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Injectable Novel Therapeutic for Post-Myocardial Infarction Repair

Cardiovascular disease manifested as a myocardial infarction (MI) usually results in the irreversible death of heart muscle cells. While medical treatments can mitigate some symptoms, they often fail to prevent heart failure after a MI. The current standard of care for MI relies on surgical intervention via a coronary artery bypass. An alternative therapeutic approach has been taken in the last few years with the introduction of biomaterials designed to promote neovascularization after an MI and help prevent negative left ventricle remodeling by increasing infarct wall thickness and decreasing volume, fibrosis, and infarct size. 

Multifunctional Cement Composites With Load-Bearing And Self-Sensing Properties

As improvements in technology allow for construction of bigger, more uniquely designed skyscrapers, bridges, and motorways that can carry greater loads and are seismically sound, current cement composites are being pushed to their performance limits. Now more than ever, assessing damage to cement composite structures is of integral importance. However, traditional methods can be destructive, subjective, and may not detect previously existing damage, which can be invisible to the naked eye or hidden beneath structural surfaces. Addition of conductive additives, such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to cementitious composites attributes both load-bearing and damage self-sensing properties to the composites. However, current formulations and methods for producing these multifunctional cement composites require specialized equipment, are labor, time, and capital intensive, and are not scalable.

Monoclonal Antibodies to Oxidation-Specific Epitopes

The leading cause of death worldwide is cardiovascular disease, primarily atherosclerosis, which is recognized as a chronic inflammatory disease. This inflammation occurs within the arterial wall and is initiated in part by the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (OxLDL), which in turn can stimulate both innate and adaptive immune responses. In cellular process of the oxidation of LDL, a number of oxidation-specific neo-epitopes are formed. One such product is malondialdehyde (MDA), produced by degradation by reactive oxygen species, which can further react with acetaldehyde and endogenous proteins, forming malondialdehyde-acetaldehyde (MAA) adducts. These MAA adducts are immunogenic and have proinflammatory properties. Furthermore, circulating levels of antibodies against MAA adducts have been shown to correlate with atherosclerotic disease and be involved in other diseases, such as liver and neurological diseases.

A Prognostic And Diagnostic Algorithm For Various Molecular Subtypes Of Breast Cancers, Including Her2 Positive And Triple Negative Breast Cancers (TNBCs)

Breast cancer is second leading cause of death among women in the United States in 2016 and It is estimated to be responsible for over 40,000 deaths in 2017 (ACS). The use of biomarkers plays a key role in the management of patients with breast cancer, especially in the decision process to select the appropriate systemic therapy to be administered. Furthermore, the discovery of new tissue-based and gene biomarkers has led to the development of a “molecular signature” for predicting patient outcome and treatment modalities. There are three subtypes of breast cancer that are determined by performing specific tests on a sample of the tumor. The first subtype is a tumor that is positive/negative for a hormone receptor, either estrogen (ER) and/or progesterone (PR); tumors without these receptors are classified “hormone receptor-negative”. The second subtype is characterized by the overexpression the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) protein on the tumor.  HER2 proteins are receptors on normal breast cells and help control the growth, but when overexpressed make the tumor grow faster and are designated HER2-positive tumors. The last subtype is designated triple-negative, since it does not express ER, PR, and/or HER2. 

The Flying Wing Autonomous Underwater Glider Technology

The underwater glider can be categorized as an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) that does not rely on an electrically driven propeller, but relies on small changes in its buoyancy and wings to move up and down. The pitch and roll is controlled by using an adjustable ballast. The AUV has been quite useful for collecting oceanographic data due to its unique propulsion system that uses very little energy and its ability to be on a sampling mission for weeks to months.

A Method for Inhibition of de novo Lipogenesis

The obesity epidemic currently afflicting the US and other developed countries has resulted in a marked increase in the incidence of the metabolic syndrome and its associated pathologies, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), estimated to affect 30% of Americans. Although NAFLD is characterized by lipid droplet buildup in hepatocytes, it is not accompanied by liver damage, inflammation, and fibrosis unless combined with other risk factors, such as endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress or mitochondrial dysfunction. In the context of simple, nonsymptomatic liver steatosis, ER stress or mitochondrial dysfunction trigger nonalcoholic steatohepatits (NASH), a serious disease that can progress to liver cirrhosis, resulting in loss of liver function, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), one of the most deadly cancers. The obesity epidemic currently afflicting the US and other developed countries has resulted in a marked increase in the incidence of the metabolic syndrome and its associated pathologies, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), estimated to affect 30% of Americans. Although NAFLD is characterized by lipid droplet buildup in hepatocytes, it is not accompanied by liver damage, inflammation, and fibrosis unless combined with other risk factors, such as endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress or mitochondrial dysfunction. In the context of simple, nonsymptomatic liver steatosis, ER stress or mitochondrial dysfunction trigger nonalcoholic steatohepatits (NASH), a serious disease that can progress to liver cirrhosis, resulting in loss of liver function, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), one of the most deadly cancers.

A Novel Method to Prevent Postsurgical Cardiac Adhesions Using Oxime Crosslinked Hydrogels

An adhesion is a band of scar tissue that binds two parts of tissue that are not normally joined together. Adhesions may appear as thin sheets of tissue similar to plastic wrap or as thick fibrous bands. The tissue develops when the body's repair mechanisms respond to any tissue disturbance, such as surgery, infection, trauma, or radiation. Although adhesions can occur anywhere, the most common locations are within the stomach, the pelvis, and the heart Two main approaches exist for reducing or attempting to prevent cardiac adhesions: pharmacological therapy and physical barriers. Drugs that prevent or reverse adhesion processes disrupt biochemical pathways of inflammation and fibrin deposition. Unfortunately, these processes are also vital for wound healing. Achieving adequate drug concentration at the site of action, especially for ischemic tissues, is also challenging. A more viable approach is the use of a physical barrier after surgery to prevent fusion of the heart to surrounding tissues. The barriers can be either preformed membranes or injectable hydrogels (fast gelling liquids). Preformed anti-adhesive materials need to be cut before application to the tissue, and must be sutured into place to prevent slippage. While a variety of different materials have been investigated in animals and humans, no materials, to date, have been capable of preventing adhesion formation post-cardiac surgery.

RNA-Based Therapeutic For Mutant KRAS Driven Cancers

Mutations in the KRAS oncogene are found in approximately 20% of human cancers and is the most commonly mutated gene in the RAS family of oncogenes (85% of RAS mutations are KRAS mutations). Moreover, activating KRAS mutations are the major driver mutations in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with mutations in KRAS accounting for about 30% of NSCLC cases. KRAS mutations are also frequently identified in 40-50% of colorectal cancers (CRC). Despite a long history of research efforts, no targeted therapy is yet available clinically for KRAS mutated cancers.