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Diagnostic Gene Signature For Cancer Vascular Mimicry in Solid Tumors

One of the characteristic trademarks of tumorigenesis is the need for an extensive vascular system to supply blood for the tumor to grow and disseminate from the original node to distant sites via the process of metastasis. This involves the growth of new vessels from existing vessels, as well as the migration of tumor cells through the extracellular matrix (ECM) and into the lymphatic or vascular systems. However, some very aggressive solid tumors can form vascular channels by themselves, which is termed vascular mimicry (VM). Moreover, only certain cells in these tumors have the ability to produce blood-transporting channels, contributing to metastasis. There is growing evidence that supports the idea that VM can be a prognostic factor for poor clinical outcomes in various types of cancer. Currently, VM is identified by a pathologist’s evaluation of histological slides, wherein vascular-like structures that do not stain positive for endothelial cells are identified as VM. Thus far, conserved molecular biomarkers that define this phenotype have remained unknown.

Imaging Cells In Flow Cytometer Using Spatial-Temporal Transformation

Flow cytometry analyzes multiple physical characteristics of a large population of single cells as cells flow in a fluid stream through an excitation light beam. Flow cytometers measure fluorescence and light scattering from which information about the biological and physical properties of individual cells are obtained. Although flow cytometers have massive statistical power due to their single cell resolution and high throughput, they produce no information about cell morphology or spatial resolution offered by microscopy, which is a much wanted feature missing in almost all flow cytometers.

Live Cell Detection by Near-Infrared Fluorogenic Tetrazine Uncaging Oligo Probes

There is significant interest in developing methods that visualize and detect RNA in live cells. Bioorthogonal template driven tetrazine ligations are quickly becoming a powerful route to visualizing nucleic acids in native cells, yet past work has been limited with respect to the diversity of fluorogens and existing tetrazine-reactive fluorogenic probes are quenched by through‐bond energy transfer (TBET) or Fӧrster resonance energy transfer (FRET) between the donor fluorophore and acceptor tetrazine.

In Situ Lipid Synthesis for Protein Reconstitution (INSYRT)

While current methods for membrane protein functional reconstitution in biomimetic membranes approaches are powerful and have uncovered fundamental properties of protein function, they are methodologically cumbersome, requiring chromatography steps to remove detergents. Moreover, structural features normally found in cell membranes such as curvature and polarity are mostly absent. In this regard, an efficient reconstitution methodology that better mimics the native chemical environment of a whole-cell embedded protein would be highly useful.

Next Generation PCR

In many critical healthcare situations, including sepsis and septic shock, the identification and diagnosis of infectious agents is burdensome and slow. Timely medical intervention is often delayed while laboratory testing is performed and the results analyzed. A point-of-care rapid diagnostic tool is a well-known unmet need within the clinical community. Some tools do exist, but they typically present limitations and draw-backs. Importantly, none give actionable results in the clinically relevant timeframe of 3-4hrs. Recently, UCSD researchers have developed an improved system for rapid gene profiling and diagnostic identification of infectious disease agents and their resistance profiles, by applying High Resolution Melt (HRM) technology and machine learning to a digital polymerase chain reaction (dPCR) platform.

The Use of Acoustic Mechanogenetics for Immunotherapy of Solid Tumors

New modalities for treatment of certain cancers has rapidly evolved in the last few years, specifically harnessing the immune system to directly target tumor cells. The basis of the work is to engineer the patient’s own T cells to create an enhanced anticancer activity targeted to a specific marker on the tumor cell. This is accomplished by harvesting peripheral blood mononuclear cells from the patient to produce a chimeric antigen T receptor (CAR-T) which recognizes a tumor marker, expanding them to reach a therapeutic number of cells and infusing them back into the patient. While this has worked very well in treating a number of cancers, particularly B-cell malignancies, it is only in a state of infancy for treatment of solid tumors.

Broadband Absorbers Via Hyperbolic Metamaterial Particles

Broadband absorbers are essential components of many light detection, energy harvesting and camouflage schemes. Materials that “perfectly” absorb light already exist, but they are bulky and can break when bent. They also cannot be controlled to absorb only a selected range of wavelengths, which is a disadvantage for certain applications. In addition, transferring planar materials to flexible, thin or low-cost substrates poses a significant challenge.

A Method for Induction of Corneal Endothelial Cells from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells (PSCs) via Ocular Lineage Specification

One of the most common causes of loss of vision is by corneal endothelial dystrophy (CED). Moreover, Fuchs CED is the leading cause of age-related blindness in individuals over the age of 40 in the United States affecting ~ 4% of the population. The current standard of care is to perform restorative corneal transplantation, but due to a shortage of healthy human donors, this is a challenge confronting the medical community. One solution would be to develop alternative sources of transplantation material. Human corneal endothelial cells (CESs) are not proliferative and do not regenerate in vivo. Therefore, there is a major interest in development of in vitro expandable cell sources for engineering corneal endothelium.

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