A peptide hydrogel for use in vascular anastomosis

In collaboration with surgery specialists from Johns Hopkins University, researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) developed novel hydrogel compositions and methods of using them in the microsurgical suturing of blood vessels, which is particularly beneficial for surgeons in whole tissue transplant procedures. The lead candidate electropositive hydrogels, called APC1, was demonstrated in anastomosis mice models to be well tolerated, biocompatible, and non-toxic.

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.

Machine Learning and/or Neural Networks to Validate Stem Cells and Their Derivatives for Use in Cell Therapy, Drug Delivery, and Diagnostics

Many biological and clinical procedures require functional validation of a desired cell type. Current techniques to validate rely on various assays and methods, such as staining with dyes, antibodies, and nucleic acid probes, to assess stem cell health, death, proliferation, and functionality. These techniques potentially destroy stem cells and risk contaminating cells and cultures by exposing them to the environment; they are low-throughput and difficult to scale-up.

Polymer-Cast Inserts for Cell Histology and Microscopy

Three-dimensional (3D) cell cultures systems are important for studying cell biology because they provide in vivo-like microenvironments more physiologically relevant than two-dimensional (2D) culture systems. In 3D culture systems, cells are grown in culture matrixes and turn into spheroids and organoids later processed for downstream analysis by microscopy and histology techniques. The processing of 3D cultures for analysis by microscopy or histology is laborious and time-consuming due to incompatibility of the 3D culture vessels and the microscopy and pathology blocks.

Treatment for Ichthyosiform Skin Diseases

A synthetic composition that contains the transglutaminase 1 (TGase I) enzyme and a lipid vesicle, which can be used to provide ameliorative therapy for inherited autosomal recessive ichthyoses (ARI). Icthyoses are rare inherited skin disorders that result in extensive scaling of the skin. Because this abnormality can affect heat and fluid transfer through the skin, individuals with this disease may have an increased risk for dehydration and skin infections. Each year, more than 16,000 babies are born with some form of ichthyosis. Ichthyosis affects people of all ages, races and gender.

Method of Producing Immortalized Primary Human Keratinocytes for HPV Investigation, Testing of Therapeutics, and Skin Graft Generation

One of the major limitations of using cultured keratinocytes for research studies is that primary keratinocytes senesce after a few passages. Keratinocytes from specific anatomical sites are also difficult to culture. Scientists at the NIH have demonstrated that primary keratinocytes, from several anatomical sites, when treated with a small-molecule inhibitor of the ROCK protein maintain a proliferative state and become immortal without genetic modification to the cells.

Antagonist of A3 Adenosine Receptor Fluorescent Probes for the Study of Diseases that Involve A3 Signaling

This molecular probe may serve as a companion tool to identify and stratify patient populations based on the prevalence of the target A3 adenosine receptors.

Small molecule drugs, A3AR-selective agonists, are currently in advanced clinical trials for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma, autoimmune inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and dry eye disease, and other conditions.

Generation of Artificial Mutation Controls for Diagnostic Testing

This technology relates to a method of generating artificial compositions that can be used as positive controls in a genetic testing assay, such as a diagnostic assay for a particular genetic disease. Such controls can be used to confirm the presence or absence of a particular genetic mutation. The lack of easily accessible, validated mutant controls has proven to be a major obstacle to the advancement of clinical molecular genetic testing, validation, quality control (QC), quality assurance (QA), and required proficiency testing.