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Pankaj Karande - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Troy, NY, US

Pankaj Karande Pankaj Karande

Associate Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Focuses on engineering peptides as novel drugs, drug carriers, affinity agents, and biomaterials for medical applications


Areas of Expertise (6)


Vaccine Design

Drug Delivery

Drug Discovery

Peptide Engineering



Prof. Karande joined the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at Rensselaer in 2008. Before joining Rensselaer, Prof. Karande was a postdoctoral scholar in the Chemical Engineering Department and Center for Cancer Research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He obtained his Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara in 2006 where his thesis work focused on the use of chemical enhancers for transdermal drug delivery. Prof. Karande has received numerous awards for his work including The Edison Award for best Product in Science and Medicine (2009), The Anna Fuller Fellowship in Molecular Oncology (2006-2007), Outstanding Pharmaceutical Paper by the Controlled Release Society (2005) and the Fionna Goodchild Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring (2004). Prof. Karande is an inventor on several patents in the area of Transdermal Formulation Discovery and Novel High Throughput Screening Platforms. He has served as scientific advisor to fqubed Inc., a soft materials innovation company (now part of Nuvo research).

Prof. Karande’s research program is focused on engineering peptides as novel drugs, drug carriers, affinity agents and multifunctional biomaterials for medical applications. Peptides play vital roles in various biological functions including membrane assembly, cell regulation and immunity. Inspired by their roles in physiological processes, the Karande Lab is evaluating the potential of short peptide sequences as therapeutics for cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, immune disorders and as sub-unit vaccines against infectious diseases.

The basic paradigm in contemporary peptide design is based on mimicking and conserving structural themes available in nature. Although such techniques have shown some success they are inherently limited in their potential as they fail to encompass possible structural motifs associated with a broader range of functionalities not seen in nature. Additional limitation of these approaches is the confinement to natural diversities of motifs. Inclusion of synthetic diversities (non-canonical amino acids) in engineered peptide frameworks provides added flexibility in tailoring physical, chemical and biological properties. The lab is interested in exploring the functional landscape of synthetic peptides comprised of a mix of canonical and non-canonical amino acids.



Pankaj Karande Publication




2017 SID State of the Art Plenary #4


Education (2)

UC Santa Barbara: Ph.D. 2006

Mumbai University Institute of Chemical Technology: B.S., Chemical Engineering 2001

Media Appearances (1)

3D-Bioprinting Conference Showcases Versatility

Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News  


3D-printing platforms for human skin have attracted a lot of interest for their use as grafts for burns or chronic wounds. Pankaj Karande, Ph.D., associate professor of chemical and biological engineering with the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has developed 3D-printed, vascularized skin grafts that have superior qualities to currently existing grafts. He described some of his results in his presentation, “3D Printing of Full-Thickness Vascularized Human Skin Grafts.” His group has designed the grafts and tested them to treat wounds on mice. According to his research, the vascularized grafts integrated into the wound site better than avascularized grafts...

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Articles (4)

Design and Fabrication of Human Skin by Three-Dimensional Bioprinting

Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods

Vivian Lee, Gurtej Singh, John P Trasatti, Chris Bjornsson, Xiawei Xu, Thanh Nga Tran, Seung-Schik Yoo, Guohao Dai, Pankaj Karande

2013 Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting, a flexible automated on-demand platform for the free-form fabrication of complex living architectures, is a novel approach for the design and engineering of human organs and tissues. Here, we demonstrate the potential of 3D bioprinting for tissue engineering using human skin as a prototypical example. Keratinocytes and fibroblasts were used as constituent cells to represent the epidermis and dermis, and collagen was used to represent the dermal matrix of the skin. Preliminary studies were conducted to optimize printing parameters for maximum cell viability as well as for the optimization of cell densities in the epidermis and dermis to mimic physiologically relevant attributes of human skin...

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Nanofluidic device for continuous multiparameter quality assurance of biologics

Nature Nanotechnology

Sung Hee Ko, Divya Chandra, Wei Ouyang, Taehong Kwon, Pankaj Karande & Jongyoon Han


Process analytical technology (PAT) is critical for the manufacture of high-quality biologics as it enables continuous, real-time and on-line/at-line monitoring during biomanufacturing processes. The conventional analytical tools currently used have many restrictions to realizing the PAT of current and future biomanufacturing. Here we describe a nanofluidic device for the continuous monitoring of biologics’ purity and bioactivity with high sensitivity, resolution and speed. Periodic and angled nanofilter arrays served as the molecular sieve structures to conduct a continuous size-based analysis of biologics. A multiparameter quality monitoring of three separate commercial biologic samples within 50 minutes has been demonstrated, with 20 µl of sample consumption, inclusive of dead volume in the reservoirs. Additionally, a proof-of-concept prototype system, which integrates an on-line sample-preparation system and the nanofluidic device, was demonstrated for at-line monitoring. Thus, the system is ideal for on-site monitoring, and the real-time quality assurance of biologics throughout the biomanufacturing processes.

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Enhancement of transdermal drug delivery via synergistic action of chemicals

Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Biomembranes

Pankaj Karande, Samir Mitragotri

2009 Transdermal drug delivery is an attractive alternative to conventional techniques for administration of systemic therapeutics. One challenge in designing transdermal drug delivery systems is to overcome the natural transport barrier of the skin. Chemicals offer tremendous potential in overcoming the skin barrier to enhance transport of drug molecules...

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Discovery of transdermal penetration enhancers by high-throughput screening

Nature Biotechnology

Pankaj Karande, Amit Jain, Samir Mitragotri

2004 Although transdermal drug delivery is more attractive than injection, it has not been applied to macromolecules because of low skin permeability. Here we describe particular mixtures of penetration enhancers that increase skin permeability to macromolecules (∼ 1–10 kDa) by up to∼ 100-fold without inducing skin irritation. The discovery of these mixtures was enabled by an experimental tool, in vitro skin impedance guided high-throughput (INSIGHT) screening, which is> 100-fold more efficient than current tools. In vitro experiments demonstrated that the mixtures delivered macromolecular drugs, including heparin, leutinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) and oligonulceotides, across the skin...

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