Latest AIM Projects


A Mitochondria-Focused Mouse Model (OPA-1-/- mouse) to Accelerate Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology Research

The invention is two engineered OPA-1-/- mouse models that will help address the central role of mitochondrial structure-function dynamics in the mammalian intestine – a translationally critical, but extremely underdeveloped, resource. This mouse models harbor an intestine-specific disruption in OPA-1, a key mitochondrial membrane-associated protein, which will be useful in assessing how mitochondrial structure/interaction influences enteric pathogen disease and basic intestinal cell biology. This can be used by internal and external stakeholders to study gastrointestinal health and disease over the mammalian lifespan, extending research opportunities in anti-infective drug development, infection, nutrition, cancer, metabolic diseases, diabetes, gut-microbiome interactions, and One Health.

Background: 
While animal models, particularly mouse models, are commonly used in research, animal models with intestine-restricted mitochondrial structural defects have not been available until now. It is increasingly appreciated that microbial pathogens aggressively manipulate host mitochondria as a virulence strategy. With these new mouse models, for the first time, gastrointestinal health and disease can be investigated over the mammalian lifespan.

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A Mitochondria-Focused Mouse Model (DRP-1-/- mouse) to Accelerate Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology Research

This invention is a transgenic DRP-1-/- mouse model that will help address the central role of mitochondrial structure-function dynamics in the mammalian intestine. This mouse model harbors an intestine-specific disruption in DRP-1, a key mitochondrial membrane-associated protein, which will be useful in assessing how mitochondrial structure/interaction influences enteric pathogen disease and basic intestinal cell biology. Specifically, the transgenic mouse can be used by internal and external stakeholders to study gastro-intestinal energetics in the context of infection, nutrition, cancer, metabolic diseases, diabetes, gut-microbiome interactions and One Health. 

Background: 
Transgenic (genetically engineered) mice as a model organism have expanded the breadth of knowledge available to research professionals. However, the relationship between mitochondrial structure function and its dynamics to the mammalian intestine is severely lacking. Currently, the studies exploring this relationship use a different model organism that lacks appropriate physiological context to push any application of the research towards clinical studies. The growing trend of a focus on personalized healthcare calls for the rise of mice as model organisms, as well as the rise of chronic disease such as cancer and diabetes. 

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Imaging of cellular immune response in human skin

The technology described in the patent application presents an innovative approach to non-invasive imaging of the cellular immune response in human skin. Leveraging advanced nonlinear optical imaging systems, the method enables high-resolution, depth-resolved imaging without the need for exogenous labels or dyes. By detecting fluorescence signals from endogenous biomolecules like NADH, the system analyzes metabolic signatures of immune cells, providing insights into their functional status and involvement in disease processes. Computational analysis techniques are employed to distinguish immune cell populations based on their morphological, metabolic, and behavioral signatures, offering a comprehensive characterization of the immune response. Additionally, the technology facilitates dynamic imaging of immune cell dynamics and interactions in real-time, allowing for the monitoring of therapy effectiveness in stimulating or suppressing immune responses in skin lesions. Overall, this technology represents a significant advancement in understanding and diagnosing various skin disorders and diseases, with potential applications in both research and clinical settings.


High throughput and precision cell sorting

This technology presents an innovative approach to high-throughput cell sorting, leveraging a microfluidic platform integrated with both flow vortex and dielectrophoresis (DEP) technologies. By combining these techniques, it achieves precise and label-free separation of cells in suspension based on both size and electrical properties. This method offers enhanced specificity, viability, and versatility, making it particularly valuable for applications in medicine, biotechnology, and research. Its potential for advancing diagnostics, therapies, and scientific understanding positions it as an attractive candidate for licensing by individuals or organizations seeking to innovate in the field of life sciences.


CoFe-Al2O3 Soft Magnetic Composite

Soft magnetic materials are used as the magnetic cores of a wide variety of power conversion devices such as electric motors, transformers, and inductors.The electrical requirements of these cores include high permeability/low coercivity, high saturation magnetic polarization, and high electrical resistivity.The soft magnetic composite developed in this work can be used to achieve more efficient transformer cores and electrical machines compared to state of the art materials such as Si Steels and CoFe alloys.It features a unique Al2O3 coating on CoFe particles that serves as an electrically insulative barrier. The composite is consolidated using spark plasma sintering, enabling the net-shape fabrication of the composite for large-scale magnetic core manufacturing.


Quantifying optical properties of skin

Accurate quantification of skin optical properties is crucial in dermatology for diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment. Non-invasive technologies are preferred for in vivo measurement of skin optical properties. However, existing techniques can be less accurate for individuals with higher levels of skin pigmentation due to the confounding effects of melanin in the epidermis.

The disclosure provides iterative, layered methods for accurately quantifying the optical properties of skin across various skin tones. It utilizes spatial frequency domain imaging with a layered Monte Carlo model to quantify epidermal melanin concentration. These methods are particularly effective for individuals with darker skin tones.


Lab-on-a-chip microfluidic microvalves

The invention described in the patent application presents a novel approach to microfluidic device technology, focusing on compact and energy-efficient microvalves for lab-on-a-chip applications. These microvalves utilize a phase-change material (PCM) membrane that transitions from a solid to a liquid state upon heating, enabling precise fluid control without leakage. The invention also introduces a method for efficiently producing pairwise combinations of liquids, simplifying tasks such as chemical synthesis and high-throughput screening. Additionally, the invention incorporates cost-efficient fabrication methods using tissue sectioning instruments, making microfluidic devices more accessible to researchers and industries. Overall, the invention offers improved performance, reliability, and versatility in microfluidic applications across various fields.


Rutgers PerioCalc App

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PerioCalc is a cutting-edge Periodontal Calculator app designed to educate users on the latest classification of Periodontal Diseases and Conditions.


Invention Summary:

Over 40% of American adults suffer from gum disease.

Researchers at Rutgers University have developed this app which provides an intuitive interface for healthcare providers to learn how to implement in practice to properly and timely diagnose periodontal patients. The PerioCalc is an educational periodontal classification calculator that helps dental students and dentists understand what data to consider and how to use these for staging and grading of periodontitis and peri-implantitis consistent with the latest periodontal classification guidelines. The calculator is brief and efficient and provides an opportunity for case-based learning. Staging and grading is based on the 2018 Classification and results are returned instantly after data input.

Market Applications:

•    Learn how to implement the new Periodontal Classification including staging and grading.

Advantages:

•   This calculator is an educational tool and should not be used for patient care, medical decisions or to substitute physician diagnosis.

Download the App: PerioCalc App

Business Development Status: For any business development and other collaborative partnerships contact:  marketingbd@research.rutgers.edu


Sunscreen Compounds and Formulations

Meadowfoam derived sunscreen compounds that reduce UVB-induced DNA damage

Background
Chronic skin exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) leads to accumulated DNA damage resulting in skin aging and the possibility of cancer. To prevent this, sunscreens are formulated with additives that reflect or absorb UV wavelengths that are incident on the skin (i.e., UVA and UVB). While commercially available sunscreen formulations effectively prevent the deleterious effects of UVR, there have been some recent concerns related to safety and environmental toxicity for marine organisms. New sunscreen compounds derived from plants provide a vast reservoir of novel compounds that could avoid these side effects.

Technology Description
This licensing opportunity relates to a novel compound derived from meadowfoam that reduces the ultraviolet radiation damage that leads to skin aging and cancer. The meadowfoam derived sunscreen compound was shown to reduce UVB-induced DNA damage in human primary keratinocytes. The inventors of the compound envision its use in a sunscreen formulation. The inventors arrived at meadowfoam-derived compound as part of an effort to overcome cytotoxicity challenges with natural meadowfoam compounds. The inventors show that lipid conjugation reduces a photoprotective natural product's cytotoxicity while retaining its UVB absorptive capability. Future work may further refine the chemical structure to enhance its UVB absorbency. Furthermore, the compound could be tested in a skin-like environment, such as reconstructed skin, and in different formulations, such as a solid lipid nanoparticle.

Features & Benefits

Applications

Status
Patent pending (U.S. provisional patent application


7815 - High Resolution Capillary Based Calorimetry for Measuring Heat Output from Biological Systems