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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.

Light-Tunable Biopolymer Hydrogels

Brief description not available

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.

System And Method For Producing Polyhydroxyalkanoates From Organic Waste

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed an efficient method for producing polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) from organic waste using a halophilic microorganism.

Conversion Of Co2 To Higher Alcohols Using Photosynthetic Microorganisms

UCLA researchers have discovered a way to convert carbon dioxide into potential biofuels through the metabolic engineering of cyanobacteria.  This method enables more efficient production of biofuels using an industrial waste product as a starting material.

Cephalopod-Inspired Adaptive Infrared Camouflage Materials and Systems

This technology is a new class of materials capable of thermal regulation and active camouflage. These cephalopod-inspired materials, configurable to different geometries, can be used in many sectors, ranging from consumer to industrial to military applications.

Anti-Fouling And Self-Cleaning Electrically Conducting Low-Pressure Membranes For Water Treatment

Researchers in the UCLA Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have developed anti-fouling and self-cleaning membranes for use in municipal and industrial wastewater treatment, with particular applications for anaerobic membrane bioreactors.

Method For Indefinite Storage And Preservation Of Membrane Precursors

UCLA researchers in the Department of Bioengineering have developed a novel strategy for the creation of biomimetic lipid bilayer membrane using a high freezing point lipid-containing solvent.  Using this method, the membrane precursor is frozen/immobilized prior to the completion of the spontaneous process of bilayer self-assembly, and the process can be resumed later by simply thawing and allowing membrane formation to resume.

Engineering Polyketide Synthase Machinery in Cyanobacteria

Complex polyketides include a family of natural products that possess a wide variety of pharmacological or biological activities. Numerous polyketides and their semisynthetic derivatives have been approved for clinical use in humans or animals, including antibiotics, antifungal agents, immunosuppressants, antiparasitic agents and insecticides. All these natural products share a common mechanism of biosynthesis and are produced by a class of enzymes called polyketide synthases (PKSs). Besides their essential role in the biosynthesis of a vast diversity of natural products, the versatility of PKSs can be further emphasized as they can be redesigned and repurposed to produce novel molecules that could be used as fuels, industrial chemicals, and monomers. Most polyketide producers are slow-growing, recalcitrant to genetic manipulation, or even non-culturable.

Production of C7 Alcohol (2-Isopropyl-1-Butanol) in Escherichia Coli by Combining Protein Evolution and Metabolic Engineering

UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering have developed metabolically-modified microorganisms for producing the biofuel 2-isopropyl-1-butanol.

Synthetic Algal Promoters as a Tool for Increasing Nuclear Gene Expression in Green Algae

Algae have enormous potential as bio-factories for the efficient production of a wide array of high-value products, and eventually as a source of renewable biofuels. However, tools for engineering the nuclear genomes of algae remain scarce and limited in functionality, in part due to lack of strong promoters.

A Highly Error-Prone Orthogonal Replication System For Targeted Continuous Evolution In Vivo

Inventors at UC Irvine have engineered an orthogonal DNA replication system capable of rapid, accelerated continuous evolution. This system enables the directed evolution of specific biomolecules towards user-defined functions and is applicable to problems of protein, enzyme, and metabolic pathway engineering.

Non-Oxidative Glycolysis For Production Of Acetyl-CoA Derived Compounds

The Liao group at UCLA has constructed a Non-Oxidative Glycolysis pathway for the synthesis of biofuel precursors with a 100% carbon conversion rate.

Hydrocarbon Production, H2 Evolution And CO2 Conversion By Whole Cells Or Engineered Azotobacter Vinelandii Strains

Using metal catalysts in industrial synthesis of hydrocarbons for fuels can be costly, inefficient, and harmful to the environment. This simple approach uses genetically-modified soil bacterium to synthesize valuable hydrocarbons using recycled components. This novel process is environmentally-friendly and is more cost- and energy-efficient than current industrial synthesis.

Biomass-Derived Polymers And Copolymers Incorporating Monolignols And Their Derivatives

UCLA researchers in the Departments of Bioengineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry have developed a novel synthetic strategy for the fabrication of biomass-derived polymers incorporating underutilized lignin derivatives.

Rapid, Portable And Cost-Effective Yeast Cell Viability And Concentration Analysis Using Lensfree On-Chip Microscopy And Machine Learning

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering have developed a new portable device to rapidly measure yeast cell viability and concentration using a lab-on-chip design.

Organic Waste Material Treatment

A researcher at the University of California, Davis has developed a method for treating organic waste materials.

Renewable Energy Synthesis System

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a novel system for acetoin and 2,3-butanediol synthesis from carbon dioxide.

Method and System for Ultra High Dynamic Range Nucleic Acid Quantification

Researchers at UC Irvine developed a device and method that combines the high dynamic range and high accuracy of digital PCR (dPCR) with the real-time analysis of quantitative PCR (qPCR) to achieve a ultra-high dynamic range PCR over 10 to 12 orders of magnitude. The present method is accomplished by a highly integrated design that optimally packs, thermocycles, and images as many as 1 million reaction vessels.

Self-Adaptive Control And Optimization Of Ultrafiltration

UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular engineering have developed a novel UF-RO system.

Clarifying Water And Wastewater With Fungal Treatment/Bioflocculation

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a low cost method of cleaning water and wastewater by removing microalgae and bacteria with fungal bioflocculation.

Mammalian Cell Culture Optimization

Biotherapeutic proteins manufactured in cell culture systems have transformed modern medicine. Selling many tens of billions per year, new biotherapeutics such as monoclonal antibodies have delivered dramatic clinical results, while posing significant manufacturing problems.: During the cell culture manufacturing process, toxic bioproducts such as lactate and ammonia have posed considerable challenges in bioprocessing, since they limit cell growth and impact critical quality attributes of recombinant protein production (e.g., therapeutic drugs, enzymes). That is because the lactate alters the regulation of biosynthetic enzymes, and can lead to changes in pH in the culture. To mitigate the negative effects of lactic acid accumulation and control the culture pH, chemical ‘base’ is added to the media during the course of a bioprocess. However, the base addition negatively impacts the bioprocess by inhibiting growth and shortening the length of time in which the cells can produce the recombinant protein. This leads to reduced yield, and increased cost-of-goods. Thus, it is of great interest to eliminate lactate production, and UC San Diego researchers have recently developed a new process for achieving this.  

Production of Glycolipid PEFAs from Yeasts

Method of using basidiomycetous yeasts to convert carbohydrates to glycolipid biosurfactants

Controllable Emulsification and Point-Of-Care Assays Driven by Magnetic Induced Movement of the Fluid

UCLA researchers in the Department of Bioengineering have developed a microfluidic droplet generation technique that only uses magnetic forces to emulsify ferrofluid containing solutions.

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