Education & Certifications
Doctor of Philosophy, Stanford University, BIOE-PHD (2014)
Bachelor of Arts, San Jose State University, Philosophy (2003)
Master of Science, University of California Davis, Biomedical Engineering (2008)
R&D engineering team of two. Worked on the development of MRI-based surgical guide tools for total knee replacement, partial knee replacement, and hip-resurfacing.
Stem cells hold great potential for therapeutic angiogenesis due to their ability to directly contribute to new vessel formation or secrete paracrine signals. Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) are a particularly attractive autologous cell source for therapeutic angiogenesis due to their ease of isolation and relative abundance. Gene therapy may be used to further enhance the therapeutic efficacy of ADSCs by overexpressing desired therapeutic factors. Here, we developed vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-overexpressing ADSCs utilizing poly(β-amino esters) (PBAEs), a hydrolytically biodegradable polymer, and examined the effects of paracrine release from nonviral modified ADSCs on the angiogenic potential of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in vitro. PBAE polymeric vectors delivered DNA into ADSCs with high efficiency and low cytotoxicity, leading to an over 3-fold increase in VEGF production by ADSCs compared with Lipofectamine 2000. Paracrine release from PBAE/VEGF-transfected ADSCs enhanced HUVEC viability and decreased HUVEC apoptosis under hypoxia. Further, paracrine release from PBAE/VEGF-transfected ADSCs significantly enhanced HUVEC migration and tube formation, two critical cellular processes for effective angiogenesis. Our results demonstrate that genetically engineered ADSCs using biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles may provide a promising autologous cell source for therapeutic angiogenesis in treating cardiovascular diseases.
View details for DOI 10.1089/scd.2012.0201
View details for Web of Science ID 000313677000012
Angiogenesis is essential to wound repair, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent factor to stimulate angiogenesis. Here, we examine the potential of VEGF-overexpressing adipose-derived stromal cells (ASCs) for accelerating wound healing using nonviral, biodegradable polymeric vectors. Mouse ASCs were transfected with DNA plasmid encoding VEGF or green fluorescent protein (GFP) using biodegradable poly (β-amino) esters (PBAE). Cells transfected using Lipofectamine 2000, a commercially available transfection reagent, were included as controls. ASCs transfected using PBAEs showed enhanced transfection efficiency and 12-15-fold higher VEGF production compared with cells transfected using Lipofectamine 2000 (*P < 0.05). When transplanted into a mouse wild-type excisional wound model, VEGF-overexpressing ASCs led to significantly accelerated wound healing, with full wound closure observed at 8 days compared to 10-12 days in groups treated with ASCs alone or saline control (*P < 0.05). Histology and polarized microscopy showed increased collagen deposition and more mature collagen fibers in the dermis of wound beds treated using PBAE/VEGF-modified ASCs than ASCs alone. Our results demonstrate the efficacy of using nonviral-engineered ASCs to accelerate wound healing, which may provide an alternative therapy for treating many diseases in which wound healing is impaired.
View details for DOI 10.1038/mt.2012.234
View details for Web of Science ID 000314434600021
Controlled vascular growth is critical for successful tissue regeneration and wound healing, as well as for treating ischemic diseases such as stroke, heart attack or peripheral arterial diseases. Direct delivery of angiogenic growth factors has the potential to stimulate new blood vessel growth, but is often associated with limitations such as lack of targeting and short half-life in vivo. Gene therapy offers an alternative approach by delivering genes encoding angiogenic factors, but often requires using virus, and is limited by safety concerns. Here we describe a recently developed strategy for stimulating vascular growth by programming stem cells to overexpress angiogenic factors in situ using biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles. Specifically our strategy utilized stem cells as delivery vehicles by taking advantage of their ability to migrate toward ischemic tissues in vivo. Using the optimized polymeric vectors, adipose-derived stem cells were modified to overexpress an angiogenic gene encoding vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). We described the processes for polymer synthesis, nanoparticle formation, transfecting stem cells in vitro, as well as methods for validating the efficacy of VEGF-expressing stem cells for promoting angiogenesis in a murine hindlimb ischemia model.
View details for DOI 10.3791/50736
View details for PubMedID 24121540
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and is often associated with partial or full occlusion of the blood vessel network in the affected organs. Restoring blood supply is critical for the successful treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Therapeutic angiogenesis provides a valuable tool for treating cardiovascular diseases by stimulating the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels. In this review, we discuss strategies developed for therapeutic angiogenesis using single or combinations of biological signals, cells and polymeric biomaterials. Compared to direct delivery of growth factors or cells alone, polymeric biomaterials provide a three-dimensional drug-releasing depot that is capable of facilitating temporally and spatially controlled release. Biomimetic signals can also be incorporated into polymeric scaffolds to allow environmentally-responsive or cell-triggered release of biological signals for targeted angiogenesis. Recent progress in exploiting genetically engineered stem cells and endogenous cell homing mechanisms for therapeutic angiogenesis is also discussed.
View details for DOI 10.7150/thno.4419
View details for Web of Science ID 000307648500006
View details for PubMedID 22916079