Browse Category:

Categories

[Search within category]

Screening Platform for Anti-influenza Drugs

In addition to their protective functions as lubricants and physical and immunologic barriers, recent work has demonstrated that mucins also provide protection from influenza virus infection by presenting decoy ligands for the virus. In airway passages, target glycans on airway cells are covered with a thick layer of mucus containing dense array of glycosylated proteins (mucins). However, most screens are either overly simplified (and therefore not representative of the natural mucin barrier) or not translatable to a high-throughput platform. Hence, the development of a useful high throughput drug screening method has been hindered by the inability to streamline the process of replicating the complex environment that airborne invaders naturally confront.

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.

Technology For Sustaining Pluripotency And Improved Growth Of Stem Cells In Culture

Background: Pluripotent stem cells (PSC) have tremendous potential in regenerative medicine, cell therapy, and drug/toxicant screening, and can increase our understanding of the pathogenesis and treatment of disease. The stem cell industry has accelerated annual growth projections of 20% by 2020. Overall, there is growing demand for culture media that can support rapid growth, survival, and sustain pluripotency of stem cells. Brief Description: UCR researchers have developed a novel, non-toxic biological compound that can be added to any culture medium to prevent unwanted differentiation. Compared to the standard commercial media currently used in PSC laboratories, this compound produces major improvements in cell quality, cell growth and maintenance of pluripotency during repeated passaging. Additionally, regulatory groups categorize stem cell therapy as an orphan drug, thereby allowing accelerated approval.

Sensitive, Specific Ratiometric Fluorescence-based DNA Detection

Fluorescent silver nanoclusters for nucleic acid detection. 

Cell Membrane-cloaked Nanofibers Promote Cell Proliferation and Function

Cloaking of synthetic structures with natural cell membranes has emerged as an intriguing strategy for presenting natural cell surface antigens and functions in the context of synthetic compositions with designed functions. Early forays into the field focused primarily on the development of cell membrane-coated spherical nanoparticles. While a boon to material sciences, such spherical structures cannot address the full spectrum of potential applications and the application of cell membrane cloaking techniques to nanofibers enables drastically different characteristics and applications.

3D Printed Artificial Micro-Fish

With recent advances in nanoscience and nanomanufacturing technologies, the areas of biomimetic micro-robotics and nanomotors have seen rapid development in realizing functionalities mimicking natural organisms with self-propulsion. The capability to fabricate complex architectures and miniaturize the dimension is highly desired for designing and customizing more functionalized, integrated and intelligent micromachines for different applications. In light of these challenges, rapid 3D optical printing offers a promising alternative for efficiently manufacturing controllable microswimmers with complex 3D microscale structures composed of patterned heterogeneous materials as well as different functional components.

Synthesis of Lipobactins and Teixobactin Analogues – New Antimicrobial Compositions against Gram-Positive Bacteria

With the discovery of penicillin in the 1940’s, many scientists proclaimed the defeat of infectious diseases which had plagued mankind. However, the remarkable healing power of antibiotics unfortunately invited widespread and indiscriminate use of antibiotics. This misuse and overuse of antibiotics has led to the dramatic rise in antibiotic resistant bacterial strains and increased healthcare costs.

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.

System and Methods to Track Single Molecules

Tracking single molecules inside cells reveals the dynamics of biological processes, including receptor trafficking, signaling and cargo transport. However, individual molecules often cannot be resolved inside cells due to their high density in the cellular environment, plus it is difficult to see spatial and temporal features, such as signal transduction events at the cell surface or on intracellular compartments, with single molecule resolution. To address these problems, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed the PhotoGate device and methods in order to control the number of fluorescent particles in a region of interest. By deploying PhotoGate and applying patterned photobleaching, they have demonstrated the tracking of single particles at surface densities two orders of magnitude higher than the single-molecule detection limit. Additional experimentation enabled the observation of ligand-induced dimerization of epidermal growth factor receptors on a live cell membrane, and also measurements of the binding and the dissociation rate of single adaptor protein from early endosomes in the crowded environment of the cytoplasm. The innovative approach enables tracking of single particles at high spatial and temporal resolution, and for mapping of molecular trajectories, as well as determining complex stoichiometry and dynamics, and drives the art towards video-rate imaging of live cells with molecular (1–5 nm) resolution.

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.

An Optical System for Parallel Acquisition of Raman Spectra from a 2-Dimensional Laser Beam Array

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a method for acquiring Raman spectra from a plurality of laser interrogation spots in a two-dimensional array. This method can be used for parallel analysis of individual cells or for fast chemical imaging of specimens.

Hemostatic Compositions And Methods Of Use

Wet layered clays used as hemostatic agent to promote blood clotting.

Oxides for Wound Healing and Body Repair

A homogeneous composition of oxide materials prepared to modulate hemostasis and facilitate the blood coagulation, accelerating bone generation and assisting in wound healing and tissue repair.

Mesocellular Oxide Foams as Hemostatic Compositions and Methods of Use

Mesocellular foams used as hemostatic agents to facilitate clotting, wound healing, and reduce the risk of infection. It can be provided in combination with antibiotics, ions, or anti-inflammatory agents.

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.

Preparation of Furan Fatty Acids from 5-(Chloromethyl) Furfural

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a novel, efficient route to a new class of dietary supplements with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and possible cardioprotective properties.

Bio-electrochemical Sensor for Real-time, In Vivo Clinical Tests

A minimally invasive, bio-electrochemical sensor for in vivo clinical tests that selectively measures specific target molecules in blood and tissues in real-time for many hours.

Delivery Module for Delivering Biotherapeutics Throughout the Body

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a robust and broadly applicable system for the delivery of peptide and oligonucleotide biotherapeutics.

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. 

Method For Fabricating Two-Dimensional Protein Crystals

2D crystalline materials possess high surface area-to-volume ratios, light and can be very porous. These properties have rendered synthetic 2D materials immensely attractive in applications including electronics, sensing, coating, filtration and catalysis. The rational design of self-assembling 2D crystals remains a considerable challenge and a very active area of development. The existing methods for the bottom-up fabrication of biological or non-biological 2-D crystalline materials are not generalizable and scalable. 2D protein design strategies, in particular, require extensive computational work and costly protein engineering. In addition, these strategies have low success rates, the resulting materials contain large defects, and are multi-layered and therefore not appropriate for scaling or materials-applications. Moreover, these strategies often require the presence of lipids for supported assembly.

Sweat Activated, Shape Changing Fabric

A Liquid-actuated fabric capable of asymetric expansion can be used in apparel to manage body temperature and moisture level.

Isolation Of A Gene That Regulates The Strength Of Abscisic Acid Signal Transduction

As climate change has an increasingly greater impact on the environment, some regions are likely to get wetter while other regions are going to get drier. Therefore there is need to identify new ways to render agricultural plants more drought tolerant and effective in limiting transpirational water loss. The plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) regulates a plant’s many important responses to stress. In seeds, ABA is responsible for the accumulation of nutritive reserves, tolerance for desiccation, maturation and dormancy.During vegetative growth, ABA is central in triggering plant responses to drought, salt stress and cold.A rapid response to drought that is mediated by ABA is stomatal closure.Stomata on the leaf surface are formed by pairs of guard cells whose turgor regulates stomatal pore apertures. ABA induces stomatal closure by triggering cytosolic calcium increases, which regulate ion channels in guard cells. Therefore modulating ABA activity in plants can be used to confer drought tolerance on plants.

Hyaluronic Acid-based Gel for Topical and Subcutaneous Applications

A method for producing chemically-crosslinked hydrogels using a biocompatible “click” chemistry for in situ gelation. 

3D System For Differentiation Of Oligodendocyte Precusors From Pluripotent Stem Cells

Cell replacement therapies using have long been thought to have the potential to treat demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis or hypomyelinating leukodystrophies - as well as spinal cord and other CNS injuries that involve inflammation and loss of myelin. While pluripotent stem cells represent a potential source of readily available regenerative tissue, they require labor-intensive culturing to differentiate into target cell types.  Since Oligodendrocyte precursors cells (OPCs) can migrate, engraft and differentiate when experimentally transplanted onto unmyelinated axons, OPCs have been seen as the future of cell replacement therapies for demyelinating diseases.  However, as there is currently no reliable and sustainable source of transplantable OPCs, their therapeutic potential cannot be harnessed.   Researchers at the UC Berkeley have created a 3-dimensional, chemically defined biomaterial system for the large-scale differentiation of OPCs. By systematically optimized chemical cues, this strategy rapidly generated Olig2 and NKX2.2-positive cells with the same efficiency of other protocols, but in a shorter period of time (approximately 18 days instead of 30). This shortened 3D differentiation protocol, which results in up to 2-4 times more cells, enables a significant reduction in the cost of production of pre-OPCs. 

  • Go to Page: