The Cardiothoracic Surgery Research Program is divided into three major sections:
Cell Biology Section
The cell based therapy section is focused on the cell-based regenerative therapy for myocardial ischemia using adult bone-marrow derived stem/progenitor cells in swine models. The gene profiling of stem cells before and after transplantation was also studied to define the expression pathways. Transgenic GFP stem cells were used to trace the fate and differentiation after transplantation. In addition to adult stem cell study, we are also interested in exploring the potential usage of embryonic stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells in myocardial regenerative therapy. Following animal studies, we plan to perform clinical trial to test the effect of direct intra-myocardial injection of autologous bone marrow-derived stem cells on patients underwent revascularization for CAD with depressed left ventricular function.
The mission of the bioengineering section is to investigate novel minimally invasive cardiac surgical procedures for heart dysfunction. Specifically, we will develop and apply engineering technologies on devices, imaging, robotics, along with surgical techniques to achieve state-of-art minimally invasive cardiac surgeries. Our goal is to deliver minimally invasive cardiac surgical procedures to clinical application. By improving precision and consistency, the novel procedures will improve clinical outcomes, and increase the efficiency of health care delivery. Procedures of interest are aortic valve replacement (AVR), mitral valve replacement and repair (MVR), Transmyocardial Laser Revascularization (TMR), Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), etc. The current topic focuses on the beating heart aortic valve replacement.