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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING
Doing Business As Name:University of Wyoming
PD/PI:
  • John S Oakey
  • (307) 766-2518
  • joakey@uwyo.edu
Award Date:08/23/2019
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 50,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 50,000
  • FY 2019=$50,000
Start Date:09/15/2019
End Date:02/29/2020
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.041
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:I-Corps: Hydrogel Micro Encapsulation of Therapeutic Cells for Tissue Regeneration
Federal Award ID Number:1946715
DUNS ID:069690956
Parent DUNS ID:069690956
Program:I-Corps
Program Officer:
  • Ruth Shuman
  • (703) 292-2160
  • rshuman@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:1000 E. University Avenue
City:Laramie
State:WY
ZIP:82071-2000
County:Laramie
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:00

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Wyoming
Street:1000 E. University Ave
City:Laramie
State:WY
ZIP:82071-2000
County:Laramie
Country:US
Cong. District:00

Abstract at Time of Award

The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project centers on the growing market of cellular regenerative medicine and the unmet need for simple methods to increase its reliability. Therapeutic cells have the potential to treat an array of diseases-from musculoskeletal degeneration to cancer- many of which lack current treatment options. Despite this promise, cellular therapies exhibit unreliable efficacy and highly variable patient outcomes. With over 1000 clinical trials in 18 areas of medicine currently in progress, and a market worth $13 billion annually, it is both clinically and commercially important to provide a solution to this problem. In addition to human regenerative medicine, improvements in therapeutic cell reliability have applications across a spectrum of applied cell biology markets including veterinary medicine, pharmaceutical screening, drug development, and research science. This I-Corps project further develops a simple, easily implemented, cell delivery system that significantly extends cell viability by immobilizing them in inert, injectable microparticles using a microfluidic droplet encapsulation device. The viability and gene expression in response to encapsulation in a variety of hydrogel microparticles has been analyzed across a range of mammalian cell types and comprehensive cell viability and retention analyses was conducted using an in vitro platform that enabled examination of material composition, elasticity, and cell-cell interactions in a simulated biological environment. A small animal model was then used to examine the healing potential of encapsulated T-cells on nerve allographs. The results of these studies yielded the selection of a hydrogel encapsulation material that did not adversely impact cell viability and demonstrated a significant increase in the viability and localization of hydrogel encapsulated cells over unencapsulated cells within the simulated biological environment. Encapsulated T- cells showed significantly increased nerve regeneration over their unencapsulated counterparts in the small animal model. These results strongly suggest that hydrogel encapsulation in microparticles improves viability and localizes cells to improve therapeutic outcomes. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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