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Data and Technology sector_ico_Health_trans Human Health

A microfluidic nanoparticle formulator for systemically deliverable genetic materials

  • Project Leaders: Pieter Cullis
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $100000
  • Program/Competition: Technology Development Initiatives Fund
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Status: Closed

Short interfering RNA-lipid nanoparticles (siRNA-LNP) are a powerful research tool for in vivo functional genomics. siRNA has the potential to silence any gene by binding to and mediating the degradation of mRNA in a process known as RNA interference (RNAi). In vivo use of RNAi has been limited by the need for sophisticated nanoparticle technology to protect and deliver siRNA to target cells. These two projects sought to develop a commercial product to enable a rapid, simple and cost-effective alternative by first producing a microfluidic-based device for the manufacture of lipid nanoparticles through a disposable microfluidic chip and then validating the use of these particles for delivering genetic material in laboratory settings. These investments have helped drive the UBC spin-out company Precision NanoSystems, which was created to commercialize this microfluidic-based technology and which already has units undergoing beta testing in international labs and pharmaceutical companies.