Project Code: 16074
Project Title: Novel Helminth Therapy Cultivation and Dose Dispensing Systems
Project Type: Faculty
Project Intellectual Property: Company Controlled
Project Citizenship Restriction: No
Sponsor Company: UA Center for Accelerated Biomedical Innovation
Description: Helminthic therapy uses the natural immunosuppressant properties of hookworms as a remedy for autoimmune diseases and disorders. The U.S. Food and drug Administration has not approved helminthic therapy, and current methods of administering and dosing are impractical for mass commercial adoption. The semiautomated system devised by the team requires minimal handling of infectious material, provides highly accurate dosing of Necator americanus helminths, and meets all FDA criteria for market approval. The design includes a helminth incubation and cultivation system, including a temperature sensor and hygrometer, which houses the helminth culture and provides a continuous supply of infective Necator americanus larvae. The team also developed a helminth dose dispensing system: a photo-detection apparatus consisting of a glass microfluidic chip, optical fiber photo gate, pumps for worm fluid flow, and a microcontroller subsystem for overall procedure control.