Bellamkonda Lab

    Neurological Biomaterials and Cancer Therapeutics Laboratory













  • Tumor Monorail Device receives FDA Breakthrough Device Designation

    New paper: Electrotaxis of Glioblastoma and Medulloblastoma Spheroidal Aggregates

    Check out our new paper in Scientific Reports

    New paper: Engineering Controlled Peritumoral Inflammation to Constrain Brain Tumor Growth

    Check out our new paper in Advanced Healthcare Materials

    Augmenting healing with anti-inflammatory recruiting aptagels

    Published in Biomaterials

    Review: Engineering challenges for brain tumor immunotherapy

    Published in Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews

    Immunoengineering Nerve Repair

    Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)

  • Featured Publications

    • Falcone JD, Sohal HS, Kyriakides TR, Bellamkonda RV. 2019. The impact of modulating the blood-brain barrier on the electrophysiological and histological outcomes of intracortical electrodes. Journal of Neural Engineering. [Link]
    • Lyon JG, Carroll SL, Mokarram N, Bellamkonda RV. 2019. Electrotaxis of Glioblastoma and Medulloblastoma Spheroidal Aggregates. Scientific Reports. [Link]
    • Saxena T, Lyon JG, Pai SB, Pare D, Amero J, Karumbaiah L, Carroll SL, Gaupp E, Bellamkonda RV. 2018. Engineering controlled peritumoral inflammation to constrain brain tumor growth. Advanced Healthcare Materials. [Link]
    • Falcone JD, Carroll SL, Saxena T, Mandavia D, Clark A, Yarabaria V, Bellamkonda RV. 2018. Correlation of mRNA expression and signal variability in chronic intracortical electrodes. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology. [Link]
    • Lyon JG* , Mokarram N*, Saxena T*, Carroll SL, Bellamkonda RV. Engineering challenges for brain tumor immunotherapy. 2017. Adv. Drug Deliv. Rev. [Pubmed]
    • Mokarram N, Dymanus K, Srinivasan A, Lyon JG, Tipton J, Chu J, English AW, Bellamkonda RV. 2017. Immunoengineering nerve repair. PNAS. [Pubmed]
    • Mehta N*, Lyon JG*, Patil K, Mokarram N, Kim C, Bellamkonda RV. 2017. Bacterial carriers for glioblastoma therapy. Molecular Therapy - Oncolytics. [Pubmed]
    • Enam SF, Krieger JR, Saxena T, Watts BE, Olingy CE, Botchwey EA, Bellamkonda RV. 2017. Enrichment of endogenous fractalkine and anti-inflammatory cells via aptamer-functionalized hydrogels. Biomaterials. [Pubmed]
    • Jain A, Betancur M, Patel GD, Valmikinathan CM, Mukhatyar VJ, Vakharia A, Pai SB, Brahma B, Macdonald TJ, Bellamkonda RV. 2014. Guiding intracortical brain tumour cells to an extracortical cytotoxic hydrogel using aligned polymeric nanofibresNature Materials. [Pubmed]
    • Karumbaiah L, Saxena T, Carlson D, Patil K, Patkar R, Gaupp EA, Betancur M, Stanley GB, Carin L,Bellamkonda RV. 2013. Relationship between intracortical electrode design and chronic recording functionBiomaterials. [Pubmed]
    • Saxena T, Karumbaiah L, Gaupp EA, Patkar R, Patil K, Betancur M, Stanley GB, Bellamkonda RV. 2013. The impact of chronic blood-brain barrier breach on intracortical electrode function. Biomaterials. [Pubmed]
    • Munson JM, Bellamkonda RV, Swartz, MA.  2012.  Interstitial flow in a 3D microenvironment increases glioma invasion by a CXCR4-dependent mechanism.  Cancer Research. [Pubmed]
    • Mokarram N, Merchant A, Mukhatyar V, Patel G, Bellamkonda RV. 2012. Effect of modulating macrophage phenotype on peripheral nerve repair. Biomaterials. [Pubmed]

    • Munson JM, Fried L, Rowson SA, Bonner MY, Karumbaiah L, Diaz B, Courtneidge SA, Knaus UG, Brat DJ, Arbiser JL,Bellamkonda RV. 2012. Anti-invasive adjuvant therapy with imipramine blue enhances chemotherapeutic efficacy against gliomaSci. Transl. Med.  [Pubmed]
    • Agarwal A, Mackey MA, El-Sayed MA, Bellamkonda RV. 2011. Remote Triggered Release of Doxorubicin in Tumors by Synergistic Application of Thermosensitive Liposomes and Gold Nanorods. ACS Nano. [Pubmed]


    * Co-First Author

  • Our Research

    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


    Exvade Bioscience


    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.

  • People

    We've got a top notch team!

    Principal Investigator

    Vinik Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University.

    Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

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    Assistant Research Professor

    My research focuses on modulating immune response for enhancing neural tissue repair as well as advanced immunoengineering approaches to treat brain tumor.

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    Research Scientist

    My research focus is on managing brain tumors, particularly the discovery of novel cancer therapies using electric fields. Learn More

    Research Scientist

    Dr. Alexa Bramall

    Visiting Medical Resident

    My research focuses on improving devices and therapies for brain tumors.

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    CTSI Program Manager - Research Affiliate with Bellamkonda Lab

    My research focuses on immune modulation in central nervous system trauma.

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    Lab Manager

    I manage the day to day function of the lab and my research involves exploring directed cancer cell motility and material analysis of implantable devices.

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    Sr. Research Technologist

    My research focuses on developing and studying animal models for brain cancer therapies, nerve regeneration and immunomodulation of the central nervous system.

    PhD Student

    My research focus in the localized immune-suppression of T-Cells at the site of traumatic brain injury to enhance the the efficacy of stem cell therapy. Learn More

    PhD Student

    My research focuses on immunoengineering brain repair and therapies for brain cancer.

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    PhD Student

    I conduct high throughput gene expression and transcriptome analysis for lab projects.​

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    Ekaterina Ilich

    Research Associate

    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

  • Media

    Immunoengineering Nerve Repair

    Lecture at the 5th Annual Symposium on Regenerative Rehabilitation


    Tumor Monorail

    Cancer: 'Tumour monorail' can lead cancers to their doom


    Congress Brief

    AIMBE President Ravi Bellamkonda Briefs Congress on Brain Cancer Discoveries

    TEDxGeorgia Tech

    Technology to Dance with Nature

    Tumor Nanofiber Device

    Guiding Intracortical Brain Tumour Cells to an Extracortical Cytotoxic Hydrogel

    Atlanta's WSB-TV one on one 

    BME @ Georgia Tech & Emory

    Unite 2 Fight Paralysis

    Alleviating CS-GAG Mediated Inhibition of Spinal Cord Regeneration

  • Bellamkonda Lab Alumni

    Dr. Jessica Falcone

    Postdoctoral Researcher at The Feinstein Institute

    Ashley Alva

    Graduate Student at Georgia Tech

    Dr. Adriana Nicholson Vest

    Postdoctoral Fellow at Emory University

    Dr. Kristin Loomis

    The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

    Dr. Akhil Srinivasan


    Dr. Jenny Munson

    Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia

    Dr. Lohitash Karumbaiah

    Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia 

    Dr. Anjana Jain

    Assistant Professor at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute 

    Dr. Kathleen McNeeley

    Teaching Faculty at the University of Texas at Dallas

    Dr. Chandra Valmikinathan

    Capgemini Consulting

    Dr. Shyam Aravamudhan

    Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

    Dr. Yoonsu "Paul" Choi

    Assistant Professor at the University of Texas-Pan American

    Dr. Vivek Mukhatyar


    Dr. Isaac Clements

    Axion Biosystem

    Dr. Clare Gollnick


    Dr. Abhiruchi Agarwal


    Martha Betancur

    PhD Candidate at UGA

    Gaurang Patel

    Regeneration Matrix

    Dr. Stathis Karathanasis

    Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve

    Dr. Hyunjung Lee

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    Ananta Laxmi Ayyagaari

    Wei He

    Associate Professor at University of Tennessee Knoxville

    George McConnell

    Associate Professor at Stevens Institute of Technology

    Young-Tae Kim

    Associate Professor at UT Arlington

    Dr. Justin Saul

    Associate Professor at Ohio University

    Dr. Mahesh Dodla

    Sigma Aldrich

    Dr. Yinghui Zhong

    Assistant Professor at Drexel University

    Dr. Ryan Gilbert

    Associate Professor at RPI

    Dr. Nancy Meilander

    National Institute of Standards and Technology

    Dr. Amit Balgude, M.D. 


    George Dillon

    Dr. Xiaojun Yu

    Associate Professor at Stevens Institute of Technology

    Dr. Khalid Kader

    US Navy

  • Funding Sources

    Please contact us if you would like to contribute to our ground-breaking research or tour our lab!

  • Contact Us!

    Bellamkonda Lab at Duke University

    Phone: (919) 613-7429

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  • Useful Links

    Discover Biomedical Engineering

    Venture lab at Georgia Tech

    A map of on-campus entrepreneurship resources for students at Georgia Tech.

    The Laboratory for Neuroengineering (NeuroLab) at Georgia Tech and Emory University