Cyntellect announced this week that it has received a phase II SBIR grant worth $500,000 from the National Science Foundation to develop its laser-based transfection technology.
The technology — known as LEAP, or laser-enabling analysis and processing — involves temporarily permeabilizing cells with a laser so that a variety of molecules, including siRNAs, can be transfected. The laser is also used to destroy untransfected cells, so that researchers end up with a pure set of transfected cells.
The NSF grant — entitled High-Throughput Specific Cell Loading by Opto-Injection — is the fourth government grant the company has received since July for the LEAP platform, Cyntellect vice president of R&D and COO Fred Koller told RNAi News. Together, these grants total $2.25 million, he said.
Cyntellect is in the process of running pilot studies of the LEAP platform for potential purchasers of the system.