Nano Technology Current Affairs - 2020

Agappe Chitra Magna launched by SCTIMST to detect COVID-19

On May 20, 2020, the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology operating under Department of Science and Technology has launched magnetic nano particle based RNA extraction kit called “Agappe Chitra Magna”.


The Agappe Chitra Magna kit was validated by the National Institute of Virology. The kit was developed by the SCTIMST and was transferred to Agappe Diagnostics and hence the name Agappe Chitra Magna kit.

The approval of the kit was provided by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).

About the kit

The kit uses an innovative technology of magnetic nano particles to isolate RNA. The nanoparticles are used to capture RNA from the sample of the patient. The kit enhanced detection of positive cases. This is because the magnetic nanoparticles binds to the viral RNA and when exposed to magnetic field gives concentrated RNA.


The kit is highly affordable. The price of the kit is Rs 300 and is expected to come down to Rs 150. This will help to address the needs of India. The Government of India has estimated that the country will need around 8 lakhs kits per month for the next six months. The Agappe Diagnostics has manufacturing capacity of 3 lakh kits per month.

DST develops advanced mapping tool to map nano-mechanical materials

The Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials operating under Department of Science and Technology has developed Nano Blitz 3D.


The Nano Blitz 3D is a tool that is used for mapping nano mechanical properties. The tool shall be used to map nano materials such as multi-phase alloys, multi-layered coatings and composites.

About the mapping

The mapping tool offers more than 10,000 data points. The data is processed using Machine Learning algorithms.

The mapping is done through nano-indentation tests. These tests are conducted at a speed where testing an indent takes less than a second. Based on the indentations of the material, the tool measures the hardness and elastic modulus of the material.


The tool can be used to establish structure property linkages. This can help to develop hierarchical materials. This in turn helps in the development of Integrated Computational Material Engineering (ICME).


It is an approach to understand how material structures are produced, how these structures give rise to material properties and finally how to select an ideal material for an application.