A major threat for the global community is the continuing rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Overuse of antibiotics, even when they are not required, is causing bacteria to evolve and develop resistance to these drugs, suggesting a pre-antibiotic-like future where patients could die from common infections.
One of the main reasons for AMR is the lack of reliable diagnostic tools to provide the healthcare professionals with insight on whether an antibiotic would be effective or not. Lab-on-Chip diagnostic platforms have the potential be a major technological enabler to close this gap.
Developing economies like India need access to fast, stratified and accurate diagnostic facilities, which is currently out of reach of a large part of the population living on minimal resources. Lab-on-Chip technology could make infectious disease diagnosis much more affordable and widely available at the point of need (including remote and rural areas), thereby reducing unnecessary antibiotic consumption. Through the formation of strong bilateral collaborations, highly innovative devices to tackle the problem of AMR in India (and elsewhere in the world) can be developed. Collaborative development of such platforms will significantly boost the medical technology and healthcare sectors in both India and the UK.
Leading lab-on-a-chip researchers in UK and India are joining forces in this workshop, organized by Dr Despina Moschou from C3Bio@University of Bath in the UK (https://www.bath.ac.uk/research-centres/centre-for-biosensors-bioelectronics-and-biodevices/) and Dr Debjani Paul from the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in India (http://www.bio.iitb.ac.in/). Their aim is to bring together top experts, early career researchers and different AMR stakeholders (clinicians, biologists, engineers, social scientists, industries) from both countries in this 4‑day workshop titled “Addressing the global rise in antimicrobial resistant infections through lab-on-a-chip technology”, to be held from November 18 — 21, 2019 in IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India. The coordinators aspire to facilitate a free exchange of ideas leading to ground-breaking technological innovations in AMR diagnosis and confinement.
The main objectives of the workshop are three-fold.
Foster collaborations between UK and Indian researchers in the emerging area of Lab-on-Chip microsystems for AMR confinement
Develop innovative solutions that are useful to clinicians and public health workers in India
Translate these prototypes to clinics through sustained long-term collaboration with various stakeholders
These objectives will be achieved by educating the early career researchers (ECRs) about both India-specific AMR-related challenges and the state-of-the art technology available in the field of Lab-on-a-Chip. The discussions will be facilitated by the participation of world-leading experts from both countries.
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