Advancing medical technologies to address unmet needs with scalable solutions
Our goal is to innovate, design, develop and optimize physical devices, software platforms, and artificial intelligence algorithms to create new approaches to deliver Precision Medicine for patients. These approaches can include medical devices which can be customized for patients, especially children where their size and physiology vary dramatically as they grow from a baby into young adults. We also work on scalable solutions in terms of implementing their widespread availability to the general population as well as exploring efficient and cost-effective ways for manufacturing.
Microenvironment Modulation. The tissue microenvironment consists of a dynamic population of cellular and non-cellular components which form a multifaceted network. Our research aims to manipulate the microenvironment using soundwaves in order to create an unprecedented opportunity to facilitate tissue regeneration, stem cell homing and permeation, and immune cell modulation with, or without, locoregional delivery of therapies. In the setting of cancer, soundwaves can also manipulate the stroma around cancer cells, as well as alter tumor blood vessel integrity thereby helping therapies to cross the vasculature and effectively access tumor cells.
Therapy Optimization. While MSCs have potent regenerative effects, their effects can be augmented either through genetic modification or by priming the parent cell. Our research focuses on producing source-specific MSCs which overexpress specific proteins as well as using unique non-invasive techniques to augment the bioenergetic profile of MSCs, expressed in terms of the ability of the parent cell to produce tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) or EVs with high mitochondria and miRNA content.
Precision Devices. Majority of interventional devices and equipment are designed and developed specifically for adults; as such, these devices are often sub-optimally adapted so they can be used in children who have unique challenges given their smaller body size and continual growth trajectories. Our research aims to change this approach by developing custom devices that can be easily modulated to ensure they are the correct size, and function correctly, for any child.
Molecular Imaging and Early Detection. Conventional imaging is able to detect diseases only when there is a physical/anatomical change. However, as we gain a greater understanding into the molecular pathways which are activated in different diseases, we are now developing molecular probes which can detect these changes at the earliest possible stage, often before there is any gross change. Our research is developing nanoprobes for the early detection of abnormal cells as well as changes that occur in the tissue microenvironment either when diseases start or as they change in response to therapy.
Biocontructs present a unique opportunity to create platforms that can co-localize therapies as well as create microenvironments required for cells to optimally function. Our research has been developing novel bioscaffolds that are specifically designed to accommodate cellular therapies. These constructs can be functionalized to allow them to support and restore the bioenergetic profile of transplanted cells, as well as provide these cells with nutrients and oxygen while also facilitating their engraftment and revascularization into the host tissue.
3D Printing allows medical products and devices to be “custom made” thereby allowing them to be specifically tailored to an individual patient. Our research is exploring these, and other additional applications of 3D printing, which includes printing of high fidelity models of patient’s anatomy to better visualize and plan interventions with high accuracy thereby improving patient outcomes.
Workflow Software. Clinical care is complex with multiple moving parts operating in the background to ensure the patient journey throughout the healthcare system is smooth. However, these parts are often complex, multi-faceted and require complex integration in both the digital and real world. With the rise in telehealth applications and workflow programs, we are taking advantage of these platforms to create operational workflows which allow efficient and transparent integration of all aspects of the patient’s journey through the interventional world, thereby ensuring patient compliance, satisfaction and safety.
Augmented and Virtual Reality. The interventional suite is a complex environment that requires the integration of multiple complex imaging modalities with different technologies and equipment. We are exploring ways we can bring this all into the control of the interventional physician during procedures through augmented and virtual reality to allow them to be able to operate with all the required information within their immediate reach in a “heads up display”, analogous to what we currently use in cars.