SBIR Phase I: Electrophysiology and fluidic delivery with a nano patch-clamp probe

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$150,000.00
Award Year:
2013
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
1248339
Agency Tracking Number:
1248339
Solicitation Year:
2012
Solicitation Topic Code:
BC
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
PICOCAL, Inc.
11200 SW 8th St, AHC 3 510, Miami, FL, 33199-2516
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
Y
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
132396602
Principal Investigator:
Angelo Gaitas
(734) 913-2608
angelo@picocal.com
Business Contact:
Angelo Gaitas
(734) 913-2608
angelo@picocal.com
Research Institution:
Stub




Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project aims to develop a micromachined patch-clamp probe that enables sub-cellular imaging, electrophysiology, and fluidic delivery at the nanoscale with control of applied force at pN levels. The probe can operate like a force sensing finger to sense contact & membrane rupture, no longer damaging cells. The small aperture allows for micro-injections and interrogation of ion channels. Additional information such as imaging, ion channel localization/mapping, and elastography can be obtained. The probe will provide new insights in the workings of cells. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is to address the increasing need for tools to study the structure and function of single living cells. Patch clamps and micro-injectors are indispensible tools for studying cellular activity. However, these tools are plagued with numerous problems, such as damaging cells and lack of resolution, which recent innovations fail to address. The proposed nano-patch clamp addresses these problems and enables single cell analysis (SCA) for basic or clinical studies and drug discovery. The micro-machined patch clamp can become a versatile tool for SCA, which has direct implications in diagnostics, understanding disorders, and the discovery of new drugs. With the costs of clinical trials in the billion dollar range, SCA offers researchers an inexpensive way to quickly and harmlessly test and screen drug candidates on cells before testing on animals or humans. At the same time, new personalized treatments tested on the patient?s own cells, rather than one-size-fits-all treatments, have an excellent likelihood of effectively treating diseases in the future.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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