The Department houses full-fledged laboratories equipped with cell culture rooms, microscopes, instruments for mechanical characterization and biological assay, and software to conduct research on cell and tissue mechanics as well as bacterial biofilms. Additionally, there are design and prototyping facilities for developing biomedical devices. The work in biomechanics was started by Prof. G.K. Ananthasuresh with bio-micromanipulation of single cells for characterizing their mechanical response. Prof. Namrata Gundiah, with her interest in tissue and cell mechanics, substantially enhanced the scope of research in this area. She and Prof. Jaywant Arakeri collaborated to examine endothelial cells and the governing aspects of hemodynamics and mechanobiology. Prof. Aloke Kumar’s group presents another line of research with the study of biofilms. There are also other groups in the Department with interests aligned with the study of mechanics in bio- and biomedical systems.
The research initiated in biomechanics in the Department played a pivotal role in establishing a new academic centre, namely BioSystems Science and Engineering (BSSE), in IISc in 2015. Biomechanics research continues to grow synergistically in collaboration with other departments and centers in IISc and outside. It is worth noting that two start-up companies were successfully spun off from the bio-research here in the Department. One is BendFlex, which is currently pursuing an in-vitro fertilization chip using mechanical manipulation and characterization techniques developed in-house. The other is Mimyk, which specializes in medical simulation tools based on an endoscopy simulator developed here.