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New centre to design biomedical products planned

Proposal for the Rs 50-cr centre submitted to DBT

DESIGNED to revolutionalise healthcare accessibility, the Indian Institute of Science has envisaged a Centre for Biodesign, a research facility covering a unique mix of biology, medicine and clinical engineering.

The research projects proposed to be taken up at the centre include indigenous and innovative dialysis chairs, enhanced laparoscopic tools besides digital human body with skeletal structure and arteries to conduct experiments with tools.

The proposal for the centre  was recently submitted by the Department of Mechanical Engineering, IISc, to the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) . The DBT, which responded immediately, plans to hold a high-level meeting soon. The cost of setting up the centre is estimated to be Rs 50 crore. 

Besides, IISc is also on the verge of signing an MoU with IIM-Bangalore. The management institute would advise the centre on its commercial viability, marketing, getting venture capitals, etc, when products start to emerge.

Indigenous products
According to Prof Sanjay Biswas, Dean, Engineering division, who put together the proposal, the centre aims at creating indigenous and innovative medical equipment for research and clinical use.

“Large number of biomedical products are expensive and are imported. We thought a lot of fundamental research done in IISc is not reaching public. Hence, we felt there should be combination of inter-disciplinary departments with major emphasis on medicine,” said Prof Biswas.

On the research projects, he said they would be categorised on the basis of time scales. One factor common among all the projects will be the inclusion of doctors, from the inception of the projects. “Unlike doctors, we do not have any clinical experience. So, the doctors will be project investigators and take responsibility of implementing the projects,” he said.

(Published in Deccan Herald on 30th July, 2010)

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