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An Ultra-Sensitive Method for Detecting Molecules

To-date, plasmon detection methods have been utilized in the life sciences, electrochemistry, chemical vapor detection, and food safety. While passive surface plasmon resonators have lead to high-sensitivity detection in real time without further contaminating the environment with labels. Unfortunately, because these systems are passively excited, they are intrinsically limited by a loss of metal, which leads to decreased sensitivity. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a novel method to detect distinct molecules in air under normal conditions to achieve sub-parts per billion detection limits, the lowest limit reported. This device can be used detecting a wide array of molecules including explosives or bio molecular diagnostics utilizing the first instance of active plasmon sensor, free of metal losses and operating deep below the diffraction limit for visible light.  This novel detection method has been shown to have superior performance than monitoring the wavelength shift, which is widely used in passive surface plasmon sensors. 

Scanning for Spoilage of Food Contents in Metallic and Non-Metallic Containers

Researchers have developed a novel method to analyze the contents of closed metal containers to determine contamination in food products. 

Integrated Ultrasound And Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Endoscope For Image Guided Cancer Biopsy

Gastrointestinal cancers are very difficult to diagnosis due to poor biopsy and diagnosis techniques. The invention is a device that is minimally invasive and improves biopsy technique by enabling the physician to visualize a tissue in real time prior to its biopsy. This allows for improved biopsy collection and thereby increases the diagnosis accuracy.

In-Plane Ultrasound Needle Guide

A guidance system has been developed to improve ease and accuracy of ultrasound-guided needle placement, with many uses, such as use in peripheral nerve block. Even skilled practitioners still have difficulty maintaining needle tip localization and in-plane needle advancement. The medical device alleviates the challenges of maneuvering and visualizing the needle by fixing the needle in-plane without limiting maneuverability to distal and out-of-the-way targets. For these reasons, the ultrasound needle guide will be an extremely important tool for any needle-based procedure that requires or is augmented by ultrasound guidance; peripheral nerve block procedures in particular. The result is a significant reduction in the potential for complications, increasing patient safety, and reducing block time, while increasing block efficacy.

Shrink-Induced, Self-Driven Microfluidic Devices

The addition of novel surface modifications and use of shrink-wrap film to create devices will yield self-driven, shrink-induced microfluidic detection for samples such as bodily fluids. Novel fabrications and surfaces will have a profound impact on the creation of point of care diagnostics.

Superhydrophobic Induced High Numerical Plastic Lenses

The application of novel manufacturing techniques, chemical modifications and alternative materials produces the next generation of lenses. These lenses are inexpensive, contain improved numerical aperture and can be easily manufactured. Overall, these improvements create new applications for miniaturized optical and optical electronic devices.

Microfluidic Tumor Tissue Dissociation Device

The microfluidic device will be able to dissociate tumor tissue obtained by a needle biopsy from solid tumors into single cells without cell damage. The resulting cells can be used for subsequent molecular analysis to determine cancer diagnosis and help guide treatment. This research tool will improve and standardize tumor sample preparation thereby advancing cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Sampling Cartridge for Gas-Phase Ammonia and Amines

The purpose of the technology is the efficient measurement of gas-phase ammonia and amines that minimizes exposure of sample to instrument surfaces prior to measurement. Measuring ammonia and/or amines at atmospherically relevant concentrations for use in industrial and/or pharmaceutical processes. The technology is a sampling cartridge for measurement of gas-phase ammonia and amines. Properties include: a detection limit in low ppt, short sampling times (<60 min), ability to operate at atmospherically relevant conditions. The cartridges are long lasting and easily regenerated and have higher quality detection limits for evaluation of gases.

Produce Sanitation with Food-Grade Materials

A novel method for the surface disinfection of fresh produce using UV light and a wash solution.

Diagnostics Knee Arthrometer for Detecting Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Structural Changes

Researchers at University of California, Davis have developed a device that has a potential to detect ACL changes that may be predictive for subsequent catastrophic injury.

Improved Antimicrobial Atmospheric Pressure Plasmas

Disinfection of water, plants, skin and wounds is critical for public health, horticulture, and medicine.  Current disinfection methods are relatively expensive, large in size and complexity, and typically require toxic chemicals. Plasma-generated reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) in air or other gases at or near room temperature are known to have antimicrobial and other biological and materials processing activity through direct interactions or indirectly via liquid phase applications.  However, these methods currently have serious limitations to broader applications.To address this challenge, University of California investigators have developed improved antimicrobial atmospheric pressure plasmas.  These new antimicrobial atmospheric pressure plasmas significantly enhance the efficacy of currently available systems by combining these species with a separate source of photons. In particular, ultraviolet (UV) photons have been shown by the investigators to greatly increase the antimicrobial effectiveness of plasma-generated ROS/RNS.  These antimicrobial atmospheric pressure plasmas can be used for water, surface, skin and wound disinfection.  The improved antimicrobial atmospheric pressure plasmas create chemically active species in gases or standard atmospheric pressure plasmas with photons, such ultraviolet wavelengths.  These improved antimicrobial atmospheric pressure plasmas combines the open-gas atmospheric pressure plasma to generate radicals and other reactive species with separate photon sources, such as LEDs, to generate UV and visible wavelength photons to interact synergistically with the chemical radicals.  This combination results in novel power and control for important applications exploiting reactive chemical species. Additionally, these improved antimicrobial atmospheric pressure plasmas use relatively inexpensive and simple devices, relatively small amounts of electricity, air and water. The chemical species created are relatively innocuous. 

A Closed Loop Cochlear Implant System Which Monitors Auditory Evoked Potentials From The Peripheral And Central Auditory Pathway And Uses-

The process of fitting or mapping a cochlear implant (CI) involves an audiologist carefully selecting the correct speech processing strategy and setting the electrical stimulation parameters for each individual CI user. Currently most of the fitting steps are done in an open-loop CI system. The audiologist stimulates the CI electrode and this elicits a verbal response from the user and accordingly the audiologist adjusts the settings on the CI. There are a number of disadvantages associated with this fitting method. First it is time consuming for both the audiologist and the CI user. Fitting a CI can range from ten minutes to a couple of hours, and as the optimal settings for each individual user can change during the first few months of use, therefore the fitting process is often repeated. Second, in an open-loop system there is no effective way to determine each user’s optimal settings for speech recognition. Finally for users born with profound hearing loss, verbal feedback on the quality of the CI speech processing from these users is difficult and sometimes impossible in producing quality speech recognition. Therefore there exists a need for an improved method and system for fitting CIs on users. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a novel closed-loop CI that monitors neural activity at multiple stages along the auditory pathway in response to an auditory stimulus. This CI monitors the user’s neural activity to auditory stimuli and then adjusts the CI’s settings so that optimal speech recognition is attained for the CI user. This closed-loop CI addresses the many limitations of the current open-loop CI as described above and allows for more efficient and precise CI fittings.

Fiber-based Probe Enables High Resolution CARS Imaging of Biological Tissues in vivo

Coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy, a form of nonlinear optical microscopy, has gained enormous attention in the biomedical community for its potential to provide high resolution images at fast imaging acquisition rates. Typical applications of CARS include skin and superficial tissue imaging, often in an in vitro setting. Up to this point, a suitable device that enables the CARS imaging of tissues in vivo has not been available. However, researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a novel, fiber-based imaging probe that is optimized for CARS to enable the label-free,in vivo probing of tissues.

New Light Emission Detection Method Enables High Resolution Optical Imaging of Biological Tissue.

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a novel method for capturing cellular resolution images of biological tissue at depths of up to several millimeters. Conventional fluorescence detection methods utilize microscope objectives for emission light collection, a less effective approach that is only capable of imaging up to one millimeter deep.To improve upon this standard, the UC researchers minimized light losses by optimizing the system’s excitation and detection optics.

A Bioreactor To Quantify Headspace of Volatile Organic Gases From Cells In Culture

The current technology generally relates to systems and devices (e.g., bioreactors) used for collecting and accurately quantifying trace amounts of volatile organic gases (VOCs) obtained from the headspace above cell cultures.

Large-Volume Centrifugal Microfluidic Device for Blood Plasma Separation

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a CD microfluidic device that is capable of blood plasma separation of 2 mL of undiluted blood samples. A technician would pipette into the CD device the blood sample for separation. The device is then rotated at high frequencies in order to separate the plasma from the blood. As the frequency of rotation for the CD device is decreased, a siphon valve is primed due to the low frequency of rotation; and the plasma is separated into a collection chamber.

Non-Destructive Disease Detection in Plants via Induced Volatile Organic Compound Analysis

A method for early detection of plant diseases such as Huanglongbing (HLB, aka Citrus Greening Disease).

Laplace Pressure Trap for Microfluidic Droplet Formation from Asynchronous Sources and Different Inlets

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a Laplace pressure trap that can fuse droplets from different inlets and fuse droplets generated at different frequencies. The device traps and fuses droplets passively by balancing the driving hydrostatic pressure with increasing Laplace pressure imposed by the device’s design geometry. Above are video frames showing the Laplace pressure trap and of a single droplet fusion event at the Laplace trap. Frame A - Reference droplet can be seen waiting for its fusion partner. Excess partner droplets can be seen exiting towards the outlet. Frames B and C show the reference droplet and its fusion partner fuse and move toward the outlet. Frame D shows the next reference droplet approaching the trap.

Biomimetic Solid Separator

Brief description not available

Germicidal Salad Box

In recent years, multiple foodborne outbreaks of Salmonella and E. coli occurred from contaminated fresh produce, which represents a new trend. The combination of increased consumption by the more health-conscious population and the centralization of modern food production makes future outbreaks inevitable. Historically, foodborne infections were mostly caused by animal products contaminated with bacterial or viral pathogens. This type of foodborne infections can be prevented readily by cooking food to appropriate temperatures and by irradiating food products. In contrast, preventing foodborne diseases from fresh produce is more challenging since fresh produce is usually eaten raw and there is no cooking step (kill step) to eliminate microbial contamination. In addition to pathogens such as E. coli and Salmonella that can cause severe diseases and even death in human, fresh produce contains large numbers of bacteria, most of which are antibiotic-resistant. Therefore, by consuming raw fresh produce, eaters also consume all the micro-organisms on the produce, including antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Investigators at University of California at Berkeley are addressing this challenge by the development of the germicidal salad box.  The germicidal salad box addresses the contamination problem of fresh salad greens, sprouts and other fresh produce.  The germicidal salad box provides the end users of salad a means to sterilize salad shortly before consumption to eliminate bacterial pathogens as well as other harmful bacteria. The germicidal salad box is a mechanical apparatus designed to use ultraviolet lights to sterilize salad greens and other food items to eliminate contaminating microorganisms. Novel features include: (1) ultraviolet (UV) lights on multiple sides of the box to expose salad to UV sterilization; (2) a salad tumbler that rotates to maximize exposure of salad to UV lights; (3) flexible design that can be scaled up or down to accommodate various sizes.

Pathogen Resistance in Plants

Pathogen Resistance in Plants

Soil Compaction Sensor

Soil compaction sensor used to improve earth-cutting techniques and optimize agricultural crop yield

Precise Food Patty Thermometer

Device used to measure center temperature in a food patty

Wheat Vernalization Gene Sequences

Identification and sequence of promoter and gene regions in wheat responsible for the vernalization response in temperate cereals

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