Sangamesh G. Kumbar, Ph.D.
Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery
Polymeric micro-nanostructures for tissue regeneration and drug delivery applications. Polymeric Biomaterials, Nano-biomaterials, Drug delivery, Biodegradable scaffolds Tissue Engineering
N-4052, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06030-4037
BSc. Karnatak University (KUD) MSc. Karnatak University (KUD) Ph.D. Karnatak University (KUD)
The Kumbar laboratory specializes in the fabrication and characterization of micro nanostructures, with a focus on semi-synthetic polymers for tissue engineering and drug delivery applications. Semi-synthetic polymers consisting of synthetic and natural-based materials integrate the advantageous mechanical properties of synthetic materials while preserving the inherent biological functions of natural materials. These novel materials are fabricated into micro nanostructures to promote enhanced tissue regeneration and controlled drug delivery systems. Current ongoing projects in the laboratory include:
Bone Regeneration: The lab aims to utilize cellulose, the most abundant biopolymer, to serve as a mechanically competent platform for bone regeneration. The lab has been successful in creating a mechanically competent cellulosic scaffold platform to serve as a material for bone regeneration. The combination of natural polymers with micro and nano-scale features enhanced the regenerative abilities of the scaffolds both in vitro and in vivo. Efforts are also made to deliver growth factor alternative bioactive molecules to activate certain pathways to influence bone healing. Current investigations aim to improve the properties of these natural polymeric materials.
Nerve Regeneration: The lab focuses on the development of conducting, degradable polymers and novel structured scaffolds for the regeneration of neural tissue. The slow regenerative nature of nerve tissue poses particular challenges to the clinical world as nerve injuries onset by pain, trauma, and degeneration rarely heal to suitable functional conditions. The lab develops, characterizes, and tests conducting polymeric scaffolds in conjunction with electrical and chemical stimulation techniques and stem-cell strategies to enhance the rate and efficacy of nerve tissue regeneration.
Tendon Regeneration: By recapitulating the natural environment of tissues through the use of materials, cells, and biochemical cues, it is possible to regenerate tendon tissue. Polymeric micro-nanostructures combined with electrical and chemical stimuli, delivery cells, and biological factors can improve healing and regeneration. Ongoing studies are focused on strategies to reduce scar and enhance functional outcomes.
Drug Delivery: The lab is developing multiple drug delivery systems using degradable polymeric micro/nanostructured vehicles. Injectable formulations can deliver a variety of drugs to treat various disease conditions in a local environment. Currently funded projects focus on the delivery of therapeutic agents in the intervertebral disc to halt disc degeneration. Ongoing work focuses on the development of theranostic nanocarriers that can deliver therapeutics to treat conditions like stroke. Targeted delivery of therapeutics for prolonged drug therapy systems and the treatment of cancer is of particular interest. A novel drug delivery platform seeking to mimic the tissue invasion strategy of the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes to treat cancers of various types has shown optimistic results. These drug delivery systems achieve monodispersed drug delivery in solid tumors to combat geometric drug resistance within certain regions of tumors that are distant from tumor vasculature and thus receive little to no drug.
More information on current projects can be found on my website.
Honors and Awards: