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Leprosy is a dreaded disease and thousands of people in developing countries suffer from it. In the eighties and early nineties the early diagnosis of the disease was the main problem. It was not clear as to which nerve fibers get affected first at the onset of the disease. If known, it could be used for the diagnostic purpose. The early diagnosis results in the cure of some patients and in others the progress of the disease could be arrested. Electrophysiological studies carried out by Dr.Vidyasagar with other collaborators showed that the c (unmyelinated) fibers are affected. This is a very important observation for diagnosing the disease at an early stage. The experimental technique developed using Swiss Albino mouse as a model was further used to study the effects of different venoms on the electrocardiogram The same model was used to obtain the first experimental observation of Homeopathic drug of different potencies

After joining the University of Pune as a faculty member he established a facility to study the electron transfer processes in photosystem II. The long term project involved developing a computer based thermoluminescence (TL) system, development of an analytical method based on the general order kinetics theory , and applying it to study the pink berry disease observed in grape plants. Pink berries are known to be hazardous for human consumption and health. The study resulted in two outcomes. Firstly, the TL glow curve in grape plant showed a distinct characteristic. Secondly, the uncontrolled use of the pesticides was one of the major causes for the onset of the disease. This observation was very useful for the grape growers. The work carried out has been cited in the History of photosynthetic thermoluminescence, and History of photosynthesis in India . The TL studies have been extended to study the effects of heavy ions on photosystem. The recent studies carried out include the development of FBX dosimeter for heavy ion , enhancement of cytotoxicity in cancer cells using a combination of electroporation, drug and the radiation both in vivo and in vitro. Efforts are also being made to extend these studies to the molecular level using bioinformatics tools and techniques.

Dr. Vidyasagar developed a research group in the area of biophysics and promoted
South-South cooperation by guiding five students from countries like Bangladesh, Iran and Indonesia for the Ph.D. program. Students from different states of India have also worked under his guidance.


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