IMCµRE – Implantable Microfluidic Bioelectronic µCartridges for Cell-Responsive Cancer Therapeutics
Project Summary: Approximately two hundred thousand patients die of brain cancer annually. Different from many cancers that have seen a marked improvement in survival rates over the past two decades, brain cancers such as glioblastoma, have remained just as deadly, with the median survival rates being only about fourteen months. While recent treatments have benefitted tremendously from the development of targeted drugs, immunotherapies and cancer vaccines, these many treatment modalities place complex care navigation demands on patients (and clinicians), are often cost-prohibitive, and require constant in-hospital monitoring, ultimately driving health disparities for remote populations. Recent success has been achieved with serial programing of combination therapies that are adjusted for dosage and drug-candidate on-command, as informed by near real-time measurement of treatment success in a program called SMMART trial (Serial Measurements of Molecular and Architectural Responses to Therapy) at OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. Inspired by the success of the SMMART trial program, here we propose to respond to respond to the REACT call by developing IMCµRES, a controllable implantable brain-machine interface system for cell-based combination therapy of brain cancers. The IMCµRES is a bioelectronics-integrated biomaterial implantable device, composed of wireless-controlled microfluidic-coupled microcartridges, that are pre-loaded with cell-based engineered tissues that are responsive to adjustable dosing of combination mRNA cell therapies, as to enable autonomous cell-responsive therapy of brain cancers. The IMCµRES will allow patients to subscribe to a remotely controlled treatment regime, where patient-specific biologic drug combinations are manufactured by cells, via on-chip microfluidic handling, and delivered to the microenvironment.