Vijay  Krishna,  Ph.D.

Vijay Krishna, Ph.D.

Assistant Staff

Lerner Research Institute, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195
Location: ND2-58
Phone: (216) 445-5966
Fax: (216) 444-9198


Our primary focus is on leveraging nanotechnology for developing novel and safe theranostic and preventative agents.

Our fundamental goals are to understand, control and exploit the light-material interactions for biomedical applications. Understanding of photon-nanomaterial interactions will allow rational selection of nanomaterials that are optimal for achieving specific desired healthcare outcomes. For example, fullerenes with the best photothermal and photoacoustic properties can be utilized for safe, non-invasive & effective imaging and treatment of cancer. Similarly, fullerenes that are excellent electron relays can be employed for development of novel anti-inflammatory & anti-cancer agents. The control of electronic & optical properties of fullerenes will allow optimization of electron relay, aggregation, dispersion, photothermal, photoacoustic and magnetic resonance properties, which will be utilized for safe & non-invasive prevention and treatment of cancer.

The understanding of light-nanomaterials interactions are currently leveraged for developing following biomedical applications:

A. Novel, Highly Effective and Long-Lasting Sunscreens

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the most common, and also the most preventable, cause of skin cancers. Sunscreens, even when applied optimally, have been shown to only partially reduce the incidence of UV-induced skin cancer. The major limitations of current sunscreens are poor stability resulting in ephemeral efficacy (requiring frequent reapplication), and the potential to cause skin irritation. Current sunscreen formulations contain multiple active ingredients including UV absorbers, stabilizers and antioxidants. Common organic UV-absorbers (e.g., avobenzone) and antioxidants (e.g., homosalate) are easily degraded by the UV or by free radicals generated by other ingredients and stabilizers are required. Polyhydroxy fullerenes (PHF) has the potential to be an effective, multifunctional active of sunscreen that replaces the multiple actives of current sunscreens. We are leveraging nanotechnology for designing controlled-release formulations for long-lasting sunscreens that not only prevent sunburn, but also prevents skin cancer.

B. Multifunctional Molecules for Safe and Non-Invasive Imaging and Treatment

We are exploiting the photothermal and photoacoustic properties of polyhydroxy fullerenes for non-invasive treatment of breast cancer. Inclusion of gadolinium atoms inside fullerene cage imparts it with excellent contrast properties for magnetic resonance imaging, thereby facilitating MRI-guided non-invasive treatment of cancer.

In other words ...

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the USA; an estimated 1.6 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed this year and more than half a million people will die of the disease.  We are leveraging nanotechnology to design next-generation nano-engineered materials (NEMs) for non-invasive therapies and prevention of cancer.  Every year in the USA, doctors diagnose over 1 million new cases of skin cancer, more than all other cancers combined.  Too much sun exposure causes sunburn immediately and, over the years in severe cases, leads to skin cancer.  Dermatologists recommend sun avoidance and application of sunscreens to protect against these harmful effects of sunlight. However, avoiding the sun may be difficult in military environments and in tropical regions. Current sunscreens only partially protect the skin from harmful sunlight and have failed to reduce the incidence of skin cancer. This may be because ingredients used today stop working after only a few hours and can irritate the skin. We are designing novel sunscreens that are long-lasting, non-irritating, and effective in protecting skin from harmful sunlight.  Getting an accurate picture of changes going on inside the body is vital if cancers are to be caught and treated effectively; however, there is always a delay between scheduling the patient to get images that may show any cancers and actually starting the treatment.  We are researching how to combine imaging and treatment so that both can be done at the same visit, with no delay.  We work with very tiny structures, much smaller than a human hair (which is about 90,000 nanometers thick), which we call nanoengineered materials (NEM).  These NEMs improve the contrast and clearness of images from two major imaging methods doctors rely on (one using magnetic forces and one using laser/ultrasound).  Tumors can be destroyed noninvasively (without surgery) by shining low-intensity lasers on NEMs within the tumors.  Our unique NEMs are made to give patients safe, non-invasive, and localized (not whole-body) treatment.

*Indeglia, P., Georgieva, A, Krishna V., and Bonzongo, J-C., “Physicochemical characterization of fullerenol and fullerenol synthesis by-products prepared in alkaline media,” Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 16:2599, 1–15, 2014.
*Indeglia, P., Krishna V., Georgieva, A, and Bonzongo, J-C., “Mechanical transformation of fullerene (C60) to aqueous nano-C60 (aqu-nC60) in the presence and absence of light,” Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 15 (11), 1–6, 2013.
*Georgieva, A., Pappu, V., *Krishna, V., Georgiev, P., Ghiviriga, I., Indeglia, P., Xu, X., Fan, H., Koopman, B., Pardalos, P., and *Moudgil, B., “Polyhydroxy fullerenes,” Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 15 (7), 1–18, 2013.
Grobmyer, S., and Krishna, V., “Minimally invasive cancer therapy using polyhydroxy fullerenes,” European Journal of Radiology, 81, S51–S53, 2012.
Bai, W., Krishna, V., Wang, J., Moudgil, B., and *Koopman, B., “Enhancement of nano titanium dioxide photocatalysis in transparent coatings by polyhydroxy fullerenes,” Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 125, 128–135, 2012.
Gao, J., Wang, Y., Folta, K., Krishna, V., Bai, W., Indeglia, P., Georgieva, A., Nakamura, H., Koopman, B., and *Moudgil, B., “Polyhydroxy fullerenes (fullerols or fullerenols): Beneficial effects on growth and lifespan in diverse biological models,” PLoS One, 6 (5), 19976, 2011.
*Grobmyer, S., Morse, D., Fletcher, B., Gutwein, L., Sharma, P., Krishna, V., Frost, S., Moudgil, B., Brown, S., “The promise of nanotechnology for solving clinical problems in breast cancer,” Journal of Surgical Oncology, 103 (4), 317–325, 2011.
*Krishna, V., Singh, A., Sharma, P., Wang, Q., Zhang, Q., Nobutaka, I., Jiang, H., Koopman, B., Grobmyer, S., and Moudgil, B., “Polyhydroxy fullerenes for non-invasive cancer imaging and therapy,” Small, 6 (20), 2236–2241, 2010.
Singh, A., Krishna, V., Angerhofer, A., Do, B., MacDonald, G., and *Moudgil, B., “Copper coated silica nanoparticles for odor removal,” Langmuir, 26 (20), 15837–15844, 2010.
Sharma, P., Brown, S., Singh, A., Iwakuma, N., Pyrgiotakis, G., Krishna, V., Knapik, J., Barr, K., Moudgil, B., and *Grobmyer, S., “Near infrared absorbing and luminescent gold speckled silica nanoparticles for photothermal therapy,” Journal of Materials Chemistry, 20, 5182–5185, 2010.
*Krishna, V., Stevens, N., Koopman, B., and Moudgil, B., “Optical heating and transformation of functionalized fullerenes,” Nature Nanotechnology 5 (5), 330–334, 2010.
*Zhao, J., Krishna, V., Hua, B., Moudgil, B., and Koopman, B., “Effect of UVA irradiance on photocatalytic and UVA inactivation of B. cereus spores,” Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B, 94, 96–100, 2009.
*Zhao, J., Krishna, V., Moudgil, B., and Koopman, B., “Evaluation of endospore purification method applied to Bacillus cereus,” Separation and Purification Technology 61, 341–347, 2008.
Krishna, V., Yanes, D., Imaram, W., Angerhofer, A., Koopman, B., and *Moudgil, B., “Mechanism of enhanced photocatalysis with polyhydroxy fullerenes,” Applied Catalysis B Environmental 79, 376–387, 2008.
Krishna, V., Noguchi, N., Koopman, B. and *Moudgil, B., “Enhancement of titanium dioxide photocatalysis with water-soluble fullerenes,” Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 304 (1), 166–171, 2006. 
*Moudgil, B., Brown, S., and Krishna, V., “Nanotechnology’s challenges = Equipment manufacturers’ opportunities,” Powder and Bulk Engineering, 20 (5), 99–104, 2006.
Yeruva, S., Krishna, V., Moudgil, B. and El-Shall, H., “Nanomaterials: Synthesis, properties and applications,” Industrial Minerals and Rocks 7th Ed., J. Kogel, N. Trivedi, J. Barker and S. Krukowski (Eds.), Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, 1441-1453, 2006.
Powers, K., Brown, S., Krishna, V., Wasdo, S., Moudgil, B., and *Roberts, S., “Research Strategies for Safety Evaluation of Nanomaterials, Part 6: Characterization of Nanoscale Particles for Toxicological Evaluation,” Toxicological Sciences, 90 (2), 296–303, 2006.
Krishna, V., Pumprueg, S., Lee, S-H., Zhao, J., Sigmund, W., Koopman, B., and *Moudgil, B., “Photocatalytic disinfection with titanium dioxide coated multi-wall carbon nanotubes,” Process Safety and Environmental Protection, 83 (B4), 393-397, 2005.

Issue Date

Patent #

Patent Title

2015 US 9,084,989 Enhancement of electron scavenging by water-soluble fullerenes
2015 US 9,011,309 Devices for thermally induced transformations controlled by irradiation of functionalized fullerenes
2015 US 8,986,516 Optical release of hydrogen from functionalized fullerenes as storage materials
2015 US 8,974,644 Production of carbon nanostructures from functionalized fullerenes
2014 US 8,883,124 Use of fullerenes for photoacoustic imaging
2014 US 8,709,217 Production of carbon nanostructures from functionalized fullerenes
2013 US 8,373,139 Optical luminescence of functionalized fullerenes in vacuum or oxygen-free environment
2012 US 8,105,754 Functionalized fullerenes for nanolithography applications
2009 US 7,541,509 Photocatalytic nanocomposites and applications thereof
2005 ZA 2004/02951, BRPI 0213750 Detergent bar composition and process for its manufacture
2005 CN 1,675,349 Process for detergent bar manufacture

03/26/2018 |  

Harnessing the Power of Light to Kill Surface Pathogens

A new study led by Vijay Krishna, PhD, Lerner Research Institute Department of Biomedical Engineering, offers an innovative, feasible and cost- and labor-efficient solution to a problem that challenges many healthcare systems: hospital-acquired infections. The researchers show that a chemical compound, when exposed to visible light, can effectively degrade organic surface contaminants. This discovery may help improve patient health, hospital readmission rates and operating costs.