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Positive Allosteric Modulators Target TRPV1 with Analgesic Effects

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed de novo positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) that bind to TRPV1 proteins involved with pain-sensing in order to provide analgesic effects.

(SD2021-225) Wireless Contact Force Sensing and Localization

Our sense of touch is critical for understanding and interacting with the world around us. While interacting with the physical world, force-sensitive mechanoreceptors in the skin respond to various vibrations, motions, pressures, and stretching of the skin to provide us with critical information on the location and magnitude of the stimuli. Thus, if we want the next generation of tactile sensors to emulate how our skin reacts to stimuli, we need to both sense the magnitude and location of contact forces acting on the sensing surface.Contact force is a natural way for humans to interact with the physical world around us. However, most of our interactions with the digital world are largely based on a simple binary sense of touch (contact or no contact). Similarly, when interacting with robots to perform complex tasks, such as surgery, we need to acquire the rich force information and contact location, to aid in the task.

Method for Estimating Blood Plasma Water Content Using Portable NMR Relaxometry

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a method of estimating blood plasma water content using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) relaxometry.

Medical/Surgical Instrument-Bending Device

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a device that allows needles to be reliably and easily bent to a range of specified and reproducible angles. The device also enables protection of the needle tip and the maintenance of needle sterility during bending.

Neural Network Machine Learning Applied to Diagnose Acute Kidney Injury

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed machine learning models to enhance the accessibility and accuracy of acute kidney injury (AKI) testing.

Programmable System that Mixes Large Numbers of Small Volume, High-Viscosity, Fluid Samples Simultaneously

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a programmable machine that shakes and repeatedly inverts large numbers of small containers - such as vials and flasks – in order to mix high-viscosity fluids.

Growth-Accomodating Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve System

UCI researchers have developed a novel transcatheter pulmonary valve (TPV) that addresses the current lack of options for children with progressive pulmonary valve regurgitation (PVR), which may lead to right ventricular (RV) dysfunction and failure. This TPV allows for implantation into patients of a younger age, preventing the progression of PVR and the RV issues that follow, and can also expand to accommodate the need for a larger pulmonary valve as the patient grows.

Staged Fascial Closure Device

The current invention enables the safe closure of an open abdomen during surgery when the abdominal fascia cannot be closed primarily.

Antibiotic to Fight Gram Negative and Resistant Bacteria

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a gyramide antibiotic which is effective against Gram-negative and fluoroquinolones (FQs) resistant bacteria.

Device for Spinal Dural Repair

Dural tear is a frequent and costly complication of spinal surgery, which can cause cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage, triggering additional, serious post-operative difficulties. Researchers at UC Irvine have developed a new method and device to mitigate dural tears in a rapid, safe, and water-tight manner

Protein Inhibitor of Type II-A CRISPR-Cas System

The inventors have discovered three protein inhibitors of the type II-A CRISPR-Cas system that specifically inhibit Cas9 from staphylococcus aureus. This finding is of potential importance to many companies in the CRISPR space. 

Roll-To-Roll Based 3D Printing Through Computed Axial Lithography

The inventor has developed systems and methods for performing continuous 3D roll-based additive manufacturing. This invention is distinct from roll-based micro/nanomanufacturing methods such as imprint lithography, gravure printing, and photo-roll lithography because it enables production of high aspect ratio reentrant features and voids in a single step that are difficult or even impossible with the existing methods.

High Fidelity 3D Printing Through Computed Axial Lithography

The inventor has developed novel algorithms and metrology methodologies, including real-time in-situ imaging of part formation, in computed axial lithography printing (CALP). CALP is a form of continuous 3D roll-based additive manufacturing which is distinct from roll-based micro/nanomanufacturing methods such as imprint lithography, gravure printing, and photo-roll lithography because it enables production of high aspect ratio reentrant features and voids in a single step that are difficult or even impossible with the existing methods.

Protein Inhibitor of Type VI-B CRISPR-Cas System

The inventors have discovered the first protein inhibitor of the type VI-B CRISPR-Cas system. By controlling this CRISPR system, one could possibly ameliorate the toxicity and off-target cleavage activity observed with the use of the type VI CRISPR system. Moreover, these proteins can also serve as an antidote for instances where the use of CRISPR-Cas technology poses a safety risk. Additionally, this technology can also be used for engineering genetic circuits in mammalian cells. This finding is of potential importance to many companies in the CRISPR space. 

Delivery System For Transcatheter Valves

Researchers at UCI have developed a novel medical device for use in transcatheter heart valve replacement surgeries. The device provides physicians with more careful control of the catheter insertion, minimizing complications and adverse effects.

Multifunctional Separations Using Adsorbent-Based Membranes

The selective separation of trace components of interest from various mixtures (e.g., micropollutants from groundwater, lithium or uranium from seawater, carbon dioxide from air) presents an especially pressing technological challenge. Established materials and separation processes seldom meet the performance standards needed to efficiently isolate these trace species for proper disposal or re-use. To address this issue, researchers at UC Berkeley developed a novel separation strategy in which highly selective and tunable adsorbents or adsorption sites are embedded into membranes. In this approach, the minor target species are selectively captured by the embedded adsorbents or adsorption sites while the species transport through the membrane. Simultaneously, the mixture can be purified through traditional membrane separation mechanisms. As a proof-of-concept, the researchers incorporated Hg2+-selective adsorbents into electrodialysis membranes that can simultaneously capture Hg2+ via an adsorption mechanism while desalinating water through an electrodialysis mechanism. Adsorption studies demonstrated that the embedded adsorbents maintain rapid, selective, regenerable, and high-capacity Hg2+ binding capabilities within the membrane matrix. Furthermore, when inserted into an electrodialysis setup, the composite membranes successfully capture all Hg2+ from various Hg2+-spiked water sources while permeating all other competing cations to simultaneously enable desalination. Finally, using an array of other ion-selective adsorbents, the Berkeley team showed that this strategy can in principle be applied generally to any target ion present in any water source. This multifunctional separation strategy can be applied to existing membrane processes to efficiently capture targeted species of interest, without the need for additional expensive equipment or processes such as fixed-bed adsorption columns.

Mitochondrial Transplantation to alter energy metabolism

Mitochondrial cardiomyopathy occurs when cardiomyocytes possess defective mitochondrial DNA. There is no cure and current treatment involves providing patients various dietary supplements. A novel biotherapy in which healthy mitochondria are transplanted directly into cells can help pave the way for treating mitochondrial-related diseases.

System and Method to Improve Human Memory Using a Video Game

Dr. Aaron Seitz and his team have designed multiple tablet-based applications such as Recollect in order to improve memory. Using a video game approach activates cognitive processes while making standard psychological paradigms more engaging. This technology trains participants on various gamified memory tasks where multiple contexts are combined to exercise memory processes in attempt to determine if we might see gains in memory on typical real-world situations. Recollect also offers several built-in assessments aimed at measuring cognitive functions such as working memory, executive functioning, fluid intelligence, and much more. Recollect has been used in children, college students, older adults, and individuals with cognitive deficits (e.g., ADHD, ASD) with the hopes of developing assessments and training programs that are sensitive to the needs of all populations. Fig 1: Image of the working memory training game Recollect.  

Training Technology for Hearing Improvement

Dr. Aaron Seitz and his colleagues from the University of California, Riverside have designed Listen, a tablet-based application developed for the purpose of improving auditory functions. Listen integrates principles of perceptual learning and auditory neuroscience in a reward-based game framework that reinforces program adherence and maintains training efficacy. In the game experience, players find themselves in control of a wisp that must navigate through perilous obstacles by responding appropriately to specific sound cues in order to absorb energy from objects in the environment. Fig 1: Game image from the mobile auditory training application Listen  

(SD2020-453) Raise Your Resilience Program For Older Adults

Older adults commonly experience stressors related to a decline in physical, cognitive, and functional abilities, loss of purpose and independence, bereavement, societal ageism, and financial hardships. Chronic stressors have cascading effects on physical and mental outcomes, including worse overall well-being, increased depression, and greater physical disability and mobility limitation. Stressful events increase the likelihood of chronic metabolic, pulmonary, and cardiovascular diseases. These stressors are often unavoidable in modern Western societies, given the realities of aging, so identifying methods to enhance older adults’ ability to manage stressors is essential. 

Clearance of Senescent Cells by Activation of the Immune Response

Researchers at UCSF have developed a method to selectively clear senescent cells by stimulating an immune response. Accumulation of senescent cells underlies a number of disease conditions and age-related pathologies. Current approaches to clear this cell type use senolytics, these are small-molecules that induce cell death of the senescent cells. Unfortunately, these compounds are not truly specific and affect other non-pathogenic cells. UCSF researchers eliminate these off-target effects by utilizing the body’s immune system to selectively target senescent cells for clearance. They do this by activation and expansion of certain immune cells. Stimulating the immune system to clear these cells is unprecedented in the field and offers a new therapeutic modality to treat senescence associated conditions. The technology has been fully validated in a laboratory setting.

Combination treatment to rescue age related macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness in people over 60 years old. One form, called “dry” AMD is caused by slow cell death of the central retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE cells), and currently has no treatment. Researchers at UCI have found that by combining a repurposed FDA approved drug in combination with a natural product, they are able to prevent cell death of RPE cells by boosting mitochondria activity.

Virtual Reality For Anhedonia Program

UCLA researchers in the Department of Psychology have developed a behavioral training program for the improvement of anhedonia.

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