- Research Assistant Professor
- BioinformaticsDevelopmental/Craniofacial BiologyBiomaterialsStem Cell Biology
Dr. Ravindran earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Madras and his PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago. His doctoral and post-doctoral research focused on the role of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in stem cell behavior and matrix mineralization. The tissue-specific uniqueness of the ECM, its complexity and its ability to determine the fate of stem cells has always influenced his research focus. His laboratory at the UIC College of Dentistry operates with the theme of mimicking this ECM complexity for regenerative medicine applications. More specifically, his laboratory designs 3D scaffolds and modifies existing clinical materials by incorporating native cell-type-specific ECM and cell-type-specific exosomes on/within them to influence stem cell differentiation and tissue regeneration. He holds a patent that deals with a technology to develop biomimetically enhanced demineralized bone matrices and titanium implants. The overarching goal of his laboratory is to develop his biomimetic techniques for mass production and clinical translation.
Education & Career
- University of Madras, B.Tech., Chemical Engineering, 2001
- University of Illinois at Chicago, PhD, Bioengineering 2005
- University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, Postdoctoral fellowship, 2011
- University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, Research Assistant Professor 2015
Regeneration of diseased/lost tissues using tissue engineering approaches require safe and reliable methods to differentiate stem cells into target cell types. Current approaches require the use of growth factors to achieve this objective. However, issues such as dosage, delivery, timing, ectopic activity, immunological complications and aberrant differentiation have hampered this approach significantly. These problems are evident from the clinical use of FDA approved growth factors such as BMP2.
The focus of my laboratory is to develop a biomimetic approach to stem cell differentiation using cell-type specific ECM and exosomes. These approaches avoid the risks associated with growth factor delivery and provide a safe, conducive wholesome and biomimetic environment to achieve and maintain stem cell differentiation. At present our efforts are focused on the repair and regeneration of mesenchymal tissues such as bone, cartilage and the dental pulp using a variety of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from the bone marrow, adipose tissue and the dental pup itself.
- Oligomeric proanthocyanidins released from dentin induce regenerative dental pulp cell response. Kulakowski D, Leme-Kraus AA, Nam JW, McAlpine J, Chen SN, Pauli GF, Ravindran S, Bedran-Russo AK. Acta Biomater. 2017 Mar 29. pii: S1742-7061(17)30223-4. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2017.03.051
- Exosomes as biomimetic tools for stem cell differentiation: Applications in dental pulp tissue regeneration. Huang CC, Narayanan R, Alapati S, Ravindran S. Biomaterials. 2016 Dec;111:103-115. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2016.09.029. Epub 2016 Sep 30.
- Hijacking the Cellular Mail: Exosome Mediated Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells. Narayanan R, Huang CC, Ravindran S. Stem Cells Int. 2016;2016:3808674. doi: 10.1155/2016/3808674. Epub 2016 Jan 6.
- Biomimetically enhanced demineralized bone matrix for bone regenerative applications. Ravindran S, Huang CC, Gajendrareddy P, Narayanan R. Front Physiol. 2015 Oct 23;6:292. doi:10.3389/fphys.2015.00292. eCollection 2015.
- Biological and MRI characterization of biomimetic ECM scaffolds for cartilage tissue regeneration. Ravindran S, Kotecha M, Huang CC, Ye A, Pothirajan P, Yin Z, Magin R, George A. Biomaterials. 2015 Dec;71:58-70. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2015.08.030. Epub 2015 Aug 20.
- Biomimetic extracellular matrix mediated somatic stem cell differentiation: applications in dental pulp tissue regeneration. Ravindran S, George A. Front Physiol. 2015 Apr 21;6:118. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2015.00118. eCollection 2015. Review.
- 3-D self-assembling leucine zipper hydrogel with tunable properties for tissue engineering. Huang CC, Ravindran S, Yin Z, George A. Biomaterials. 2014 Jul;35(20):5316-26. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.03.035. Epub 2014 Apr 6.
- Biomimetic extracellular matrix-incorporated scaffold induces osteogenic gene expression in human marrow stromal cells. Ravindran S, Gao Q, Kotecha M, Magin RL, Karol S, Bedran-Russo A, George A. Tissue Eng Part A. 2012 Feb;18(3-4):295-309. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2011.0136.
- Development of three-dimensional biomimetic scaffold to study epithelial-mesenchymal interactions. Ravindran S, Song Y, George A. Tissue Eng Part A. 2010 Jan;16(1):327-42. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2009.0110.
A complete list of publications can be found at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov