Synthesis, evaluation, and scale-up of sulfur-containing lipids

In 2021, over 2.2 billion doses of lipid nanoparticles containing mRNA are to be produced. The world’s largest vaccination campaign for a truly devastating pandemic was initiated as a result of technology developed by the principles in this application. RNA-based vaccines have been the fastest vaccines to be ever developed, with some of the highest efficiencies reported. In order for mRNA to exert its function, it needs a delivery system to take it from outside to the inside of a cell. The enabling technology, lipid nanoparticles, are composed of a specific component called the ionizable cationic lipid, which allows highly efficient mRNA delivery. However, even with the resounding success of these vaccines, these lipids remain quite ineffective with a report suggesting that as little as 3% of the RNA becomes available inside a cell. This proposal aims to unleash the true potential of RNA vaccines by improving the efficiency of this class of lipids.

Ardalan Nabi
Faculty Supervisor: 
Gregory Dake
British Columbia
Partner University: