By P.T. Bopanna
Coorg-born and United States-based scientist Dr Lohitash Karumbaiah (in picture) has developed a “brain glue” to repair acutely damaged brains.
Lohitash, son of the late Ballachanda Kambu Karumbaiah, an Army officer, and Krishna, a retired State Bank official, is leading a team of researchers at the University of Georgia, to develop the glue to be implanted soon after brain injury which could boost the healing ability and stave off otherwise untreatable brain damage.
A graduate of the Bangalore University, Lohitash did his M.S. at Griffith University in Australia and later obtained his doctorate from the University of Georgia.
The “brain glue” is a type of hydrogel that was actually created back in 2017 by Lohitash.
According to reports, the team’s earlier research suggested that the glue did seem to work as intended over the short term in rats with severe brain injuries, with benefits documented up to four weeks later. Rats and humans do share a lot of similar brain circuitry, so it is very much possible that this glue will be able to help people with these kinds of injuries. But further studies and clinical trials in people would need to be done before one could start to see this sort of technology widely used in hospitals. To that end, Karumbaiah has filed for a patent on his brain glue and his team has secured funding to continue pursuing this research. It is the sort of work that could not only help people with severe traumatic brain injuries but other neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease.
Lohitash is married to Sunaina, daughter of Mukkatira Sunny and Usha Medappa. They have two sons – Nakul and Vidhur.