PhD position at King's College - London
Development of Exosome-loaded, Mucosal Healing Hydrogels for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Mucosal healing is a key therapeutic goal in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), associated with clinical remission and improved patient outcomes. Current treatments (including biologics) cannot achieve this effectively, meaning that patients may eventually require surgery. Novel mucosal healing treatments are urgently required.
Exosomes (extracellular nanovesicles) from stem cells mediate therapeutic effects of stem cells. Mesenchymal and intestinal epithelial stem cell exosomes (MSCexo and ISCexo, respectively) possess powerful mucosal-healing properties and have shown therapeutic potential in IBD, promoting intestinal wound repair. To harness the therapeutic potential of exosomes for IBD, it is crucial to deliver exosomes to, and prolong their residence at, the inflamed mucosa. The project will generate novel mucosal-healing hydrogels for sustained delivery of MSCexo and ISCexo to inflamed intestinal mucosa, administered rectally or via endoscopy.