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Materials Research Centre

Prof. Prabeer Barpanda – A positively charged academician

Not many young professors are as driven as Professor Prabeer Barpanda who has been donned with an unbelievable streak of academic awards. A professor at the Materials Research Centre, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Prof. Barpanda is the winner of the Indian National Science Academy Young Scientist Award, 2016. He became the first Indian to receive the Energy Technology Division Supramaniam Srinivasan Young Investigator Award – an annual award given by the Electrochemical Society (ECS), USA, for 2016. In addition, he is also the first Indian to receive the American Ceramics Society’s Ross Coffin Purdy Award, 2016 awarded in October.

Scientists develop new Material for Artificial Bone Implants

Researchers at Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore have developed a new polymer nanocomposite that can help bone implants. The team of researchers under Prof. Bikramjit Basu at the Material Research Center are behind this innovation. This new polymer nanocomposite is manufactured by mixing high-density polyethylene (HDPE) with polyethylene grafted graphene oxide in melt extruder. This composite has shown enhanced mechanical and cytocompatibility properties with respect to neat HDPE. “The main aim of our research is to develop a prototype of acetabular socket for hip implant with dimensions specially suited for Indian patients", says Rahul Upadhyay, one of the researcher in the team.

Scientists Use a Sweetener to Make Materials for Bone Reconstruction

A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, has developed a novel polymer that can accelerate healing of bone fractures. Dr. Kaushik Chatterjee, Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Engineering in collaboration with Professor Giridhar Madras from Chemical Engineering at IISc are working on developing polymers that can serve as templates to facilitate bone growth. The team is working on developing maltitol-based biodegradable polyesters for accelerated healing.

Bacteria, our gold laying geese of the future?

Of all human peculiarities, one is unique – our love for gold. We adore the yellow metal and have labeled it ‘noble’. We have attached so much value to it that it is practically the basis for all modern currency. India consumes 800 tonnes of gold annually. There’s a wide gap between indigenous gold production and demand, making it necessary for urgent exploration, mining and extraction of all available gold resources in the country.

Outsourcing Bauxite processing to Microbes!

Aluminium is an important metal of modern times. With applications ranging from transportation to packaging, construction to paints, the need for aluminium is ever-increasing. Bauxite is the main ore of aluminium. India, one of the largest producers of bauxite in the world, is estimated to have produced close to 20 million tonnes of bauxite during 2013-14 alone.

Mystery of flicker noise in graphene solved

The 'flicker noise' in graphene, which could potentially limit some of its applications, is down to some imperfections at the atomic level, a study has found. Graphene, which is essentially made of thin sheets of carbon, is a wonder material bursting upon the world of materials. It comes with some hard-to-believe properties: it's incredibly strong, allows heat and electricity to move freely through it, and is almost transparent.
The researchers found that a particular manufacturing method introduced some defects, which led to the flicker noise. The study was carried out by a team of Indo-Japanese researchers.

A polymer enabling better acceptance of implants

Drug delivery devices like implants offer several advantages over pills or injections, but often result in immune responses that hinder their performance. A group of researchers from IISc have developed a biodegradable polymer that delivers an anti-inflammatory agent, to allow better acceptance of biomedical implants by the body.

Sodium not just in salt but in batteries too!

A novel battery using sodium compounds has been developed, which can potentially be used to provide electricity for grid-power storage in remote areas and renewable energy generators like solar cells and wind turbines. Though scientists have been trying to use sodium in batteries for some time, this is the first time they have been able to achieve an operating voltage as high as 3.8 V.