Colloidal Cell Delivery Systems

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Sch of Pharmacy


As stem cell technologies advance towards clinical application there is an urgent need to enhance the methods of delivering these cells into the body. Current methods of simple injection of cell suspensions are crude because they waste cells, compromise viability and generate poor starting conditions for the regeneration of a tissue. In this collaborative project between the universities of Nottingham and Manchester we will establish an injectable material consisting of a colloid mixture of cells and particles that is injectable at room temperature and aggregates into a porous colloidal gel at body temperature. This material could form the basis for cell delivery in neurology, endocrinology, hepatology, orthopaedics and many other areas because the components are well understood and trusted materials with long track records of use in the body. A successful outcome for this project will prove the principle of cell delivery into skeletal muscle tissue using temperature-triggered assembly and establish the fundamental principles involved.


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Wang W (2008) Self-immolative polymers. in Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English)

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Magnusson JP (2008) Ion-sensitive "isothermal" responsive polymers prepared in water. in Journal of the American Chemical Society

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Alexander C (2008) Convergence of synthetic and natural polymers: next generation nanomedicines? in Nanomedicine (London, England)

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Magnusson J (2011) Synthetic polymers for biopharmaceutical delivery in Polym. Chem.

Description Self-assembling materials for tissue engineering and cell culture were developed. Several key papers were published showing that materials could be formulated with a number of cell types into free-flowing suspensions, then injected into sites at body temperature, whereupon the materials gelled to provide a support matrix for cell growth. Reduction of temperature allowed disassembly of the support and recovery of cells
Exploitation Route Clinical expansion of stem cells for therapy A number of patents were filed and these have been licensed to a spin-out, RegenTec. Further work in this area is funded by the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacture in Stem Cell Technologies.

The PDRA on the project, Dr Wenxin Wang, is now a tenured senior lecturer at University College Dublin following a lecturer post at NUI Galway
Sectors Chemicals,Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

Description Findings formed part of an application which led to successful establishment of EPSRC Centre for Innovative manufacture in Regenerative Medicine. In addition, patents have been licensed to RegenTec, now Locate Therapeutics, and a second PDRA, Dr Aram Saeed was appointed on to this latter grant.
First Year Of Impact 2009
Sector Chemicals,Education,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Economic,Policy & public services

Description The University of Manchester 
Organisation University of Manchester
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
Start Year 2007
Title Regentec Licence 
Description Regentec Ltd (now Locate Therapeutics) has been granted an exclusive, worldwide licence to the patent family in the field of regenerative medicine, cell & tissue engineering, in vitro models & assays and cell & tissue culture. Effective date of licence 20/11/09.The University of Nottingham retains unrestricted rights to use the patent for its own academic research and teaching purposes within the field of use and to grant licences to the patent outside of the field of use. The University will receive a royalty on any future product sales derived in whole or in part from the patent as well as a share of any subcontract income. 
IP Reference WO2010043892 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2009
Licensed Yes
Impact Significant interest from a number of other companies and a further project in the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacture in Regemerative Medicine.