Sponsored research projects

Why we are making the Matrix available

“I think it’s our responsibility to make the Matrix available for other investigators, researchers, clinicians to use to study anything that has to do with cell/matrix interaction in the human body. It could apply to oncology, but also to stem cells in general, and really any regenerative medicine applications. This is just a building block that can be used to create many buildings in different shapes and forms.” Dr. Omar Aljitawi

Sanatela Medical was founded to bring advanced technologies like the Matrix out of the lab and into the hands of doctors. A limited number of Matrix kits are now available to select researchers who join us in performing studies on the new technology. If you want to test the Matrix in your lab, or sponsor our on-going research efforts, please contact us today.

We are also seeking a research investment of $2 million to shepherd the products in our pipeline through their development. Here are some of our projects:

Cancer research

Currently there is no standardized model that we can use in the lab to predict the response in humans to different cancer therapies. So we tend to treat all patients the same way, and test the results in the patient’s body. 

It would be safer and more effective to test therapies in the lab. But for that, you need to recreate the environment in the body in which cancer cells live. We know from studying leukemia that the components of the Matrix imitates the microenvironment in bone marrow where leukemia stem cells live and replicate. We are currently developing protocols for using the Matrix to screen cancer treatments on leukemia in the lab, before using them on a patient. 

We are enlisting cancer researchers to help us generate the data needed to judge the effectiveness of the Matrix in cancer screening, and gather evidence that captures why cells become resistant to chemotherapy. If we can show in the lab that adding certain drugs to leukemia cells in the Matrix produces predictable results, then we can begin to change the way cancer is treated. 

Once the Matrix is on the market and available in a reproducible way, pharmaceutical companies can use this platform to test drugs. New uses may be found for many drugs that might not work for the purpose they were created for.

Stem cell research

Stem cells interact with the human body all the time, but we can’t capture that complexity in our animal models. The Matrix enables researchers to observe stem cells alive and thriving in vitro where we can see and measure all of their interactions. This will help us better define what a stem cell is and how it behaves.

As the first researchers to be able to observe stem cells this way in their natural environment, we feel it’s our responsibility to share what we’ve learned and make the Matrix available to other investigators, researchers, and clinicians. This is a platform that can be used to study any aspect of cell/matrix interaction in the human body. It has applications not only for the study of cancer, but to stem cells in general and regenerative medicine.

We see the Matrix as a building block that can be used to create many different shapes and forms, limited only by our human imagination.

Wound and burn care

The Matrix has many potential uses for skin repair and in particular, injuries to the skin that involve burns. More research needs to be done, but our hypothesis is that this material will drive the regeneration of laminar skin over a burned or injured area by causing stem cells to differentiate into the right type of cells that are necessary for healing.

Researchers and clinicians are needed to test our theory that there is a potential for the Matrix to regenerate tissue without a scar, which would be an important application for a number of reasons. We also need to demonstrate experimentally that it could potentially accelerate the healing of burns and wounds.

The military could potentially use the Matrix in field hospitals as a hemostatic agent to control the bleeding of major injuries without having to go back in and remove it in preparation for subsequent surgery.

One area of skin repair that we would like to concentrate on are wounds that result from diabetes. This is a very prevalent problem that doesn’t have any good solutions right now and often leads to amputations, so we want to put significant effort and investment in investigating and validating potential solutions because it will benefit millions of people around the world.

Tissue regeneration

Massive injuries that result in the loss of a significant component of a tissue or organ require doctors to regenerate the missing piece. In the fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, researchers try to build a tissue replacement in the lab and then implant it into the patient.

Traditionally there have been two approaches: a top down approach where a scaffold material is designed with the features and geometry to fit the missing tissue, which is then seeded with cells to generate a viable tissue, and a bottom up approach where you start with the cells and allow them to grow a matrix that will regenerate the desired tissue.

The Matrix theoretically will allow the two approaches to be combined. It can potentially be used as the scaffolding material in the top down approach to provide the continuity of the tissue that’s missing, while also providing the structural, biological and biochemical cues for the cells to heal the missing defect.

Bone regeneration

Matrix co-inventor Dr. Omar Aljitawi has already demonstrated proof of concept that the Matrix will enable bone to be repaired. In a preclinical model* he implanted the scaffold into the skull defect of a small animal and was able to show how well bone cells infiltrated into that defect, how well they vascularized and how well they regenerated mineralized tissue, or bone.

Additional cohorts are needed to demonstrate this finding conclusively, but it’s a promising start. Our experiments would need to be repeated and statistically proven to have the type of proof that would be required for a clinical claim. We would also like to test different formulations of the Matrix, like adding growth factors or stem cells to the treatment.

*Jadalannagari S, Converse G, McFall C, Buse E, Filla M, et al. (2017) Decellularized Wharton’s Jelly from human umbilical cord as a novel 3D scaffolding material for tissue engineering applications. PLOS ONE 12(2): e0172098.

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