Inflammation is crucial for enabling our immune system to eliminate infections. However, once a threat has been cleared, it’s important to turn that inflammation off so it doesn’t result in further harm to our healthy tissue. Normally, lipid mediators help to resolve this inflammation, but their absence can lead to chronic inflammation associated with diseases like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and can even lead to cancer. Currently, the drugs used to suppress this chronic inflammation are administered systemically, which can leave patients susceptible to infection. Therefore, the goal of Dr. Padmini Pillai’s work is to develop a nanoparticle-based platform that allows these inflammation-resolving molecules to be delivered locally to sites of chronic inflammation. By exploring the ability of this approach to repair intestinal tissue damage in a mouse model of IBD, Dr. Pillai aims to not only provide relief for these patients, but also to highlight a strategy that could have a profound impact on preventing gastrointestinal cancers.
Projects and Grants
Oral Delivery of Inflammation-targeting Resolvin Nanoparticles to treat IBD
Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Colorectal Cancer, Stomach Cancer | 2017 | Robert Langer, Sc.D.
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