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Scalable And Functional Thermoreversible Polymer For 3D Cell Culture

Patients who suffer from a broad range of disorders involving tissue degeneration – such as Parkinson’s disease, a myocardial infarction (heart attack), or liver failure – could potentially benefit from implantation of new healthy cells or engineered tissues to replace damaged or diseased ones, a process known as cell replacement therapy. Stem cells have the unique abilities to replicate indefinitely in an immature state and to differentiate into various types of cells found in the body.  Therefore, stem cells can be harnessed as the cell source for such cell replacement and tissue engineering therapies. As such, systems and methods for scalable stem cell expansion and differentiation are of interest.   UC Berkeley researchers have developed thermoreversible polymers, hydrogel compositions comprising the thermoreversible polymers, as well as methods of making and using the thermoreversible polymers for use in cell replacement therapies.  

Method And Device For Patterning Cells At Defined Interface

The present invention features a method and device that addresses the need for a low-cost and easy-to-use method and device to pattern a sharp interface between two or more cell populations or, more generally, two or more coatings wherein their interfacing properties are of interest. As a result, the present invention enables new types of experiments that analyze cell-cell interactions and the study of tissue biology in general. 

Exosome-Mimicking Nanovesicles

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a method of synthesizing stem cell-derived, exosome-mimicking, nanovesicles that have the therapeutic potential to rescue apoptotic neurons in culture.

Biomimetic Conductive Hydrogels

UCLA researchers in the Department of Bioengineering have developed a novel electrically conductive scaffold system with a hyaluronic acid (HA)-based hydrogel for biomimetic research to treat spinal cord and other central nervous system (CNS) injuries.

Viral Expression Vector Targeting HIV-1

UCLA researchers from the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, & Molecular Genetics have developed a viral expression vector that combines two reagents effective against HIV-1 infection.

Non-invasive Monitoring of Cell Culture Health via Sampling of Bioreactor VOC Emissions

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a device that can capture, analyze, and monitor volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by cell cultures through a bioreactor exhaust line – thus eliminating the need to contact the cell culture directly.

New Method for Generation of Human Pacemaker Cardiomyocytes

The heart consists of a multitude of diverse cardiomyocyte cell types, including atrial, ventricular and pacemaker cells, which cooperate to ensure proper cardiac function and circulation throughout the body. The rhythm of the heart beat is regulated by the sinoatrial node (SAN), functionally known as the cardiac pacemaker. Loss or dysfunction of these pacemaker cardiomyocytes leads to severe cardiac arrhythmias, syncope and/or even death. Although artificial pacemakers exist to help overcome these issues, several serious limitations and problems have emerged with this approach over the past several decades including electrode fracture or damage to insulation, infection, re-operations for battery exchange, and venous thrombosis. Moreover, size mismatch and the fact that pacemaker leads do not grow with children are a concerning problem. Thus, replacing artificial pacemakers with biological pacemakers potentially overcomes these artificial pacemaker issues including the expense and complications associated with device replacement, device or lead failure, and infection. To achieve these goals, understanding how pacemaker cardiomyocytes are generated is necessary to develop a human biological pacemaker for cardiac cellular therapies.

Development of Methods and Protocols for Use of Human Cish-/- IPSC-NK Cells for Cancer Therapy

Natural killer (NK) cells are a key component of the innate immune system and are involved in early defense against viruses and cancer cells. NK cells have the ability to lyse cells without prior sensitization  and therefore are the subject of intense interest to be potentially used as immunotherapeutic targets to treat cancer. The crucial element for using NK cells in immunotherapy is the ability to control the signaling and activation pathways. Recent work has shown that the cytokine-inducible SH2-containing protein (CIS), encoded by the Cish gene, can act as a checkpoint in NK activation by inhibiting IL-15 signaling, a major upregulator of NK cell activity. Furthermore, deletion of the Cish gene has been shown to increase the sensitivity of NK cells to IL-15, resulting in mice that are resistant to experimental metastasis.

Method to Direct the Reciprocal Interactions Between the Ureteric Bud and the Metanephric Mesenchyme

Researchers at UCLA have developed an approach to construct an embryonic kidney in vitro for the treatment of end stage renal disease.

A Codon-Optimized Lentiviral Vector For Stem Cell Reprogramming

UCLA researchers in the Department of Medicine and the Department of Surgery have developed a novel lentiviral vector that expresses a codon-optimized sequence of a T cell receptor (TCR) specific for the cancer-testis antigen NY-ESO-1 as well as a positron emission tomography (PET) reporter and suicide gene HSV1-sr39tk for use in adoptive T cell therapy for cancer treatment.

3D Scaffolds For Mesoderm Differentiation

Researchers led by Benjamin Wu from the Departments of Bioengineering and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine have developed an implantable scaffolding that can create hematopoietic stem cells from pluripotent stem cells in vivo.

Ex Vivo Maintenance and Expansion Of Hematopoietic Stem Cells

Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplants are used to treat patients with a broad spectrum of hematological malignancies, immune disorders and genetic blood diseases. Unfortunately, even after decades of use and research, there is a significant shortage of histocompatible HSCs available for transplants. Transplanting larger numbers of HSCs increases the likelihood and speed of successful engraftment, which can reduce the risk of complications such as anemia and infection, and more effectively treat underlying disease. The inability to efficiently maintain adult HSCs ex vivo is also a significant barrier for the wider development and implementation of gene therapies for diverse blood diseases and a major obstacle for engineering HSC derived cellular products for immunotherapy. One approach to overcome this challenge is to develop a means to maintain and expand HSCs in culture. Unfortunately, there is no well-defined reproducible means to maintain or expand HSCs. Even short culture times in optimized conditions are deleterious to HSCs. Ex vivo HSC maintenance and expansion could significantly enhance their clinical utility in a wide range of human diseases, providing a new platform for testing drugs, enabling more efficient gene editing within stem cells, and developing into a widely-used tool for the research community.

Three-Step Method For Universal Enrichment, Expansion, And Maturation Of Skeletal Muscle Cells Derived From Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

UCLA researchers have developed a novel method for enriching, expanding, and maturing populations of skeletal muscle progenitor cells (SMPCs) from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs).

Scalable Lipid Bilayer Microfluidics for High-Throughput Gene Editing

Researchers led by Paul Weiss from the Department of Chemistry and Pediatrics at UCLA have created a new microfluidic device for high-throughput gene editing of cells.

System and Methods for Efficient Collection of Single Cells and Colonies of Cells and Fast Generation of Stable Transfectants

A plate manufactured to enable samples of cells, microorganisms, proteins, DNA, biomolecules, transfectants, and other biological media to be positioned at specific sites. Some or all of the sites are built from removable material so that samples may be isolated.

A Novel Method and Protocol to Induce Pluripotent Stem Cells Toward Astrocyte Differentiation

Rett syndrome (RTT) is a devastating disease that affects 1 in every 10,000 children born in the United States, primarily females. RTT patients undergo apparently normal development until 6-18 months of age, followed by impaired motor function, stagnation and then regression of developmental skills, hypotonia, seizures and a spectrum of autistic behaviors. Rett syndrome is a rare disease that shares certain pathways with major developmental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, increasing the potential impact. There is no cure for Rett syndrome and the animal model does not entirely recapitulate the human disease. Thus, having the possibility to screen drugs directly in human neurons is a major milestone.

Development of Human-Derived Cerebral Organoids with Network Oscillations

Historically, the understanding of the development and pathophysiology of the human brain has been studied by examination of post-mortem and diseased specimens in conjunction with non-human primates and mouse models. The understanding of complex biological mechanisms is driven by advancement of techniques and new model systems and recent advances in stem technologies have contributed to the advancement of our knowledge of human neural development. Moreover, the reprograming of human somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) which can be redirected to a specific cell fate has led to a breakthrough in neurobiology research. These findings have led to the generation of human brain organoids from IPSCs.

Methods for Enhancing Cell Populations for Articular Cartilage Repair

Cartilage lesion treatments require expanding cells from healthy donor cartilage which have limited availability and restricted potential to produce cartilage. This invention overcomes these challenges, presenting chemical and physical methods for enhancing cell populations capable of producing neocartilage. According to a 2015 global market report, tissue engineering technologies are expected to reach over 94B USD by 2022.

Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase-Conditioned Stem Cells for Cardiac Cell-Based Therapy

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have adapted novel soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEHI) inhibitors as adjuvant treatment in cardiac cell-based therapy to improve the survival and engraftment of stem cells by pre-conditioning with the sEHI in vitro.

Inhibition Of Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase - Sigma For Hematopoietic Regeneration

UCLA Researchers have identified a novel pharmacological target for hematopoietic stem cell regeneration. They have developed small molecule inhibitors against the target and shown that the inhibitors cause rapid stem cell regeneration.

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.

Microchambers With Solid-State Phosphorescent Sensor For Measuring Single Mitochondrial Respiration

The invention is a miniaturized device that assays the respiration of a single mitochondrion. Through a novel approach for measuring oxygen consumption rate, the device provides information on cell and tissue mitochondrial functional. This data is relevant for understanding human conditions associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, such as Alzheimer’s Disease and cancer.

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