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STTR Phase I: Three-Dimensional Printing of Micro-Capillary Needle via Direct Laser Writing

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1938527
Agency Tracking Number: 1938527
Amount: $225,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: BM
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-03-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-02-28
Small Business Information
United States
DUNS: 080939245
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Kinneret Rand
 (301) 807-0889
Business Contact
 Kinneret Rand
Phone: (301) 807-0889
Research Institution
 University of Maryland College Park
 Ryan Sochol
3112 LEE BLDG 7809 Regents Drive
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

The broader/commercial impact of this SBIR Phase I project leverages recent advances in additive manufacturing to solve key technical hurdles and design deficits of current industry standard microcapillary needles. Microinjection is a well-established engineering technique and widely used in research and medical applications such as drug discovery and development, fertility treatments, and genetics research. The proposed technology will use additive (3D) manufacturing techniques for a new microcapillary needle to improve the quality, reproducibility, rigor, and efficacy of this method for a market estimated at $290 M. This technology will positively impact life sciences research and medical applications. The proposed project will utilize state-of-the-art submicron-scale additive manufacturing technologies to revolutionize microinjection efficacy via substantive versatility in the design and fabrication of the needle-tip. In particular, two-photon direct laser writing (DLW) – wherein a focused laser is precisely positioned within a biocompatible photo material to produce 3D structures comprising cured material – provides an unparalleled level of geometric control with feature resolutions on the order of 100 nm. These capabilities enable new flexibility in re-architecting of the microneedle tip. In addition, due to recent enhancements in printing speed, DLW-based applications can now shift from niche demonstrations in the laboratory to fully functional commercial products that support rapid operation at scale. The project proposes multiple configurations for each proposed design change with respect to key performance metrics: the anti-clogging efficacy and fabrication repeatability. This project will: establish and characterize novel manufacturing protocols, simulate expected characteristics, experimentally assess (both in the lab and in vitro using the zebrafish embryo) the quantitative efficacy of these distinct and novel architectures, and qualitatively evaluate the user's experience. 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. *

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