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Elazer Edelman, Ph.D.

Department of Health Sciences and Technology
Thomas D and Virginia W Cabot Professor of Health Sciences and Technology
Director, Harvard-MIT Biomedical Engineering Center for Clinical Instrumentation
Hermann von Helmholtz Professor of Medicine

Room 16-343
617-253-1569 (phone)


Ph.D. Medical Engineering and Medical Physics 1984
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research Summary

Research in the Edelman laboratory is a multidisciplinary activity that melds tissue engineering and controlled drug delivery with modern molecular and cell biology to examine tissue health, injury and repair. Understanding tissues as integrated dynamic community of cells allows the Edelman lab to define health and disease, and to readily investigate the impact of emerging therapies from a mechanistic perspective. As such the laboratory has made important contributions on basic scientific, applied biological and clinical medical levels.

Vascular and growth factor biology
Polypeptide growth factors play a primary role in the physiology of normal cells and tissues and in the pathophysiology of many diseases. The Edelman lab investigates the mechanisms underlying cell and tissue regulation of these growth factors, using this information to elucidate basic disease processes and create therapeutic targets and compounds. The experimental systems that they developed have helped to define the basic biology of the vascular system and create controlled drug delivery systems that are presently being evaluated in the clinic.

Polymer-based controlled drug delivery
Edelman harnessed an early interest in controlled drug delivery with training in clinical cardiology and was of the first to demonstrate the power of local and directed therapy for vascular disease. This work led to the development of endovascular drug-eluting stents, which are fundamental to the practice of medicine today. The laboratory's scientific investigations have brought together transport mathematics, vascular biology and fluid mechanics to help understand how devices that provide sustained and modulated drug delivery interact with the blood vessel wall. The laboratory's experimental model provides a new paradigm for understanding how coated stents work in blood vessels, how they can be used for optimal clinical efficacy, and how to develop appropriate regulatory standards for these and similar devices.

Devices and vascular response to injury
The performance of an implantable device such as a cardiovascular stent depends on both the individual patient and the device itself. The Edelman laboratory investigates the local tissue reactions to device implantation as a paradigm for understanding wound repair in situ. These studies marshal techniques from image analysis, molecular and cell biology, histochemistry and immunochemistry to characterize the effects of locally expressed growth mediators on the vascular biology around the implantation site.

Tissue engineering
The laboratory's work in the area of functional tissue engineering is aimed at restoring full normal functionality to damaged or diseased tissue. Endothelial and other vascular cells can be embedded in polymeric matrices and then implanted around damaged arteries to restore vascular growth control. Gene array techniques and digitized image analysis and reconstruction are used to evaluate these innovative approaches to treating and preventing vascular disease.

Selected Publications

  • Danenberg HD, Golomb G, Groothuis A, Gao J, Epstein H, Swaminathan RV, Seifert P, Edelman ER. Liposomal Alendronate Inhibits Systemic Innate Immunity and Reduces In-Stent Neointimal Hyperplasia in Rabbits. Circulation . 2003 Nov 10 [Epub ahead of print].
  • Janicki C, Hwang CW, Edelman ER. Dose model for stent-based delivery of a radioactive compound for the treatment of restenosis in coronary arteries. Medical Physics . 2003 Oct; 30(10): 2622-2628.
  • Stultz CM, Edelman ER. A structural model that explains the effects of hyperglycemia on collagenolysis. Biophysical Journal. 2003 Oct; 85(4):2198-2204.
  • Danenberg HD, Szalai AJ, Swaminathan RV, Peng L, Chen Z, Seifert P, Fay WP, Simon DI, Edelman ER. Increased thrombosis after arterial injury in human C-reactive protein-transgenic mice. Circulation . 2003 Aug 5;108(5):512-5.
  • Welt FG, Tso C, Edelman ER, Kjelsberg MA, Paolini JF, Seifert P, Rogers C. Leukocyte recruitment and expression of chemokines following different forms of vascular injury. Vascular Medicine. 2003;8(1):1-7.

Last Updated: April 16, 2008