Mangala  Srinivas

Mangala  Srinivas

Srinivas , Mangala

Research Interests

Mangala’s research focuses on contrast agents for in vivo imaging. Her early work helped established the field of 19F MRI for quantitative in vivo cell tracking. More recently, her group works on customisable nanoparticles for imaging and advanced personalised medicine applications. Some of these nanoparticles will be tested in a clinical cell tracking study using multimodal imaging beginning in 2016, in melanoma patients. Her group works with fluorescence, MRI, PET, SPECT, ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging in various disease models. A spin-off to bring the nanoparticles patients on a larger scale is being set-up. This multidisciplinary work is supported by prestigious grants such as an ERC Starting Grant, among others.

 Brief CV

Mangala completed her Bachelor’s degree (with Honours) at the National University of Singapore, before continuing on to a Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, USA), publishing the first paper on the use of an imaging technique, 19F MRI, for the in vivo quantification of cell numbers. Part of this work was also licensed to an American spin-off. She then moved on to the Dept. of Tumor Immunology at RadboudUMC, to translate her previous work on imaging to the clinic. Mangala obtained an NWO Veni, which allowed her to continue her research at the department, expanding to more imaging modalities. This led to further patents, and a spin-off currently in the works. Mangala is a board member of the Young Academy of Europe, a category chair for the annual European Molecular Imaging Meeting (EMIM), and won the Dutch Venture Challenge in 2015. She also received an ERC Starting grant and an ERC Proof of Concept grant (2016) to further her work on multimodal contrast agents for clinical imaging.

 Key words
In vivo imaging, cell tracking, 19F MRI, MRI, SPECT, ultrasound, photoacoustics, optoacoustics, nanoparticles, targeting, PLGA particles, perfluorocarbons, cell therapy, stem cells

 Break-through discoveries

  1. Polymeric nanoparticles with a unique structure and properties for imaging (patent pending).
  2. Unique agents for theranostics (patent pending).
  3. Work never gets boring (not incl. paperwork).



This work is inherently multidisciplinary, and spans the fields of imaging (optimisation, contrast agent development), chemistry (nanoparticle formulation and modification, production and upscaling, analytic methods such as various forms of electron microscopy, light scattering, spectroscopy), in vivo preclinical work (primarily rodent models of cell therapy and diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease), clinical work (regulatory and translational issues, practical and feasibility issues) and physics (acoustic characterisation). Much of this research is done with expert collaborators.


Key publications

  1. Ahrens ET, Srinivas M. Cellular labelling and quantification for nuclear magnetic resonance techniques. US Patent number 60/792003; filed April 14, 2006.This has been licensed to Celsense Inc., Pittsburgh PA USA.
  2. Srinivas M, de Korte C, de Vries IJM, Cruz RLJ, Figdor CG. Contrast agents for imaging (pending, filed Sep. 14, 2012).
  3. Srinivas M, Morel PA, Ernst LA, Laidlaw DH, Ahrens ET. Fluorine-19 MRI for visualization and quantification of cell migration in a diabetes model. Magn Reson Med 58(4): 725-734, 2007.
  4. Srinivas M, Heerschap A, Ahrens ET, Figdor CG, de Vries IJM. 19F MRI for quantitative in vivo tracking of cellular therapeutics. Trends Biotechnol 28(7):363-70, 2010. Cited on Wikipedia.
  5. Srinivas M, Cruz JL, Bonetto F, Heerschap A, Figdor CG, de Vries IJM. Clinically relevant customizable PLGA-encapsulated cell labels for 19F MRI. Biomaterials 31(27):7070-7, 2010.
  6. Aarntzen EHJG, Srinivas M*, de Wilt JHW*, Jacobs JFM, Lesterhuis WJ, Windhorst AD, Troost EG, Bonenkamp JJ, van Rossum MW, Blokx WAM, Mus RD, Boerman OC, Punt CJA, Figdor CF, Oyen WJM, Boerman OC, de Vries IJM.Early identification of antigen-specific immune responses in vivo by [18F]FLT PET imaging. PNAS USA 108(95): 18396-99, 2011.