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Center Innovation Fund: ARC CIF

BiocapsuleTechnology for Delivery of Protein Therapeutics in Space

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

This project concerns NASA Biocapsule technology, which involves the develoment of buckypaper containers for living cells, to be used for delivery of medical therapeutics.  Effort was focused on study of buckypaper durability, a critical feature for this application.  The project was designed to pave the way for Biocapsule animal studies, which are expected to be the next major thrust of the project and advances the technolgy frm a TRL 3 to a TRL 4. 

The study provides important validation of the use of carbon nanotube buckypaper as a material for use in implantable medical systems for containing living cells.  The field of cell implantation requires that the material used to make the container for holding cells withstand chronic exposure to water, under mild shear conditions.

The project involved two phases of work.  Fabrication of carbon nanotube buckypaper, and exposure of the buckypaper to aqueous media, with subsequent gravimetric analysis and electron micrscopy as endpoint.  This work constitutes the first ever study of carbon nanotube buckypaper durability under conditions relevant for medical aplications.  The study demonstrates that buckypaper is highly durable in aqueous media and is not subject to the development of defects that would constitute a problem for long-term applications in biolgoical systems in which the integrity of the material is key.


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Technology Maturity (TRL)

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