One of the critical elements for the clinical availability of cells for use in immunotherapy is cryopreservation. However, cryopreserving cells relies on antiquated protocols which raise serious safety concerns. DMSO has been associated with post-thaw morphological and epigenetic changes, weakened biodistribution and acute toxicity.

In our lab, we are investigating new biomimetic biomaterials with cryoprotective properties - such as antioxidants and osmotic stabilizers - that can reduce cryoinjury during freezing and that act on hard-to-preserve primary cells, which includes immune cells such as NK and T cells.

We are leveraging natural biomaterial science and cellular biophysics to develop next-generation primary cell cryopreservation approaches.

These materials are expected to play an increasingly critical roles as emerging immunotherapies continue to rapidly advance through the development and clinical pipeline.