Nanoscience is the study of materials which are in nanoscale range. Conversion of any material in nanoscale results in alteration of its physicochemical, biological, mechanical, optical, electronic, etc. properties. These newly acquired (novel) properties of the materials due to conversion into a nanoscale can be utilized for different useful activities. Thus, it is an enabling technology, relevant for diverse sectors, such as chemicals, consumer products, health, energy, various other industries and the environment. The use of this technology is increasing exponentially in the pharmaceutical sector.

Aims/Objectives of the programme:-

Department has initiated funding R&D in this area since 2007. In the initial year’s exploratory type of projects were funded. The approach at the present moment is to found application/translation oriented projects.

Key objective of the programme is to advance research and promoting innovation through applications of nanobiotechnology to address issues in health, energy, agriculture and environment.

Major thrust areas include development of new therapeutics and targeted drug delivery vehicles; Enhancing efficacy of existing drugs; Diagnostics for early disease detection and imaging; Design and development of smart-nanomaterial for medical applications, Tissue Engineering, Bio separation; Nanosensors for detection of chemicals and pathogens in food and crops, smart packaging, Nano system for pesticides, pheromones, nutrients /fertilizers.

The scope of the programme is being widened by envisaging new programs on applications of nanobiotechnology in management of animal husbandry, poultry & fisheries to uplift the agrarian economy, development of novel nanomaterials & small molecules based nanoprobes for Brain, Lungs, Liver, Ovarian, and and other cutting edge technologies.  Unmet needs for a larger societal perspective & Multidisciplinary regulatory science based programme along with technology Demonstration programs would be undertaken. Department is committed to use the bed to bench side approach as a powerful tool in supporting the nanobiotechnology research and development projects.

Ongoing & Programms:

Nanobiotechnology for Agriculture: Nanotechnology has huge potential in agricultutral practices which is not yet exploited. Major areas identified in agriculture sector includes Food preservation and toxicity, Nanopesticides Nanofertilizers,  nano-biostimulant along with  soil enhancers through nano-enabled technologies and abiotic stress management. Department is also engaged in providing continuous support for development of nanobiotechnology based solutions for Crop improvements, Energy in agriculture, diagnostics and sensing.

Recently, department has announced a R & D proposals Call for R &D Proposals on “Nanotechnology based tools to enhance agricultural productivity” intended to provide solutions in the area of crop productivity predictions, Precision Delivery Systems, soil-enhancers, field diagnostics development, small electrical needs of farmers & climate change resilient agriculture.

Nanobiotechnology for Healthcare: The nanotechnology intervention has a promising role and potential to innovate new generation of diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for important diseases. DBT is supporting the nanobiotechnology research in the area of infectious & noninfectious diseases. Recently, department has announced a R & D proposals Call for R &D Proposals on “Nanotechnology interventions in Dentistry and Bone diseases” intended to provide solutions in the pertaining to oral health and dentistry, which include Dental diagnostics, Prosthodontics, Endodontics, Conservative and aesthetic dentistry, Periodontics in the field of Dentistry & Infective, metabolic and neoplastic involvement of bone as well as bone tissue engineering in the field of Orthopedics/bone disease.

Apart from the above department is also supporting the potential projects in the field of nanotechnology in allied/related disciplines.

Inter-Ministerial Activities: Various scientists/ stakeholders have felt the need to have specific guidelines for evaluation of products in various sectors of biological sciences developed through interventions of Nanotechnology. DBT is mandated to bring out manuals/ guidelines specifying procedures that will help in regulatory process pertaining to development / commercialization of Nano products in India. Outcome of activities is as below-

Hon’ble Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences released the “Guidelines for evaluation of Nanopharmaceuticals in India” jointly formulated by Department of Biotechnology, ICMR and CDSCO in October 2019. These guidelines would to facilitate a large number of researchers to design the experiments in compliance with regulatory requirements and help in enhancing the translational values of the knowledge outcomes. These guidelines will facilitate regulatory approval process with respect to Nanopharmaceuticals.

Designing of Nano-Agri Input and Nano-Agri Products have emerged as the new concept under the domain of ‘minimal usage with maximum effect’ for agricultural and food applications. New considerations of application of nanotechnology in agriculture thus necessitates the initiation of a scientific decision-making and informing platform for cooperative national module that dedicatedly work on the policy aspects of these products before commercialization.  “Guidelines for evaluation of Nanobased Agri and Food Products in India” have been finalized and would be released soon.

Significant Achievements:

  • Leads in development of protein nanomedicine which is a Transferrin–conjugated Albumin Sorafenib Nano Particles (T-AbSorf) for treatment of CML, Liver & Renal tumor.
  • Self-fluorescent cell permeable glucose derived carbon Nanospheres  as  a brain targeting vehicle having  implications in drug delivery and imaging for Alzheimer's disease, Multimodal contrast agent based on bio-mineral nanoparticles & Magnetic nanopropellers for cancer specific applications.
  • Further, 30 patents have been filed & 6 technologies having commercialization potential was generated as outcome of R & D efforts of department in this area.
  • A startup emerged from InStem Bangluru, which primarily focuses on the development of on-demand, bio-responsive deliverables to reduce pathologies associated with chronic inflammation.  The product under development minimizes exposure to toxic pesticides through skin contact and inhalation, during the spraying of pesticides. This is of relevance to the farming community.

Concerned Officer for more information

Program Head Dr Suchita Ninawe,Scientist G
Email sninawe[at]dbt[dot]nic[dot]in
Phone No. 011-24363722
Program Officer Dr. Sanjay Kalia, Scientist E
Email sanjay[dot]kalia[at]nic[dot]in
Phone No. 011-24369866
Attached Officer: Dr. Vandana Prajapati, Scientist ‘C’
Email vandana[dot]p[at]dbt[dot]nic[dot]in
Phone No. 011-24360295