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STTR Phase I: Nanostraw-mediated Immune Cell Reprogramming
Contact: Nicholas A Melosh
Type: Nonprofit College or University
The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project is a new tool to safely and nondestructively deliver genes and other compounds to individual cells in a laboratory petri dish (in vitro) setting. 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. A safe, turnkey, and scalable technology would be transformative for research and life sciences companies, and represents 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 structure and application of the nanomaterial platform dictates the resulting immune cell delivery efficiency, and optimize the process to achieve >50% transfection efficiency with primary immune cells. Achieving this transfection efficiency would be transformative to researchers and clinicians using primary immune cells. The protocol for using these nanomaterials is simple, and turnkey to use for life science researchers. Device costs will be reduced through improved manufacturing techniques to be competitive with currently available methods.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *