Creating Biomedical Technologies to Improve Health

2018 BESIP Project

Radiology and Imaging Sciences
Mentor Name: 
Joseph Frank M.D.
Scott Burks Ph.D.
Mentor Email: 
Mentor Telephone: 

Laboratory and Project Description

The molecular and cellular effects of Therapeutic and Focused Ultrasound on tissue microenvironment.

The prospective summer intern will work on a project investigating the molecular and cellular mechanotransductive effects of focused ultrasound  (FUS) on tissue microenvironment.  FUS is nondestructive, noninvasive technique that has been shown to induce changes in tissue microenvironment stimulating the increase expression cytokines, chemokines and trophic factors (CCTF) along with cellular adhesion molecules that when coupled with stem cell infusion enhance homing permeability and retention of cells to targeted areas of pathology as part of a regenerative medicine and treatment approach using cellular therapies.

Application of this combined pulsed (p) FUS with stem cells reveals improvement in clinical function and survival in acute kidney injury models when compared to stem cells alone. The pFUS and stem cells therapeutic approach is being investigated in various experimental models of kidney diseases, muscular dystrophy, cardiac diseases and treatment of tumors. The project involves using pFUS to alter the microenvironment in the brain and tumors and monitor the temporal proteomic and transcriptomic changes in the tissue can be altered to an anti-inflammatory or proinflammatory microenvironment as a strategy for stimulating an immune response.  Under the supervision  of a Staff Scientist expert, the intern will assist in performing molecular analysis based on ELISA and histological techniques to further understand the effects of pFUS on the microenvironment.  The intern will learn state of the art focused ultrasound technique along molecular biological and histological to analyze tissues that can ultimately lead to an understanding on how US affects tissue microenvironment and improve its utilization in treatment of disease.