- IP to Startups
- Biomedical Research Cores
Continuing Development and Testing of the Electrostatic Battery for Emissions Control (ESBEC)
Summary: Diesel engines are widely used in heavy-duty trucks, stationary engines, and power generators. However, diesel combustion engines emit substantial amounts of particulate matter (PM), a criteria pollutant. To control diesel particulate matter (DPM) emissions, diesel particulate filters (DPF) have been developed and implemented. However, the current DPFs have to be periodically regenerated to remove collected particles and are not very effective for capturing ultrafine (< 100 nm) particles which have been linked with negative health effects. Plus, they create backpressure resulting in loss of fuel efficiency.
Rutgers team (Drs. Han and Mainelis) have designed and developed an Electrostatic Screen Battery for Emission Control (ESBEC) for efficiently capturing even nano-sized DPMs from a variety of sources, such as diesel engines used in on-road mobile sources (e.g., cars, buses, trucks, etc.), non-road mobile sources (e.g., marine, locomotive, agricultural equipment, etc.), power generation equipment, etc. The ESBEC is an open channel device that uses an electrostatic collection mechanism to collect airborne DPMs on multiple sets of wire mesh screens coated with superhydrophobic material. Therefore, all collected particles can be simply washed-off without the need for thermal regeneration. Also, a used unit (i.e., sets of wire mesh screens) could be replaced with a clean unit – similar to replacing a battery. The major aim of this TechAdvance project is to advance the design, construction, and testing of ESBEC prototype to bring this technology closer to the market.
- Mobile/stationary diesel market
- OEM/Retrofit market
- Other combustion related areas (e.g., furnaces, wood burners, electricity generation)
Sigma-1 Receptor (S1R) Antagonists for Pain Management
Summary: Successful treatment of pain, both chronic (neuropathic) pain and acute pain, remains a significant unmet medical need and commercial opportunity. The global market for therapeutics to treat pain from all causes is predicted to grow from $60 billion to $83 billion over the next decade, while the neuropathic pain segment is predicted to double from $5 billion to nearly $10 billion. Current first-line therapeutics for neuropathic pain, which include tricyclic antidepressants, anticonvulsants such as gabapentin, and opioids, either lack efficacy or exhibit dose-limiting adverse side effects. Among possible alternative treatment options, antagonists of the human Sigma-1 Receptor (S1R) have recently attracted significant interest by virtue of their potent analgesic effects and remarkably benign side-effect profile without addictive potential. Rutgers scientists are developing a family of structurally novel S1R antagonists that possess dual functionality: i) as stand-alone treatments for neuropathic pain, and ii) as combination therapy together with low-dose opioid analgesics for treatment of moderate-to-severe pain but with far improved safety profiles especially with respect to drug tolerance, addiction, and respiratory depression. The major aim of this TechAdvance project is to structurally optimize these S1R antagonists with respect to their pharmacological and pharmacokinetic properties for subsequent preclinical and clinical development as safe and effective treatments for pain management.
- Stand-alone therapeutics for treatment for neuropathic pain of different etiologies
- Combination therapeutics with low-dose opioids for treatment of moderate-to-severe pain
Improved Cardiovascular Evaluation (ICE)
Currently we assess cardiovascular health using simple indirect measures such as blood pressure. At the population level these measures are useful in determining risk of disease, but they do not assess directly an individual’s functionality. Much more complicated and invasive techniques, such as cardiac catheterization, are available, however, they are expensive and not without risk. At the personal level, what we are concerned with is “how well does the cardiovascular system supply blood to the body”. The supply of blood to working tissue is critical both to our health and our physical performance. We have developed a simple algorithm that can be used with present wearable technology to assess how well we supply blood. This algorithm can be used to direct both diet and exercise regimens to improve health and performance. It can give real time feedback as to how our lifestyle is affecting our health.
- Identification of individuals at risk for cardiovascular disease
- Improved training and diet programs for athletes and weekend warriors alike
- Assessment of the effectiveness of exercise programs in improving a person’s health
- Real time performance assessment for coaches and trainers
Phosphatidylserine-Targeting Immuno-Biologicals for Cancer and Viral Treatment
Cancers and viruses suppress host immune responses by “masking themselves” with phosphatidylserine (PS), a phospholipid that becomes exposed on the surface of apoptotic or stressed cells abundantly present in tumor microenvironment and in sites of virus infection. Rutgers scientists have developed multifunctional PS-targeting proteins that block PS-mediated immunosuppression and at the same time stimulate host immunity through the localized-delivery and combined action of type I and type III interferons (IFNs). These first-in-class proteins have demonstrated strong antiviral and anti-tumor potencies in mouse disease models.
- Cancer Therapeutics
- Antiviral Therapeutics
- Disease Prevention/Treatment
Development of Biodegradable Nanoscaffolds for in vivo Drug Delivery and Stem Cell Differentiation
Stem cell therapy that can secrete trophic factors and differentiate into specific functional cells holds great potential for treating diseases and tissue injuries. However, low survival rate and incomplete differentiation of stem cells in vivo remain a critical barrier for stem cell therapy before its full potential can be realized. To address the challenges above, the Rutgers team will develop biodegradable hybrid inorganic nanoscaffold-based stem cell therapies. This project will focus on comprehensive evaluation studies of the biocompatibility, degradation and therapeutic effects of this technology. Ultimately, the success of the current TechAdvance project will pave the road for a biodegradable hybrid nanoscaffold system towards FDA approval and provide a new treatment for patients suffering from incurable tissue injuries and diseases.
- Stem cell therapy
- Regenerative medicine
- Central nervous system injuries/diseases
- Drug delivery
- Research tools
- MRI imaging
Machine Learning Algorithms to Improve Needle Localization in Procedures with Limited Visibility
Ultrasound is a popular imaging modality for guidance of minimally invasive procedures such as biopsies and regional anesthesia. However, needle visibility is often lost when advancing needles towards deep targets or complicated anatomy. This reduces procedure efficacy and could result in injury and post-procedure complications. We have developed advanced machine learning algorithms that achieve real-time, automatic and robust localization of needles in procedures where needle visibility to the naked eye is limited. Rutgers TechAdvance award will be used to: 1) integrate the algorithms into a software platform compatible with existing cart-based and portable ultrasound systems, and 2) prepare the technology for clinical use through validation in clinical studies with physician testing in animal models.
- Localization of needles in percutaneous ultrasound-guided interventional procedures such as regional anesthesia, peripheral vascular interventions, biopsies, fluid aspirations and fetal medicine.
- Localization of other interventional devices such as guidewires and catheters under ultrasound guidance or other imaging modalities such as fluoroscopy and endoscopy.
Powered Toothbrush with Evacuation Technology
When food is chewed or while drinking the tongue moves to push food or liquid toward the back of the throat, this process stimulates swallowing. The food or liquid swallowed then moves down the upper part of the throat, this back part is called the pharynx. After which, it goes into an area called the esophagus and then down into the stomach. Management of fluids while brushing,in particular can be a challenge for the young or convalescent, the elderly, or disabled populations who may ordinarily have difficulty spitting and may tend to swallow or aspirate toothpaste and particulates during the brushing process. When this happens the liquid or food can get into the wrong passage and instead it enters the lungs. This allows bacteria also to get into the lungs putting them at risk for aspiration pneumonia.
A Rutgers researcher had an idea and working in collaboration with a Biomedical Engineer at NJIT have put together a new powered toothbrush with evacuation technology for this reason. The Rutgers TechAdvance project will be used to prototype an esthetic model and design of its own. It is hoped that this innovation in toothbrushing can reduce problems with aspiration in this growing population and as well as put parents at ease while training young children in toothbrushing. The novel brush design can withdraw saliva, toothpaste and debris during brushing at a rate commensurate with activated saliva production as seen in the figure above.
Evacuation assisted brushing
Individuals with limited swallowing ability
Individuals in nursing homes
Prediction of Lung cancer in High Risk Individuals
Summary: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Currently Computerized Tomography (CT) scans are being used to identify the malignant nodules in high-risk patients. However, CT scans yield a high rate of false-positive results. Consequently, many patients are subjected to anxiety and stress and recommended for unnecessary and costly biopsies or follow-up Positron Emission Tomography–Computed Tomography (PET-CT) scans. Commercially available CT scan image analysis tools use volumetric based measurements, which are inadequate for making clinical decisions. This project aims to develop an integrated risk prediction model using a combination of gene expression and CT scan image data to better discriminate malignant nodules from benign nodules compared to the standalone CT scan method or genomic analysis. In the present study, we use gene expression signature pattern obtained from peripheral blood to discriminate the malignant nodules from benign nodules. In addition, we integrate the genomic data with CT scan image data to further increase the specificity of the present CT scan methods.
- Early detection of lung cancer in asymptomatic high risk individuals
Hydrogel Encapsulated Cells as Factories to Heal Wounds
Rutgers researchers have combined two different types of cells, which sends them into overdrive, pumping out wound-healing factors in greater amounts than when they are not combined. These combined cells are encapsulated into a hydrogel (think grapes in jello, but on the scale of the width of a few human hairs). The cells are then placed in a wound and the hydrogel protects them from the immune system, letting them secrete wound-healing factors and get nutrients from the wound fluid. The results show that wounds healed 3x faster and without scarring. This innovation could be used in burns and chronic wounds that the elderly, diabetic, obese and the mobility-impaired suffer from. The numbers of people with chronic wounds is increasing because all the aforementioned populations are increasing. There are some individuals who have had a chronic wound for 30 years. This invention could help these people, and healing without scar could potentially transform plastic and reconstructive surgery.
- Wound dressing for:
- Radiation burns (95% of all cancer patients receiving radiation get radiation burns, and there is no clinical standard of care)
- Surgery on healthy patients to reduce scarring
- People who get hypertrophic scars or keloid, to reduce or eliminate their scarring
Polyelectrolyte Complexes (PEC) Biomaterials - An in-Vivo Study
A significant complication occurring as a result of surgery or injury are fibrous scar-like bands between tissues and organs, called adhesions. These adhesions occur at impacted sites and can prevent the free movement of tissues and organs. Once bound, the adhesions can lead to loss-of-motion, pain, and possible organ damage. Current preventative solutions on the market consist of a degradable patch or sheet which can be placed on the surface of an implicated organ to isolated it from surrounding injured tissue. Rutgers researchers have developed a more advanced anti-inflammatory, flexible, and strong polymer material which can be grown into sheets and used to prevent the occurrence of adhesions after surgery. These sheets can be customized to incorporate additional therapeutic compounds such as antibiotics or pain relievers. This Rutgers TechAdvance project will be used to generate crucial histological and immunohistochemical data for validation of efficacy and for future planed regulatory approval.
Sensitive, Multiplex PCR Assays that Assess the Abundance of Rare Somatic Mutations Associated with Cancer
Summary: SuperSelective PCR assays will be incorporated into clinical diagnostic assay kits that enable the determination of which somatic mutations are present in a person’s cancer, utilizing only a non-invasive blood sample, which information enables the choice of an effective targeted therapy. These kits will also be used to frequently analyze blood samples from a patient, thereby assessing the progress of the therapy, and further enabling the patient’s therapy to be changed if resistance mutations arise in that patient’s cancer cells. Currently, the assessment of somatic mutations in a patient’s cancer requires either invasive tissue biopsies or very costly, time-consuming, less sensitive next-generation sequencing assays. The availability of extremely sensitive, low-cost, rapid, multiplex SuperSelective PCR assays will lead to their adoption as the molecular diagnostic assay of choice for hospitals and clinical diagnostic laboratories, worldwide
Discovery and Validation of Polymers Meeting Targeted Product Profile Specifications
Research at Rutgers University has resulted in several libraries of biodegradable polymers whose chemical, physical, and biological properties are customizable to specifications of industrial and academic collaborators. A brand-new collaboration with a leading chemical manufacturer will use these techniques to quickly identify lead polymer candidates and optimize them to match desired product specifications. Researchers at Rutgers University will use their expertise in polymer synthesis, characterization, and processing to work with a leading chemical manufacturer to make novel polymers available for commercial use. This work has the potential to impact thousands of lives through the introduction of new medical devices and treatments.
Development of Enhanced Point-of-Care Assays for Detection of TB and NTM Infections
Tuberculosis is currently the world’s leading cause of death due to infectious diseases. A major factor for this is that despite recent advances in TB diagnosis, a large percentage (~36%) of new infections go undetected. Dr. Pinter’s lab has isolated and characterized novel human monoclonal antibodies that possess increased sensitivity for the detection of a TB biomarker, lipoarabinomannan (LAM) in the urine of infected patients, and have shown that this allows an improved low-cost point-of-care assay for the detection and identification of TB infections. They have also shown that by modifying the detection antibody, they can tailor this assay to detect other mycobactera, including Non-Tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTMs) that cause serious disease in a fraction of elderly patients or subpopulations who have immunodeficiencies (HIV patients, transplant recipients) or compromised lung function (Cystic Fibrosis patients, people with chronic Asthma COPD). Unlike TB, which is found mostly in third-world countries, NTM infections are common-place all over the world. The goal of this project is to improve the sensitivity of these reagents and assays, in order to allow Point-of-Care assays for both TB and pathogenic NTM species.
Smart Shoes for Biofeedback Sensing and Measurements of Motor Control Autonomy
Rutgers researchers have shown that you can use seemingly unrelated measurements, such as small changes in how you walk or how you sit, to diagnose neurological diseases such as Autism Spectrum Disorder or Parkinson’s Disease. The underpinning assumption is that we have interconnected central and peripheral nervous systems that will adapt/react to diseases or injuries in the brain using biofeedback loops informed by minute variations in natural activities of daily living. These adaptations have signatures unique to each disorder that wearable biosensors, like those embedded in smart clothing, smart watches, or smart shoes can reveal. This TechAdvance project plans to collect real time sensory data from patients as they wear specially designed smart shoes. The massive amounts of data will then be analyzed for each individual person. The goal is to show that there are distinct grouping patterns among those diagnosed with the same disease. The groups that will be tested are neurotypical (control), Autism Spectrum Disorder, Fragile X syndrome, Schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's disease.
A Novel Base Editing Technology for Treatment of Genetic Diseases: Proof-of-Concept in Cystic Fibrosis, Gaucher’s Disease, and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
The groundbreaking discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing platform has created hopes and opportunities to develop lifesaving gene editing therapeutics. The system has intrinsic nuclease activity, which triggers sequence specific DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), leading to activation of cellular pathways such as homology dependent repair (HDR) for gene correction and non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) for gene inactivation. It has limitation for therapeutic development for correcting point mutations which are the cause of a majority of human genetic diseases, because: (1) HDR activities in most somatic cells are extremely low; (2) DSBs tend to introduce insertions and deletions that are carcinogenic. Rutgers scientists have developed a new CRISPR gene editing platform, the CRC base editing platform, which allows sequence directed editing (base correction) of a gene or RNA transcript, without introducing DNA DSBs or being dependent on HDR. This TechAdvance project aims to generate proof-of-concept data for the use of this new platform for therapeutic development. Key to this project are the specific diseases the platform will be tested to treat. The research team hopes to develop constructs that will functionally correct mutations that lead to Cystic Fibrosis, Gaucher's Disease, and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in cultured cell models. If successful, this technology could be developed into cures for these and many more genetic diseases.
Laser Based Radiocarbon Analyzer for Drug Discovery
Summary: Radiocarbon analysis is a crucial technology used in the pharmaceutical industry for required tracer studies of drug metabolism. It is also becoming increasingly useful for real time environmental monitoring. Existing technologies do not meet the industry’s current needs for high sensitivity, rapid response and ease of use. Our benchtop analyzer uses ultrastable lasers to quantify radiocarbon in samples as small as ten micrograms. The technology will be adopted by the pharmaceutical industry, including researchers and contract research organizations, as it allows unprecedented sensitivity for small samples, and greatly reduces the amount of radioactivity required for individual studies, allowing earlier and faster evaluation of new drug candidates. Smaller sample size also allows for studies with pediatric and geriatric patients. Environmental monitors will use the new technology to monitor the amount of fossil fuel based carbon in the atmosphere, an application that may become mandatory with new carbon taxes.
- Pharmaceutical Industry: Drug Metabolism organic tracer studies for Pharmacokinetic/ADME/Toxicity in drug development
- Real-time Environmental Monitoring of atmosphere, oceans, nuclear power plants, fossil fuel vs. biogenic carbon detection
- Radiocarbon tracing and dating with small samples
Platform Technology for Native Free Radical-Initiated Targeting and Immobilization of Therapeutics
A platform approach that aims to harness the reactivity of free radicals associated with various pathological states to target and sustain the delivery of therapeutics at the disease site using acrylated PEG. The project will characterize additional biodegradable materials for their capacity in mediating targeted delivery and perform efficacy testing in rodent models
- Targeted delivery of bioactive materials such as therapeutics, trophic factors and micronutrients
- Free radical scavenger – prevention of secondary injury
- Applicable to a variety of diseases associated with elevated level of free radicals
- Imaging/detection of early stage diseases
Targeted Delivery of Vitamins to Skin Using Rutgers TyroSpheres
Rutgers has developed a self-assembling polymer that is biodegradable, called TyroSpheres, which can be formulated to enhance the delivery of vitamins and many other cosmeceuticals into the skin as part of a cosmetic product. As part of a unique collaboration with a personal care company, an important vitamin will be formulated for enhanced skin penetration using the Rutgers TyroSphere technology. The project includes optimization of the formulation and studies with a human cadaver skin model to compare the TyroSpheres formulation with two competitive formulations as controls. Full mass balance and confocal laser scanning microscopy will be used to quantify the delivery of the vitamin to different skin layers.
Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Using Bioactive Cell Growth Capsules
Dr. Parekkadan designed a bioactive polymer technology that shields cells as they grow within mechanical durable capsules. These capsules can be dissolved after culturing is complete to efficiently recover the cell or biomolecular product.
- Large scale expansion of non-engineered or genetically-engineered cells for clinical cell therapies
- Production of biotherapeutics from cell lines
Diagnostic Application for Schizophrenia and Mental Disorders
An objective and widely accessible assessment tool to help diagnose or assess treatment successes in real time in schizophrenia patients. Portability of device brings test to patients rather than needing to transport patients to the laboratory. Software/app has been developed to measure the strength of the hollow-mask illusion using a head-mounted stereo display, which is an evidence-based indication of degree of schizophrenia positive psychotic symptoms. Currently developing a version that is based on three-dimensional (3-D) perception derived from motion cues.
- Portable device to test influence of stored knowledge in perceiving 3-D faces
- Tool for diagnosing schizophrenia based on reduced role of stored knowledge in perception
- Portable large-scale data collection for schizophrenia research
- Tool to monitor treatment efficiency in schizophrenia
Development of a Broad-Spectrum Antifungal Vaccine
Dr. Xue's vaccine fills the current drug gap for invasive fungal infections with a novel broad-spectrum human vaccine against disease causing fungal pathogens such as Cryptococcus and Aspergillus species that often causes lung and brain infection in immunocompromised patients, with a high fatality rate. The therapy will be explored using a proprietary heat-killed mutant fungal strain.
- Vaccine (whole cell, heat-killed)
- Vaccine adjuvant to prevent and treat fungal infection
Biomimetic, Bioactive Dental Implants
This project aims to solve common issues and limitations with titanium dental implants by designing a customizable biomimetic implant. Using a bioactivecomposite material, dental implants are derived from the patient’s own extracted tooth material.
- Transitional dental implants
- Long term dental implants
- Dental implants in children and young adult
- Inexpensive materials and equipment
- Chair-side fabrication
- Rapid set time (12 minutes)
- Compressive strength exceeds masticatory (bite) forces
- Patient-specific geometry
- Integration of bioactive composite with jaw
A Novel Composition & Method for Treating Neuropsychiatric Disorders
Targeting retinal ganglion cells Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs) introduces a gene therapy treatment for neuropsychiatric disorders including depression. When the DREADDS are activated by generic eye drops, these cells modulate the brain’s natural pathways reducing the symptoms of depression in animal models. This therapy has the potential to treat many neuropsychiatric disorders without systemic exposure to neuropsychiatric drugs with high side-effects. | Pharmaceutical gene therapy – neuropsychiatric disorders
- Agents and method for therapeutic treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders, such as depression and circadian disorders.
- A kit for therapeutic treatment of depression.
Download: Technology Details (pdf)
Clinical Validation of FISH Assay for Early Detection of Esophageal Cancer
Objective minimally invasive (small biopsy sample) diagnostic of the risk of forming esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA cancer) in patients with Barrett’s epithelium (BE). Specific cancer causing chromosomal abnormalities are identified using specially design chromosomal regional probes (FISH probe).
- Objective test for cancer risk in BE patients
- Can be combined with traditional pathology procedures
- Early detection of cancer, allowing early intervention and expanding treatment options
- Stratification of high-risk BE patients and early detection of esophageal adenocarcinoma
Download: Technology Details (pdf)
New Antibiotics: Efficient Microbial Extract Screening and Mutational De-Replication
This new platform technology overcomes two obstacles to discovering and prioritizing new antibacterial compounds by use of microbial-extract screening: (1) microbial extracts can contain previously known antibacterial compounds (resulting in effort wasted on re-isolation of previously known antibacterial compounds), and (2) microbial extracts can contain antibacterial compounds at concentrations that differ by multiple orders of magnitude (invalidating use of rankings of antibacterial activities of extracts to infer antibacterial activities of antibacterial compounds therein).
- New antibacterial drug discovery platform.
- Pipeline of new antibacterial lead compounds
Download: Technology Details (pdf)
Novel Biosensors for Rapid Determination of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)
This project focuses on the development of a highly sensitive, dynamic, rapid, compact and low cost diagnostic sensor technology for monitoring antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and screening antimicrobials that work against resistant strains. This technology is well-suited for AMR detection and has shown the ability to detect the bactericidal effect of ampicillin in E. coli within 10 minutes. In addition, it is also able to detect the growth inhibition effect of miconazole and cytotoxic effect of amphotericin B in yeast within 20-40 minutes.
- AMR diagnostic tool/point-of-care diagnostics devices
- Research assays
- Drug discovery - high throughput screening of antibiotics, antifungal and anticancer agents
Download: Technology Details (pdf)
First-in-Class Pan-TAM Inhibitors for Cancer Therapy
This project focuses on a novel family of small molecule inhibitors that uniquely block TAM receptors (Tyro3, Axl, and Mertk) activation by the endogenous ligand Gas6 in the extracellular domain. In vitro and in vivo tests have demonstrated good anti-cancer activities without discernible toxicity to normal cells/tissues.
- Anti-cancer therapeutic
- Combined with other therapies such as PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitors
- Treatment of infectious diseases
Download: Technology Details (pdf)
A New Catalyst for Generation of Carbon Feedstocks & Fuels from Carbon Dioxide
This project focuses on transition metal phosphide catalysts used to selectively generate valuable hydrocarbons for fuel or chemical feedstocks for production from CO2. Using renewable electricity for power, the process can be fully sustainable and a carbon neutral technology.
- Renewable feedstocks and fuels
- Methane and ethylene production for the chemical industry
- CO2 gas to solids via polymeric [CH2O]n (3>n>100), CO2 emissions recycling/mitigation, electrical energy storage;
Download: Technology Details (pdf)
Tracking the Spread of Cancer with Light for Targeted Treatment
This project focuses on a new rare earth (RE)-based light-emitting, multifunctional composites for use in a wide variety of biomedical applications including the identification and tracking of cancer. They found that the properties of the composites, in particular their aqueous stability, solubility, biocompatibility, and functionality, can be tailored for specific applications by coating RE nanoparticles with suitable polypeptides, polysaccharides or polymers.
- Non-invasive imaging (2 and 3-dimensional)
- Image-guided interventions (surgical and non-surgical)
- Drug tracking and delivery
- Photodynamic therapy
Download: Technology Details (pdf)
Using Virtual Reality to Help Persons Walk Post Stroke
This project focuses on a low cost and scalable solution for bringing virtual reality rehabilitation into clinics and patients' homes.
- Games were developed to be used at home by patients needing physical therapy
- First in person with therapist, then can be moved entirely virtual
- Data collected from the game can be shared with physicians and other therapists
- Expectation is device and virtual sessions with a therapist will be covered or reimbursed by health insurance
Download: Technology Details (pdf)
High Performance Graphene-Polymer Matrix Composites
This project focuses on a scalable method to exfoliate graphite into graphene directly within a molten polymer. The discovery creates the opportunity for the development of lightweight, high performance, next generation materials of extraordinary strength and impact resistance.
- Military (lightweight armor, vehicles, small boats, helmets, munitions)
- Aerospace (UAVs)
- Transportation (vehicles, small boats)
- Infrastructure (bridges)
- Sporting Goods (tennis, golf, hockey, skiing)
- Packaging (barrier resistant layer)
- Feedstock for polymer industry
Download: Technology Details (pdf)
Development of pesticide application devices for small unmanned aircraft
Summary: Mosquitoes are the deadliest animal on Earth causing over 700,000 human deaths each year. One of the most effective ways to control them is to treat the water where the immature mosquitoes live with a pesticide. Unfortunately, these areas are often too large, remote, or unsafe to treat with ground equipment, and aerial applications are prohibitively expensive. We have developed a pesticide application device that can distribute pesticide tablets with a small unmanned aircraft. The device was designed to attach to the DJI Phantom, the most popular consumer drone in the world. This combination allows mosquito control professionals to easily treat difficult mosquito habitat at a fraction of the cost of contracted piloted aircraft. The device can be easily adapted to deliver a variety of payloads.
- Mosquito and pest control
- Package delivery
- Weed management
Sigma-1 Receptor (S1R) Antagonists as Alternatives to Opioid Narcotics for Treatment of Pain
New discoveries have associated the Sigma-1 Receptor (S1R) in neurons with pain and a possible target for pain management. The June 2016 publication of the X-ray crystal-based 3D structure for the human S1R-antagonist structure, has allowed the computational design of novel S1R molecules with potential clinical use by this Rutgers team. A limited number of compounds have been designed and tested with promising potency, safety and other features. The project will fund the design and synthesis of more novel compounds and conduct in vitro S1R binding assay and potency determination. The top performing compounds will be combined with commonly used opioids in vivo to explore whether these compounds potentiates the opioids and/or mitigate sides effects.
Vector Development for Stem Cell Transfection
Dr. Hatefi developed a novel, safe, and highly efficient human stem cell transfection system (including novel vectors, buffer and other components). Key to the vectors properties is its ability to target the VEGFR-1 cell surface receptor which is expressed on adipose-derived stem cells and is predicted to be expressed other stem cell types of therapeutic interest. The project aims to confirm that the novel transfection system works for both bone marrow derived and neural stem cells
- Transfection reagent for stem cells for clinical and research applications
In Vitro Generation of Antigen-Specific Memory T-cells
Dr. Matsumura developed a novel method to generate antigen-specific memory T-cells in vitro with mouse dendritic cells that can target cancer cells expressing specific antigens. Key to this method is the optimization of the cell culture environment and process to maximize T-cell differentiation into memory T-cells and be harvested at a therapeutically significant quantity. The project will attempt to adopt the team’s current methodology into humans and generate human memory T-cells in vitro.
Scale-up and Mechanical Testing of Polymers made from Silica
The technology is a family of polymers with inorganic backbones (Si-O and P-O) and ionic crosslinks (inorganic ionomers) that can be produced from minerals that are abundant in the earth’s crust. The strong inorganic backbone lead to high chemical and thermal stability, reducing the number of toxic byproducts. The ionic crosslinks are reversible, contributing to self-healing properties of the polymers. These inorganic ionomers may vary from soft rubbery materials, plastic like consistency, to hard resins, giving them a wide range of applications. Manufacture around 100 grams of the sample material, compare the material’s mechanical properties (impact strengths and tensile/compressive properties) to commercially relevant materials made of PS/PMMA
- Biocompatible food packaging
- Flexible displays
- Fuel cell membranes
Synthetic Antibody Production for Immunotherapies
A novel method to generate complex antibody phage display libraries. This method utilizes a recombination-based cloning method with a set of proprietary DNA plasmids, which allow for the recombination of any antibody light chain with any antibody heavy chain even across different species. The method also prevents the common toxic effects of single-chain variable fragments (scFv) to the yeast cells during the cloning process. Use this method to construct a novel scFv library against triple-negative breast cancer cells consisting of 107-109 unique clones. Then screen the library to identify high-affinity scFv for the cancer cells.
3-D Pre-Vascularized Scaffold for Bone Regeneration
This project focuses on a novel bone graft which combines bone-like architecture, ceramic support structures, pre-vascularized tubes, and patient-derived stem cells to create a graft that can immediately support patient weight upon implantation and simultaneously develop new bone and integrated vasculature for short-term and long-term viability and mechanics.
- Treatment for bone disorder, loss, and skeletal deficiencies arising from traumatic injury, abnormal development, cancer, and degenerative bone diseases
- The bone grafting market in the U.S. has an estimated value over $1 billion, making bone second to blood as the most frequently transplanted material
- Currently no load-bearing, synthetic bone grafts on the market
Download: Technology Details (pdf)