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Remote Excitation Probe for Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy

Profs. Ruoxue Yan, Ming Liu, and their colleagues from the University of California, Riverside have developed a remote-excitation TERS (RE-TERS) probe that prevents uncoupled light from compromising the quality of TERS images. The probe utilizes silver nanoparticles as nanoantennas to mediate the coupling of light to surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) in a sharp-tip silver nanowire to excite Raman signals remotely. The probe is easy to produce and overcomes the greatest obstacle that stands between scientists and TERS images with high spatial resolution at the nanoscale.  Fig 1. RE-TERS mapping of a chemical vapor deposition-grown molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) monolayer flake. (a) atomic force microscopy image of the MoS2 flake on an ultrasmooth gold substrate with the line-scan shown in (b). The markers indicate the edge of the MoS2 flake (green) and two wrinkles (light blue and orange).  

High External-Efficiency Nanofocusing for Lens-Free Near-Field Optical Microscopy

Profs. Ruoxue Yan, Ming Liu, and their colleagues from the University of California, Riverside have developed a two-step sequential broadband nanofocusing technique with an external nanofocusing efficiency of ~50% over nearly all the visible range on a fibre-coupled nanowire scanning probe. By integrating this with a basic portable scanning tunneling microscope, the technology captured images with spatial resolution as low as one nanometer at high resolution. The high performance and vast versatility offered by this fibre-based nanofocusing technique allows for the easy incorporation of nano-optical microscopy into various existing measurement platforms.  Fig. 1: High-resolution NSOM mapping. a, scanning tunnelling microscope topographic image of single wall carbon nanotubes on a gold film. Top inset: cross-sectional profile along the dashed line. Bottom inset: the possible configurations of the bundle.  

New Bright Green Fluorescent Proteins

Fluorescent proteins (FP) have been widely used as research tools in both academia and pharma for many years.  Naturally occurring FP have been mutated to either be brighter, be monomers, and/or for easier folding and expression in cells.  The most common FP to date has been the green fluorescent protein (GFP) of the jelly fish Aequorea victoria which can be expressed in cells and fused with proteins of interest, and has proven to be an excellent tool to study protein localization, expression, signaling, etc. in real time via microscopy and other techniques. 

Novel Non-Immunogenic Positron Emission Tomography Gene Reporter

UCLA researchers in the Department of Pharmacology and Department of Microbiology, Immunology, & Molecular Genetics have developed a novel positron emission tomography reporter gene to preferentially trap radiolabeled deoxycytidine analogs.

Non-Immunogenic Positron Emission Tomography Gene Reporter Systems

UCLA researchers in the Department of Pharmacology and Department of Microbiology, Immunology, & Molecular Genetics have developed a novel dual gene positron emission tomography reporter system for the enhanced labeling of cells in vitro and in vivo.

Microscale Device and Method for Purification of Radiopharmaceuticals

UCLA researchers from the Departments of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology and Bioengineering have developed a novel method for the purification of radiopharmaceuticals for the on-demand production of positron emission tomography (PET) tracers.

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.

Development of Novel Fluorescent Puromycin Derivatives

Puromycin is an aminonucleoside antibiotic produced by the bacterium Streptomyces alboniger. Its mode of action is to inhibit protein synthesis by disrupting peptide transfer on ribosomes, leading to premature chain termination during protein translation. Puromycin blocks protein synthesis in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes and is routinely used as a research tool in cell culture. The native Puromycin is also used assays such as mRNA display. As such, derivatives have been synthesized in which the amino acid of the 3' end of adenosine based antibiotics is altered to change the compound's antibiotic activity. Other compounds have been synthesized with differing amino acids and functionalities to examine the effect it has on bacterial viability. The majority do not show useful absorption or emission profiles. What is needed is a method to track the compounds in biological systems.

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.

A Device for Simultaneous Imaging and Irradiation of Small Tumors

UCLA researchers have developed a device to detect and irradiate solid tumors in the sub-millimeter size range. This device is a promising advancement to treating early stage cancer.

Two-Way Magnetic Resonance Tuning Platform for Noninvasive Tissue Imaging

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have invented a distance-dependent T1&T2 two-way magnetic resonance tuning nanoprobe platform for enhanced contrast in target tissue imaging.

Cas12-mediated DNA Detection Reporter Molecules

Class 2 CRISPR-Cas systems are streamlined versions in which a single Cas protein (an effector protein, e.g., a type V Cas effector protein such as Cpf1) bound to RNA is responsible for binding to and cleavage of a targeted sequence. The programmable nature of these minimal systems has facilitated their use as a versatile technology that continues to revolutionize the field of genome manipulation.    Cas12 is an RNA-guided protein that binds and cuts any matching DNA sequence. Binding of the Cas12-CRISPR RNA (crRNA) complex to a matching single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) or double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) molecule activates the protein to non-specifically degrade any ssDNA in trans. Cas12a-dependent target binding can be coupled to a reporter molecule to provide a direct readout for DNA detection within a sample.  UC Berkeley researchers have developed compositions, systems, and kits having labeled single stranded reporter DNA molecules that provide a sensitive readout for detection of a target DNA. 

Puromycin Activity-Based Sensing Probes For Molecular Imaging And Histochemistry

A novel class of puromycin activity-based sensing probes containing analyte-specific responsive triggers have been synthesized and utilized for molecular imaging and histochemistry. After specific reaction between the trigger on the probe and target analyte, free puromycin molecules will be released and incorporated into nascent peptides. These incorporated puromycin can be detected after immunostaining, thus offering a highly sensitive method for detection of target analytes due to no leakage problem (as found in some reported fluorescent probes) and high signal-to-noise level from immunostaining. The syntheses of the probes are highly versatile, and representative examples for detection of reactive oxygen species (ROS), reactive sulfur species (RSS), reactive carbonyl species (RCS), ROS scavengers, and redox active metal ions have been demonstrated. One exemplary probe is Peroxymycin-1, which contains H2O2-responsive aryl boronate conjugated to puromycin through carbamate linkage. Peroxymycin-1 shows robust performance on molecular imaging of H2O2 in cell culture and histochemical analysis of H2O2 level in tissue samples harvested from small animals. It has been further employed for detection of elevated H2O2 level in liver tissues from a murine model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), suggesting its potential for studying disease pathology associated with H2O2 as well as disease diagnosis and monitoring of treatment progress.

Lensfree Tomographic Imaging

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering have developed a system for lens-free tomographic imaging.

Cloud based platform for display and analysis of image time series

Current microscopy systems commonly used in biomedical research labs and companies generate large amounts of large data, known as image stacks. There is currently no easy, streamlined way to store, organize and analyze these datasets on a cloud. Researchers at UCI have developed a software consisting of a cloud-based data management and analysis platform that make visualization and analysis of large image stacks simpler and faster.

Fabrication Method for Side Viewing Miniature Optical Elements with Free-Form Surface Geometry

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a fabrication method for free-form reflective side viewing miniature optical elements to focus and reflect light with minimal chromatic aberrations.

An Osteoadsorptive Fluorogenic Substrate of Cathepsin K for Imaging Osteoclast Activity and Migration

UCLA researchers in the Department of Dentistry have developed a novel fluorescent probe for studying the role of osteoclasts in bone diseases and for detecting the early onset of bone resorption by targeting an important protein Cathepsin K. This probe can also deliver drug molecules to bone resorption sites with high specificity.

Frequency Doubled Pulsed Swept Laser

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering have invented a swept source laser that operates in the visible light range with a broad sweeping bandwidth.

The Brightest, Red-Shifted Luciferase-Luciferin Bioluminescent Pairs

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, have developed several new luciferase-luciferin pairs that have superior brightness and excellent performance in vitro and in vivo. Through directed evolution of the existing NanoLuc Luciferase and the use of diphenylterazine (DTZ) as a substrate, the emission extensity is more than doubled compared to NanoLuc-furimazine. Moreover, red-shifted emission of teLuc-DTZ makes it an excellent tool for in vivo imaging. teLuc-DTZ streamlines a variety of applications to afford high sensitivity and reproducibility. Furthermore, fusing teLuc to a fluorescent protein creates the Antares2-DTZ pair, with emissions further red-shifted to the > 600 nm range and 65 times more photons emitted above 600 nm than FLuc-D-Luciferin. Fig. 1 shows the relative emission intensity and the range of emitted wavelengths of light  

Focusing And Amplifying Reflectarray Metasurfaces For Stable Laser Cavities

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering have developed a novel design of reflectarray metasurface that focuses and amplifies THz laser beams with record high efficiency and stability.

Mobile Phone Based Fluorescence Multi-Well Plate Reader

UCLA researchers have developed a novel mobile phone-based fluorescence multi-well plate reader.

Single Fiber-Based Multimodal Biophotonic Imaging and Spectroscopy Platform

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a highly flexible and reconfigurable optical imaging and spectroscopy platform.

A General Noise Suppression Scheme With A Reference Beam In Optical Heterodyne Spectroscopy

A methodology to suppress additive and convolved noise in optical heterodyne signals

Versatile Labeling of Protein N-Termini for Site-specific Bioconjugation

Improved subtiligase variants allow broad and versatile site-specific chemical modification or conjugation of proteins on their N-termini.

Fully Automated Synthesis Of 16B-[18F] Fluorodihydrotestosterone ([18F]-FDHT)

UCLA researchers in the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology have developed a method for the fully automated synthesis of 16β- 18F-fluorodihydrotestosterone (18F-FDHT), a probe to monitor prostate cancer.

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