Delivering Genes into the Brain
While gene therapies for the treatment of brain diseases such as Glioblastoma (GBM) could heal and restore brain functions, the viral delivery of genes is the most immediate challenge to overcome. Gene therapy approaches rely on viral vectors for delivery, limiting clinical applications due to safety concerns. Despite the growing evidence supporting the use of biocompatible materials as delivery vectors, the selective blood-brain barrier restricts their clinical application. We investigate the design and fabrication of non-viral, polymer-based carriers that enable the delivery of gene-editing tools across the blood-brain barrier.
Modulating Neural Circuits
Manipulation of brain circuits for the treatment of neurological disorders through direct drug administration is restricted by the selective permeability of the blood-brain barrier, the rapid clearance of cerebral fluids and the lack of specificity which results in poor response to drugs and undesirable side effects. We investigate the development of wireless pharmacological brain stimulation platforms . We design and fabricate hybrid systems that depend on magnetic nanoparticles heating effects to release neuromodulatory compounds on-demand and in multiple dosages.
Promoting Nerve Growth
Human cornea is characterized by being densely innervated, thus, corneal nerve dysfunction is frequently associated with blindness. We investigate the development of synthetic, polymer-based therapeutics that promote corneal tissue innervation. We extent this concept towards general applications in neurogenesis.
We are grateful for the financial support that make our research possible: