SBIR Phase II: Device for In-ovo Targeting and Delivery to the Early Chicken Embryo
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project integrates the imaging system developed in Phase I with a smart-sensor injection system that can inject or sample from the cavity underlying the early chicken embryo with high levels of accuracy accompanied with improved hatch when compared to manual methods. The Phase I work showed that it was possible to image and detect the blastoderm in the presence of a biological membrane with high levels of accuracy (94%). The Phase II project will focus on the technology required to build an injection system using smart sensors that can detect and then move to the fluid cavity to inject (or to sample). The system will thus provide a totally automated solution to early embryo detection and manipulation, with movement in all three dimensions, while still sustaining hatchability of the developing chicken. This research would advance the state of the art for the production of chimeric chickens with superior traits or for producing transgenic chickens for the avian pharmaceutical industry. The commercial application of this technology is in two large, important industries. In the commercial poultry industry, chimeric chickens could be created in a high-throughput system that possess desired traits like disease resistance (for example, to diseases such as Marek's, Newcastle and Coccidiosis), increased tolerance to stress, and the ability to digest certain feed compounds such as phosphates. Secondly, in the avian pharmaceutical industry, therapeutic proteins used for manufacturing drugs could be created much more cheaply by using a transgenic chicken that can produce transgenic proteins in its eggs. Many therapeutics for diseases like cancer and leukemia are manufactured in mammalian or bacterial systems that face bottlenecks in supply and are extremely expensive to produce. The proposed device advances the state-of-the-art in early embryo injection beyond the limits of the manual method so as to allow a faster, more accurate way of producing transgenic chickens and proteins.
Small Business Information at Submission:
1040 Swabia Court Durham, NC 27703
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