MIT to Advise on an IGTP Project to Develop a Gel for Lesions Sustained during Digestive Endoscopies

- Innovation, Research

In a program run by the Spanish Foundation for Innovation and Future Health (FIPSE) the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has selected an IGTP project for its Mentoring Program in Biomedicine.  The project is to develop a family of hydrogels to answer unmet needs in digestive endoscopies and avoid complications in endoscopic procedures.

The selected project has been developed by the Translational Endoscopy Group which consists of members of the Digestive Endoscopy Unit at the Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital, led by Dr Vicente Lorenzo-Zúñiga, and researchers at the Germans Trias I Pujol Research Institute (IGTP).  The particular project selected is led by Dr Vicente Lorenzo Zúñiga and Dr Ramon Bartolí Solé. 

Endoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows diagnosis of conditions inside the gastrointestinal, respiratory or urinary tract, by means of an endoscope inserted through a body passageway.  Advances in endoscopic medicine have led to the development of therapeutic endoscopy that enables physicians to treat numerous conditions using endoscopic techniques such as the removal of polyps and early tumors. 

"Although these techniques are generally safe and convenient, there is still a significant incidence of post-operative complications such as bleeding, transmural thermal injury and perforation," explains Dr Lorenzo.

The group of researchers have invented a novel hydrogel to be applied directly through the endoscope onto the mucosal lesions after therapeutic endoscopic procedures. The technology can be applied easily through the endoscope and strongly promotes physiological reepithelialization, it has demonstrated robust healing properties in preclinical models.  "Additionally the technology has the potential for application as a drug-delivering platform for numerous gastrointestinal lesions," adds Bartolí.

MIT Mentoring Programme

This IGTP project is one of six projects selected with the endorsement of FIPSE to take part in the MIT International Mentoring Program LinQ.   This is the second year running that FIPSE has recommended an IGTP to participate in this programme.  In the previous edition the project Better Diagnostics for Tuberculosis of the Innovation in Respiratory Infections and Tuberculosis Diagnosis Group took part.
The programme will start in July in Boston and for six months an international group of experts will analyse the project and evaluation all the steps needed to put the technology on the path to clinical use.   The final objective of the programme is to help define the best strategies for bringing a product to market.