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Production of Glycolipid PEFAs from Yeasts

Method of using basidiomycetous yeasts to convert carbohydrates to glycolipid biosurfactants 

Second Method For Nucleophilic Fluorination Of Aromatic Compounds With No-Carrier-Added [F-18] Fluoride Ion

UCLA researchers in the Department of Pharmacology have developed a novel aromatic nucleophilic fluorination reaction producing Fluorine-18 [F-18]-labeled aromatic compounds with extensive use in Positron Emission Tomography (PET).

Novel Ethylene Conversion Method using E. coli to Convert Ethylene into Useful Chemicals

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a biosynthesis pathway of ethylene glycol from ethylene in the industrial host Escherichia coli using a two-step process: 1) from ethylene to ethylene oxide, and 2) from the ethylene oxide to ethylene glycol. 

Novel Synthesis Method provides better mixing and easier handing of Starting Materials

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a one-step and spark plasma sintering consolidation method utilizing hydrides of potassium, sodium, lithium, and barium to prepare sintered and dense pellets of doped BaFe2As2 superconductors. 

Robust And Selective Solid Catalyst For Tail End Of Olefin-Epoxidation Flow Reactor

Flow reactors are a useful method for Olefin epoxidation reactions, which are highly exothermic reactions.  Organic hydroperoxide and olefin conversion levels to epoxide are low at the entrance of the reactors and improve at the tail end of the reactor.  At the tail end of the reactor, there is excess alcohol coproduct and hydroperoxide in addition to epoxide.  Both Solid and liquid catalysts are used to improve conversion levels at all stages in the reactors.  The catalysts to date are efficient at the entrance of the reactor, but lose efficiency at the tail end of the reactor where epoxide is to be produced and separated.   Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a crystalline solid catalyst for olefin epoxidation which is highly selective for epoxide production at the extreme conditions of high temperature and organic-hydroperoxide conversion at the tail end of the olefin-epoxidation reactor.  The catalyst is white crystalline solid of titanium and is based on a layered zeolite precursor.  The researchers have further developed methods of using multiple catalysts in a single reactor, where the developed catalyst is used as the catalyst at the tail end of the reactor, in the form of a packed bed, while one or more other catalyst(s) are used at the entrance of the reactor.

Coordinative Alignment Of Molecules In Chiral Metal Organic Frameworks

Single-crystal x-ray diffraction is a powerful technique for the definitive identification of chemical structures.  Although most molecules and molecular complexes can be crystallized, often enthalpic and entropic factors introduce orientational disorder that prevent determination of a high-resolution structure.  Several strategies based on the inclusion of guests in a host framework that helps maintain molecular orientation have been used to overcome this challenge.  However, most of these methods rely primarily on weak interactions to induce crystalline order of the included molecules. Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a strategy for crystallization of molecules within the pores of chiral metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) using coordinative bonding, which includes covalent and ionic bonds, and/or using chirality.  


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.

An Aza-Diels-Alder Approach To Polyquinolines

The invention is a simple and inexpensive synthetic approach to a diverse library of new polymeric materials with a host of useful and unique properties. Most notably, these materials can serve as precursors to rationally designed and bottom-up synthesized graphene nanoribbons (GNRs), including N-doped GNRs and GNRs with precisely defined and functionalized edges.

Negative Photochromic Material With Tunable Properties

A class of materials with absorption spectras that are highly tunable in the visible and near infrared (NIR) wavelengths.

Large Scale Computational Methods For Calculating Energies And Energy Densities Of Large Systems

UCLA Researchers in the Department of Chemistry have developed a new approach for evaluating density functional theory (DFT) energies for studying properties of condensed phase, biological and molecular systems.

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.

Improved Synthesis of Linear Alpha Olefins from Ethylene

Ethylene is widely used in the chemical industry for synthesis of a variety important chemicals and materials. Current ethylene-derived products include poly(ethylene), ethylene glycol, vinyls, and styrene, among others. Linear alpha olefins (LAOs) are used as comonomers in the production of linear low density poly(ethylene) (LLDPE), synthetic lubricants, and plasticizer alcohols. Current industrial processes require significant amounts of energy to produce LAOs from ethylene. Another problem relates to the generation of lower-value poly(ethylene) as insoluble solids in the reactor. To address these problems, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a new highly selective catalytic process for synthesizing 1-hexene from ethylene. The team has demonstrated a metal-based process using a novel series of ligands, which are easily assembled from commercially available starting materials. Given the data collected to date, this inventions shows promise towards developing efficient catalytic processes for transforming ethylene into C6 or C8 LAOs.


The development of fluorescent indicators for sensing membrane potential can be a challenge.  Traditional methods to measure membrane potential rely on invasive electrodes, however, voltage imaging with fluorescent probes (VF) is an attractive solution because voltage imaging circumvents problems of low- throughput, low spatial resolution, and high invasiveness. Previously reported VF probes/dyes have proven useful in a number of imaging contexts. However, the design scheme for VF dyes remains elusive, due in part to our incomplete understanding of the biophysical properties influencing voltage sensitivity in our VoltageFluor scaffolds.   UC Berkeley researchers have discovered new VF dyes, which are a small molecule platform for voltage imaging that operates via a photoinduced electron transfer (PeT) quenching mechanism to directly image transmembrane voltage changes.   The dyes further our understanding of the roles that membrane voltage plays, not only in excitable cells, such as neurons and cardiomyocytes, but also in non-excitable cells in the rest of the body.

Chemically Modified Surfaces With Self Assembled Aromatic Functionalities

The invention is a method for mild and facile chemical modification of electroactive surfaces that permits tailoring of their physical properties and protects against corrosion.

Chemical Cocktail For Deriving Myogenic Cells

In postnatal life, growth and repair of skeletal muscle fibers are mediated by the satellite cells. These cells divide at a slow rate to sustain both self-renewal and growth of skeletal muscle tissue. In response to muscle injury, satellite cells divide and fuse to repair or replace the damaged muscular fibers. However, the self-renewal potential of adult satellite cells is limited and is compromised with aging, excessive trauma, or genetic defect as in certain severe muscular dystrophies such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In such cases, external interventions are needed.             UC Berkeley researchers have developed a chemical cocktail that allows large number of myogenic stem cells to be derived from, but no limited to, mouse dermal fibroblasts. These myogenic stem cells could then be transplanted into diseased or injured skeletal muscle to promote regeneration and recovery. In addition, the chemicals could be directly delivered into diseased or injured skeletal muscle to promote regeneration in vivo.  The mixture allows large number of patient-specific skeletal muscle cells to be obtained conveniently from non-invasive skin biopsy techniques. The in vitro culture of these skeletal muscle cells can then be used for disease modeling and drug screening purposes.

Metal-Organic Frameworks for H2 Adsorption and Drug Delivery

Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) are an important class of materials with high internal surface areas and tunable pore environments that make them of interest for a wide variety of potential applications, including gas adsorption and drug delivery. One of the most ubiquitous MOF materials is of the type M2(dobdc) (2,5-dioxido-1,4-benzenedicarboxylate), sometimes referred to as M-MOF-74. The pores of these frameworks can be expanded while preserving the parent framework structure by using ligands and other analogues with multiple phenylene groups.   With an interest in exploring new ligands for expanded MOF-74 architectures, UC Berkeley researschers created a new family of expanded MOF-74 materials using the anti-inflammatory olsalazine acid as a ligand to form M2(olz), where M = Mg, Fe, Co, Ni, and Zn. Upon activation, these materials exhibit the highest Langmuir surface areas among bioactive frameworks. The M2(olz) frameworks contain pore apertures of approximately 27 Å, corresponding to the mesoporous range (≥20 Å). Strong H2 adsorption was observed by gas adsorption studies and in situ infrared spectroscopy, confirming the presence of open metal sites for all but the Zn analogue. The Mg2(olz) framework, which disassembles under physiological conditions to release olsalazine, represents an unprecedented level of loading in a bioactive metal–organic framework of 86 wt % drug. In addition to delivery of olsalazine, the large pores of Mg2(olz) were used to encapsulate a second drug, illustrating the potential of this platform to deliver multiple therapeutic components.  

Universal Coating Compound

Polydimethyl siloxane (PDMS) has many characteristics that make it the most popular candidate for producing organ-on-a-chip devices or mirco-physiological systems (MPS) devices. After crosslinking, PDMS has shown to be biologically compatible and amenable to many standard cell culture techniques due to it’s transparency, oxygen permeability, and low auto-fluorescence. However, due to PDMS’s hydrophobicity, molecules that are also hydrophobic partition into the PDMS to produce unpredictable concentrations in cell and media channels making it impossible to predict the actual dosing concentrations for drug investigations. This unpredictability is an obstacle for using organ-on-a-chip devices as screens for drug candidates in discovery stages.   Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a simple coating procedure that allows the formation of substrate independent (universal) coatings. The researchers identified a novel compound able to form stable coatings that outperformed existing dip-coating precursor molecules in their ability to prevent absorbance of small molecules into a variety of organic and inorganic polymers, such as PDMS. 

Novel Synthesis of 2,5- Dimethylfuran from 5- (Chloromethyl)furfural

Researchers at the University of California Davis have developed an efficient synthesis of 2,5- dimethylfuran (DMF) from 5- (chloromethyl)furfural (CMF), a renewable platform chemical that can be produced under mild conditions and in high yields from sugars, cellulose, or directly from raw biomass.

Radioactive Soft Tissue Filler For Brachytherapy

The invention is a radioactive gel for treatment of soft tissue cancers. This compliant, biocompatible gel infused with radioactive elements is meant to provide cosmetic tissue restoration as it fills out cavities resulting from tumor removal (e.g. lumpectomies). Once in the cavity, the material delivers precisely dosaged and localized radiation therapy (also known as brachytherapy) to the affected tissues around it.

Salmonella-Based Gene Delivery Vectors and their Preparation

Nucleic acid-based gene interference technologies, including ribozymes and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), represent promising gene-targeting strategies for specific inhibition of mRNA sequences of choice. A fundamental challenge to use nucleic acid-based gene interfering approaches for gene therapy is to deliver the gene interfering agents to appropriate cells in a way that is tissue/cell specific, efficient and safe. Many of the currently used vectors are based on attenuated or modified viruses, or synthetic vectors in which complexes of DNA, proteins, and/or lipids are formed in particles, and tissue-specific vectors have been only partially obtained by using carriers that specifically target certain cell types. As such, efficient and targeted delivery of M1GS sequences to specific cell types and tissues in vivo is central to developing this technology for gene targeting applications. Invasive bacteria, such as Salmonella, possess the ability to enter and transfer genetic material to human cells, leading to the efficient expression of transferred genes. Attenuated Salmonella strains have earlier been shown to function as a carrier system for delivery of nucleic acid-based vaccines and anti-tumor transgenes. Salmonella-based vectors are low cost and easy to prepare. Furthermore, they can be administrated orally in vivo, a non-invasive delivery route with significant advantage. Thus, Salmonella may represent a promising gene delivery agent for gene therapy. Scientists at UC Berkeley have developed a novel attenuated strain of Salmonella, SL101, which exhibited high gene transfer activity and low cytotoxicity/pathogenicity while efficiently delivering ribozymes, for expression in animals. Using MCMV infection of mice as the model, they demonstrated that oral inoculation of SL101 in animals efficiently delivered RNase P-based ribozyme sequence into specific organs, leading to substantial expression of ribozyme and effective inhibition of viral infection and pathogenesis. This strategy could easily be adopted deliver other gene targeting technologies.

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.

Enhancing Photoluminescence Quantum Yield for High Performance Optoelectrics

Surface defects dominate the behavior of minority carriers in semiconductors and optoelectronic devices. Photoluminescence quantum yield (QY), which dictates efficiency of optoelectrics such as LEDs, lasers, and solar cells, is extremely low in materials with a large number of surface defects. Researchers at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a bis(trifluoromethane) sulfonamide (TFSI) solution for passivation/repair of surface defects in 2D transition metal dichalcogenide (TMDC). This air-stable solution-based chemical treatment provides unmatched photoluminescence QY enhancement to values near 100% without changing the surface morphology. The treatment eliminates defect-mediated non-radiative recombination, which eliminates the low performance limit of TMDC and enhances its minority carrier lifetime. This novel development can address surface passivation in numerous semiconductors which will lead to highly efficient light emitting diodes, lasers and solar cells based on 2D materials.

High Affinity CYP3A4 Inhibitors

Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) is a key metabolizing enzyme that regulates the oxidation and clearance of most drugs. The inhibition of this enzyme may be useful in improving the efficacy of drug cocktails and the ability to give lower, less toxic doses of drugs. The development of new CYP3A4 inhibitors with high affinity and specificity is described.

Screening Method to Identify Inhibitors Of Microbial Sulfate Reduction

The selective perturbation of complex microbial ecosystems to predictably influence outcomes in engineered and industrial environments remains a grand challenge for geo-microbiology. In some industrial ecosystems, such as oil reservoirs, sulfate reducing microorganisms (SRM) produce hydrogen sulfide, which is toxic, explosive and corrosive. Despite an economic cost of sulfidogenesis in the order of billions of US dollars per year, there has been minimal exploration of the chemical space of possible inhibitory compounds, and very little work has quantitatively assessed the selectivity of putative souring treatments.   Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a high-throughput screening strategy to identify potent and selective inhibitors of SRM, quantitatively rank them, and identify synergistic interactions between diverse inhibitors. The high-throughput (HT) approach we developed can be readily adapted to target SRM in diverse environments and similar strategies could be used to quantify the potency and selectivity of inhibitors of a variety of microbial metabolisms. Our findings and approach are relevant to efforts to engineer environmental ecosystems and also to understand the role of natural gradients in shaping microbial niche space.

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These technologies are part of the UC QuickStart program.