Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.
Currently we are studying the reprogramming of cells, nano-drug-carriers and small vesicles called exosomes produced by adult stem cells.The cells have the remarkable ability to home to injured tissues and repair them by a variety of mechanisms that include differentiation, immune modulation, suppression of inflammation, stimulation of tissue-endogenous stem/progenitor cells, and perhaps transfer of mitochondria. Recently we and others found that many of the beneficial effects of MSCs are explained by their secretion of exosomes. The aim of our research is to bridge the gap between basic science and clinical translation in the field of regenerative medicine and experimental cell therapeutics.We are hoping to use the vesicles to package small-molecule, protein, and RNA drugs or even use them as therapies themselves.We have designed a multifunctional nanoplatform for engineering and reprogramming vesicles and proved their potential to reach injured/diseased or cancer cells. Additionally, engineered and reprogrammed vesicles are highly versatile systems that can be tunable for a broader range of applications.