Qualification: 
Ph.D
Email: 
deepthymenon@aims.amrita.edu

Deepthy Menon is a Professor at the Amrita Centre for Nanosciences & Molecular Medicine, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. She completed her Master’s degree in Physics from Cochin University of Science & Technology and Doctoral degree in Physics (Materials Science) from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. With post doctoral trainings from the Technical University of Eindhowen, The Netherlands; National Cancer Institute, Maryland, USA, and International School of Photonics, Cochin University, she joined Amrita in 2006 to work at the interface of materials science and biology. Her research work applies the use of advanced materials and technologies to various realms of biomedical problems such as cancer, regenerative medicine, etc. Dr. Menon’s research laboratory focuses on the design and development of multifunctional nanomaterials for cancer diagnosis and therapy based on quantum dots, magnetic and plasmonic nanomaterials. The use of biodegradable polymeric nanomaterials for drug delivery applications is also heavily explored. Her research also addresses the fabrication and evaluation of nanophase metallic materials for developing more effective biomedical implants in orthopedics, dental and vascular applications. A recent innovation by her group is the development of high strength biodegradable polymeric yarns/nanothreads by the process of electrospinning which finds use in drug eluting sutures, vascular grafts, implantable drug loaded patches, etc.

Dr. Deepthy has received several recognitions in her research career which includes the Young Research Award from International Union of Materials Research Society (1999), Young Scientist Fellowship from Department of Science & Technology [DST] (2002), Rapid Young Investigator grant from Department of Biotechnology [DBT] (2007) and BOYSCAST fellowship from Department of Science & Technology (2010). Her lab group has produced over 70 research publications, 45 conference presentations, 4 book chapters and 5 provisional or full patents. She is a member of the Materials Research Society, Society for Biomaterials, Photonics Society of India and American Chemical Society. 

Publications

Publication Type: Journal Article

Year of Publication Publication Type Title

2017

Journal Article

A. A. Nair, Joseph, J., Dr. Deepthy Menon, Shantikumar V Nair, and Dr. Manitha B. Nair, “Electrospun Yarn Reinforced NanoHA Composite Matrix as a Potential Bone Substitute for Enhanced Regeneration of Segmental Defects.”, Tissue Eng Part A, 2017.[Abstract]


Nanohydroxyapatite (HA) is a well-established synthetic bone substitute with excellent osteoconduction and osteointegration. However, brittleness coupled with slow degradation curtail its load bearing and bone regeneration potential respectively. To address these limitations, nanoHA composite matrix reinforced with electrospun 1D fibrous yarns was fabricated and tested in vitro and in vivo. Different weight percentages (5, 10, 15 wt%) and varying lengths (short and continuous) of PLLA yarns were randomly dispersed in a gelatinous matrix containing nanoHA. This significantly improved the compressive strength as well as work of fracture, especially for continuous yarns at high weight percentages (10 and 15 wt%). Incorporation of yarns did not adversely affect the pore size (50 - 350 µm) or porosity of the scaffolds as well as its in vitro cellular response. Finally, when tested in a critical sized femoral segmental defect in rat, the nanocomposite scaffolds induced osteoblast cell infiltration at two months that subsequently underwent increased mature lamellar bone formation at four months, in both the mid and peripheral defect regions. Histomorphometric analysis demonstrated that both new bone formation and biomaterial degradation were significantly enhanced in the composite scaffold when compared to HA. Overall, the composite matrix reinforced with electrospun yarns proved to be a potential bone substitute having an appropriate balance between mechanical strength, porosity, biodegradation and bone regeneration ability. More »»

2017

Journal Article

G. J. Pillai, Dr. Bindhu Paul, Shantikumar V Nair, and Dr. Deepthy Menon, “Influence of surface passivation of 2-Methoxyestradiol loaded PLGA nanoparticles on cellular interactions, pharmacokinetics and tumour accumulation.”, Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces, vol. 150, pp. 242-249, 2017.[Abstract]


In the present work, 2-Methoxyestradiol [2ME2] loaded PLGA nanoparticles [NPs] were stabilized with Casein or poly(ethylene glycol) [PEG] and evaluated for its cellular interactions, pharmacokinetics and tumour accumulation. Surface stabilized PLGA nanoparticles prepared through a modified emulsion route possessed similar size, surface charge, drug loading and release characteristics. Particle-cell interactions as well as the anti-angiogenesis activity were similar for both nanoformulations in vitro. However, in vivo pharmacokinetics and tumour accumulation of the drug were substantially improved for the PEGylated nanoformulation. Reduced protein binding was observed for PEG stabilized PLGA NPs. Thus, it was demonstrated that nanoencapsulation of 2-ME2 within PEGylated PLGA nanocarrier could improve its half-life and plasma concentration and thereby increase the tumour accumulation.

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2017

Journal Article

C. C. Mohan, Cherian, A. Mary, Kurup, S., Joseph, J., Dr. Manitha B. Nair, Vijayakumar, M., Shantikumar V Nair, and Dr. Deepthy Menon, “Stable Titania Nanostructures on Stainless Steel Coronary Stent Surface for Enhanced Corrosion Resistance and Endothelialization.”, Adv Healthc Mater, vol. 6, no. 11, 2017.[Abstract]


Stainless steel (SS) coronary stents continue to present risk of in-stent restenosis that impact its long term safety and efficacy. The present work focuses on developing a drug-free and polymer-less surface on coronary stents by utilizing a titania (TiO2 ) nanotexturing approach through hydrothermal processing, that will offer improved stent performance in vivo. Mechanically stable and durable nanotextured coatings are obtained on SS stents that also offer good corrosion resistance. In vitro vascular cell (endothelial and smooth muscle cells) studies on surface modified SS show preferential rapid endothelialization with enhanced nitric oxide production and reduce smooth muscle cell proliferation, in comparison to unmodified SS. In vivo evaluation of the nanotextured stents after subcutaneous implantation in rabbits show reduced irritability and minimal localized inflammatory response. These beneficial effects suggest that the stable, easily scalable titania nanosurface modification strategy on coronary stent surfaces can be a much cheaper alternative to drug eluting stents in addressing in-stent restenosis.

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2017

Journal Article

A. Mohandas, Krishnan, A. G., Dr. Raja Biswas, Dr. Deepthy Menon, and Dr. Manitha B. Nair, “Antibacterial and cytocompatible nanotextured Ti surface incorporating silver via single step hydrothermal processing”, Materials Science and Engineering C, vol. 75, pp. 115-124, 2017.[Abstract]


Nanosurface modification of Titanium (Ti) implants and prosthesis is proved to enhance osseointegration at the tissue–implant interface. However, many of these products lack adequate antibacterial capability, which leads to implant loosening. As a curative strategy, in this study, nanotextured Ti substrates embedded with silver nanoparticles were developed through a single step hydrothermal processing in an alkaline medium containing silver nitrate at different concentrations (15, 30 and 75 μM). Scanning electron micrographs revealed a non-periodically oriented nanoleafy structure on Ti (TNL) decorated with Ag nanoparticles (nanoAg), which was verified by XPS, XRD and EDS analysis. This TNLAg substrate proved to be mechanically stable upon nanoindentation and nanoscratch tests. Silver ions at detectable levels were released for a period of 28 days only from substrates incorporating higher nanoAg content. The samples demonstrated antibacterial activity towards both Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, with a more favorable response to the former. Simultaneously, Ti substrates incorporating nanoAg at all concentrations supported the viability, proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells. Overall, nanoAg incorporation into surface modified Ti via a simple one-step thermochemical method is a favorable strategy for producing implants with dual characteristics of antibacterial activity and cell compatibility. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

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2015

Journal Article

S. Narayanan, Dr. Ullas Mony, Vijaykumar, D. K., Dr. Manzoor K., Dr. Bindhu Paul, and Dr. Deepthy Menon, “Sequential release of epigallocatechin gallate and paclitaxel from PLGA-casein core/shell nanoparticles sensitizes drug-resistant breast cancer cells”, Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine, vol. 11, pp. 1399-1406, 2015.[Abstract]


Nanomedicines consisting of combinations of cytotoxic drugs and molecular targeted therapeutics which inhibit specific downstream signals are evolving as a novel paradigm for breast cancer therapy. This research addresses one such combination of Paclitaxel (Ptx), having several adversities related to the activation of NF-κB pathway, with Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a multiple signaling inhibitor, encapsulated within a targeted core/shell PLGA-Casein nanoparticle. The sequential release of EGCG followed by Ptx from this core/shell nanocarrier sensitized Ptx resistant MDA-MB-231 cells to Ptx, induced their apoptosis, inhibited NF-κB activation and downregulated the key genes associated with angiogenesis, tumor metastasis and survival. More importantly, Ptx-induced expression of P-glycoprotein was repressed by the nanocombination both at the protein and gene levels. This combination also offered significant cytotoxic response on breast cancer primary cells, indicating its translational value. From the Clinical Editor: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. As well as surgery, chemotherapy plays a major role in the treatment of breast cancer. The authors investigated in this article the combination use of a chemotherapeutic agent, Paclitaxel (Ptx), and an inhibitor of NF-?B pathway, packaged in a targeted nano-based delivery platform. The positive results provided a new pathway for future clinical use of combination chemotherapy in breast cancer. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

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2015

Journal Article

J. Joseph, Shantikumar V Nair, and Dr. Deepthy Menon, “Integrating Substrateless Electrospinning with Textile Technology for Creating Biodegradable Three-Dimensional Structures”, Nano letters, vol. 15, pp. 5420–5426, 2015.[Abstract]


The present study describes a unique way of integrating substrateless electrospinning process with textile technology. We developed a new collector design that provided a pressure-driven, localized cotton-wool structure in free space from which continuous high strength yarns were drawn. An advantage of this integration was that the textile could be drug/dye loaded and be developed into a core–sheath architecture with greater functionality. This method could produce potential nanotextiles for various biomedical applications.

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2015

Journal Article

G. J. Pillai, Greeshma, M. M., and Dr. Deepthy Menon, “Impact of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticle surface charge on protein, cellular and haematological interactions”, Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, vol. 136, pp. 1058-1066, 2015.[Abstract]


The initial interactions of nanoparticles with biomolecules have a great influence on its toxicity, efficacy, biodistribution and clearance. The present work is an attempt to understand the impact of surface charge of polymeric nanoparticles on its plasma protein and cellular interactions. Negative, near-neutral and positively charged poly(lactic-. co-glycolic acid) [PLGA] nanoparticles were prepared using casein, poly(vinyl alcohol) and poly(ethylene imine) respectively, as surface stabilizers. A significant temporal variation in the hydrodynamic diameter of PLGA nanoparticles was observed in the presence of plasma proteins, which correlated with the amount of proteins adsorbed to each surface. Positively charged particles displayed the maximum size variation and protein adsorption. Cellular uptake of differentially charged nanoparticles was also concurrent with the quantity of adsorbed proteins, though there was no significant difference in their cytotoxicity. Haematological interactions (haemolysis and plasma coagulation times) of positively charged nanoparticles were considerably different from near-neutral and negative nanoparticles. Collectively, the results point to the interplay between plasma protein adsorption and cellular interactions of PLGA nanoparticles, which is governed by its surface charge, thereby necessitating a rational design of nanoparticles. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

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2015

Journal Article

M. G. Sangeet Nair, Dr. Ullas Mony, Dr. Deepthy Menon, Dr. Manzoor K., Sidharthan, N., Pavithran, K., Shantikumar V Nair, and Krishnakumar N. Menon, “Development and molecular characterization of polymeric micro-nanofibrous scaffold of a defined 3-D niche for in vitro chemosensitivity analysis against acute myeloid leukemia cells”, International journal of nanomedicine, 2015.[Abstract]


Standard in vitro drug testing employs 2-D tissue culture plate systems to test anti-leukemic drugs against cell adhesion-mediated drug-resistant leukemic cells that harbor in 3-D bone marrow microenvironments. This drawback necessitates the fabrication of 3-D scaffolds that have cell adhesion-mediated drug-resistant properties similar to in vivo niches. We therefore aimed at exploiting the known property of polyurethane (PU)/poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) in forming a micro-nanofibrous structure to fabricate unique, not presented before, as far as we are aware, 3-D micro-nanofibrous scaffold composites using a thermally induced phase separation technique. Among the different combinations of PU/PLLA composites generated, the unique PU/PLLA 60:40 composite displayed micro-nanofibrous morphology similar to decellularized bone marrow with increased protein and fibronectin adsorption. Culturing of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) KG1a cells in FN-coated PU/PLLA 60:40 shows increased cell adhesion and cell adhesion-mediated drug resistance to the drugs cytarabine and daunorubicin without changing the original CD34(+)/CD38(-)/CD33(-) phenotype for 168 hours compared to fibronectin tissue culture plate systems. Molecularly, as seen in vivo, increased chemoresistance is associated with the upregulation of anti-apoptotic Bcl2 and the cell cycle regulatory protein p27(Kip1) leading to cell growth arrest. Abrogation of Bcl2 activity by the Bcl2-specific inhibitor ABT 737 led to cell death in the presence of both cytarabine and daunorubicin, demonstrating that the cell adhesion-mediated drug resistance induced by Bcl2 and p27(Kip1) in the scaffold was similar to that seen in vivo. These results thus show the utility of a platform technology, wherein drug testing can be performed before administering to patients without the necessity for stromal cells.

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2015

Journal Article

S. BN, Dr. Ullas Mony, Dr. Deepthy Menon, VK, B., AG, M., and Shantikumar V Nair, “Bone Tissue Engineering with Multilayered Scaffolds-Part I: An Approach for Vascularizing Engineered Constructs In Vivo.”, Tissue Eng Part A., pp. 19-20, 2015.[Abstract]


Obtaining functional capillaries through the bulk has been identified as a major challenge in tissue engineering, particularly for critical-sized defects. In the present study, a multilayered scaffold system was developed for bone tissue regeneration, designed for through-the-thickness vascularization of the construct. The basic principle of this approach was to alternately layer mesenchymal stem cell-seeded nanofibers (osteogenic layer) with microfibers or porous ceramics (osteoconductive layer), with an intercalating angiogenic zone between the two and with each individual layer in the microscale dimension (100-400 μm). Such a design can create a scaffold system potentially capable of spatially distributed vascularization in the overall bulk tissue. In the cellular approach, the angiogenic zone consisted of collagen/fibronectin gel with endothelial cells and pericytes, while in the acellular approach, cells were omitted from the zone without altering the gel composition. The cells incorporated into the construct were analyzed for viability, distribution, and organization of cells on the layers and vessel development in vitro. Furthermore, the layered constructs were implanted in the subcutaneous space of nude mice and the processes of vascularization and bone tissue regeneration were followed by histological and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analysis. The results indicated that the microenvironment in the angiogenic zone, microscale size of the layers, and the continuously channeled architecture at the interface were adequate for infiltrating host vessels through the bulk and vascularizing the construct. Through-the-thickness vascularization and mineralization were accomplished in the construct, suggesting that a suitably bioengineered layered construct may be a useful design for regeneration of large bone defects.

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2013

Journal Article

N. S. Binulal, Natarajan, A., Dr. Deepthy Menon, Bhaskaran, V. K., Dr. Ullas Mony, and Shantikumar V Nair, “PCL-gelatin composite nanofibers electrospun using diluted acetic acid-ethyl acetate solvent system for stem cell-based bone tissue engineering”, Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition, vol. 25, no. 4, 2013.[Abstract]


Composite nanofibrous scaffolds with various poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL)/gelatin ratios (90:10, 80:20, 70:30, 60:40, 50:50 wt.%) were successfully electrospun using diluted acetic and ethyl acetate mixture. The effects of this solvent system on the solution properties of the composites and its electrospinning properties were investigated. Viscosity and conductivity of the solutions, with the addition of gelatin, allowed for the electrospinning of uniform nanofibers with increasing hydrophilicity and degradation. Composite nanofibers containing 30 and 40 wt.% gelatin showed an optimum combination of hydrophilicity and degradability and also maintained the structural integrity of the scaffold. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) showed favorable interaction with and proliferation on, the composite scaffolds. hMSC proliferation was highest in the 30 and 40 wt.% gelatin containing composites. Our experimental data suggested that PCL-gelatin composite nanofibers containing 30-40 wt.% of gelatin and electrospun in diluted acetic acid-ethyl acetate mixture produced nanofiber scaffolds with optimum hydrophilicity, degradability, and bio-functionality for stem cell-based bone tissue engineering.

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2013

Journal Article

R. Nadesh, Narayanan, D., P.r., S., Vadakumpully, S., Dr. Ullas Mony, Koyakkutty, M., Shantikumar V Nair, and Dr. Deepthy Menon, “Hematotoxicological analysis of surface-modified and -unmodified chitosan nanoparticles”, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A, vol. 101, pp. 2957-2966, 2013.[Abstract]


The increasing interest in using chitosan nanoparticles for controlled drug delivery is hampered by its blood incompatibility, especially for intravenous applications. This study investigated the effects of processing solvents (acetic acid/lactic acid), dispersing media (acidic medium/saline), and surface modifiers (polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, and ethylenediaminetetraacetatic acid) on the hemocompatibility of chitosan. Blood compatibility of chitosan nanoparticles prepared by ionotropic gelation with altered surface chemistry was evaluated by assessing their hemolytic activity, platelet aggregation, coagulation, and cytokine induction. It was observed that nanoparticles prepared in lactic acid and dispersed in saline did not show hemolysis, platelet aggregation, or coagulation, whereas nanoparticles prepared in acetic acid showed strong hemolysis. Surface modifiers were not observed to significantly affect blood compatibility, with the exception of EDTA, which delayed blood clotting times. Thus, chitosan nanoparticles prepared in lactic acid and dispersed in saline may be an ideal nanocarrier for parenteral applications. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 101A:2957-2966, 2013. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., a Wiley Company.

More »»

Publication Type: Patent

Year of Publication Publication Type Title

2016

Patent

Dr. Manitha B. Nair, Dr. Deepthy Menon, and Shantikumar V. Nair, “Porous Composite Fibrous Scaffold for Bone Tissue Regeneration”, U.S. Patent 15/341,866 2016.

2015

Patent

Dr. Deepthy Menon, Joseph, J., and Nair, S., “Electrospinning Apparatus and Method for producing Multidimensional structures”, U.S. Patent 14/751,0692015.

2015

Patent

Dr. Manitha B. Nair, Dr. Deepthy Menon, and Shantikumar V. Nair, “Porous Composite Fibrous Scaffold for Bone Tissue Regeneration”, U.S. Patent 5919/CHE/20152015.

2014

Patent

Dr. Manzoor K., Ashokan, A., Dr. Deepthy Menon, and Shantikumar V Nair, “The art, method, manner, process and system of multifunctional nanobiomaterial for molecular imaging and drug- delivery”, U.S. Patent PCT/IN2013/0001422014.[Abstract]


The present invention relates to a nano-sized material that can provide contrast enhancement for multiple molecular imaging mthods and also deliver therapeutic nucleic acids or chemodrugs at a specific site of disease such as cancer. In particular, the present invention relates to a nanosized synthetic calcium apatite based materials showing contrast imaging for visible to near-infrared fluroscence, magnetic resonance imaging and x-ray imaging together with targeted delivery of nucleic acid drugs (DNA or RNA) to specific cancer types.

More »»

2014

Patent

Dr. Deepthy Menon, Joseph, J., and Nair, S., “Electrospinning Apparatus and Method for producing Multidimensional structures”, U.S. Patent 3131/CHE/20142014.

2014

Patent

Dr. Deepthy Menon, Shantikumar V. Nair, Dr. Manzoor K., Rani, V. V. Divya, and Lakshmanan, V. Kumar, “Nano surface modified metallic titanium implants for orthopaedic or dental applications and method of manufacturing thereof”, U.S. Patent PCT/IN2012/0007862014.[Abstract]


The present invention relates to a metallic implant product developed with surface nano features by means of wet hydrothermal technique, which provides better bio-compatibility and improved osteo-integration for specific use in orthopaedic and dental applications. Methods of creating nano features on surfaces of titanium di-oxide (Titania) on Ti implants and the corresponding improved implant behaviour as a consequence under in vivo conditions are demonstrated and proven in this invention.

More »»

2012

Patent

M. Koyakutty, Shantikumar V Nair, Dr. Deepthy Menon, and Asok, A., “THE ART, METHOD, MANNER, PROCESS AND SYSTEM OF MULTIFUNCTIONAL NANOMEDICINE FOR MOLECULAR IMAGING AND SCINTILLATION THERAPY”, U.S. Patent 26/CHE/20122012.

2011

Patent

Dr. Deepthy Menon, Shantikumar V. Nair, K, M., V., D. V., and Lakshmanan, V. - K., “THE ART, METHOD AND MANNER OF NANOSURFACE MODIFICATION OF TITANIUM IMPLANTS FOR ORTHOPEDIC OR DENTAL APPLICATIONS”, U.S. Patent 1644/CHE/20112011.

2011

Patent

Dr. Deepthy Menon, Chennazhi, K., Mohan, C. C., R, S. P., and Shantikumar V Nair, “THE ART, METHOD AND MANNER OF TITANIUM-BASED CARDIOVASCULAR STENTS WITH NANOSTRUCTURED SURFACES”, U.S. Patent 2355/CHE/20112011.

2010

Patent

Shantikumar V. Nair, Chennazhi, K., Dr. Deepthy Menon, and R, S. P., “THE ART, MANNER, METHOD, PROCESS AND SYSTEM FOR THE FABRICATION OF ELECTROSPUN NANOFIBROUS FIBRIN SCAFFOLD FOR TISSUE ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS”, U.S. Patent 3413/CHE/20102010.

2010

Patent

Shantikumar V. Nair, Chennazhi, K., Dr. Deepthy Menon, and G, P., “ART, METHOD, MANNER, PROCESS AND SYSTEM OF PREPARATION OF FIBRIN NANOCONSTRUCTS FOR TISSUE ENGINEERING AND DRUG DELIVERY APPLICATIONS”, U.S. Patent 3451/CHE/20102010.

2009

Patent

M. Koyakutty, Ashokan, A., Dr. Deepthy Menon, and Nair, S., “THE ART, METHOD, MANNER, PROCESS AND SYSTEM OF MULTIFUNCTIONAL NANOBIOMATERIAL FOR MOLECULAR IMAGING AND DRUG-DELIVERY”, U.S. Patent 2633/CHE/20092009.

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