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Acoustic Scaffold Bioreactor

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 4R44HL136046-02
Agency Tracking Number: R44HL136046
Amount: $987,823.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: NHLBI
Solicitation Number: HL15-008
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-09-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-08-31
Small Business Information
130 N MAIN ST STE 600
Butte, MT 59701-9314
United States
DUNS: 836287680
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (406) 497-5252
Business Contact
Phone: (406) 723-2222
Research Institution

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will develop a
commercially-viable device that uses micro-scale acoustic streaming (low frequency
sound energy) to deliver mixing to the interior of three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds used
for stem cell cultivation applications. The enabling advantage of low frequency sound
energy is the ability to generate micro-scale mixing in and around scaffolds that can
enhance the movement of liquid, molecules, and oxygen within scaffolds without the
need for pumps or a costly and inconvenient perfusion apparatus for each scaffold.
Preliminary data shows that cells can successfully grow in the presence of the acoustic
energy field.Nutrient supply issues and difficulties in homogenously seeding dense scaffolds
are issues that need to be overcome in order to successfully produce high quality,
repeatable cell cultures in the complex 3D environments that are the mainstay of modern
stem cell and tissue engineering. Many possible solutions to these problems have been
examined, including the use of spinner flask, centrifugal, vacuum fixtures, or perfusion
for cell seeding. The vision for the approach proposed here is to develop a single
bioreactor platform on which multiple scaffolds can be mounted in simple fixtures to
deliver similar benefits as those derived from complex perfusion bioreactors but without
the significant time and capital investment inherent in such an approach. When used at
low intensities, the proposed device should be able to deliver benefits similar to a
perfusion bioreactor, but in a much simpler package. When used at higher intensities in
the absence of cells, additional applications and benefits of the proposed product will be
delivered in the form of much more rapid methods for the hydration, functionalization,
and enzymatic degradation of scaffolds.The goal of this research proposal is to build a commercial prototype Acoustic
Scaffold Bioreactor device and to extensively characterize and optimize its use for
scaffold-based hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cell culture systems. The
commercial applications of the device will be broad within the field of stem cell and
tissue engineering, extending to the full range of cells and tissues that have shown to be
enhanced by more cumbersome perfusion flow-based systems, as well as to basic
operations such as hydrating, functionalizing, and digesting scaffolds.This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will develop and demonstrate
an Acoustic Scaffold Bioreactor (ASB) that employs a novel agitation method in the form
of low-frequency sound energy. By greatly enhancing the penetration of liquids,
molecules, and cells into the very small pores of natural and artificial scaffolds used for
stem cell cultivation applications, the ASB will provide a low-cost, easy-to-use method of
enhancing cellular growth and seeding within scaffolds. Better culture performance and
cost-savings without the use of complex pumps and tubing will translate to more
affordable stem cell-derived therapeutic products and better patient outcomes.

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

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