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Blocking Synaptogenesis For Chronic Pain Management

Gabapentin is used for treatment of seizures and hypersensitivity to pain. Researchers at UCI have employed low-dosage gabapentin immediately after injury to block the development of chronic pain.

Neural Modulation Of Autonomic Nervous System To Alter Memory And Plasticity Of The Autonomic Network

Researchers at UCLA from the Departments of Medicine and Bioengineering have created a device that modulates the autonomic nervous system to treat heart conditions like arrhythmias.

Chemical Modulators of Nurr1

Long thought to be undruggable, Nurr1 is a nuclear receptor and transcription factor involved in the development, maintenance, and survival of midbrain dopaminergic neurons, which makes it an attractive target for developing therapeutics for such indications of Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and schitzophrenia.

Gelatin Methacryloyl Based Microneedle

UCLA researchers in the Department of Bioengineering have developed gelatin methacryloyl microneedles (GelMA MN) for minimally invasive, sustained transdermal drug delivery.

DNA Methylation Measurement For Mammals Based On Conserved Loci

UCLA researchers in the Departments of Human Genetics and Biological Chemistry have developed a new approach for measuring DNA methylation levels in mammals based on short and highly conserved nucleotide sequences.  This method facilitates the development of chip for measuring DNA methylation that can be used for cross-species comparisons and used for building universal epigenetic aging clocks (age estimators) that apply to all mammals.

Real-time Feature Inspection for Additive Manufacturing Systems

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is the process of making 3D objects from a computer model data by joining materials layer by layer under computer control using a 3D printer.   Poplar systems, even for home use, can be purchased that use various polymer plastics. In more robust application areas, metal alloys are required and their manufacturing is much more costly and time intensive. Metal parts created by additive manufacturing are often difficult to dimensionally characterize due to the complex surface structures created by welding phenomena present in state-of the art printing machines. The most holistic techniques involve measuring the surface of each sintered layer of powder, however, this is complicated to perform in a non-contact, non-destructive, and in-situ manner. Techniques such as Spectral Domain Optical Coherence Tomography can be used to perform this task, but are limited to large pointwise measurement, limiting the speed and resolution of measuring the surface topography of each layer.  Due to the cost associated with additive manufacturing with alloys, reliable inspection methodologies are necessary to ensure that the part being fabricated is free of defects and meets all user specifications.

TRM: Dishevelled Segment Polarity Protein 3 (Dvl3) Mutant Mice

Dishevelled (Dvl) proteins are important signaling components of both the canonical β-catenin/Wnt pathway, which controls cell proliferation and patterning, migration, differentiation, stem cell renewal and the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway. Mammals share three Dishevelled (Dvl) family members and while the roles of Dvl1 and Dvl2 have been described previously, the functions of Dvl3 have remained an area of active research. The lack of Dvl3 in mice affects the formation of the heart, neural tube, and inner ear and that the defects in these tissues are much more severe when the mice are deficient in more than one Dvl family member, indicating redundant functions for these genes. Congenital heart disease affects approximately 75 in every 1,000 live human births, and approximately 30% of these diseases are due to disruptions in the outflow tract, the region affected in mice lacking Dvl genes.

Antibody and Vaccine Therapy for C. diff. Infection

Clostridium difficile (C. diff.) infection is estimated to cause nearly 0.5 million illnesses in the US. C. diff. can cause severe gastrointestinal effects, including life-threatening inflammation, is contagious, and is an urgent antibiotic-resistant threat, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. UCI researchers have determined the crystal structure for the virulent C. diff. toxin, TcdB, and characterized sites to target for neutralization along with immunogens that can be used in vaccine strategies to prevent and treat C. diff. infection.