Monday, July 18, 2011


Dr A.K Saxena
Dean (E) and Head ( Photonics Division)
Indian Institute of Astrophysics , Bangalore

Prof A.K.Saxena has been working in the field of Photonics Instrumentation and Optical Technology for the past 35 years. He obtained his M.Sc and Ph.D. degree in Physics from Lucknow University, India in 1968 and 1977 respectively. Early part of his research activities has been mainly directed towards developing some new polarization techniques for the study of refractive index fields. These techniques were found quite useful in the study of flames and in the study of concentration dependent diffusion in reactive and non-reactive liquid-liquid system. Also these techniques have potential application in wind tunnel studies.Later then he designed various types of optics for the filed of Solar research , developed instrumentation for Optics Slope Error Characterization i.e LTP , Setting up of Optical Coating Plants etc are one of his biggest achievements . The Detailed Professional background of him given below :


Ø B.Sc , Lucknow University,1966

Ø M.Sc ,Lucknow University,1968

Ø PhD , Lucknow University,1977 (Optical Instrumentation)

Ø Diploma in Russian Language

Passion: Optics, Photonics Instrumentation, Telescopes, Astrophysics etc


Ø Lecturer in Girdhari Singh College, Lucknow, 1969-71

Ø Junior fellow Council of Science and Industrial Research, Lucknow, 1971-74

Ø Joined Indian Institute of Astrophysics(IIA), Kodaikanal, as a Research Associate in 1974-79

Ø Fellow at IIA, Bangalore, 1979-83

Ø Reader at IIA, 1983-89

Ø Principal Scientific Officer : IIA , Bangalore, 1989-1995

Ø Sr.Principal Scientific Officer:IIA, Bangalore, 1995-2006

Ø Visiting Scientist Raman Research Institute, Bangalore, 1992-95

Ø Visiting Professor at University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada, July to December 2003;

Ø Visiting consultant Lions Eye Hospital, Bangalore, 1994-to 2004.

Ø Head : Photonics Division ,IIA 1989-to 2011

Ø Dean (E) and Engineer G, Bangalore, 2006-to 2011

Ø Superannuation from IIA on 20th July 2011 (62 years)


Ø Polarization interferometer technique using a simple device (Babinet Compensator) for the precise quantitative evaluation of optical surfaces and wave front sensing in situation like active and adaptive optics systems.

Ø Designing Optics of Various Sizes for the different type of Telescopes

Ø Sunshield panels for INSAT, 3D imager and sounder coolers and W2M

Ø Synchrotron Radiation Beam Lines (61A, 450 Mev) and Monochromators

Ø Long Trace Profilometer ( Version 1 and 2)

Ø Setting up of Veeco Profilometer for surface metrology & measurement of micro roughness

Ø Set up of Vacuum coating Unit facilities at IIA Bangalore, Kavalur and Hanle Observatories

Ø Setting up of Scanning Electron Microscopy, Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy Facilities at Metrology Lab, IIA

Ø 10.5 Micron QWIP Detector

Ø Lyman Alpha Filters


Recipient of Republic Day Award of the National Research Development Corporation for the innovative invention work related to the passive radiant cooler used in VHRR of INSAT II series of satellites.


Ø Articles : 35*

Ø Lectures/Popular Talks: 21*

Ø News and Reports: 6*

Ø Symposium/Conference: 34*


Ø Visiting Worldwide Scientific Institutions: 12*

Ø Supervision of Students for Graduate Studies Project: 4*

Ø Supervised PhD Research Scholars: 4*

Ø Memberships: 8*#

#Memberships in various Scientific Projects as an Advisor/Consultant i.e. BARC, ISRO ; In the Selection Committee for the Recruitment of Scientific/Faculty Posts i.e. IIT ; Member of the International Astronomical Union, Astronomical Society of India, Indian Vacuum Society, Indo French Technical Association ,SPIE etc

*Still is Adding

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Saturday, January 15, 2011


Esophageal Cancer Detected with Light

DURHAM, N.C., Jan. 10, 2011 — A tiny light source and sensors at the end of an endoscope may provide a more accurate way to identify pre-cancerous cells in the lining of the esophagus.

Developed by biomedical engineers at Duke University and successfully tested on patients during a clinical trial at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the device holds the promise of being a less invasive method for testing patients suspected of having Barrett's esophagus, a change in the lining of the esophagus due to acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid splashes, or refluxes, up into the esophagus.

Long periods of acid reflux can change the cells that line the esophagus, making them appear more like intestinal cells than esophageal cells. These cellular changes can also be a precursor to cancer. As in most cancers, early identification of these pre-cancerous cells often leads to better outcomes for patients. Barrett's esophagus afflicts more than one percent of the US population, with most patients above the age of 50.

Using an endoscope to reach the esophagus via the nose, physicians shine short bursts of this light at locations of suspected disease and sensors capture and analyze the light as it is reflected back. In particular, they are trying to spot characteristic changes within the layer of cells known as the epithelium, which line cavities and surfaces throughout the body.

"By interpreting the way the light scatters after we shine it at a location on the tissue surface, we can the spot the tell-tales signs of cells that are changing from their healthy, normal state to those that may become cancerous," said Neil Terry, a Ph.D. student working in the laboratory of Adam Wax, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering, who developed the device.

The team published their findings online in the January issue of the journal Gastroenterology.

"Specifically, the nuclei of pre-cancerous cells are larger than typical cell nuclei, and the light scatters back from them in a characteristic manner," Terry continued. "When we compared the findings from our system with an actual review by pathologists, we found they correlated in 86 percent of the samples."

UNC gastroenterologist Dr. Nicholas Shaheen conducted the preliminary clinical trial of the device on 46 patients with Barrett's esophagus.

"Currently, we take many random tissue samples from areas we where we think abnormal cells may be located," Shaheen said. "This new system may make our biopsies smarter and more targeted. Early detection is crucial, because the cure rate for esophageal cancer that is caught early is quite high, while the cure rate for advanced disease is dismal, with a 15 percent survival rate after five years."

The technology that Wax and his team developed for cancer detection is known as angle-resolved low coherence interferometry (a/LCI). The technique is able to separate the unique patterns of the nucleus from the other parts of the cell and provide representations of its changes in shape in real time.

"This optical approach of sampling allows us to cover more tissue sites in less time and has the potential to significantly improve our ability to spot and monitor these pre-cancerous cells," Wax said. "This type of approach could be used to improve and perhaps one day supplant the physical biopsies currently being used."

Wax pointed out that since approximately 85 percent of all cancers begin within the layers of the epithelium in various parts of the body, he believes that the new system could also work in such cancers as those of the colon, trachea, cervix or bladder.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and Oncoscope Inc., a company Wax founded in 2006, based on the Duke technology. Wax has a financial interest in the company, and Terry is a consultant.

Oncoscope plans a clinical trial of the system for approval, and Wax said there could be a commercially available device as early as 2012.

Source : Photonics.Com

Monday, May 17, 2010


What is Fibromyalgia ?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition causing pain, stiffness, and tenderness of the muscles, tendons, and joints. Fibromyalgia is also characterized by restless sleep, awakening feeling tired,fatigue, anxiety, depression, and disturbances in bowel function. Fibromyalgia was formerly known as fibrositis.

While fibromyalgia is one of the most common diseases affecting the muscles, its cause is currently unknown. The painful tissues involved are not accompanied by tissue inflammation. Therefore, despite potentially disabling body pain, patients with fibromyalgia do not develop body damage or deformity. Fibromyalgia also does not cause damage to internal body organs. In this sense, fibromyalgia is different from many other rheumatic conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, and polymyositis). In those diseases, tissue inflammation is the major cause of pain, stiffness, and tenderness of the joints, tendons and muscles, and it can lead to joint deformity and damage to the internal organs or muscles.

What causes fibromyalgia ?

The cause of fibromyalgia is not known. Those affected experience pain in response to stimuli that are normally not perceived as painful. Researchers have found elevated levels of a nerve chemical signal, called substance P, and nerve growth factor in the spinal fluid of fibromyalgia patients. Levels of the brain chemical serotonin are also relatively low in patients with fibromyalgia. Studies of pain in fibromyalgia have suggested that the central nervous system (brain) may be somehow supersensitive. Scientists note that there seems to be a diffuse disturbance of pain perception in patients with fibromyalgia.

Also, patients with fibromyalgia have an impaired non-Rapid-Eye-Movement, or non-REM, sleep phase (which likely, at least in part, explains the common feature of waking up fatigued and unrefreshed in these patients). The onset of fibromyalgia has been associated with psychological distress, trauma, and infection.

Who does fibromyalgia affect ?

Fibromyalgia affects predominantly women (over 80% of those affected are women) between the ages of 35 and 55. Rarely, fibromyalgia can also affect men, children, and the elderly. It can occur independently or can be associated with another disease, such as systemic lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. The prevalence of fibromyalgia varies in different countries. In Sweden and Britain, 1% of the population is affected by fibromyalgia. In the United States, approximately 2% of the population has fibromyalgia.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sleep Disorders and Problems


Sleep Disorders

Sleep problems cause more than just sleepiness – a lack of quality sleep can cause accidents, affect your relationships, health, and mental prowess; and make you feel generally “disconnected” from the world. If your sleeplessness is caused by a tough deadline or a common cold, you might not have trouble getting your sleep back on track after the deadline or cold go away, but if you have trouble sleeping on a regular basis, this guide to managing common sleep problems and disorders can help you be well on your way to experiencing healthy, restorative sleep.

Everyone experiences occasional sleep problems, but getting a good night’s sleep is essential for feeling refreshed and alert during the day. Lack of sleep might make you feel foggy and unable to concentrate, or just a lesser version of your normal self. Sleep problems will eventually disrupt your work, family and personal relationships.

How do you tell if your sleepless night is an isolated occurrence or if it is related to a chronic sleep problem or disorder? Start by identifying your symptoms. Particular behaviors during the day are telltale signs of sleep deprivation. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms on a regular basis, your sleeplessness might be part of an ongoing problem or sleep disorder.

Do you . . .

  • feel irritable or sleepy during the day?
  • have difficulty staying awake when sitting still, watching television or reading?
  • fall asleep or feel very tired while driving?
  • have difficulty concentrating?
  • often get told by others that you look tired?
  • react slowly?
  • have emotional outbursts?
  • feel like taking a nap almost every day?
  • require caffeinated beverages to keep yourself going?

Common types of sleep problems and sleep disorders


Insomnia Help

Almost everyone will be affected by insomnia at some point during life. Insomnia – a short term or chronic inability to get high quality sleep – is a common sleep problem and can be caused by a variety of things including stress, a change in time zones, an altered sleep schedule or poor bedtime habits. Whether your problem is an occasional sleepless night or a series of them, plenty of solutions exist to help you get better sleep.

Pay Attention to Insomnia

Insomnia often acts as a flashing yellow light in terms of sleep problems. Your insomnia might be a symptom of a more significant sleep problem or disorder, or a starting point for dealing with a physical, mental or emotional challenge. Your inability to go to sleep or stay asleep might be related to your partner’s snoring, your own sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome, or it might be related to an urgent situation at work, or a difficult family issue. Whatever the cause of your insomnia, being mindful of your sleep habits and learning to relax will help you sleep better and feel better.

The great news is that insomnia doesn’t have to be a permanent problem. In many cases, self help techniques, including improved sleep hygiene, relaxation and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), can alleviate insomnia and promote better health as well as better sleep. Helpguide has two articles devoted to a wide range of insomnia cures and self help tips for improving your sleep.

Medications should be a last resort for insomnia – they do not provide lasting treatment and have numerous possible side effects.

Sleep apnea sleep disorders

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that can be potentially very serious, and even life-threatening. In sleep apnea, your breathing stops or gets very shallow while you are sleeping. Each pause in breathing typically lasts 10 to 20 seconds or more, and the pauses can occur 20 to 30 times or more an hour. During the episodes of apnea, the sleeper wakes up to breathe again, disrupting sleep, and also suffers from a brief lack of oxygen.

Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Frequent gaps in breathing during sleep (apnea)
  • Gasping or choking for air to restart breathing, often causing sleeper or partner to wake
  • Loud snoring
  • Feeling unrefreshed after a night’s sleep and excessive daytime tiredness

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. Causes of sleep apnea are generally physical in nature, including excess weight or tissue (sometimes from being overweight or obese), large tonsils or adenoids, nasal congestion or blockage or a unique shaped head, neck or chin.

CPAP, a mechanical device worn while sleeping which provides continuous air pressure to keep the airway open, is the most recommended treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea. CPAP can take some getting used to, but provides effective relief when used correctly.

Self help treatments, like losing weight, elevating the head of the bed or sleeping on your side, can also be effective remedies for mild to moderate sleep apnea. Dental appliances and surgery are also treatment options.


SnoringSnoring, which is sometimes confused with sleep apnea, can be a significant obstacle to quality sleep both for yourself and your partner.

Snoring is caused by a narrowing of your airway, either from poor sleep posture, excess weight or physical abnormalities of your throat. A narrow airway gets in the way of smooth breathing and creates the sound of snoring. The snoring noise doesn’t necessarily that the airway is obstructed, as it is in sleep apnea. Snoring may accompany sleep apnea, but not always.

There are many self help remedies and cures for snoring. If you are a mild snorer, sleeping on your side, elevating the head of your bed, or losing weight may stop the snoring. Don’t give up trying to find a solution for your snoring – it will make you and your partner sleep better.

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) and Periodic Limb Movements in Sleep (PLMS)


Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder causing an almost irresistible urge to move the legs (or arms). The urge to move occurs when resting or lying down and is usually due to uncomfortable, tingly, or creeping sensations in the legs or affected limbs. Movement eases the feelings, but only for a while.

Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD) is a related condition involving involuntary, rhythmic limb movements, either while asleep or when awake. While most people who have Restless Legs Syndrome also have PLMD, only some people with PLMD also have RLS.

RLS can occur on its own or be related to other medical conditions, such as anemia, kidney disease, pregnancy, thyroid problems, Parkinson’s or alcoholism. RLS may run in families.

Alternative therapies, lifestyle changes, and even nutritional supplements have proven helpful for RLS and PLMD sufferers.


Narcolepsy: Symptoms & Treatment

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that causes extreme sleepiness and may even make a person fall asleep suddenly and without warning. Specific causes of narcolepsy are not known but people with narcolepsy are lacking hypocretin, a brain chemical which regulates sleep and wakefulness.

The “sleep attacks” experienced by people with narcolepsy occur even after getting enough sleep at night, and make it difficult for people to live normal lives. Falling asleep during activities like walking, driving or working can have dangerous results.

Symptoms of narcolepsy include:

  • Intermittent, uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep during the daytime
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Sudden, short-lived loss of muscle control during emotional situations (cataplexy)

Narcolepsy may be genetic, but it also appears to be influenced by environmental triggers. Treatment requires a combination of medication, behavioral treatments, and counseling.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Horseshoe kidney, also known as renal fusion, is a congenital disorder affecting about 1 in 400 people[1]. In this disorder, the patient's kidneys fuse together to form a horseshoe-shape during development in the womb.

Fusion abnormalities of the kidney can be categorized into two groups: horseshoe kidney and crossed fused ectopia. The horseshoe kidney is the most common renal fusion anomaly.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Marfan syndrome (also called Marfan's syndrome) is a genetic disorder of the connective tissue.

It is sometimes inherited as a dominant trait. It is carried by a gene called FBN1, which encodes a connective protein called fibrillin-1.People have a pair of FBN1 genes. Because it is dominant, people who have inherited one affected FBN1 gene from either parent will have Marfan's. This syndrome can run from mild to severe.

People with Marfan's are typically tall, with long limbs and long thin fingers.

The most serious complications are the defects of the heart valves and aorta. It may also affect the lungs, eyes, the dural sac surrounding thespinal cord, skeleton and the hard palate.

In addition to being a connective protein that forms the structural support for tissues outside the cell, the normal fibrillin-1 protein binds to another protein, transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β). TGF-β has deleterious effects on vascular smooth muscle development and the integrity of the extracellular matrix. Researchers now believe that secondary to mutated fibrillin there is excessive TGF-β at the lungs, heart valves, and aorta, and this weakens the tissues and causes the features of Marfan syndrome. [4]Since angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) also reduce TGF-β, they have tested this by giving ARBs (losartan, etc.) to a small sample of young, severely affected Marfan syndrome patients. In some patients, the growth of the aorta was indeed reduced.

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