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Nano reaches the Heart Divya. S Heart diseases diagnosed with ease using NEMS...

The device with nano sensors can detect heart attack and also transmit its signal through a wireless interface to doctors located remotely for quick diagnosis, sai d Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, at the 97th Ind ian Science Congress at a plenary session on Nano technology and education. A three-dimensional sensor system is under the development by Indian Institute o f Technology, Mumbai, which is sponsored by the department of science and techno logy (DST), government of India. The rate of heart diseases as increased the dea th rates in India. A study as revealed that nearly 60 percent of heart diseases occur in India due to improper food habits, lifestyle of the people and the stre ss caused due to occupations. More than half of the heart attacks occur to people below 50 years due to unheal thy diet, smoking, chewing tobacco, etc. Nano particles, measured as one billionth of a meter (39 inches); in a polymer t hey generate electrical current through biochemical process of the enzymes produ ced in the heart. When there is some severe stress in the heart, excess of enzym es (protein molecules) will be released causing pressure and exertion on blood v essels; which results as chest pain or cardiac arrest. The three-dimensional sensors use nano electrical mechanical system (NEMS), of it s polymer material inorder to convert the abnormal movements in the heart muscle s into an electrical signal for detecting a cardiac symptom, he adds. They are ca rrying on the activity currently in the area of bio-sensors. They want to measur e the stress symptom (myocardial infarction) in the heart and convert it into el ectrical signal. A complete point-of-care system for myocardial infraction is in the development stage. There system makes use of molecular makers to diagnose a nd locate the cardiac attacks, especially to detect the fatal attacks. Data management software and sensing electronics are under development to track the makers. Inorder to monitor the heart parameters a silicon-locket is under de velopment. There are three versions of the locket with necessary hardware and so ftware interfaces for downloading to a PC. The locket is used to monitor the ele ctrocardiogram (ECG) data of a heart without hospital visits. Similarly, the use r can also send his data card to the hospital and they can download the ECG. The system is fed with algorithm which instructs the locket to identify the heartbe ats. The locket has a sensor which records the hearts electrical activity or ECG. In the process, if it detects any abnormalities then the last few seconds of th e ECG data is transmitted to a central server using the mobile phone interface. When the mark button is pressed in the locket by the user that segment gets market , the doctor can later check the hearts activity in that segment. The locket can be programmed to send SMS about the marked data to the doctor when its connecte d to a cell phone. The system consists of i-sens or infarcsens, which is a cantilever based biosens or array. As biosensor is a disposable sensor and its cost should be kept low. T hey are undergoing study on various types of MOS-based sensors and have fabricat ed many sensors. It includes biosensor, gas sensor and also Electrolyte-Insulato r-Semiconductor (EIS) based sensors for CK-MB detection. A MOS-based total dose sensor for high-energy radiation has also been designed and fabricated for use i n medical therapy applications. Recently, work has been initiated on micro machi ned chemical and physical sensing systems. They are currently under the activity of fabricating devices with critical dimen

sions in the sub 100nm regime. In order to get a dimension of sub 50nm, novel fa brication method is being used. Molecular materials like conjugated polymers are also used for the fabrication of the nanometer sized devices. Electrospinning method is implemented for the future materials, which are based on the nanofibers. Nanofiber materials are considered as a solution to solve pro blems in the field of environment, military and medical applications. The best m aterials which can be used for gas sensing are conducting polymers. The properti es of the soluble conducting materials can be tuned easily. They focus on variou s types of devices in the field of nanotechnology. Few such includes: Nanometer sized spheres of conducting polymers as building blocks for integrated circuits. Conducting polymer junctions, their device characteristics Actuators as sensors, valves and pumps based on conducting polymers and ceramic oxides. Organic LEDs. Conducting polymer based nanoelectronics, nanofibres and electronic nose. Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, has developed micro-meter sized sensors and biosensors based on conducting polymer. As this can be used in developing lo w-cost diagnostic kits for health care and they have unique electrochemical prop erties. Also, they are undergoing a study on polyaniline and PEDOT cantilevers w ith a view to develop sensing applications. These studies will provide a window to the fundamentals of the molecular mechanisms involved in the transduction pro cess and a direct measure of the inter-molecular forces. The expansion or contra ction of the polymer film is the result of processes of ion insertion or ejectio n of polymer chains. Forces generated or exerted by these interactions. With nan ometer size structures the signal/noise ratio of such effects will become more fav orable and one can see the differences with respect to the change in ionic radii , polarity of solvent, and polymer structure. Hence, the magnitude of forces inv olved in weak interactions can be estimated. Ceramic actuators and gas sensors have been developed and the nano-structured co mposite materials are good in terms of sensitivity and it can be fabricated with ease. Variety of techniques is used to fabricate these structures; electrospinn ing, electrochemical, microscopic techniques are few. Nano sensors and systems are used for monitoring health and used in most promisi ng areas. Devices with nano structured materials are used for both preprocessing and sensing analysis. Two or three chips are being developed for use in medical monitoring or diagnostics. One of the chip is designed with analyte preprocessi ng and sensing structures, it will be made by the nanofab created. The other chi ps would be with standard microcontrollers. Many structures and devices are expl ored using nano materials for monitoring the health care. It includes a silicon or polymeric filters with micro/nano sized sieving structures; micro/nano fluidi c systems for bio-object sorting; a micro PCR; single chip electrophoresis syste m; a single chip (with external light source) SPR system with nanoscale analyte wells and affinity and catalytic sensors with deep submicron structures for bett er functionality and response time. He says that construction of such portable device using nano materials will enab le cardiac diagnostics affordable and quick over expensive tests carried out; it may act as a source to reduce the number of Indians prone to heart diseases.