USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

SBIR Phase I: Novel Polymer Brush-like Architecture for Temperature Dependent…

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Innovative Surface Technologies, Inc.
1000 Westgate Drive St. Paul, MN -
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: SBIR Phase I: Novel Polymer Brush-like Architecture for Temperature Dependent Cell Release and Attachment
Agency: NSF
Contract: 1248865
Award Amount: $149,011.00


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project is designed to offer two uniquely tailored thermoresponsive surfaces for the attachment and release of weakly and strongly adherent cells. The commercially available surfaces are highly crosslinked hydrogels that do not work well with either strongly or weakly adherent cells. The goal is to transform the current thermoresponsive cell culture technology by providing novel polymer brush-like architectures to the culture surface to reduce protein adsorption, and allow efficient hydration to release the strongly adherent cells. Moreover, addition of functionalities to polymer brush-like architectures will increase the adhesive strength of the surfaces for weakly adherent cells. Major research objectives of this proposal include: 1) Synthesis of photoreactive thermoresponsive brush architectures for strongly adherent cells 2) Synthesis of functionalized brush architectures for weakly adherent cells and 3) Develop coatings in a variety of different cultureware not presently available in market due to the method used. The goal is 90% release of strongly adherent cells within 30 minutes at room temperature and 80% attachment of weakly adherent cells. The broader impact /commercial potential of this project will be the generation of functional cells or cell sheets. The generation of physiologically active functional cells is often the roadblock in technology development. For example, cells recovered from conventional growth surfaces are released using digestive enzymes and chemicals such as Trypsin and EDTA, which alter signal transduction pathways and affect overall cell viability. Thermoresponsive cell cultureware involving the use of Poly N-isopropylacrylamide (PNIPAAm) obviates the use of digestive enzymes; however, major roadblocks with the use of thermoresponsive cultureware remain. The commercially available thermoresponsive plates work well with several cell lines, but do not work well with strongly adherent or weakly adherent cell types, and are available only in multiwell formats. This Phase I grant will develop a new generation of thermoresponsive cell cultureware that could gain wide market acceptance, and become an enabling technology. The process uses simple equipment, is manufacture-friendly, cost-effective, and is available in formats needed for tissue engineering and high-throughput applications. Thus, clinical applications of cell types that were previously considered impossible may be realized, and cell therapy, drug discovery, and tissue engineering applications may proceed at an accelerated pace.

Principal Investigator:

Tahmina Naqvi

Business Contact:

Tahmina Naqvi
Small Business Information at Submission:

Innovative Surface Technologies, Inc.
1000 Westgate Drive St. Paul, MN -

EIN/Tax ID: 208134118
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No