Latest AIM Projects

Blood Based T Cell Biomarker For Cancer Diagnosis And Treatment

Integrated Virtual Reality and Audiovisual Display Support System for Patients in a Prone Position

Display systems such as virtual reality headsets have grown in popularity in recent years – in part because of their ability to allow users to experience a calming, immersive environment. Such devices are especially helpful to distract conscious patients undergoing extended diagnostic tests or medical procedures. However, the ancillary electronics related to these devices often require bulky or cumbersome systems that do not facilitate patient comfort or support. Additionally, a person undergoing such a procedure may be partially sedated or in a weakened state due to an illness or other medical condition - thereby further complicating the ability of that patient to use a head-mounted display. The use of such devices is especially limiting for procedures that require patients to maintain a prone position.

Researchers at the University of California Davis have developed a display device that allows for immersive audiovisual distraction for patients in prone positions. The system integrates an audiovisual virtual reality headset with supportive positioning equipment to provide head, torso, or other support to patients. The combination of the supportive equipment and the display increases patient comfort while reducing their anxiety.

Film Forming Foam (FFF) for Burn Wounds/Burnflex

Invention Summary:

    Many of the available burn dressings on the market use latex, PVC or polyurethane as means of barrier-like components to protect the patient from outside elements. The current use of these components presents a problem of waste and contamination. Other available options in the market are hydrogel-based dressings that may be coated in silver sulfadiazine, a commonly used antibiotic for large burn wounds. These coatings are of limited access to lower incomes because of their cost. There exists a need for a novel dressing that provides economical and efficacious wound healing.


    Rutgers researchers have developed a product which is stored inside a pressurized can as an emulsion mixture of monomers and active ingredients stabilized by surfactants. Once application is commenced, the product changes into a foam and begins a polymerization reaction once in contact with air. This forms a polymeric matrix film on the applied skin with active ingredients dispersed in it. This film provides a long-lasting protection from surroundings and allows for stretching to accommodate for the user’s movement. The application is easy, virtually “hands-free,” and relatively low-cost. 


    A series of nanomaterials with antimicrobial properties have been synthesized, characterized, and tested against S. Aureus and E. Coli strains incapable of metabolizing copper. The effect of salts, oxidative states and time was investigated. The effect of pH on bactericidal activity was also studied. /rss.Left>


Market Applications:

Intellectual Property & Development Status: Patent pending. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration.

Three-dimensional stencil-mask based patterning of thread/fiber/yarn based devices such as sensors and transistors.


One-Pot Multienzyme Synthesis of Sialidase Reagents, Probes and Inhibitors

Microbial sialidases (enzymes that catalyze the removal of terminal sialic acid resides) are important anti-viral and anti-bacterial drug targets. Specifically, designing and synthesizing inhibitors for 2,3-dehydro-2-deoxy-sialic acids (Sia2ens) and their derivatives have been actively pursued. However, current methods to synthesize such inhibitors require the use of toxic chemicals and solvents for multiple protection and deprotection steps. Thus, new sialidase inhibitors and methods for preparing them are needed. 

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed an enzymatic method for synthesizing sialidase inhibitors and sialoside reagents and probes that uses only methanol and water as solvents. The OPME method removes the need for multiple protection and deprotection steps. This method was used to create a library of sialic acid derivatives and their six-carbon precursors along with sialidase transition state analog inhibitors 2,3-dehydro-2-deoxy-sialic acids (Sia2ens) specific to the derivatives and precursors. This technology provides efficient enzymatic methods to access useful sialidase inhibitors and sialoside reagents and probes.

Producing Cross-Linked, Spray-Dried, Microcapsules Resistant to Degradation from Oxygen or Water Exposure

Oxygen and water both pose a major threat to the shelf life and quality of foods and many other products. Microencapsulation of bioactives and other materials susceptible to oxygen or water degradation can preserve product quality and reduce the presence of unwanted flavors and odors. However, the current, multi-step, production techniques for manufacturing cross-linked, alginate, microcapsules are too complex and expensive to be viable at the needed commercial scale.

Researchers at the University of Davis, California have developed a method to produce spray-dried microcapsules that incorporate a functionalized starch emulsifier and cross-linkable polymer attributes. Functionalized starch is included in the formulation as a surfactant/emulsifier to enhance the storage stability of the microcapsules. The microcapsules prepared with high starch content retained enteric release properties intrinsic to the cross-linked polymer system. The manufacturing technique for these microcapsules is an industrially scalable, 2-step process – which is both less expensive and far less complex than alternate production techniques. This method can produce a wide range of microcapsule sizes. Relative to other methods that do not utilize cross-linked polymers, this technology also yields particles that remain largely insoluble in water – as well as in simulated gastric fluid.

As one example of this technology’s efficacy, this method has been proven to increase the shelf life of microencapsulated omega-3 fatty acids.

Small Molecules for Treating Clostridium perfringens-related Bacterial Infections

Bacterial resistance to antimicrobial compounds has become a serious threat to human health globally –therapeutic strategies that circumvent the emergence and spread of pathogens that are resistant to common antibiotics are needed urgently. One such approach is an attempt to interfere with a bacteria’s own “internal” communication systems (also known as “quorum sensing” systems).

Clostridium perfringens can reproduce rapidly and is generally resistant to many common antibiotics. In addition to mild food poisoning and other gastrointestinal distress, more severe illnesses triggered by C. perfringens include septic shock and necrotic tissue infections such as “gas gangrene.” This form of gangrene often develops in post-surgical infections or other wounds depleted of blood supply.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed peptides and peptidometics that inhibit the production of virulence factors in C. perfringens and other pathogenic clostridia. These inhibitors interfere with quorum sensing in C. perfringens by mimicking the bacteria’s own signaling peptides – which then prevents the bacteria from determining accurate information about its own population densities. The net result is a significant reduction in bacterial toxin production.

Because interference with the bacterial virulence factors does not aim to eradicate the bacteria, this technology does not exert a strong selective pressure on the bacteria. Thus, this therapeutic approach may decelerate the emergence and dissemination of antibiotic resistant mutant strains. As such, the use of this technology can overcome the shortcomings of antibiotic treatment alone.

Nanocellulose-based Aerogel Fibers as Insulation

Aerogels are high-porosity, ultralight, materials that are 99+% air. Their properties include uncommon traits that allow aerogels to fulfill unique applications. For example, incorporating three-dimensional (3-D) aerogels into fibers produces clothing with properties that include protection against both extreme hot and cold. Currently, such aerogel fibers are produced using both dissolution and coagulation processes. However, dissolution and coagulation are time-consuming and chemically-intensive. Moreover, current aerogel fabrication processes struggle to produce continuous fibers consistently while also maintaining aerogel-like density and porosity. Thus, there is a need for an improved process that can create continuous, aerogel-like, fibers.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a method for producing continuous fibers with highly porous aerogel cores. This technology combines cellulose - which is among the least thermally conductive materials - with highly porous aerogel structures in order to maximize the thermal insulation potential of the fibers. Moreover, the sheath component functions as a template and as a surface layer to protect the integrity of the aerogel structure from external forces or the environment. Thus, this method yields continuous fibers while maintaining internal aerogel structures. These fibers can potentially be used for various insulation devices, wearables, and other platform technologies with multiple, commercial scale, applications.

High-Accuracy Receiver for Optical Object Discrimination

This invention describes a device that functions as a receiver for optical object discrimination in a highly accurate and complex way. This technology has applications and improvements in a large range of object discrimination-based technologies like QR or barcode readers.

Object discrimination technologies are widely used and have broad-ranging applications in various industries. The current standard and closest technology would be QR and passive barcode readers. The inventors have devised a new device and method and improve on applications and accuracy.

In this technology, the receiver will be utilized in high-stability contexts where 1- or 2-dimensional visual codes or other objects must be read or identified using small optics at large distances. Additionally, the technology will be a vast improvement in situations where the use of RF or other active signaling is precluded, for example, in automated sensing contexts.



Symmetric Logarithmic Derivative Eigen-projection Adaptive Algorithm for Super-Resolution Imaging

This technology describes an eigen-projection adaptive algorithm that can be used for super-resolution imaging in a variety of contexts, including life-sciences microscopy or astronomy.

Traditional advanced microscopy or telescopy uses several different measuring methods to estimate brightness, deduce position, and discriminate between object bodies. These methods work well, but often there must be additional technology or algorithms deployed to enhance the resolution.

In this technology, the inventors propose a new and improved adaptive algorithm that can yield super-resolution imaging in a variety of contexts. They propose to do this by having developed a symmetric logarithmic derivative eigen-projection adaptive algorithm. The algorithm works by its two main stages of initialization and establishing the symmetric logarithmic derivative (SLD) eigen-projection.