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Nano Biosensing System

Metabolites can provide real-time information about the state of a person’s health. Devices that can detect metabolites are commercially available, but are unable to detect very low concentrations of metabolites. Researchers at UCI have developed surfaces that use nanosensors to detect much lower concentrations of such metabolites.

Assay for Oligonucleotides in Serum Without Extraction or RT-PCR

Prof. Ameae Walker’s laboratory at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) has developed an assay to quantify oligos in sub-picomole amounts without the need for sample purification and amplification. This new competitive assay is called an ELOHA (Enzyme-Linked Oligonucleotide Hybridization Assay). The method is illustrated in Fig. 1, below.  Capture Oligos that are to hybridize with an oligo to be measured are covalently linked to a plate (1), a Detection Oligo, with the same sequence as the oligo to be measured, has a conjugated label, such as horseradish peroxidase or biotin.  The Detection Oligo then competes with the oligo of interest for binding to the Capture Oligo (2).  Once the hybridization is complete, the unbound oligos are washed away (3).  A colorimetric readout is produced (4) to inversely quantify the oligo of interest.  Fig. 1 Schematic of the ELOHA assay Fig. 2 shows the use of an ELOHA for amounts of Antimaia in mouse serum. Antimaia is a splice modulating oligomer therapy for breast cancer developed in the UCR lab of Prof. Walker.  

Modular Wireless Large Bore Vacuum Universal Endoscope A.K.A. Vacuumscope

Though kidney stones are a prevalent problem that affect more than 10% of the population and cost the US economy upwards of $10 billion annually, the complete removal of stone fragments is difficult to achieve without surgical interventions. Researchers at UCI have developed a novel vacuum endoscope which, when combined with standard kidney stone ablation procedures, is capable of completely removing the resulting fragments.

Biosensors For Measuring The Metastatic Potential And Chemoresistance Of Single Cancer Cells

Metastasis is a complex process in which cancer cells migrate from the primary tumor, invade into the vasculature, and travel to distant parts of the body to establish secondary tumors. Cells with a greater metastatic potential have a proclivity for leading migration away from the primary tumor. Progress in identifying cells primed to metastasize and in assessing metastatic risk has been slow. This may be due in part to the lack of consistent molecular prognostic markers between cancer types and significant heterogeneity in metastatic potential within the tumor. Furthermore, not all tumors are metastatic and determining the metastatic proclivity of single tumor cells remains a major challenge. Another looming scientific question is estimating the metastatic “potential” because conventional techniques, e.g., Immunohistochemistry (IHC) are not capable of this and only molecular imaging can resolve these issues. So far, improved imaging platforms have helped detect established metastases and assessed tumor cell properties such as surrogate markers of metastatic potential. However, single cell-based assays to measure the dynamic pro-metastatic signaling programs that contribute to the 'potential' for metastasis remains a Holy Grail.

Simultaneous pH- And Oxygen-Weighted MRI Contrast Using Multi-Echo Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer Imaging (ME-CEST)

UCLA researchers in the Department of Radiological Sciences have developed a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique that simultaneously acquires acidic and hypoxic information often associated with brain tumors and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

A Novel Method for the Isolation and Purification of Extracellular Vesicles (ECV) for Use as Potential Biomarkers

Extracellular vesicles (ECV) reflect the physiological or pathological condition of the cell. Therefore, they have emerged as potential biomarkers for disease. They can be obtained from a variety of body fluids, particularly urine that is an ideal source because it can be obtained in great quantities, recurrently and with minimal intervention. However, the characterization of urine ECV is challenging because the preparation is usually contaminated with soluble proteins. Therefore, approaches to obtain cleaner preparations of urine ECV are important for any proteomic analysis.

Method for Assessing Risk of Genetic Defects in Children by Identifying De Novo Mutations in Male Sperm

In general, the risk of having a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is about 1 in 68, or 1.5%. But the risk goes up for families who already have a child with ASD. If a family has one child with ASD, the chance of the next child having ASD is about 20%. If the next child is a boy, the risk is 26%, whereas if it’s a girl the risk is 10%. About 47% of families had more than one child with autism. Currently if a child has a birth defect or autism, the emerging trend is to perform whole exome sequencing to identify genetic mutations. These mutations overwhelmingly come from the father, because sperm cells but not egg cells continue to divide through the life of adults. Once the mutation is identified, the diagnosis can be made in the child, but the parents are left wondering if this genetic event could recur in future children. Currently there is no genetic assessment of sperm available commercially, and no publications on the application of using sperm as a way to assess risk of childhood disease, nor is there a risk assessment available for couples that have had a child with a genetic disease due to de novo genetic mutation.

T Cell Signature Predictive of Clinical Outcome with Immunomodulatory Treatment

Biomarkers to predict responsiveness to anti-CTLA-4 antibodies

Development of a Diagnostic Test to Differentiate Bradykinin with Normal C1 Inhibitor from Histamine-Mediated Angioedema

Angioedema is a non-itchy, pale swelling of subcutaneous or submucosal tissue that tends to recur chronically and can become life-threatening if the swelling occurs in the upper airways or can be very painful if it occurs in the gastrointestinal tract. Angioedema presenting together with urticarial (hives) usually responds well to antihistamines and corticosteroids, whereas angioedema without urticarial (hives) is frequently resistant to such therapy but may respond to a C1 esterase inhibitor, tranexamic acid, or both therapies that can reduce bradykinin generation. Differentiating bradykinin-from histamine-mediated angioedema is of critical importance to prevent morbidity and mortality. The ability to diagnose bradykinin-mediated angioedema with normal C1 inhibitor (C1INH), however has been severely limited by the lack of any available diagnostic test. Current genetic tests only identify a tiny fraction of the affected patients. Due to the lack of a known biomarker or assay, many patients without bradykinin-mediated angioedema are treated with unnecessary medications (often approaching $1,000,000/year or more in costs).

Serologic Assay For Silent Brain Ischemia

UCLA researchers in the Department of Neurology have identified a series of blood-secreted protein biomarkers indicative of cerebral endothelial blood vessel damage that occur in the setting of obesity and metabolic diseases.

Bioorthogonal Ligation Mediated Rare-Cell Capture in Microfluidic Devices

Researchers at the UCLA Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology have developed a novel NanoVelcro microfluidic chip that is capable of not only effectively enriching circulating tumor cells (CTCs) but also quickly recovering CTCs with well-preserved mRNA and minimal level of white blood cell contamination.

Cross-Linked Fluorescent Supramolecular Nanoparticles as Finite Tattoo Pigments with Controllable Intradermal Retention Times

UCLA researchers in the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology have developed a new type of fluorescent dermal pigment.

A Simple Integrated Device For Assessing Lung Health

Chronic lung diseases, like asthma, impose critical challenges on both the patients and the physicians due to the complexity of the diseases. Not only are these diseases tough to accurately assess, many of the diseases can be impacted by other physical and sociological factors. Perhaps a greater difficulty lies in measuring the effectiveness and compliance of the medications including inhaled medications. The invention discovered at the University of California, Irvine, is an “all-in-one,” portable device that offers complete assessment of lung health. It also incorporates a novel technology for monitoring the effectiveness and compliance of a medication, thereby, providing a personalized treatment and care plan for adults and children with asthma.

DNA Nanotechnology for Quick and Sensitive Detection of Nucleic Acids in Point-of-Care (POC) Diagnosis Applications

Researchers led by Dino Di Carlo from the Department of Bioengineering at UCLA have developed a quick, cheap, and accurate method to diagnose viral or bacterial infections.

Label-Free Digital Bright Field Analysis of DNA Amplification

UCLA researchers in the department of Bioengineering have developed a novel method for quantitative analysis of DNA amplification products.


Novel human monoclonal antibodies recognize a cell surface antigen that has limited normal tissue expression but is highly overexpressed in several types of cancers, including mesothelioma, melanoma, head and neck cancer, lung cancer, glioblastoma multiforme, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer, skin cancer and testicular cancer. The antibodies can block tumor invasion, self-renewal and have potential to modulate immune effector cell function.

Biomarker for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Prof. Declan McCole and his colleagues at the University of California, Riverside have identified that increased levels of carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 6 (CEACAM6) correlate to a loss of function mutation in a protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor type 2 (PTPN2) gene. PTPN2 has been identified as an IBD candidate gene that protects the intestinal epithelial barrier.  Dysfunction of the PTPN2 gene, which encodes the T-cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TCPTP) protein, contributes to alterations in the intestinal microbiome and the onset of chronic intestinal inflammation which is a symptom of IBD. Loss of function of PTPN2 has resulted in IBD-like symptoms in mice and caused the increased abundance of the intestinal pathobiont adherent-invasive Escherichia coli that binds to CEACAM6 and increases a patient’s susceptibility to IBD. Fig. 1 shows control and PTPN2-KD cell lysates with reduced protein expression of TCPTP (PTPN2) in PTPN2-deficient cells that express increased CEACAM6 protein when compared to control cells  

In vivo optical biopsy applicator of the vaginal wall for treatment planning, monitoring, and imaging guided therapy

Pelvic floor disorders (PFDs) afflict nearly 25% of all women and carry a host of symptoms that can drastically reduce quality of life. Despite their prevalence, the complex and varied nature of such PFDs make them difficult to diagnose and treat. Researchers at UCI have developed an entirely integrated system that, for the first time, provides real-time monitoring of the vaginal wall tissue during diagnosis and treatment, allowing for more thorough diagnoses and more effective treatment methods.

Endoscopic Optical Coherence Tomography As A Minimally Invasive Lung Cancer Screening Tool To Guide Diagnosis And Therapy

Current diagnostic procedures for lung cancer are invasive, time-consuming, and subjective. UCI researchers have developed a quick, non-invasive lung cancer diagnostic device which uses optical coherence tomography (OCT) and can improve lung cancer diagnosis and outcomes.

An illuminated periodontal curette using wireless technologies for accurate perioscopy

The invention is an illuminated periodontal curette that offers an accurate and magnified visualization during complex dental procedures. The modified curette provides the operator with better real time insight and information regarding the tooth and root anatomy for accurate evaluation as well as procedure planning and therapy.

“CT Mucus Score” - A New Scoring System that Quantifies Airway Mucus Impaction Using CT Scans

A novel method to measure airway mucus plugging using CT images from patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients.

System and Methods for Efficient Collection of Single Cells and Colonies of Cells and Fast Generation of Stable Transfectants

A plate manufactured to enable samples of cells, microorganisms, proteins, DNA, biomolecules, transfectants, and other biological media to be positioned at specific sites. Some or all of the sites are built from removable material so that samples may be isolated.

Calcium Scoring Using Parallel Tomosynthesis

Researchers at UCLA in the Department of Radiology have developed a cheaper and safer way to measure coronary calcium levels to predict heart disease.

Identification of Novel Biomarkers to Detect Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) Progression

Generally, our current knowledge about cancer is based upon the mutations in protein coding genes, such as tumor suppressors and oncogenes. Recently, with advancements in the deep sequencing arena, focus has turned to the importance of epigenetic and post-transcriptional events in cancer progression and resistance associated with therapeutic treatments. These findings have revealed the complexity of gene expression at the RNA level. To that end, two of the most common RNA modifications are the editing of N6-methyl adenosines (m6A) and adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I). For A-I conversion, Adenosine Deaminases Act on RNA (ADARs) enzymes targeting non-coding sequences and alterations in ADAR expression or activity can lead to cancer, but the pathogenic mechanisms remain under investigation.  Furthermore, malignant RNA editing, driven by ADAR1 activation has been shown to be a major contributor to cancer relapse and progression.

Novel Gut Microbiome-based Diagnostic and Therapeutic for Neonates at Risk of Childhood Atopy and Asthma

UCSF researchers have developed a novel gut microbiome-based diagnostic test and targeted treatment for early-life identification of atopy or asthma risk in children.

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