In a groundbreaking development, researchers at the esteemed Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IITG) have made significant strides in harnessing modified graphene oxide for biomedical applications. Led by Dr. Rajiv K. Kar, an Assistant Professor at the Jyoti and Bhupat Mehta School of Health Sciences and Technology at IIT Guwahati, this research not only pushes the boundaries of scientific understanding but also bridges the gap between cutting-edge innovation and hands-on education.
Graphene, a material awarded the Nobel Prize for its remarkable properties, is known for its exceptional strength, electrical conductivity, and thermal performance. Its oxidized variant, Graphene Oxide (GO), offers a vast surface area and minimal cytotoxicity, rendering it ideal for medical applications. Through the introduction of defects, doping, and functional modifications, GO can be tailored to enhance its optical and electrical properties, making it a promising candidate for advanced biomedical sensing applications.
The researchers at the Jyoti and Bhupat Mehta School of Health Sciences and Technology at IIT Guwahati have been focusing on a specific functional modification of graphene. They have successfully attached amino acids, such as Cysteine or simple amine groups, to graphene. This novel approach holds tremendous potential in the development of biomarkers for disease detection.
Dr. Rajiv Kar, an instrumental figure in this research, shed light on the significance of their findings, stating, “We conducted a comprehensive study on how amino acid-modified Graphene Oxide behaves in liquid. We discovered that a particular bond in Cys-GO sheets enhances their stability, reducing random movements. This discovery has the potential to revolutionize the development of biomarkers for early disease detection.”
One of the most remarkable aspects of this research is its integration with hands-on education. The team has developed innovative laboratory experiments, which are both cost-effective and readily applicable to a wide range of scientific disciplines. These experiments have been seamlessly incorporated into the Biomedical Science and Engineering (BMSE) course at IIT Guwahati’s Jyoti and Bhupat Mehta School of Health Sciences and Technology.
Dr. Kar underscored the broader implications of these educational initiatives, stating, “These low-cost laboratory experiments are not only beneficial for biomedical education but also extend their utility to chemical, material science, nanotechnology, and interdisciplinary courses. We believe that these techniques will inspire and equip future scientists to find innovative solutions in the field of Biomedical Science and Engineering.”
The fruits of their labor have been disseminated in reputable journals, including The Journal of Physical Chemistry C and Journal of Chemical Education. The research paper, authored by Dr. Rajiv K. Kar and his research scholars, Mr. Rajan Singh, Ms. Shweta Tiwari, and Ms. Jyotirekha Jena, demonstrates the high-caliber research conducted at IIT Guwahati.
This groundbreaking research has been made possible through the support of the Indian Council of Medical Research and the Indian Nanoelectronics Users Program, funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). It is a testament to the collaborative efforts between academia and the government to drive innovation and advance scientific knowledge.
About IIT Guwahati
The Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, established in 1994, celebrated 25 years of excellence in 2019. The institution boasts eleven departments, nine interdisciplinary academic centers, and five schools, offering a comprehensive array of programs across various disciplines. IIT Guwahati’s notable achievements include its consistent top positions in national rankings, affirming its status as one of India’s premier engineering institutions.
IIT Guwahati’s commitment to research and innovation is further exemplified by its presence in international rankings, such as the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023 and the QS World University Rankings 2024. The institution’s relentless pursuit of scientific excellence spans diverse fields, including genomics, developmental biology, health care, bioinformatics, and flexible electronics. IIT Guwahati continues to be a frontrunner in the global landscape of higher education and research, setting the standard for academic achievement in India and beyond.