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5-2019-1310

Molecular Harvesting with Electroporation for Tissue Profiling

Detecting tumors in unknown locations and Creating molecular maps of therapeutically relevant targets in heterogeneous tumors by molecular harvesting with electroporation.
Our vision is to assist physicians to diagnose cancer more precise and help scientists and drug companies develop personalized, targeted therapies. We achieved this by providing tools for accurate spatial molecular mapping of tumors thus allowing for determination of therapeutics targets. We also provide tools that enhance the diagnostic ranges of current biopsies using solid tumors liquid biopsy achieved with electroporation. 
BACKGROUND AND UNMET NEED
Personalized medicine addresses optimized care on an individual basis. Personalized medicine, based on molecular profiles of tumors and other samples, has shown success over recent decades. In cancer therapy, a clear advantage was demonstrated for the personalized approach over traditional therapies. A critical component of a successful therapy tailoring for a patient is an accurate diagnosis. One method to evaluate tumor cells is through profiling the tumor's DNA, RNA, or proteins, in order to identify molecular biomarkers that are predictive of patient response. For this approach, current methods are based on tissue biopsy, which involves resection of a small tissue sample, a procedure that leads to localized tissue injury, bleeding inflammation and stress. The impact of this stress on tissue behavior is not well understood. In addition, only a few biopsies can be performed for one tumor. Current biopsy technologies do not provide tools for characterizing tumor molecular heterogeneity in vivo 
OUR SOLUTION
To address the aforementioned problems of excision biopsy and liquid biopsy approaches, and to extend the state of the art of technologies that will enable precision therapies, we developed a novel biopsy approach – molecular harvesting- using tissue permeabilization by electroporation. We have shown that electroporation technologies can help selectively extract proteins and RNA from tissues enabling differential analysis.

 

APPLICATIONS
Molecular harvesting in vivo and in situ is a new concept for tissue profiling and classification. Electroporation is used clinically to deliver molecules to the tissue (drugs, vaccines, molecular reagents, etc) or to kill the tissue directly. Temporary permeabilization of tissue to harvest cellular molecules is a novel tool.
The device and method allows for multiple probing during one procedure with significantly reduced tissue injury and stress. The immediate application of the device is a new method for molecular biopsy of solid tumors with no tumor damage or resection. This enables a new type of diagnostic tool to detect tumors in locations not achievable with standard biopsy and also create tumor molecular cartography based on the multiple in vivo and in situ samples. Such detection and characterization of the tumor spatial composition was not possible until today.
STATUS
Laboratory scale batch developed.
So far we have demonstrated the approach on differential expression analysis of HEPG2 and 4T1 tumors and normal tissues in mice. Our experimental preliminary data strongly support the hypothesis that electroporation extracts tissue molecules in a manner that is faithfully representative of the molecular activity in the sampled cells/organ.