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Brief Profile of the Awardee


Dr Amit Agrawal

  • 2018
  • Engineering Sciences
  • 07/10/1974
  • Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer with specialization in Microscale Flows, Turbulent Flows, and Bio-Microdevices
Award Citation:

Academic Qualifications:
Thesis and Guide details:
Details of CSIR Fellowship/ Associateship held, if any or from other sources/ agencies.
Significant foreign assignments:
(a) Significant contributions to science and/ or technology development by the nominee based on the work done in India during most part of last 5 years:
Prof. Amit Agrawal works in the areas of Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer. His fundamental study on blood flow in microchannel led to the development of a unique microdevice capable of separating the liquid component of blood (plasma) from whole human blood, with >99% purity [29,56,77](1). This Blood Plasma Separation microdevice (of two-rupees coin size) performs the function of centrifuge at microscale {P2,P3, P9}. The microdevice is truly novel because there is no filter/membrane or any active element therein; the separation rather happens passively as the flow occurs. This exclusive strategy allows the microdevice to cover a wide spectrum of applications, including those that the current filter-based technologies cannot even remotely cater to. The microdevice has been showcased in prestigious events (including Festival of Innovation 2017 at Rastrapati Bhavan; Geneva Health Forum) where it received raving comments from the experts. A company (Siemens) shortlisted it as among the top-five such technologies in the world. This microdevice won the prestigious UK-based Discovery Award. He has developed four other innovative microdevices (notably, Three-dimensional hydrodynamic focusing microdevice {P7}; Constant wall temperature microdevice [33]; Platelet Rich Plasma Generation Microdevice; Micropump {P8}), following the same meticulous and robust approach as demonstrated above. The successful development of these commercially relevant microdevices led to formation of a start-up Embryyo Bio-Microdevices Pvt. Ltd., which is building four distinct products around the microdevice. Such niche microdevices, based on innovative design principles, cater to important needs of the society, and are expected to change the way blood-tests are done world-wide in the future. The Navier-Stokes equation has been employed to describe flow for more than a century. However, the need for having more accurate equations has been noted because of limitations of this equation in the high Knudsen number range. As part of DAE-SRC Outstanding Investigator Award project, Prof. Agrawal employed Onsagerprinciple consistent distribution function to solve the Boltzmann equation, and derived entirely new sets of Burnett- and Grad-like equations (as opposed to adding ad hoc terms to the available equations, commonly undertaken in the literature), which are superset of the Navier-Stokes equations [10,28]. This is particularly significant as the proposed equations are of second-order and unconditionally stable; the two issues that have plagued all existing higher-order equations and their variants. These may be the thermodynamically-consistent higher-order equations that scientists have been trying to derive for several decades now! Results show that the derived equations are indeed accurate [9]; this work was also highlighted as Editor’s Pick of the prestigious Physics of Fluids journal. Further, he proposed an innovative iterative approach to solve such higher-order equations analytically, and solved two different problems within Burnett hydrodynamics for the first time ever [63,68]. The approach is general enough to be applicable to other non-linear partial differential equations. This work led to his nomination for the prestigious Batchelor Prize, presented once every four years by IUTAM (International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics) for outstanding research in Fluid Dynamics. He was also invited by Editor of Mechanical Engineering Series (Springer) to write a book explaining the use of these equations to the Fluids and Thermal communities. The development of these higher-order continuum transport equations is expected to rejuvenate the entire subject of hydrodynamics.
(b) Impact of the contributions in the field concerned:
Prof. Amit Agrawal has conducted both fundamental as well as industrially relevant research in the areas of Microfluidics and Turbulent Flows. His work on development of novel bio-microdevices has led to setting up a start-up Embryyo Bio-Microdevices Pvt. Ltd., Pune, where Prof. Agrawal is a founder and director. (i) Innovative Microdevices: The Blood Plasma Separation microdevice discussed in Section 12(a) is being keenly followed in the literature. The work has been cited in top journals such as Lab on a Chip, Analytical Chemistry, Nature Scientific Reports, and review article of Prof. Kersaudy-Kerhoas from UK (Lab Chip, 16, 3441, 2016). Kang et al. (JMM, 28, 025008, 2018) from Korea have compared the performance of their device with respect to Prof. Agrawal’s work, while another group from Korea (Jang et al., Micromachines, 8, 67, 2017) have used his microdevice for optimizing their method of manufacturing micro-devices because of its attractive application. Based on this work, Prof. Agrawal was invited to write a review paper by the prestigious Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering [39] and invited to submit another research paper [43] in its special issue on Microfluidic mixing and separation. Since its publication in July 2015, the review article has been downloaded more than 2170 times and cited by 34 papers. Prof. Agrawal has developed four other innovative microdevices – Three-dimensional hydrodynamic focusing microdevice {P7}4; Constant wall temperature microdevice [33]5; Platelet Rich Plasma Generation Microdevice; Micropump {P8}. All the developed microdevices are easy to fabricate, low cost, and extremely reliable in their operation. Three-dimensional Hydrodynamic Focusing Microdevice has great relevance to flow cytometry and other applications, but no simple way to achieve it has yet been demonstrated. The microdevice is useful for making cells move in a single file; thereby allowing their properties to be probed unambiguously at a sensing station [34,60]. The reliability of his design and requirement of fewer accessories has made this microdevice attractive to the licensee company. The microdevice has also been evaluated by a Bangalore-based company. This microdevice (along with the Blood Plasma Separation microdevice) won the UK-based Discovery Award, and forms the basis of an early-stage bacterial-load determination microdevice, which is currently being developed. Constant-Wall-Temperature Microdevice is another important innovation as maintaining constant temperature is extremely challenging. In a first of its kind approach, convection in microchannel was combined with wall conduction to achieve this objective; the idea was demonstrated to apply over wide conditions [22,31,57]. The proposed method can successfully maintain any desired temperature within ±1 °C, thereby assuming great practical significance [33]. This breakthrough is useful for making a microscale-PCR. The microdevice and fundamental aspects of this work are being referred to by Prof. Rama Govindarajan's group (eg. Phys. Fluids 29, 064107, 2017), Prof. Roohi’s group in Iran (eg. Microfluid Nanofluid, 21:18, 2017), Chakravarthii et al., a Malaysian group (Heat Mass Transfer, 53:2265–2277, 2017) among others. 4 Number starting with ‘P’ indicates patent no. as per Section 18(a), pages 18-19 5 Indicates Paper no. as per Annexure 16(d), pages 58-72 Platelet Rich Plasma Generation Microdevice is relevant for treatment of dengue, in cosmetic surgery, and in other applications. A hydrodynamic-principle based innovative microdevice developed in his lab, the first such microdevice at the world-stage, gives the required enrichment of platelets.
Places where work of last 5 years has been referred/ cited in Books, Reviews:
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(ii). Book Cited
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The Awardee a fellow of the Indian National Science Academy/Indian Academy of Sciences/National Academy of Sciences/Others:
The Awardee delivered invited lecture(s) in India/abroad and/or chaired any scientific Internatiional Conference Symposium:
List of Awardee's 10 most significant publications.
List of Awardee's 5 most significant publications during the last 5 years
List of Awardee's 5 most significant publications from out of work done in India during the last five years:
Complete list of publications in standard refereed journals:
Complete list of publications with foreign collaborators (indicating your status as author):
List of papers published in Conferences /Symposia/ Seminars, etc:
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List of Patents taken
Total number of patents granted in last five years.
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Contact Details

  • Department of Mechanical Engineering
    Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
    Mumbai - 400076
  • 022-25767516
  • 022-25726875
  • amit[dot]agrawal[at]iitb[dot]ac[dot]in
17 Oct 2018, http://ssbprize.gov.in/Content/Detail.aspx?AID=540