The developmet of novel techniques for locoregional delivery of therapeutics to the kidney
Cell-based therapy is a promising strategy for treating acute and chronic kidney disease. MSCs hold great potential to repair kidney injury via their paracrine and endocrine actions. The route of MSC delivery has been postulated to influence their ability to home and engraft to the damaged tissue, thereby affecting their efficacy for renal repair. We are developing techniques to directly deliver MSCs into the kidney, via the renal artery, which we believe will be associated with higher retention rates of MSCs within an injured kidney.
The effects of pulsed focused ultrasound on the kidney for mesenchymal stem cell homing
In contrast to continuous-focused ultrasound (cFUS), which deposits energy in tissues to generate extreme temperatures for ablative therapy, pulsed focused ultrasound (pFUS) utilizes short cycles of sound waves to shake tissue. This causes a transient local increase in chemoattractants (i.e. cytokines, trophic factors and cell adhesion molecules) with only very minimal temperature elevations within a normal physiological range (i.e. 1-3oC). Up-regulation of these chemoattractants generates a “molecular zip-code”, which provides signals for MSC homing, permeability and retention. Hence, we are examining the effects of pFUS on the kidney in different settings of acute renal failure, chronic renal failure and in renal transplantation in small animal models.