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Sumona Sarkar

Research Interests  

  • Cell therapy and regenerative medicine
  • Measurement assurance strategies
  • Cell counting and cell viability measurements
  • Bio-mineralization and osteogenic differentiation measurements
  • Bone marrow stromal cell characterization
  • Cell-material interactions
  • Cell shape metrology and machine learning strategies
  • Biomimetic polymer synthesis & characterization

 Cell Characterization

Left: Confocal microscopy image of NIH 3T3 E1 mouse osteoblastic cells after 21 days of culture stained for nuclei (blue, DAPI), actin cytoskeleton (yellow, phalloidin) and mineral (red, calcein blue). Middle: Confocal microscopy image of a human marrow stromal cell (hMSC) in a nanofiber scaffold, outlined for morphology analysis (red, actin cytoskeleton (phalloidin), green, computer generated outline). Right: NIH 3T3 fibroblasts in a hemocytometer counting chamber. Cell counting is a fundamental measurement for the biosciences and efforts are underway to improve confidence in cell counting. 

Honors and Activities

  • U.S. Expert to ISO TC/276 Biotechnology, Working Group 3 (Analytical Methods)
  • Mentor, NIST SURF student program (2013 – present)
  • NIST Sigma XI Most outstanding biology and biotechnology poster presentation, 2013
  • NIST-NRC Postdoctoral Fellow, January 2012 – January 2014 
  • Best Student Paper, International Symposium on Surface and Interface of Biomaterials
  • Physical Cell Biology Fellow, 2008-2009
  • Graduate Student Award for Inspired Teaching, 2008
  • Engineering Design Education Fellow, 2007 - 2008
  • Duke University Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow, 2002    



  • Simon Jr CG, Lin-Gibson S, Elliott JT, Sarkar S, Plant AL (2016) Strategies for achieving measurement assurance for cell therapy products. Stem Cells Translational Medicine, in press.
  • Tutak W, Sarkar S, Lin-Gibson S, Farooque TM, Jyotsnendu G, Wang D, Kohn J, Bolikal D, Simon Jr CG (2013) The Support of Bone Marrow Stromal Cell Differentiation by Airbrushed Nanofiber Scaffolds. Biomaterials 34, 2389-2398.
  • Sarkar, S., Lightfoot-Vidal, S. E., Schauer, C. L., Vresilovic, E., and Marcolongo, M.. "Terminal-end functionalization of chondroitin sulfate for the synthesis of biomimetic proteoglycans." Carbohydrate Polymers 90, no. 1 (2012): 431-440.
  • Marcolongo M, Sarkar S, Ganesh N. Comprehensive Biomaterials: Trends in Materials for Spine Surgery. Ducheyne P, editor (2011). (Book Chapter) 
  • Thomas JD, Fussell G, Sarkar S, Lowman AM, Marcolongo M. Synthesis and recovery characteristics of branched and grafted PNIPAAm-PEG hydrogels for the development of an injectable load-bearing nucleus pulposus replacement. Acta Biomaterialia. 2010;6(4):1319-28.
  • Sarkar, S., Isenberg, B.C., Hodis, E., Leach, J.B., Desai, T.A., Wong, J.Y., (2008). Fabrication of a Layered Microstructured Polycaprolactone Construct for 3-D Tissue Engineering. J Biomat Sci: Polym Ed 19(10).
  • Sarkar, S., G.Y. Lee, J.Y. Wong, T.A. Desai (2006). Vascular Tissue Engineering: Development and Characterization of a Porous Micro-Patterned Scaffold for Vascular Tissue Engineering Applications. Biomaterials 27(27): 4775-4782.
  • Sarkar, S., M. Dadhania, J.Y. Wong, T.A. Desai. (2005). Vascular tissue engineering: Microtextured scaffold templates to control organization of vascular smooth muscle cells and extracellular matrix. Acta Biomaterialia 1(1): 93-100.  


  • Compositions and Methods for Treating a Disorder or Defect in Soft Tissue. Michele Marcolongo, Edward Vresilovic, Benjamin Jackson, Sumona Sarkar, Caroline Schauer.


Biomedical Engineer
Biosystems and Biomaterials Division
Biomaterials Group

Employment History:

(2014 – Present) Staff Scientist, NIST, Gaithersburg, MD
(2012 – 2014) NRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, NIST


Ph.D., Drexel University, Biomedical Engineering September, 2011

M.S., Boston University, Biomedical Engineering, 2006

B.S., Boston University, Biomedical Engineering, 2003


Phone: 301-975-8595
Email: sumona.sarkar@nist.gov