Engineering pipelines into cells
Nanostraws? Calling them a transfection method doesn't really do them justice.Currently, there exists no universal solution for delivering your chosen cargo into any cell.
With a unique team of nanoengineers, cellular/molecular biologists and product designers, we have established a direct connection into cells via Nanostraws.
2012The discovery of Nanostraw technology
While investigating a nanotechnology developed for semiconductors, Dr Nick Melosh decided to explore its potential applications in the field of cellular biology. The findings were promising: the team successfully cultured cells on Nanostraws and demonstrated delivery of small molecules into mammalian cells. The cell viability of the transfected cells impressed the research community and brought interested parties knocking on the door. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nl204051v
2013We dipped our toes a little deeperTeaming up with Dr Craig Garner, we increased the efficiency of Nanostraw delivery by adding an electric field to drive large cargos into cells. With this development, it was suddenly possible to deliver larger molecules such as DNA plasmids. Things were getting interesting for biological applications since the plasmids were being delivered directly into the cytoplasm. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nn400874a
2014Research, Reflect, Rinse, Repeat
The hunt for high-impact applications was on and we didn’t have to look far. The physical nature of the Nanostraw-cell interaction opened a completely new route by which to access the interior of cells. However, much of the mechanism was still poorly understood and so we spent considerable time investigating a host of conditions under which we could achieve effective piercing of the cell-membrane. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nl403201a http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms4613
2015Investigating the cargo capabilities of NanostrawsBy 2015, we had gained a thorough understanding of why Nanostraws access the interior of cells so efficiently. We augmented this knowledge by turning our focus to delivering a wide variety of cargos into different cell lines. The tested cargos, including ions and cell-impermeable sugars, were delivered efficiently and studied in real time.
The NSF threw their support behind our early findings and awarded us an STTR grant to delve deeper into Nanostraw-mediated immune cell reprogramming. The grant funded the development of an MVP, a stand-alone lab device to transport different types of molecules into cells without comprising cell function or viability. With a device that could be easily integrated into a typical laboratory workflow, we started considering collaboration opportunities with specialist researchers operating in our target market. We called it the NAV100.
2016/17Validating our resultsAs the potential of Nanostraws spread throughout the research community, so did the interest of academic research labs to collaborate with us. We shipped devices nationally and internationally, for beta testers to embark on their own investigations using the NAV100 in real lab conditions to deliver a range of cargos into a variety of cell types. In 2017, NAVAN Technologies was founded.
2017The potential of Nanostraws expands further
Nanostraws don’t just deliver, they can also extract! Our latest findings on non-destructive sampling from cells were published in PNAS and demonstrated monitoring of intracellular activity over time. Sampling provides an opportunity to follow dynamic cellular behavior, such as stem cell differentiation and drug dose response, in an unbiased manner. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/02/17/1615375114
Nanostraws and youIf intracellular delivery is a stumbling block for you, we’d like to know about it. Complete our short survey to share a few details on the challenges you’re facing or ask us about Nanostraws, and we'll get back to you with a response and ideas for collaboration. As enthusiastic problem-solvers, we’re motivated to see our enabling technology fulfill its potential across a range of high-value applications. We hope you can join us for the ride!