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Method for Synchronizing a Pulsatile Cardiac Assist Device with the Heart

Patients with severe heart failure can require both a cardiac pacemaker to help the timing of the heart and a ventricular assist device (VAD) to physically help pump blood. UCI researchers have developed a method to synchronize the actions of a pulsatile VAD with a pacemaker in order to reduce heart stress and improve treatment effectiveness.

Drug Repurposing for Treatment of Fatty Liver Disease and Diabetes

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition in which excess fat is stored in the liver, though not caused by heavy alcohol use. NAFLD is one of the most common causes of liver disease in the United States. NAFLD it typically asymptomatic but when NAFLD advances, it can result in the development of NASH (Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis) where inflammation and fibrosis are widespread in the liver, resulting in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and liver cirrhosis. Mechanisms of NAFLD progression are poorly understood. Experts estimate that about 20% of people with NAFLD have NASH. Between 30% and 40% of adults in the United States have NAFLD. About 3% to 12% of adults in the United States have NASH. There are no existing FDA‐approved therapies for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD it typically asymptomatic but it can progress to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and liver cirrhosis. Mechanisms of NAFLD progression are poorly understood. There are many FDA‐approved therapies for type 2 diabetes, including metformin, insulin, sulfonylureas, Glp‐1 receptor agonists, Dpp‐4 inhibitors, and Sglt2 inhibitors. These drugs work through diverse mechanisms such as increasing insulin secretion (sulfonylureas, Glp‐1 receptor agonists, Dpp‐4 inhibitors), direct insulin replacement (insulin), reducing glucose production by the liver (metformin), and stimulating excretion of glucose into urine (Sglt2 inhibitors).

Novel Mixtures For Synergistic Activation Of M-Channels

Epilepsy is a seizure causing neurological disorder that affects over 50 million people, and it is estimated that half are ineffectively treated with current therapeutic options. Researchers at UCI have isolated components of a plant extract used to treat epilepsy in Africa and discovered that, when combined with an existing epilepsy medication, the mixture greatly decreases epileptic episodes and significantly increases survival rates in rodent models of epilepsy.

Detecting Cardiovascular Disease Using Noninvasive Imaging of the Eye

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality and disability worldwide. It is also prevalent, affecting 9% of the population over 20 years of age. Patients with cardiovascular risk factors can reduce their risk of developing catastrophic cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke through lifestyle modification and medications. Unfortunately for many, the disease may go undiagnosed until the occurrence of serious events. Identifying biomarkers of subclinical ischemia can help identify patients with occult cardiovascular disease.

Blood Flow Velocimetry via Data Assimilation of Medical Imaging

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a tremendous burden on the population in terms of morbidity and mortality, as well as on the healthcare system in terms of cost. Various forms of CVD including atherosclerosis, valve and ventricular dysfunction, aneurysms, and thrombogenesis can be identified by measuring localized abnormalities in blood flow. Accordingly, the ability to noninvasively interrogate physiological flows enables identification and diagnosis of disease, monitoring of the effects of therapy, and research on the hemodynamic nature of CVD and its associated interventions. In the clinic, blood flow measurements are primarily made using phase contrast magnetic resonance imaging (PC-MRI) and ultrasonic color Doppler imaging. Certain limitations of these techniques for patients who have contraindications or suffer from arrhythmias, as well as the desire for volumetric flow information necessitate the development of a new modality for blood flow velocimetry.

Multi-Sensing Intravascular Catheter to Prevent Heart Attack or Stroke

UCLA researchers in the Department of Medicine have developed a multi-functional catheter that combines different sensing capabilities to improve the detection of unstable plaques.

Potent and Selective Peptide Inhibitors for MMP-2

Prof. Min Xue and his colleague at the University of California, Riverside have developed peptide-based selective MMP-2 inhibitors with nanomolar activities. Unlike known MMP inhibitors, n-TIMP-2 and GM6001 that inhibit a broad spectrum of the MMP family, these peptide inhibitors do not exhibit off-target effects with other MMP family members such as MMP-9.  Fig. 1 shows how a proMMP2 inhibitor (orange) interferes with the protein-protein interaction (PPI) between proMMP2 and TIMP2 (tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases 2). This PPI inhibition blocks the TIMP2-assisted proMMP2 activation process and thereby results in lower levels of active MMP2. Fig. 2 shows the novel UCR MMP-2 peptide binds to proMMP2 with an Kd of 2.3 nM and inhibits MMP2 activation with an IC50 of 20 nM.  

Smart Dialysis Catheter

UCLA researchers in the Department of Cardiology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine have developed a smart dialysis catheter that can measure different patient vitals in real-time to prevent hospitalizations due to renal failure.

Wirelessley Powered Stimulator

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering have developed a battery-less implantable pulse generator with concise circuitry and mm-scale form factor.

Ultrasound Based Volumetric Particle Tracking Method

The disclosure relates to method of processing three-dimensional images or volumetric datasets to determine a configuration of a medium or a rate of a change of the medium, wherein the method includes tracking changes of a field related to the medium to obtain a deformation or velocity field in three dimensions. In some cases, the field is a brightness field inherent to the medium or its motion. In other embodiments, the brightness field is from a tracking agent that includes floating particles detectable in the medium during flow of the medium.  

Handle Mechanism And Functionality For Repositioning And Retrieval Of Transcatheter Heart Valves

Improved catheter devices for delivery, repositioning and/or percutaneous retrieval of percutaneously implanted heart valves are described, including a medical device handle that provides an array of features helpful in conducting a percutaneous heart valve implantation procedure while variously enabling radial expansion or contraction and/or lateral positioning control over the heart valve during the medical procedure.

Methods For Development Of Hybrid Tissue Engineered Valve With Polyurethane Core

A hybrid tissue engineered heart valve leaflet including a polyurethane core, such as a polycarbonate-based thermoplastic polyurethane like carbothane. The polyurethane core is enclosed within one or more layer of a patient's cells and collagen. Also disclosed are hybrid tissue engineered heart valves, including a frame; and at least two leaflets attached thereto in a configuration of a heart valve, wherein the leaflets are hybrid tissue engineered heart valve leaflets, and methods of making a hybrid tissue engineered heart valve for deployment in a patient.Patent application publication no. US20190151509A1 

Multi-Stage Wireless Powering Mechanism for Long-Term Implantable Medical Devices

UCLA researchers in the Department of Bioengineering have developed a novel invention for wirelessly powering long-term implantable medical devices.

Techniques for Improving Positron Emission Tomography Image Quality and Tracking Real-Time Biological Processes

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed methodologies that perform dynamic PET imaging and provide opportunities for tracing blood flow and other biological systems in real-time.

Novel Adjustable Caliber Catheter System

UCLA researchers in the Department of Radiological Sciences have designed a new adjustable catheter system for use in embolectomy or thrombectomy procedures.

Adenylyl Cyclase Catalytic Domain Gene Transfer for Heart Failure

Heart failure (HF) is a disease of epidemic portions in the United States affecting over 6 million patients with heart failure in the US, with 400,000 new cases per year. It is the most common cause of non-elective admission to the hospital in subjects 65 yrs and older. The introduction of new drugs over the last 30 years that target pathways critical to progression of HF, along with implantable cardiac defibrillators and resynchronization devices have shown some successes, however, both the morbidity and mortality associated with heart failure remains at unacceptable levels, with as many as 30-40% of affected individuals dying within 5 years of diagnosis. Recently, preclinical and clinical trials have tested gene transfer to increase left ventricular (LV) function, especially in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction.

Heart Assist Device for Patients

Researchers at UCI have developed a cardiac assist device for patients with failing heart functions. The device contracts and expands the heart with the help of a pacemaker to help restore natural heart pace and blood flow.  

Noninvasive Method and Apparatus for Peripheral Assessment of Vascular Health

UCI researchers introduce a medical device which noninvasively and accurately monitors vascular health metrics such as endothelial function, arterial stiffness, and blood pressure.

All-In-One Arterial Access and Closure System (ACS)

Arterial access-site complications are a leading cause of morbidity following a catheterization procedure. There lacks a reliable, fail safe method for arterial closure. At the same time, the arterial access and closure procedures are independent of each other. A UCI surgeon presents an alternative with an all-in-one arterial access and closure port system (ACS) to provide fail-safe percutaneous entry and exit into any artery.ACS opens the door for using high flow, high pressure arteries such as the carotid artery, an important access point.

New Indications For ENPP1 Inhibitors, Part Two

UCLA researchers in the Department of Medicine have developed small molecule ENPP1 inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies for treating myocardial infarction and ocular calcification.

New Indications For ENPP1 Inhibitors

UCLA researchers in the Department of Medicine have developed small molecule ENPP1 inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies for treating myocardial infarction and ocular calcification.

Neural Modulation Of Autonomic Nervous System To Alter Memory And Plasticity Of The Autonomic Network

Researchers at UCLA from the Departments of Medicine and Bioengineering have created a device that modulates the autonomic nervous system to treat heart conditions like arrhythmias.

TRM: Dishevelled Segment Polarity Protein 3 (Dvl3) Mutant Mice

Dishevelled (Dvl) proteins are important signaling components of both the canonical β-catenin/Wnt pathway, which controls cell proliferation and patterning, migration, differentiation, stem cell renewal and the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway. Mammals share three Dishevelled (Dvl) family members and while the roles of Dvl1 and Dvl2 have been described previously, the functions of Dvl3 have remained an area of active research. The lack of Dvl3 in mice affects the formation of the heart, neural tube, and inner ear and that the defects in these tissues are much more severe when the mice are deficient in more than one Dvl family member, indicating redundant functions for these genes. Congenital heart disease affects approximately 75 in every 1,000 live human births, and approximately 30% of these diseases are due to disruptions in the outflow tract, the region affected in mice lacking Dvl genes.

New Treatment For Aortic Aneurysms

Aortic aneurysms account for 1-2% of deaths in Western countries, and despite improvements in surgical repair, morbidity and mortality remain high, especially with thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections (TAAD). Degeneration of the medial layer of the aorta leads to aortic dilation and/or rupture; pathological changes in the media include progressive elastin fiber fragmentation, loss of smooth muscle cells, and proteoglycan accumulation. Mutations causing hereditary TAAD affect proteins regulating transforming growth factor-β signaling (e.g., Loeys-Dietz syndrome and Marfan syndrome), or components of the smooth muscle cell contractile apparatus. Aortic pathology has been attributed to smooth muscle cell phenotypic alterations and activation of stress pathways, leading to increased production of tissue-destructive matrix metalloproteinases and increased oxidative stress. Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) may share with TAAD some of these pathogenic mechanisms. While blood pressure control with β-adrenergic or angiotensin receptor blockers modestly improve the prognosis of patients with TAAD, there is no treatment to prevent the pathologic changes in the aorta.          

At Home Fetal Electrocardiogram/Heartrate Monitor for Congenital Heart Defect Diagnosis

Congenital heart defects affect >1% of babies born in the United States. These defects originate early on in fetal development. Inventors at UC Irvine have developed a flexible medical device that allows at home fetal electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring to diagnosis congenital heart defects during development.

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