Luciferase mRNA in SM-102. (SM-102 ingredient in Moderna Vaccine)




SM-102 (heptadecan-9-yl 8-((2-hydroxyethyl) (6-oxo-6-(undecyloxy) hexyl) amino) octanoate) is a proprietary ionizable lipid used to form lipid nanoparticles in the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.


Safety Data Sheet acc. to OSHA HCS- date 04/11/2021

2 Hazards identification

(GHS hazard classification ;

GHS08 Health hazard-  danger or warning systemic health hazards

Carc. 2 Repr. 2 STOT RE 1
H351 Suspected of causing cancer.
H361 Suspected of damaging fertility or the unborn child.
H372 Causes damage to the central nervous system, the kidneys, the liver and the respiratory system through prolonged or repeated exposure.

GHS07: Harmful

Acute Tox. 4   -H302 Harmful if swallowed.
Skin Irrit. 2      -H315 Causes skin irritation.
Eye Irrit. 2A-   -H319 Causes serious eye irritation.
Aquatic Acute 3-H402 Harmful to aquatic life.

Information for doctor:
Most important symptoms and effects, both acute and delayed
May cause anemia, cough, CNS depression, drowsiness, headache, heart damage, lassitude (weakness, exhaustion), liver damage, narcosis, reproductive effects, teratogenic effects.
No further relevant information available.
Indication of any immediate medical attention and special treatment needed No further relevant information available

GHS09 - Environment
Aquatic Chronic 1 H410 Very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects.

11 Toxicology  Information

Primary irritant effect:
 on the skin: Irritant to skin and mucous membranes.
· on the eye: Irritating effect.
· Sensitization: No sensitizing effects known.
Additional toxicological information:
The product shows the following dangers according to internally approved calculation methods for preparations. 

12 Ecological Information:

General notes:
Water hazard class 3 (Self-assessment): extremely hazardous for water
Do not allow product to reach ground water, water course or sewage system, even in small quantities. Danger to drinking water if even extremely small quantities leak into the ground.
Also poisonous for fish and plankton in water bodies.


Decoding Moderna’s Covid-19 Vaccine Ingredients -Dec4 , 2020)

Lipid Nanoparticle Technology

If the mRNA is the “message” of the vaccine, the lipid nanoparticle is the “envelope.” Lipid nanoparticles are created in the image of our own cell membranes, allowing them to travel within our bodies and fuse with human cells.

The lipid wall of the mRNA-1273 vaccine is made up of four different compounds:

  • SM-102 — a proprietary phospholipid that makes up the basic structure of the nanoparticle wall
  • DSPC — another commercially available phospholipid that will aid in the nanoparticle wall structure
  • Cholesterol — native to all of our cell membranes, cholesterol helps to add fluidity or stiffness to a cell membrane depending on temperature. The addition of cholesterol will aid in the stability of the nanoparticle.
  • PEG-2000 DMG — a lipid fused to polyethylene glycol with aids in the formation of the nanoparticle


Fireflies help kindle new tests and treatments for COVID-19   July 21, 2020

Fireflies, also known as lightning bugs, are insects in the Lampyridae family who use bioluminescence to attract potential mates and prey. Their conspicuous glow at twilight comes from an enzyme called luciferase, which can be isolated in the lab. Now, UTMB virologists are using the enzyme to develop faster and more accurate diagnostic tests for COVID-19 as well as to analyze potential therapies and gain a clearer understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself.

But as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe, Shi’s lab adapted by altering research techniques to address the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

First, researchers harnessed luciferase to develop faster diagnostic testing through innovative assays—investigative procedures that measure the activity or amount of a substance. The lab can now visually confirm the presence of antibodies that can block a SARS-CoV-2 infection earlier than through previous methods.

Not only does the enhanced brightness provided by luciferase decrease turnaround time for a diagnosis, but it also helps speed up the process of vaccine development.

 “For vaccine studies, you need to find out how much of a response somebody has to a potential vaccine,” Baker said. “So, instead of the traditional way—which could take days—we can get results in four hours after infection.”

Shi said his team has been collaborating with leading pharmaceutical companies to help them evaluate their vaccine candidates, specifically by measuring the immune response in humans in clinical trials. His lab’s system—based on reporter viruses in which the luciferase enzyme is inserted into the virus’ genome to make it easy to follow—measures the concentration of neutralizing antibodies while also allowing for a much higher throughput. 

The virologists also have created a system for manipulating and studying SARS-CoV-2 itself, paving the way for a deeper understanding of what happens when the virus enters the human body.

“Because of this system we created, we can study and understand the virus in ways that others cannot,” Baker said. “We have the ability to go in and make changes in the virus and see what those changes affect in the different cells that it’s infecting. So, not only have we developed these assays to look at drugs—to look at antibody responses—but we also are probing the virus itself and looking at how it interacts with the immune system.”

“When we manipulate the viruses, it allows us to address a lot of important questions, such as how the virus is adapting and changing over time,” Shi said.

Shi noted that his lab is sharing innovations with scientists worldwide to help advance public health efforts as quickly as possible.


Item No. 33474

Product Information-

Administration of luciferase mRNA in SM-102-containing lipid nanoparticles induces hepatic luciferase expression in mice. Formulations containing SM-102 have been used in the development of lipid nanoparticles for delivery of mRNA-based vaccines.”

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