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Rapid Metabolite-Sensing System for Blood Lactate
In emergency medicine, blood lactate levels are a reliable real-time indicator of the severity and mortality risk of conditions that occur as a result of poor blood circulation and oxygen supply to organs and tissues (hypoperfusion), such as in patients with sepsis, cardiac arrest, stroke, major trauma, cystic fibrosis and other conditions. Lactate levels also...
DNA Nanotechnology Tools: From Design to Applications
DNA nanostructures with their potential for cell and tissue permeability, biocompatibility, and high programmability at the nanoscale level are promising candidates as new types of drug delivery vehicles, highly specific diagnostic devices, and tools to decipher how biomolecules dynamically change their shapes, and interact with each other and with candidate drugs. Wyss Institute researchers are...
Using Systems Biology to Find and Test New Drugs Faster
The pharmaceutical industry is infamous for big numbers: it takes 10-15 years and can cost over $2 billion to bring a new drug from the lab to the market. Up to 6 of those years and $1 billion are spent in laborious preclinical trials to identify and validate new potential drug compounds, and much of...
eRNA: Controlled Enzymatic RNA Oligonucleotide Synthesis
Synthetic RNA oligonucleotides designed as specific successions of the four nucleobases A, U, G, and C that mimic naturally occurring RNA species are the key components of diverse RNA-based therapies. These include RNA therapeutics that can partially or completely turn off the expression of disease-causing genes (antisense and interfering RNAs), help replace or supplement dysfunctional...
CogniXense: Target-Agnostic Drug Repurposing in Record Time
The problem There are more than 7,000 known rare genetic diseases that collectively afflict more patients in the United States than diabetes, but only 5% of these diseases have any effective treatment. A major driver of this lack of therapies is that about 75% of rare genetic diseases cause cognitive and behavioral impairment, which are...
Toehold Switches for Synthetic Biology
The burgeoning field of synthetic biology is designing artificial gene circuits that recognize molecules in their environment and respond by regulating genes with desired activities. In the future, such capabilities could allow the engineering of cells as diagnostic or therapeutic devices, factories for the production of clinically or industrially coveted molecules, and as specialized devices...
Toehold Probes for Nucleic Acid Detection
The accurate detection of specific DNA or RNA sequences is important for many research and diagnostic applications, and unspecific detection of similar sequences that can differ by only a single nucleotide can give false positive results. In addition, researchers and clinicians would like to accurately test for presence or absence of multiple single base changes...
Microfluidic Drug Encapsulation
Because of their large molecular sizes and properties, biologic drugs, be it in the form of monoclonal antibodies that target disease-associated molecules or active proteins and enzymes that may correct deficiencies in the human body, have proven difficult to deploy in many cases. Their therapeutic effects on target cells and tissues often require high and...
Fusion Proteins for Reduced Drug Toxicity
Therapeutic variants of the natural hormone erythropoietin (EPO) which is produced in the kidney to boost the production of red blood cells are commonly used to treat anemias stemming from kidney disease, chemotherapy and other complications. However, many drugs that are based on therapeutic proteins, including EPO, often cause unwanted side effects because they not...
FISSEQ: Fluorescent In Situ Sequencing
Working copies of active genes — called messenger RNAs or mRNAs —translate the genetic information present in DNA into proteins within the cells’ multiple compartments. They are often positioned strategically within cells in ways that contribute critically to how cells and tissues grow, develop and function, and their mislocation can lead to disease development. To...
Multiplexed Molecular Force Spectroscopy
Programmable DNA nanoswitches, invented at the Wyss Institute, can now be used in combination with a benchtop Centrifuge Force Microscope (CFM) as a highly reliable tool to observe thousands of individual molecules and their responses to mechanical forces in parallel. By analyzing the responses of single molecules under conditions where they experience such forces, it is possible...
Organ Chips are microfluidic devices lined with living human cells for drug development, disease modeling, and personalized medicine. Launched in 2014, Wyss startup Emulate, Inc., is leveraging the Wyss Institute’s Organ Chip technology to mimic human organs in vitro, enabling faster, better, and cheaper drug development and insights into human health.