The BIOCOM 2020 team
In pursuit of the development of technologies for healthcare application, there is an emerging need for commercialisation in a cost-effective manner, both for a societal mission and also to enhance the visibility of the host/funding organisation.
Nonetheless, it is known that the technology built at the lab level, especially for healthcare application meets with enormous hurdles before obtaining regulatory clearance, for licensing to industries. The work becomes even more difficult in case the new material developed belongs to some less known area of the healthcare sector, e.g., bioceramics, much of which is still being explored. Hence, for the inventor scientist it has now become mandatory to understand and become acquainted with every step of his/her technology starting from bench scale to regulatory approval for conducting clinical trials, know-how preparation and finally, transferring the same to industry for commercialisation.
To bridge the gap, a one-day workshop on ‘Bioactive glass, Ceramics & Composites in Healthcare: Current Technological Trends, 2020” (BIOCOM, 2020), was organised on 28 January 2020 at CSIR-Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute (CGCRI), Kolkata. The workshop provided an excellent forum for mutual sharing of knowledge, expertise and experience and exchange of ideas amongst scientists, researchers, industry professionals and regulatory personnel pertaining to the healthcare domain.
Dr K. Muraleedharan, Director, CSIR-CGCRI and Chairman, BIOCOM 2020 commenced the inaugural session with his welcome address.
Dr Ajay Kumar Singh, Distinguished Scientist & Director General (Life Sciences) DRDO, Ministry of Defence, graced the event as Chief Guest. In his deliberation, he focused on the challenges imposed by different materials viz. shock-proof materials, wound healing materials, lightweight high strength material with respect to the application.
Later, the student poster session was opened by the Chief Guest.
The workshop deliberations were divided into five brainstorming technical sessions comprising insightful lectures of several eminent dignitaries from the healthcare domain. Prof. Bikramjit Basu, Professor, The Materials Research Centre, IISC, Bengaluru, presented the topic “Translational Research at the Intersection of Engineering, Biology and Medicine: Opportunities and Challenges”. In his lecture, he mentioned several novel prototypes for total hip replacement. Further, he provided the essence of “Integrated computational material engineering-based predictive manufacturing approach”, “3D printing for tailor-made implant” and “biomedical coating for cardiovascular applications”.
Dr A. Ramkishan, Deputy Drugs Controller (India), talked about numerous investigational new drugs and their clinical trial rules, a timeline of the same and accelerated approval process for a new drug. Prof. Sujoy K. Guha, Honourable Professor of IIT Delhi presented his major contributions in the area of non-hormonal polymer-based injectable male contraceptive (RISUG). Dr Srikanta K. Rath, Senior Principal Scientist & Coordinator, GLP facility, Toxicology and Experimental Medicine Division, CSIR-CDRI, Lucknow, pondered upon several pre-clinical developments of bioceramics as healthcare product”. Dr Quazi Syed Zahiruddin, Research Director and Professor, DMIMS, Maharashtra, demonstrated the prospect of tissue-engineered bone grafts and bone substitute materials. Dr N. Chaudhari, Assistant Professor, Seth GS Medical College & KEM Hospital, presented a broad overview on how to take medicines from the “bench to bedside”.
The workshop was also attended by several healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs. Mr Sudipta Bhowmick, Managing Director, M/s Orthotech, Surat, shared his views on the scope of research in orthopaedics. Dr Anil Mavila, Vice President (Technical), M/s Eucare Pharmaceuticals, Chennai, presented a walkthrough on how to navigate the lab discovery through regulatory guidelines for effective technology transfer. Mr Rajesh Pokerna, Managing Director, Vasundhara Rasayan, Hyderabad, shared his views on how to scale up projects from bench scale to industry. Mr J. Zaveri, DGM (Marketing), Gharda Chemicals Ltd, Mumbai, presented a unique high-performance polymer for additive manufacturing named PEKK.
The technical session was followed by a vibrant scientific poster session, which provided an interactive platform for young researchers to showcase their contemporary research activities. The posters were evaluated by Dr Abhijit Chakraborty (GNIDSR), Dr Tapan Kumar Mondol (WBUAFS) and Mr Rajesh Pokerna (Vasundhara Rasayan) and three posters were awarded the “Best Poster” prize.
Scientists from CSIR-CGCRI, Dr Jui Chakraborty, Convenor and Dr Biswanath Kundu, Co-Convenor shared their views on bioactive materials and technologies developed based on synthetic hydroxyapatite powder, orbital eye implant, ceramic powder for anticancer drug delivery and drug development, bioglass based nanofibre as wound healing material, hemostatic dressing, ceramic-based composites and hard coatings, etc. along with their current research activities, publications and patents, commercialised lab prototypes and future prospects. Dr Chakraborty, Dr Kundu and other working scientists of the division including Dr Sumana Ghosh, Dr Pradyot Datta and Dr Subhadip Bodhak also expressed their willingness to continue such platforms regularly, for awareness among the takers and also for overall societal benefit, in line with ‘Swasth Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ missions.