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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.

Molecular Photoswitches as MRI Contrast Agents Sensitive to Light/Bioluminescence

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a light-activated gadolinium contrast agent.

New Borylated Heterocycles: Indoles, Isoxazoles, Lactones, and Benzofurans, and the Methods to Make Them (related to UC Case 2013-921)

Boron building blocks play a key role in modern organic chemistry, especially in drug design and materials synthesis. Methods to generate heterocycles and borylated compounds in the same synthetic step are largely unknown; the ability to do both increases efficiency and rapidly builds molecular complexity while providing access to previously unavailable building blocks.

Chemoenzymatic Synthesis Of Acyl Coenzyme-A Molecules

Acyl-CoAs is involved in both primary and secondary metabolism; it is an important intermediate molecule for in vitro enzymatic assays in research. Current chemical methods to generate acyl-CoAs rely on chemical ligation of carboxylic acids to commercially available coenzyme A molecule by the use of peptide coupling reagents. These couplings are inefficient and the final product is hard to purify. This process of acyl-CoA synthesis is therefore expensive.

Preparation and Modification of Lignin

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, with co-inventors, have developed a process for producing a mesoporous lignin directly from a biorefinery process.

Method For Detecting Protein-Specific Glycosylation

O-GlcNAc modification is a common form of post-translational modification that mediates cellular activity and stem cell programming by modifying transcription factors. Multiple human diseases, including cancer and diabetes, have been linked to aberrant O-GlcNAcylation of specific proteins.Despite the importance of this modification, current methods for detection require advanced instrumentation and expertise as well as arduously enriched or purified samples. The “Glyco-seq” method developed by UC Berkeley researchers is highly sensitive, easy to use, and enables O-GlcNAc detection on proteins of interest in cell lysate. 

Novel 3D Stem Cell Culture Systems

Many disorders result in tissue degeneration, including Parkinson’s disease, heart attacks, and liver failure. One promising approach to treat these disorders is cell replacement therapy, which would implant new cells or tissues to replace those damaged by disease. Cell replacement therapy relies on stem cells, which are able to differentiate into a wide number of mature cell types. However, cell replacement therapies require large numbers of cells to clinically develop and commercialize, and the current stem cell culture methods are problematic in multiple ways, including low cell yields in 2D and poorly defined culture components. By culturing stem cells three-dimensionally, instead of two-dimensionally, far larger numbers of cells can be generated. Current three-dimensional culturing systems, however, often exert harmful shear stresses and pressures on the cells, have harsh cell recovery steps, do thus not generate large cell yields.   UC Berkeley researchers have developed new materials intended for use in fully chemically defined processes for large-scale growth and differentiation of stem cells. These materials prevent harsh cell recovery steps, and can be used in a defined, highly tunable, and three-dimensional cell culture system. 

Multi-Channel Microfluidic Piezoelectric Impact Printer

High-throughput, automated, large-scale microarray format assay in a short time frame and at low cost.

Dielectrophoresis-Based Cell Destruction to Eliminate/Remove Unwanted Subpopulations of Cells

This invention allows for label free cell separations and cell enrichment.

Long Wavelength Voltage Sensitive Dyes

Rapid changes in the membrane potential of neurons and cardiomyocytes are used to define cellular signaling and cell physiological profiles. The classical means to monitor membrane potentials is patch clamp electrophysiology, a low-throughput and highly invasive technique. One current alternative is to use Ca2+ imaging, as the agents are robust and sensitive, come in a variety of colors, and can be used in a wide range of biological contexts. Ca2+ imaging, however, allows only an imperfect approximation of membrane potential changes, and fast-spiking neuronal events are difficult to detect.   Fluorescent voltage sensors can achieve fast, sensitive, and non-disruptive direct readouts of membrane potentials. UC Berkeley researchers have designed and synthesized a new fluorophore called ‘Berkeley Red’ that can be used in the context of voltage-sensing scaffolds to generate fluorescent voltage sensors.  

Detection System for Small Molecules

There is a great demand for sensitive tests that can be used for the detection of very small analytes. Standard ELISA assays require a competitive format that loses sensitivity and produces readings inversely proportional to the analyte concentration. However, researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed an efficient and easy assay to determine the presence of very small molecule analytes such as pollutants, pesticides, drugs, toxins, and pharmaceuticals.

Low-Cost Chromatin Assembly Kit

Brief description not available

Novel Multivalent Bioassay Reagents

The guiding principle for the creation of biomolecular recognition agents has been that affinity is essential for both strength and specificity.  Monoclonal antibodies, the dominant workhorse of affinity reagents, have mono-valent affinities in the uM-nM range with apparent affinities that can be sub nM with the bi-valency intrinsic in intact immunoglobulin structure.  The avidin-biotin interaction used ubiquitously for biomolecular assembly is femto-molar and both highly specific and essentially irreversible.  High affinity has been proclaimed the essential goal for the selection of useful specific aptamers, though there has been disagreement about a tight coupling of affinity and specificity.  

Imprinted Polymer Nanoparticles

Synthetic polymer nanoparticles (NPs) capable of recognizing specific biomacromolecules and can be used as substitutes for natural antibodies .

Voltage-Sensitive Fluorescent (VF) Dyes For Neuronal Imaging

The electrophysiological recordings of the activity of single neurons embedded within a network provides a powerful method for understanding brain function.  While this approach has proven incredibly powerful, real limitations exist, namely the invasive requirement of sticking an electrode into biological samples, severely disrupting underlying tissue, restricting recordings primarily to cellular soma, and making recording from multiple sites challenging or impossible. UC Berkeley researchers have developed compositions and methods for sparsely labeling neurons of cells with VF dyes.  The VF dyes are sensitive to small variations in neuronal transmembrane potentials and can respond both to rapid and sustained membrane potential changes. The invention is also less susceptible to capacitative loading issues and capable of providing a ratiometric fluorescence signal.    

New Borylated Heterocycles: Indoles, Isoxazoles, Lactones, and Benzofurans, and the Methods to Make Them (related to UC Case 2016-029)

Boron building blocks play a key role in modern organic chemistry, especially in drug design and materials synthesis. Methods to generate heterocycles and borylated compounds in the same synthetic step are largely unknown; the ability to do both increases efficiency and rapidly builds molecular complexity while providing access to previously unavailable building blocks.

Polyclonal Antibody to Catestatin

The processing of Chromogranin A, a pro-hormone in secretory granules of chromaffin cells and post-ganglionic sympathetic neurons, yields several biologically active polypeptides including catestatin. Catestatin is a nicotinic-cholinergic antagonist that diminishes catecholamine release, and whose plasma concentration may be diminished in hypertension. Catestatin may also constitute an early or “intermediate phenotype” in assessing genetic risk for cardiovascular disease.

Monoclonal Antibodies Against Amyloid Beta Peptides

Seven monoclonal antibodies that react specifically with amyloid beta peptides can be used as the research tools for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research.

Targeted biological signal enhancement

This research tool consists of a two-vector system that can recruit an amplified biological signal to intra-cellular targets of interest.

Mass Spectrometry Reagents for Selective Alkylation and Charge Density Modification of Cysteine Residues

This invention comprises a family of small molecules that efficiently and selectively react with cysteine residues while imparting an additional positive charge to facilitate mass spectrometric and other analytical analyses.

Novel method to Efficiently Synthesize complex Carbohydrates

Tumor Associated Carbohydrate Antigens (TACAs), have been in great demand due their use as target therapies and industrial relevance. Unfortunately, Pk trisaccharide, the precursor to the globo series of TACAs requires eleven steps to synthesize using current technologies, seven of which are used to develop an orthogonally protected lactose. This is a very costly and painstaking process. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have developed a two-step method to synthesize orthogonally protected lactose from commercially available lactose, and a three step method to synthesize Pk, providing economic relief and time saving benefits for consumers and manufacturers of TACAs.

Functional Illumination In Living Cells

Current cell imaging techniques have been used to elucidate a variety of cell signaling pathways, and yet the most popular cell imaging tool, Fluorescent Proteins, have low fluorescence due to improper folding of chimeras and often inhibit cell function due to their large molecular weight. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have developed a novel method of developing a wide array of small functional illuminants that do not hinder cell function.

Fluorescent Probe for Selective Imaging of Carbon Monoxide in Living Cells Using Palladium-Mediated Carbonylation

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a well known toxic gas, but emerging research also suggest potentially beneficial effects of temporarily increased levels of CO in attenuating deleterious effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS). To date the study and evaluation of the effects of CO have relied on detecting gross anatomical change of some observable parameter, such as infarct size in the studies of CO on ischemia/reperfusion or offline extracellular measurements using myoglobin as a colorimetric readout. These macroscopic and colorimetric outputs do not provide detailed information about cellular signaling pathways.Scientists at UC Berkeley have designed, synthesized, and evaluation of a new type of chemical reagent for selective CO detection in living cells by exploiting palladium-mediated carbonylation chemistry. The probe is based on a cyclometallated aryl-palladium compound attached to a BODIPY –type fluorophore that will react with CO in a carbonylation reaction to produce a highly fluorescent amino acid species with concomitant loss of palladium. The probe is capable of displaying an increase in fluorescence in both cuvettes and in live cells. Carbon Monoxide Probe 1 (COP-1) represents a unique first-generation chemical tool that features a robust turn-on response to CO with selectivity over reactive nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur species. It can be used to detect CO in aqueous buffer and in live-cell specimens, providing a potentially powerful approach for interrogating its chemistry in biological systems.

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