Children's Hospital Colorado

Research at the Center for Children's Surgery

Our comprehensive surgical team at Children's Hospital Colorado offers the most innovative care for every surgical intervention, thanks to rigorous research initiatives designed to explore diagnostic and treatment approaches that will deliver the best possible outcomes for kids. Because our team is diverse — from a range of surgical specialties, to board-certified pediatric anesthesiologists, to respiratory therapists, child life specialists, pediatric nurses and more — our research efforts are, too.

Research article

Fetuses have unique properties that allow them to heal without scars. A fetal surgeon at Children's Colorado is applying those properties to help heal diabetic wounds.

Clinical trial

Researchers at Children’s Hospital Colorado are investigating the safety and feasibility of providing regenerative therapy for a rare congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS).

Infants diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome in utero
Stem cell collection at birth; Glenn procedure at 3-6 months old

Center for Children's Surgery advancements

Our current projects explore gene therapy, wound healing physiology, the diagnostic and treatment possibilities of big data and many more.

"The Center for Children's Surgery is committed to the continuous improvement of the surgical care of children through innovation and research. We have NIH-funded surgeon scientists researching all aspects of care, from the laboratory bench to the bedside."

Duncan Wilcox, MD

Surgeon in Chief

Learn about Dr. Wilcox's research

What our surgery research means for kids

We strive to develop and utilize treatment methods that minimize invasiveness and maximize benefit, continually pushing for better, more effective care. These advances not only help patients heal, they save lives.

Some areas of research within the Center for Children's Surgery include:

  • Fetal intervention
  • Urology
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Surgical outcomes
  • Minimally invasive techniques
  • Wound healing
  • Anesthesiology
  • Dermatology
  • Colorectal & Urogenital
  • Craniofacial & Reconstructive
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Trauma and Burn

Learn more about the Center for Children's Surgery


Cerium oxide nanoparticle therapy for diabetic wounds

Despite the current therapies for chronic wounds in diabetic patients, a significant number of wounds fail to heal. In this study, our researchers targeted two key aspects of non-healing diabetic wounds – chronic inflammation and high oxidative stress – by applying cerium oxide nanoparticles (CNP) as a novel therapeutic agent. Our data showed that local treatment of the diabetic wound with CNP-miR146a resulted in improved healing of diabetic wounds without impairing the biomechanical properties of the skin post-healing. This demonstrates that CNP-miR146a therapy has potentially far-reaching implications for diabetic wound healing research.

Read our article "Use of Cerium Oxide Nanoparticles Conjugated with MicroRNA-146a to Correct the Diabetic Wound Healing Impairment"


Stay informed

Children's Colorado in the news

Radio Health Journal

Last Chance for Weight Loss: Bariatric Surgery in Teenagers

May 7, 2017

Thomas Inge, MD, PhD, chief of pediatric surgery and director of adolescent bariatric surgery, was interviewed on teenage obesity and bariatric surgery. "One of the risks that I'm increasingly telling people about is the risk of doing nothing. That's a sobering message on the one hand, and it's a call to action on the other hand," said Inge.


Managing Childhood Obesity Requires Commitments from Family, Community, Public Policy

April 3, 2017

"For teenagers, in particular, the lifestyle interventions and even drug treatment have not been great, and most of the evidence for adolescents [suggests] that there is not good treatment that allows a teenager who has gained considerable extra weight to actually reverse it," said Thomas Inge, MD, PhD, FACS, FAAP, director of Adolescent Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

The New York Times

Doctors Consider Bariatric Surgery as a Last Best Hope for Teenagers

February 24, 2017

More and more doctors and parents are questioning whether severely obese teenagers should have bariatric surgery. Thomas Inge, MD, division head of pediatric surgery and director of adolescent metabolic and bariatric surgery, and Stephen Daniels, MD, pediatrician-in-chief, are quoted.