A Dolomite Microfluidics’ system for high-throughput single-cell encapsulation is enabling researchers at the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London to develop novel liposomal formulations for RNA vaccines targeting diseases such as HIV, influenza, rabies and chlamydia. The researchers take self-amplifying RNA and screen different cationic lipids to investigate cellular uptake and protein expression, and evaluate the effect of encapsulation on the inside and outside of the liposome, a type of optimisation study that has not been done before. The aim is to complex RNA on the exterior of the liposomes to make scale-up easier; in this way, large batches of liposomes could be prepared and complexed with RNA just prior to use, rather than having to make individual RNA-specific batches.
Anna Blakney, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at ICL, explained: “We've had the single-cell encapsulation set-up for just over a year, and find it offers excellent control for our experiments; it is far easier to control the flow rate using this platform with its pre-calibrated pumps than it is to assemble a system in house and optimise everything yourself. The system’s user interface is straightforward to operate – you just type in your parameters – and so establishing the optimal parameters for liposome formation was really easy, ensuring reliable and reproducible production of particles of the exact size and concentration required.”
For further information about Dolomite Microfluidics visit www.dolomite-microfluidics.com and for further information about the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London visit www.imperial.ac.uk/department-of-medicine
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