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Novel Small Molecule CFTR Activators For the Treatment of Dry Eye

This invention identifies novel small molecule activators of CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator) that can be developed as effective therapies for dry eye disorders.

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.

Accurate and Robust Eye Tracking with a Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope

The tracking scanning laser ophthalmoscope (TSLO) provides fast and accurate measurements of fixational eye motion with flexible field of views. Currently, this system is the most accurate, fast and functional eye-tracking system used in a standard ophthalmic instrument. At a basic research level, the benefits of accurate eye-tracking are especially useful for delivering stimuli to targeted retinal locations as small as a single cone. In the clinical domain, advances in imaging and tracking technology help render accurate images which can lead to better outcomes in treating eye disease. Scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (SLO) uses both a horizontal and vertical scanner to image a specific region of the retina. Current state of the art tracking SLO systems are only suitable for observing a narrow field of view (FOV < five degrees) and will lose signal with certain types of eye motion. This is problematic for patients suffering from varying retinal or neurological disorders, where unstable fixation hinders accurate eye-tracking and image acquisition. These include retinal diseases of the macula such as: age-related macular degeneration, or neurological disorders such as: Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. In cases such as these, it would be desirable to capture a larger field of view whose image quality is sufficient to track the retina for larger and more rapid eye movements. To help address this problem, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed systems, software, and methods for an image-based high-performance TSLO. Early laboratory experimentation results suggest significantly enhanced eye-tracking in terms of: sampling uniformity of eye motion traces, detection of eye rotation, increased frame rate of image capture, expandable/adjustable FOV, stabilization accuracy of 0.66 arcminutes, and tracking accuracy of 0.2 arcminutes or less across all frequencies. The Berkeley system and techniques show promise for observing detailed structural and functional changes in the eye as a result of age and/or disease like never before.

Mobile Visual Performance Profiler (mVP2)

Traditional vision tests are not typically integrated into a single testing device, resulting in medical assistants or clinicians using multiple charts or devices in multiple locations. Test data is recorded on paper or automatically by a device that is not integrated with other devices. Meta-data of tests are usually not available for immediate interpretation and decision-making. Mobile tablets, smart phones, and laptop computer platforms will offer mobility, accessibility, and affordability that are key indicators of quality medicine. They will make it easier to deliver cost-effective care that is comprehensive and coordinated by ensuring its continuity. Current methods are also generally not portable.

Immunogenic Peptides as Vaccines against Herpes Simplex Virus

Immunogenic peptides isolated from HSV seropositive asymptomatic (ASYMP) individuals induce a CD8+ T cell- dependent protective immunity against herpes virus in a mammal.

Glaucoma Blockbuster

Glaucoma is a devastating condition that can lead to loss of sight.  This is estimated to affect nearly 79.6 million people worldwide by the year 2020.  While there are some treatments that help to prevent vision loss, there are no treatments to correct the condition, until now.   Researchers at the University of California, Davis have determined a novel class of compounds that are effective in the treatment of glaucoma. 

Novel method for performing Corneal Implant

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a novel method for inserting an annular cornea implant into a cornea pocked of the human eye. 

Novel Non-Invasive Method for Screening Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a novel non-invasive and quantitative method for screening patients with Traumatic Brain Injury. 

Nanophotonics-Based Implantable Iop-Sensor With Remote Optical Readout

This invention enables the remote automated monitoring of intraocular pressure in patients or animal models to inform glaucoma treatment and the development of new therapeutics for glaucoma.

Superhydrophobic Induced High Numerical Plastic Lenses

The application of novel manufacturing techniques, chemical modifications and alternative materials produces the next generation of lenses. These lenses are inexpensive, contain improved numerical aperture and can be easily manufactured. Overall, these improvements create new applications for miniaturized optical and optical electronic devices.

Human Retinal Stem Cell Production

Retinal degeneration affects millions of people worldwide and currently there is no effective therapy. Leading causes of irreversible blindness include: age-related macular degeneration (AMD), retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma and retinal vascular diseases, which are characterized by loss of retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE), photoreceptors, retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and supporting cells in the retina.Using multi-potent retinal stem cells of this invention to replenish damaged retina with desirable cell types represents a promising therapeutic approach. These cells are less likely than pluripotent cells to form tumors and primary retinal progenitor cells from adult retinal or human fetal tissues have limited expansion capacity and differentiation potential or insufficient quantity of fetal retinal progenitors, with possible ethical concerns. Accordingly, there is a medical need for renewable retinal stem cells with a potential to repopulate both RPE and photoreceptors in degenerated retina with little or no risk of forming tumors.

Methods of Culturing Retinal Pigmented Epithelium Cells

Novel methods of producing high-quality RPE cells with very high yields.

Gene Therapy For Usher Syndrome Type 1B

Brief description not available

Lhx2 Conditional Knockout Mouse ("Lhx2 Cko")

The LIM homeobox gene Lhx2 has been studied and found to be necessary for the normal development of the eye, cerebral cortex, and pituitary glands. In addition, it has been investigated for its role in diseases of the cerebral cortex, including schizencephaly, septo-optic dysplasia, and Joubert syndrome. Due to the importance of the Lhx2 gene, researchers have developed knockout mice without the Lhx2 gene. However, drawbacks to conventional “fixed” knockout mice of the Lhx2 gene include embryonic lethality and the inability to perform mosaic analysis of Lhx2 activation. Newer knockout models that address these drawbacks will allow researchers to enhance their studies of the Lhx2 gene. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a new Lhx2 conditional knockout mouse. This mouse line is unique in that the place and time of the inactivation of the Lhx2 gene can controlled. Also, this mouse line allows researchers to perform mosaic analyses and does not result in embryonic lethality.

An Automated Digital Method for Analysis of Eyelid Position and Contour

Eyelid contour deformities occur in aging and a number of medical conditions such as Graves disease, ptosis, postoperative lid abnormalities, and congenital lid abnormalities. Digital analysis of eyelid position and contour has the potential to objectively characterize the eyelid examination and improve preoperative and postoperative assessment.

MicroRNA Therapeutics for Augmenting Blood Vessel Growth

This invention provides microRNA therapeutics that augment blood vessel growth, which may have application for indications where it is desired to reduce or stimulate angiogenesis. Reducing or inhibiting angiogenesis may be useful for indications such as degenerative eye diseases and cancer. Stimulating blood vessel growth may be useful for treating indications such as cardiovascular, thrombotic or ischemic diseases. Cells lining blood vessels are usually among the least proliferative cell types, but this desired quiescence may be interrupted in response to growth factors during pathological neovascularization manifested in disease states such as macular degeneration and cancer. MicroRNAs are known to be key regulators of angiogenesis and specific miRNAs have been found to be effective toward these indications.

Nanotopographic Biomimetic Membranes

Available for licensing are patent rights in a method of creating nanostructured membranes with topographic features that closely mimic the topographic environment of a variety of basement membranes found in the body. These membranes therefore can provide a means for controlling a number of important cell behaviors.

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