BME Seminar Series: Dr. Hani Awad, Ph.D.
Adhesions in Flexor Tendon Injuries - Venturing into <q>No Man's Land</q>
Postoperative adhesion is a major debilitating yet still unsolved complication of flexor tendon repair. Previous studies have shown that adhesions are modulated, at least in part, by TGF-β signaling to the live tendon or autograft tenocytes as part of the initial inflammatory response to the surgery. Interestingly, while fibrosis in a variety of pathologies is associated with TGF-β inhibition of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) activity, this has not been shown in tendon. This presentation will describe our efforts to characterize the underlying mechanism of the problem. I will present our studies to evaluate the interplay between pro- and anti-scarring factors to identify therapeutic targets for this problem. I will also describe our studies to develop tissue engineered-based solutions to the debilitating adhesions frequently encountered with flexor tendon reconstructive surgery and the efficacy of using lyophilized allografts and gene therapy in eradicating adhesions and restoring the joint's range of motion.