Exploring the Wonders of Technology and Medicine at the Bioengineering Conference 2020

Exploring the Wonders of Technology and Medicine at the Bioengineering Conference 2020

With the advancing technology and the increasing demand for cutting edge medical equipment on the rise as per the current scenario, Biomedical Engineering, also known as Bioengineering, has emerged as a rapidly growing field.

In lines with the same, the Annual Bioengineering Conference was organized by the Department of Biotechnology and Medical Engineering at NIT Rourkela recently to bring together Indian Scholars and Researchers working in the area of Bioengineering. The goal of the ‘Bioengineering-2020’ conference was to provide a virtual platform to present the latest developments in the Bioengineering field. This conference held on December 10th and 11th, allowed young researchers to interact with leading professionals from Hospitals, Academic Institutes, and the HealthCare Industry. It also offered a platform for cross-fertilization of ideas and prepared the ground for future collaborations.

Themes of the conference involved any field of Bioengineering including but not limited to Biomechanics, Bioprocess Engineering, Tissue Engineering, Regenerative Medicine, Neural Engineering, Rehabilitation Engineering, Pharmaceuticals, Medical devices, Omics, Food Engineering, Diagnostics and theranostics, Cryopreservation of cells and organs, Cancer biology, diagnostics and therapy, Transgenics, Biomicrofluidics, Plant and animal cell-derived products, Natural products, Biomedical signal and image processing, IPR in bioengineering, etc.

The Organizing Committee had Prof. Animesh Biswas, Hon’ble Director, NIT Rourkela as the Patron, Prof A.Thirugnanam, Head of Department, Department of Biotechnology and Medical Engineering as the Chairman, Prof Anju R. Babu as the Convenor and Prof Bala Chakravarthy Neelapu as the Co-Convenor.

The committee also included Prof. K. Pramanik, Prof. M. K. Gupta, Prof. S. Paul, Prof Kunal Pal, Prof N. Sarkar, Prof B. P. Nayak, Prof S.S. Ray, Prof D. Verma, Prof A. Sarkar, Prof K. Dutta, Prof P. Balasubramanian, Prof N. Patra, Prof Sivaraman J, Prof R. K. Avvari, Prof P. Kumar, Prof E. Banoth, Prof M. K. Baig as the members.

Team Monday Morning got the opportunity to cover the incredible event throughout. Read ahead to get a vivid account of the conference.

Day 1: 10th December 2020

Inaugural Ceremony:

The event commenced with an address from the Patron, Prof. Animesh Biswas, Hon’ble Director, NIT Rourkela, followed by the Chairman, Convenor and other committee members throwing light on the significance and objectives of the conference. Shortly after this, the sessions commenced one after another.

Session 1

1. Topic: Innovative nano surface engineering of biomaterials for improved device performance

Speaker: Prof. Deepthy Menon, Professor, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham Kochi, Kerala

Various subtopics that were discussed are-” Surface Modification Techniques”, “Tabular Constructs by Cylindrical Weaving of Electrospun yarns”.  A short discussion session followed this, where the participants put forward their doubts.

2. Topic: Designing Prophylactic and Therapeutic Technologies for Solving Unmet Clinical Needs.

Speaker: Prof. Praveen Kumar Vemula, Associate Professor, Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (inStem) UAS-GKVK Campus

A short discussion session followed this, where the participants put forward their doubts. Then, the willing participants put forward their presentation.

Session 2

1. Topic: Non-Invasive sensing of body fluid.

Speaker: Dr Eswaramoorthy K. V, Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and Manufacturing, Kurnool Kurnool- Andhra Pradesh

Various subtopics that were discussed are- “Pathology Lab Test vs Point Care Test”, “Interstitial Fluid: Capillary microcirculation ” etc. Then, a short discussion session followed where the participants asked their doubts.

2. Topic: Mathematical Modeling of Mechanics of Fibrous Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering Applications

SpeakerDr Suhail Rizvi Mohd, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, Telangana

He gave a detailed insight on sub-topics like- “Fibrous Biomaterials”, “Discrete fibre model”, “Scaffold response against deformation” etc. A short discussion session followed this, where the participants put forward their doubts.

3. Topic: Computational Systems Biology of Cancer: How can mathematical models help us understand cancer better 

Speaker: Dr Mohit Kumar Jolly, Assistant. Professor, Biosystem Science and Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Karnataka

He explained various sub-topics like- “metastasize”, “Tristability in the underlying EMT network” etc. Then, a short discussion session followed where the participants clarified their doubts. Following this, there was a poster presentation session, the topics presented by the student volunteers were- “Smart Health Care and Tracking System based on Internet of Things” and “Pharmacogenomics of Anticancer Drugs for Targeted Therapy”. With this, the conference came to a close for the day.

Day 2: 11th December 2020

Session 3

1. Topic: Human tissues and Organoids in a Dish- Potentials and Challenges in recapitulating the in-vivo environment ex-vivo

Speaker: Prof. Benulal Nelson Sethy, Assistant Professor, Amrita Centre for Neurosciences and Molecular Medicine, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi

This part majorly emphasised on engineering healthy or pathological tissues that can recapitulate the in-vivo conditions ex-vivo in a reliable fashion. Ways of facilitating appropriate environmental conditions for the same was also given major focus. The speakers introduced the attendees to the recent advancements in the arena worldwide, as well as in India. The challenges involved were also elaborated.

 2. Topic: Bioengineered Cell Instructive Collagen Hydrogel Patch for Invertebral Disc Repair and Regeneration

Speaker: Dr Akshay Srivastava, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Pharmaceutical, National Institute of Pharmaceuticals Education and Research, Ahmedabad

An intervertebral disc (or intervertebral fibrocartilage) lies between adjacent vertebrae in the vertebral column. Each disc forms a fibrocartilaginous joint (a symphysis), to allow slight movement of the vertebrae, to act as a ligament to hold the vertebrae together, and to function as a shock absorber for the spine.

The speaker focused on the intervertebral discs, and how they can be repaired and regenerated using the complex and path-breaking technique of bioengineered cell instructive collagen hydrogel patch. He gave his stance on the future of this technology, and the challenges involved.

 3. Topic: Ionic Polymer Metal Composites (IPMC) as actuators and sensors for biomedical application

Speaker: Dr Shakthi Swarrup J, Assistant Professor, Centre for Nanotechnology Research (CNR), VIT Vellore

IPMC is a type of Electroactive polymer and a popular choice for biomimetic design and actuators and sensors. The speaker underlined the advantages of this over other conventional materials due to its flexibility, lightweight, ease of fabrication, low output voltages and large deformation, among others. He also spoke about the disadvantages that it carries dehydration and time-varying behaviour. He also talked about the various research going on in the field and the future scope of it.

 4. Topic: A combined atomistic and coarse-grained simulation study of peptide-based nanostructures

Speaker: Dr Alok Jain, Assistant Professor, Bioengineering Department, BIT Mesra

The speaker elaborated upon the diverse study of peptide-based nanostructures. He described the combined atomistic and coarse-grain simulation of the said structures, and how atomistic details can be transcribed to mechanistic interpretation, and bringing it to real-life models. The issues related to that were told, and the current advancements going on in the arena were given in detail.

Session 4

1. Topic: Plant-based nanomaterials for sustainable urbanization

Speaker: Dr Shamik Chowdhury, Assistant professor, Environmental Science and Engineering Department, IIT Kharagpur

With the current exorbitant rate of consumption of fossil fuels and subsequent and anticipated increase in demand in the foreseeable future, the development of inexpensive and highly efficient CO2 capture and conversion technologies is critical from the perspective of climate change mitigation. This session was about climate resilience, and how the world can get rid of carbon footprint using plant-based nanomaterials, and the future of it for urbanization as well.

2. Topic: Neural Bio-Prosthesis in Neurosurgery

Speaker: Dr Rabi Narayan Sahu, MCh, DNB (Neurosurgery), Professor and Head, Dept. of Neurosurgery, AIIMS Bhubaneswar

This presentation was focused on neurosurgery and how the sophisticated process of Neural Bio- Prosthesis can be applied efficiently in it. The speaker described the advantages of the process, as well as the challenges associated. He elaborated upon the prospect of the study in India as well.

3. Topic: Proangiogenic Nano-Biomaterials for Bone Tissue Engineering

Speaker: Dr Indranil Banerjee, Associate Professor, Dept. of Bioscience and Bio-engineering, IIT Jodhpur

Effective replacement or restoration of traumatized, damaged or lost bones is a major clinical and social-economic issue. The latest emergence of bone-tissue engineering as a therapeutic alternative to the conventional clinical methods has brought new hopes in clinical orthopaedics. This vast topic was the issue of discussion in the session. The technical and clinical challenges and prospects were also underlined.

4. Topic: Understanding gastro-intestinal biomechanics

Speaker: Dr Sreerup Banerjee, Associate Professor, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Haldia Institute of Technology

A very far-reaching perspective of the gastrointestinal tract and its biomechanics was presented by the speaker and how medical image-processing is bringing a revolution in the arena. The method helps in determining the structural and functional aspects in a non-invasive way, and by the use of 3D modelling.

In the end, the two-days conference came to an end with a valedictory ceremony and prize-distribution.

Convener’s Message:

The “Bioengineering 2020” conference is a platform where scholars and scientists discuss and exchange innovative ideas. The discussion covered topics ranging from the neural control mechanism to the distribution of fibrous proteins and cell mechanics. I am sure that the lectures delivered by eminent persons from different institutes in India nourished growing young scientists with knowledge.

- Prof. Dr Anju R. Babu, Dept. of Biotechnology and Medical Engineering


Team Monday Morning congratulates the Department of Biotechnology and Medical engineering for organising such an informative conference and also wishes them all the best for such future endeavours.


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