MSI PI Allison Hubel, a professor of mechanical engineering (College of Science and Engineering), has developed technology that is the basis for start-up company MesoFlow. The company manufactures devices that remove preservation chemicals from stored cells, such as blood cells and stem cells, before they are used. This technology improves on older methods, which often resulted in large numbers of damaged or lost cells when the preserving agent was removed in a labor-intensive procedure by a highly trained technician. This new procedure requires less skill to operate, is more efficient at removing preservation chemicals, and lowers the cost of equipment needed to prepare cells for use.
Professor Hubel uses MSI resources to as part of a project to find alternative cell-preservations substances to replace dimethylsulfoxide, which is a very common preservation agent, but which is not suitable for all applications. Several naturally occurring molecules may be suitable, and Professor Hubel’s group is performing molecular dynamics simulations on these compounds to study their action mechanisms.
A profile of MesoFlow appears on the OVPR’s Inquiry blog.