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Kajangi Gnanachandran

Postdoctoral Fellow

Job description

Kajangi is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Vascular Biology Research Group. With her background in biotechnology and biophysics, she is developing multicellular liver spheroid technology as a model to test nanoparticle-based therapies that target liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSEC).

After learning about liver spheroids in the Liver Cell Biology group at Brussels Health Campus - Vrije Universiteit Brussel, she is bringing the same technology here in VBRG. 

LSECs are characterized by fenestrations, patent nanopores that facilitate the bidirectional passage of solutes and are smaller than the diffraction limit of light. To visualize these structures in the liver spheroids, she is working with electron microscopy (EM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM).

Project: Development of multicellular liver speroid technology as a model to test nanoparticle-based therapies that target Liver sinusoidal endotheilial cells (LSEC) and reverse the age/disease/drug-related shrinkage/loss of LSEC fenestrations and liver fibrosis development.

Publications outside Cristin


  • K. Gnanachandran , M. Berardi, A. Skar, G. Pyka-Fościak, J. Pabijan, J. Lopez Alonso, BI Akca, M. Lekka, "Multiscale Rheology of Aging Cancer Spheroids", bioRxiv 2023.07.31.550652

Published articles:

  • S. Pérez-Domínguez, S. G. Kulkarni, J. Pabijan, K. Gnanachandran ... M. Lekka, ''Reliable, standardized measurements for cell mechanical properties'', Nanoscale, 2023.
  • N. Makarova, M. Lekka, K. Gnanachandran , and I. Sokolov, "Mechanical Way To Study Molecular Structure of Pericellular Layer", ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2023, 15, 30, 35962–35972
  • M. Berardi, K. Gnanachandran , J. Jiang, K. Bielawski, CW Visser, M. Lekka, BI Akca, "Dynamic Mechanical Analysis of Suspended Soft Bodies via Hydraulic Force Spectroscopy", Soft Matter 2023, 19, 615-624
  • K. Gnanachandran , S. Kedracka-Krok, J. Pabijan, M. Lekka, "Discriminating bladder cancer cells through rheological mechanomarkers at cell and spheroid levels", Journal of Biomechanics 2022, 144, 111346          
  • M. Lekka, K. Gnanachandran , A. Kubiak, T. Zieliński, J. Zemła, "Traction force microscopy Measuring the forces exerted by cells", Micron 2021, 150, 103138.            
  • PN Osuchowska, P. Wachulak, A. Nowak-Stępniowska, A. Bartnik, K. Gnanachandran , M. Lekka, J. Czwartos, H. Fiedorowicz, EA Trafny, "Imaging of Cell Structures Using Optimized Soft X-ray Contact Microscopy" , Applied Science 2020, 10, 6895.

Research interests

Developing multicellular liver spheroid technology and visualizing LSEC fenestrations.

Research methods:

  • Standard 2D cell culture 
  • Spheroid culture
  • Immunostaining
  • Histology
  • Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)
  • Confocal Microscopy
  • Electron Microscopy (EM)
  • Image analysis



Name: Kajangi Gnanachandran

Date of birth : 07 August 1991

Place of birth : Sri Lanka

Citizenship: Italian


  • PhD in Biophysics - March 2023 - Institute of Nuclear Physics - Polish academy of Sciences (IFJ PAN) - Krakòw, Poland

    Research activity conducted under the Marie Skłodowska Curie ITN project "Biomechanics in health and disease: advanced physical tools for innovative early diagnosis – Phys2BioMed". PhD thesis title: "Elastic and rheological properties of human bladder cancer cells: from single cells to spheroids."

  • Master's degree in Medical Biotechnology (LM-9) - March 2019 - University of Milano-Bicocca - School of Medicine and Surgery - Milano, Italy

    Research activity conducted in the biophysics laboratory of the school of medicine and surgery. Title of thesis: “Bioengineered polyproteins for single molecule nanomechanical unfolding of alpha-synuclein WT and mutants.”

  • Bachelor's degree in Biotechnology (L-2) - June 2015 - University of Milano-Bicocca - Department of Biotechnology and Bioscience - Milano, Italy

         Thesis title: “The role of CDCP1 in survival, invasion and metastasization of lung cancer cells.”

Research experience:

  • September 2023 - January 2024 : Liver Cell Biology group at Vrije Universiteit Brussel - Brussels, Belgium
  • June 2022 - July 2022: Institute for Advanced Biosciences, CHU – Grenoble, France
  • November 2021 - January 2022: Urological Research Institute in Ospedale San Raffaele - Milano, Italy
  • September 2021 - October 2021: Institute of Physiology, WWU - Munster, Germany
  • November 2017 - January 2019: Biophysics laboratory of the School of medicine and surgery - University of Milano Bicocca - Milano, Italy
  • May 2014 - June 2015: Hospital Papa Giovanni XXIII - Bergamo, Italy