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Use of a Prostaglandin Analog to Enhance Blood Flow and Tendon Regeneration in a Rabbit Model

keywords IN-VIVO MODELS, MRI IMAGING, THERANOSTICS

Reference persons DANILO DEMARCHI

External reference persons rossana.terracciano@polito.it

Research Groups MiNES (Micro&Nano Electronic Systems)

Thesis type EXPERIMENTAL AND MODELING

Description Of the 33 million annual musculoskeletal injuries in the United States, approximately 50% involve tendon and ligament injuries. Unfortunately, existing medical and surgical treatments often fail to restore full tendon function. Most injuries are treated with surgery, which results in substantial surgical costs, months of recovery, and loss of work and productivity. Since mature tendons are considered dense and comparatively poorly vascularized tissue, tendon injuries often take long periods of time to heal. One technique used to accelerate the healing rate of tendon tear/strain as well as enhance regeneration is increasing blood circulation, so that more oxygen and nutrients can reach the injured area and clear excess fluid buildup. To repair and rebuild a tendon, relaxing the blood vessels within an injured area through vasodilation offers a means to aid in the healing of this sparsely vascularized tissue. In this project, we will administer a small molecule FDA-approved drug locally through injection in the knee to improve blood flow to the tendon and accelerate regeneration. The student will work in the team of Houston Methodist Hospital that includes Dr. Filgueira as PI, a practicing Orthopedic Surgeon, a practising musculoskeletal radiologist, Filgueira lab staff, vet technicians, and MRI technicians. 7T MR sequences will be optimized for the patella tendon in a normal rabbit knee for improved signal to noise. Data will be acquired using a rabbit carcass and a two- or three-compartment model of signal intensity versus time implemented to generate parametric maps of signal slope and capillary permeability. Parametric maps, implementing the Tofts’ model, and a least-squares minimization procedure, using a Marquardt-Levenberg algorithm, will be calculated using Matlab. We will modify parameters such as voxel size, the field of view, and acquisition time to optimize the signal to noise ratio for the best depiction of anatomy and pathological changes. Tendon injury induced in vivo in rabbits and assess with contrast enhanced 7T MR improvements due to repeated drug administration.

Required skills The student will have 2 possibilities: analysis performed remotely or in presence (Houston, Texas, USA). For those intentioned to travel, a period of 6 months minimum is required in the USA. This project would involve a large animal (rabbit) model, therefore, the student would need to be comfortable working with vet staff after training to position the animal and assist with data collection. Required skills: good knowledge of bioimaging and biosignal analysis (Matlab), statistics, excellent english level (oral and written), and positive attitude to work in a heterogeneous environment.


Deadline 29/01/2023      PROPONI LA TUA CANDIDATURA




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