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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  

Training Technology for Vision Improvement

Dr. Aaron Seitz and his colleagues from the University of California, Riverside have developed a vision tablet-based application that aims to improve sensory and perceptual skills. Sightseeing has been used among a wide variety of populations (e.g., athletes, patients with schizophrenia, children with autism spectrum disorder, college students, and much more). Sensory and perceptual benefits from the application includes observed improvements in visual acuity (i.e., ability to read lower lines on a standard eye chart), contrast sensitivity (i.e., ability to see objects in low light conditions), and peripheral acuity and contrast thresholds. This technology showcases psychophysical designs that enable understanding of mechanisms of perceptual learning and has great potential both as a scientific tool and as therapy to help improve vision.  Fig 1: Contrast sensitivity function. Average CSF on pretest (blue) and posttest (red) for experimental group

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.

The Vaccushield Aka Slacc (Suction-Assisted Local Aerosol Containment Chamber)

UCLA researchers in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine have developed a device that can act as a protective barrier for healthcare workers from patients with contagious respiratory pathogens.

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.

Mattress for Bed Sore Prevention

UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have designed a low-cost, lightweight and easily adjustable mattress that prevents bed sores.

Mediator-Free Electroenzymatic Sensing with Enhanced Sensitivity and Selectivity for Wearable Metabolite and Nutrient Monitoring Applications

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering have developed a wearable electroenzymatic sensor for non-invasive monitoring of metabolites and nutrients. The sensor has been successfully tested in human subjects to be highly sensitive and selective, making it ideal for monitoring and improving individual well-being.

Biosynthetic Production Of L-4-Chlorokynurenine

The non‐proteinogenic amino acid l‐4‐chlorokynurenine (l‐4‐Cl‐Kyn) is a next‐generation, fast‐acting oral prodrug for the treatment of major depressive disorder. Additional studies report that this drug candidate is effective in animal models for the treatment of neuropathic pain, epilepsy, and Huntington's disease.  After active transport across the blood–brain barrier, it is enzymatically converted into the active agent 7‐chlorokynurenic acid, which is a highly selective competitive antagonist of the N‐methyl‐d‐aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor.   Suicide is 2-7x higher in Veterans than non-veterans, and may be related to brain kynurenine pathway (KP) dysregulation and NMDA receptor (NMDAR) hyperactivation.  L-4-Chlorokynurenine (L-4-Cl-Kyn) is a neuropharmaceutical drug candidate that is in development for the treatment of major depressive disorder (Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Phase 2 Trial to Test Efficacy and Safety of AV-101 (L-4-chlorokynurenine) as Adjunct to Current Antidepressant Therapy in Patients With Major Depressive Disorder (the ELEVATE Study)).

Microfluidic Dispenser for Automated, High-Precision, Liquids Handling

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a robotic dispensing interface that uses a microfluidic-embedded container cap – often referred to as a microfluidic Cap-to-Dispense or μCD - to seamlessly integrate robotic operations into precision liquids handling.

Wearable Voltammetric Monitoring of Electroactive Drugs

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering have developed a voltammetric wearable device capable of monitoring electroactive drug circulation and abundance in biofluids. This non-invasive monitoring system can be used for electroactive drug therapy management, drug compliance/abuse monitoring, drug-drug interaction studies, and personalized dosing.

A novel method for increasing MHC presentation of oncogene derived neoantigens

The invention describes a platform technology that increases MHC presentation of oncogene derived peptide neoantigens that do not normally occur in the cell. The platform has already been used to identify a method of increasing KRAS G12 D/V derived peptide presentation on MHC- I.

Method of Reducing Placebo/Nocebo Effects Associated with the Tapering of Medication and Storing Drug Tablet Fragments

UCLA researchers in the Department of Medicine have developed drug tapering schedule software to reduce factors that may impede patients’ discontinuation of a drug.

Use of VMAT2 Inhibitors as a Therapy for Stuttering

Dr. Gerald Maguire and his colleagues from the University of California, Riverside have developed a stuttering therapy that uses vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) inhibitors. The safety of VMAT2 inhibitors have been established given that small molecule VMAT2 inhibitors are approved for the treatment of hyperkinetic movement disorders. Treatment of stuttering provides relief from symptoms like facial tics, lip tremors, excessive blinking, facial tension, and frustration when attempting to communicate. This therapy holds promise for improving on the current treatments for both children and adults. Fig 1 shows the mechanism of action of VMAT2 inhibitors where in  a) VMAT2 sequesters dopamine in presynaptic vesicles and then b) VMAT2 inhibitors block vesicular storage of dopamine. Stuttering may be caused by high dopamine levels and VMAT2 inhibitors would decrease dopamine levels to treat stuttering.  

Triazolo/Phenylpyrimidine Compounds as Novel Candidate Treatments for Schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis is a disease caused by infection with parasitic flatworms called schistosomes. The three major medically important species are Schistosoma mansoni (causing intestinal schistosomiasis in Africa and South America), S. japonicum (intestinal schistosomiasis in East Asia), and S. haematobium (causing genitourinary schistosomiasis in Africa and the Middle East). Signs and symptoms may include abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stool, or blood in the urine.  The treatment of schistosomiasis serves three purposes: reversing acute or early chronic disease, preventing complications associated with chronic infection, and preventing neuroschistosomiasis. The goal of treatment is to remove the worms that produce the eggs which, in turn, are responsible for disease morbidity and mortality. There is no effective vaccine against schistosomiasis.

A Wearable Platform for In-Situ Analysis of Hormones

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering have developed a highly sensitive, wearable hormone monitoring platform.

Blocking Synaptogenesis For Chronic Pain Management

Gabapentin is used for treatment of seizures and hypersensitivity to pain. Researchers at UCI have employed low-dosage gabapentin immediately after injury to block the development of chronic pain.

Development of a Method to Treat Alzheimer’s Disease by Protection of Synapses

NMDA receptors (NMDARs) are principal regulators of synaptic signaling in the brain. Modulation of NMDARs’ function and trafficking is important for the regulation of synaptic transmission and several forms of synaptic plasticity. Postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD-95) acts as a scaffolding protein and stabilizes the surface and synaptic expression of NMDARs. NMDA receptors (NMDARs) are ionotropic glutamate receptors that are expressed throughout the nervous system and play crucial roles in neuronal development, synaptic plasticity, learning and memory. PSD-95 (Post Synaptic Density protein) or SAP90, a membrane-associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK), is the major scaffolding protein in the excitatory postsynaptic density (PSD) and a potent regulator of synaptic strength. It is almost exclusively located in the post synaptic density of neurons and is involved in anchoring synaptic proteins. Its direct and indirect binding partners include neuroligin, NMDA receptors, AMPA receptors, and potassium channels. Postsynaptic loss does not precede obvious Aβ (beta-amyloid or amyloid beta) and Tau deposition, but instead appears to occur as Aβ and Tau pathologies advance. This indicates that PSD-95 is an excellent intrinsic biomarker for post synaptic mechanisms and its expression is reduced in brain tissue from patients with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) as well as in mouse models of AD.

Healthcare Hand Hygiene Medical Training Software

UCI researchers have developed a curriculum for training and evaluation of customers performing Healthcare Hand Hygiene.

Advanced Airway Management: Intubation medical Training Software

UCI researchers have developed a curriculum for training and evaluation of customers performing Advanced Airway Mangement: Intubation.

Mitochondrial Transplantation for Treating Mitochondrial Cardiomyopathy

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.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.

Clinical Prognostication Test In Uveal Melanoma

Uveal melanoma commonly known as ocular or choroidal melanoma, is a rare cancer of the eye. It is an intraocular malignancy that arises from melanocytes of the choroid, ciliary body, and iris of the eye. Ocular melanoma is diagnosed in approximately 2,000-2,500 adults annually in the United States. In both the U.S. and Europe, this equates to about 5 - 7.5 cases per million people per year and, for people over 50 years old, the incidence rate increases to around 21 per million per year. While the primary tumor is highly treatable, about half of the patients will develop metastasis —typically to the liver. Metastatic disease is universally fatal. While traditional staging methods such as tumor size and location, still play a role in assessing metastatic risk, they are rarely used to individualize patient management plans. Newer methods include chromosomal gene expression analysis, yet these methods have their technical limitations. Clearly, what is needed is a better, cheaper and reproducible prognostic test.

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