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Graphene-Based Microfluidic Devices
This invention is the first example where large-area graphene has been harnessed as an architectural material in microfluidic devices. Incorporation of single-layer graphene enables a drastic reduction in device thickness. The resulting ultra-thin architecture facilitates on chip X-ray diffraction analysis. Graphene layers serve as a diffusion barrier to protect sample against evaporative losses and from external contaminants, e.g. such as oxygen for anaerobic work.

 

These devices have tremendous utility for applications in X-ray science, such as X-ray diffraction for structural biology and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) as well as other lab- on- a- chip applications. 

 

Published: 10/27/2017   |   Inventor(s): Sarah Perry, Christos Dimitrakopoulos, Shuo Sui, Yuxi (Nancy) Wang
Category(s): Devices & sensors, Research tools, Devices
Polymeric Nanocapsules for Efficient Intracellular Delivery of Theraputic Proteins
Designing protein therapeutics is becoming one of the fastest growing strategies to treat a variety of diseases including cancer and diabetes. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/Cas9, a bacterially constructed protein-nucleic acid complex has shown great potential to reverse various genetic disorders. The delivery of this complex into the cell and finally the nucleus is challenging, however, due to the large size of the Cas9 protein. This invention provides a general and efficient protein delivery platform that enables the intracellular delivery of therapeutic proteins. The delivery system involves the use of novel synthetic polymers capable of forming nanocapsules spontaneously under controlled conditions.
Published: 6/22/2015   |   Inventor(s): Vincent Rotello, Ryan Landis, Moumita Ray
Category(s): Biotechnology, Life Sciences, Research tools, Healthcare, Therapeutics & prevention
Efficient Cytosolic Delivery of siRNA Using Nanoparticle-Stabilized Nanocapsules
This invention provides a general and efficient protein delivery platform that enables intracellular delivery of proteins having different physiochemical properties. The delivery system involves the use of surface functionalized nanoparticles to form self-assembled superstructures with the protein to be delivered. The nanoparticle-protein assemblies effectively escape endosomal entrapment and rapidly deliver the protein into the cell cytosol or the targeting organelle. This protein delivery system has been successfully demonstrated for the efficient delivery of the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system as well as a number of other proteins with different physiochemical properties.
Published: 6/19/2015   |   Inventor(s): Vincent Rotello, Ying Jiang, Rui Tang
Category(s): Biotechnology, Life Sciences, Healthcare, Research tools, Therapeutics & prevention
NEW T7 RNA POLYMERASE MUTANTS WITH SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCED ABORTIVE PROFILES
RNA is increasingly used as both a research and therapeutic tool to control gene expression. T7 RNA polymerase is the primary enzyme used for in vitro RNA synthesis. One problem that exists in any transcription system is that many initial RNA sequences yield substantial amounts of short, abortive products that complicate both the yield and the purity of the desired in vitro transcript.

 

Researches at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have developed a new series of T7 RNA polymerase mutants based on mechanistic understandings of the polymerase function. These new mutant forms of T7 RNA polymerase dramatically reduces the yield of undesired (short, abortive) transcripts in transcription. This leads to a higher fraction of transcripts being the desired full-length RNA product.

Published: 6/8/2015   |   Inventor(s): Craig Martin, Luis Ramirez-Tapia
Category(s): Biotechnology, Research tools, Life Sciences, Healthcare
Economical Surface Treatment for Harvesting Epithelial Cells from Biological Fluids
This invention provides economical, bio-interactive surfaces and surface treatment methods for selective capture of targeted epithelial cells or other cell types from cell mixtures or complex biological fluids. Preparation or fabrication of the engineered surfaces provided by this technology does not require the use of expensive and unstable biomolecular materials, and the resulting surfaces can distinguish different cell types or cells that express different levels of the same surface adhesion marker. Such engineered surfaces can be used as economical tools for assessment of cancer risk, cancer diagnosis, and tracking of the effectiveness of cancer treatments, among other potential applications.
Published: 6/3/2015   |   Inventor(s): Maria Santore, Kathleen Arcaro, Surachate Kalasin
Category(s): Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Diagnostic technology, Devices & sensors, Life Sciences, Healthcare, Research tools
An Efficient Intracellular Delivery Vehicle for the CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Editing System and Other Proteins
This invention provides a general and efficient protein delivery platform that enables intracellular delivery of proteins having different physiochemical properties. The delivery system involves the use of surface functionalized nanoparticles to form self-assembled superstructures with the protein to be delivered. The nanoparticle-protein assemblies effectively escape endosomal entrapment and rapidly deliver the protein into the cell cytosol or the targeting organelle. This protein delivery system has been successfully demonstrated for the efficient delivery of the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system as well as a number of other proteins with different physiochemical properties.
Published: 4/27/2015   |   Inventor(s): Vincent Rotello, Rubul Mout
Category(s): Biotechnology, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Research tools, Nanotechnology, Therapeutics & prevention
A New Class of Nanopore Sensors for Rapid Detection of Bioanalytes
Protein nanopores have been used to detect small molecule analytes by monitoring changes in ionic current upon analyte binding in the nanopore lumen. The fixed inner diameter of the nanopore lumen, however, presents challenges for detection of proteins and other large bioanalytes. This invention provides a new class of protein nanopore sensors capable of detecting large bioanalytes without the need for such bioanalytes to enter the nanopore lumen. The nanopore is genetically engineered or chemically modified to contain a target-binding ligand in a flexible loop region at one end of the nanopore lumen. The dynamic movement of the flexible loop creates a distinct grating pattern when ionic current passes through the nanopore lumen. The nanopore-target analyte Interactions outside the pore lumen result in an instantaneous change in the gating pattern of the flexible loop, enabling rapid detection of the target analyte. This invention not only provides the ability to distinguish between protein homologues within an analyte mixture but also allows for the detection of target proteins in the presence of serum.
Published: 4/22/2015   |   Inventor(s): Min Chen, Christina Chisholm, Monifa Fahie
Category(s): Devices & sensors, Biotechnology, Healthcare, Diagnostic technology, Life Sciences, Research tools
Optically-Responsive Quantum-Dot-Based Sensors for Rapid Detection and Quantitation of Bioanalytes
This platform technology employs a new class of nanoscale fluorescent biosensors with rapid and quantifiable responses to the binding of target bioanalytes. Each biosensor consists of a semiconductor nanocrystal (quantum dot) tethered to a biomolecular probe via a stabilizing linker. The binding of the biomolecular probe to its intended target bioanalyte causes a change in the fluorescence emission intensity of the quantum dot, enabling instantaneous sensing of the presence of the bioanalyte. Quantitative analysis of the bioanalyte can be readily performed by using simple dose-response assays.
Published: 1/26/2015   |   Inventor(s): Triantafillos Mountziaris, Jun Wang
Category(s): Biotechnology, Research tools, Devices & sensors
Compositions and Methods for Modulating Hedgehog Signaling
Mis-regulation of Hedgehog (Hh) signaling is implicated in a large number of human diseases such as skin cancer and brain cancer, as well as in a number of relatively common birth defects. In addition, Hh signaling plays a major role in regulating stem cell proliferation and growth in adults. The current invention provides new genetic tools for understanding Hh signaling in living vertebrate embryos and adults. These tools include proprietary hedgehog-pathway transgenic zebrafish lines that allow inducible activation, inactivation, and monitoring of Hh signaling within responding cells at any time in the life cycle of this vertebrate species. In addition to the temporal manipulation of Hh signaling, regulation of Hh signaling can also be controlled spatially within the whole organism through the use of a local heatshock device.
Published: 11/19/2014   |   Inventor(s): Rolf Karlstrom
Category(s): Life Sciences, Research tools, Diagnostic technology
Novel Amphiphilic Polymers for Selective Extraction and Highly Enhanced MALDI-MS Analysis of Peptides
Dr. Sankaran Thayumanavan has developed novel amphiphilic polymers capable of forming self-assembled micelle and reverse-micelle type nanostructures. These amphiphilic polymers can be used to selectively extract and enrich peptides from complex mixtures for highly enhanced analysis by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS). The selectivity of peptide extraction is based on the difference in isoelectric points of the peptide analytes. When peptides are extracted by the amphiphilic polymers and detected by MALDI-MS in the presence of the polymers, peptide-ion signals can be enhanced by 3-5 orders of magnitude. This enormous signal enhancement enables the MALDI-MS analysis of peptides present at very low concentrations and protein digests of highly complex biological samples.
Published: 11/18/2014   |   Inventor(s): Sankaran Thayumanavan
Category(s): Research tools, Biotechnology
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