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Cellular “Backpacks” to Slow Tumor Growth
Macrophages are the body’s multipurpose defense agents, patrolling for pathogens and engulfing cellular debris, foreign substances, microbes, and even cancer cells. But cancerous tumors have evolved an insidious defense mechanism: they can switch arriving macrophages from an anti-cancer state to a pro-cancer state, in which they help promote the tumor’s growth. As a result, attempts...
DNA Nanotechnology Tools: From Design to Applications
DNA nanostructures with their potential for cell and tissue permeability, biocompatibility, and high programmability at the nanoscale level are promising candidates as new types of drug delivery vehicles, highly specific diagnostic devices, and tools to decipher how biomolecules dynamically change their shapes, and interact with each other and with candidate drugs. Wyss Institute researchers are...
OMNIVAX: Broadly Deployable Infection Vaccine Platform
OMNIVAX is an immuno-material-based vaccine platform technology able to create safe and effective therapeutic and prophylactic vaccines against viral and bacterial threats. Its modular approach enables the rapid creation of vaccines for pathogens using known and unknown antigens. Current approaches include vaccines against some viral diseases.
Bone Marrow-Like Scaffolds for Accelerating Immune Reconstitution
An implantable bone marrow cryogel to accelerate the full reconstitution of the immune system, including T cell immunity, in patients that received chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. This could provide an off-the-shelf, material-based solution for patients with severe blood disorders whose immunity is recovering only slowly after treatment.
eRNA: Controlled Enzymatic RNA Oligonucleotide Synthesis
Synthetic RNA oligonucleotides designed as specific successions of the four nucleobases A, U, G, and C that mimic naturally occurring RNA species are the key components of diverse RNA-based therapies. These include RNA therapeutics that can partially or completely turn off the expression of disease-causing genes (antisense and interfering RNAs), help replace or supplement dysfunctional...
Implantable Cancer Vaccine
The implantable cancer vaccine is an aspirin-sized disc that is implanted under the skin and serves as an artificial lymph node, recruiting and training a patient's own immune cells to find and kill their cancer cells. It was validated in a Phase I clinical trial at the Wyss Institute, and is currently being developed by Novartis to treat melanoma.
Cell-Free Biomolecule Manufacturing
Wyss Institute researchers have developed a biomolecular manufacturing method that can quickly and easily produce a wide range of vaccines, antimicrobial peptides and antibody conjugates while doing so anywhere, even in places without access to electrical power or refrigeration. The breakthrough could provide a life-saving workaround for making modern interventions available in remote areas. Today...