In a major boost to health research amid covid-19 times, the Andhra Medical College (AMC) is upgrading its multi-disciplinary research unit (MRU) labs with high-end scientific equipment that can carry out faster analyses of pathogens for research and diagnostic purposes. Also, the concerned officials are planning to procure a genome sequencing machine to study variants of viruses.
Exclusively funded by the centre, the MRU lab caters to the microbiology, pathology and biochemistry disciplines. Of the recently procured equipment ones are an automatic tissue processor for biopsies that can give results in 30 minutes instead of the traditional ones that take four days, an automatic slide-stainer fitted with pre-programmed robotic arm stains slides with different chemicals for analysis, and automated spectral imaging for karyotyping that can detect genetic disorders or study cytogenetics (changes in chromosomes). These cytogenetics labs have an immunofluorescence microscope and a cryostat machine.
Speaking to Hello Vizag, Dr. PV Sudhakar, Principal of Andhra Medical College, said across the country, a very few hospitals were selected for setting up of multidisciplinary research labs and AMC is one of these. The Government of India has released around Rs 3 crore phase-wise since three years to procure equipment as per research requirement. Plans are there to procure a genome sequencing machine to study variants of viruses. Currently, such a facility is available in Hyderabad and a few other states.”