The Ankrum Lab focuses on developing bioengineering strategies to overcome challenges in delivery and control of cell phenotype after transplantation.
Cell-based therapies have the potential to restore function to a broad range of diseased and damaged tissues. However, this potential can only be realized if cells can be reliably delivered to the target tissue and remain functional. Using a combination of chemistry and biomaterials, we create tools that allow us to influence cell phenotype even after transplantation. These platform technologies have numerous applications to diabetes and its complications. We are currently developing a mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) based therapy to treat diabetic wounds through enhancing MSCs' angiogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. Other applications include enhancing beta cell therapy through promoting survival and long-term function of transplanted cells.