PepGel awarded NSF STTR phase I and phase IB Grant

June 21, 2013

nsfThis Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project aims to use a newly discovered peptide (h9e) hydrogel technology to provide an affordable and easy-to-use 3D cell culture system with high throughput screen and accurate in vivo representative. To bridge the fundamental understanding of cellular characteristics and the extensive complexity of tissue and organs, hydrogel is the most promising material for 3D cell culture. Most of the existing hydrogel materials are limited under the physiological conditions, complex operating steps for cell encapsulation, difficulties for cell recovery from culture scaffold and high production cost. The objectives of this project are to 1) develop desirable h9e-medium hydrogel for cancer, normal and stem cell culture and 2) reduce hydrogel production cost. The success of this project will provide a superior 3D cell culture system with convenient cell encapsulation and recovery properties. Standard user-friendly protocols and successful examples of different cell lines growing in this system will be built. The optimal procedures of h9e chemical synthesis will be delivered for large scale synthesis with lower production cost. Furthermore, the proposed works will provide new insight about how drug discovery and tissue regenerative development be achieved based on an in vitro 3D cell culture system.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project, if successful, will be to provide an advanced life science tool for cell/tissue culture industry with over $6.0 billion global market. Simplification of operating process of 3D cell culture and reduction of hydrogel synthesis cost will greatly advance this technology to be used routinely for both academic and industry. Drug discovery and regenerative medicine development will be benefited from this high throughput screening and better in vivo representative cell culture system and extent to affect the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and life sciences industries, which possess over $1,001.5 billion global market. Furthermore, the injectable capability of h9e hydrogel system will introduce many potential biomedical applications such as drug delivery, wounds healing, which are beyond the proposed 3D cell culture. The proposed approach will be broadly disseminated through international meetings, peer-reviewed journals, company website, and other outreach activities. Fundamental knowledge derived from this proposed technology will bridge the gap between cellular information and in vivo system and benefit all-level students, scientific community and entire society. The more accurate data derived from this tool will reduce the research use of animal models, which will relief the extensive criticism within our society.

NSF Org: IIP Div Of Industrial Innovation & Partnership
Initial Amendment Date: June 21, 2013
Latest Amendment Date: August 11, 2014
Award Number: 1321261
Award Instrument: Standard Grant
Program Manager: Ruth M. Shuman
IIP Div Of Industrial Innovation & PartnershENG Directorate For Engineering
Start Date: July 1, 2013
Expires: February 28, 2015 (Estimated)
Awarded Amount to Date: $269,999.00
Investigator(s): Hongzhou Huang (Principal Investigator)
Xiuzhi Sun (Co-Principal Investigator)
Sponsor: PepGel,LLC1980 Kimball AveManhattan, KS
Program Reference Code(s): 1505, 8038, 9150
Program Element Code(s): 1505, 5371

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PepGel LLC
1980 Kimball Avenue
Manhattan, KS 66506

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