Dr. Margaret Allen's tissue engineering research is focused upon the active repair of muscle. This includes repair of heart muscle following myocardial infarction (heart attack) to prevent heart failure, and repair and reconstruction of skeletal muscle after trauma or injury. Projects include:
For the heart:
- Developing three-dimensional repair patches composed of autologous cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells for infarct repair.
- Using cardiac stem cells to repopulate areas of the heart with extensive post-infarct myocyte loss to restore functional capacity.
- Inducing endogenous cell survival factors to improve the survival of implanted cells.
- Facilitating the vascularization of implanted patches and infarct areas through regulated release of angiogenic growth factors, matrix modification, and mobilization of extracardiac sources of arterial inflow.
- Altering myocardial extracellular matrix composition to improve ventricular wall compliance and improve the survival of seeded cells.
- Optimizing cardiovascular gene delivery by adeno-associated viral vectors.
For skeletal muscle:
- Inducing cell survival factors to improve skeletal myocyte recovery and salvage after major ischemic or traumatic injury
- Developing tissue engineered constructs composed of muscle-derived stem cells and natural matrix components to regenerate muscle and bridge areas of extensive muscle loss.
The Allen Laboratory
Margaret Allen, MD, FACS, Dr. Sc. (Hon.)
Jun Luo, MD
Heather-Marie Wilson, PhD
Robert Welikson, PhD
Matt Weaver, PhD