VINCEnT is a standardized toolkit for simple design and assembly of custom protein nanocompartments (PNCs) for delivery of small molecules, nucleic acids, or proteins to specific cell targets. PNCs have user-specified surface proteins, encapsulation proteins, and cargo-loading approaches with wide-ranged applicability including targeted antibiotic delivery, rapid vaccine development, gene therapy, materials synthesis, improved cell culture transfection, specific biological control agents, and more.
To enhance the accessibility of this toolkit, we designed a basic software tool that enables users to design a novel PNC to their own specifications based on suggested parts for their intended application. Standardized protocols accompany the pre-designed toolkit parts and, together with the simplified design, less experienced users are able to safely conduct complex experiments in a basic laboratory environment.
Risk Assessment Rubric
A risk assessment rubric was developed for our toolkit with advice from PHAC (Public Health Agency of Canada) and members of ELBI (Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative).
Fifteen parts were improved from our 2017 Next Vivo project. Our goal was to continue standardizing, improving, and simplifying our protocols and we are now beginning design of cell-free PNC synthesis with these components.