Gold Medalist • iGEM IIT Delhi •
Gold medal

Lead poses a

Lead is estimated to have killed 540,000 people globally in 2016.

In October 2021, CDC revised the Blood Lead Reference Level from 5 μg/dL to 3.5 μg/dL for the first time in 10 years suggesting that this problem had been drastically underestimated.

1 in 3 children worldwide are affected by Lead

275 million+

Children in India affected by the ill effects of Lead

800 million+

Children worldwide affected by the ill effects of Lead

Economic Implications

It is estimated that diminished IQ in lead-poisoned children results in a loss of $236.1 billion (12.5% of India’s GDP) in economic productivity every year. 21.7 million of healthy life is lost to Lead poisoning which translates into a cost of $977 billion (range $728.6–1162.5 billion) of international dollars.


Current methods of recovery are inefficient and uneconomical at the low concentrations of lead present in groundwater and wastewater, but even these low concentrations are harmful to life forms.


We develop a comprehensive solution to lead contamination and poisoning by addressing two needs - the accurate detection of lead and its remediation.

How we do it ?

We engineer bacteria to express lead-binding proteins on its cell surface to recover lead from water by trapping it. This lead can later be recycled.

We will develop a frequency-based whole-cell biosensor, better than traditional intensity-based biosensors with easily digitised frequency, robustness to beam power and exposure time, decoupled from growth state of individual cells, hence having greater accuracy.



Safe and clean lead-
free water.


Recycled lead.


Democratised access to
monitoring of lead.