Nanoengineered Encapsulation of Enzyme Chiral Catalysts and Other Proteins in Their Native State

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-05ER84326
Agency Tracking Number: 78011S05-I
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: 30
Solicitation Number: DE-FG02-06ER06-09
Small Business Information
2411 Winchester South, Lincoln, NE, 68512
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Gustavo Larsen
 (402) 416-1811
Business Contact
 Gustavo Larsen
Title: Dr.
Phone: (402) 416-1811
Research Institution
The commercial opportunities for products based on delicate biomolecules, such as enzymes and therapeutic proteins, are growing at a strong pace. However, many proteins of great commercial value, including enzymes, undergo loss of function on encapsulation, when approaches based on high-shear liquid-phase processes, or on immobilization inside a porous matrix, are used. This project will develop a gentle method, based on a nano-engineering approach, for encapsulating proteins and protein complexes. The resulting product would allow, for example, enzyme catalysis to be carried out at room temperature, providing significant energy savings over competing products. Phase I demonstrated that protein solutions could be encapsulated into true core-shell structures and that the technology would facilitate: (1) the reuse of enzyme catalysts for energy-efficient processes, and (2) the design of efficient protein drug delivery systems. In Phase II, pilot-scale quantities of encapsulated enzyme catalysts and one protein-based drug ¿ namely, Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF-a) ¿ will be produced, and further testing will be conducted. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: There are two primary applications for the technology. The first involves enzyme catalyst recovery, which is essential for the commercialization of certain chemical reaction processes. Some enzymes cannot be immobilized onto the surface of a carrier particle without loss of catalytic function. The encapsulation of enzymes within a porous shell would overcomes this obstacle. The second application involves the use of proteins for the treatment of certain types of cancer. Some of these proteins are toxic when administered systemically in therapeutic amounts. However, by encapsulating the proteins in submicron vesicles, the toxicity problem can be avoided and the proteins can remain undetected by the immune system

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

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