LSU Syringe Device Improves Stem Cell Delivery to Patient

April 11, 2024

LSU researchers’ new invention – a syringe that can temporarily store adult stem cells so that they can be delivered and given to the patient from the same device – is the booster physicians and veterinarians need to treat tendon injuries more effectively.

Dr. Mandi Lopez

Mandi Lopez, Director, Laboratory for Equine and Comparative Orthopedic Research and Professor

“Stem cells have been all the rage for 20 years. That’s because stem cell therapy can accomplish amazing things. But the cells and the tissue grown from them are sensitive. Keeping the cells or tissue alive and uncontaminated is a big hurdle,” said Dr. Mandi Lopez, director of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine’s Laboratory for Equine and Comparative Orthopedic Research. “Each time you ‘touch’ them, you lose a certain percentage of the cells, and when you lose too many cells the treatment becomes less effective.”

The current system requires multiple touches. The cells or tissues are grown in a laboratory system, transferred to a container under very clean conditions, and then transported to a hospital or treatment facility. When the doctor needs the stem cells, they are usually moved from the container into a syringe to give to the patient.

The LSU syringe limits those touches.

“The device is intended to be a one-stop shop. The stem cells or tissue grown in the laboratory are placed directly into the syringe for transport,” Lopez said. “The doctor or veterinarian doesn’t have to unpack the cells or move them to a different syringe. They can be applied to the tissue directly from the same syringe.”

“This new syringe advances stem cell therapy so more people and animals can quickly recover from tendon injuries,” said Robert Twilley, LSU vice president of research and economic development. “Our researchers are scripting a narrative of healing, resilience and groundbreaking discoveries for a brighter and healthier Louisiana.”

Lopez, through the LSU Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization, has applied to patent the device. If approved, it will be her eighth U.S. patent.

“I’ve worked with ITC for pretty close to the whole 20 years I’ve been at LSU,” she said. “I started creating things very early in my career, and ITC has been very receptive and extremely supportive. Basically, I go to ITC and say, ‘Hey, I’ve got this great idea.’ Then we work together to protect and commercialize that idea, whatever it might be.”

“We work with amazing scientists whose work has the potential to change Louisiana residents’ lives for the better,” said Grace Myers, ITC commercialization officer. “There is nothing more enjoyable than seeing LSU inventors move their discoveries from the lab to the marketplace.”

About LSU’s Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization

LSU’s Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization (ITC) protects and commercializes LSU’s intellectual property. The office focuses on transferring early-stage inventions and works into the marketplace for the greater benefit of society. ITC also handles federal invention reporting, which allows LSU to receive hundreds of millions of dollars each year in federally funded research, and processes confidentiality agreements, material transfer agreements, and other agreements related to intellectual property.

 About LSU Office of Innovation & Ecosystem Development

LSU Innovation unites the university’s innovation and commercialization resources under one office, maximizing LSU's impact on the intellectual, economic, and social development of Louisiana and beyond. LSU Innovation is focused on establishing, developing, and growing technology-based startup companies. LSU Innovation oversees LSU Innovation Park, a 200-acre business incubator that fosters early-stage tech companies, and the Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization, which streamlines the process of evaluating, protecting, and licensing intellectual property created by LSU researchers. LSU Innovation serves as the host organization for the Louisiana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network which oversees all SBDC services across the state as well as the LSU SBDC, which provides free consulting services to small businesses across the state. LSU Innovation helps Louisiana technology companies apply for seed funding through the federal Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grant programs. LSU Innovation educates faculty, students, and the community on entrepreneurial principles through the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program which trains innovators to consider the market opportunities for pressing scientific questions, leading to increased funding state and federal grant programs as well as potential industry partners and licensees.