Despite the burden on patients and the healthcare system, a cure for diabetes has not yet been elucidated. ECMedical’s curative solution in the form of pancreatic organoids is a first of its kind approach to functional organ replacement pushing the boundaries of biotechnological innovation on four separate fronts: 1) Biomaterial science, 2) Vascular network engineering, 3) Immunocompatible cell transplantation, and 4) Pioneering the FDA approval pathway for organ replacement technologies. 1. Biomaterial Science: Originally thought to solely provide structural support to the different organs and tissues of the body, the ECM is now recognized to constitute a reservoir of information in the form of molecular and mechanical cues that contribute to the maintenance of cellular homeostasis and the promotion of optimal tissue/organ function. 2. Vascular Tissue Engineering: ECMedical’s approach to vascular tissue engineering will permit the development of adequately-sized constructs capable of producing euglycemia in humans for the first time. 3. Immunocompatible cell transplantation: ECMedical’s solution to the problem of immunorejection is manufacturing universal donor cells via genetic engineering. 4. Regulatory approval: This project is innovative from a regulatory perspective because it would pave the way and set FDA precedent for organoids.
Wound healing has traditionally taken place either through primary or secondary intention, and in more complex cases through the assistance of complex and costly devices such as a Wound Vac, or via surgical intervention through various flaps or grafts. ECMedical’s innovative solution in the form of a bioactive wound dressing capable of promoting tissue regeneration is a first-of-its kind approach to functional tissue replacement for the treatment of pressure ulcers. This product is specifically designed to enhance healing in complicated clinical situations where factors such as age, smoking status, and comorbidities may be detrimental to the wound healing process.
Self-assembly of Neural Stem Cells by Biocompatible Sculptured Extracellular Nanomatrices
The current leading and traditional products in the market of stem cell cultivation requires the addition of large amount of growth factors (i.e. divers kinds of polypeptides) and various organic compounds to increase cell division. Despite its capability in promoting cell development, the addition of growth facts also causes a high risk of stimulating growth of cancerous cells and tumors in vivo after transplantation. This is where our innovative product comes in. Our product, iSECnMs, can increase cell division and avoid the usage of additional growth factor for cultivating cells. As for the simply description of philosophy or mechanism, owing to the appropriate design and choice of materials & structure of the matrix, the physiological contact between NSCs and matrices resembles ‘physical massage’ in the Chinese medicine acupuncture technique that causes the cells to specific differentiate into functional cells that are in urgent demand in cell replacement therapy.
Autologous Neural Stem Cell Harvest (ANSc) Technology
Nowadays, there are over 100M people diagnosed with neurodegenerative diseases around the world, however, the neurodegenerative diseases remain incurable as the existing treatments. Our tailor-made magnetic nanoparticles used for extracting active adult neural stem cells in the ANSc Harvest technology. They attach to neural stem cells specifically by recognizing the markers expressed on the neural stem cells. They can also be tracked and real-time monitored by currently available bio-imaging devices, for example MRI. Once the micro-injection of the nanoparticles into the brain and applying magnetic field, the neural stem cells bound with the nanoparticles can be spinned off from the cell lining and extracted from the brain by a micro-syringe. The magnetically extracted neural stem cells are able to proliferate and differentiate in vitro and also give rise to viable cell population. After the extracted neural stem cells have been differentiated, they would be re-injected back to the disease region of the brain to replace the degenerated neural cells in the same patients for potential full recovery. ANSc Harvest Technology could be developed into personalized therapy for curing neurodegenerative diseases as patients utilize their own neural stem cells.
High throughput, benchtop instrument for analysis of protein structures in drug development.
The biological function of protein-based therapeutics are determined by the three dimensional structure of the molecule. Therefore, it is imperative to analyze the structure of protein therapeutics at several stages of the drug development process to ensure both safety and efficacy of the drug. Biopharmaceutical manufacturers are required to demonstrate the consistency of the protein structure to the FDA. Current techniques for protein structural characterization are slow, expensive and difficult to perform. We have developed a technology called Plasma Induced Modification to Biomolecules (PLIMB) that addresses the need of the industry for routine structural analysis of proteins. A way to quickly and efficiently analyze higher order structures of proteins on a benchtop scale, PLIMB will enable faster development of protein therapeutics, throughout the drug discovery process. Ultimately, PLIMB will enable fast, high resolution structural analysis of proteins, a capability which is highly sought after in the pharmaceutical industry.
A paper-based assay for quantitation and identification of glycan and oligosaccharide sugars
Viable synthetic human milk relies on the development of new methods of making the human milk oligosaccharides (HMO) that are necessary for supplementing formula. New synthesis methods will require monitoring and analysis of the glycan (oligosaccharide) products. Current analysis of glycans is limited in throughput and scope by the need for LC/MS technology, which can take roughly an hour for one sample, and requires expensive equipment, specialized columns and derivatizing agents, and expertise on the operation of the equipment. Higher throughput detection would make synthesis of glycans more viable via combinatorial chemical synthesis or metabolic engineering, both of which require the testing of many samples. Paper is a common material for low-cost point-of-use diagnostic where rapid throughput is desirable. A paper based glycan detection kit would therefore have utility for rapid detection for aiding glycan synthesis. Iowa State University researchers have developed a paper based assay that allows for colorimetric detection of glycans for rapid detection and quantification. The assay has enzymes imprinted onto the paper strips that selectively produce a color change when exposed to specific oligosaccharides linkages. The assay is quantifiable and can be completed in 5 minutes. The assay can be applied to high-throughput HMO detection.
Purple Bread: A New Superfood
According to current nutritional thinking, white bread is digested too fast, spikes blood sugar levels and is linked to obesity. In short, it's the enemy of healthy eaters. A Purple bread is invented by adding anthocyanin extract from black rice. Anthocyanin is a natural pigment that occurs in fruits and vegetables such as grapes, blueberries, and sweet potatoes, and is responsible for their vibrant hue. Studies have shown that anthocyanins can help prevent cardiovascular and neurological diseases and cancer, and play a role in controlling obesity and diabetes, as they can inhibit digestive enzymes and reduce glucose levels.
Early Detection of Lung Cancer using Breath Test and VOC-Sensitive Aerosols
This proposed breath test device is small in size, noninvasivein nature, easy to use, and less expensive. These allow frequent testing and earlier detection 1. Generation of colorimetric chemical-sensitive aerosols. 2. Inhalation: Depending on the locations of suspected lung cancer, specified inhalation maneuver will be excised so that the inhaled aerosols reach the cancer site. This will be followed by a breath-holding so that the inhaled aerosols (cancer detectives) could have sufficient time to react with the VOCs. 3. Exhalation: The exhaled aerosol distributions will be captured by a filter, giving rise to an aerosol fingerprint. This fingerprint will be compared to the one with normal airways. A large difference between these two indicates carcinogens at the region of interest (ROI). 4. Aerosol samples can be further analyzed by gas chromatography and compared to the lung cancer database. Using the Numerical Inverse Method (NIM) developed in our lab, the site and stage of the lung cancer can retrieved. 5. The breath test can be performed periodically. A time series of aerosol fingerprints tells the development of the lung cancer, or the outcome of cancer treatments.
Tunable nanocomplexes for delivery of plasmid DNA into human and vertebrate primary cells
Historically, poly(D,L-lactide-co-plycolide) (PLGA) complexes with polyethylenimine (PEI) coated surfaces have been used as a DNA delivery mechanism in gene therapy. This allows for a complex that has relatively low cytotoxicity, binds DNA, and has a cationic surface to allow for easy entry into the target cell. However, these complexes still maintain an amount of cytotoxicity due to the nature of PEI. Smaller PEI molecules have low cytotoxic effects, but then have almost no transfection ability. The present invention uses lower molecular weight PEI along with an attached glycidyl hexadecyl ether to ultimately lower cytotoxic effects of the PEI-PLGA complex while increasing transfection ability. These PEI-PLGA complexes are successfully able to transfect genes into target cells, specifically macrophages, with decreased cytotoxicity and increased transfection ability.
Resveratrol nanoparticles for the prevention and treatment of obesity and its related metabolic disorders
This technology consists of a nanoparticle delivery system that specifically targets adipose stromal cells with resveratrol. Resveratrol delivery into adipose stromal cells causes them to differentiate into fat-burning beige adipose tissue (BAT) over the fat-storing WAT (white adipose tissue), aiding in weight loss and control of blood glucose and lipids. Obesity is a major public health problem affecting over 600 million adults and 100 million children worldwide. Obesity affects more than one third of adults and one sixth of children in the United States. Health risks associated with obesity include the development of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.
New antibiotic drug candidates
New antibiotic drug candidates were discovered based on our biological research of bacterial transcription system. These first-in-class antimicrobial small molecules with new mechanism of action displayed excellent bactericidal effects against bacteria including antibiotic-resistant pathogens, unlike any current antibiotics on the market. These molecules target the important bacterial protein-protein interactions not existing in mammals, therefore demonstrated no toxicity to human cells, while the pre-clinical studies are ongoing. These new antibiotic drug candidates are expected to be developed to complement the current antibiotic drugs for treating bacteria caused infectious diseases, and contributing to the society and healthcare system threatened by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Polylactose Prebiotic Dietary Fiber
Polylactose, a novel dietary fiber, shows great promise as a prebiotic additive to human food products, as a supplement, an animal feed additive and potentially a therapeutic drug. Created by polymerizing lactose (a component of dairy whey), polylactose is highly fermentable, and has a profoundly positive effect on the colonic microflora. Current prebiotic ingredients, fructans (fructo-oligosaccharide and inulins) and galacto-oligosaccharide, offer health benefits such as weight reduction and glycemic control. Preclinical studies of polylactose showed significantly reduced body fat, lowered plasma leptin concentrations, improved blood glucose control and reduced fatty liver at a dietary concentration where other prebiotics were ineffective. While viscous dietary fibers (i.e., guar gum and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose) may offer these benefits, their slimy/gummy texture is unpleasant to most consumers. Polylactose powder, on the other hand, should be very easy to incorporate into foods and can be manufactured at a reasonable cost.
Liquid Crystal Detection of Endotoxins
A new test to detect endotoxin contamination of parenteral drugs. This test utilizes liquid crystals, as opposed to the current Limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) test, which is derived from the blood of the horseshoe crab. Since the test is based on synthetic reagents, the test can be more replicable and more easily calibrated. The liquid crystal test is compatible with buffers and surfactants that would otherwise cause low endotoxin recovery (LER) issues. LER can lead to regulatory delays, including hold-times and post-marketing commitments The FDA has requested industry explore alternatives to the current LAL test.