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Low Cost and Simple Microfluidic Placer Method

Professor Brisk’s research group at the University of California, Riverside, has developed Directed Placement, a new method for the placement and routing of microelectronics and very large scale integration (mVLSI) devices. Most microfluidic devices have a naturally directed structure: fluid is injected into the device via designated input ports, flows through the devices for process, and exits the device via designated output ports. The use of lanes and a straightforward left-to-right placement scheme yields layouts that are easier for designers to understand and modify, even at large scales. This technology allows researchers to produce their own microfluidics devices through a simple and low cost directed placement method. Fig. 1 shows a microfluidic device layout designed and laid-out by the UCR software.  

Design For Nesting Height Adjustable Workbenches

Need to transport sturdy adjustable workbenches for use at sea or other temporary work spaces that need anchoring to walls or floors and you can't find a commercially available source?

Wireless and Programmable Recording and Stimulation of Deep Brain Activity in Freely Moving Humans Immersed in Virtual, Augmented or Real-World Environments

UCLA researchers in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences have a designed a lightweight, highly mobile deep brain activity measuring platform that elucidates neural mechanisms for neuropsychiatric disorders.

Multi-Omics CoAnalysis (MOCA) Software

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have developed a software program named Multi-Omics CoAnalysis (MOCA), which is an integrative, interactive, and informative (i3) workbench. Using MOCA, researchers will be able to statistically analyze and interactively visualize the experimental data and generate the corresponding correlative omics data. Data can be presented in various formats including box plots, line plots, heat maps, volcano plots, principal component analysis, coefficient distribution plot, and network plot with an adjacency matrix. The graphical user-interface (GUI) of MOCA delivers intuitive and interactive data visualizations, and enables access to many types of metadata and experimental data in a user-friendly manner.  Fig 1: MOCA-generated image of a metabolic network in MEP pathway Fig 2: MOCA-generated pattern plot by using machine learning

Mutation Organization Software for Adaptive Laboratory Evolution (ALE) Experimentation

Adaptive Laboratory Evolution (ALE) is a tool for the study of microbial adaptation. The typical execution of an ALE experiment involves cultivating a population of microorganisms in defined conditions (i.e., in a laboratory) for a period of time that enables the selection of improved phenotypes. Standard model organisms, such as Escherichia coli, have proven well suited for ALE studies due to their ease of cultivation and storage, fast reproduction, well known genomes, and clear traceability of mutational events. With the advent of accessible whole genome resequencing, associations can be made between selected phenotypes and genotypic mutations.   A review of ALE methods lists 34 separate ALE studies to date. Each study reports on novel combinations of selection conditions and the resulting microbial adaptive strategies. Large scale analysis of ALE results from such consolidation efforts could be a powerful tool for identifying and understanding novel adaptive mutations. 

Compositions And Methods For Allelic Gene Drive Systems And Lethal Mosaicism

Efficient super-Mendelian inheritance of transgenic insertional elements has been demonstrated in flies, mosquitoes, yeast, and mice. While numerous potentially impactful applications of such so-called gene-drive systems have been proposed they are currently limited to copying relatively large DNA cargo sequences (~1-10 Kb). Many desired genetic traits (e.g., drought tolerance in plants, crop yield, pest-resistance, or insecticide sensitivity), however, result from allelic variants altering only one or a few base pairs. An efficient system for super-Mendelian inheritance of such subtle genetic variants would accelerate a wide array of efforts to disseminate favorable traits throughout populations, or to assemble complex genotypes consisting of point-mutant alleles in combination with insertional transgenes for a multitude of research and applied purposes.

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.

Decorating Chromatin for Precise Genome Editing Using CRISPR

A novel fusion construct that fuses Cas9 to a truncated version of human PRDM9 with the purpose of improving precise genome editing via homologous direceted repair (HDR). PRDM9 is a protein that deposits histone marks H3K4me3 and H3K36me3 simultaneously during meiosis to mark recombination hot spots where crossover occurs and is resolved by homologous recombination. H3K36me3 has also been demonstrated to be required upstream of homologous recombination repair after double stranded breaks (DSBs) and during V(D)J recombination for adaptive immunity. Recent evidence suggests PRDM9 acts as a pioneer factor opening closed chromatin. The newly engineered PRDM9C-Cas9 fusion construct shows increased HDR and decreased non-homologous end joining mediated insertions and deletions (indels).

BioScript: A Programming Language for Microfluidic Devices

Prof. Philip Brisk and his colleagues from the University of California, Riverside have developed a new programming language and tool to design microfluidic (MF) devices. The new presented language, BioScript, offers a user-friendly syntax that reads user input like a cookbook recipe to optimize human readability. The advantage of the BioScript type system is that it ensures that each fluid is never consumed more than once, and that unsafe combinations of chemicals are never mixed on the chip. This result establishes the feasibility of high-level programming language and compiler design for programmable chemistry, and opens up future avenues for research in microfluidic systems. Fig 2: A Laboratory-on-a-Chip (LoC) system  

IgEvolution: A Novel Tool for Clonal Analysis of Antibody Repertoires

Constructing antibody repertoires is an important error-correcting step in analyzing immunosequencing datasets that is important for reconstructing evolutionary (clonal) development of antibodies. However, the state-of-the-art repertoire construction tools typically miss low-abundance antibodies that often represent internal nodes in clonal trees and are crucially important for clonal tree reconstruction. Thus, although repertoire construction is a prerequisite for follow up clonal tree reconstruction, the existing repertoire reconstruction algorithms are not well suited for this task because they typically miss low-abundance antibodies that often represent internal nodes in clonal trees and are crucially important for clonal tree reconstruction.

High External-Efficiency Nanofocusing for Lens-Free Near-Field Optical Microscopy

Profs. Ruoxue Yan, Ming Liu, and their colleagues from the University of California, Riverside have developed a two-step sequential broadband nanofocusing technique with an external nanofocusing efficiency of ~50% over nearly all the visible range on a fibre-coupled nanowire scanning probe. By integrating this with a basic portable scanning tunneling microscope, the technology captured images with spatial resolution as low as one nanometer at high resolution. The high performance and vast versatility offered by this fibre-based nanofocusing technique allows for the easy incorporation of nano-optical microscopy into various existing measurement platforms.  Fig. 1: High-resolution NSOM mapping. a, scanning tunnelling microscope topographic image of single wall carbon nanotubes on a gold film. Top inset: cross-sectional profile along the dashed line. Bottom inset: the possible configurations of the bundle.  

Single Conjugative Vector for Genome Editing by RNA-guided Transposition

The inventors have constructed conjugative plasmids for intra- and inter-species delivery and expression of RNA-guided CRISPR-Cas transposases for organism- and site-specific genome editing by targeted transposon insertion. This invention enables integration of large, customizable DNA segments (encoded within a transposon) into prokaryotic genomes at specific locations and with low rates of off-target integration.

Method For Production Of Fatty Acids In Blue-Green Algae

Currently, renewable fatty acids are obtained solely from plant oils. Medium chain fatty acids (C8-C14) are typically sourced from coconut and palm oil, whereas longer chain saturated and unsaturated fatty acids are typically sourced from tallow, soy, corn or sunflower oil. Fatty acids are widely used for food, personal care products, industrial applications (e.g., lubricants, adhesives, detergents and plastics), as well as increasingly as biofuels. The demand for renewable fatty acids is rising and expanding. Given the current understanding of biological pathways it becomes possible to utilize other organisms, especially microorganisms, for the production of renewable chemicals such as fatty acids.

A Microplatform For Performing High Throughput, Multiplexed Assays On Adherent Cells

Systems and methods are providing for performing high-throughput, programmable, multiplexed assays of biological, chemical or biochemical systems. Preferably, a micro-pallet includes a small flat surface designed for single adherent cells to plate, a cell plating region designed to protect the cells, and shaping designed to enable or improve flow-through operation. The micro-pallet is preferably patterned in a readily identifiable manner and sized to accommodate a single cell to which it is comparable in size. Each cell thus has its own mobile surface. The cell can be transported from place to place and be directed into a system similar to a flow cytometer. Since, since the surface itself may be tagged (e.g., a bar code), multiple cells of different origin and history may be placed into the same experiment allowing multiplexed experiments to be performed.

Software for Automated Microfluidic Chip Design

Professor Brisk’s research group at the University of California, Riverside, has developed software to design and analyze an entire microfluidic chip. This is done using Microfluidic Design Automation (MDA) software to synthesize and physically lay out the devices.This software uses Microfluidic  Design  Automation (MDA) to  physically  render chips.  This  approach  is  similar  to  Electronic  Design Automation (EDA) in the semiconductor industry. The  software  automatically creates a chip architecture that is converted to MHDL, a  human-readable microfluidic hardware design language, enabling manual refinement. When  the  chip  designer  is  satisfied  with  the  architecture,  the software  physically  lays  out  the  different  layers  of  the  chip. The  output  is  an  AutoCAD  DXF  (or  other  vector  graphics) file that can be transferred to a foundry for fabrication. Fig. 1 shows a microfluidic device layout designed and laid-out by the UCR software.  

Effective Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) Taking in Account Real-Time Frequency and Phase Of Intrinsic Brain Activity

Current research and practice in the field of therapeutic rTMS is not taking into account 1) inter-individual variability 2) variability between brain areas 3) variability or differences between oscillations in distinct and overlapping frequency bands, 4) existence of high- and low-excitability phase periods in each oscillatory cycle. Clinical treatments with rTMS and experimental research findings show mixed effects, with rTMS protocols inducing variable degrees of brain plasticity over subjects and sessions.

Stamping-based Method for Microwell Production and Cell Aggregate Formation

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a 3-D printed stamping system (the “Aggrestamp”) with the capability for in-situ production of microwells that facilitate cell aggregate formation.

Automated Drosophila Maintenance System

Drosophila spp., also known as fruit flies, are widely used in genetic research. Drosophila lines (e.g. flies with a particular mutation) can only be stored as live animals – they cannot be frozen and remain viable. So to maintain the stocks, the live flies are manually transferred from an old vial to a new vial on a regular basis (every 1-2 weeks). Some Drosophila labs maintain hundreds or even thousands of individual lines and so maintenance of these lines can be very time consuming. A UC Santa Cruz Drosophila researcher has developed a simpler and more efficient method of transferring the flies that requires significantly less hands-on work.

Crosslinkable Polymer Coating Prevents Bacterial Infection on Implant Surface

UCLA researchers in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery have developed a polymer implant coating that mitigates bacterial infections on the implant surface.

Identification of a New Molecular Target and Methods for Treating Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive disease with limited treatment options and a high mortality rate. Pancreatic cancer is the 3rd leading cause of cancer death in the United States; despite some recent advances in systemic therapy, survival remains dismal in large part due to its profound drug resistance and its propensity for early metastasis. Typically, diagnosis of pancreatic cancer occurs only with advanced stages of the disease since there are currently no early markers for detection. Individuals with pancreatic cancer have a poor prognosis due to the late diagnosis, the extent of metastasis, and ineffective treatments. Survival rates are dismal, with a one-year survival rate of 25% and a 5-year survival rate of 6%. Currently, approximately 20% of pancreatic cancer patients are able to undergo the Whipple procedure; this surgical procedure involves removal of the affected portion of the pancreas, leading to an increased survival rate. However, the remaining 80% of pancreatic cancer patients cannot undergo this treatment because their tumors or the extent of metastasis are too severe. In addition, pancreatic cancer is not typically responsive to radiation and chemotherapy. An alternative approach for the treatment of pancreatic cancer is a complete pancreatectomy followed by continual supplementation with digestive enzymes and insulin. Thus, more effective drugs are needed to increase the survival rate of pancreatic cancer patients. Targeting RORγ may lead to the design of a new class of therapeutics that can be used to treat this devastating disease.

The CryoEM Method MicroED as a Powerful Tool for Small Molecule Structure Determination

UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have developed a novel use of the cryogenic electron microscopy (CryoEM) method electron micro-diffraction (MicroED) to provide routine and unambiguous structural determination of small organic molecules.

Head-Mounted Display EEG Device

Diagnosis and detection of progression of neurological disorders remain challenging tasks. For example, a validated portable objective method for assessment of degenerative diseases would have numerous advantages compared to currently existing methods to assess functional loss in the disease. An objective EEG-based test would remove the subjectivity and decision-making involved when performing perimetry, potentially improving reliability of the test. A portable and objective test could be done quickly at home under unconstrained situations, decreasing the required number of office visits and the economic burden of the disease. In addition, a much larger number of tests could be obtained over time. This would greatly enhance the ability of separating true deterioration from measurement variability, potentially allowing more accurate and earlier detection of progression. In addition, more precise estimates of rates of progression could be obtained.

Device and Method for Microscale Chemical Reactions

UCLA researchers in the Departments of Bioengineering and Molecular and Medical Pharmacology have developed a passive microfluidic reactor chip with a simplified design that is less costly than existing microfluidic chips.

Device and Method for Accurate Sample Injection in Analytical Chemistry

Researchers in the UCLA Departments of Bioengineering and Medical and Molecular Pharmacology and the UCSF Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences have developed a novel microvalve injector for capillary electrophoresis (CE) that improves injection repeatability and consistency.

System For Fast Multi-Photon Imaging Using Spectrally Diffracted Excitation

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering have developed a new system for fast multi-photon imaging using spectrally diffracted excitation.

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