Stem cells are naturally anti-inflammatory, but often do not survive or function long enough to exert full therapeutic benefit. Inflammatory and immune diseases, such as type I diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel diseases and graft-versus-host disease, arise due to pathogens, damaged host cells, or defects in the regulation of inflammatory pathways, and result in chronic tissue damage and dysfunction. Current drug treatment regimens for these diseases are often ineffective and clinical success varies greatly between patients.
The McDevitt lab is engineering cellular environments to promote survival and enhance innate stem cell anti-inflammatory capabilities.
The immunomodulatory capabilities of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a potent alternative to conventional drug treatment regimens due to their ability to regulate the multiple signaling pathways and cell types that contribute to inflammatory and immune diseases. Therefore, we are developing engineering approaches to regulate MSC immunomodulation to enhance the efficacy of hMSC-based therapies for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.