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Cellular “Backpacks” to Slow Tumor Growth
Macrophages are the body’s multipurpose defense agents, patrolling for pathogens and engulfing cellular debris, foreign substances, microbes, and even cancer cells. But cancerous tumors have evolved an insidious defense mechanism: they can switch arriving macrophages from an anti-cancer state to a pro-cancer state, in which they help promote the tumor’s growth. As a result, attempts...
eRapid: Multiplexed Electrochemical Sensors for Fast, Accurate, Portable Diagnostics
Handheld electrochemical sensors have revolutionized at-home medical testing for diabetics, but they have not yet been successfully applied to diagnosing other conditions. These sensors are based on the activity of an enzyme, and there are only a limited number of enzymes that can be used to detect biomarkers of human disease. An alternative, much more...
FcMBL: Broad-Spectrum Pathogen Capture for Infectious Diseases
Microbial infection is the cause of life-threatening cases of sepsis, meningitis and multiple other diseases that are major causes of death world-wide. Equally prevalent are pathogenic contaminants in our environment, food, and manufacturing processes. In each case, the presence of dangerous microbes must be confirmed, and when they are found, they need to be removed,...
Single-Cell Encapsulation for Improved Cell Therapies
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are valued for their ability to secrete compounds that modulate the body’s immune system, making them an attractive solution for existing problems with cell therapies including host-vs-graft disease and organ transplant rejections. However, MSCs are rapidly cleared from the body and can come under fire from the immune system. Efforts to...
abbieSense: Anaphylaxis Diagnostic
The molecule histamine plays a primary role in the anaphylaxis reaction, which is a major cause of illness and death in people with severe allergies. Histamine is a very small molecule composed of only seventeen atoms, making it a challenging target to detect. To date, no diagnostic test exists that can measure histamine levels accurately...
RAPID: Testing for Food Contaminants
Contamination of food by microorganisms such as certain bacteria, viruses and fungi is a constant concern, with even miniscule amounts of certain species posing a risk for foods to become unsafe and spoiled during storage. Current safety and quality tests are often not sensitive enough to detect rare species, and because they first require the...
T Cell Traps
T cells, a subtype of white blood cells, play key roles in cell-mediated immunity, be it to fight infections and cancer or, when corrupted, to react against the body’s own cells in more than 80 autoimmune diseases, including type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and others. However, isolating disease-related T cells from the body...
Over 15 million Americans are at risk of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction triggered by exposure to certain foods, materials, medications, and insect bites. Every three minutes, a food reaction sends someone to the emergency room. In most individuals, anaphylactic shock can be prevented by administering the counteracting drug epinephrine, as soon as an attack...
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.