NEW YORK (360Dx) – Vaxess Technologies announced recently that it has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a novel heat-stable blood collection device.
According to Vaxess, the device will be based on a proprietary technology that involves extracting a protein called fibroin from silk fibers. The resulting silk protein matrix is used to encapsulate biological compounds to protect them from heat and other stresses.
The company said it used a previous NIH grant to integrate the matrix formulation and related drying method into bioanalytical lab workflows on mass spectrometry, as well as demonstrate that the technology could improve the stability of a range of blood analytes versus dried paper.
With the new Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant, Vaxess aims to develop a blood collection device for use with the matrix stabilizer. To evaluate the device's performance over other biosample collection methods, the company plans to aliquot and store venous blood, capillary blood, and saliva samples in the silk system, on dried paper, and as liquid aliquots. The samples will then be subjected to processing delays to simulate remote transportation use cases, Vaxess said in its grant's abstract.
"Building on the success of the Phase I program, we will advance the development of a refrigerator-free blood collection device that is able to overcome many of the practical limitations of existing paper-based collection systems and offer a much-needed alternative option to improve the integrity of sensitive sample analytes," Jonathan Kluge, director of R&D at Vaxess, said in a statement.