IIT Kanpur blazes new path in medical innovation with ‘Hridyantra’, a grand challenge to develop the world’s most advanced Artificial Heart

Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director IIT Kanpur

Kanpur, January 5, 2022: The School of Medical Research and Technology (SMRT), IIT Kanpur, a platform of interdisciplinary teaching and research in diverse areas of medical science and technology announced the launch of Hridyantra, a grand challenge-based program to develop the world’s most advanced Artificial Heart or a Left Ventricular Assist device (LVAD).

The project is seed-funded by Ms Sudha Murty and the council of medical research (ICMR).

The program, in collaboration with the nation’s leading hospitals, would promote the vision of made in India for the world. A team of innovators with relevant experience will be selected under the mentorship of a task force composed of industry experts.

The challenge to develop India’s first LVAD system will be open to basic sciences, medical and engineering graduates or graduates of any stream with relevant experience. Selected candidates will receive a fellowship and a milestone based ownership in the commercial entity once the LVAD is successfully commercialized and launched.

Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur said, “IIT Kanpur is known for its pioneering role in launching high-impact projects in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation. With Hridyantra, we are moving another step forward in realizing our vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) by supporting indigenous talent with critical R&D support. The program, providing an innovation platform for enterprising problem solvers, will not only enrich the health ecosystem of the country, but will also lead the way in interdisciplinary biomedical research and innovation. This is our moonshot project, the success of which will determine the journey ahead and will boost the morale of everyone involved.”

Cardiovascular diseases are amongst the leading cause of human deaths worldwide. A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) or Artificial Heart is a pump used in patients with end-stage heart failure as a bridge while awaiting a heart transplant or as a destination therapy for those unable to go in for a transplant. It is an implantable battery-operated, mechanical pump, which helps the left ventricle (main pumping chamber of the heart) pump blood to the rest of the body.

The SMRT, IIT Kanpur has created a power packed task force that includes engineering faculty members from IIT Kanpur, industry experts from the USA, and clinical experts from Narayana Health, All India Institute of Medical Sciences-Delhi (AIIMS Delhi), Apollo, Fortis Healthcare, Medanta, KIMS, and UN Mehta Heart Institute to handhold the selected fellows on developing the Artificial Heart. Hridyantra aims to be India’s most prestigious and impactful medical device innovation program.

Prof. S. Ganesh, Deputy Director of IIT Kanpur and overall in-charge of SMRT said, “Hridyantra will pave the way for an interdisciplinary collaboration of engineering and medicine, backed by the technological and entrepreneurial expertise at IIT Kanpur and clinical expertise of the partner hospitals. We look forward to nurturing an exceptional cohort of young technical minds who will contribute to path-breaking research in the field of medical technology to benefit millions of people not just in India, but across the globe.”

The execution of this unique competition will commence with the deployment of a multi-disciplinary team of fellows who will undergo clinical immersion at Narayana Health Hospitals for understanding the clinical nuances associated with cardiac surgery. Upon completing their clinical immersion, the fellows will move to IIT Kanpur to begin the product development process under the project.

The minimum eligibility criteria for candidates is a bachelor’s degree in any relevant basic sciences, engineering or medical sciences discipline or a graduate in any stream with related experience. Candidates should be team players, with a penchant for creativity and problem solving.

The program offers one-of-its-kind opportunity to develop the world’s most advanced heart assist device and launch one’s own venture, with a living allowance, and access to global MedTech industry mentors. With Hridyantra, SMRT IIT Kanpur envisions to become a household name in clinical excellence and interdisciplinary biomedical research and innovation.

The program is currently accepting applications until 30th January 2022, through the link – https://iitk-smrt-hridyantra.co.in/