Cutting through

single-cell-microfluidicsStephen Neil Gershom
NSoJ bureau

Crores of rupees are spent on Medical research every year, which of course has resulted in many advances in the field of medicine and cures to many diseases have been found as a result of good medical research. The scientists behind the research are given the due credit, but the vital requirement of all the research work is often ignored – The lab equipment used by the researchers.

The knowledge possessed by a researcher would probably remain theoretical if they did not have equipment manufacturers to provide them with the instruments needed for the research, which makes them an integral part of medical research around the world. One such equipment provider is, Shilp Sciences Pvt Ltd. The Bengaluru based company was founded in 2013, andĀ comprises of scientists who use their extensive knowledge of nanotechnology and life sciences in the design and manufacture of research equipment.

The company develops state-of-the-art instruments bringing together nanotechnology, microfluidics and life sciences in order to probe and manipulate cells at the individual level.

Single cell research has been playing a major role in the fight against cancer, helping scientists identify and separate the cells affected by cancer from the normal cells, which is a lot more effective than the previously used methods of treating the disease, that is to try varying dosages of different drugs to try and kill the cancerous cells, which usually ended up affecting the normal cells as well.

Located at a quiet workspace in one of the well-known residential areas of North Bangalore, Shilps Sciences has been instrumental in medical research, being one of the few research centers in the country to use cutting edge technologies in their work.

Dr. Ashwin Lal, CEO and founder of Shilps Sciences, said he started the company after realizing the potential of these technologies in the Healthcare sector. His main motivation though, was the ‘Bio Ignition Grant’ given to him by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council(BIRAC) which is startup funding given to biotechnology companies by the Government of India.

Speaking about the technologies used, Dr. Ichcha Manipur, Biotech and Application Scientist at Shilps Sciences said, “Atomic Force Microscopy can be used to know the difference between Normal Cells and cancerous cells, and can also be further bifurcated into those cancerous cells which can or cannot further infect other cells”.

She Further said, “We have already been successful in cancer related research, and soon will be advancing towards research on other diseases, with Malaria being considered first”.

It has been just a little under three years since Shilps Sciences was established and it has already made good progress in the industry with clients in the Biotechnology and Medical Industries. The immediate future plan for the company, as said by the CEO, Dr. Ashwin Lal, is to gain traction with more clients, to try and adopt new research methodologies and to attract attention from venture capitalists and Government agencies for funding.
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