Research Projects

Research in Dr. Rajan's Developmental Endoscopy Laboratory is focused on creating innovative devices and techniques to diagnose and treat gastrointestinal diseases.

Our lab has several ongoing research initiatives, including these projects:

Endoscopic resection of early cancers or large polyps in the colon, rectum and stomach

Our goal in this project is to develop techniques that allow for resection of large polyps and select early cancers through the endoscope that were previously not amenable to conventional endoscopic techniques. We're developing a new magnet traction device for use in a resection technique that is safe, efficient and easy to use.


Endoscopic muscle biopsy to identify all cell types, including myenteric neurons and interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs)

In collaboration with Mayo Clinic gastroenterologists Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., and Madhusudan (Madhu) Grover, M.B.B.S., our lab has worked extensively to identify a readily available effective and safe endoscopic technique to biopsy the deep muscle layer of the gut wall for evaluation of the enteric nervous system, immune cells and ICCs. Current routine biopsies are superficial and don't contain muscle tissue for analysis.

We developed an innovative technique to obtain deep muscle biopsies from the stomach in order to provide insights into the pathogenesis of gastroparesis. Our ongoing efforts are focused on further refining the endoscopic approach to obtain deep muscle biopsies from the gastrointestinal tract. Our goal is to advance knowledge of the pathophysiology of gastrointestinal motility disorders, leading to potential targeted and curative therapies.


Endoscopic anti-reflux procedure

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common disorder characterized by abnormal reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus, causing troublesome symptoms and mucosal damage. Our lab is developing a new anti-reflux endoscopic technique to augment the lower esophageal sphincter in a minimally invasive approach that has the unique, appealing feature of reversibility.


Other research projects

In addition to these projects, our lab has several other ongoing projects in partnership with medical device companies, including the study of innovative approaches for noninvasive detection of colorectal polyps and cancer, weight loss devices, and endoscopic closure devices for management of defects or perforation of the gut wall.