges with Development and Delivery of Vaccines.’ He said vaccines are the third most important requirement after clean water and air for human health. He said more than 80 vaccines are available for 300 odd human pathogens. He enlightened the students about Maurice Hilleman, The Vaccine Magician. Hilleman developed over 40 vaccines from 1940s to 2000s, notably measles, mumps, and hepatitis B, among other accomplishments. Dr. Panda said vaccine is simple in principle but complex in practice and explained vaccine working principle. He listed the candidates for the sixth revolution in vaccinology: Combination vaccines, the adjuvant toolbox, Systems vaccinology, Vaccines for noninfectious diseases, Immuno-engineering and delivery systems and Reverse vaccinology. Lastly, he talked about the challenges for vaccine development. 

Excipients for tablets should be selected based on inherent compaction behavior of APIs.

Prof. Arvind K. Bansal
Head, Department of Pharmaceutics, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Punjab

In the following session, Prof. Arvind K. Bansal, Head, Department of Pharmaceutics, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Punjab gave a presentation on ‘Behaviour of Powder during Compression of Tablets’. He said Bonding Area and Bonding Strength govern overall Tabletability. Bonding Area is affected by Particle size, Material hardness and Slip Planes.  He said Bonding Strength is affected by True density. Dispersive interactions are the most important contributor to intermolecular interactions. Correlationship of structure, property, process and performance helps in designing improved materials with desired mechanical properties.  Lastly, he said excipients for tablets should be selected based on inherent compaction behavior of APIs. A combination of plastic behaviour and brittle fracture is most suited for good tabletability.

Anupama Diwan, Dean at School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, ASU

Overall, the event was a huge success. The seminar attracted participants from India as well as other countries such as Nigeria, UAE, Saudi Arabia, among others. The pharma students presented their research (Oral/ Scientific Poster) and the winners were awarded with cash prizes. The jury member for oral presentation for day one were Dr. Indira Raheja and Dr. DK Majumdar.   For day two, the jury members for oral presentation were Dr. Babita Kumar and Dr. Narendra Yadav and the jury members for poster presentation were Dr. Gaurav Jain and Dr. Mohini Kalra. Also, three faculties from School of Pharmaceutical Sciences were awarded for their outstanding contribution to the Dept. at the valedictory function.

Dheeraj Sharma is Asst. Editor (Newsroom). He covers events, webinars, conducts interviews and brings you exciting news snippets. He has over 10 years' of experience in prominent media organizations. He takes pleasure in the small things in life and believes a healthy work-life balance is key to happiness. You can reach him at [email protected]

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