Vankayala, Raviraj

Dr. Raviraj Vankayala

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
University of California, Riverside
Regular Member

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Area of Expertise: Biophotonics, Healthcare, Anticancer nanotechnology, Nanomedicine, Drug Delivery, Photochemistry
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Summary
During my doctoral and postdoctoral training at National Tsing Hua University, I have been actively involved in exploring novel functional nanomaterials as gene carriers and singlet oxygen generators for photodynamic therapeutic destruction of tumors. The discovery on “Metal Nanoparticles Sensitize Formation of Singlet Oxygen” which was published in Angewandte Chemie has given a huge scientific breakthrough to the fields of photothermal (PTT) and photodynamic (PDT) therapies, in which metal nanoparticles themselves can be utilized as photosensitizers to kill cancer cells (Angewandte Chemie. 2011, 50, 10640 and US Patent 20140074009 A1). As a continuation of this work, a follow-up paper was also published in which, it was found that not all the metal nanoparticles can sensitize the formation of singlet oxygen, but the morphology and crystalline facet actually play a critical role in their sensitization pattern (Journal of Material Chemistry B, 2013, 1, 4379). In order to demonstrate that metal nanoparticles can act as photosensitizers for PDT, we have chosen gold nanorods as a model system and proved that they can serve as near infra-red light (NIR) activatable PDT reagents for the destruction of solid tumors very efficiently under low laser power doses (Small 2014, 10, 8, 1612). Further, we have also extended such phenomenon to other gold nanoshells, such as nanocages, nanorods-in-shell and nanoparticles-in-shells (Biomaterials, 2014, 35, 5527).
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