Indee Labs, in partnership with the Australian National Fabrication Facility – South Australia (ANFF-SA) and the Defence, Science and Technology Group (DSTG), have developed a novel microfluidic device with the potential to save the lives of people living with a life-threatening disease.
Gene-modified cell therapies are the most effective platform for treating many patients with advanced disease. Despite this, these therapies are limited to a minute fraction of patient populations due to inefficient development and limited manufacturing scales, which in turn translates into high treatment costs.
The new superior microfluidic device, designed and fabricated in collaboration between Australian start-up Indee Labs, ANFF-SA, DSTG and ANFF that is a game-changer in gene-modified cell therapy and a potential life-saver in treating people diagnosed with advanced disease.
The microfluidic device allows for precise cell processing. By gently disrupting the cell’s membrane with fluid dynamics, new genes can enter and, as the membrane heals, it encases new genetic information, which modifies or engineers the cell to attack a specified disease.
The project started as a partnership between Indee Labs and ANFF-SA at University of South Australia’s Mawson Lakes Campus. Indee Labs’ CEO, Ryan Pawell realised that by simplifying the cell modification process he could accelerate development and reduce manufacturing costs.
ANFF-SA’s lithography sputtering and wet etching capabilities were required to prepare a Borfloat 33 glass lid substrate containing an electrode pattern.
The DSTG were called in for their advanced etching capabilities; their Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) System provided the higher aspect ratio etching required for deep channels and through holes in a silicon wafer.
Meanwhile, at Macquarie University, the ANFF Optofab node performed laser drilling of the glass lid to allow fluidic connectivity.
The prepared parts were all delivered to ANFF-SA for fnal bonding in a high temperature vacuum furnace, before being diced and shipped to Indee Labs.
Indee Labs has a growing amount of data demonstrating these devices surpass competing technologies and are aiming to get the devices plugged into BigPharma development pipelines as a tool prior to pursuing regulatory flings.