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In this article, Microbioz India is pleased to share an exclusive interview with Dr Amit Asthana, FTASc on his home-grown research on diagnostic kits development in India.
Dr. Amit Asthana, FTASc, is currently holding the position of Associate Professor, & Head, Department of Medical Devices at National Institute of Pharmaceutical, Education, and Research (NIPER), Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Govt. of India. He also holds other administrative responsibilities of Associate Dean (Research) as well as Co-chair of the Board of Studies and Research of the Institute.
What are the challenges that you encountered in your field of work? How has Bio-Layer Interferometry (BLI) technology helped in your research?
My group works on paper-based microfluidic devices for affordable diagnostic. Most of our devices are based on the interaction of biomolecules such as antibody-antigen or aptamer-antigen. There are several methods to measure biochemical binding, biomolecule interaction, and Ligand-biomolecule binding, however, each method has its advantages and disadvantages.
Back then in CCMB, we had to toggle between ITC and SPR in order to study the biomolecular interaction to find out which combination will work the best for us on our paper devices. ITC requires a large sample volume while SPR has its own disadvantage. Further, we needed a method that is less time-consuming, affordable, and reproducible. After procurement of Octet® Red 96 BLI Technology in our lab, the time taken for us to run experimental work has drastically reduced, and we were able to generate consistent and reproducible results!
With Octet® Bio-Layer Interferometry (BLI) technology, we could select the suitable aptamer and antibodies for a particular analyte and our device development time was reduced drastically.
What are the advantages of Octet® BLI technology to your research, as compared to other traditional methods like Elisa, and PCR?
One of the key advantages of the Octet® Red BLI system was high throughput. By using 8 sensors simultaneously, we can complete our work in much shorter period of time! Secondly, the Octet® Red BLI system is a lot easier to use.
Except for the initial investment, the BLI system is very cost-effective and requires minimal maintenance as compared to other technologies.
Dr. Amit Asthana, FTASc in his Laboratory at NIPER Hyderabad, India
Please tell us about some of the exciting research projects being investigated in your lab.
There are several research projects which we are conducting currently in our newly established lab. Like my lab at CCMB, we are continuing our work on a paper-based microfluidic device with an emphasis on the development of affordable diagnosis, to 3D printed organoid models and medical devices for drug delivery such as dual-chamber injectors and paediatric dosing systems. We are currently establishing a lab to fabricate devices using a laser printer.
These devices will be used for blood typing, inflammation detection, sepsis, and also, liver function test. Apart from this, we also working on a paper-based device where one can do cell lysis, nucleic acid separation, and amplification.
After procurement of BLI in our lab, our experimental work in drastically reduced with more reproducible results.
What do you need in order to accelerate your research in the future?
Students, facilities, and funds!!!! Jokes aside, we have now almost all everything we need but what is important is, how to translate our work into a commercially viable product/ solution. We need to collaborate with companies that can produce paper devices in bulk. Also, for our kind of work, we need an instrument like Octet® BLI, that is able to select an aptamer which is specific for a particular analyte.
What are some of the major challenges faced during translation of research ideas into commercial products, and what did you learn in the process?
Yes, as I mentioned above, there is hardly any company in the world that can make paper devices in bulk. I know of a couple of companies and trying to convince them about our technology at TRL level 6 or 7 but at present, there is not yet a company that can make such devices in bulk.
We also need to do run large-scale trials before these devices can be commercialised. We partly found the solution for that in form of ECIS-Medical College, where my doctoral colleagues are very supportive.
The Octet® BLI platform offers a comprehensive solution for screening and characterizing molecular interactions such as protein-protein or protein-drug, enabling an enviable variety of applications throughout biologics development from early selection to validation to manufacturing.
Sartorius Octet® platform utilizes industry-leading, label-free technologies – Bio-Layer Interferometry (BLI) and Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR).
Both are deemed appropriate for bioanalysis within chapters of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). The Octet® family of instruments has been an industry standard for label-free analysis across biologics development and manufacturing for more than 15 years. The Life Science Group Sartorius has launched the new Octet® SF3, the first Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) system under the Sartorius Octet® brand.
Up until now, the Octet® name has been synonymous with Bio-Layer Interferometry, a proprietary fluidic-free instrument platform for real-time, label-free biomolecular interactions.
Octet® SPR: High-Throughput Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) for Faster Hit Identification
This partnership establishes Sartorius as the only company to offer customers the two-leading label-free technologies, BLI and SPR.
Find out more about the new Octet SF3® here.
A profile of Sartorius:
The Sartorius Group is a leading international partner of life science research and the biopharmaceutical industry.
With innovative laboratory instruments and consumables, the Group’s Lab Products & Services Division concentrates on serving the needs of laboratories performing research and quality control at pharma and biopharma companies and those of academic research institutes. The Bioprocess Solutions Division with its broad product portfolio focusing on single-use solutions helps customers to manufacture biotech medications and vaccines safely and efficiently.
The Group has been annually growing by double digits on average and has been regularly expanding its portfolio by acquisitions complementary technologies. In fiscal 2020, the company earned sales revenue of some 2.34 billion euros. At the end of 2020, nearly 11,000 people were employed at the Group’s approximately 60 manufacturing and sales sites, serving customers around the globe.
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