This technology is a novel method for the transduction of non-adherent cells to both improve efficiency and lower costs. Georgia Tech’s approach utilizes aqueous two-phase systems (ATPS) to separate cells and biomolecules with unparalleled precision in order to introduce viruses and macromolecules at a smaller sub-volume—thereby lowering costs and increasing precision during diffusion.
Standard methods of introducing macromolecules to non-adherent cells involve using high cell and virus concentrations, which can be costly and complex. By contrast, this innovation uses ATPS to separate cells and biomolecules efficiently, resulting in a large reservoir of cell culture nutrients and lower diffusion distances, as well as a large volume for cellular waste product. Overall, this design enhances transduction efficiency while providing sufficient nutrient delivery in a scalable format.
- Increased transduction yield: The two-phase system results in high local concentrations and low diffusion distances of cells and viral particles, as well as large reservoirs of nutrient-containing media.
- Cost effective: In many biological applications, the amount of reagents used and virus needed to effectively transduce cells can be prohibitively expensive. This novel design lowers this cost burden by separating cells more effectively, thus requiring a lower volume of reagents.
- Adaptable and scalable: This innovation can be applied in a wide variety of cell culture processes by offering methods for calculating viral particle concentration to improve transfection in many cell and treatment combinations.
- Cancer research
- Gene therapy
- Drug, vaccine, and antibody development
- Improved viral detection for diagnostics
Bioreactors—or vessels that incubate mammalian cell culture—are an important tool used in biochemical engineering to help achieve a wide range of research goals, from cancer research and treatment to vaccine development, as well as production of therapeutic agents (i.e., CAR-T immunotherapy). However, the process can be time-consuming, labor intensive, and high cost. In part, this is because standard practices for introducing macromolecules and viruses to non-adherent cells require large volumes of the necessary substances (including the virus amount) to effectively transduce cells while maintaining their viability with appropriate nutrient supply and volume for removal of cellular waste.
Further, the large volume of costly reagents used in the standard process can be cost-prohibitive. Georgia Tech’s ATPS-based transduction addresses the problem of long diffusion distances while simultaneously lowering costs with an adaptable aqueous two-phase system—a water-based system that partitions and concentrates cells and biomolecules favorably and predictably, facilitating the presence of a large reservoir of cell culture.