Mokarram N, Merchant A, Mukhatyar V, Patel G, Bellamkonda RV. 2012. Effect of modulating macrophage phenotype on peripheral nerve repair. Biomaterials. [Pubmed]
* Co-First Author
Specific projects/areas of active research in the Bellamkonda lab include:
Developing Brain Cancer Therapies
Using nanocarrier encapsulation of drugs efficacious treatments for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) a major form of brain cancer has been successfully developed. One of the approaches `showed that GBM could effectively be treated with the novel drug, Imipramine Blue (IB) an anti-invasive agent and doxorubicin, an anticancer chemotherapeutic. The generality of this approach is being currently evaluated in metastatic tumors of other tissue origin. Nanocarrier technology is also exploited to demarcate tumor margins to aid neurosurgeons in surgical removal of brain tumors. Also, based on the EUREKA NIH award, Prof Bellamkonda lab is developing new tumor cell “exvasion” methodologies to reduce tumor burden as well as controlling tumor cell migration along white matter tracts.
For more information about our ongoing clinical canine trial on this device please refer to: https://www.caninegliomatrial.com
Peripheral Nerve Regeneration
Using a biomaterial approach and using biomimetic 3D scaffold that draw their design inspiration from principles of contact guidance, haptotaxis/ chemotaxis, regeneration of injured nerves are promoted. Studies are done to enhance regeneration across long gaps (>25 mm). Studies from Prof. Bellamkonda group have shown that tissue-energized scaffolds are comparable to the autografts in their performance. A wealth of information is also generated from these studies with respect to the response to topographical cues as well as cellular and molecular mechanisms that take place in the regeneration microenvironment. More recently, strategies based on an immunological approach has been adopted to facilitate the regeneration process. Creating an anti-inflammatory macrophage phenotype subsequent to peripheral nerve injury has shown to favorably bias the regenerative process. Efforts are directed towards using the body’s endogenous repair mechanisms including the participation of glial cells. Another active area in this realm is the fabrication of multi-channel devices for implantation to aid restoration of lost function in amputees.
Brain Electrode Interfacing
The major focus in the are a of brain-electrode interfacing is to unravel the reasons for the failure of the electrodes in a short period of time after implantation. To understand the causation of the failure, an investigation is carried out using a multidisciplinary approach. The sequences of cellular and molecular events that follow the electrode implantation are examined and a correlation is made to the ability to record from these devices. This should lead to predicting, at an earlier time point, the potential for these devices to fail. Alternatively, a new class of electrodes with biomaterial-based compounds is designed to minimize tissue/electrode mismatch to prolong the functional life of the electrodes. Also, novel electrode arrays are designed to overcome some of the drawbacks of the current electrodes. Our recent work has brought to light the role of compromised blood brain barrier (BBB) and the failure of implanted electrodes. Future strategies will focus on implementing strategies to cause healing to increase the life of the electrode interfaces. Additionally, for helping TBI patients, stem cell therapeutic approach is designed by creating “immune-privilege” microenvironment for stem cell survival in vivo.
My major interest is in translational medicine and research utilizing novel molecular biology tools to develop new treatment or diagnostic approaches. In recent years I have been working on application of epigenomic tools to discover new therapies in neurooncology and neurodegenerative disorders. Learn More
Immunoengineering Nerve Repair
Lecture at the 5th Annual Symposium on Regenerative Rehabilitation
Cancer: 'Tumour monorail' can lead cancers to their doom
AIMBE President Ravi Bellamkonda Briefs Congress on Brain Cancer Discoveries
Technology to Dance with Nature
Tumor Nanofiber Device
Guiding Intracortical Brain Tumour Cells to an Extracortical Cytotoxic Hydrogel
Unite 2 Fight Paralysis
Alleviating CS-GAG Mediated Inhibition of Spinal Cord Regeneration