UCSF

Desai lab develops nano-devices to aid artery repair

Research in the laboratory of Tejal Desai, PhD, is creating new kinds of drug delivery devices to reduce the scarring and inflammation that can undermine stents—metal mesh tubes implanted to prop open blocked arteries, including in the heart.

Collaborating with other labs at UCSF and Harvard University, Desai’s lab is developing stents with structures fabricated at nano-scale (billionths of meters) to release signaling compounds derived from fish oil over several weeks. These biolipids reduce inflammation and scar tissue buildup that can lead to a recurrent blockage. The structures can also reduce re-blockage via nano-textured surfaces that discourage cells from sticking to them.

The Desai lab is also developing a method for delivering the anti-inflammatory biolipids by wrapping the stent-repaired blood vessel in a thin film, which delivers the drug through the vessel wall and then biodegrades.

Desai is chair of the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, a joint department of the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine.

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About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy is a premier graduate-level academic organization dedicated to improving health through precise therapeutics. It succeeds through innovative research, by educating PharmD health professional and PhD science students, and by caring for the therapeutics needs of patients while exploring innovative new models of patient care. The School was founded in 1872 as the first pharmacy school in the American West. It is an integral part of UC San Francisco, a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide.