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Novel method for detection of O-Sulfonation sites on post-translationally modified proteins

Sulfonation of proteins and carbohydrates plays an important role in signaling, transport, and metabolism in the body. The degree to which a molecule is modified and at what positions dictates how that structure interacts within the body. UCI researchers have developed novel methods of detecting and mapping serine and threonine sulfonation of peptides and proteins.


The invention is a method for instantaneous and efficient extraction of radioactive isotopes with high specific activity, during continuous production at research reactors. The proposed method allows advantageous production of radioisotopes for various applications, including nuclear medicine uses (diagnostics, imaging, cancer treatments). In addition, the invention has the potential for applications related to isotopes used in thermoelectric generators (i.e. 238Pu) that power both medical devices, such as cardiac pacemakers, and deep space missions.

Reduced IP3 Signaling As A Diagnostic Tool For Autism Spectrum Disorders

The diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and thus the development of therapies, is very challenging due to the lack of objective criteria and biomarkers. It is, however, a disease with a strong genetic component, and recent data has implicated new genes in the disease. Researchers at UC Irvine have developed a method to more reliably diagnose ASD with a laboratory test.

A non-destructive method of quantifying mRNA in a single living cell

The detection of levels of messenger RNA (mRNA), the molecule used by DNA to convey information about protein production, is a very important method in molecular biology. Current detection strategies, such as Northern Blotting and RT-PCR, require destruction of the cell to extract such information. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a method to non-destructively assess mRNA levels in a single living cell.

A Method For Accurate Parametric Mapping Based On Characterization Of A Reference Tissue Or Region

UCLA researchers in the Department of Radiological Sciences have developed a method to address the issue of B1+ field inhomogeneity that is becoming a persistent problem in higher field strengths. 

High-throughput planarian in vivo screening platform

UC San Diego investigators have developed a method of high-throughput screening (HTS) using freshwater planarians as a model. One use of this model is to screen chemical compounds. Conventional developmental toxicology testing is usually performed on mammals which is both expensive and low-throughput. A high-throughput inexpensive method capable of in vivo testing is highly desired whereby freshwater planarians could be used as an in vivo animal model.  Planarians are well suited to HTS, with their small size, sensitivity to chemicals, fast development and amenability to automated assays. These worms allow simultaneous assaying of adult and developing worms with the same assays, allowing direct comparison of the effects of chemicals on both populations. Furthermore, planarian brains are structurally similar to the mammalian brain, so that one can ascertain neurodevelopmental toxicity that is applicable to humans.


This invention identifies a mechanism for pausing development of pre-implantation embryos while retaining viability.

Digital Microfluidic Platform With Piezoelectric/Pyroelectric Sensor Integration

UCLA researchers in the Department of Bioengineering have developed a novel digital microfluidic platform containing piezoelectric/pyroelectric sensors to monitor cardiac muscle cells.

Combined Optical Micromanipulation & Interferometric Topography

Background: Optical tweezers (OTs) is a commonly used light-based technology with a broad range of applications in studying mechanobiology. While OTs are capable of making force measurements at the pico-Newton level, they cannot be used to provide size and structural information on the object being investigated. The platform technology developed at UCR provides simultaneous measurements of force and physical dimensions. Currently, many leading manufacturers for nanoanalytic instruments are expanding their operations in North America and Asia to support the growth of its application in the scientific community.   Brief Description: UCR researchers have developed COMMIT, an all-optical platform, by combining optical tweezers and a novel microscopy method. COMMIT allows for simultaneous measurement of nano-sized objects and pN forces. Existing methods call for fluorescent labels and lack high resolution in imaging. This platform facilitates dynamic measurement of transient nanomechanical properties of cells in real-time.

Functionally Selective Ligands for Study and Inhibition of Inflammation

Background: Due to the complexity of the complement system cascade, biological roles of many signaling receptors are unknown. Additionally, biased ligand binding to cell-bound receptors may lead to selective intracellular effector binding and ligand-specific pathway activation and function. Mechanistic knowledge forms the basis for assay development to explore pharmacology against complement-mediated inflammatory diseases.   Brief Description: A multidisciplinary team of researchers from UCR, Texas A&M, Sheffield, and Queensland have discovered the first functionally selective peptide ligands for a complement system receptor that is involved in inflammation. The peptides are functionally selective ligands of C5aR2 but not C5aR1 or C3aR, and they have been characterized in vitro and in vivo. These peptides are novel tools that can modulate the activity of the receptor in vitro and in vivo, and interrogate the function of the receptor and its implication in inflammatory diseases.

Silent Small Scale Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

This technology is a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) spatial encoding method to afford a completely silent MRI. In addition, this technology allows miniaturization and is complimentary to both high field and low field designs.

Sensitive, Specific Ratiometric Fluorescence-based DNA Detection

Fluorescent silver nanoclusters for nucleic acid detection. 

Fusion Protein For Anti-Cd19 Chimeric Antigen Receptor Detection

Researchers at UCLA have developed a fusion protein that can detect immune cells expressing anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptors with higher specificity and lower background than existing antibodies.

Engineered-Microparticle-Based Cell Carriers For Culture And Adhesive Flow Cytometry

The Di Carlo group at UCLA has invented a microparticle that enables the analysis of adherent cells by flow cytometry. In addition, they have developed a high-throughput method to fabricate these microparticles.

Novel cyanobacteriochromes responsive to light in the far-red to near-infrared region

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have identified new cyanobacteriochromes (CBCRs) that detect and fluoresce in the far-red and near-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Treatment of spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, stroke and neurodegenerative disorders with a monoclonal antibody

Most people who suffer traumatic spinal cord injuries have incomplete lesions of neural circuits whose function can be partially restored from the reconfiguration of the spared circuits with rehabilitative training. Methods for improving nerve regeneration after spinal cord injury or nerve transplantation are needed for improved patient outcome. Also, neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease negatively impact quality of life. 

Deriving Human Naïve Pluripotent Stem Cells by Modifying the Hippo Pathway Using Genetic or Chemical Approaches

This invention identifies a method of generating naïve pluripotent stem cells for subsequent use in research or for regenerative medicine.

Use of Embryonic Stem Cell-Specific microRNAs to Safely Promote Induced Pluripotency

Novel use of a family of microRNAs to promote the de-differentiation of somatic cells to induce pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) for use as therapeutic agents or research tools.

Rapid Methods for Multi-layer Microfluidic Structures

Microfluidics has rapidly advanced in the fields of chemical and biological research since 1980s due to its unique ability to make low-cost, high-throughput platforms. The most far-reaching breakthrough in microfluidics has been the development of soft-lithography using rigid micromachined molds to shape elastomeric polymers. Among polymeric materials, Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is commonly used due to its numerous ideal properties, including its ease in manufacturing, reasonable cost, as well as strength, transparency, and especially biocompatibility. However, traditional PDMS methods for fabricating microfluidic devices have a unique set of challenges, including long and expensive process times, and feature sophistication limits (e.g. restricted to rectilinear features). To address these challenges, researchers at UC Berkeley have developed novel 3D printing techniques for fully-integrated, multi-layer microfluidic objects to achieve greater system-level functionalities. For demonstration, UC researchers created complex, high-quality geometries in PDMS without the need for a microscope, including thin membranes and rounded channels and while accounting for surface roughness. Their novel processes could enable assembly of microfluidic components into sophisticated 3D architectures, which may provide a new platform for rapidly creating complex microfluidic devices in volume.

Stimulus-responsive Polymers

Synthetic polymer constructs are an important tool in modern medical practice, but the lack of control over their activity limits their utility. The ability to combine structural function with localized interaction has proven extremely successful in stents, but polymer technology has not advanced sufficiently to serve a wider range of needs. PLGA polyesters can be degraded by hydrolysis facilitating their widespread use in medicine and biomedical research. Their dependence on slow hydrolysis makes for long degradation times (half-life of one year in vivo) limiting their applicability. While degradation can be sped up by copolymerization with more hydrophilic monomers; degradation is still too slow for triggered release or degradation.

Pyrite Shrink-Wrap Laminate As A Hydroxyl Radical Generator

The invention is a diagnostic technology, as well as a research and development tool. It is a simple, easy to operate, and effective platform for the analysis of pharmaceuticals and biological species. Specifically, this platform generates hydroxyl radicals for oxidative footprinting – a technique commonly employed in protein mapping and analysis. The platform itself is inexpenisve to fabricate, scalable, and requires nothing more than an ordinary pipet to use. In addition, it is highly amenable to scale-up, multiplexing, and automation, and so it holds promise as a high-throughput method for mapping protein structure in support of product development, validation, and regulatory approval in the protein-based therapeutics industry.

An Integrated Microfluidic Platform For Size-Selective Single-Cell Trapping

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a fully integrated microfluidic platform that is configured to separate and isolate single cells. The invention uses hydrodynamic filtration to isolate targeted cells of various sizes. Once the single cells are isolated and sorted, they can be studied individually in a purer state free from other contaminating or unwanted cells. The system does not use biochemical “labels” to identify target cells. It is a label-free separation technique.

Artery-on-a-Chip for Capturing Inflammatory Monocytes to Assess Cardiovascular Health

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a microfluidic device that measures cardiovascular disease risk by quantifying the frequency of adherent monocytes in blood and assessing the activation level of circulating inflammatory cells.

Novel Auditory Diagnostic

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have developed a novel diagnostic for the auditory system.

Predicting Weight Loss And Fat Metabolism Using Optical Signal Changes In Fat

Researchers at UCI have developed a novel use of an emerging functional imaging technology, Diffuse Optical Spectroscopic Imaging (DOSI), for monitoring changes in subcutaneous adipose tissue (“AT” also known as “fat” tissue), structure and metabolism during weight loss. Changes in subcutaneous adipose tissue structure and metabolism have been shown to correlate with the development of obesity and related metabolic disorders. The invention is a diagnostic tool that assesses the structure and function of fat tissue in vivo.

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