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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.

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.

Inexpensive Wobbe Index Sensor to Measure Gaseous Fuel Quality

UCR researchers have developed an inexpensive sensor to measure the energy content and fuel quality of gaseous combustible fuel. This sensor estimates the Wobbe Index in real time time and costs about $10. The sensor is confirmed to operate between -20°and 70°Celsius under pressures of -3600 Psi, with an accuracy of ±1%.  Fig. 1 shows the predicted Wobbe Index vs Actual Wobble Index, showing the accuracy of the sensor

Rapid Electrochemical Analytical Instrument

UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have developed a user-friendly analytical instrument that measures electrochemical impedance at rates many times faster than currently available devices and with comparable accuracy.

Reacting Molecules and Colloids Electrophoretically

Researchers in UCLA's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have harnessed gel electrophoresis in order to direct and program controlled collisional reactions between pulse-like bands of molecules and/or colloidal reagent species.

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.

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.

Low-Intrusion Plasma Probe

UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have developed an inexpensive and easily implemented plasma diagnostic tool, the Low-Intrusion Probe.

A Method for Characterization of Device and Material and Communication at Thz Frequencies

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering have developed a novel method for real-time detection and characterization of pulsed THz waveforms that features differential detection of high sensitivity, and phase diversity to overcome the dispersion penalty for wideband operation.

Method and Apparatus for Movement Therapy Gaming System

Rehabilitation therapy, while an important tool for the long term recovery of patients affected by brain injury or disease, is expensive and requires one-on-one attention from a certified healthcare professional. UCI researchers have developed a computer-based system that provides arm movement therapy for patients. The system allows patients to independently practice hand and arm movements, improving therapeutic outcomes, while reducing hospital visits and cost for both patients and healthcare providers.

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.

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.

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.

Near-Zero Power Fully Integrated CMOS Temperature Sensor

With the planned proliferation of the Internet-of-Things, billions of power limited wireless sensing devices are expected to be sold worldwide.  Within that group is a large subset of applications in which temperature sensing will be important.  Needed for this application space are ultra-small and ultra-low-power temperature sensors. 

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.

Energy Radiator Using Strain-Mediated Spin Torque Nano-Oscillator (S-STNO)

UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have developed an energy radiator based on a spin torque nano-oscillator that does not require the application of an external field.

Multiplex Charge Detection Mass Spectrometry

Native mass spectrometry (MS), in which electrospray ionization (ESI) is used to transfer large macromolecules and macromolecular complexes directly from solution into the gas phase, is a powerful tool in structural biology.  However, charge-state distributions of individual components in mixtures of macromolecular complexes or synthetic polymers are often unresolved making it impossible to obtain mass information directly from an ESI mass spectrum. Other conventional methods can provide accurate masses of individual ions, but often at the expense of analysis time.     Weighing ions individually with charge detection mass spectrometry (CDMS) has the advantage that fast measurements are possible depending on the accuracy and sensitivity required. However, a limitation of trapping CDMS technology is the need to weigh single ions individually in order to eliminate potential interferences between the signals of multiple ions or ion-ion interactions that can potentially interfere with these measurements. UC researchers have created multiplex charge detection mass spectroscopy, particularly for high throughput single ion analysis of large molecules and measuring the masses of large molecules, macromolecular complexes and synthetic polymers that are too large or heterogeneous for conventional mass spectrometry measurements.  The new multiplexing method makes it possible to measure the masses of many ions simultaneously.  

Source Tracking Though Spectral Matching To Mass Spec Databases

Modern metabolomics, proteomics and natural product datasets have now reached into the millions of tandem mass (MS/MS) spectra. The rapidly growing size of these datasets precludes laborious manual data interpretation of all of the data. While MS/MS spectral library search approaches match spectra in an automated fashion, the limited size of available spectral libraries limits identification rates of datasets to single digit percentages. In addition, the sharing of experimental MS/MS data between researchers is not that common. What is needed is a way to organize both identified and unidentified spectra into structurally related molecular families that is searchable.

Selective Deposition Of Diamond In Thermal Vias

UCLA researchers in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering have developed a new method of diamond deposition in integrated circuit vias for thermal dissipation.

Flavonol Profile as a Sun Exposure Assessor for Grapes

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a solar radiation assessment method for grapes that uses a flavonol profile. This method can be done using either HPLC or through the computer processing of the absorption spectra of a purified flavonol extract via a purification kit.

Cavity Atom Interferometer For Noise-Suppressed Inertial Sensing

The sensitivity of mobile atom interferometers for gravimetry, gradiometry and inertial sensing has been limited by a noise floor due to ground vibrations, as well as available free-fall space.    UC Berkeley researchers have developed an interferometer geometry that addresses both problems within an optical cavity. The utility of such a device lies primarily in its application as a mobile sensor, particularly for situations in the absence of a GPS signal (such as in deep-sea submarines, or in the event of a GPS system failure).  Similarly, sensing using gravitational signals has wide applicability. The configuration of this device accumulates an acceleration phase sensitive to low-frequency accelerations (i.e., gravity) while demonstrating an immunity to accelerations at higher frequencies than the held times (i.e., vibrations).

Broadband Comb-Based Spectrum Sensing

Researchers at the UCLA Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering have developed a millimeter-wave spectrum analyzer that uses a non-linear fast switch to generate a broadband frequency comb local oscillator (LO) with a tunable repetition rate.

Scanning Terahertz Nanoscopy Probe

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering have developed a Scanning Terahertz Nanoscopy (STN) system with significantly improved detection sensitivity and spatial resolution.

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