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Scientist Profile: Making new materials: a chemist's playbook

Prof. Vasudevan's research focuses on studies of 'Guest molecules in Layered and Porous Solids '. More specifically he looks at the physical chemistry aspect of layered, porous and nano-structured host lattices integrated with interesting guest molecules. Such an integration of guest molecule with a layered material leads to novel phenomena and interesting new materials. He studies the interaction and change in properties between host and guest molecules experimentally by using spectroscopic and microscopic studies. Theoretically he does molecular dynamic simulation to help in better understanding of the system. "His research is characterized by rich diversity both in terms of the materials he makes, the studies he carries out, and the applications he targets", says Prof. A. G. Samuelson, one of his peers at the Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, IISc.

A drug that kills cancer cells when shone by light

Researchers at IISc have designed a trio of compounds that can be triggered by light to become toxic to cancer cells. These compounds target the cells’ mitochondria ─ their “energy factories”─ setting off a chain reaction that turns on cell death pathways and kills the cancer cells.

Spectroscopy to detect muscular weakness at an early stage

Myopathies are muscular diseases where muscle fibres do not function optimally, resulting in muscular weaknesses. Scientists from IISc have shown for the first time that a technique generally used to analyse atomic structure of chemicals, Raman spectroscopy, can be utilized as a diagnostic tool to differentiate between different types of myopathies.

Nanowires to combat cell damage and ageing in humans

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science have found that nanowires made of vanadia can reduce cell damage in the human body. This discovery can help develop drugs that prevent ageing, cardiac disorders, and several neurological problems like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. Vanadium oxide or vanadia is a form of vanadium, an element found close to titanium on the periodic table.

Designer gates for tiny, charged particles

Control over charge/ion transport in nanosized channels is essential in realising devices based on electromechanical energy conversion, in drug delivery and in controlled catalysis. Publishing in the journal Angewandte Chemie, researchers from IISc and Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) have described how the magnitude and polarity of surface charge can be dynamically controlled.