MCHRI Post-doctoral Fellow
Honors & Awards
MCHRI Post-doctoral Fellowship Award, Stanford University (2021)
International Travel Grant Award, Department of Science and Technology, Science and Engineering Research Board (DST-SERB) (2019)
Inspire Senior Research Fellowship Award, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (2018)
Senior Research Fellow Award, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India (2017)
Best Poster Presentation Award, Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Bangalore India (2016)
Inspire Junior Research Fellowship Award, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (2016)
Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations
Member, American Chemical Society (ACS), USA (2019 - Present)
Member, Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), UK (2019 - Present)
Member, Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE), India (2008 - 2012)
Member, International Society of Optics and Photonics (SPIE), USA (2017 - Present)
Member, Materials Research Society (MRS), USA (2019 - Present)
Doctor of Philosophy, Pondicherry Central University, Nanoscience and Technology (2020)
Master of Technology, Pondicherry Central University, Nanoscience and Technology (2014)
Bachelor of Technology, PSG College of Technology, Anna University, Biotechnology (2012)
Avnesh Thakor, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
β Cell and Autophagy: What Do We Know?
2023; 13 (4)
Pancreatic β cells are central to glycemic regulation through insulin production. Studies show autophagy as an essential process in β cell function and fate. Autophagy is a catabolic cellular process that regulates cell homeostasis by recycling surplus or damaged cell components. Impaired autophagy results in β cell loss of function and apoptosis and, as a result, diabetes initiation and progress. It has been shown that in response to endoplasmic reticulum stress, inflammation, and high metabolic demands, autophagy affects β cell function, insulin synthesis, and secretion. This review highlights recent evidence regarding how autophagy can affect β cells' fate in the pathogenesis of diabetes. Furthermore, we discuss the role of important intrinsic and extrinsic autophagy modulators, which can lead to β cell failure.
View details for DOI 10.3390/biom13040649
View details for PubMedID 37189396
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10136307
Integrated transcriptome-proteome analyses of human stem cells reveal source-dependent differences in their regenerative signature.
Stem cell reports
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are gaining increasing prominence as an effective regenerative cellular therapy. However, ensuring consistent and reliable effects across clinical populations has proved to be challenging. In part, this can be attributed to heterogeneity in the intrinsic molecular and regenerative signature of MSCs, which is dependent on their source of origin. The present work uses integrated omics-based profiling, at different functional levels, to compare the anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and angiogenic properties between MSCs from neonatal (umbilical cord MSC [UC-MSC]) and adult (adipose tissue MSC [AD-MSC], and bone marrow MSC [BM-MSC]) sources. Using multi-parametric analyses, we identified that UC-MSCs promote a more robust host innate immune response; in contrast, adult-MSCs appear to facilitate remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM) with stronger activation of angiogenic cascades. These data should help facilitate the standardization of source-specific MSCs, such that their regenerative signatures can be confidently used to target specific disease processes.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.stemcr.2022.11.006
View details for PubMedID 36493779
Umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells-from bench to bedside.
Frontiers in cell and developmental biology
2022; 10: 1006295
In recent years, mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have generated a lot of attention due to their paracrine and immuno-modulatory properties. mesenchymal stromal cells derived from the umbilical cord (UC) are becoming increasingly recognized as having increased therapeutic potential when compared to mesenchymal stromal cells from other sources. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the various compartments of umbilical cord tissue from which mesenchymal stromal cells can be isolated, the differences and similarities with respect to their regenerative and immuno-modulatory properties, as well as the single cell transcriptomic profiles of in vitro expanded and freshly isolated umbilical cord-mesenchymal stromal cells. In addition, we discuss the therapeutic potential and biodistribution of umbilical cord-mesenchymal stromal cells following systemic administration while providing an overview of pre-clinical and clinical trials involving umbilical cord-mesenchymal stromal cells and their associated secretome and extracellular vesicles (EVs). The clinical applications of umbilical cord-mesenchymal stromal cells are also discussed, especially in relation to obstacles and potential solutions for their effective translation from bench to bedside.
View details for DOI 10.3389/fcell.2022.1006295
View details for PubMedID 36313578
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC9597686
Mesenchymal stromal cells for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease: Strategies and limitations.
Frontiers in molecular neuroscience
2022; 15: 1011225
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a major cause of age-related dementia and is characterized by progressive brain damage that gradually destroys memory and the ability to learn, which ultimately leads to the decline of a patient's ability to perform daily activities. Although some of the pharmacological treatments of AD are available for symptomatic relief, they are not able to limit the progression of AD and have several side effects. Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) could be a potential therapeutic option for treating AD due to their immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, regenerative, antioxidant, anti-apoptotic, and neuroprotective effects. MSCs not only secret neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory factors to promote the survival of neurons, but they also transfer functional mitochondria and miRNAs to boost their bioenergetic profile as well as improve microglial clearance of accumulated protein aggregates. This review focuses on different clinical and preclinical studies using MSC as a therapy for treating AD, their outcomes, limitations and the strategies to potentiate their clinical translation.
View details for DOI 10.3389/fnmol.2022.1011225
View details for PubMedID 36277497
Human Umbilical Cord Wharton's Jelly-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Labeled with Mn2+ and Gd3+ Co-Doped CuInS2-ZnS Nanocrystals for Multimodality Imaging in a Tumor Mice Model
ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES
2020; 12 (3): 3415–29
Mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs) therapy has recently received profound interest as a targeting platform in cancer theranostics because of inherent tumor-homing abilities. However, the terminal tracking of MSCs engraftment by fluorescent in situ hybridization, immuno-histochemistry, and flow-cytometry techniques to translate into clinics is still challenging because of a dearth of inherent MSCs-specific markers and FDA approval for genetic modifications of MSCs. To address this challenge, a cost-effective noninvasive imaging technology based on multifunctional nanocrystals (NCs) with enhanced detection sensitivity, spatial-temporal resolution, and deep-tissue diagnosis is needed to be developed to track the transplanted stem cells. A hassle-free labeling of human umbilical cord Wharton's Jelly (WJ)-derived MSCs with Mn2+ and Gd3+ co-doped CuInS2-ZnS (CIS-ZMGS) NCs has been demonstrated in 2 h without requiring an electroporation process or transfection agents. It has been found that WJ-MSCs labeling did not affect their multilineage differentiation (adipocyte, osteocyte, chondrocyte), immuno-phenotypes (CD44+, CD105+, CD90+), protein (β-actin, vimentin, CD73, α-SMCA), and gene expressions. Interestingly, CIS-ZMGS-NCs-labeled WJ-MSCs exhibit near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence with a quantum yield of 84%, radiant intensity of ∼3.999 × 1011 (p/s/cm2/sr)/(μW/cm2), magnetic relaxivity (longitudinal r1 = 2.26 mM-1 s-1, transverse r2 = 16.47 mM-1 s-1), and X-ray attenuation (78 HU) potential for early noninvasive multimodality imaging of a subcutaneous melanoma in B16F10-tumor-bearing C57BL/6 mice in 6 h. The ex vivo imaging and inductively coupled plasma mass-spectroscopy analyses of excised organs along with confocal microscopy and immunofluorescence of tumor results also significantly confirmed the positive tropism of CIS-ZMGS-NCs-labeled WJ-MSCs in the tumor environment. Hence, we propose the magnetofluorescent CIS-ZMGS-NCs-labeled WJ-MSCs as a next-generation nanobioprobe of three commonly used imaging modalities for stem cell-assisted anticancer therapy and tracking tissue/organ regenerations.
View details for DOI 10.1021/acsami.9b19054
View details for Web of Science ID 000509428300011
View details for PubMedID 31875453
Noninvasive Tracking and Regenerative Capabilities of Transplanted Human Umbilical Cord-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Labeled with I-III-IV Semiconducting Nanocrystals in Liver-Injured Living Mice
ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES
2019; 11 (9): 8763–78
Acute liver injury is a critical syndrome ascribed to prevalent death of hepatocytes and imperatively requires liver transplantation. Such a methodology is certainly hampered due to the deficit of healthy donors. In this regard, stem cell-based regenerative therapies are attractive in repairing injured tissues and organs for medical applications. However, it is crucial to understand the migration, engraftment, and regeneration capabilities of transplanted stem cells in the living animal models. For the first time, we demonstrate rapid labeling of umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) with near-infrared (NIR)-fluorescent CuInS2-ZnS nanocrystals (CIZS-NCs) to develop innovative nanobioconjugates (MSCs-CIZS-NBCs) that exhibit 98% labeling efficiency. Before nanobioconjugate synthesis, the pristine CIZS-NCs were prepared via a two-step, hot-injection, rapid and low-cost domestic-microwave-refluxing (MW-R) method within 6 min. The as-synthesized CIZS-NCs display high photoluminescence quantum yield (∼88%) and long-lived lifetime (23.4 μs). In contrast to unlabeled MSCs, the MSCs-CIZS nanobioconjugates show excellent biocompatibility without affecting the stemness, as confirmed by cell viability, immunophenotyping (CD44+, CD105+, CD90+), multi-lineage-specific gene expressions, and differentiation into adipocytes, osteocytes, and chondrocytes. The in vivo fluorescence tracking analyses revealed that the MSCs-CIZS-NBCs after tail-vein injection were initially trapped in the lungs and gradually engrafted in the injured liver within 2 h. The regeneration potential of MSCs-CIZS-NBCs was confirmed via renewal of the portal tract composed of portal veins, bile ducts, and hepatic arteries around the hepatocytes. Consequently, no apparent inflammations, necrosis, or apoptosis was observed in the acetaminophen (APAP)-induced liver-injured BALB/c mice model over 3 days after transplantation, as corroborated using laser-scanning confocal microscopy and histopathological and hematological analyses. Hence, our innovative NIR-fluorescent MSCs-CIZS-NBCs offer an off-the-self technology for noninvasive tracking of transplanted MSCs in an acute-liver-injured animal model for future image-guided cell-therapies.
View details for DOI 10.1021/acsami.8b19953
View details for Web of Science ID 000460996900010
View details for PubMedID 30741534
Microwave-Assisted Synthesis of Quasi-Pyramidal CuInS2-ZnS Nanocrystals for Enhanced Near-Infrared Targeted Fluorescent Imaging of Subcutaneous Melanoma
2019; 3 (1): e1800127
Near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent CuInS2 -ZnS nanocrystals (CIZS NCs) are synthesized via an ultra-fast, non-injection microwave (MW)-assisted nanoalloying process at 230 ºC within 5 min using 1-dodecanethiol (DDT) as both the sulfur source and solvent under solvothermal (ST) condition. The structural and surface analyses reveal that DDT-functionalized CIZS NCs exhibit quasi-pyramids of tetragonal-phase with well-defined facets. The DDT-functionalized CIZS NCs present a photoluminescence quantum yield (PLQY) of 76% and a long-lived fluorescence lifetime of ≈0.6 µs in organic-phase. Subsequently, DDT-functionalized CIZS NCs are phase-transferred via ligand-exchange using 11-mercaptoundecanoic acid (MUA) into water-soluble MUA-CIZS NCs that exhibit a substantial PLQY of 55%. In addition, the NIR-fluorescent MUA-functionalized CIZS NCs in conjugation with folic acid (FA), as a tumor-targeting ligand, demonstrates enhanced tumor-targeted imaging ability. The FA-MUA-CIZS NC conjugates exhibit a cell viability of ≈75% even at the highest concentration of 1 mg mL-1 and a labeling efficiency of 95.4%. The in vivo imaging results corroborate that FA-MUA-CIZS NCs conjugates are actively targeted to folate receptor-positive B16F10 tumor-bearing C57BL/6 mice in 2 h. The histopathological and hematological studies confirm no significant changes in tissue architecture and blood biochemical parameters. The confocal microscopy studies reveal deep penetration and uniform distribution of FA-MUA-CIZS NCs conjugates in subcutaneous melanoma.
View details for DOI 10.1002/adbi.201800127
View details for Web of Science ID 000455812800008
View details for PubMedID 32627345
- Transition Metal Ion (Mn2+, Fe2+, Co2+, and Ni2+)-Doped Carbon Dots Synthesized via Microwave-Assisted Pyrolysis: A Potential Nanoprobe for Magneto-fluorescent Dual-Modality Bioimaging ACS BIOMATERIALS SCIENCE & ENGINEERING 2018; 4 (7): 2582–96
- Sustainable, Rapid Synthesis of Bright-Luminescent CuInS2-ZnS Alloyed Nanocrystals: Multistage Nano-xenotoxicity Assessment and Intravital Fluorescence Bioimaging in Zebrafish-Embryos (vol 6, 26078, 2016) SCIENTIFIC REPORTS 2016; 6: 28607
- One-pot microwave-assisted in situ reduction of Ag+ and Au3+ ions by Citrus limon extract and their carbon-dots based nanohybrids: a potential nano-bioprobe for cancer cellular imaging RSC ADVANCES 2016; 6 (105): 103482–90