Description:

INV-23048

 

Background:

Mitochondria are intracellular organelles that power cells by maintaining cellular homeostasis and contributing to vital cellular functions. They play an instrumental role in immune cell maintenance by managing signaling routes in immune effector cells, thereby driving immune response. However, the rising problem confronting this essential organelle is mitochondrial dysfunction, induced by excessive production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS) or changes to mitochondrial DNA, which detrimentally affects immune cell activity and contributes to diseases like cancer. Presently, the challenge is the variability in immune cell mitochondrial health and stability. The specific pathway employed by the mitochondria decides the destiny of the immune cell and the energy investment needed for different immune responses. Unfortunately, the excessive production of mtROS, among other factors initiated my tumorigenesis, can result in mitochondrial dysfunction, profoundly impacting immune cell functioning and initiating multiple adverse immune conditions.

 

Description:

Northeastern researchers have invented a novel approach to revitalize dysfunctional mitochondria in immune cells using a proprietary microfluidic device. The process entails extracting mitochondria from killer cells - where tumor death occurs - for transplantation into non-killer cells. The groundbreaking aspect of this technology lies in effectively facilitating a switch from inactive immune cells to active immune 'killer' cells to bolster the body's immune response against diseases. Consequently, the transplantation of functional mitochondria into cells rehabilitates mitochondrial dysfunction, a prevalent issue linked to cancer and various immune conditions.

 

Benefits:

· Enhances the immune response by revitalizing dysfunctional mitochondria

· Potential to improve treatments for cancer and other immune-related diseases

· Provides valuable data for research on cellular biology and immune system functioning

· Contributes to drug discovery and development process

· Facilitates early disease detection and prognosis through biomarker discovery

 

Applications:

· Treatment of cancers and immune-related diseases by improving the immune response

· Research tools in studying cellular biology and immune system mechanisms

· Drug development, by providing a model to study drug potency

· Biomarker discovery in early disease detection and prognosis

· Development of personalized immune therapies

 

Opportunity:

Seeking licensee/industry partner/funding

 

Patent Status:

Provisional Patent submitted

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Vaibhav Saini
Senior Manager Commercialization
Northeastern University
v.saini@northeastern.edu
Inventors:
Tania Konry
Judene Thomas
Agustin De Ganzó
Keywords: