Education, Engineering, Science, Research,

Harvesting electricity from vibrations

New Delhi, July 09th 2021:  A team of scientists have fabricated a simple, cost-effective, bio-compatible, nanogenerator that can generate electricity from mere vibrations for use in optoelectronics, self-powered devices, and other biomedical applications. The threat of global warming and the energy crisis in the world Search for renewable energy resources with reduced carbon emissions is one of the most urgent challenges due to the increasing threat of global warming and the energy crisis. Among other things, mere vibrations are being harnessed to produce electricity. Triboelectric nanogenerators (TENG) are new energy devices that generate electricity from vibrations.  They work on the principle of the creation of electrostatic charges via instantaneous physical contact of two dissimilar materials followed by generation of potential difference when a mismatch is introduced between the two contacted surfaces through a mechanical force. This mechanism drives the electrons to move back and forth between the conducting films coated on the back of the tribo-layers. The methods that are presently employed to design the nanogenerators use expensive fabrication methods like photolithography or reactive ion etching, and additional processes like electrode preparation. In the new study, researchers have designed one using thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) and Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) as tribo layers. The easy availability of the active material and the simplicity of the fabrication process make it cost-effective over currently available fabrication techniques. The resulting device has also been found to be highly efficient, robust, and gives reproducible output over long hours of operation. The study showed that the device could light up eleven LEDs by gentle hand tapping and could be a potential candidate for use in optoelectronics, self-powered devices, and other biomedical applications. The study was conducted by researchers from the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences, a Bengaluru-based autonomous institute of Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology; the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, and Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen China. The team consisted of Dr Shankar Rao, S.R.Srither, N.R.Dhineshbabu, S.Krishna Prasad, Oscar Dahlsten and Suryasarathi Bose. They have published a report on their work in the ‘Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology’. (India…

Institute of Nano Science and Technology

INST steering ahead with nanoscience and technology-based breakthroughs

New Delhi, 08TH JULY 2021: With the motto of “Knowledge of Nanoscience for the Nation,” the Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST), Mohali (Punjab), is advancing knowledge, and educating young minds in nanoscience and technology that will best serve the nation. It has achieved several nanosciences and technology-based breakthroughs like efficient low-cost electro-catalysts for rechargeable metal-air batteries from fish gills, visible light-assisted sensing of nicotine from cigarette smoke by using metal-organic nanotube Mobile 2D electron gas at oxide interfaces for electronic devices, says the statement issued by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The institute imparts advanced training courses and laboratory techniques of nanotechnology at the highest level, encouraging innovative and challenging technology/product based scientific projects,  boosting translational research (from laboratory to industry) and foster interactions with industry,  sensitizing the public and media about the advantages and safeguards in Nano Science and Technology. INST, an autonomous institution of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, was established under the umbrella of NANO MISSION, initiated by DST to emphasize nano research in India. It started its activities as the first Indian nano-research institute in the country on 3rd January 2013 and shifted to its new campus in 2020. The institute brings together biologists, chemists, physicists, and materials scientists under the same umbrella to pursue their interests in nanoscience and technology. INST has created state-of-art facilities in a short span of seven years to support multifaceted research activities in varied fields like Energy, Environment, Health Care, Agriculture, and Quantum Materials. With the vision to emerge as a globally competitive India’s foremost research institution in Nano Science & Technology and contribute to society through applications of nanoscience & nanotechnology, INST has emphasized cutting-edge research in nanoscience and nanotechnology with an interdisciplinary flavour to meet global and local challenges. To name some of its research achievements, the institute has about 180 research publications in international journals per year with an average impact factor of 4.2, and its overall rank (as per nature index) is 32. Further, two scientists from INST were ranked among the top 2% of scientists globally,…

Education, Engineering, Science, Research,

New injectable hydrogel may improve stem cell uptake

Bengaluru, June 7 (India Science Wire): The use of stem cells in regenerative medicine remains a challenging task because of problems associated with the survival of transplanted cells. Stem cells, when transplanted on a wound site, release chemicals called paracrine factors which stimulate other cells in the vicinity to initiate tissue regrowth.  A group of Indian scientists has developed an injectable hydrogel that can help transplanted stem cells survive longer. Researchers from the Mohali-based Institute of NanoScience and Technology have devised a method to encapsulate adult stem cells called Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) in an injectable hydrogel. In preliminary studies, it has been found that the hydrogel exhibits cell viability and can support long-term survival of stem cells. The injectable hydrogel has been derived from natural materials like cellulose and chitosan (found in seashells) and it biodegrades in about a month. The hydrogel was fabricated by connecting an aldehyde group with an amino group by employing a method called the Schiff base reaction. “The hydrogel addresses the issue of the long- term survival of adult stem cells in simulated cultures that mimic the actual body tissue. We observed that cells survive and multiply for a period of one month, which is sufficient time for tissue regrowth,” explained Dr Deepa Ghosh, principal investigator of the study, while speaking to India Science Wire. The hydrogel supports normal functioning of the cells. Following implantation, the adult stem cells in the hydrogel grow and release paracrine factors to encourage tissue repair by inducing migration of cells from adjacent tissues into the damaged tissue, she added. “The hydrogel has 95% water content, similar to tissue cells, indicating its potential to organise the cells into the tissue structure. Moreover, the gel is self-healing which means that it can readily take the shape of the wound site providing homogeneity and adhesion to the tissue after gelation,” described Jijo Thomas, the first author of the study. Laboratory studies demonstrate the hydrogel has cell viability and supports bioactivity of stem cells. Cell compatibility assay and haemolysis assay were used to evaluate the hydrogel’s compatibility to cells and blood respectively….