The main research interest of Brandon J. Tefft, Ph.D., is to use regenerative medicine approaches for developing next-generation implantable cardiovascular devices. These devices favorably interact with the patient's body in order to incorporate living cells and tissues, and are capable of indefinite durability, growth in children and freedom from implant-related adverse events. Dr. Tefft is working to develop implantable stents, stent-grafts, vascular grafts and cardiac valves. These devices may be used to provide safer and more-effective treatment options for patients with heart disease, vascular disease or valvular disease.
- Rapidly healing stents. Dr. Tefft and his colleagues are developing ferromagnetic stents that can be used to target endothelial cells labeled with magnetic nanoparticles. This approach is expected to promote rapid healing, which will in turn reduce the need for anti-clotting medication and improve clinical outcomes.
- Small-caliber vascular grafts. Dr. Tefft and his colleagues are developing vascular grafts that incorporate nanofibers and ferromagnetic materials. These elements are expected to facilitate the formation of a stable endothelium on the blood-contacting surface to improve clinical outcomes, especially in small-caliber applications such as coronary bypass.
- Biological cardiac valves. Dr. Tefft and his colleagues are developing biological cardiac valves that can be used to replace diseased valves. Unlike currently available valve prostheses, biological valves are capable of growing in pediatric patients, do not require anticoagulation medication and may demonstrate indefinite durability.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Tefft is excited to be on the forefront of the paradigm shift that regenerative medicine is bringing to health care. Facilitating the body's natural ability to heal and regenerate will eliminate the risks associated with implanting foreign materials and improve outcomes for patients. By using regenerative medicine approaches, Dr. Tefft hopes to provide superior treatment options with less risk and better outcomes for patients with cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease, vascular disease and valvular disease.
- Recipient, Pathway to Independence Award, National Institutes of Health, 2016-2021
- Recipient, National Research Service Award, National Institutes of Health, 2014-2016