Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Santosh Aryal Ph.D.

Santosh Aryal, Ph.D.

Department of Translational Imaging
Houston Methodist Research Institute

E-mail: saryal@houstonmethodist.org
Phone: 713-441-3045


B.S.   Tribhuvan University, Nepal (Chemistry and Biology)
M.Sc.   Tribhuvan University, Nepal (Organic Chemistry)
Ph.D.    Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, South Korea (Bionanosystem Engineering)

Postdoctoral Training

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Bionanomaterials, University of California – San Diego
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Drug Delivery Systems, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Natural and Synthetic Hybrid Polymer Systems for Drug Delivery, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, South Korea



Dr. Santosh Aryal received his Ph.D. in Bionanosystem Engineering from Chonbuk National University, South Korea, in 2007. Following 1 year of postdoctoral training at Chonbuk National University and the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, he joined the Department of Nanoengineering, University of California, San Diego, and worked as an assistant project scientist. He joined the Department of Translational Imaging at the Houston Methodist Research Institute in July 2012. Dr. Aryal has 10 years of combined research experience in chemistry, biology, and engineering of biomaterials with a specialization in biocompatible and biodegradable polymers and nanomaterials. His research activities are focused on the synthesis and in vitro/in vivo evaluation of nanoparticle-based delivery systems for imaging and drug/gene delivery. These delivery systems are comprised of lipids, polymers, metals, and combinations. At Houston Methodist, he is developing nanostructured imaging probes that have control over size, shape, surface, and mechanical properties. Long-circulating nanoparticles and surface-engineered discoidal polymeric nanoconstructs that have multifunctional properties, including multimodal imaging and drug/gene delivery, are his ongoing projects. The module studies that he has been conducting since joining the Department of Translation Imaging include chemical modification of contrast agents for better contrast resolution for imaging solid tumors (e.g., melanoma, glioblastoma, and breast tumor) and circulating tumor-in-mice models. Dr. Aryal is also expanding his therapeutic studies with human breast tumor-in-mice models to identify novel targeted therapies or treatment regimens to overcome cancer drug resistance by adapting combination chemotherapy to this application. 

Description of Research

Dr. Aryal’s research seeks to address challenges in nanomedicine, such as circulation of nanoparticles, targeting efficiency, pharmacokinetics, drug resistance, loading efficiency, and control of size, surface, shape, and stiffness (4S parameters) without compromising biocompatibility, biodegradability, or biodistribution (4B parameters) to enhance the therapeutic effect.

Major Areas of Research

molecular imaging, combinatorial drug delivery, polymer synthesis and characterization, nanomedicine, polymer-drug conjugates

Recent Publications

Aryal S, Key J, Stigliano C, Ananta JS, Zhong M, Decuzzi P. Engineered magnetic hybrid nanoparticles with enhanced relaxivity for tumor imaging. Biomaterials. 2013 Oct;34(31):7725-32. PMID:23871540

Di Mascolo D, J Lyon C, Aryal S, Ramirez MR, Wang J, Candeloro P, Guindani M, Hsueh WA, Decuzzi P. Rosiglitazone-loaded nanospheres for modulating macrophage-specific inflammation in obesity. J Control Release. 2013 Sep 28;170(3):460-8. PMID:23791978

Stigliano C, Aryal S, de Tullio MD, Nicchia GP, Pascazio G, Svelto M, Decuzzi P. siRNA-chitosan complexes in poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles for the silencing of aquaporin-1 in cancer cells. Mol Pharm. 2013 Aug 5;10(8):3186-94. PMID:23789777

Key J, Aryal S, Gentile F, Ananta JS, Zhong M, Landis MD, Decuzzi P. Engineering discoidal polymeric nanoconstructs with enhanced magneto-optical properties for tumor imaging. Biomaterials. 2013 Jul;34(21):5402-10. PMID:23611451

Aryal S, Hu CM, Fang RH, Dehaini D, Carpenter C, Zhang DE, Zhang L. Erythrocyte membrane-cloaked polymeric nanoparticles for controlled drug loading and release. Nanomedicine. 2013 Aug;8(8):1271-80. PMID:23409747

Aryal S, Hu CM, Zhang L. Synthesis of Ptsome: A platinum-based liposome-like nanostructure. Chem Commun. 2012 Mar 7;48(20):2630-2. PMID:22286522

Aryal S, Hu CM, Zhang L. Polymeric nanoparticles with precise ratiometric control over drug loading for combination therapy. Mol Pharm. 2011 Aug 1;8(4):1401-7. PMID: 21696189

Hu CM, Zhang L, Aryal S, Cheung C, Fang RH, Zhang L. Erythrocyte membrane-camouflaged polymeric nanoparticles as a biomimetic delivery platform. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2011 Jul 5;108(27):10980-5. PMID:21690347

Aryal S, Hu CM, Zhang L. Combinatorial drug conjugation enables nanoparticle dual-drug delivery. Small. 2010 Jul 5;6(13):1442-8. PMID: 20564488

Aryal S, Hu CM, Zhang L. Polymer-cisplatin conjugate nanoparticles for acid-responsive drug delivery. ACS Nano. 2010 Jan 26;4(1):251-8. PMID: 20039697