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STTR Phase II: Nanostraw-mediated Immune Cell Reprogramming
Phone: (904) 402-7442
Phone: (904) 402-7442
Contact: Nicholas Melosh
Type: Nonprofit college or university
The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II project will be to develop a new tool to safely and nondestructively deliver genes and other materials into large numbers cells at the same time. New forms of therapies for cancer and other intractable diseases take advantage of a patient's own cells, re-engineered in the laboratory to target a tumor or other diseased tissue. However, generating these cells is currently inefficient, slow, and expensive. Patient-derived cells resist transfection using standard non-viral biochemical approaches of lipid delivery systems, cell-penetrating peptides, and high-voltage electroporation, requiring an engineering alternative. The proposed technology provides a safe, turnkey, and scalable technology with a potential transformative impact in research and life sciences laboratories and companies, representing a high-growth and high-value market opportunity. This STTR Phase I project proposes a new nanomaterial delivery system to introduce reprogramming agents into immune cells efficiently and with low cell toxicity. This project will examine how the proposed nanostraw design, transfection protocol, and cell preparation improves immune cell delivery efficiency, and optimize the process to achieve >50% transfection efficiency with primary immune cells. Market analysis has found this level of transfection efficiency would be transformative to researchers and clinicians using primary immune cells. The transfection protocol will be optimized and codified into a simple to follow set of instructions. A turn-key instrument will be developed to carry out these procedures for use by life science researchers, with reduced device costs through improved manufacturing techniques to be competitive with currently available methods. The market-ready product will be evaluated by eight preclinical immune cell research beta sites to discover new treatment pathways. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *