UROP Mentor: Dr. Alvaro Rojas-Peña

UROP Research Team:

  • Aakash Bharat
  • Sydney Kelly
  • Teresa Lee
  • Arulvel Rajeswaran
  • Sarah Rodriguez-Medina
  • Benjamin Seguin 

What are your research projects? What are the goals of your research project?

  • Prolonged Ex-vivo Heart Preservation: The projects aim to develop a system and protocols to maintain hearts and other organs viable for transplantation after ex-vivo perfusion. This will allow to assess function and treat damage organs that otherwise are not suitable for transplantation.
  • Development of an artificial wearable lung: The artificial lung works as a bridge to lung transplant while waiting for a suitable graft for transplantation or as a potential destination therapy for those patients that are not suitable for transplant.
  • Minimizing inflammation during cardiopulmonary bypass in cardiac surgery: Patients without risk develop complications after cardiac surgery associated to the use of the cardiopulmonary bypass system, we believe that this inflammatory response can be mitigated with the use of NO in the artificial surfaces.
  • Development of biocompatible surfaces for extracorporeal life support devices: Atificial surfaces are prone to active inflammation and coagulation, this project aims to develop cardiovascular products that will have local effect to mitigate these problems by using NO releasing materials coated with local anticoagulants.

Why is this research important?

This research addresses current clinical problems related to the lack of organs suitable for transplant. It may increase the pool of organs and may change the way transplant surgery occurs worldwide (from emergent surgery to scheduled procedures).

Lung transplantation in children is limited by lack of lungs therefore this project offers an alternative therapy for those patients that are unstable to wait for an organ or that are not suitable for a lung transplant.

What drives you to conduct this research?

The mission of our lab is to solve current problems that are observed in the clinical setting. These problems are associated with complications expected from current cardiovascular devices and technology. Our research aims to impact the care and management of critical ill patients.

What resources would you recommend to learn more about your research topic?

We recommend the lab web page. ResearchGate, Academia, Pubmed