Entry Date:
July 1, 2020

Roche Lab: Therapeutic Technology Design & Development (TTDD)

Principal Investigator Ellen Roche

Project Website https://ttdd.mit.edu/

Project Start Date October 2020

Research in the TTDD lab aims to design and develop implantable medical devices that augment or assist native function. We borrow principles from nature to design implantable, biomimetic therapeutic devices. Research is broadly categorized into three areas (1) mechanical assist and repair devices, (2) biomaterial and therapy delivery devices and (3) enhanced preclinical and computational test model development. Ultimately, the combined aim of our work is to translate enhanced therapeutic devices into the clinical arena.

(*) Mechanical Assist Devices -- By providing dynamic assistance to failing organs we hope to augment their function. We look to nature to inspire structural design of implantable devices and use active or passive materials with mechanical properties similar to that of native tissue in order to provide atraumatic augmentation of function.

(*) Therapy Delivery -- We look to deliver biomaterials and therapy to diseased or defected locations for mechanical reinforcement or biological effect. We employ biodegradable materials to act as scaffolds for encouraging endothelialization and repair of defects, for hosting cells to harness their therapeutic secretome or for localized, sustained, and often refillable delivery of micromolecular or macromolecular cargo. We use novel fabrication techniques to fabricate minimally invasive vehicles to deliver these materials to the intended site in vivo.

(*) Computational Modeling -- Clinically representative test beds – whether in vitro, ex vivo and in silico are of paramount importance for advancing therapetuic technologies along the translational bath to becoming approved medical devices. We develop advanced, dynamic in vitro test-beds and simulators that recreate three-dimensional motion, hemodynamics and tissue properties simultaneously. We also use computational tools such as finite element analysis to model performance of devices, optimize device design, and reveal the effect that devices have on the constitutive properties, dynamics and function of the receiving tissue and environment.