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Reticulation Of Macromolecules Into Crystalline Networks

Covalent organic frameworks (COFs) are 2D or 3D extended periodic networks assembled from symmetric, shape persistent molecular 5 building blocks through strong, directional bonds. Traditional COF growth strategies heavily rely on reversible condensation reactions that guide the reticulation toward a desired thermodynamic equilibrium structure. The requirement for dynamic error correction, however, limits the choice of building blocks and thus the associated mechanical and electronic properties imbued within the periodic lattice of the COF.   UC Berkeley researchers have demonstrated the growth of crystalline 2D COFs from a polydisperse macromolecule derived from single-layer graphene, bottom-up synthesized quasi one-dimensional (1D) graphene nanoribbons (GNRs). X-ray scattering and transmission electron microscopy revealed that 2D sheets of GNR-COFs self-assembled at a liquid-l quid interface stack parallel to the layer boundary and exhibit an orthotropic crystal packing. Liquid-phase exfoliation of multilayer GNR-COF crystals gave access to large area bilayer and trilayer cGNR-COF films. The functional integration of extended 1D materials into crystalline COFs greatly expands the structural complexity and the scope of mechanical and physical materials properties.

Strongly Interacting Magnetic Particle Imaging

Nuclear medicine is a diagnostic imaging method that works very well, but it is both expensive and gives off excess radiation. X-rays also are used for diagnostic imaging but have poor contrast. Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI)is a promising new tracer modality with zero attenuation in tissue, near-ideal contrast and sensitivity, and an excellent safety profile, however, the spatial resolution of MPI is currently the modality’s only weak technical attribute. UC Berkeley and UF researchers have developed a novel, compact, and intuitive MPI scanner that resolves this issue.  The research demonstrated proof-of-concept studies for an MPI modality, referred to herein as strongly-interacting magnetic particle imaging (siMPI) that enables a super-resolution breakthrough. The siMPI provided more than a 6-fold improvement in every dimension of space spatial resolution and 37-fold increase in sensitivity. The MPI can be used for early-stage detection of cancer, gut bleeds, strokes, pulmonary embolism, and tracking immunotherapies and MPI can penetrate any tissue, including bone, lungs, and dense breast tissue.

Decorating Chromatin for Precise Genome Editing Using CRISPR

A novel fusion construct that fuses Cas9 to a truncated version of human PRDM9 with the purpose of improving precise genome editing via homologous direceted repair (HDR). PRDM9 is a protein that deposits histone marks H3K4me3 and H3K36me3 simultaneously during meiosis to mark recombination hot spots where crossover occurs and is resolved by homologous recombination. H3K36me3 has also been demonstrated to be required upstream of homologous recombination repair after double stranded breaks (DSBs) and during V(D)J recombination for adaptive immunity. Recent evidence suggests PRDM9 acts as a pioneer factor opening closed chromatin. The newly engineered PRDM9C-Cas9 fusion construct shows increased HDR and decreased non-homologous end joining mediated insertions and deletions (indels).

Novel Phage CRISPR-Cas Effectors and Uses Thereof

Variants of a novel Cas protein family from viral genomes and metagenomic datasets isolated from human and other animal-derived microbiome environments. These Cas12L proteins utilize a guide RNA to perform RNA-directed cleavage of DNA.

Small Cas9 Protein Inhibitor

A new protein that is able to inhibit the Cas9 protein from Streptococcus iniae (SinCas9). SinCas9 is capable of robust DNA cleavage and offers an immune orthogonal Cas9 for use in gene editing in human cells. The inhibitor is a small protein from a phage and is capable of inhibiting SinCas9 activity in vitro and in human cell genome editing experiments.

Solution Processed Flexible Near-Infrared Organic Light Emitting Diodes And Organic Photodetectors for Wearable Sensors

Solution processed near-infrared (NIR) organic light emitting diodes and NIR absorbing organic photodetectors are physically flexibile, manufacturable with low cost roll-to-roll processes, and scalable to large areas and volumes. These characteristics make them attractive candidates for wearable sensors. Inorganic NIR emitters and detectors have recently been used in medical and imaging applications, but have been limited by their lack of ‘wearability’ due to inflexibility and high scaling costs. When interfaced with standard inorganic electronics for control, data processing, and data transmission, arrays of flexible organic NIR emitters and detectors will enable further development of new medical diagnostic techniques and therapies and personal security verification. 

Simultaneous Doctor Blading Of Different Colored Organic Light Emitting Diodes

Methods for the simultaneous printing via doctor blading of at least two different colored emissive layers for organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) on a single substrate.

Printed All-Organic Reflectance Oximeter Array

A flexible reflectance oximeter array (ROA) composed of printed organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and organic photodiodes (OPDs), which senses reflected light from tissue to determine the oxygen saturation. Since reflected light is used as the signal, the sensor array can be used beyond the conventional sensing locations. We implemented the ROA to measure SpO2 on the forehead with 1.1% mean error and to create two-dimensional (2D) oxygenation maps of the adult forearm under pressure cuff-induced ischemia. Due to the mechanical flexibility, 2D oxygenation mapping capability, and the ability to place the sensor in diverse places, the ROA is promising for novel medical sensing applications such as mapping oxygenation in tissues, wounds, or transplanted organs.