Our research activities are currently in the facilities available in the Southern Labs, the SCDT (www.iitk.ac.in/scdt), and the Western Labs. And
we will be utilizing the facilities to be housed in the building for the
National Centre for Flexible Electronics (www.iitk.ac.in/flexe).
Here are some of our current activities.
i) Microfluidic immunosensors for detection of disease
biomarkers in body fluids
There is a need for developing low-cost devices for disease
diagnostics for point-of-care (POC) testing so as to make healthcare
affordable and accessible. In several cases, the presence and extent
of a disease can be ascertained by the presence or the levels of
biomarkers in the body fluids. Utilization of microfluidics based
platforms has the potential of rapid and low-cost detection
techniques with point-of-care applications, which could be very
relevant to the Indian context. There is an on-going work on a
multi-analyte sensor array to detect some of the biomarkers in the
body fluids. Test markers include PSA and CRP. Process
intensification enabled in the microchannels has shown potential for
high capture efficiencies. Field-effect based detection (utilizing
thin film transistors) is being utilized for the detection and
processing of the signals. Designs are being investigated to enable
detection with small sample volumes.
ii) Flexible thermal sensors
Low-cost flexible temperature sensors
have several uses including accurate measurement of the skin
temperature where form fit is crucial and the flexibility providing
a good form fit can be expected to provide a better performance.
Apart from utilization in applications as wearable electronics,
other uses could be in packaging/storage of temperature sensitive
materials like medicines, reagents, blood etc., where the low cost
would incur a marginal incremental cost to the packaging and enable
commercial adoption. In this work, nanoscale films of conjugated
polymers on flexible substrates have been developed which have shown
good temperature sensitivities. The ballistic-diffusive thermal
transport, and the charge transport are being investigated. The
printing of such inks on flexible substrates are being studied with
a focus on the substrate-ink interactions.
iii) Electrochemical sensors for detection of heavy
metals in water
This activity attempts to
develop portable low-cost sensors for detection of heavy
metals in water. Functionalized electrochemically polymerized
films are utilized and the accompanying transport and
reactions are investigated.
iv) Room temperature flexible gas sensors
The room temperature gas sensing behavior of
nanostructured organic semiconductors are being investigated.
The role of the structures in affecting the recognition
reactions and accompanying charge transport are being studied.