Research in the Veldhuizen laboratory focuses on pulmonary surfactant.
Pulmonary surfactant is a complex lipid-protein mixture responsible for easing the work of breathing by forming a surface tension reducing lipid film at the alveolar surface of the lung.
The research encompasses all aspects of the translational research spectrum from understanding of normal surfactant function to the utilization of exogenous surfactant for the treatment of lung diseases.
Biochemical and novel biophysical approaches are utilized, such as constrained sessile drop surfactometry, to elucidate the surfactant’s role in normal respiratory homeostasis. Technical approaches are also utilized to understand how surfactant is altered in pathological lung conditions such as acute respiratory distress syndrome and lung transplantation.
These studies utilize various animal models of lung injury, as well as experimentation with samples obtained from human patients.
Finally, knowledge on surfactant function is applied in normal and pathological conditions in developing surfactant-based lung therapies. Most recently this work focuses on the utilization of exogenous surfactant as a delivery vehicle for various pulmonary drugs.