Scientists at Columbia University are reaping the benefits of automated process development with Sunshine


The challenge

The immune synapse, akin to our immune system's command center, dictates our body's responses to threats. Scientists are exploring ways to manipulate it for improved disease treatments, particularly cancer and autoimmune conditions. Traditionally, protein manipulation was key, but now, researchers like Dr. Santiago Correa at Columbia University are using nanotechnology to craft lipid nanoparticles from biological materials like liposomes using our Sunshine system. These nanoparticles self-assemble and can modulate immune responses, potentially targeting diseases like cancer with fewer side effects. It's a promising step toward personalized therapies that could revolutionize future disease treatment methods.

(To read the full Case Study with Dr. Correa, click here)

Breaking through bottlenecks

While clear in vision, Dr. Correa and his team faced a common obstacle at the start of their research journey: manual formulation screening bottlenecks, time-consuming pipetting and high batch-to-batch variability of samples. Sunshine, Unchained Labs' microfluidics platform, offered a solution for lnp process development. Its automation promised reproducibility and scalability, aligning perfectly with the lab's aspirations for accelerated innovation.

Embracing automation with Sunshine

Since integrating Sunshine into their workflow, Santiago's team has used Sunshine to generate several different LNP formulations.  They have witnessed a transformative surge in productivity and reproducibility. With enhanced consistency and yield, Sunshine has eliminated many tedious tasks, giving the team extra time to plan what’s next and to experiment with alternative parameters, broadening their research remit, for example, in engineering hydrogel systems. “The flexibility of Sunshine gives us the potential to support our future innovations when we are ready to take the next big step in our exciting research,” Santiago concluded.




In the quest for pioneering nanoparticle immunotherapies, collaboration between cutting-edge technology and visionary researchers like Dr. Santiago Correa and his team is paramount. With Sunshine illuminating the path forward, the journey towards transformative immunomodulatory solutions has never been more exciting.

To read the full Case Study with Dr. Correa, click here


Dr Correa, Columbia University

Dr. Santiago Correa is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University in the City of New York, and established his Nanoscale Immunoengineering Lab at the start of 2023. The new group works at the interface of materials science, nanotechnology and immunology, engineering multifunctional lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) directly from biological matter, for example using liposomes to crosslink polymer networks.