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Preserving Protein Function Via Statistically Random Heteropolymers

Protein-based materials have the potential to change the current paradigm of materials science. However, it still remains a challenge to preserve protein hierarchical structure and function while making them readily processable. Protein structure is inherently fluid, and it is this property that contributes to their fragility outside of their native environment. Through the use of rationally designed statistically random heteropolymers, it is possible to stabilize proteins at each hierarchical level and process them in organic solvents, a common need for materials fabrication. The chemical and architectural complexities of statistically random heteropolymers provide a modular platform for tunable protein-polymer-solvent interactions. This provides opportunities not offered by small molecule surfactants or amphiphilic block copolymers. Through evaluation of horseradish peroxidase and green fluorescent protein structure, we show that statistically random heteropolymers can stabilize enzymes. Allowing for activity retention when stored in organic solvent, over 80% activity was observed after 24 hours. Furthermore, horseradish peroxidase and chymotrypsin proteins, when encapsulated in statistically random heteropolymers, are still accessible to their substrates while remaining inaccessible to the denaturing organic solvent. Statistically random heteropolymers have potential in creating stimuli-reponsive materials and nanoreactors composed of proteins and synthetic materials.

Smart Dialysis Catheter

UCLA researchers in the Department of Cardiology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine have developed a smart dialysis catheter that can measure different patient vitals in real-time to prevent hospitalizations due to renal failure.

Low-Cost Paper-Based Microfluidic Diagnostic Device

Prof. Mulchandani and his colleagues from the University of California, Riverside have developed a new paper-based microfluidic platform for the simple and low-cost fabrication of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT)-based chemiresistive nanobiosensor arrays for multianalyte sensing from a single small volume sample that may be used as point-of-care diagnostic for a variety of purposes, including healthcare, food safety, environment, etc. This device is created by utilizing a wax printer to construct well-defined hydrophobic barriers for equal splitting and delivery of fluid and an inkjet printer to fabricate chemiresistors using a water-based SWNT ink on a paper substrate. Currently, the quantitative and selective detection of both human serum albumin (HSA) and human immunoglobulin G (hIgG) simultaneously in urine has been demonstrated by UCR. This paper-based chemiresistive biosensor is easy to fabricate, and designed for cost-effective, rapid, sensitive and selective detection of  analyte(s) of interest. This technology provides a platform for automated, disposable paper-based point-of-care diagnostics with multiplexed detection capability and microfluidic controls. Fig 1: A 3D microfluidic multiplexed paper-based biosensor array device.

Mechanisms and Devices Enabling Arbitrarily Shaped, Deep-Subwavelength, Acoustic Patterning

UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have developed a Compliant Membrane Acoustic Patterning (CAMP) technology capable of patterning cells in an arbitrary pattern at a high resolution over a large area.

Liquid Metal Enabled Multi-Functional Neural Probes with Ultra-Large Tunable Stiffness

UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have developed a novel multi-functional neural probe with ultra-large tunable stiffness for electrochemical sensing and chemical delivery in the brain.

Development Of Biosensors For Drought Stress In Plants

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a prototype biosensor that can monitor detectable levels of hormones present in plants experiencing drought or other environmental stress.

Colorimetric Detoxifying Sensors for Fumigants and Aerosol Toxicants

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a colorimetric sensor than can detect and detoxify fumigants simultaneously. 

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.

Ultra-Low Cost, Transferrable and Thermally Stable Sensor Array Patterned on Conductive Substrate for Biofluid Analysis

UCLA researchers from the Department of Electrical Engineering have invented a novel biosensor array that is ultra-low cost and thermally stable. It prolongs the lifetime of electrode modules of sensor products and allows for extended sensing operation in uncontrolled environments.

In-Situ Sweat Rate Monitoring For Normalization Of Sweat Analyte Concentrations

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering have developed a method of in-situ sweat rate monitoring, which can be integrated into wearable consumer electronics for physiological analyses.

Multiplexed Sweat Extraction And Sensing Wearable Interface For Normalized And Periodic Analysis

UCLA researchers from the Department of Electrical Engineering have developed a novel sweat induction and sensing platform to achieve personalized physiological monitoring non-invasively.

Chip-Based Detection Of Diabetes Related Biomarkers

A major goal in disease screening, diagnosis, and control has been to develop bioassay platforms capable of simultaneous measurements of different analytes in a single assay. Significant advances toward multiplexed biomarker detection chips based on either immunoassays or enzymatic bioassays have thus been reported. However, the combination of enzymatic and immunoassay sensing into a single disposable system has hitherto not been addressed.

Flexible, Biocompatible Microfluidics-inspired Micro-reference Electrodes for Sensing Applications

Researchers at UCI have created miniaturized, flexible, biocompatible reference electrode with a streamline design capable of being used in a variety of different laboratory and clinical environments.

A Wide Dynamic Range Current Measurement Front-End

Accurate current measurement is crucial in many biosensing applications, such as the detection of neurotransmitters and the monitoring of intercellular molecular dynamics. This need has become even more critical recently with single molecule biosensors where sub-pA signal currents are superimposed on a slowly varying nA to µA background current, as is the case with nanopores. As such, the readout circuitry requires wide dynamic range (>120dB) and high linearity (>14b) albeit often with low bandwidth (a few Hz to kHz).

An Injectable Biomote Biosensor

Brief description not available

Array Atomic Force Microscopy Enabling Simultaneous Multi-point and Multi-modal Nanoscale Analyses

Nanoscale multipoint structure-function analysis is essential for deciphering the complexity of multiscale physical and biological systems. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) allows nanoscale structure-function imaging in various operating environments and can be integrated seamlessly with disparate probe-based sensing and manipulation technologies. However, conventional AFMs only permit sequential single-point analysis. Widespread adoption of array AFMs for simultaneous multi-point study is still challenging due to the intrinsic limitations of existing technological approaches.

Low-noise Low-power ADC for Direct Biopotential Recording in Neuroscience Applications

High-density multi-channel neural recording is critical to driving advances in neuroscience and neuroengineering through increasing the spatial resolution and dynamic range of brain-machine interfaces.  Neural signal acquisition ICs have conventionally been designed composed of two distinct functional blocks per recording channel: a low-noise amplifier front-end (AFE), and an analog-digital converter (ADC).  Hybrid architectures utilizing oversampling ADCs with digital feedback have seen recent adoption due to their increased power and area efficiency. However, input dynamic range (DR) is still relatively limited due to aggressive supply voltage scaling and/or capacitive sampling noise.

Cloud- enabled Wireless pH Monitoring in Laboratory Sample Vials

A team of inventors at UCI have developed a miniaturized, wireless pH sensing system capable of monitoring the pH of laboratory samples in real-time with cloud-enabled connections for data collection. The sensor is designed to fit into the caps of standard sample vials, providing continuous measurements and eliminating the need to open vials during sensing.

Tracking Diet And Nutrition with a Wearable Bio-Iot

Faculty at UC Irvine have invented a wearable biosensor that quantifies macronutrients such as sugar, salt, fat, protein, and water consumed by the wearer.  It may be used much like a fitness tracker for self-monitoring and promotion of healthy dietary choices.

Microfluidics Device and Methods of Detecting Airborne Agents

A microfluidic platform for real time sensing of volatile airborne agents.

Flexible Wearable Sensors for Non-invasive Continuous Blood Pressure Monitoring

Researchers at UCI have developed a wearable, wristband sensor that can detect the pressure of the body’s pulse from the surface of the skin at the wrist. They can correlate this measurement to blood pressure and subsequently use this device for long-term continuous monitoring.

Illumination Device for Dynamic Spatiotemporal Control of Photostimulation

A programmable LED device that illuminates multiple spatial locations (termed wells) with user-defined light patterns whose intensity can be modulated as a function of space and time. The devices are used for optogenetic stimulation of tissue culture plates (24-well and 96-well) kept in a heated and humidified tissue culture incubator, as well as photopatterning of hydrogels. In brief, light from LEDs passes through optical elements that ensure uniform illumination of each well. Parameters of the optical system, such as LED configuration, optical diffuser elements, materials, and geometry, were modeled and optimized using the optical ray tracing software Zemax OpticStudio. An electronics subsystem allows programmed control of illumination intensity and temporal sequences, with independent control of each well. Spatial precision is conveyed through a photomask attached to the culture plate. The hardware design also includes a cooling system and vibration isolation to reduce heating and damage to the sample. Lastly, a graphical user interface (GUI) was used to wirelessly program the illumination intensity and temporal sequences for each well. The devices can thus illuminate 24 independent channels with visible, NIR, or UV light with intensity ranges of 0 to 20-100 microwatts per millimeter-squared with 16-bit intensity resolution, and a temporal resolution of 1 millisecond and spatial resolution of 100 microns. In summary, the device allows uniform illumination of multiple wells for multiplexed photoactivation or photopolymerization of various substrates (light-responsive bacterial or mammalian cells grown in tissue culture, hydrogels, dyes, etc) with user-defined patterns. The device can be combined with a robotic handler, microscope, spectrometer, etc, to enable high-throughput illumination and simultaneous recording of the sample.

Label-Free, Electrochemical Sensor for Detection of Antibiotics in Protein-based Substances

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a highly sensitive immunosensor for the detection of chloramphenicol (CAP) residues in milk and other protein-based substances.

An Electrochemical CMOS Biosensor Array For Point-Of-Care Applications

Point-of-care (POC) testing is essential to halt the spread of deadly infectious diseases (e.g., Ebola, Zika, etc.) and is needed for rapid and accurate screening both in and outside of clinical settings. Label-free bioassays are desirable for POC testing as they have fewer reagents and assay steps resulting in lower cost and ease of use.   Biosensors based on electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), an ultra-sensitive, label-free sensing technique, are a promising technology for precise and rapid disease diagnosis at the point-of-care. However, EIS usually requires mixers and lock-in detection to measure both the magnitude and phase of the complex impedance.

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