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Proteins Regulating The Wound Healing Response And Related Diseases

Scleroderma, or over-scarring of the skin, is inappropriate tissue remodeling caused by  insufficient ECM degradation or apoptosis of skin cells.  There are several potential treatments for scleroderma.  While nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS; e.g. ibuprofen) or corticosteroids have been used to treat the inflammation of joints, muscles or organ linings, scleroderma does not appear to respond to them.  In addition, the efficacy of immunosuppressive drugs (methotrexate, cyclosporine, antithymocyte globulin, mycophenolate mofetil and cyclophosphamide) or anti-fibrotic agents (colchicine, para-aminobenzoic acid, dimethyl sulfoxide, and D-penicillamine) against scleroderma has not been convincingly demonstrated.  Although low dose radiation has shown efficacy against scleroderma, it requires hospital visits and is inconvenient to the patient.

Safe and Effective Dermal Decontamination Gel

This novel dermal gel formulation is an easy and highly effective method for removing and reducing absorption of skin contaminants.

Diagnostic and Screening Methods for Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic itch and inflammatory disorder of the skin that affects one in ten people. Patients suffering from severe AD eventually progress to develop asthma and allergic rhinitis, in a process known as the “atopic march.” Signaling between epithelial cells and innate immune cells via the cytokine Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin (TSLP) is thought to drive AD and the atopic march. TSLP is up regulated in atopic dermatitis patients and is thought to act on immune cells to trigger atopic dermatitis. Scientists at UC Berkeley discovered that TSLP also activates a subset of sensory neurons to signal itch by acting on TSLPR, which signals to TRPA1. They demonstrated that sensory neurons that transmit itch signals in AD are the only instance of signaling between TSLPR and TRPA1 in the same cell type. Therefore, blocking the signaling between TSLPR and TRPA1 is a novel and specific target for therapeutics for itch in atopic dermatitis. They also discovered that the Orai I/Stim I pathway triggers expression and secretion of TSLP. This pathway has never been directly demonstrated in human primary keratinocytes and has never before been linked to TSLP. Decreasing expression of Orai I or stim I using siRNA, or the downstream transcription factor, NFATc I, significantly attenuates TSLP secretion, as proven in mice studies. Thus inhibition of Orai I/Stim I/NFATc I signaling pathway is a novel target for therapeutics for itch in atopic dermatitis.

Nanoporphyrin Nanoparticles for Combination Phototherapy and Drug Delivery to Infantile Hemangiomas

Researchers at the University of California Davis have developed a novel treatment method that combines photodynamic therapy and the therapeutic compound propranolol using a nanoparticle platform to treat infantile hemangiomas (IH).

Novel Molecular Markers for Acne Diagnosis and Treatment

The Li group at UCLA has defined sets of biomarkers that can be used for the molecular diagnosis of acne, as well as a subtype of acne that is induced by high vitamin B12 levels in the host organism. These novel biomarkers have the potential to definitively differentiate acne from other skin diseases and aid medical practitioners in determining the most effective, personalized treatment for patients. They may also be used to design new treatments for acne.

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. 

A Transposon Vector From Aedes Aegypti For Use In Vertebrate And Invertebrate Gene Transfer

Background: Therapeutic delivery of genes is a rapidly evolving technique used to treat or prevent a disease at the root of the problem. Another widely used variation of this technique is to insert a transgene into animals and crops for production of desirable proteins. The global transgenic market is currently $24B with annual growth projections of 10%.  Brief Description: UCR Researchers have identified a novel transposon from Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. This mobile DNA sequence can insert itself into various functional genes to either cause or reverse mutations. They have successfully developed a transposon vector system that can be used in both unicellular & multicellular organisms, which can offer notable insight to enhance current transgenic technologies as well as methods of gene therapy.

Topical Treatment for Seborrhea (Oily Skin)

Researchers at UC Davis have discovered a compound that shows promise for the topical treatment of oily skin.

Method And Device For Skin Rejuvenation

A method and device for dermatology, cosmetic treatments, skin rejuvenation and scar reduction therapy

Active topical skin protectants using hybrid organic polysilsesquioxane materials

A topical skin protectant formulation containing a barrier cream and an active hybrid organic-inorganic polysilsesquioxane material for protecting warfighters and civilians against all types of harmful chemicals, specifically chemical warfare agents (CWAs).

Exogenous IL-37 Attenuates Inflammation Induced by UVB Radiation and P. Acnes Infection in Human Keratinocytes

Dr. Jenny Kim and colleagues at UCLA have identified a role for anti-inflammatory cytokine involved in balancing the inflammatory response in the skin. This cytokine has the potential to treat inflammation induced by UV radiation or bacterial infection as well as regulating wound healing processes.

Shrink-Induced, Self-Driven Microfluidic Devices

The addition of novel surface modifications and use of shrink-wrap film to create devices will yield self-driven, shrink-induced microfluidic detection for samples such as bodily fluids. Novel fabrications and surfaces will have a profound impact on the creation of point of care diagnostics.

Imaging Guided Ablative Laser Surgery

The current method for choosing settings for ablative laser therapy is based on limited information, namely subjective clinician experience and visual assessment of the ablative zone at the treatment site. Researchers at the University of California, Davis have devised an objective real-time method of visualizing the treatment area that will that will allow a laser surgeon to select appropriate ablative laser settings to treat a skin lesions and lesional tissues from other organ systems including, but not limited to: oral mucosa/gingiva, ear/nose and throat, esophagus, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, ophthalmologic and cardiopulmonary.    

Compound for the Prevention Of Rosacea Inflammation

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition characterized by recurrent episodes of flushing, erythema, vasodilation, telangiectasia, edema, papules, pustules, hyperplasia, fibroplasia, itching, burning, pain, and skin tightness. Symptoms of rosacea are exacerbated by sun exposure, hot weather, immersion in hot water, high humidity, sweating, exercise, emotional stress, and spicy food. The skin condition usually begins between the ages of 30 to 50 and occurs more frequently in women than men. An estimated 16 million people are affected by rosacea inflammation in the United States. Oral and topical antibiotics are usually the first line of treatments prescribed for rosacea patients. However, they can cause serious side effects in some patients and do not address the underlying condition. Topical application of steroids may also help alleviate the symptoms, but it can also aggravate the condition. In addition, long term treatments can be inconvenient, lasting for as long as two years.

A Novel Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor Conjugate for Broad Therapeutic Application

UCLA scientists have developed a novel polymer conjugate of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) for use in commercial and possibly clinical applications. This is the first bFGF conjugate to enhance bioactivity and stability under environmental stressors. 

Improved Treatment of Keloids and Other Cutaneous Fibrotic Diseases

Researchers at University of California, Davis have discovered that light emitting diode (LED) generated red light and infrared light can modulate skin cell functions associated with skin fibrosis.

Improvement in the treatment of acute and chronic itch.

Researchers at University of California, Davis have discovered a novel combination of drugs that may represent a major improvement in the treatment of acute and chronic itch.

Inflammation Induction and Tissue Repair

Inflammation is an important response for resisting infection and repairing damage. Under circumstances such as cancer or infectious diseases, stimulation of the inflammatory response is therapeutic. It is unclear why the existing adjuvant therapies tend to be more effective in the treatment of some disease, such as breast and colon cancer, than others. This invention identifies additional ways to stimulate the immune response and induce inflammation in order to accelerate repair of disease-related tissue injury.

Diagnostic Markers to Distinguish Between Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Pseudoepitheliomatous Hyperplasia

UCLA scientists have developed a novel diagnostic kit to reliably distinguish squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) from pseudoepitheliomatous hyperplasia (PEH). This fast diagnostic test can replace the non-quantitative and subjective diagnostic methods currently used in hospitals.

Diagnosis and Personalized Acne Therapy

UCLA scientists have discovered novel, bacterial genomic markers that facilitate the personalization of diagnosis and treatment for acne patients.

New Matrices for Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery

Decellularization of tissues has recently emerged as a major player in the field of regenerative medicine and offers the possibility of producing a scaffold that closely mimics the physical and chemical cues seen by cells in vivo. Materials produced in this manner often have positive angiogenic and chemoattractant properties. Despite the availability of several injectable materials, there has yet to be identified an engineered material that avoids immune complications and encourages new fat formation. And while many tissues share similar extracellular matrix (ECM) elements, each tissue has its own complex composition and concentration of chemical constituents, which are known to regulate numerous cell processes including attachment, survival, migration, proliferation, and differentiation. There continues to be a need for improved compositions for loose connective tissue repair, regeneration and cell culturing that will closely mimic the complexity of natural adipose extracellular matrix.

Antimicrobial Peptide for the Treatment of Skin Diseases

Granulysin peptides are small antimicrobial agents with potent activity against bacteria and inflammation. A pharmaceutical composition comprising granulysin peptides as an active agent is administered therapeutically to a patient suffering from a microbial infection.

New Light Emission Detection Method Enables High Resolution Optical Imaging of Biological Tissue.

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a novel method for capturing cellular resolution images of biological tissue at depths of up to several millimeters. Conventional fluorescence detection methods utilize microscope objectives for emission light collection, a less effective approach that is only capable of imaging up to one millimeter deep.To improve upon this standard, the UC researchers minimized light losses by optimizing the system's excitation and detection optics. This new novel method increases the ability to capture cellular resolution images of biological tissues at depths 3x that of previously used methods. The improved method is capable of imaging up to 3 millimeters deep, while previous methods were only capable of depths up to 1 millimeter.

Firmocidin, A New Small-Molecule Antibiotic to Treat MRSA, Staph, and Streptococcus Infections

Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), a bacterial strain that is highly resistant to some antibiotics, is a major problem at healthcare delivery sites such as hospitals and health clinics. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2005 there were an estimated 478,000 hospitalizations with a diagnosis of S. aureus infection in U.S. hospitals. Of these, approximately 278,000 hospitalizations were related to MRSA. The estimated number of people developing a serious MRSA infection (i.e., invasive) in 2005 was greater than 94,000. Approximately 19,000 persons died during a hospital stay related to these serious MRSA infections.Serious MRSA disease is still predominantly related to exposures to healthcare delivery. About 85 percent of all invasive MRSA infections were associated with healthcare, and of those, about two-thirds occurred outside of the hospital, while about one third occurred during hospitalization.

Anti-inflammatory compounds for dermatology and chronic inflammation

While inflammation is a beneficial component of the body’s response to harmful stimuli, prolonged or excessive inflammation triggers a wide variety of diseases. Current anti-inflammatory drugs (steroids, NSAIDs and immune selective anti-inflammatory derivatives) have undesirable side effects and for many indications including dermatology, drugs that act by a novel MOA may be more efficacious.

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