Hunter Endowed Chair and Professor, Bioengineering
Dr. Naren Vyavahare is a Hunter Endowed Chair and Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at Clemson University. He is also the Director of South Carolina Bioengineering Center of Regeneration and Formation of Tissues (SC BioCRAFT). His expertise lies in disease pathologies and extracellular matrix degradation that takes place in inflammatory disease processes. In particular, he focuses on restoring lost tissues by site specific therapies and regenerating elastic networks in the body by training cells to remake lost elastin.
Dr. Vyavahare is the recipient the McQueen Quattlebaum Faculty Excellence Award and Clemson University Alumni award for outstanding achievement in research. His research is published in over 150 journal publications and conference proceedings; additionally he holds 13 international and US patents, most of which are licensed to industry. Below is Dr. Vyavahare’s Tedx Greenville talk discussing recent advances in tissue engineering.
Dr. Vyavahare Technologies
Elastin Targeted Drug Delivery for Treating Elastin Degenerative Diseases (2012-048)
This targeted drug delivery approach uses micro-sized drug carriers with elastin antibodies that recognize, attach, and deliver compounds to prevent enzymatic degradation of elastin in diseased tissue. Enzymatic degradation of elastin tissue is the primary cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and there are over 3 million new cases of AAA each year. Currently, damaged elastin is managed via surgical procedures like endovascular surgery. While most procedures are minimally invasive, its lifespan has yet to be determined and does not directly improve the condition of elastic tissue at the damaged site. Clemson University researchers have developed drug carriers designed to target damaged elastin by a simple IV injection. The elastin antibody drug carriers bind to exposed elastin and deliver therapeutic compounds to preserve and regenerate elastin tissue.
Bioprosthetic Heart Valves that Resist Structural Degradation and Stiffening (2013-055)
This treatment stabilizes the connective tissue present in bioprosthetic heart valves to create durable and long-lasting replacement heart valves. There are approximately 300,000 heart valve transplantations performed globally each year and heart valve disorders are diagnosed in approximately four million people. There are major problems with the two heart valve replacement solutions currently available to patients: mechanical and bioprosthetic. Mechanical valves require patients to take lifelong anticoagulants, generally making bioprosthetic valves the preferred approach. Glutaraldhedye is commonly used in bioprosthetic valves to stabilize one component of the connective tissue while the remaining components are not stabilized, causing the valve to lose its native behavior, structurally degrade, and calcify. Clemson University Researchers have developed a treatment which stabilizes all components of the connective tissue in bioprosthetic valves, making the heart valve replacement more durability and resistant to degradation, stiffening, and calcification.