Supramolecular Nanocellulose Drug Excipients

Period of Performance: 06/12/2017 - 03/11/2018


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Innosense LLC
2531 West 237th St Suite 127
Torrance, CA 90505
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


The U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) technologies that utilize lignocellulosic sources for economical, high-performance bioproducts will steer the nation towards a self-sustainable bioeconomy. To meet the BETO’s goal for high value, high performance products from lignocellulosic sources, this project will develop nanocellulose supramolecular excipients for oral delivery of protein drugs. During the proposed project, the company will develop a supramolecular nanocellulose drug excipient. This will provide a bio-based, low toxicity material for oral delivery of drugs that improves patient compliance and the effectiveness of protein drugs. The emerging market in nanocellulose supports the bioeconomy, and the proposed use of nanocellulose for high value drug excipients adds to this initiative. The excipient market is projected to be $8.1B by 2021. A specific form of nanocellulose will be used to design and develop a biobased hydrogel excipient for insulin. The technical and economic feasibility of the proposed material will be assessed by: drug loading, release in simulated physiological conditions, preservation of protein activity, negligible cytotoxicity and relevance to price and demand. The proposed formulation and material engineering will enable utilization of a bio-based product as a drug excipient. The development of the proposed material for oral delivery of insulin would provide a more convenient, less invasive method for controlling blood glucose levels as well as improved control of blood glycemic levels for diabetic individuals. This has potential impact for 9% of the U.S. population. This technology can also be adapted for biosensors, industrial protein use, and catalytic processes.