IWNST - 2013

INDO-US International Workshop on Nanosensor Science & Technology [IWNST - 2013]

      The three-day Indo-US Workshop on Nanosensor Science & Technology began on February 27, 2013. The Workshop kicked off with elan at the NIST auditorium with a welcome speech by Prof. Dipti Ranjan Lenka. Chief Guest Prof. Omkarnath Mohanty, ex-Vice-Chancellor of BPUT, Odisha, Prof. Sangram Mudali, Director, NIST, and Prof. Mrs. Geetika Mudali, Placement Director, NIST, Conveners Dr. B. Ratna, Center for Bio/Molecular Science & Engineering, NRL, Washington D.C., U.S.A., and Prof. S.N. Sahu, Centre for Nanoscience and Technology, NIST, Berhampur, were formally introduced to the dignitaries and participants. This was followed by the release of the souvenir, and lighting of the traditional lamp by the dignitaries.

      In his speech, Prof. Sangram Mudali spoke about the contribution of Odisha over the last few years to the Research and Development of Science and Technology in Eastern India, thereby making an impact on the technology map of the country, and how NIST has catered to the academic research requirements in the past 16 years. He also expressed happiness over how nanotechnology as a science is catching up and gaining the attention of many faculty members and academicians both in and outside the Institute.

      Prof. Omkarnath Mohanty started his inaugural address with a nice explanation about the significance of starting any session in India with a celebration, by lighting a lamp - a concept which is non-existent in the West. His inspiring speech encompassed his personal fascination for Nanotechnology and his 'perspective as a user' on how fast we are growing in the fields of security, bio-molecular technology, diagnostics, etc., in terms of the core and mainstream technology called Nanotechnology. Prof. Mohanty also lamented the fact that though India was once the land of science and technology, it was all lost due to lack of documentation and absence of mass production.

      "India is now on the threshold of a completely new Industrial revolution... considering the worth of Nanotechnology today is $ 18 billion," he said, and expressed hope that research progressing in the field of biotechnology, nanosensors can be used for clinical applications.

In her brief address, Dr. B. Ratna expressed happiness over being part of this workshop which symbolizes the cooperation extended between academic centers of India and the US. This was followed by a Vote of Thanks was proposed by Prof. Dr. Sukanta Tripathy, Dept. of ECE, NIST.

The workshop has an amazing line-up of presentations over the next three days.

Day 1 :
      The Plenary talk was presented by Dr. B. Ratna on "A Perspective on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Sensors" focusing on the unlimited potential for nanotechnology to facilitate the development of small, inexpensive devices for rapid and reliable detection of pollutants, pathogens and diseases; and the scientific challenges imposed by the bio-nano interface using specific examples if bio-nano hybrids.

Prof. D. Chakravorty, Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata, spoke on "Sensing Behaviour of some Nanocomposite Systems". This was followed by a presentation on "Optical Sensing of Chemicals, Biomolecules and Temperature, with Quantum Dot Nanocomposites and Metal Nanoclusters" by Prof. S.N. Sahu, NIST, Berhampur. Then, Prof. Navakanta Bhat, Dept. of Electrical Communication Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, gave a talk on "Nanosensors for Environment and Health Care".

Prof. Yit-Tsong Chen, Dept. of Chemistry, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, and Institute of Atomic and Molecular Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, was the next to deliver a paper on "Nanowire Transistor-Based Biosensors: A Tool for Life Science." His talk was followed by a presentation by Dr. James B. Delehanty, Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering, US Naval Research Lab, on "Nanoparticle-based Cellular Sensing: Insight into Bridging the abiotic: biotic interface." The talk highlighted a number of challenges that need to be overcome (in order for NPs to realize their full potential as materials for cellular imaging and sensing) using semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) as a prototypical NP platform.

The day's events concluded with a presentation by Dr. Ramachandra Rao, Sathulur Biomedical Research Institute, AIST, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan, on "Development of High-aspect-ratio Silicon Nanoneedle array for Single-Cell Manipulation."

Day 2 :
      The second day's proceedings began with a talk by Prof. Eiichi Tamiya, Nano-Bioengineering Group, Department of Applied Physics, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan, on "Nanoplasmonic and Electrochemical Biosensors for Medical Diagnosis and Cellular analysis" which focused on the extent of possibilities that opened up for furthering the research in the fields of medical diagnosis, molecular and cellular biology. A talk by Prof. S.F. D'Souza, Nuclear Agriculture & Biotechnology Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Center, Mumbai, on "Nanomaterial-based Biosensors for Clinical Applications" followed. The lecture highlighted some of the advances made in the field of bio-molecular recognition.

Prof. Balaji Srinivasan, Department of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, delivered a talk on "Fiber Bragg Grating-Based Interrogator for Elastic Wave Sensing" focusing on how FBGs are aptly suited for sensing high-frequency acoustic emissions. He discussed the development of a FBG-based dynamic interrogator for sensing elastic waves in aluminum plate. Following this, Prof. S. Nozaki, Graduate School of The University of Electro-communications, 1-5-1 Chofugaoka, Tokyo, Japan, gave a presentation on "Hydrothermal Growth of Zinc Oxide Nanorods and Glucose-Sensor Application."

Dr. L. Montes, IMEP-Lahc., MINATEC, Grenoble, France, delivered a talk on "Piezo NEMS: How to exploit and Enhance Piezoelectricity and Piezoresistance in Semiconductor Nanowires for Energy Devices", followed by a presentation by Dr. Abhijit Ganguly, Center for Condensed Matter Science, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, on "Label-free Molecular Level Detection of DNA-Protein Interactions by GaNNWs EGFET Technique."

The talk by Prof. A.K. Pal, Department of Instrument Science, UCIC Building, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, was on "Protocol for Methane Sensor". In this talk, issues related to various sensors and actuators used in different fields were discussed with a special emphasis on methane gas sensors for applications in coal mines. Advantages of utilizing nanotechnology in upgrading the performance of the sensors are also discussed. This was followed by a paper presentation by Dr. Thomas George, Zyomed Corporation, California, USA, on "Nanosensing for Biomedical Applications: Myth or Reality?" The paper examined a few cases of promising nanosensor concepts based on "bottom up" self-assembly as well as "top down" nanolithography, starting with currently unmet needs in medicine and biology that can only be satisfied by devices or systems relying on nanoscale effects and proceeding to present a typical S-curve for the development of a nanosensor product and suggest solutions to effectively break through the VOD barrier.

The day's events concluded with a talk by Prof. K.K. Nanda, Materials Research Laboratory, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, on the topic "High Sensitivity of Chemiresistive Sensor for Ultralow detection of Ammonia at Room Temperature" focusing on an experimental investigation which reveals that the atmospheric oxygen plays a crucial role in the sensing process.

Day 3 :
      On the third and concluding day of the Workshop, Prof. Magnus Willander, Department of Science and Technology, Linkoping University, Norrkoping, Sweden, opened the session with his talk on "Sensing Glucose by Different Nanomaterials" and discussed about both non-exzymatic as well as enzymatic biosensors from fundamental chemical and physical point of view as well as from applications point of view (wireless and non-wireless).

Later, Dr. Raghbendra Sai, Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, presented a paper on "Sensitive and High Speed Sensing through Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance (LSPR) and Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS)." In his talk, Dr. Sai summarized the efforts in the fiber optic LSPR-based biosensors and novel SERS active substrates based on photo-dissociation of oxides of silver and copper thin films. The concluding talk on "Synthesis of Carbon Nano-fibers on p-Si having improved Temperature sensing capability" was delivered by Dr. S. Hussain, UGC, DAECSR, Kalpakkam Node, Kokilamedu. The three-day workshop came to an end with the Best Poster Award ceremony.

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