Vidya Chamundeswari Narasimhan - Singapore

2017 Young Persons' World Lecture Competition Winner

Vidya received her Integrated Master of Technology majoring in Medical Nanotechnology with a first class distinction from SASTRA University India in 2013. She expects to receive a Doctorate by research from the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang University (MSE-NTU) by February 2018. Though her career path is yet to be defined, she is passionate about helping people and is likely to make her mark in the field of healthcare. She was one of the top ten students from India to receive an internship opportunity at MIT-Harvard Health Sciences and Technology, Boston during her Master's degree.

Vidya pursued her research interests at Bio Acoustics MEMS in Medicine Laboratory (BAMM Labs), Cambridge MA for a period of six months on developing aqueous interfaces for cell culture. She was also the recipient of the Indian Academy of Sciences Fellowship during her bachelor's degree. Her research interests constitute a broad spectrum ranging from carbon nanomaterials to strategies for bone tissue regeneration. Over and above her academic activities, Vidya has developed excellent interpersonal and leadership skills. She held the portfolio of the President of the Materials Science and Engineering Graduate Students' Club during the academic year 2015-16. Apart from playing a vital role as organising committee for various successful academic events hosted by MSE-NTU and interacting with eminent researchers, she has contributed to student welfare through fundraising, mentoring and clean campus initiatives. In addition to her long term goal to contribute significantly towards mimicking the principles of biological systems, Vidya is fond of travelling and classical music.

Biodegradable scaffold systems for musculoskeletal tissue regeneration with sustained release of multiple bio-molecules

Tissue Engineering (TE) is envisaged to play a vital role in improving the quality of life by restoring, maintaining or enhancing tissue and organ functions. TE scaffolds that are two dimensional (2D) in structure suffer from undesirable issues, such as pore blockage, and do not close mimic the native extra-cellular matrix (ECM) in tissues. Significant efforts have therefore been channelled to fabricate structurally diverse scaffolds using various techniques, especially electrospinning.

In this study, we have fabricated dual and 3D scaffold systems utilising an electrospinning process to arrive at scaffolds with controlled drug release and interconnected pores respectively to tailor to the needs of bone and cartilage tissue regeneration. Using a blend of biodegradable polymers, these mechanically stable scaffold systems enabled cell penetration beyond 500μm. Biomolecules such as Dexamethasone, Ascorbic acid, Proline and Glycerophosphate were loaded individually or simultaneously into the scaffold systems and their efficacy in promoting the upregulation of osteogenic genes with Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) was evaluated. The as-produced scaffolds can be explored for use in tissue engineering and beyond.

 

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