High-throughput Experimental Platforms for Polymeric Vector Discovery
Recognizing the urgent clinical need for synthetic vectors, Ramya implemented an unbiased materiomics approach to polymer-mediated gene delivery. She faced two obstacles: 1) the intricacies involved in the rapid synthesis of precisely designed polymers through controlled radical polymerization techniques and 2) the paucity of experimental platforms that unite throughput, analytical rigor and precision.
Ramya approached the tradeoff between analytical depth and sample throughput by engineering a highly scalable workflow wherein a large multiparametric polymer library was rapidly synthesized using a novel platform for parallel RAFT polymerization and then rigorously characterized using automated platforms for evaluating polyplex size, protonation equilibria, and nucleic acid- polymer binding affinities. Finally, these polymers were interrogated through high-content imaging readouts of gene editing efficiency and payload uptake, and image processing pipelines were deployed to identify hit polymers.