New Grant: Award Supports Microfluidic Platform for Cell Engineering

Abraham Lee

June 28, 2022 – Principal investigator: Abraham Lee, Chancellor’s Professor of biomedical engineering and director of the Center for Advanced Design and Manufacturing of Integrated Microfluidics

Award: $1.18 million over four years

Funding agency: National Institutes of Health - National Institute of General Medical Sciences R01

Project: Acoustic Microvortices Instrumentation for Dosage-controlled, High-efficiency Cell Engineering

CAR T cell immunotherapy is one type of cell therapy that has already achieved success in the clinic for treating cancer. The holy grail is to produce universal CAR T cells, genetically modified and engineered allogeneic T cells derived from healthy donors that avoid immunologic rejection. Although viral vectors are the method of choice for cell engineering, there are major concerns over their safety as well as the complex, costly preparation process. Nonviral transfection methods are alternatives to viral vectors that avoid the deleterious byproducts such as immune-mediated toxicity and oncogenic transgene concerns. With this project, researchers introduce the Acoustic-Electric Shear Orbiting Poration (AESOP) platform that addresses several of the known challenges for nonviral transfection techniques, including cell viability and dosage-controlled intracellular delivery while achieving relatively high throughput. Using AESOP, researchers will focus on technology development for producing the universal CAR T cells.

More information: Part of PAR-19-253 under the Focused Technology Research and Development award