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Photo of Bijukumar, Divya Rani

Divya Rani Bijukumar, PhD

Assistant Professor (RT)

Department of Biomedical Sciences


Building & Room:

UIC Health Sciences Campus-Rockford


1601 Parkview Ave., Rockford, IL 61107

Related Sites:


Blazer Foundation of Rockford Nanomedicine Laboratory

Divya Bijukumar, PhD, is the principal investigator of the University of Illinois College of Medicine’s Blazer Nanomedicine Lab in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Bijukumar’s research focuses on nano drug delivery and nanotoxicology. She was trained as a nano-biotechnologist and has experience in cellular and molecular biology research to study cell-material interactions. Her team has been working on the development of polymeric nanoparticles to improve the efficiency of hydrophobic drugs for therapeutic applications of retinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and retinopathy of prematurity that share the common pathophysiology of neovascularization with cancer. In addition, her lab is also working on developing a combinatorial approach for arthritis treatment using natural products. Most of her investigations were centered on improving the solubility and bioavailability of the existing drugs for better efficiency in cancer treatment. Dr. Bijukumar extended her research to the neurotoxicity and immunotoxicology of metallic nanoparticles. She has been involved in the recent development of cell-accelerated corrosion at the head taper modular junction by detailed evaluation of macrophage phenotypes induced by metal nanoparticles and their role in corrosion in implants. Her research work received the prestigious William. H. Harris Award from the Orthopedic Research Society in 2020 for the contribution towards providing experimental evidence of cell-induced implant corrosion research area.

In addition, Dr. Bijukumar is collaborating with Northwestern University, Northern Illinois University and Rush University Medical Center. Her research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH/NINDS and NIH/NIBIB) and Blazer Foundation.

Selected Publications

Bijukumar, D.R., Segu, A., Chastain, P and Mathew, M.T. Implant-derived CoCrMo alloy nanoparticle disrupts DNA replication dynamics in neuronal cells. Cell Biology and Toxicology2021, pp.1-15.

Nagaraj R, Yi S, Mathew B, Shull KR, Scott EA, Mathew MT, Bijukumar DR. High-density display of an anti-angiogenic peptide on micelle surfaces enhances their inhibition of αvβ3 integrin-mediated neovascularization in vitro. Nanomaterials2020, 10(3), 581.

Bijukumar, D.R., Salunkhe, S., Zheng, G., Hall, D., Pourzal, R., Mathew, M.T. Wear particles induce a new macrophage phenotype with the potential to accelerate material corrosion within total hip replacements interfaces. Acta biomaterialia, 101, 2020, pp. 586-597

Nagaraj, R., Bijukumar, D.R., Mathew, B., Scott, E.A. and Mathew, M.T. A review on recent advancements in ophthalmology devices: Currently in the market and under clinical trials. Journal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology522019, pp.334-345.

Bijukumar, D.R., Salunkhe, S., Morris, D., Segu, A., Hall, D., Pourzal, R., Mathew, M.T. In vitro evidence for cell accelerated corrosion within modular junctions of THR. Journal of Orthopedic Research2019, pp.1-15. The recipient of William Harris Award

Bijukumar, D.R., Segu, A., Souza, J.C., Li, X., Barba, M., Mercuri, L.G., Jacobs, J.J. and Mathew, M.T. Systemic and local toxicity of metal debris released from hip prostheses: A review of experimental approaches. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine14(3), 2018, pp.951-963.

Bijukumar, D., Choonara, Y.E., Murugan, K., Choonara, B.F., Kumar, P., du Toit, L.C. and Pillay, V. Design of an inflammation-sensitive polyelectrolyte-based topical drug delivery system for arthritis. AAPS PharmSciTech17(5), 2016, pp.1075-1085.

Bijukumar, D., Choonara, Y.E., Kumar, P., du Toit, L.C. and Pillay, V. An electro-conductive fluid as a responsive implant for the controlled stimuli-release of diclofenac sodium. Pharmaceutical development and technology21(7), 2016, pp.875-886.

Rejinold, N.S., Muthunarayanan, M., Divyarani, V.V., Sreerekha, P.R., Chennazhi, K.P., Nair, S.V., Tamura, H. and Jayakumar, R. Curcumin-loaded biocompatible thermoresponsive polymeric nanoparticles for cancer drug delivery. Journal of colloid and interface science360(1), 2011, pp.39-51.

Anitha, A., Deepagan, V.G., Rani, V.D., Menon, D., Nair, S.V. and Jayakumar, R. Preparation, characterization, in vitro drug release and biological studies of curcumin loaded dextran sulphate–chitosan nanoparticles. Carbohydrate Polymers84(3), 2011, pp.1158-1164.