The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) will soon begin research in the field of bioengineering, which is an interdisciplinary field of science wherein challenges in biology are addressed with solutions from cross disciplinary fields of science and engineering.
The focus areas of the research will be on robotics in medicine; brain-computer interface technologies; bioengineering of implantable medical devices; engineering of point of care devices for early detection and diagnosis of diseases; and some combination of all these areas.
In the area of robotics in medicine, proposals are invited towards innovative engineering approaches to develop navigational robots for surgery, haptics incorporated simulators for medical and surgical training, surgical assist technologies, and robotic devices for rehabilitation including prosthetics and mobility devices. In the area of brain-computer interface technologies, the research will focus on human-machine interfaces for people with severe physical impairment, and for intuitive control of prosthetics and mobility devices, and related applications.
In the bioengineering of implantable medical devices area, the DBT has invited proposals from eligible scientists to develop implants or tissue engineered devices, organ assist devices, artificial or tissue engineered organs, implantable diagnostic devices integrated with electronics. And in the area of engineering of point of care devices for early detection and diagnosis of diseases, the DBT has invited proposals from scientists for point of care devices, including preventive technologies, non-invasive monitoring technologies, integrated mobile technologies, point of care photonics and wireless systems.
According to senior officials, the DBT through its conscious efforts has continuously fostered research initiatives in various challenging areas of bioengineering. More recently it has been felt that robotics has contributed immensely in the field of medicine.
India’s focus so far has been concentrated towards industrial robots and materials handling robots, and an impetus is needed to spur collaborative oriented research pertaining to robotics in medicine, bridging the disconnect between engineering research and medical institutions in India. Moreover, medical devices are an area where engineers could profusely contribute to translate their innovative ideas into a practicable application.
It is under this background that the DBT has decided to begin research in these areas.
Scientists working in the universities, academic institutions, national laboratories, medical schools with sound scientific backgrounds and relevant publications in proposed area will be eligible to participate in this programme.