Bioengineering, Biotechnology, and Imaging : NIDDK

Bioengineering, Biotechnology, and Imaging

Presentation at the November 19, 2007 NCDD Meeting

Chair: Barbara B. Bass, MD

Vice Chair: David A. Lieberman, MD

Research Goal 1

Define optimal procedural approach for patients with digestive disorders amenable to either endoscopic, image-guided or minimal access surgery

  • RCT

  • Registry

  • Defined outcomes: efficacy, morbidity and mortality, QOL, cost

Research Goal 1

  • Evaluate efficacy and outcome measures, including quality of life, for innovative surgical technologies.

  • Perform a cost analysis of new surgical methods compared to traditional procedures.

  • Conduct rigorous studies of physiologic and immunologic response to minimal access surgery to determine if biologic advantage exists for these procedures.

Research Goal 2

Develop innovative technology for the diagnosis and treatment of luminal disease.

Research Goal 2

  • Develop and validate a method to perform "molecular" biopsy of luminal abnormalities in real time.

  • Develop improved endoscopic instrumentation for therapeutic endoscopy.

  • Develop improved virtual endoscopy technology to access the luminal space of the GI tract.

  • Define mechanisms of scar tissue formation in the gastrointestinal tract.

Research Goal 3

Use tissue engineering and regenerative medicine approaches to develop innovative treatments for digestive diseases.

Research Goal 3

  • Identify and isolate local stem cell populations in the GI tract for tissue engineering applications.

  • Develop scaffolds, both naturally occurring and synthetic, to support growth and differentiation of cell populations indigenous to the gastrointestinal tract.

  • Develop tissue engineering and regenerative medicine methods for esophageal and small bowel disorders.

Research Goal 4

Expand the application and integration of imaging and procedural technologies to deliver targeted interventions with minimal tissue injury to patients with digestive disorders

Research Goal 4

  • Develop new PET tracers for clinical use including markers of proliferation, tumor specific antigens, markers of apoptosis, and inflammation.

  • Develop intraoperative high-energy gamma and beta detectors to enhance intraoperative localization.

  • Develop energy delivery and real-time tracking devices to optimize local image-guided interventions.

  • Develop navigation and control devices to allow single-port laparoscopic procedures, intraluminal procedures, and natural orifice surgeries.

Research Goal 5

Develop high-fidelity interactive simulators of the digestive system.

Research Goal 5

  • Define the optimal use of simulation in training the procedural workforce

  • Metrics, transference, competency assessment, acquisition of new technologies

  • Define the value of simulation in developing new procedures

  • Procedural design

  • Prediction of outcomes

  • Develop high-fidelity simulators to allow multimodality procedural rehearsal

Major Challenges/Steps To Achieve Goals

  • Translational and clinical research

  • Academia-industry collaboration

  • Regenerative medicine

  • Fostering research teams

Major Challenges/Steps To Achieve Goals

Translational and Clinical Research

Challenge: Advances require interaction of disciplines not traditionally aligned in academic environments: clinicians, engineers, computer scientists, imaging, molecular pharmacy


  1. State-of-the-art workshops

  2. Consortia of integrated research programs

  3. Funding requirements

  4. Dual training programs: bioengineering — surgery

  5. Development of non-traditional disciplines and trainingpathways

    1. Surgery- gastroenterology

    2. Radiology— surgery— GI

Major Challenges/Steps To Achieve Goals

Academia-Industry Collaboration


  • Financial interests preclude open collaboration between industry and investigators.

  • IP interests hamper productive collaboration with small cap partners.

  • COI concerns limit PI interaction with major industry partners


  1. Educate investigator workforce re IP management

  2. Develop more effective policies to allow industry collaboration and manage COI

Major Challenges/Steps To Achieve Goals

Regenerative Medicine


  • The gastrointestinal tract is comprised of many complex structures

  • The gastrointestinal tract has been viewed as too complex an organ to make progress in RM


  • Symposium on regenerative medicine research in the digestive system with input of other system leaders

  • Consortium of investigators

  • Partnership with organ failure and repair clinicians with RM/TE investigators

Major Challenges/Steps To Achieve Goals

Fostering Research Teams


  1. Biotechnology research requires collaboration between diverse disciplines

  2. Biotechnology research requires very high cost tools and technologies


  1. Develop network of high-density research centers in areas of emphasis: imaging, robotics, devices,

  2. Develop infrastructure for AV integration to link research facilities - share images, robotics, simulation

  3. Target resources to interdisciplinary research teams

Page last updated: January 07, 2008

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