JEOUNG SOO LEE, PhD
Assistant Professor of Bioengineering
Neuron-specific Polymeric Micelle Delivery System for Neural Regeneration
Physical trauma or ischemia results in significant damage to the central nervous system (CNS). The regenerative capacity of the injured adult CNS is extremely limited, due to both extrinsic microenvironmental factors and intrinsic, age-related changes in plasticity. With few existing therapies available, CNS injury commonly leads to permanent loss of cognitive, motor, and/or sensory function. Strategies for improving axonal regeneration include antagonism of growth-inhibitory molecules and their receptors; delivery of growth-promoting stimuli through cell transplantation and neurotrophic factor delivery; and manipulation of cyclic nucleotide levels. While all these approaches have achieved varying degrees of improvement in plasticity, regeneration, and function; it is clear that no single therapeutic will achieve adequate functional recovery. Recently, combinatorial strategies incorporating two or more of the above therapeutic modalities have achieved synergistic increases in axonal growth and functional recovery. In order to realize the full potential of combinatorial therapy, there is a need for the development of platform technologies capable of simultaneously delivering multiple bioactive molecules targeting different barriers to axonal regeneration. The objective of this proposal is to gather critical preliminary data to provide improved evidence of feasibility and enable the development of a competitive R01 submission applying this drug delivery technology for the treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI).