CINCINNATI, July 15, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bacterial Robotics, a synthetic biology firm developing ViruBots™ and BactoBots™, announces research findings from its National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I award that concluded 30 June 2014.
The grant launched the development of an enhanced bacterium (BactoBot™) to selectively target and kill cholesteatoma, benign tumors of the skullbase that can cause deafness, dizziness, facial palsy, brain abscess, and meningitis.
The BactoBot, code named AuriBot™, being developed to augment current surgical practices. The goal is to provide surgeons with a consumable product that destroy residual cholesteatoma cells after the primary surgery is complete.
Under an Institutional Review Board (IRB) exemption for cholesteatoma harvesting from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine (UCCM), and the Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Medical Center (CCHMC), Bacterial Robotics successfully cultured cholesteatoma cells from 9 unidentified patients (out of 12 total patient tissues samples collected) using our optimized culture protocols.
Based upon research findings, Bacterial Robotics expanded the cholesteatoma surface marker candidates that meet AuriBot assembly criteria then successfully detected the expression of these surface markers in cultured cholesteatoma cells. The company plans to engineer an AuriBot to target one or more surface markers of cholesteatoma cells.
Bacterial Robotics scientific team used a robust bacterial species as the chassis for the AuriBot assembly. These strains are ideal microbial platforms for conducting synthetic biology product development. The team discovered a preferential binding of the AuriBot to cultured cholesteatoma cells.
Ravi Samy, MD, FACS, Bacterial Robotics' Chief Medical Officer, stated, "These results represent an important step toward improving patient treatment outcomes and quality of life. I am significantly encouraged by these findings."
Dr. Samy is Director of the Neurotology Fellowship at the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, Director of the Adult Cochlear Implant Program, and Associate Professor of the Department of Otolaryngology.
An uncomplicated cholesteatoma surgery typically costs $40,000.00 USD. Approximately 150,000 of these surgeries are conducted annually in the USA. The resulting USA market for cholesteatoma surgery is over $600,000,000.00 per year. The global market is significantly larger.
Barkeloo finished, "We thank the National Science Foundation for their support enabling this team to reach these important findings. We are grateful for their assistance in developing this lytic technology, which could have significant implications beyond cholesteatoma treatment; notably cancers."
About Bacterial Robotics
A developer in the synthetic biology industry, Bacterial Robotics is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio with laboratory operations in Covington, Kentucky. The Company identifies markets for developing and deploying enhanced bacteria (BactoBots™) and viruses (ViruBots™); organism-based "robots" enhanced to produce, build, sense, and perform functions.
The Company's biotechnology products are protected by a consumable genetics rights management (GeRM™) system. The GeRM system is a consumable additive that prevents the BactoBots against theft or release.
For more information on Bacterial Robotics, visit its web site at http://BacterialRobotics.com.