Catalyst Projects

2013 Projects

Adhesive Hydrogels for Fetal Surgical Treatment of Spina Bifida

In this project, Phillip Messersmith’s group will design and synthesize polymer hydrogels that will be examined in fetal surgical animal models of myelomeningocele (open spina bifida) with collaborators at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, one of the leading centers for fetal surgery in the world.
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Bioactive Nanofiber Matrix for Spinal Arthrodesis

Erin and Wellington Hsu hope to develop a new treatment method for spinal fusion using a peptide amphiphile gel implant. This effort could result in a bone graft substitute for use in humans that is both universally safe and highly effective in achieving successful fusion.
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Nanofiber-enhanced Delivery of Stem Cells for Muscle Repair

This project involving Samuel Stupp’s Northwestern group and Helen Blau’s laboratory at Stanford University emerged as a result of CRN’s networking activities. The collaborators aim to develop a novel regenerative approach for muscle tissue by combining the regenerative properties of stem cells with highly specialized nanofiber environments. This research could lead to new therapies to treat diseases such as muscular dystrophy and other degenerative muscle conditions related to aging.
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Nanomaterials for Cell-based Therapies in Parkinson's Disease

Recent advances in stem cell biology, tissue engineering, and materials science have revived the hope for new therapeutic strategies in Parkinson's disease. Samuel Stupp’s group is currently developing an artificial extracellular matrix to address the challenges of finding a viable treatment.
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Novel Vehicles for Targeted Cardiovascular Repair

This project involving Melina Kibbe and Samuel Stupp will develop highly innovative, targeted therapeutics delivered by bio-inspired tailorable constructs to prevent restenosis following vascular interventions. If successful, this research could profoundly impact the fields of interventional cardiology, interventional radiology, cardiothoracic surgery, and vascular surgery.
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Peptide Amphiphile-Polymer Hybrids for Articular Cartilage Regeneration

The goal of this research conducted in Ramille Shah’s laboratory is to develop bioactive materials as therapeutic adjuncts that can be used in current clinical procedures for enhancing the regeneration of normal articular cartilage tissue. Findings from this project could lead to clinical translation of a peptide amphiphile system for cartilage regeneration.
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VEGF-based Nanoparticles as a Therapy for Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 1 (SCA1)

Motivated and inspired by current nanotechnology, Puneet Opal’s group will investigate the potential of using a synthetic VEGF peptide amphiphile (VEGF-PA) nano-peptide as an innovative and inexpensive alternative to recombinant VEGF for long-term therapy for cerebellar degenerations, such as Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, and motor neuron disorders.
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CRN catalyzes new research in regenerative medicine using nanotechnology strategies.