Dimension Inx, a regenerative biomaterials company, has been awarded funding from the United States Department of Defense to develop innovative products to repair tracheal injuries. The $240,000 award will support the initial development of a new tracheal implant solution that overcomes current limitations and can be readily applied for emergency treatment as well as restoration of long-term patient health.
This project leverages Dimension Inx’s patented biomaterials platform for creating implantable constructs that emulate the complex microenvironment of the trachea. The constructs will be combined with a novel hydrogel to further support effective remodeling into normally functioning tracheal tissue. “Our technology platform allows us to create unique, microstructurally-driven materials and structures that account for the complex multi-tissue environment of the trachea,” said Dr. Adam Jakus, Dimension Inx Chief Technology Officer and principal investigator for this project. “This is critical for promoting healthy tissue regeneration and restoring the original tissue functions.”
Tracheal injuries, such as those affecting military warfighters, can be immediately life-threatening, compromising the ability to breathe and requiring emergency stabilization. Current emergency treatment options are severely limited, and even with successful stabilization, long-term comprehensive medical treatment is often required to maintain patient health. Surgical approaches to treat tracheal defects are complex with up to 80% mortality, in large part due to the limited efficacy of implant options.
“Tissue engineering and cell therapy hold promise for providing much-needed solutions for these patients,” said Daniel Weiss, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Medicine in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division of the Department of Medicine at the University of Vermont and project co-investigator. “This award will advance our early work toward addressing a significant unmet medical problem.”
The 18-month project aims to also lay the groundwork for a new approach for creating multi-tissue regenerative structures for broader soft tissue applications, including esophagus, larynx, and facial cartilage repair.