27 Jul 2021 23:06 IST

55 teams across India participate in Manipal Biotech Hackathon

A trio from Manipal School of Life Sciences comes up trumps

A total of 55 teams from different institutes across India participated in the Manipal Biotech Hackathon recently to explore various unsolved problems of society. Of them, 48 teams presented their concepts before the jury.

Bioincubator of the Karnataka Government — supported by Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Karnataka Innovation and Technology Society (KITS) and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), in association with Manipal School of Life Sciences of MAHE — conducted a five-day virtual all-India Hackathon, Manipal Biotech Hackathon recently. The hackathon was conducted through virtual mode.

Innovative solutions

A team of Anjali Warrier, Apoorva Jnana and Chandini Sachdeva of Manipal School of Life Sciences won the first prize for their concept of ‘Bioluminescence based non-invasive monitoring of diabetes’.

The team has proposed a medical device ‘GlucoseFast’ for bioluminescence based non-invasive monitoring of diabetes by using urine as sample. The organisers said that this innovation would be ruling out the need of blood collection and use of any external fluorophore/chemical. It would also be cost-effective for regular glucose level monitoring for diabetic patients.

Veena Lohiya, Babhitha Balaji and Dickson Paschal from Jain deemed university won the second prize for their concept of a ‘rapid diagnostic kit for the detection of coffee diseases.’ According to the organisers, the team proposed a rapid diagnostic kit for detection of coffee diseases — coffee leaf rust and coffee black rot. The proposed point of care diagnostic kit, including paper-based microfluidic device, is user-friendly, cost-effective and environment friendly, they said.

Social issues

The third place was shared by two teams — one from MAHE Manipal and another from Basaveshwar Engineering College, Bagalkot. The MAHE team proposed aptamer-based biosensor for colorimetric detection of food toxicants. Organisers said that the proposed biosensor would reduce the time and cost of detection of food toxicants such as metal contaminants and mycotoxins.

The Bagalkot team worked on herbal soap for removal of ticks from animals completely. The herbal soap is effective in short time application and be very helpful in the animal husbandry sectors. The hackathon was conducted with the vision to promote student innovations, encouraging critical thinking essential to address the most critical needs of society, and to promote novel technology development and startup creation.

The hackathon was open to students currently enrolled in any academic/research institutions doing undergraduate/post-graduate/doctoral studies. Besides providing challenging problems, participants were also allowed to choose any existing problem of society to solve through the hackathon. The hosts Manipal-Government of Karnataka Bioincubator and MAHE will provide further assistance and hand holding of top ten innovative teams of this biohackathon.