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Vigneshkumar Rangasami: Modulating Immune system with biomaterials and cells

Tampere University
LocationArvo building auditorium F114, address: Arvo Ylpön katu 34
Date28.10.2022 9.00–13.00
Entrance feeFree of charge
a symbolical picture with a person wearing a doctoral hat
Biomaterials and cells that can modulate host response could open new therapeutic avenues for cancer therapy and tissue repair. M.Sc. Vigneshkumar Rangasami has in his doctoral dissertation developed new bioengineering strategies for modulating the immune system. He has successfully demonstrated these strategies in anti-cancer studies, stem cell delivery, and tissue regeneration applications.

Implantation or infusion of foreign agents such as biomaterials, nanoparticles, small molecule drugs, or living cells needs to navigate the complex immune landscape for successful therapeutic outcomes. Thus, devising new engineering tools or immune-responsive biomaterials that can safely modulate the aggressive immune system or harness the ‘cell-killing’ or ‘wound healing’ properties of the immune system as a potent tool for treating human diseases are of paramount importance for developing new therapies.

In the study, firstly, hyaluronic acid-based nanoparticles were developed for combination therapy for anticancer application. These nanocarriers displayed stealth properties and suppressed systemic inflammation in human blood, while displaying valuable anticancer immunity when treated with macrophages.  

Subsequently, Rangasami designed two different strategies to address the thrombosis challenge, which is commonly observed after cell transplantation. Such adverse reactions occur due to the unfavourable interaction between immune cells and transplanted mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in blood.

In the first approach, pluronic F108-based micelles were developed to deliver siRNA targeting CD142 or tissue factor gene, which is known to induce procoagulant activity in these cells after transplantation. Effective silencing of the CD142 gene enhanced the survival of these cells in human blood as it suppressed platelet activation and mitigated thrombosis. Such silencing had no detrimental effect on the functional aspect of these cells. On the contrary, it enhanced the paracrine signalling and differentiation potential of these cells. In the other strategy, the human MSCs were coated with two different polyelectrolytes with opposite charges in a layer-by-layer fashion, which enhanced their survival and mitigated the risk of thrombosis in human whole blood.

Finally, in the last project, a hyaluronic acid-based hydrogel was developed that displayed immunosuppressive attributes with antioxidant and tissue-adhesive properties. These immunomodulatory gels are an ideal injectable scaffold for viable immunotherapeutic interventions, especially for tissue engineering or cell delivery applications.

The doctoral dissertation of M.Sc. Vigneshkumar Rangasami in the field of Biomedical sciences and engineering titled Immuno-engineering of cells and biomaterials for biomedical applications will be publicly examined in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology at Tampere University at 12 o’clock on Friday 28 October 2022. The venue is Arvo building auditorium F114, address: Arvo Ylpön katu 34. Professor Arto Urtti from the University of Helsinki will be the opponent while Associate Professor Oommen P Oommen from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology will act as the custos.

The dissertation is available online at the