Lab-To-Marketplace: Commercialization of a stretchable microelectrode array

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R43NS086118-01A1
Agency Tracking Number: R43NS086118
Amount: $614,799.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 101
Solicitation Number: PA14-077
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2014
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2014-07-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-12-31
Small Business Information
1440 E NORTHSHORE DR, Tempe, AZ, 85283-2164
DUNS: 078747799
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (480) 965-2414
Business Contact
Phone: (609) 532-9744
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION provided by applicant The proposed work is directed at the commercialization of a stretchable microelectrode array BMSEEDandapos s sMEA a new tool that provides enhanced capabilities to simultaneously interface mechanically and electrically with cell cultures in vitro The mechanical stretching of neurons in the brain or spinal cord is often te root cause of traumatic brain injury TBI and spinal cord injury SCI Mechanical strain is also an important cue for the differentiation of stem cells It is currently not possible for in vitro models of TBI SCI or tissue engineering to carry out electrophysiological measurements while stretching the cells BMSEEDandapos s sMEAs will enable this capability by having microelectrodes that stretch and relax elastically with the cells allowing to a record and stimulate electrophysiological activity from the same location before during and after stretching the cells b investigate the cumulative effects of repeated sub threshold injuries over time e g repetitive concussions and c normalize post injury neural activity to pre injury levels These capabilities will greatly improve research on the evaluation of drugs and other treatment strategies to minimize the damage to the nervous system after an injury saving time money and lives of animals BMSEEDandapos s sMEA could also be an effective tool for controlling the mechanically induced differentiation of stem cells into electrophysiologically active cells such a neurons or cardiomyocytes which is a major goal of regenerative medicine BMSEEDandapos s sMEA consists of an elastomeric substrate with embedded microelectrodes and an interface to the data acquisition system Our previous research has demonstrated the capabilities of sMEA prototypes in traumatic brain injury research Therefore this proposed work aims to develop this sMEA into a commercial product by improving the current fabrication process The first specific aim of this proposal is therefore to reduce the cost to produce sMEA through process simplification and parallel processing We will a evaluate three methods to deposit the gold film with respect to their cost effectiveness and reliability b replace the current lithographic methd to produce the microelectrode pattern with shadow mask patterning and c replace the manual process to electroplate the microelectrodes with an automated one The second specific aim is to characterize these low cost sMEAs for traumatic brain injury research We will first compare sMEAs produced with the three gold deposition methods for i their biocompatibility ii their functionality iii the maximum strain at which they remain functional and iv how many times they can be re used We will then fabricate sMEAs with the process that produces the highest quality sMEAs and assess their repeatability using the same criteria The results of this aim will also apply to other applications such as spinal cord injury and tissue engineering The successful completion of this project will provide a cost effective method to produce sMEAs The long term goal of BMSEED is to extend the application of the sMEAsandapos soft and compliant microelectrodes to in vivo neural interfaces in mechanically active e g near the heart and very soft e g the brain environment PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE This work proposes the commercialization of a research tool that provides fundamentally improved capabilities to in vitro neurotrauma research and tissue engineering applications This research tool will facilitate the in vitro evaluation of drugs and other treatments that could minimize the damage to the nervous system after a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury and also enhance the capabilities to direct the differentiation of stm cells in the research and development of regenerative medicine

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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