The NMRF Research Lab

We are excited to announce the completion of a new research lab facility dedicated to leading the field in proving the performance capability, and supporting the wide acceptance, of key regenerative medicine treatments.

With the dedicated assistance of biomedical laboratory consultant Ryan Dregalla, PhD, Dregalla Medical Technologies, the NMRF will greatly expand the scope and capacity of Dr Bodor’s research. Located in Suite C of the Wellness Center in Napa, the lab serves to complement current and future clinical studies, provide publication-grade data to support clinical findings, and further innovations in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic, musculoskeletal, and neurologic conditions and diseases.

In addition to the recently acquired fluorescent microscope, the fully functional lab facility houses a state-of-the-art flow cytometer, centrifuge, plate reader and incubator – all of which work in tandem to create sophisticated behavioral and compositional models, enable cell culture processing, and provide critical independence and autonomy for the research team. Each element can be optimized to specifically address and perform in keeping with the parameters and desired outcomes of each investigation.

Under the preliminary direction of Ryan Dregalla, the research team will focus their attention on two areas of study. The first focuses on characterizing the way that platelets and leukocytes in platelet rich plasma interact with the tissues of the intervertebral disc to better understand how this therapy used to optimize outcomes in patients with degenerative disc disease. This study will further investigate the role that stem cells derived from bone marrow influence these interactions with the intervertebral disc. The second study is focused on using a novel method to lyse platelets with an unprecedented efficiency and harness their therapeutic intracellular proteins without using techniques that otherwise damage these key factors. This product is intended for be for therapeutic use, may be patented and commercialized.

The use of platelet-rich plasma injections to treat a broad spectrum of joint, tendon, bone, spine and ligament conditions is gaining wider acceptance. Through the work of Dr. Bodor and his colleagues worldwide, the body of evidence in support of its effectiveness is thriving. Integral to these initial studies is the vital need to understand the functionality of the growth factors carried within this concentrated elixir – from the identification of individual proteins to an examination of how the injectate interacts with different tissues on a cellular level and what degrees of concentration are most productive.

For the last few years, Dr. Bodor’s research has yielded substantial findings from clinical patient-based studies on the application of platelet-rich plasma to bone, joint, spine, tendon and ligament conditions and diseases. The most robust of these focuses on degenerative disk disease in the spine – 224 procedures on a total of 444 cervical, thoracic, and/or lumbar discs for 187 patients. Utilizing the tools in the lab, Ryan is working with Research Assistant Yvette Uribe and Dr. Bodor to develop lab-based studies that can provide key evidence as to why these procedures have been so effective and how the platelet-rich plasma is able to improve mobility and function while decreasing pain in the affected discs. These findings, in turn, will also open new opportunities, identify new questions to be asked, and result in the development of new clinical and lab-based studies in the coming months and years. In keeping with the NMRF mission, all findings will also be published and shared with the broad medical community in hopes of furthering acceptance of cutting edge therapies and treatments and inviting fellow researchers to pursue additional investigations.

Of secondary focus is the investigation into a novel method of creating a platelet lysate growth factor solution that can be applied to a variety of orthopedic and pain management uses. Current science allows for researchers to access the therapeutic proteins that exist within the platelet – the very growth factors that promote healing and initiate the body’s natural repair process. The problem is these methods employ detergents or a freeze/thaw process that damages the proteins and decreases both their functionality and their effectiveness. In collaboration with Dregalla Medical Technologies, the Bodor research team aims to develop a means through which to break open the platelet while preserving the integrity of the platelet and the therapeutic proteins within and then collecting these proteins into a highly effective solution.

The desired outcome would be a patentable product with applications extending across the orthopedic and musculoskeletal spectrum of potential conditions and diseases that would benefit from its therapeutic properties.

Given the current time frame and readiness of the new research lab facility, we anticipate preliminary results in a little over three months’ time, with publication-grade results available in the coming 6 – 9 months, with clinical and lab studies running concurrently throughout.

Napa Medical Research Foundation is making a substantial investment in this facility, and in its potential to generate cutting edge treatments, provide valuable evidence for the advancement of key biologically-based therapies and to promote the benefits of having world-class research supporting the medical and healthcare needs of our community.

We look forward to sharing this exciting new facility – and all the remarkable outcomes the research team is able to produce – with you.