The research interests of Ramandeep S. Takhter, Ph.D., focus on cardiovascular protection and regeneration, including creating a cell-free platform to deliver genes of interest for targeted and temporally restricted genes therapy.
Cardiomyocytes are specialized cardiac muscle cells responsible for maintaining normal beating of the heart and are unable to naturally regenerate, making the heart incapable of natural regeneration. Dr. Takhter envisions this cardioprotective and regenerative approach could revolutionize care for patients with heart attacks, as it could lessen or even stop the progression toward fatal heart disease.
Dr. Takhter is also researching the generation of functional cardiomyocytes from mesenchymal stem cells using a combination of genetic approaches and chemical alterations that may be utilized in cell therapy to regenerate heart tissue caused by lack of blood flow to the heart during a heart attack.
- M3-RNA platform for gene delivery. Dr. Takhter is developing a novel gene delivery platform, M3-RNA (microencapsulated modified messenger RNA). Messenger RNA (mRNA) has unique properties of inducing a rapid, transient and targeted protein expression within cells and in small and large animals. This platform allows for the delivery of M3-RNA to multiple organs, including the heart, where it expresses key genes and proteins that might induce the heart to repair itself and prevent damage to heart tissue and muscle.
- Bio-potentiated gel for targeted gene therapy. Dr. Takhter is working to develop a product combination of chemical and biological material that will primarily target infarcted areas in a person's heart during a heart attack to deliver cell-free components that speed up the body's own healing properties and activate stem cells within the tissue to induce regeneration.
- Generating functional cardiomyocytes. Cell-based therapies restore the loss of cardiac function in myocardial infarction and heart failure. Human mesenchymal cells have built-in mesodermal multipotency to induce cardiac regeneration by inducing paracrine signaling, differentiation into new cardiomyocytes and activation of endogenous cardiac stem cells. Dr. Takhter is involved in developing strategies utilizing genetic manipulations and chemical modifications to develop cardiomyocytes in vitro to be utilized in cell therapies.
Significance to patient care
Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States, and cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than all forms of cancer combined. Dr. Takhter and his colleagues are dedicated to developing beneficial cell-free or cell-based cardiovascular therapeutics that help patients with heart disease and are also affordable.