Singapore-based Austrianova specialises in enclosing cells and bacteria in protective technologies for the medical, food and biotechnology sectors.
The firm's approach is to mixes cells with a proprietary biocompatible polymer that is then formed into beads and reacted with a second encapsulating polymer.
The outer-shell of is semi-permeable and allows the influx of nutrients, but does not allow the cells to escape thereby keeping them alive and protected. In a biomedical setting, when the capsules are implanted, the same is also true but in addition the immune cells of the patient cannot enter the capsules.
Zhiping Wang, director SIMTech Microfluidics Foundry told us the licensed "technology consists of polymer devices that were produced by injection molding with microfluidics channels to guide the flow of minute amount of liquid which was disturbed at the exit to generate droplets of precise size and characteristics."
In a statement SIMTech said that Austrianova will use the tech to control the formation of droplets, explaining that: “The disposable microbead generation device yields high throughput and contamination-free micro-encapsule formation of cells, enzymes or drugs.
“The microfluidic dispensing head, which is the droplet generator, is made of disposable polymer chip. As it is disposable, sterilisation is not required. Hence, the downtime of the encapsulated cell manufacturing line is reduced.”
The license – financial terms of which were not disclosed – was granted by Exploit Technologies Pte, which is the tech transfer arm of SIMTech’s parent organisation, Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).