Title: Extracellular Matrix as a Therapy for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Description: Clinical Problem: Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) affects nearly 1.5 million Americans with approximately 70,000 new cases diagnosed each year. There are a number of forms of IBD most notably ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease, but the medical device therapy described in this work could also address proctitis, proctosigmoiditis, and rectal mucositis. UC is the initial research target that may or may not include the other forms of inflammatory disease in the colon. UC significantly increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer and negatively impacts quality of life. The etiology of UC is unknown but altered intestinal barrier function and production of cytotoxic effector molecules within the mucosal lining of the colon are known to play central roles in the development of UC. The proposed work would investigate and evaluate the ability of a hydrogel form of extracellular matrix (ECM) to restore structure and function of the mucosal lining of the colon in a preclinical UC model. These findings would represent an important contribution to required regulatory filings prior to human studies.