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.
Clinical applications of MSC-based therapies are reliant on parent MSCs and MSC-EVs to successfully migrate to damaged tissues following their administration. Unfortunately, MSC homing is inefficient with only a small percentage of cells reaching the target tissue following systemic administration. Indeed, conventional systemic/intravenous administration of MSC-based therapies is rather ineffective given that majority of cells get trapped in the lungs while EVs get trapped in the reticuloendothelial system; this attrition likely represents the major bottleneck from ensuring enough therapy reaches target sites to facilitate tissue regeneration.
Interventional Regenerative Medicine (IRM) is an emerging subspecialty which can be defined by the use of image-guided, minimally-invasive procedures for the targeted delivery of stem cells used in order to regenerate, replace or repair damaged tissues and organs. IRM aims to deliver cellular therapies directly into affected organs via blood vessels (i.e., endovascular), luminal cavities (i.e., endoluminal) or even directly into the damaged tissue (i.e., intraparanchymal). In our lab, we have been developing techniques in small animal models to deliver MSCs
MSCs and MSC-EVs directly into organs, via their arterial blood supply in order to enable these therapies to reach their full therapeutic potential. We have also been investing in the use of pulsed focused ultrasound (pFUS) to modulate and prime the tissue microenvironment to facilitate MSC homing, permeation and retention.