In a world of fast-escalating environmental challenges, the idea of sustainability comes as a ray of hope for a safe and sound future. The present scenario calls for the kind of development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the future. In this regard, the Department of Chemistry at SRM University-AP organised a colloquium, that aimed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the concepts of Green Chemistry.
Dr Ram Mohan, an expert in the field of Green Chemistry and a renowned academician at the Department of Chemistry, Illinois Wesleyan University, delivered a lecture on the topic “Better Living Through Green Chemistry: An Introduction to Toxic Molecules”. Dr Mohan spoke elaborately on the grave dangers of toxic molecules and their adverse effects on the environment and human health. He raised awareness about the critical role of green chemistry in reducing the usage of such harmful molecules and replacing them with environmentally safe alternatives.
Dr Mohan also conducted workshops on “Better Living Through Green Chemistry”, as a continuation of his lecture. During the workshop, he quoted several case studies that showcased the benefits of using environmentally safe processes and chemicals in industry. These case studies demonstrated how the practice of green chemistry can lead to the development of numerous Eco-friendly processes and chemicals that have greatly improved human life and reduced environmental impact.Continue reading →
The Department of Chemistry at SRM University-AP organised an academic colloquium called ChemZeal 2 on December 02, 2023. The event aimed to promote the Department and its research among undergraduate and graduate students from various colleges. It also provided a platform for students to interact with chemistry enthusiasts and learn about the latest advancements and research in the field.
ChemZeal 2 featured a lecture by academic stalwart, Prof. U V Varadaraju on Solid-State Materials in Chemistry from the Department of Chemistry, IIT Madras. Prof. Varadaraju also spoke about various aspects of the field, including research, career paths, higher studies, and job opportunities in the industry.
The welcome note was given by the Department Head, Dr Pardha Saradhi Maram, while Vice-Chancellor Prof. Manoj K Arora and Prof. Jayaseelan Murugaiyan, Associate Dean in-charge (Science), also addressed the gathering with their valuable inputs. The event also included an interactive session with the guest speaker, where faculty and students could interact and get expert insights.
ChemZeal 2 also featured a talent test for over 320+ students from different colleges, with prizes awarded to the top three winners. The event was designed to attract students to pursue higher education and research in the field of Chemistry and provided a platform for BSc/MSc/PhD students to showcase their research and interact with potential candidates.
The event organisers – Dr Sabyasachi Chakrabortty (Convenor) & Dr J P Raja Pandiyan (Co-convenor) helped culminate the outreach activity with a campus tour, where attendees could witness state-of-the-art facilities, high-end research labs, and futuristic technology.
Dr Rajapandiyan Panneerselvam, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, and his team have developed a method using a portable Raman spectrometer to quickly identify six common pathogenic Vibrio species that can contaminate seafood. His latest research paper Intelligent convolution neural network-assisted SERS to realise highly accurate identification of six pathogenic Vibrio, has been published in the Q1 Nature Index journal Chemical Communications, having an Impact Factor of 6.0.
By using gold-silver nanoparticles, the study was able to accurately detect these harmful microorganisms. The new deep learning model called a convolutional neural network (CNN), outperformed traditional machine learning methods with a classification accuracy of 99.7%. The entire identification process only took 15 minutes. The researchers also discovered that the Raman signals emitted by Vibrio species are similar to signals from certain substances found in purine degradation, such as uric acid and adenine. This knowledge helps them explain why different Vibrio species produce slightly different Raman signals. Overall, the CNN-assisted Raman spectroscopy method offers a fast and accurate way to diagnose and identify harmful microorganisms responsible for food contamination.
The utilisation of label-free Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) technology enabled a comprehensive analysis of the connection between Raman signals emitted by pathogenic Vibrio microorganisms and purine metabolites. Through extensive research, a sophisticated Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) model was developed, demonstrating exceptional performance with an accuracy rate of 99.7% in the rapid identification of six common pathogenic Vibrio species within a mere 15-minute timeframe. This breakthrough offers a groundbreaking approach to pathogen identification, introducing a novel and efficient method to the field.
Practical Implementation of the Research
The practical implementation of label-free SERS technology combined with a deep learning CNN model enables rapid and accurate identification of pathogenic Vibrio microorganisms. This has important social implications, including improving public health and safety by quickly identifying and controlling outbreaks, enhancing food safety measures, and enabling real-time pathogen detection in resource-limited areas. The method’s speed and accuracy contribute to more informed decision-making, mitigating the spread of infectious diseases and ultimately creating a safer society.
Future Research Plans
Moving forward, future work in the field of label-free SERS technology for pathogen identification could focus on expanding the coverage to include a wider range of Vibrio species, increasing the diversity of the dataset used for training, conducting rigorous cross-validation and external validation studies, exploring integration with portable SERS devices for on-site detection, optimising the deep learning model for speed and efficiency, and investigating clinical and environmental applications. By pursuing these avenues, the research can further enhance the versatility, reliability, and real-world applicability of the method, leading to improved methods for rapid and accurate pathogen identification in various domains.
The faculty of SRM University-AP have been awarded 10 projects worth 2.50 crores from the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB-SURE). Department of Science and Technology (DST) received a total of 2000 proposals, of which 466 were sanctioned. Among the 466 projects, 151 projects were awarded to Private Universities. Of the 151 projects approved to state private universities and colleges throughout India, the five-and-a-half-year young varsity was awarded 10 projects. 10 professors from various Science and Engineering Departments brought this incredible achievement to the university.
SERB-SURE is a research grant scheme initiated by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) in India to provide financial support to young researchers in the early stages of their careers. The grants are intended to support research in basic and applied sciences, engineering, and technology and is typically granted for a period of three years.The SERB-SURE scheme is one of several initiatives by SERB to promote scientific research in India and support the development of a strong research community in the country.
“It is a milestone achievement that resonates with the University’s unparalleled commitment for excellence. We are striving towards research-intensive learning to build cutting-edge innovation for a transformative tomorrow”, commented Vice Chancellor, Prof. Manoj K Arora. The Executive Director-Research of SRM Group, Prof. Narayana Rao said that, “SRM University-AP has travailed hard to achieve the world-class scientific temperament that we now advocate, and this achievement is a testimonial recognition of all our efforts.” The prestigious grants were sanctioned to the faculty in the on-going domains of Quantum Kinetic Approach, Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Profiling and Changing of Hydroclimatic conditions in Bay of Bengal among 7 others.
Dean-SEAS, Prof. Ranjith Thapa said, “These research could be path-breaking and could offer a solution to many of the societal difficulties.” Prof. Jayaseelan Murugaiyan, Dr Sandeep Singh and Dr Pitchaiah Cherukuri of the Department of Biological Sciences; Dr Sabyasachi Chakrabortty, Dr V S Baswanth Oruganti of the Department of Chemistry; Dr Debabrata Pramanik, Dr Ravi Kumar and Dr Pankaj Bhalla of the Department of Physics ; Dr Sandeep Kumar Verma of the Department of Mathematics; Dr Uma Maheswar Arepalli of the Department of Civil Engineering; and Dr Kousik Das of the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering were awarded the grants.Continue reading →