NEW ALBANY, Ind.
– Indiana-based engineering and life sciences companies have contracted with
researchers at the University
of Pittsburgh to adapt a
technology that holds promise to help soldiers regrow tissue and recover from
IKOTECH LLC and Techshot Inc., based in the Purdue Research
Park of Southeast Indiana, are working to develop equipment called Quadrasep™
that improves the collection of stem cells from adult adipose, or fat, tissue.
The U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command selected the companies for
a $730,000 contract to develop the technology.
“Fat contains 10 times more stem cells than bone
marrow,” said Rich Boling, vice president of corporate advancement at
Techshot. “When they are transplanted, stem cells have the potential to
dramatically improve the outcomes of patients with significant tissue loss,
such as soldiers who suffer severe wounds.”
Boling explained that a mixture containing stem cells and
other types of cells can be purified from human fat. The stem cells in the mixture
can form many structures in the human body, including cartilage, nerves, muscle
and bone. During clinical trials, these stem cells have been used in plastic
reconstructive surgery and the restoration of heart tissue after a heart
Quadrasep will allow users to isolate specific subsets of
stem cells in collected adipose tissue samples. Improved selectivity in stem
cells will improve the outcomes for patients because existing methods are
limited in their ability to purify cells.
“The process to harvest pure stem cells from adipose is
done manually, and it is very time-consuming. A better purification method for
isolating specific cells from fat has the potential to unleash a number of new
cell therapies,” said David Kennedy, president of IKOTECH. “We are
excited to adapt the Quadrasep technology for this application in order to
provide a more optimal cell transplant product.”
IKOTECH will oversee adaptation and commercialization of the
Quadrasep technology for this new application. Techshot will design and build
the new equipment, which will be tested by researchers in the Adipose Stem Cell
Center at the University
of Pittsburgh’s McGowan
Institute for Regenerative Medicine. University
of Pittsburgh School of
Medicine’s chief of the division of plastic and reconstructive surgery Dr.
Peter Rubin and associate professor Kacey Marra, co-directors of the Adipose
Stem Cell Center, will evaluate the technology for adipose-derived stem cell
Kennedy said Quadrasep has the potential to be used for both
military and civilian applications.
“The initial application for this technology is to help
soldiers who have suffered trauma and wounds. We are proud to help the men and
women who serve our country every day,” he said. “The technology
developed in this project will also lead to new treatments for conditions and
diseases that will improve the quality of life for people around the
About IKOTECH LLC
located in the Purdue Research Park of Southeast Indiana, is a supplier of
scale-up solutions for cell therapy processing and production. IKOTECH’s
products include the HyperFlux cell and particle analyzer, the Quadrasep
high-speed cell sorter and the Quadrasep L/P large-particle sorter. IKOTECH’s
products are enabling the next generation in revolutionary new medical
technologies known as cell therapies, where human or animal cells are
transplanted through minimally or noninvasive methods to heal wounds and cure
diseases. IKOTECH’s products are in testing for use in applications including
stem cell research, cancer therapeutics and diabetes therapeutics.
About Techshot Inc.
Techshot is a contract new product
development company. Most of its commercial customers are small startup
enterprises such as Mavizon Technologies, one of the stars
of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. With 25 mechanical, electrical and
software engineers, plus a staff of scientists, Techshot designs, prototypes
and readies new products for manufacturing. Industries for which it develops
new products include aerospace, automotive, green tech, defense, consumer
products and medical devices.
About Purdue Research Park
The Purdue Research Park, with four
locations across Indiana,
has the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the
country. The park network is home to about 200 companies that employ 4,000
people and are located in West Lafayette, Merrillville, Indianapolis
and New Albany.