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Multi-Functional Nano-Biosystems Lab
Contact Info

Balaji Sitharaman

T: 631.632.1810
F: 631.632.8577

Bioengineering 115
Stony Brook, NY

Balaji Sitharaman

Research Focus

Our laboratory seeks to work at the interface of bionanotechnology, regenerative and molecular medicine and synergize the advancements in each of these distinct fields to develop a dynamic research program that tackles problems related to diagnosis/ treatment of disease and tissue regeneration.

Toward these ends, our research interests involve a multidisciplinary approach focused on the following three themes:

  1. Multifunctional nanobiosystems for simultaneous diagnostics and therapeutics (theranostics).
  2. Multidimensional supramolecular biosystems for imaging, drug delivery and tissue regeneration.
  3. Nanobio-interface devices for tissue regeneration.

Our research work involves material synthesis techniques, physico-chemical characterization techniques, tissue culture and in vivo studies.


  • 2005-2007 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, Department of Bioengineering, Department of Chemistry, Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA.
  • 2005 MA & Ph.D., Department of Chemistry, Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA
  • 2000 B.S. (Honors), Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India

Professional Experience

  • 2013 -     , Associate Professor, Stony Brook University, New York
  • 2007 - 2013, Assistant Professor, Stony Brook University, New York.
  • 2008 -     , Member, Institute for Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery, Stony Brook University

Awards and Honors

  • 2013, FUSION Translational Award, Stony Brook University, USA.
  • 2011, Coulter Translational Research Award, Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, USA.
  • 2011, Feldstein Medical Foundation Award, Feldstein Medical Foundation, USA.
  • 2010, NIH Director's New Innovator Award, National Institutes of Health, USA.
  • 2009, Idea Award, Breast Cancer Research Program, Department of Defense. USA.
  • 2008 Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Award, Carol M. Baldwin Fund, USA
  • 2005-2007 J. Evan Attwell-Welch Postdoctoral Fellowship, Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, Rice University, USA
  • 2005 George Kozmetsky Award for Outstanding Graduate Research in Nanotechnology, Nanotechnology Foundation of Texas, USA
  • 2005 Harry B. Weiser Award for Research, Rice University, USA
  • 2005 Chemistry Graduate Student Association Research Award, Rice University, USA.
  • 2000-2005 Robert A. Welch Foundation Graduate Fellowship, USA
  • 1999-2000 Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Indian Academy of Sciences, India.

Peer Reviewed Publications

  1. Sunny Patel, Gaurav Lalwani, Balaji Sitharaman, “Fabrication and Cytocompatibility of In Situ Crosslinked Carbon Nanomaterial Films,” Scientific Reports Accepted, 2015.
  2. Sayan Mullick Chowdhury, Justin Fang, Balaji Sitharaman, “Interaction of graphene nano-ribbons with components of the blood vascular system Future Science Open, Accepted, 2015.
  3. Jason Rashkow, Yahfi Talukdar, Gaurav Lalwani, Balaji Sitharaman, "Interactions of One and Two Dimentional Layered Inorganic Nanoparticles with Fibroblasts and Human Mesen-chymal Stem Cells," Nanomedicine, In Press 2015.
  4. Gaurav Lalwani, Anu Gopalan, Michael D'Agati, Jeyantt Srinivas Sankaran, Stefan Judex, Yi-Xian Qin and Balaji Sitharaman, “Porous Three-Dimensional Carbon Nanotube Scaf-folds For Tissue Engineering,” Journal of Biomedical Materials Research A, Early View Online, DOI: 10.1002/jbm.a.35449, 2015
  5. Behzad Farshid, Gaurav Lalwani and Balaji Sitharaman, “In Vitro Cytocompatibility of One- and Two-Dimensional Nanostructure-Reinforced Biodegradable Polymeric Nanocomposites,” Journal of Biomedical Materials Part A, In Press, DOI: 10.1002/jbm.a.35363, 2015.
  6. Sayan Mullick Chowdhury, Cassandra Surhland, Zina Sanchez1Pankaj Chaudhary, M.A. Suresh Kumar, Stephen Lee, Louis A. Peña, Michael Waring, Balaji Sitharaman, Mamta Naidu, “Graphene Nanoribbons as A Drug Delivery Agent for Lucanthone- Mediated Therapy of Glio-blastoma Multiforme” Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine 11, 109-118, 2015.
  7. Sayan Mullick Chowdhury, Subham Dasgupta, Anne McElroy, Balaji Sitharaman, “Structur-al Disruption Increases Toxicity Of Graphene Nanoribbons,” Journal of Applied Toxicology, 34, 1235-1246, 2014.
  8. Gaurav Lalwani, WeiLiang Xing, and Balaji Sitharaman, “Emzymatic Degradation of Oxi-dized and Reduced Graphene Nanoribbons by Lignin Peroxidase,” Journal of Material Chemi-cal part B, 2, 6354-6362, 2014.
  9. Shawn X. Xie, Fuqiang Gao, Sunny C. Patel John H. Booske, Susan C. Hagness, Balaji Sitharaman, “Clinically-Relevant CNT Dispersions with Exceptionally High Microwave Die-lectric Properties for Theranostic Applications,” IEEE Transactions of Biomedical Engineering, 61, 2718-2723, 2014.
  10. Sayan Mullick Chowdhury, Prady Mannepalli, Balaji Sitharaman "Graphene Nanoribbons Elicit Cell Specific Uptake and Delivery Via Activation of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Enhanced by Human Papilloma Virus E5 protein," Acta Biomaterialia, 10, 4494-4504, 2014.
  11. Shruti Kanakia, Jimmy Toussaint, Sayan Mullick Chowdhury, Gaurav Lalwani, Tanuf Tembulkar, Richard Lin, Kenneth Shroyer, William Moore, Balaji Sitharaman, “Dose Ranging, Expanded Acute Toxicity and Safety Pharmacology Studies for Intravenously Administered Functionalized Graphene Nanoparticle Formulations,” Biomaterials, 35, 7022-7031, 2014.
  12. Yahfi Talukdar, Jason Rashkow, Gaurav Lalwani, Shruti Kanakia, Balaji Sitharaman, “The effects of Graphene Nanostructures on Mesenchymal Stem Cells,” Biomaterials, 35, 4863-4877, 2014.
  13. Gaurav Lalwani, Joe Livingston Sundararaj, Kenneth Schafer, Terry Button, and Balaji Sitharaman, “Synthesis, Characterization,In Vitro Phantom Imaging and Cytotoxicity of A Novel Graphene-Based Multimodal Magnetic Resonance Imaging - X-Ray Computed Tomog-raphy Contrast Agent,” Journal of Material Chemistry Part B, 2, 3519-3530, 2014..
  14. Weiliang Xing, Gaurav Lalwani, Irene Rusakova, and Balaji Sitharaman, “Degradation of Graphene by Hydrogen Peroxide,” Particle and Particle Systems Characterization 31, 745-750, 2014.
  15. Jason Rashkow, Sunny Patel, Ryan Tappero, Balaji Sitharaman, " Quantification of Single Cell Nanoparticle Concentrations and the Distribution of These Concentrations in Cell Popula-tion," Journal of Royal Society Interface, 11, 20131152, 2014.
  16. Yahfi Talukdar, Pramod Avti, John Sun, Balaji Sitharaman, “Multimodal Ultrasound-Photoacoustic Imaging of Tissue Engineering Scaffolds and Blood Oxygen Saturation In and Around the Scaffolds,” Tissue Engineering, Part C, Methods, 20, 440-449, 2013.
  17. G. Lalwani, X. Cai, L. Nie, L. V. Wang and B. Sitharaman, “Graphene-Based Contrast Agents for Photoacoustic and Thermoacoustic Tomography,” Photoacoustics, 1, 62-67, 2013.
  18. S. X. Xie, F. Gao, S. Patel, J. H. Booske, S. C. Hagness, and B. Sitharaman, “Effect of Synthesis and Acid Purification Methods on the Microwave Dielectric Properties of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Aqueous Dispersions,” Applied Physics Letters, 103, 133114, 2013.
  19. S. Mullick Chowdhury, S. Kanakia, J. Toussaint, M. D. Frame, K. Shroyer, W. Moore, B. Sitharaman, “In Vitro Hematological and In Vivo Vasoactivity Assessment of Dextran Functionalized Graphene,” Scientific Reports,3, 2584, 2013.
  20. M. D. Frame, A. M. Dewar, S. M. Chowdhury, B. Sitharaman, “Vasoactive Effects of Stable Aqueous Suspensions of Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Hamsters and Mice,” Nanotoxicology, 8, 867-875, 2013.
  21. G. Lalwani and B. Sitharaman, “Multifunctional Fullerene- and Metallofullerene Based Nanobiomaterials,” Nano LIFE, 3, 1342003, 2013.
  22. S. Kanakia, J. Toussaint, S. M. Chowdhury, G. Lalwani, T. Tembulkar, T. Button, K. Shroyer, W. Moore, B. Sitharaman, “Physicochemical Characterization of A Novel Graphene-Based Magnetic Resonance Imaging Contrast Agent,” International Journal of Nanomedicine, 8, 2821-2833, 2013.
  23. G. Lalwani, A. M. Henslee, B. Farshid, P. Parmar, L. Lin, Y. Qin, F. K. Kasper, A. G. Mikos and B. Sitharaman, “Tungsten Disulfide Nanotube Reinforced Biodegradable Polymers for Bone Tissue Engineering,” Acta Biomaterialia, 9, 8365-8373, 2013.
  24. B. Sitharaman, B. Jacobson, Y. Z. Wadghiri, H. Bryant, J. Frank, “The Magnetic, Relaxometric and Optical Properties of Gadolinium-Catalyzed Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes,“ Journal of Applied Physics, 113, 13408, 2013.
  25. P. K. Avti, E. D. Caparelli, B. Sitharaman, “Cytotoxicity, cytocompatibility, cell-labeling efficiencies, and in vitro cellular magnetic resonance imaging of gadolinium-catalyzed single-walled carbon nanotubes,” Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A, 101, 3580-3591, 2013.
  26. P. K. Avti, Y. Talukdar, M. V. Sirotkin, K. R. Shroyer, B. Sitharaman, “Toward Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube-Gadolinium Complex as Advanced MRI Contrast Agents: Pharmacodynamics and Global Genomic Response in Small Animals,” Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, Part B, 101B, 1039-1049, 2013.
  27. G. Lalwani, A. Henslee, B. Farshid, L. Lin, Y. Qin, A. G. Mikos, and B. Sitharaman, ”Two-Dimensional Nanostructure- Reinforced Biodegradable Polymeric Nanocomposites for Bone Tissue Engineering,” Biomacromolecules, 14, 900-909, 2013.
  28. G. Lalwani, A. T. Kwaczala, S. Kanakia, S. C. Patel, S. Judex, B. Sitharaman, “Fabrication and characterization of three-dimensional macroscopic all-carbon scaffolds,” Carbon, 53, 90-100, 2013.
  29. S. M. Chowdhury, G. Lalwani, K. Zhang, J. Y. Yang, K. Neville, B. Sitharaman, “Cell Specific Cytotoxicity and Uptake of Graphene Nanoribbons,” Biomaterials, 34, 283-293, 2013.
  30. B. S. Paratala, B. D Jacobson, S. Kanakia, L. D. Francis, B. Sitharaman, Physicochemical Characterization and Relaxometry Studies of Micro-Graphite Oxide, Graphene Nanoplatelets, and Nanoribbons, PLoS ONE, 7, e38185, 2012.
  31. X. Cai, B. S. Paratala, S. Hu, B. Sitharaman, L. V. Wang, Multiscale photoacoustic microscopy of carbon nanotube incorporated tissue engineering scaffolds,” Tissue Engineering, Part C, Methods, 18, 310-317, 2012.
  32. P. Avti, S. Hu, K. Shroyer, J. A. Jansen, A. G. Mikos, L. V. Wang, B. Sitharaman, Detection, Mapping, and Quantification of Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Histological Specimens by Photoacoustic Microscopy, PLoS One, 7, e35064, 2012.
  33. P. Avti, B. Sitharaman, Luminscent Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube-Sensitized Europium Nanoprobes for Cellular Imaging, International Journal of Nanomedicine, 7, 1953–1964, 2012.
  34. B. Sitharaman, P. Avti, Y. Talukdar, J. Longtin, A Nanoparticle-Enhanced Photoacoustic Stimulus for Bone Tissue Engineering, Tissue Engineering Part A, 17, 1851-1858, 2011.
  35. B. Sitharaman, S. Raajmani, P. Avti, Time-Resolved Red Luminescence from Europium Catalyzed Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes, Chem. Comm., 47, 1607-1609, 2011.
  36. M. van der Zande, B. Sitharaman, X. F. Walboomers, L. Tran, A. Veltien, L. J. Wilson, J. I. Álava, A. Heerschap, A. G. Mikos, J. A. Jansen, In Vivo Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Distribution Pattern of Gadonanotubes Released from A Degrading Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) Scaffold, Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods, 17, 19-26, 2011.
  37. A. Derosa, S. Raajamani, K. Greco, B. Sitharaman, Recent Patents on Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes for Biomedical Applications, Recent Patents on Biomedical Engineering, 3, 86-94, 2010.
  38. A. Mashal, B. Sitharaman, X. Li, P. Avti, A. Sahakian, J. H. Booske, and S. C. Hagness, Toward Carbon-Nanotube-Based Theranostic Agents for Microwave Detection and Treatment of Breast Cancer: Enhanced Dielectric and Heating Response of Tissue-mimicking Materials, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering,57, 1831-1834, 2010.
  39. B. Sitharaman, M. V. D. Zande,  A. Veltien, X. Shi, J. Ananta, F. Walboomers, A. Heerschap, J. J. Jansen, L. J. Wilson, A. G. Mikos Magnetic Resonance Imaging Studies on Gadonanotube Reinforced Biodegradable Polymer Nanocomposites, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A, 92A, 1454-1462, 2010.
  40. D. Green, J. Longtin, B. Sitharaman, The Effect of Nanoparticle Enhanced Photoacoustic Stimulation on Multipotent Marrow Stromal Cells, ACSNano, 3, 2065-2072, 2009.
  41. M. Swierczewska, I. Rusakova, B. Sitharaman, Gd and Eu Catalysted Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube growth, Carbon, 47, 3137-3142, 2009.
  42. M. Pramanik, M. Swierczewska, D. Green, L. V. Wang, B. Sitharaman, Carbon Nanotubes as a Multimodal — Thermoacoustic and Photoacoustic — Contrast Agent, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 14, 034018, 2009.
  43. M. Pramanik, K. H. Song, M. Swierczewska, D. Green, B. Sitharaman, and L. V. Wang, In Vivo Carbon Nanotube-Enhanced Non-Invasive Photoacoustic Mapping of the Sentinel Lymph Node, Physics in Medicine and Biology, 54, 3291–3301, 2009 (featured Article).
  44. B. Sitharaman, X. Shi, G J. Meijer, H. Liao, F. Walboomers, J. J. Jansen, L. J. Wilson, A. G. Mikos, In Vivo Biocompatibility of Ultra-Short Single Walled Carbon Nanotube/Biodegradable Polymer Nanocomposites for Bone Tissue Engineering, Bone, 43, 362–370, 2008.
  45. B. Sithamaran, T. Y. Zakharian, A. Saraf, P. Misra, J. Ashcroft, S. Pan, Q. Pham, A. G. Mikos, L. J. Wilson & D. A. Engler, Water-Soluble Fullerene (C60) Derivatives as Non-Viral Gene-Delivery Vectors, Carbon Nanostructures as Artificial Vectors for Transfection, Molecular Pharmaceutics, 5, 567-578, 2008.
  46. X. Shi, B. Sitharaman, Q. Pham, J. L. Hudson, L. J. Wilson, J. M. Tour & A G. Mikos, In Vitro Cytotoxicity of Single-walled Carbon Nanotube Biodegradable Polymer Nanocomposites, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A, 86A, 813-823, 2008.
  47. A. Saraf, M.l C. Hacker, B. Sitharaman, J. Grande-Allen, M. A. Barry, A. G. Mikos, Synthesis and Conformational Evaluation of a Novel Gene Delivery Vector for Human Mesenchymal Cells, Biomacromolecules, 9 (3), 818–827, 2008.
  48. B. Sitharaman & L. J. Wilson, Gadofullerenes and Gadonanotubes: A New Paradigm for High-Performance MRI Contrast Agent Design, Invited Review in the Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology, 3, 342-352, 2007.
  49. X. Shi, B. Sitharaman, Q. P. Pham, K. Wu, W. E. Billups, L. J. Wilson & A. G. Mikos, Fabrication of Porous Ultra-Short Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Nanocomposite Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering, Biomaterials, 28, 4078-4090, 2007.
  50. B.Sitharaman, L. A. Tran, R. D. Bolskar, R. Muthupillai, S. D. Flamm, A. G. Mikos & L.J. Wilson, Gadofullerenes as Nanoscale Magnetic Labels for Cellular Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging, 2, 139-146, 2007.
  51. B. Sitharaman, L. A.Tran, P. P. Spicer, I. Rusakova, L. J. Wilson & A. G. Mikos, Injectable In Situ Crosslinkable Nanocomposites of Biodegradable Polymers and Carbon Nanostructures for Bone Tissue Engineering, Journal of Biomaterial Science, Polymer Edition,18, 655–671, 2007.
  52. S. Laus, B. Sitharaman, É. Tóth, R. D. Bolskar, L. Helm, L. J. Wilson & A. E. Merbach, Understanding Paramagnetic Relaxation Phenomena for Water-Soluble Gadofullerenes, J. Phys. Chem. C, 111, 5633-5639, 2007.
  53. Balaji Sitharaman & Lon J. Wilson, Gadonanotubes as New High-Performance MRI Contrast Agents, Invited Review in International Journal of Nanomedicine, 1(3), 291-295, 2006.
  54. T. Y. Zakharian, B.Sitharaman, A. Seryshev, B. E. Gilbert, V. Knight & Lon J. Wilson, A Fullerene (C60)-Paclitaxel Chemotherapeutic: Synthesis, Characterization and Study of Biological Activity in Tissue Culture, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 127(36), 12508-12509, 2005.
  55. B. Sitharaman, K. Kissell, K. Hartman, L. A. Tran, , A. Baikalov, I. Rusakova, Y. Sun, H. A Khant, S. J Ludtke, W. Chiu, S. Laus, É. Tóth, L. Helm, A. E. Merbach & Lon J. Wilson, Superparamagnetic Gadonanotubes Are High-Performance MRI Contrast Agents, Chem. Commun., 31, 3915 – 3917, 2005.
  56. S. Laus, B. Sitharaman, É. Tóth, R. D. Bolskar, L. Helm, S. Asokan, M. S. Wong, L. J. Wilson, & A. E. Merbach, Destroying Gadofullerene Aggregates by Salt Addition in Aqueous Solution of Gd@C60(OH)x and Gd@C60[C(COOH2)], J. Am. Chem. Soc., 127(26), 9368 – 9369, 2005.
  57. É. Tóth, R. D. Bolskar, A. Borel, G. González, L. Helm, A. E. Merbach, B. Sitharaman & Lon J. Wilson, Water soluble Gadofullerenes: Towards High relaxivity, pH-Responsive MRI Contrast Agents, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 127(1), 799-805, 2005.
  58. C. M. Sayes, J. D. Fortner, A. M. Boyd, K. D. Ausman, Y. J. Tao, B. Sitharaman, L. J. Wilson, J. B. Hughes, J. L. West & V. L. Colvin, The Differential Cytotoxicity of Water-Soluble Fullerenes, Nano Lett., 4(10), 1881 – 1887, 2004.
  59. B. Sitharaman, S. Asokan, I. Rusakova, M. S. Wong & Lon J. Wilson, Nanoscale Aggregation Properties of Neuroprotective Carboxyfullerene (C3) in Aqueous Solution, Nano Lett., 4(9), 1759 – 1762, 2004.
  60. L. Husebo, B. Sitharaman, L. J. Wilson, Fullerenols Revisited: Stable Radical Anions, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 126(38), 12055 – 12064, 2004.
  61. B. Sitharaman, R. D. Bolskar, I. Rusakova & Lon J. Wilson, Gd@C60[C(COOH)2]10 and Gd@C60(OH)x: Nanoscale Aggregation Studies of Two Metallofullerene MRI Contrast Agents in Aqueous Solution, Nano Lett., 4(12), 2373 – 2378, 2004.