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Method for creating a macular/retinal degeneration animal model

Researchers at UCI have developed an animal model that mimics the onset and progression of age-related macular degeneration, an incurable disease that is the fourth-leading cause of blindness globally. The model serves as a means for testing the efficacy of possible treatments and cures.

Anti-Microbial Contact Lens With Ocular Drug Delivery

Anti-microbial, anti-fungal drug eluting contact lens for the controlled release of ophthalmic therapeutics.

Novel Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Fungal Nanopillared Surface

Medical devices are susceptible to contamination by harmful microbes, such as bacteria and fungi, which form biofilms on device surfaces. These biofilms are often resistant to antibiotics and other current treatments, resulting in over 2 million people per year suffering from diseases related to these contaminating microbes. Death rates for many of these diseases are high, often exceeding 50%. Researchers at UCI have developed a novel anti-bacterial and anti-fungal biocomposite that incorporates a nanopillared surface structure that can be applied as a coating to medical devices.

Nonlinear Optical Photodynamic Therapy of the Cornea for Corneal Disorders, Cancer, and Infection

Inventors at UC Irvine have developed an apparatus and method using nonlinear optical photodynamic therapy (NLO-PDT) for modifying corneal shape and treating progressive corneal astigmatism and refractive errors. The selectively focused femtosecond-near infrared laser light and apparatus improves upon existing methods by providing rapid (< 1min) corneal treatment that minimizes unwanted cellular damage to the eye through precise lateral and axial treatment to the cornea.

Novel Surgical Device for Scleral Buckling Retinal Detachment Repair

UCLA researchers in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Engineering have developed a new surgical device used in retinal detachment surgery.

Sieve Container For Contactless Media Exchange For Cell Growth

Media that contains nutrients and growth factors is necessary to grow all types of cells, a process that is widely used in many fields of research. Such media should be routinely changed either to different media or a fresh batch of the same media. This change currently involves either using a pipette to transfer cells from their current dish of media to a new dish, or aspirating the media out of the dish and replacing it with new media. Both methods have inherent risks to stressing and damaging the cells. Researchers at UCI have developed a unique dish for growing cells that allows for safer aspiration of the old media, which reduces stress and damage to the cells.

Scanning Method For Uniform, Normal-Incidence Imaging Of Spherical Surface With A Single Beam

UCLA researchers have created a method that achieves uniform normal-incident illumination of a spherical surface by first projecting the sphere onto a Cartesian plane and then raster scanning it using an illuminating beam. This allows the scanned object, the illumination source, and the detector to remain stationary.

Xenobiotic-Free Culture System To Expand Human Limbal Stem Cells

UCLA researchers in the Departments of Opthalmology have developed a xenobiotic-free manufacturing process to produce transplantable human limbal stem cells for use in treating limbal stem cell deficiency.

A Method for Induction of Corneal Endothelial Cells from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells (PSCs) via Ocular Lineage Specification

One of the most common causes of loss of vision is by corneal endothelial dystrophy (CED). Moreover, Fuchs CED is the leading cause of age-related blindness in individuals over the age of 40 in the United States affecting ~ 4% of the population. The current standard of care is to perform restorative corneal transplantation, but due to a shortage of healthy human donors, this is a challenge confronting the medical community. One solution would be to develop alternative sources of transplantation material. Human corneal endothelial cells (CESs) are not proliferative and do not regenerate in vivo. Therefore, there is a major interest in development of in vitro expandable cell sources for engineering corneal endothelium.

Wireless Implantable System To Restore Memory

UCLA researchers have developed a wireless implantable deep brain stimulation system to restore memory in individuals with traumatic brain injury.

Intraocular Pressure measuring device

The present invention discloses a small device to measure Intraocular Pressure. This invention communicating the measurements of Intraocular pressure with outside devices.

Artificial cornea implant using nanopatterned synthetic polymer

The device is an artificial corneal implant comprised of a single, nanopatterned material. The device is durable, easy to implant, and robust against bacterial infection and other problems associated with other state-of-the-art ocular devices.

Potent And Highly Soluble Pegylated Compstatin Peptide

UCR researchers have developed novel compstatin peptides with polar amino acid extensions at the N-terminus and PEGylated extensions at the C-terminus. The new peptides have the following advantages compared to previously known compstatin peptides: (i) highly improved aqueous solubility while maintaining high inhibitory potency, and (ii) higher inhibitory efficacy against complement system activation in a human retinal pigmented epithelial cell-based assay that mimics the pathobiology of age-related macular degeneration. The combined solubility and inhibitory potency and efficacy properties render the new peptides excellent candidates to become therapeutics for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration.   A potent and highly soluble compstatin peptide shown in surface representation with an 8 PEG block C-terminal extension displayed in stick form. The surface of the compstatin analog is colored according to amino acid properties: gray for hydrophobic, green for polar neutral, blue for polar positively charged, red for polar negatively charged, yellow for cysteines of the disulfide bridge, and brown for glycine. The molecular image is generated using three-dimensional coordinates from a molecular dynamics simulation trajectory.    

A Micro/Nanobubble Oxygenated Solutions for Wound Healing and Tissue Preservation

Soft-tissue injuries and organ transplantation are common in modern combat scenarios. Organs and tissues harvested for transplantation need to be preserved during transport, which can be very difficult. Micro and nanobubbles (MNBs) offer a new technology that could supply oxygenation to such tissues prior to transplantation, thus affording better recovery and survival of patients. Described here is a novel device capable of producing MNB solutions that can be used to preserve viability and function of such organs/tissue. Additionally, these solutions may be used with negative pressure wound therapy to heal soft-tissue wounds.

Safe And Targeted Electric Stimulation Of The Human Cranial Nerves

Neuromodulation (electrical stimulation of the nervous system) is used in cochlear and retinal implants, or deep brain stimulation devices to treat various neurological disorders (i.e. depression, Parkinson’s Disease). However, such approaches tend to be invasive and expensive. Researchers at UCI have developed a novel approach and device to stimulate the cranial nerves that is targeted, safe, and minimally-invasive for the treatment of diseases or the activation of senses.

Dry-Eye Formulation

The sensation of ocular discomfort commonly referred to as “dry eye” can be caused by various factors. The principal causative factors are (a) increased tear-evaporation rates attributable to meibomian gland dysfunction and insufficient/unbalanced tear-lipid films; (b) inadequate tear-aqueous production attributable to aging, medical procedures performed on the cornea (e.g., LASIK), or other general health conditions (e.g., autoimmune diseases); (c) environmental irritants (e.g., dust, smoke, wind, sun, or low humidity); and (d) eye strain attributable to extended viewing of computer monitors or other working environment-related factors. There are many different artificial-eye drops marketed and prescribed or recommended by medical practitioners to decrease dry-eye sensations. Unfortunately, all provide only short-term or no effects at all on tear-film stability and evaporation rates. Moreover, many artificial-tear formulations contain petrochemicals, (e.g., mineral oil) which have nothing in common with natural lipids comprising human tear-lipid films and might be potentially harmful to the eye.   Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed bicontinuous microemulsion formulations capable of delivering the components necessary to counteract compromised stability of tear-lipid layers and thus enhance the stability of entire tear films. These bicontinuous microemulsion components disperse spontaneously into a physical state that makes the microemulsion completely miscible with both human tear aqueous and human tear lipids. The components of these microemulsions are chemically identical or very close to natural tear lipids and tear aqueous and thus are completely biocompatible with human tear films. The lipids used in this formulation are biodegradable, and human tear enzymes will be able to metabolize these bicontinuous microemulsion lipids.  

Methods and Materials to Treat Lymphangiogenesis

The lymphatic vascular network penetrates most tissues in the body and plays important roles in a broad spectrum of functions, including immune surveillance, fat absorption and interstitial fluid homeostasis. Numerous disorders have been found to be associated with lymphatic dysfunction, such as cancer metastasis, inflammatory and immune diseases, infection, transplant rejection, obesity, hypertension and lymphedema. However, to date, there is still little effective treatment for most lymphatic disorders. Researchers at UC Berkeley (UCB) are working to advance the understanding of the mechanisms underlying pathologic lymphatic processes, such as lymphangiogenesis (LG), for new preventive measures and treatments. MicroRNAs are a class of small noncoding RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression by binding to complimentary sequences of target messenger RNA. UCB researchers are specifically investigating the role of microRNA 184 (miR-184) in corneal LG in vivo and dermal lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) in vitro. Using preclinical animal models combined with human cell cultures, the researchers have discovered that miR-184 which is naturally expressed in the cornea is critically involved in LG and could potentially be used as an inhibitor of LG. Further research and understanding of these data may produce targets for miR-184 for new approaches to prevent or treat lymphatic disease which occurs both inside and outside the eye.

Contrast Training Protocol And Vision

Background: By 2050, the global population of elderly, ages 65 and older, is projected to reach 1.5B. With age, vision significantly declines and can be a precursor to accidents or other debilitating conditions. Therefore, it is important to exercise healthy vision and visual processing for one’s well-being and ability to perform daily tasks e.g. driving, walking up and down stairs.  Brief Description: UCR researchers have developed a perceptual-learning software that utilizes psychophysics tools to train the human eye towards sharper visual acuity. By conducting familiarization tasks followed with orientation-discrimination training, older subjects as well as those suffering from amblyopia and strabismus, demonstrated significant improvement in contrast sensitivity. Not to mention, stark progress was evident within just several training sessions with permanence of approximately 3 months. This software is capable of relieving vision deterioration sans invasive, often unpromising surgeries, and has generated great interest and enthusiasm amongst the general populace.

Meta-analytic Methods for Defining Prescriptive Genetic Biomarkers of Multi-gene Diseases

In most cases of complex diseases, simple genetics do not explain the etiology of disease and multi-genic analyses require patient samples and data that limit the extent to which such tools may be usefully deployed. Although primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) is clearly associated with mutations in such genes as MYOC, ASB10, WDR36, NTF4, and TBK1,  most cases of POAG do not involve these mutations at all. To better understand the genetic underpinnings of POAG, proprietary meta-analytic method have been applied to transform genetic data and the clinical features of this disease into a prescriptive set of genes for POAG.

A New Method For Improving 3-D Depth Perception

The ability to see depth is a key visual function, as three-dimensional vision is used to guide body movements. Although many visual cues are used to infer spatial relationships, depth perception relies primarily on stereopsis, or the perception of depth based on differences in the images in the two eyes. More than 5% of the US population, however, is unable to see in three dimensions due to stereo-blindness and stereo-anomaly. Without depth perception, basic activities such as catching a ball or driving a car are not possible. Current therapeutic methods to address this issue include a set of eye-training exercises that aim to equalize the input from the eyes to the brain, which are collectively called orthoptics.   Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed an orthoptic method to train stereo depth perception. This method includes devices and systems for implementation, and it can be used in the home. 

Novel Clinical Diagnostic for Dry-Eye-Syndrome

Brief description not available

Imaging Method for Improved Placement of MIGS

Minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries (MIGS), despite their favorable safety profile, cannot achieve the same intraocular pressure reduction as tube shunts or trabeculectomy. There is growing interest in targeting MIGS devices near functioning, large-caliber aqueous and episcleral veins, but methods to image these vessels in vivo are lacking. The present invention relates to the method for imaging episcleral vessels noninvasively and quantifying episcleral regional flow variation along the limbal circumference.

Optical-Based Intraocular Pressure Sensor

Glaucoma is a condition in which intraocular pressure (IOP) causes damage to the optic nerve and progressively leads to permanent loss of vision.  The diagnosis and monitoring of glaucoma requires regular measurements of patients’ IOP.  The standard ocular tonometry techniques currently used in a clinical practice provide only a snapshot of the IOP profile and usually with readings taken weeks or months apart.  More recently, there have been implantable sensors under development that enable long term and continuous IOP monitoring.  However, each has drawbacks in one or more of the following concerns: signal readout, size, sensitivity, power consumption, special instrumentation requirement, and/or complex fabrication processes.

Novel Methods to Cultivate Human Limbal Epithelial Stem Cells

UCLA researchers in the Jules Stein Eye Institute have developed novel methods for cultivating stem cells using human feeder cells. This technology enables a more efficient system of producing pure stem cell populations for therapeutic development.

Eyeglasses-Free Display Towards Correcting Visual Aberrations With Computational Light Field Displays

Almost 170 million people in the United States (~55% of the total U.S. population) wear vision correction. Of this population, more than 63 million people (53%) up to age 64 have presbyopic vision. Eyeglasses have been the primary tool to correct such aberrations since the 13th century. In more modern times, contact lenses and refractive surgery have become viable alternatives to wearing eyeglasses. Unfortunately, these approaches require the observer to either use eyewear or undergo surgery, which is often uncomfortable and costly, and can lead to complications, in the case of surgery. To address these challenges, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and MIT have developed vision correcting screen technology which involves digitally modifying the content of a display so that the display can be seen in sharp focus by the user without requiring the use of eyeglasses or contact lenses. By leveraging specialized optics in concert with proprietary prefiltering algorithms, the display architecture achieves significantly higher resolution and contrast than prior approaches to vision-correcting image display. The teams have successfully demonstrated light field displays at low cost backed by efficient 4D prefiltering algorithms, producing desirable vision-corrected imagery even for higher-order aberrations that are difficult to be corrected with conventional approaches like eyeglasses.

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