Cerebral aneurysms: My laboratory focuses on advancing the minimally invasive treatment options for patients harboring intracranial, saccular aneurysms. Historically these aneurysms were treated with open surgery. Platinum microcoils were developed and are routinely used to treat aneurysms, but often fail to result in permanent closure. My preclinical laboratory is developing and testing multiple improvements to the microcoil technology, aimed at improving long term rates of aneurysm occlusion. The technologies being developed and tested include: polymer coatings, stents, liquid agents, and tissue engineering. The tissue engineering approach uses stem cells, harvested from blood or fat, that can be placed on the coils prior to implantation. After implantation, the stem cells populate the aneurysm and help permanently occlude the aneurysm. We are also involved in multiple clinical trials of aneurysm treatments, including the use of modified coils and the imaging, using MRI, of aneurysms after treatment.
Osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures: My clinical practice includes the use of vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty for treatment of painful, osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. This research program includes an NIH-sponsored trial of vertebroplasty, as well as multiple other trials of both vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty.