Our group was recently funded by Portugal2020 to develop new therapies for stroke. The project has the contribution of two Hospitals in the Center Region of Portugal (Hospital Rovisco Pais and Hospital da Universidade de Coimbra) and a company (Crioestaminal). Stroke is the second cause of mortality in the world, and patients that survive to the accident present a high probability of morbidity, i.e., neurologic deficit (motor or cognitive). So far, there is only a therapy approved by FDA for the treatment of ischemic stroke, the tissue plasminogen activator (which should be administered until 3 h after stroke), which has several limitations. The present project aims to create an innovative therapeutic platform to treat stroke patients based in stem cells and their products.
Maria Pereira and Lino Ferreira are co-authors of a recent publication in Science Translational Medicine. The work has been performed in collaboration with Jeff Karp and Pedro del Nido at Harvard. The work describes a bioinspired elastic, biodegradable and biocompatible tissue adhesive based on poly(glycerol-co-sebacate) acrylate (PGSA) that can be activated by UV light providing strong adhesion to dynamic tissues. PGSA presents better biocompatibility than cyanoacrylate adhesives and provided a hemostatic seal when applied to large blood vessels and cardiac wall defects. PGSA coated patches were attached on the interventricular septum in a chronic porcine beating heart model and resisted supraphysiologic pressures.