Composite Gels and Methods of their Use in Tissue Repair, Drug Delivery, and as Implants

Gel materials, particularly hydrogels, typically lose their mechanical strength and stiffness as they swell. This property  limits their use in both biological (e.g., cartilage and ECM repair) and non-biological (e.g., sealant) applications. Innovative materials in both medical and non-medical application areas are sorely needed.

Devices for Improved Tissue Cryopreservation and Recovery

Problem: Cryopreservation is a process where living biological materials like cells, tissues, and cell therapies (which are susceptible to damage caused by unregulated chemical kinetics) are preserved by cooling to very low temperatures in the presence of specific cryopreservation media that protects the biological material from damage. In order to be used, the biological material ideally should be thawed in a controlled manner that minimizes damage and desirably brings the material back to a viable state.

Modified Bacterial Strain for Otitis Media Vaccine

This invention relates to a strain of Moraxella catarrhalis containing a gene mutation that prevents endotoxic lipooligosaccharide (LOS) synthesis and potential use of the mutant for developing novel vaccines against the pathogen, for which there is currently no licensed vaccine. M. catarrhalis is one of the causative agents of otitis media (middle ear infection), sinusitis, and lung infections. The mutant is defective in the lpxA gene, whose enzyme product is relevant in lipid A biosynthesis (lipid A is part of the LOS).

TTP as a Regulator of GM-CSF mRNA Deadenylation and Stability

The disclosed invention provides materials and methods to treat granulocytopenia (low white cell count in the blood) which is characterized by a reduced number of granulocytes (relative) or an absence of granulocytes (absolute). This condition is commonly associated with cancer chemotherapy, but is seen less frequently in a number of conditions including the use of propylthiouracil, radiotherapy for marrow ablation for bone marrow transplantation, aplastic anemia, systemic lupus erythematosus, AIDS and a variety of other situations.

The Use of Rabbits with Defined Immunoglobulin Light Chain Genes (C<sub>kappa</sub> b allotypes) to Optimize Production of Chimeric and Humanized Monoclonal Antibodies for Therapeutic, Imaging and Diagnostic Applications

Biological materials are important research tools that can be used for diagnostic as well as therapeutic purposes. Antibodies have become viable drugs in the market today and there is a general market need for systems that may facilitate production of efficient and effective antibodies. In recent years, monoclonal antibodies have gained significant importance in their use, both as diagnostics and therapeutics, to intervene and combat diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and infections.

Tristetraprolin (TTP) Knockout Mice

National Institutes of Health researchers have developed knockout mice that do not express Tristetraprolin (TTP). TTP is an AU-rich element (ARE) binding protein and the prototype of a family of CCCH zinc finger proteins. AREs were identified as conserved sequences found in the 3’ untranslated region (3’ UTR) of a variety of transiently expressed genes including early response genes, proto-oncogenes, and other growth regulatory genes. AREs function as instability sequences that target ARE-containing transcripts for rapid mRNA decay.

Methods and Materials for Identifying Polymorphic Variants, Diagnosing Susceptibilities, and Treating Disease

This invention relates to materials and methods associated with polymorphic variants in two enzymes involved in folate-dependent and one-carbon metabolic pathways important in pregnancy-related complications and neural tube birth defects: MTHFD1 (5,10-methylenetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase, 5,10-methenyltetrahydrofolate cyclohydrolase, 10-formyltetrahydrofolate synthase) and methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase (NADP+ dependent) 1-like (MTHFD1L). These enzymes are extremely important in the promotion of DNA synthesis, a process that is critical for normal placental and fetal development.

A Nurr1-Knockout Mouse Model for Parkinson's Disease and Stem Cell Differentiation

The researchers have generated Nurr1-knockout mice via genomic locus inactivation using homologous recombination.

Transcription factor Nurr1 is an obligatory factor for neurotransmitter dopamine biosynthesis in ventral midbrain. From a neurological and clinical perspective, it suggests an entirely new mechanism for dopamine depletion in a region where dopamine is known to be involved in Parkinson's disease. Activation of Nurr1 may be therapeutically useful for Parkinson's disease patients; therefore, the mice would be useful in Parkinson's disease research.

A New Mouse Monoclonal Antibody Against Human Microphthalmia Transcription Factor (MITF)

Micropthalmia Transcription Factor (MITF) plays an important role in melanocyte development and melanoma growth. MITF is important for embryonic development, regulating the generation of pigment cells and formation of melanomas and other tumors. MITF is made in various isoforms that may play unique roles for different organs during different developmental periods. Additionally, tissue MITF levels can serve as a molecular marker for the diagnosis of metastatic melanoma and therapeutic response.