Student Presentation -- M. Martin Jensen
Home → Student Presentations Index → Student Presentation -- M. Martin Jensen

ICS import...
ICal Link

Ph.D. Research Proposal, Monday May 21, 2018 -- Silk-Elastinlike Protein Polymer-based Embolics for Minimally Invasive Repair of Cranial Vascular Defects

SMBB 3250 , 10:00 am

speaker photo

Speaker: M. Martin Jensen. Advisor: Dr. Hamid Ghandehari


Improved embolic tools for the treatment of vascular defects such as cerebral aneurysms (CA), arteriovenous malformations, and hypervascular tumors in the head and neck are needed. For example, CA are a common class vascular malformation, comprised of a bulge in a weakened vessel wall that is present in up to 3.2% of the general population. While CAs are typically asymptomatic, they can rupture spontaneously and cause severe hemorrhagic stroke. Rupture is fatal in 65% of cases and causes severe disability in over 50% of survivors. CAs are especially difficult to treat due to the risks associated with damaging nearby tissue during the intervention. Current therapies prevent rupture by diverting flow away from an aneurysm either by filling the aneurysmal sac with an embolic material or diverting flow using a stent-like device. However, current embolic treatments fail in 20-57% of cases. Challenges associated with currently available embolics permanently leave residual material in patients, can be challenging to deploy, use toxic organic solvents, depend upon thrombus formation for occlusion, and interfere with subsequent MRI or CT imaging. An ideal treatment CA and other vascular defects must be minimally invasive, not interfere with follow-up imaging, reinforce weakened vasculature, create a durable occlusion independent of thrombus, and facilitate healing. We hypothesize that self-assembling protein polymers can be used in place of traditional materials such as metal and synthetic polymers to create improved embolic treatments for CA and other classes of vascular defects. The exquisite control offered by genetically engineering these materials at the molecular level allows for the precise tailoring of structure to function. Silk-elastinlike protein polymers (SELP) combine the thermoresponsive solubility of elastin with the strength of silk to create hybrid molecules with tunable solubility and mechanical properties. We propose to create and investigate a SELP based liquid embolic using characterization of physicochemical properties, in vitro biocompatibility, testing performance in fluidic models, and performing a pilot trial in a preclinical animal model.