Research Foundation News

April 25, 2022

Purdue researchers develop patent-pending IV injection treatment for sepsis

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University researchers in the College of Pharmacy and College of Engineering are developing a patent-pending treatment that could impact millions of American lives each year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that at least 1.7 million American adults develop sepsis annually; almost 270,000 die as a result. One in three patients who die in a hospital has sepsis. Sepsis occurs when the body's immune response to an infection or injury goes unchecked. Chemicals or proteins released into the blood lead to leaky blood vessels, inflammation and widespread blood clots. These conditions lead to impaired blood flow, which can cause organ damage and death.

Yoon Yeo leads a Purdue team developing biocompatible nanoparticles that treat sepsis systemically through intravenous injection. Yeo is a professor and the associate department head of industrial and physical pharmacy in the College of Pharmacy. She also is a professor in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering. The research was published in the Aug. 2021 issue of the peer-reviewed Science Advances.

Yeo said Polymyxin B, a traditional antibiotic, can inactivate endotoxins that cause a specific type of sepsis, but it may be too toxic for systemic application. For sepsis therapy, it mostly has been tested in extracorporeal blood cleaning, which is cumbersome and time consuming.

"Our nanoparticle formulations reduce dose-limiting toxicity of Polymyxin B without losing its ability to inactivate endotoxins," Yeo said.

In mouse models of sepsis, 100% treated with the Purdue nanoparticle were protected from excessive inflammation and survived.

"This technology holds promise as a safe, convenient option for patients and physicians," Yeo said.

Yeo disclosed the nanoparticles to the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization, which has applied for patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and European Patent Office to protect the intellectual property. For information on licensing opportunities, contact Joe Kasper of OTC at about 2019-YEO-68355.

About the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S. Services provided by this office support the economic development initiatives of Purdue University and benefit the university's academic activities through commercializing, licensing and protecting Purdue intellectual property. The office is housed in the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration in Discovery Park District at Purdue, adjacent to the Purdue campus. In fiscal year 2021, the office reported 159 deals finalized with 236 technologies signed, 394 disclosures received and 187 issued U.S. patents. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. In 2020, IPWatchdog Institute ranked Purdue third nationally in startup creation and in the top 20 for patents. The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Contact for more information.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today's toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the last four years as one of the 10 Most Innovative universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at

Writer: Steve Martin,

Source: Yoon Yeo,

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