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Synthesis of Lipobactins and Teixobactin Analogues – New Antimicrobial Compositions against Gram-Positive Bacteria

With the discovery of penicillin in the 1940’s, many scientists proclaimed the defeat of infectious diseases which had plagued mankind. However, the remarkable healing power of antibiotics unfortunately invited widespread and indiscriminate use of antibiotics. This misuse and overuse of antibiotics has led to the dramatic rise in antibiotic resistant bacterial strains and increased healthcare costs.

Novel cyanobacteriochromes responsive to light in the far-red to near-infrared region

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have identified new cyanobacteriochromes (CBCRs) that detect and fluoresce in the far-red and near-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum.

System and Methods to Track Single Molecules

Tracking single molecules inside cells reveals the dynamics of biological processes, including receptor trafficking, signaling and cargo transport. However, individual molecules often cannot be resolved inside cells due to their high density in the cellular environment, plus it is difficult to see spatial and temporal features, such as signal transduction events at the cell surface or on intracellular compartments, with single molecule resolution. To address these problems, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed the PhotoGate device and methods in order to control the number of fluorescent particles in a region of interest. By deploying PhotoGate and applying patterned photobleaching, they have demonstrated the tracking of single particles at surface densities two orders of magnitude higher than the single-molecule detection limit. Additional experimentation enabled the observation of ligand-induced dimerization of epidermal growth factor receptors on a live cell membrane, and also measurements of the binding and the dissociation rate of single adaptor protein from early endosomes in the crowded environment of the cytoplasm. The innovative approach enables tracking of single particles at high spatial and temporal resolution, and for mapping of molecular trajectories, as well as determining complex stoichiometry and dynamics, and drives the art towards video-rate imaging of live cells with molecular (1–5 nm) resolution.

An Integrated Microfluidic Platform For Size-Selective Single-Cell Trapping

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a fully integrated microfluidic platform that is configured to separate and isolate single cells. The invention uses hydrodynamic filtration to isolate targeted cells of various sizes. Once the single cells are isolated and sorted, they can be studied individually in a purer state free from other contaminating or unwanted cells. The system does not use biochemical “labels” to identify target cells. It is a label-free separation technique.

An Optical System for Parallel Acquisition of Raman Spectra from a 2-Dimensional Laser Beam Array

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a method for acquiring Raman spectra from a plurality of laser interrogation spots in a two-dimensional array. This method can be used for parallel analysis of individual cells or for fast chemical imaging of specimens.

Hemostatic Compositions And Methods Of Use

Wet layered clays used as hemostatic agent to promote blood clotting.

Oxides for Wound Healing and Body Repair

A homogeneous composition of oxide materials prepared to modulate hemostasis and facilitate the blood coagulation, accelerating bone generation and assisting in wound healing and tissue repair.

Mesocellular Oxide Foams as Hemostatic Compositions and Methods of Use

Mesocellular foams used as hemostatic agents to facilitate clotting, wound healing, and reduce the risk of infection. It can be provided in combination with antibiotics, ions, or anti-inflammatory agents.

Predicting Weight Loss And Fat Metabolism Using Optical Signal Changes In Fat

Researchers at UCI have developed a novel use of an emerging functional imaging technology, Diffuse Optical Spectroscopic Imaging (DOSI), for monitoring changes in subcutaneous adipose tissue (“AT” also known as “fat” tissue), structure and metabolism during weight loss. Changes in subcutaneous adipose tissue structure and metabolism have been shown to correlate with the development of obesity and related metabolic disorders. The invention is a diagnostic tool that assesses the structure and function of fat tissue in vivo.

Bio-electrochemical Sensor for Real-time, In Vivo Clinical Tests

A minimally invasive, bio-electrochemical sensor for in vivo clinical tests that selectively measures specific target molecules in blood and tissues in real-time for many hours.

Chemoenzymatic Synthesis Of Acyl Coenzyme-A Molecules

Acyl-CoAs is involved in both primary and secondary metabolism; it is an important intermediate molecule for in vitro enzymatic assays in research. Current chemical methods to generate acyl-CoAs rely on chemical ligation of carboxylic acids to commercially available coenzyme A molecule by the use of peptide coupling reagents. These couplings are inefficient and the final product is hard to purify. This process of acyl-CoA synthesis is therefore expensive.

A High-Throughput Screen For Drug And Disease Investigations In A Simple Neuronal Culture

Drug discovery and development consists of an arduous testing process, and cell-based screening methods represent a crucial source of information in the decision making process to evaluate mode of action, efficacy and toxicity for new therapeutics in early phases if preclinical drug development. Despite advances in cell-based screening assays, a need remains for newer and better assays to identify and validate drug s for treatment and/or prevention of neuronal diseases. Such newer assays should have a higher speed, lower cost, high sensitivity and high signal to noise ratio. Further, there needs to be improved methods for assessing toxicity of drug candidates.

Delivery Module for Delivering Biotherapeutics Throughout the Body

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a robust and broadly applicable system for the delivery of peptide and oligonucleotide biotherapeutics.

Preparation and Modification of Lignin

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, with co-inventors, have developed a process for producing a mesoporous lignin directly from a biorefinery process.

Mechanism of Non-communicable Diseases and Methods for Assessing the Biological Effects of the Environment on an Organism

Of the 56 million global deaths in 2012, 68% were due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and respiratory diseases. Even in developing countries NCDs are rising rapidly and are projected to exceed infectious, maternal, perinatal, and nutritional diseases as the most common causes of death by 2030.While urbanization is associated with a rise in NCD, the biological consequence of persons transitioning from a rural to urban environment remain poorly understood.

Novel 3D Stem Cell Culture Systems

Many disorders result in tissue degeneration, including Parkinson’s disease, heart attacks, and liver failure. One promising approach to treat these disorders is cell replacement therapy, which would implant new cells or tissues to replace those damaged by disease. Cell replacement therapy relies on stem cells, which are able to differentiate into a wide number of mature cell types. However, cell replacement therapies require large numbers of cells to clinically develop and commercialize, and the current stem cell culture methods are problematic in multiple ways, including low cell yields in 2D and poorly defined culture components. By culturing stem cells three-dimensionally, instead of two-dimensionally, far larger numbers of cells can be generated. Current three-dimensional culturing systems, however, often exert harmful shear stresses and pressures on the cells, have harsh cell recovery steps, do thus not generate large cell yields.   UC Berkeley researchers have developed new materials intended for use in fully chemically defined processes for large-scale growth and differentiation of stem cells. These materials prevent harsh cell recovery steps, and can be used in a defined, highly tunable, and three-dimensional cell culture system. 

Antibodies for the Detection of Toxoplasma Gondii Oocysts

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed the first monoclonal antibodies that recognize, bind to, and can be used to concentrate oocysts of Toxoplasma gondii.

Multi-Channel Microfluidic Piezoelectric Impact Printer

High-throughput, automated, large-scale microarray format assay in a short time frame and at low cost.

Novel Gene Delivery Approach for Controlled and Sustained Transfection of Cells

UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering have developed a novel hydrogel scaffold-mediated gene delivery approach that can achieve enhanced and sustained transfection of endogenous cells in vivo.

Method For Fabricating Two-Dimensional Protein Crystals

2D crystalline materials possess high surface area-to-volume ratios, light and can be very porous. These properties have rendered synthetic 2D materials immensely attractive in applications including electronics, sensing, coating, filtration and catalysis. The rational design of self-assembling 2D crystals remains a considerable challenge and a very active area of development. The existing methods for the bottom-up fabrication of biological or non-biological 2-D crystalline materials are not generalizable and scalable. 2D protein design strategies, in particular, require extensive computational work and costly protein engineering. In addition, these strategies have low success rates, the resulting materials contain large defects, and are multi-layered and therefore not appropriate for scaling or materials-applications. Moreover, these strategies often require the presence of lipids for supported assembly.

Sweat Activated, Shape Changing Fabric

A Liquid-actuated fabric capable of asymetric expansion can be used in apparel to manage body temperature and moisture level.

Engineering Human Proteases for Therapeutic Use

A methodology termed “protease evolution via cleavage of an intracellular substrate” (PrECISE) to enable engineering of human protease activity and specificity toward an arbitrary peptide target. 

Isolation Of A Gene That Regulates The Strength Of Abscisic Acid Signal Transduction

As climate change has an increasingly greater impact on the environment, some regions are likely to get wetter while other regions are going to get drier. Therefore there is need to identify new ways to render agricultural plants more drought tolerant and effective in limiting transpirational water loss. The plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) regulates a plant’s many important responses to stress. In seeds, ABA is responsible for the accumulation of nutritive reserves, tolerance for desiccation, maturation and dormancy.During vegetative growth, ABA is central in triggering plant responses to drought, salt stress and cold.A rapid response to drought that is mediated by ABA is stomatal closure.Stomata on the leaf surface are formed by pairs of guard cells whose turgor regulates stomatal pore apertures. ABA induces stomatal closure by triggering cytosolic calcium increases, which regulate ion channels in guard cells. Therefore modulating ABA activity in plants can be used to confer drought tolerance on plants.

Hyaluronic Acid-based Gel for Topical and Subcutaneous Applications

A method for producing chemically-crosslinked hydrogels using a biocompatible “click” chemistry for in situ gelation. 

3D System For Differentiation Of Oligodendocyte Precusors From Pluripotent Stem Cells

Cell replacement therapies using have long been thought to have the potential to treat demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis or hypomyelinating leukodystrophies - as well as spinal cord and other CNS injuries that involve inflammation and loss of myelin. While pluripotent stem cells represent a potential source of readily available regenerative tissue, they require labor-intensive culturing to differentiate into target cell types.  Since Oligodendrocyte precursors cells (OPCs) can migrate, engraft and differentiate when experimentally transplanted onto unmyelinated axons, OPCs have been seen as the future of cell replacement therapies for demyelinating diseases.  However, as there is currently no reliable and sustainable source of transplantable OPCs, their therapeutic potential cannot be harnessed.   Researchers at the UC Berkeley have created a 3-dimensional, chemically defined biomaterial system for the large-scale differentiation of OPCs. By systematically optimized chemical cues, this strategy rapidly generated Olig2 and NKX2.2-positive cells with the same efficiency of other protocols, but in a shorter period of time (approximately 18 days instead of 30). This shortened 3D differentiation protocol, which results in up to 2-4 times more cells, enables a significant reduction in the cost of production of pre-OPCs. 

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