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July 7th, 2007
Sankara Nethralaya sets its sights high
Research using nanotechnology will form part of the activities of National Institute for Research in Visual Sciences (NIRVO), a research arm of premier eye care institution Sankara Nethralaya. In its upcoming seven-storeyed building in the city, a floor will be dedicated to research activities in nanotechnology and it will be designed with technical support from United States scientists.
As part of this effort, the institution is planning to tie up with Radiology Department in University of Missouri - Cancer Nanotechnology Platform, said Lingam Gopal, chairman, Sankara Nethralaya, which is a unit of Medical Research Foundation. Initially, NIRVO will work in the field of nanotechnology to study cell cultures, image tissues and drug delivery. The technical support for its effort comes from two Indian scientists — Kattesh V. Katti and Raghuraman Kannan in University of Missouri. The visiting academics are still in "fact-finding stage aimed to benefit both Sankara Nethralaya and the United States," according to Dr. Katti. Since most human disorders start at the cellular level, it is necessary to address the problem at this level. Nanomedicine involves using nanoparticles to identify a diseased cell and then using therapy to correct the defect. "Nanomedicine has a role in any disease. We just have to find the right application. Most of the human disorders start at the cellular level. To address a disease at the cellular level, we need man-made material. Nanoparticles can be designed to fit the size of a cell. If these nanoparticles can be attached to a cell then we can stop the onset of the disease," explained Dr. Katti.
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