Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in elderly patients in developed countries, affecting approximately 7.5 million Americans. Recently several genetic and environmental factors have been implicated as susceptibility factors. We have developed an algorithm which can incorporate all of the risk factors a patient may have and determine a risk value for which they may be susceptible for developing AMD. Currently there is no predictive test for identifying individuals that are at risk for developing AMD rather individuals are screened after the age of 60 for the presence of the disease. This test would allow individuals who are at risk of developing AMD to be identified prior to onset of the disease so that preventative steps may be taken and delay or prevent AMD from occurring.
Late-Onset Alzheimer's Disease (LOAD) is a complex disorder with a strong genetic component. Previous studies suggest that genetic variants contribute to not just LOAD susceptibility, but to the variation of the age-at-onset (AAO). Millions of people suffer from this disease but until now there has been no way to predict the probably age at which the disease would begin to manifest. A genome-wide analysis of multitude of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP's) was performed on a large population of patients. The importance of identifying SNP's that are associated with a disease allows the comparison on regions of the genome between affected and non-affected individuals. When strong associations are made they allow us to predict the likelihood of an individual being affected by the disease. In this case not only the disease but a prediction of the age at which the individual will be affected can be predicted.
Autism is a brain development disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, impaired communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior, all starting before a child is three years old. Autism has a strong genetic basis, although the genetics of autism are complex and it is unclear whether autism is explained more by multigene interactions or by rare mutations. Vanderbilt and University of Miami researchers have identified a small nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) on chromosome 5 which associates with autism. This SNP could be developed for early detection of this disease. Diagnosis of autism can be difficult and typically not done until children have difficulty with social interactions. If autism could be identified at an earlier stage then behavior modifications could be introduced to help children preventing many of the restrictive behavior these children have.
Approximately 5% of patients administered gentamicin, a common antibiotic, experience vestibular ototoxicity, or poisoning of the inner ear resulting in balance dysfunction such as vertigo, dizziness, and imbalance. Vanderbilt researchers and University of Maryland researchers have identified three specific polymorphisms in susceptible genes that are associated with this disorder. These results maybe used for personalized medicine such that a patient could be screened prior to administering the drug allowing the physician to alter the treatment plan for patients that would be at an increased risk for developing this disorder.
The technology described here permits the delivery of therapeutic or diagnostic (tumor imaging) molecules to a variety of tumor types in a targeted fashion. Current methods for targeting therapeutic agents to tumors have limited utility because they (i) produce toxic effects through reactions with normal tissues; (ii) lack the ability to bind to multiple tumor types and/or (iii) lack tumor specificity. This technology is based upon the fact that certain proteins are upregulated in blood vessels in response to irradiation. These upregulated proteins can act as targets for binding molecules such as antibodies, peptides, or other chemicals. Attaching an anti-tumor therapeutic unit, such as a radioisotope, to one of these binding molecules (e.g. an antibody) provides a way to treat or detect a variety of tumor types and stages while avoiding damage to normal tissue. Licensing Opportunity: A suite of patents and patent applications available for licensing includes compositions of radiation-inducible tumor proteins, and molecules that bind these proteins such as peptides and antibodies; along with methods of using these ligands for treatment and for identification of radiation inducible ligands in tumors. State of development/future plans: Screening a phage display library (murine) has resulted in production of 13 recombinant antibodies that bind to an identified radiation-inducible antigen. Only 2 (designated Lead and Control ScFv) of the 13 recombinant antibodies bound radiation-induced antigen in mice and are depicted in the accompanying figure. Of these two, the LEAD ScFv specifically bound tumor (see figure). Research is moving towards humanizing the lead antibody and identifying the specific epitope bound by the antibody.
A catheter device for therapeutic and diagnostic use within a human vascular system in difficult to access locations such as bifurcating cerebral arteries. The distal end of the catheter body comprises a flexible material so that the catheter tip can deflect laterally towards the vessel wall in response to the hemodynamic lift. An intermediate section of the catheter body between the hub and the tip provides a semi-rigid control connection whereby pushing, pulling, and rotation of the hub produces a corresponding movement of the catheter tip.
A clamp with helical coils or springs to receive and secure cylindrical rods; e.g., for external fixators. The clamp includes quick connection and tightening around the rod . These clamps have multiple uses including use as a device for securing a bone, scaffolding, and other applications where gripping 360 degrees around the rod offers significant advantage.
A phase-contrast X-Ray computed tomography scanner, a monochromatic diffraction computed tomography scanner, a rotatable monochromatic diffraction computed tomography scanner, and a combination phase-contrast and monochromatic computed tomographic scanner are provided. In addition, a method of identifying an unknown sample is provided.
Currently practical (as opposed to didactic) training is performed by trainees practicing on live patients and then learning disease processes from mentors. The training is serendipitous by necessity. This technology would potentially shorten, standardize, and broaden the training for technicians as well as radiologists and surgeons.
A method for simplifying the process of designing a platform for minimally invasive surgery. The platform is designed to attach to a set of bone-implanted anchors attached to the patient. This method makes the fitting of the platform to the anchors simpler and easier.
This is a high resolution imaging device that can detect the fundamental functional units of cortical organization. Currently, with existing technology, we are able to monitor the activity of these units in the awake, head-fixed animal using large standard sized cameras mounted on heavy camera arms. However, we need a capability to conduct such monitoring in the awake and freely moving animal so that we can relate specific patterns of cortical activity to natural behaviors.
An intervertebral disc prosthesis that comprises a deformable flexure with an axial cavity, the axial cavity extending along the axis of the flexure, and a slit defined in the perimeter surface of the flexure to provide flexibility to the disc member, the slit having a slit thickness.