Mahendra Educational Trust (MET) was established in the year 1978 at Kalippatti by Shri.M.G.Bharath Kumar, a renowned educationist with the noble mission of imparting quality education to rural community. Tmt.Valliyammal Bharath Kumar, a Tamil Nadu Government Best Teacher Awardee, is the Secretary of the Trust. Er.Ba.Mahendhiran and Er. Maha Ajay Prasath, are the Managing Directors. The Trust lays stress on providing quality education and maintaining high degree of discipline. In order to meet the demands of the people of Namakkal and Salem districts, the Trust has broadened its educational services and started Schools and Colleges. The MET recognizes the importance of Research & Development activities and in order to give more importance to research activities, Mahendra Research Foundation (MRF) was established.
The vision of MRF is to grow into a unique centre for advanced research activities. In order to materialize the vision, it started various centers for excellence. The staffs were encouraged to attend national and international research conferences to gain research acumen. They were also motivated to publish as many as scientific research publications in reputed peer reviewed journals. Also they were initiated to present their innovative projects to various funding agencies for grants. On the part of the students; a complete awareness about the latest trend in the field of scientific research was given through seminars by eminent scholars.
After the inception of MET, MRF started its scientific research activities in various fields of academic and commercial interest, it has submitted research proposals for funding to various funding agencies, as a result, we were invited to participate in several programs within India and also abroad to obtain up to date research information and to develop innovative research methodologies in relevant fields of Science and Technology.
MET’s Current Scientific Research Activities at our main campus and other associated campuses are focused in the following areas:
Our approach to R & D in this area resulted into a novel cost-effective and foolproof formula of significant importance in the textile technology; to be precise, we have developed a new and efficient fire retardant to be used in textiles; our maiden commercial venture turned out to be a success; the generous support from MRF is gratefully acknowledged.
Following the above breakthrough, we have been developing novel methods in textile engineering mainly on the synthesis of impurity free Multi Walled Carbon Nano Tubes (MWCNT) based on nano composites to be coated on the fabrics for fire retardation. We know that the bio based plant carbon nano tube based flame-retardant composites are a promising technology applied to fabrics to inhibit or suppress the combustion process. Carbon nanotubes are now being incorporated in various materials as an agent providing non-flammability to products and coating layers. As flame-retardant additives, Multi walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) result in stronger and more fatigue-resistant materials.
In addition, we have planned to develop a cost-effective technology pathway to produce high performance carbon fibers from renewable biomass and offer greater environmental benefits than the traditional carbon fiber produced from natural gas or petroleum. The carbon fiber based fabrics have a great potential in terms of high strength, durability and stability in extreme temperature resistance for military textile fabrics. The materials are generally prepared from various carbonizable precursors of polyacrylonitrile, pitch and rayon.
A commercial cultivation of micro algal culture was launched at Kalipatti on 16th December 2013 for protein production to combat malnutrition. The tapioca cultivation is widespread in Salem and other districts. It is a carbohydrate based cheap food and hence we launched this program to supply spirulina to replace tapioca since it is a protein food. More than 13 pigments available in this single cell are noteworthy. Through characterization we can bring out much value added products from these micro algae and extend its application in medicine, cosmetics and food.
In this area our R&D approach is to extract and isolate phycocyanin pigment from Spirulina because of its various important uses and applications in the development of new solar cell designs.
Further, the aspects related to Development of Novel Bio-Hybrid materials for Solar Cells Design are under pipeline. The pigments, especially the photochromic protein Chlorophyll, Phycophylls and Bacteriorhodopsin (bR), exhibit a wide range of light absorption in their spectrum and manifest high quantum efficiency and thermal robustness, which are mandatory requirements for bio-sensitized solar cells (BSSCs) to function at any climatic conditions. In this design, the electron-hole pairs formed by absorption of a photon, instead of being used to drive electric current, are used as chemically active agents to drive coupled redox reactions. The hole is a strong oxidizing agent, whereas the electron is a strong reducing agent, and they can bring about reactions that are energetically uphill. The light-harvesting proteins contain properties that form the basis of a new kind of solar cell capable of converting light energy to usable forms of chemical energy. Once it is established, a real solution is possible to reduce the cost of PV cells and thereby creating a simple low cost technology is possible to tap solar energy.
Similarly, we have initiated medicinal mushroom culture and to assess their therapeutic properties including several clinical applications. The medicinal properties are due to various cellular components and secondary metabolites, which have been isolated and identified from fruiting bodies, culture mycelium, and culture broth of mushrooms. Some of the extracted compounds have the ability to reduce cholesterol, anti-diabetic, antioxidant, antitumor, immune modulating and antimicrobial effects.
Besides this, more than two hundred medicinal plant species of herbs are collected in and around the districts of Salem and Namakkal Districts to protect and preserve its genetic diversity. Therefore it is sine-quanon to establish a herbal park inside the premises to strengthen the agriculture Department. The plant products will be utilized scientifically for anti viral, anti bacterial, anti fungal, allergic, anti cancer treatments. The extracts of various herbal plants will be utilized further for their other clinical, textile and pharmacological applications.
Medicinal or herbal extracts are synthesized for the preparation of nanoparticles to be used for coating textile fabrics. Novel medicinal plant based Nanoparticles-finished fabrics provide an efficient microbial resistance; insect repellant and allergic free properties of cotton will be studied and examined. The coatings inhibit the multiplication and growth of the bacteria and fungi which cause infection, antimicrobial, itchiness and sores. The antimicrobial activities of the nanoparticle-treated fabrics will be tested for their antibacterial activity, anti-odor and allergic nature. The quality and durability of the fabric after several washing will be taken into account.
To restore the status of ecology and environment, Vermiculture was started in the Bio-Technology department with the aim of giving re-life to earthworms and its population. Through this we can enrich the fertility of soil and thereby increase the production. Nowadays organic cultivation is gaining momentum throughout the world. We could produce organic agricultural products easily and quickly without fertilizer and pesticides and that is the real ecological remedy by bio-remediation.
The amount of data generated by Life Sciences research has increased rapidly over the past few years. Bioinformatics plays a key role in the development of new techniques that will allow us to analyze these large volumes of data and process them into applicable information. The Bioinformatics research allows integrating the information at the level of DNA, genes, proteins and metabolites, thus yielding a comprehensive picture of the various cellular processes. Our research is focused on the development of diabetes mellitus database, Breast cancer database, Bioinformatics Tool and Software Development, Molecular docking studies and identification of novel therapeutic agents for various diseases.
The research groups of Mahendra have excellent expertise on NMR spectroscopy for metabolic analyses, in particular, its usage in toxicology for examining the metabolic profile of bio-fluids for new drug delivery research.
The department of chemistry is actively working in the rust areas of Corrosion and its control, Microbial Corrosion, Synthesis of Nano materials, Crystal growth using Marine Dyes, Electrochemistry and corrosion prevention studies.
In cell signaling and protein dynamics focuses on inter and intracellular communications between proteins and cells at both cellular and molecular levels. Research integrating both biological experiments and fluid transport dynamics in the area of cancer based on mechanobiology and system network biology. With the help of biomedical engineers, we aredeveloping cell mechanics and bio-fluid transport models within the microcirculation.