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Computer Model for Preoperative Planning and Surgical Design for Reconstructive Surgery

Historically, in a time-honored tradition, surgical procedures are learned by watching and doing in an operating room under the supervision of a board certified surgeon. While these methods are well-established and a core part of training, there is certainly an opportunity to provide new modalities and tools to enhance the teaching and learning for surgical residents in training.

Employing CRISPR-Cas9 to Target RNA in Live Cells

RNA's location in a cell -- and how and when it gets there -- can influence whether proteins are produced in the right location and at the appropriate time. For instance, proteins important to neuronal connections in the brain, known as synapses, are produced from RNAs located at these contacts. Defective RNA transport is linked to a host of conditions ranging from autism to cancer and researchers need ways to measure RNA movement in order to develop treatments for these conditions. As the intermediary genetic material that carries the genetic code from the cell's nucleus, scientists have long sought an efficient method for targeting RNA in living cells. RNA-programmed genome editing using CRISPR/Cas9 from Streptococcus pyogenes has enabled rapid and accessible alteration of specific genomic loci in many organisms. A flexible means to target RNA would allow alteration and imaging of endogenous RNA transcripts analogous to CRISPR/Cas-based genomic tools, but most RNA targeting methods rely on incorporation of exogenous tags.

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).

Broadband Surface-Enhanced Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy (SECARS) With High Spectral Resolution

UCLA researchers have developed a novel method to improve Raman spectroscopy sensitivity, spatio-temporal resolution, and broadband spectral range while reducing peak power and photo-damage.


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.

A non-destructive method of quantifying mRNA in a single living cell

The detection of levels of messenger RNA (mRNA), the molecule used by DNA to convey information about protein production, is a very important method in molecular biology. Current detection strategies, such as Northern Blotting and RT-PCR, require destruction of the cell to extract such information. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a method to non-destructively assess mRNA levels in a single living cell.

A Method For Accurate Parametric Mapping Based On Characterization Of A Reference Tissue Or Region

UCLA researchers in the Department of Radiological Sciences have developed a method to address the issue of B1+ field inhomogeneity that is becoming a persistent problem in higher field strengths. 

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.

Silent Small Scale Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

This technology is a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) spatial encoding method to afford a completely silent MRI. In addition, this technology allows miniaturization and is complimentary to both high field and low field designs.

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.

An Accelerated Phase-Contrast MRI Technique

UCLA researchers in the Department Radiological Sciences have developed a technique for accelerated phase-contrast MRI, reducing total image acquisition time in the collection of high-resolution data.

Optical Phase Retrieval Systems Using Color-Multiplexed Illumination

Light is a wave, having both an amplitude and phase. Our eyes and cameras, however, only see real values (i.e. intensity), so cannot measure phase directly. Phase is important, especially in biological imaging, where cells are typically transparent (i.e. invisible) but yet impose phase delays. When we can measure the phase delays, we get back important shape and density maps.   Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a new method for recovering both phase and amplitude of an arbitrary sample in an optical microscope from a single image, using patterned partially coherent illumination. The hardware requirements are compatible with most modern microscopes via a simple condenser insert, or by replacing the entire illumination pathway with a programmable LED array, providing flexibility, portability, and affordability, while eliminating many of the trade-offs required by other methods. This enables quantitative imaging of phase from a single image, using partially coherent illumination, and in a way that is flexible and amenable to a variety of existing microscopy systems. 


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.

Efficient Method to Improve the Temporal Signal-to-Noise of Arterial Spin Labeling for MRI

In conventional vessel encoded pseudo-continuous arterial spin labeling (PASL), the temporal signal to noise (tSNR) is improved by repeatedly applying pulsed labeling pulses in between Look-Locker readouts.  This works optimally when the temporal width of the tagged boluses matches the inter-pulse spacing. However, because the feeding arteries generally have different velocities and geometries, the conventional labeling slab fails to achieve desirable tSNR.  

Software for auto-generation of text reports from radiology studies

Imaging machines used for radiology studies often export data (such as vascular velocities, bone densitometry, radiation dose, etc.) as characters stored in image format. Radiologists are expected to interpret this data and also store it in their text-based reports of the studies. This is usually accomplished by dictating the data into the text report or copying it by typing it. However, these methods are error-prone and time-intensive.

A Real-time Intraoperative Fluorescent Imaging Device for Guided Surgical Excision of Microscopic Residual Tumors

This novel real-time imaging device can provide precise and rapid pathological imaging information of the tumor area by utilizing fluorescent or luminescent markers within the body to ensure complete surgical resection.

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.

Novel Software for Generating Attenuation Correction Maps with MRI for PET Reconstruction

This invention can accurately and rapidly map patient bone structure and classify all tissue types such as fatty soft tissue, water soft tissue, lung tissue, bone, and air within a single scan using novel MRI acquisition and reconstruction techniques.

Patient-Specific Ct Scan-Based Finite Element Modeling (FEM) Of Bone

This invention is a software for calculating the maximum force a bone can support. The offered method provides an accurate assessment of how changes in a bone due to special circumstances, such as osteoporosis or a long duration space flight, might increase patient’s risk of fracture.

A Method For Determining Characteristic Planes And Axes Of Bones And Other Body Parts, And Application To Registration Of Data Sets

The invention is a method for deriving an anatomical coordinate system for a body part (especially bone) to aid in its characterization. The method relies on 3-D digital images of an anatomical object, such as CT- or MR-scans, to objectively, precisely, and reliably identify its geometry in a computationally efficient manner. The invention is a great improvement over the current practice of subjective, user-dependent manual data entry and visualization of bones and organs. The applications for well-defined anatomical coordinate systems include robotic surgeries, models for bone density studies, and construction of statistical anatomical data sets.

A Novel Reversible Fluorescent Protein Complementation Assay for Imaging of Protein-protein Interactions

This invention provides a method for characterizing protein-protein interactions using a novel reversible bimolecular fluorescence complementation assay.

Bio-Imaging Of Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Activity

Aldehyde Dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity is essential for generating cancer stem cells and drug resistance in cancer stem cells, which are the primary cause of treatment failure in oncology. Similarly, ALDH activity also plays a therapeutic role in a variety of inflammatory diseases and is needed for tissue regeneration and wound healing after a myocardial infarct, the detoxification of xenobiotics in the liver, the alleviation of pain, and the prevention of Parkinson’s disease. There is therefore great interest in developing small molecules that can inhibit or activate ALDH activity, however, this is currently challenging because of the inability to measure ALDH activity in cells.  The current method measures ALDH in cells indirectly, via ALDH substrates that are unable to distinguish between non-specific accumulation and genuine ALDH activity, and can only indirectly measure ALDH activity via flow cytometry.  UC Berkeley researchers have developed bio-imaging agents to image ALDH activity in cells. The new agents can spectrally distinguish between the small electronegativity differences between an aldehyde and a carboxylate and are exceptionally sensitive to changes in electronegativity.   

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