International Talks

International Talks: Arunkumar Pitchaimani

Arunkumar Pitchaimani

Endogenous Cell-free drug delivery system

As a young researcher who completed a Ph.D. in the field of Biomedical nanotechnology from India, I started to explore the advanced research training options world-wide. With my research interest in the field of nanomedicine, I had three years of post-doc experience in the Nanotechnology innovation center of Kansas State (NICKS), Kansas State University, USA. For further career advancement, I came to about the vibrant opportunity of MINDED Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions Fellowship with Prof.Decuzzi Laboratory of Precision Nanomedicine. With this opportunity, I would love to acquire European research experience, so I decided to relocate to IIT Genova, Italy.

During the initial days, as a foreigner, I had faced issues in understanding Italian accents and language. But while the time flies, I become more Italian lover. Especially the culture and the work infrastructure in IIT makes me feel like my home town. With these two years of experience, Italy has mesmerized me with its beauty of art and culture. From my childhood days, visiting Italy is my top dream destinations, but now living and doing the research I love here makes me feel great and aspirant.

In my lab, I am doing research on biological cells, in particular on isolated extracellular vesicles (so-called Exosomes) for its possible biomedical applications. These exosomes are small nano-sized lipid vesicles like liposomes but carry and deliver secret messages to various cells in the body. Instead of using synthetic nanomaterials, the idea is to use these exosomes like vessels where to load drugs and biomolecules of choice for specific treatments, and send them in body areas to heal diseases, including neurodevelopmental diseases. The advantages of using endogenous exosomes include non-immunogenic, long-circulation, and more specifically its highly specific to targeted tissues. That is it is more effective!

By the way, from a certain point of view, getting exosomes from the biological cells is one of the slowest, time-consuming work I had ever experience in my whole career. So every day I pushed/talked with these cells nicely and hijacking them for my research. Anyhow, I love this challenge to make it happen for the cause.

More enthusiastically, I am using radioisotopes and PET imaging techniques in my Marie Skłodowska-Curie Co-FUND project which is one of the key discoveries of the great Noble laureate Marie Skłodowska-Curie. A sort of  I am very much excited to learn this radioactive imaging as a part of this fellowship and eagerly waiting for the success of my project.

With advances in nanomedicine research, I strongly believed that the health care industry will bloom in every aspect of life. With exciting challenges and scientific collaborations, I am very happy to be a part of IIT nanomedicine research and looking forward to the future with Nanotechnology…

Arunkumar Pitchaimani is a Researcher (Marie Curie Fellow) at the Nanotechnology for Precision Medicine Lab in IIT Central Research Labs in Genova. His research addresses new ways to treat various diseases, including neurological disorders as part of the MSCA Cofound MINDED project. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 754490.