The main focus of the Neurovascular Research Laboratory is the study of intracranial saccular aneurysms and acute ischemic stroke.

Intracranial aneurysms

Open-brain surgery has traditionally been used to treat these aneurysms, but in recent years endovascular therapies using platinum microcoils have widely been adopted as less invasive alternatives. While the microcoils eliminate many of the risks associated with open surgery, they often fail to result in permanent closure of the aneurysm due to growth of the aneurysm itself, as well as lack of collagen synthesis and connective tissues in the aneurysm cavity.

The lab's experimental approach is to better understand the mechanism of aneurysm growth and healing after endovascular treatment. The goal is to develop new innovations for endovascular technology that improve clinical management of cerebral aneurysms.

The multidisciplinary research team applies a variety of molecular biological, histological, tissue engineering and computational flow dynamics radiological techniques. This includes imaging the aneurysmal changes and analyzing hemodynamic changes in the aneurysm. Overall, the aim is to better understand how aneurysms heal and which treatments are best suited to improve long-term rates of aneurysm occlusion.

The Neurovascular Research Laboratory is also involved in multiple clinical trials of aneurysm treatments, in addition to collaborating with medical device industries as a contract lab for preclinical testing of their devices, including good laboratory practice (GLP) preclinical testing services.

Acute ischemic stroke

Achieving complete revascularization, as quickly and safely as possible, is the goal of acute ischemic stroke treatment, with mechanical thrombectomy and pharmacologic fibrinolytic therapy being the recommended treatment options. However, despite the many advancements in stroke care, only 35% of patients regain functional independence and roughly 20% of patients for large vessel occlusion are not revascularized. The Neurovascular Research Laboratory aims to characterize imaging and biological properties of the clot retrieved from patients and also develops improved novel tools, including animal model, available for the clinical management of stroke.

Patient resources

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About Dr. Brinjikji

Waleed Brinjikji, M.D. is an associate professor of neurosurgery and assistant professor of radiology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Brinjikji's research efforts center around developing methods for treating ischemic stroke. Learn more about Dr. Brinjikji.

About Dr. Kadirvel

Ramanathan (Ram) Kadirvel, Ph.D., is a professor of radiology and a specialist in preclinical research studies on aneurysms at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota. His research interests include understanding the mechanisms of aneurysm healing after endovascular treatments and stem cell therapy for aneurysms. Dr. Kadirvel directed preclinical studies that led to the clinical application of numerous neurovascular devices. See Dr. Kadirvel's faculty bio.

About Dr. Kallmes

David F. Kallmes, M.D., is a professor of radiology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Rochester, Minnesota. He is interested in advancing the minimally invasive treatment options for patients with intracranial saccular aneurysms Dr. Kallmes invented and developed the rabbit model of saccular aneurysms for device testing and has shepherded numerous devices to the clinic. Read more on Dr. Kallmes' professional highlights.