Richard J. Price, PhD
Focused ultrasound-targeted delivery of drug-bearing nanocarriers across the blood-brain barrier for treating brain tumors
Ultrasound Targeted Delivery of Nanoparticle Drug and Gene Carriers
The targeted delivery of intravascularly injected genes and drugs to specific regions deep within the body remains a significant challenge in the treatment of many pathological conditions. To address this problem, we are developing ultrasound-activated drug delivery systems that are comprised of various combinations of biodegradable polymer nanoparticles and contrast agent microbubbles. As these agents pass through an ultrasound-targeted region, the microbubble components oscillate and induce microvessel permeabilization which then facilitates the deposition of the controlled-release drug-bearing nanoparticles in the tissue. In pre-clinical studies, we are using these ultrasound-activated drug delivery systems for restoring blood flow to ischemic tissue via growth factor delivery and therapeutic arteriogenesis and for treating brain tumors via enhanced chemotherapeutic drug deposition.
Regulation of Microvascular Structure by Hemodynamic Forces and Bone Marrow-Derived Cells
The formation of new microvessel networks is a critically important event in many normal and pathological adaptations. Proper network assembly involves the formation of new capillaries and the subsequent investment of these new capillaries with perivascular smooth muscle cells. At present, the laboratory is primarily focused on understanding the regulation of microvascular growth and structure during inflammation and wound healing through the use of numerous transgenic, knockout, and chimeric mouse models. Specific projects are aimed at determining how VEGF and shear stress regulate endothelial cell phenotype and function during capillary sprouting and how the chemokine-selective recruitment of bone marrow-derived cell subpopulations affects microvascular blood vessel growth through differential paracrine growth factor signaling.