An associate professor from the University of Texas, Arlington has begun working with the American Heart Association (AHA) to develop an innovative method that uses injected nanoparticles to mobilize stem cells from an individual’s own blood to form stents in the management of damaged blood vessels.
Kytai Nguyen is a bioengineering associate professor at UT Arlington, and recently received a grant worth $140,000, to be given over a span of two years. The grant will fund her research on more effective ways to treat and manage peripheral artery disease, which is a condition diagnosed in over 8 million Americans. According to Nguyen, statistics show nearly 30% of patients living with peripheral artery disease were forced to resort to amputation within two years of diagnosis, while about 50% died from the condition.
“We have created this nanoparticle scaffold, which we inject into the body … Those scaffolds attract stem cells that help in building natural vasculature to replace narrowed or shut-down blood vessels.” – Kytai Nguyen
Currently practicing physicians have been using angioplasty, or have been implanting stents in these patients’ blood vessels. The interim bioengineering chair and professor, Liping Tang, commented that Nguyen’s approach to peripheral artery disease will be the least invasive treatment and management opton.
Photo from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov