The use of anti-inflammatory nanomolecules for the treatment of Crohn's Disease

Project: Research project

Project Details


The spectrum of diseases included under the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) umbrella includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease (CD). IBD affects approximately 1.6 million patients of which 80,000 of those are children resulting in a staggering direct cost for patient related issues that ranges from $11-28 billion annually within the United States. In the case of CD, pathology can manifest itself along the entirety of the digestive tract but is typically relegated to the terminal ileum and beginning of the colon resulting in transmural “skip” lesions which is in part due to a highly pro-inflammatory milieu. Resultant complications include stricture and fistula formation, nutrient malabsorption, tissue ulceration, bowel perforation leading to eventual tissue necrosis, and the high potential for malignant transformation. Current treatment options for patients exhibiting CD include the use of biologic/pharmacologic therapies which incorporate an assortment of anti-inflammatory agents. Patients who are refractory to therapeutic treatment and those experiencing recurrent flare-ups typically require surgical intervention in the form of bowel resection. It is estimated that 70% of those with CD will require surgery and 30% and 60% of those will require additional surgery at 3 and 10 years post-initial surgery, respectively. As there is still an unmet medical need to address disease treatment associated with CD, it is imperative that an alternative solution to remedy these issues be investigated. This proposal will utilize synthetic smart materials to modulate the inflammatory response in a model of Crohn's disease in order to eventually extrapolate it to the human condition.
Effective start/end date4/1/159/30/16


  • Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (925527-NU)


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