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Sponsored Projects (2004-07)
Photoproduction of Hydrogen by Anoxygenic Phototrophic Bacteria for Fuel Cells  Applications.

Sponsor: Department of Biotechnology, New Delhi,
Duration: March 2002-February 2005


The rapid depletion of the non-renewable energy sources has prompted worldwide investments on renewable energy alternatives. Hydrogen has long been accepted as an ideal and pollution free fuel of the twenty first century that yields only water vapour on burning unlike other fuels. Notwithstanding other means of producing hydrogen, biotechnological production of hydrogen utilizes organic wastes and reduced–sulphur-compounds containing waste as substrates and / or electron donors for hydrogen production with simultaneous treatment of wastes. The principal advantage that accrues from biotechnological production of hydrogen is low cost substrate (wastes), and low energy penalty compared to electrolysis route.

Development of Recombinant of Protein, Insulin like Polypeptide-p from Memordica Charantia and Docking and Dynamics Study with Insulin Receptors.

Sponsor: Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi,
Duration: October 2003 – September 2006 


Diabetes mellitus is associated with abnormally high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood due either to lack of insulin production (type I diabetes) or the resistance of target tissues to insulin (type II diabetes). The conventional treatment modalities, including chemically synthesized drugs and insulin obtained from non-human sources have inherent limitations and undesirable side effects. This has instigated research in alternate forms of medicine. The fruit of Momordica charantia, also known as bitter gourd or karela, has been used extensively in traditional systems for treating diabetes. The blood sugar-lowering action of the fresh juice or unripe fruit has been established in animal experimental models as well as human clinical trials. Two independent reports have attributed hypoglycaemic activity to peptide components polypeptide-p and MC6, in the Momordica Charantia fruit. The study aimed at molecular characterization of the peptide with antidiabetic properties from M. charantia for understanding the mechanism of action. The peptide gene will be cloned and expressed in a yeast system. 


Sewage Recycle System at Seawoods Estate

Sponsor: Seawoods Estate, Nerul, Navi Mumbai, 
Duration: 3 months (May –July 2004)


The sewage recycle scheme in this proposal is based on Phototrophic Bioreactor System which is less expensive to implement, operate, thereby minimising the level of skills required for operation & maintenance. The raw sewage from the existing sewage sump will be pumped to the Phototrophic Bioreactor for biological treatment. This reactor will be seeded with indigenous anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria which mineralize organic compounds to hydrogen gas using sunlight as the energy source.

Design, biotechnological production, and in vitro evaluation of Camptothecin analogues for improved anti-tumour activity.


Sponsor: DBT, New Delhi.  
Duration: April 2005-March 2008.


The purpose of this research project is design, biosynthesis, and in vitro testing of camptothecin analogue(s). The rational behind structural modification is to improve the lactone ring stability of camptothecin at blood pH, while concurrently overcoming the drug resistance due to efflux of the drug caused by cell membrane bound proteins. Biosynthesis of camptothecin will be conducted from suspension cultures of Nothapodytes foetida, commonly found in the forests of Western Ghats in India.

Biotechnological process development for production of Cellulase, Bioplastics and Carotenoids from Lignocellulosics.

Sponsor: DBT, New Delhi
Duration: 2005-2007

The R & D project aims at the transformation of the local biomass residues to derive value-added products - cellulase, carotenoids and bioplastics, with the following major objectives:

1
Identification and collection of representative lignocellulosic plant material for use as raw material in production of value-added products viz. cellulose, biopolymers and carotenoids.
2 Process optimization and evaluation of producs obtained:

  • Cellulase enzyme system
  • Biopolymers
  • Carotenoids, using local aquatic weeds as the substrate
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