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News Article | September 15, 2016
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

Computer programs have defeated humans in Jeopardy!, chess and Go. Now a program developed at Case Western Reserve University has outperformed physicians on a more serious matter. The program was nearly twice as accurate as two neuroradiologists in determining whether abnormal tissue seen on magnetic resonance images (MRI) were dead brain cells caused by radiation, called radiation necrosis, or if brain cancer had returned. The direct comparison is part of a feasibility study published in the American Journal of Neuroradiology today. “One of the biggest challenges with the evaluation of brain tumor treatment is distinguishing between the confounding effects of radiation and cancer recurrence,” said Pallavi Tiwari, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve and leader of the study. “On an MRI, they look very similar.” But treatments for radiation necrosis and cancer recurrence are far different. Quick identification can help speed prognosis, therapy and improve patient outcomes, the researchers say. With further confirmation of its accuracy, radiologists using their expertise and the program may eliminate unnecessary and costly biopsies Tiwari said. Brain biopsies are currently the only definitive test but are highly invasive and risky, causing considerable morbidity and mortality. To develop the program, the researchers employed machine learning algorithms in conjunction with radiomics, the term used for features extracted from images using computer algorithms. The engineers, scientists and physicians trained the computer to identify radiomic features that discriminate between brain cancer and radiation necrosis, using routine follow-up MRI scans from 43 patients. The images were all from University Hospitals Case Medical Center. The team then developed algorithms to find the most discriminating radiomic features, in this case, textures that can’t be seen by simply eyeballing the images. “What the algorithms see that the radiologists don’t are the subtle differences in quantitative measurements of tumor heterogeneity and breakdown in microarchitecture on MRI, which are higher for tumor recurrence,” said Tiwari, who was appointed to the Department of Biomedical Engineering by the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. More specifically, while the physicians use the intensity of pixels on MRI scans as a guide, the computer looks at the edges of each pixel, explained Anant Madabhushi, F. Alex Nason professor II of biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve, and study co-author. “If the edges all point to the same direction, the architecture is preserved,” said Madabhushi, who also directs the Center of Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics at CWRU. “If they point in different directions, the architecture is disrupted—the entropy, or disorder, and heterogeneity are higher. “ In the direct comparison, two physicians and the computer program analyzed MRI scans from 15 patients from University of Texas Southwest Medical Center. One neuroradiologist diagnosed seven patients correctly, and the second physician correctly diagnosed eight patients. The computer program was correct on 12 of the 15. Tiwari and Madabhushi don’t expect the computer program would be used alone, but as a decision support to assist neuroradiologists in improving their confidence in identifying a suspicious lesion as radiation necrosis or cancer recurrence. Next, the researchers are seeking to validate and the algorithms’ accuracy using a much larger collection of images from across different sites.


News Article | November 17, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

XBiotech's True Human antibodies Targeting IL-1 alpha (IL-1alpha) to be used in Researching Treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 17, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- XBiotech Inc. (NASDAQ:XBIT), developer of True Human(TM) therapeutic antibodies, announced today commencement of a collaboration with a research team at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine headed by leading gastroenterologist, Fabio Cominelli, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Cominelli and his research team will conduct pre-clinical studies to help develop new treatments for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) using the company's pioneering approach to using natural human antibody therapy to neutralize harmful inflammation. Dr. Cominelli is a world-leading expert in inflammatory bowel disease. His group was the first to report that specific blockade of interleukin-1 (IL-1) was effective in reducing disease severity in colitis and that deregulated inflammation is a cause of auto-inflammatory diseases, including IBD. Dr. Cominelli is Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Liver Disease and Director of the Digestive Health Institute at CWRU School of Medicine in Cleveland and Chief Scientific Officer of the Digestive Health Institute at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. Dr. Cominelli is also the Hermann Menges Jr. Chair in Internal Medicine and Professor at CWRU School of Medicine. Dr. Cominelli has a professional interest in Crohn's disease, gastrointestinal (GI) cancer, IBD and ulcerative colitis. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and Association of American Physicians. He has previously earned a NIH Merit Award. His work has been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals, such as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and The Journal of Immunology. Dr. Cominelli earned his medical degree at Universita' Degli Studi di Firenze in Florence, Italy, where he also completed his internal medicine residency. He completed his gastroenterology fellowship at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California. Dr. Cominelli stated, "I have researched IL-1's role in disease severity in colitis for many years, and am excited about the opportunity to be able to selectively inhibit IL-1 alpha to better define its role in IBD. These results will help shape the design of future clinical trials as we look for new and better treatments for this wide-spread condition." John Simard, the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Dr. Cominelli's past research has formed the foundation for clinical trials with important implications for new treatments for patients suffering from inflammatory diseases of the bowl. We are hopeful that this collaboration will provide for further advances in treatment." About Inflammatory Bowel Disease Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a common condition involving chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. IBD primarily includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, both of which are typically associated with severe diarrhea, pain, fatigue and weight loss. IBD can have a devastating impact on quality of life and in some cases lead to life-threatening complications. There are approximately 1.6 million Americans and 5 million people worldwide suffering from IBD with as many as 70,000 new cases diagnosed yearly in the U.S1. About True Human(TM) Therapeutic Antibodies Unlike previous generations of antibody therapies, XBiotech's True Human(TM) antibodies are derived without modification from individuals who possess natural immunity to certain diseases. With discovery and clinical programs across multiple disease areas, XBiotech's True Human antibodies have the potential to harness the body's natural immunity to fight disease with increased safety, efficacy and tolerability. About XBiotech XBiotech is a fully integrated global biosciences company dedicated to pioneering the discovery, development and commercialization of therapeutic antibodies based on its True Human(TM) proprietary technology. XBiotech currently is advancing a robust pipeline of antibody therapies to redefine the standards of care in oncology, inflammatory conditions and infectious diseases. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, XBiotech also is leading the development of innovative biotech manufacturing technologies designed to more rapidly, cost-effectively and flexibly produce new therapies urgently needed by patients worldwide. For more information, visit www.xbiotech.com. Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains forward-looking statements, including declarations regarding management's beliefs and expectations that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "would," "could," "expects," "plans," "contemplate," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "projects," "intend" or "continue" or the negative of such terms or other comparable terminology, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Forward-looking statements are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties in predicting future results and conditions that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those projected in these forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties are subject to the disclosures set forth in the "Risk Factors" section of certain of our SEC filings. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and our actual results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industry in which we operate, may differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Any forward-looking statements that we make in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. We assume no obligation to update our forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.


News Article | November 17, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 17, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- XBiotech Inc. (NASDAQ:XBIT), developer of True Human™ therapeutic antibodies, announced today commencement of a collaboration with a research team at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine headed by leading gastroenterologist, Fabio Cominelli, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Cominelli and his research team will conduct pre-clinical studies to help develop new treatments for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) using the company’s pioneering approach to using natural human antibody therapy to neutralize harmful inflammation. Dr. Cominelli is a world-leading expert in inflammatory bowel disease. His group was the first to report that specific blockade of interleukin-1 (IL-1) was effective in reducing disease severity in colitis and that deregulated inflammation is a cause of auto-inflammatory diseases, including IBD. Dr. Cominelli is Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Liver Disease and Director of the Digestive Health Institute at CWRU School of Medicine in Cleveland and Chief Scientific Officer of the Digestive Health Institute at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. Dr. Cominelli is also the Hermann Menges Jr. Chair in Internal Medicine and Professor at CWRU School of Medicine. Dr. Cominelli has a professional interest in Crohn's disease, gastrointestinal (GI) cancer, IBD and ulcerative colitis. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and Association of American Physicians. He has previously earned a NIH Merit Award. His work has been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals, such as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and The Journal of Immunology. Dr. Cominelli earned his medical degree at Universita’ Degli Studi di Firenze in Florence, Italy, where he also completed his internal medicine residency. He completed his gastroenterology fellowship at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California. Dr. Cominelli stated, “I have researched IL-1’s role in disease severity in colitis for many years, and am excited about the opportunity to be able to selectively inhibit IL-1 alpha to better define its role in IBD. These results will help shape the design of future clinical trials as we look for new and better treatments for this wide-spread condition.” John Simard, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Dr. Cominelli’s past research has formed the foundation for clinical trials with important implications for new treatments for patients suffering from inflammatory diseases of the bowl. We are hopeful that this collaboration will provide for further advances in treatment.” About Inflammatory Bowel Disease Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a common condition involving chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. IBD primarily includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, both of which are typically associated with severe diarrhea, pain, fatigue and weight loss. IBD can have a devastating impact on quality of life and in some cases lead to life-threatening complications. There are approximately 1.6 million Americans and 5 million people worldwide suffering from IBD with as many as 70,000 new cases diagnosed yearly in the U.S1. About True Human™ Therapeutic Antibodies Unlike previous generations of antibody therapies, XBiotech’s True Human™ antibodies are derived without modification from individuals who possess natural immunity to certain diseases. With discovery and clinical programs across multiple disease areas, XBiotech’s True Human antibodies have the potential to harness the body’s natural immunity to fight disease with increased safety, efficacy and tolerability. About XBiotech XBiotech is a fully integrated global biosciences company dedicated to pioneering the discovery, development and commercialization of therapeutic antibodies based on its True Human™ proprietary technology. XBiotech currently is advancing a robust pipeline of antibody therapies to redefine the standards of care in oncology, inflammatory conditions and infectious diseases. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, XBiotech also is leading the development of innovative biotech manufacturing technologies designed to more rapidly, cost-effectively and flexibly produce new therapies urgently needed by patients worldwide. For more information, visit www.xbiotech.com. Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains forward-looking statements, including declarations regarding management's beliefs and expectations that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "would," "could," "expects," "plans," "contemplate," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "projects," "intend" or "continue" or the negative of such terms or other comparable terminology, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Forward-looking statements are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties in predicting future results and conditions that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those projected in these forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties are subject to the disclosures set forth in the "Risk Factors" section of certain of our SEC filings. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and our actual results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industry in which we operate, may differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Any forward-looking statements that we make in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. We assume no obligation to update our forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.


Shanmuganathan K.,Case Western Reserve University | Capadona J.R.,CWRU | Capadona J.R.,Medical Center | Rowan S.J.,Case Western Reserve University | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Materials Chemistry | Year: 2010

A new series of biomimetic, stimuli-responsive nanocomposites, which change their mechanical properties upon exposure to physiological conditions, was investigated. The materials were produced by introducing percolating networks of cellulose whiskers isolated from cotton into poly(vinyl acetate). Below the glass-transition temperature (Tg ∼ 63 °C), the tensile storage moduli (E′) of the dry nanocomposites increased two fold, from 2 GPa for the neat polymer to 4 GPa for a nanocomposite with 16.5% v/v whiskers. The relative reinforcement was more significant above Tg, where E′ was increased nearly 40 fold, from ∼1.2 MPa to ∼45 MPa. Upon exposure to emulated physiological conditions (immersion in artificial cerebrospinal fluid at 37 °C) all nanocomposites showed a pronounced decrease in E′, for example to 5 MPa for the 16.5% v/v whisker nanocomposites with only about 28% w/w swelling. This is a significant reduction in the amount of swelling required to decrease the E′, compared to earlier material versions based on cellulose whiskers with higher surface charge density; the decreased swelling may be a considerable advantage for the intended use of these materials as adaptive substrates for intracortical electrodes and other biomedical applications. © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


News Article | March 2, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Since the discovery of penicillin in 1928, antibiotics have made the world a much safer and healthier place. But Shakespeare was onto something when he asked if it's possible to have too much of a good thing. In the case of antibiotics, the answer is increasingly "yes." As a result, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center are teaming up to take on the rising problem of antibiotic resistance. A new entity, Case VA CARES, will combine firepower from both organizations in the battle against antibiotic resistance. Staff will carry out new research, work to modify existing antibiotics, try and discover new ones, and use decoys to trick uncooperative bacteria. More and more, bacteria and other microorganisms are developing resistance to antibiotics which used to kill them off. This resistance, which evolves via natural selection through random mutation, is usually caused by excessive use of antibiotics, including in livestock animals raised as human food. In turn, infections which used to yield to antibiotics can persist and even worsen, putting patients in danger. Not only does antibiotic resistance imperil health, it also adds to healthcare costs as doctors try different medicines to find ones bacteria haven't become resistant to. Sometimes the stronger substitute antibiotics cause serious side effects such as kidney damage. More than two million people develop antibiotic-resistant infections in the U.S. ever year, leading to more than 23,000 deaths. Some experts say that without new inroads, the death toll could top that from cancer by mid-century. The financial costs are already enormous: as much as $20 billion in extra healthcare costs annually. Case VA CARES (CWRU-Cleveland VAMC Center for Antimicrobial Resistance and Epidemiology) will be located in the CWRU School of Medicine and Cleveland VA with collaborating partner laboratories located around the world. "An immediate goal of this initiative is to boost research into multidrug-resistant Gram negative organisms such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumoniae and mycobacteria, which can cause tuberculosis and many other infections," said Pamela B. Davis, MD, PhD, dean of CWRU School of Medicine. "Understanding the mechanistic and molecular bases of resistance is crucial to properly treating patients with serious infections." In addition to research and drug discovery, experts at the center will work with scientists throughout the world to track outbreaks of resistant organisms, discover new drugs, and develop training for physicians, medical students, and residents to recognize and prevent overuse of antibiotics. The director of the center will be Robert A. Bonomo, MD, medicine service chief at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. Faculty members of the new center will come from throughout both organizations including experts in infectious diseases, microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, pharmacology, proteomics, and bioinformatics. Experienced scientists with expertise in bacterial genome sequencing and bioinformatics analyses will be recruited to augment experts from the CWRU Department of Genetics. "In the search for new antibiotics and fresh strategies for existing ones, Case VA CARES will play a prominent role in leading and conducting research needed to design and conduct clinical trials, which will take place at the VA , University Hospitals, MetroHealth, and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation," said Dr. Bonomo, who is a member of the NIH-funded Antimicrobial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG). The latter group is addressing national priorities for clinical research on antibiotic resistance. Case VA CARES will also benefit from strong working relationships with industry partners of both the School of Medicine, University Hospitals of Cleveland, MetroHealth, the Cleveland Clinic and the VA Medical Center. Founded in 1843, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is the largest medical research institution in Ohio and is among the nation's top medical schools for research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The School of Medicine is recognized throughout the international medical community for outstanding achievements in teaching. The School's innovative and pioneering Western Reserve2 curriculum interweaves four themes--research and scholarship, clinical mastery, leadership, and civic professionalism--to prepare students for the practice of evidence-based medicine in the rapidly changing healthcare environment of the 21st century. Nine Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the School of Medicine. Annually, the School of Medicine trains more than 800 MD and MD/PhD students and ranks in the top 25 among U.S. research-oriented medical schools as designated by U.S. News & World Report's "Guide to Graduate Education." The School of Medicine is affiliated with University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, MetroHealth Medical Center, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Cleveland Clinic, with which it established the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in 2002. For more information, visit http://case. . The Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center is the hub of the Northeast Ohio VA Healthcare System, providing and coordinating primary, acute and specialty care for Veterans. Focusing on treating the whole Veteran through health promotion and disease prevention, the Northeast Ohio VA Healthcare System delivers comprehensive, seamless healthcare and social services for Veterans at 18 locations across Northeast Ohio. The Northeast Ohio VA Healthcare System contributes to the future of medicine through education, training and research programs. For more information visit http://www. .


News Article | November 21, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine researcher has found that addiction treatment results improved when teens in a residential program stopped smoking. The findings are published in a new study in the November issue of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. They hold important implications for success in treating addiction since up to three out of four people with such disorders are smokers, a significantly higher proportion than the overall national smoking rate of one out of every four Americans. The study found that teens who stopped smoking benefited from lower cravings for alcohol and drugs, and did as well as their peers who smoked in terms of treatment duration, 12-step participation, and global functioning (a numeric scale used by mental health professionals to rate how well clients respond to various psychological and social situations and difficulties). In contrast, young people in the study who smoked were discharged with significantly higher cravings for alcohol and drugs, which has been shown to increase the risk of relapse. Primarily because of smoking prohibitions on-site, 50 percent of participants in the study did not smoke during treatment. (Some requested and received nicotine patches, but the number was too few to evaluate the effects of this smoking-cessation aid). Those who smoked did so when on pass or attending local 12-step meetings outside of the treatment facility. "Our results suggest that quitting smoking is associated with lowered drug and alcohol cravings," said the study's lead author, Maria E. Pagano PhD, associate professor in the department of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "Clearly, this is a positive finding for treating drug and alcohol addiction. However, smoking cessation activities are not typically included in drug and alcohol programs because of worries about overload. The concern is that drug and alcohol addiction is a challenging enough battle by itself, let alone trying to quit smoking at the same time. Our results suggest that this outlook may need to be modified." The findings, collected over a two-year period, are based on assessments of 195 young people, aged 14 to 18, who were court- and therapist- referred to a two-month residential treatment program for addiction. Each week, clients spent approximately 20 hours in therapeutic activities and attended up to ?ve, 12-step meetings in the local community. Two-thirds (67 percent) entered treatment smoking a half-a-pack of cigarettes a day on average. In addition, the study found that patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) did not experience similar success rates. "We found that these teens were less likely to quit smoking," said Pagano. "This could help explain their poorer drug and alcohol treatment outcomes." One reason for better treatment outcomes in clients who stopped smoking may be their higher involvement in service activities at 12-step meetings, such as greeting newcomers at the door, putting away chairs, and helping with coffee. Service activity is associated with reduced risk of relapse and going to jail in the year following treatment. "It may be that ADHD patients need even more action-oriented programmatic activities such as these, which offer a distraction from the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal," said Pagano. "Our study suggests that increasing these types of activities for all clients, and doing so at even higher levels for those with ADHD, may result in better recovery rates from addiction, not to mention the enormous personal health and societal benefits of reducing smoking in teens." Pagano also urged increased availability of nicotine patches: "To ease potential suffering caused by nicotine withdrawal, nicotine patches should be routinely offered to all teen smokers in residential treatment. This may increase the number of youths who quit smoking during treatment and get discharged with lower cravings for alcohol and drugs, ultimately improving treatment outcomes and lowering overall health care costs." In addition to Pagano, other CWRU researchers involved in the study were Christina Delos-Reyes, MD, and Kathleen Svala, MD. This research was supported in part by grants awarded to Pagano from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (K01 AA015137) and The John Templeton Foundation. For more information about Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, please visit: http://case.


News Article | November 16, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Developing nations may soon be in a better position to finally conquer malaria, thanks to a team of researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Malaria has killed more people than any disease caused by a single organism, including small pox and the plague. Symptoms include high fever, copious sweating, nausea and vomiting, and shaking chills. While the industrialized world has been essentially malaria-free for more than half a century, the mosquito-borne malady continues to harm health and jeopardize lives in nearly one hundred largely tropical and subtropical nations worldwide. One of the biggest barriers to eradication has been the absence of a quick, inexpensive, and accurate test. Now, thanks to a team of Case Western Reserve University researchers, developing nations will soon be in a better position to finally conquer malaria. The secret: a portable, battery-operated device that uses magnets and lasers to quickly and inexpensively detect the presence of the disease in the bloodstream. The invention - the Magneto-Optical Detector (MOD) - earned a Patent for Humanity award last month from the U. S. Commerce Department's United States Patent and Trademark Office and will be recognized in a formal ceremony in Washington DC this month. "With MOD, we wanted to close a big gap in identifying people with malaria," said Brian Grimberg, PhD, assistant professor of international health at the CWRU School of Medicine and co-leader of the development team. "It is hard to diagnose malaria accurately using current technology. The standard microscope test can generate up to 36 percent false positives and 18 percent false negatives. This means that many infected people are untreated and can die. Many others who don't have the disease get anti-malarial drugs unnecessarily, which wastes tight resources and contributes to drug resistance." MOD is significantly more accurate than current point-of-care tests and can diagnose all forms of malaria at even very low concentrations. The cost is about $1 per test and results are reported in around a minute. (The current rapid malaria test takes 20 minutes. Microscopic tests take about an hour when conducted by a trained laboratory technician or pathologist.) Although preventable and treatable, malaria is now actively transmitted within 97 countries, according to the World Health Organization. Half of the world's population, an estimated 3.4 billion people, is at risk. Of these, 1.2 billion are at high risk. According to the latest WHO estimates, there were 214 million reported cases worldwide in 2015 and 438,000 reported deaths. Pregnant women are at special risk and fetal development may be compromised. About one in four child survivors of a severe brain-based form of malaria suffers long-term cognitive impairment. The CWRU MOD team is led by Dr. Grimberg and Robert Brown, PhD, distinguished university professor in physics, with key research and development by senior research scientist Robert Deissler, PhD, mechanical designer/machinist Richard Bihary, visiting scientist William Condit, and undergraduate/technician Jason Jones, a CWRU alumnus. Except for Dr. Grimberg, all are members of the CWRU Department of Physics. When malaria parasites consume red blood cells, they release iron-containing crystals called hemozoin - which possess magnetic properties - into the bloodstream. Magnets in MOD are placed near the blood sample, causing the randomly oriented crystals to align, reducing the amount of laser light that can slide through. The resulting laser change allows MOD to determine if someone is infected as well as establish the level of infection. And it only needs a single drop of blood. "The Department of Physics at CWRU regularly conducts advanced research in fields ranging from dark matter to MRI," said Dr. Brown. "My colleagues on the malaria team and I work extensively in magnetic field research and fluid dynamics of magnetic and partially magnetic particles, making it a natural fit to become involved with this project. It is truly rewarding to be addressing fundamental physics problems and developing applications for improved human health." Dr. Grimberg estimates that MOD can save anti-malaria organizations $1.2 billion annually on direct diagnostic savings, increased workforce productivity, and more efficient allocation of prevention and treatment resources. Also, MOD testing is easily administered outside of laboratory facilities, including in community and remote settings. As a result, care workers can bring accurate testing and diagnosis to towns and villages, instead of requiring patients to travel as many as 30 hours each way to a health clinic. Currently a MOD prototype is in use in rural locations in Peru and Kenya, with scaled-up screenings starting in January in Kenya. Collaboration with CWRU's Office of Research and Technology Management and Hemex Health Dr. Grimberg and his colleagues are collaborating with Portland, Oregon-based Hemex Health, which provided funding and licensed MOD for commercialization and wider use. Next steps include shrinking the current shoe-box sized device further and equipping it to operate on solar power. Some of Dr. Grimberg's earliest funding came from the school's Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative, which contributed almost $50,000 to his efforts. Most recently, the Case Western Reserve University Office of Research and Technology Management helped in securing patent protection and connected the MOD team with Hemex Health, which plans to have the final version in trials in 2017 and released with regulatory approvals in late 2018. "This has been a true collaboration," said Dr. Grimberg. "That includes developing MOD with the Physics Department team, enlisting the invaluable support of the CWRU Office of Research and Technology Management, and taking advantage of the roll-out expertise of Hemex Health." The result is an interlocked team poised to dramatically alter how malaria is detected, paving the way for ultimate worldwide eradication. For more information about Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, please visit: http://case. .


News Article | December 15, 2015
Site: phys.org

In addition to audits, the computer program will enable a building owner to assess energy efficiency and elicit the most cost-effective solutions to energy waste. "Before big data analytics, to pinpoint a building's efficiency problems, we had to walk through a building, read sensors and conduct blower door and smoke tests," said Alexis Abramson, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and director of the Great Lakes Energy Institute at Case Western Reserve. "By analyzing at least two years of whole building energy use data, we can uncover some of the same information." Large industrial buildings are often wired to provide owners details of energy consumption, but the practice is uncommon in light commercial buildings, particularly older structures. The national goals of the project are to help ensure that the United States maintains a technological lead in developing and deploying energy efficient technologies, enhance the nation's economic and energy security by improving the energy efficiency of buildings and reduce energy imports as well as harmful emissions. The funding comes from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program. Abramson and Roger French, the F. Alex Nason professor of materials science and engineering at the Case School of Engineering, and Jiayang Sun, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, will work with Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls Inc., a world leader in building-efficiency equipment, controls and services, to develop the software over the next three years. The software will assess and analyze multiple streams of data, including climate, weather, the amount of sunshine each day and utility meter records. "The data streams are like DNA, which has codes imbedded in it. It took us a while to understand what these codes meant," Abramson said. "Similarly, we can find out what's going on inside a building by uncovering the codes in the data." The researchers are looking for patterns and correlations in the data that reveal if the heating and ventilation systems are oversized or undersized, when the lights come on, if the building needs better insulation and windows, and more. Using this information, a predictive model, developed from the building's data, can then be created and tested. For example, a building's electric meter may show substantial fluctuation in energy use. If the fluctuation, when tied to many days worth of weather records, is statistically significant, it could signal a leaky building. With that information, the software could build models that would suggest high return-on-investment, energy-efficiency solutions based on predicted performance. The CWRU project is one of 41 nationally to receive funding under ARPA-E OPEN this year. Following contract negotiations, the researchers begin their work this winter. Explore further: Updating building energy codes: How much can your state save?


Nelson V.R.,Case Western Reserve University | Spezio S.H.,Case Western Reserve University | Nadeau J.H.,CWRU
Epigenomics | Year: 2010

Aims: Recent evidence suggests that transgenerational genetic effects contribute to phenotypic variation in complex traits. To test for the general occurrence of these effects and to estimate their strength, we took advantage of chromosome substitution strains (CSSs) of mice where the Y chromosome of the host strain has been replaced with the Y chromosome of the donor strain. Daughters of these CSS-Y males and host strain females are genetically identical and should be phenotypically indistinguishable in the absence of transgenerational genetic effects of the fathers Y chromosome on daughters phenotypes. Materials & methods: Assay results for a broad panel of physiological traits and behaviors were compared for genetically identical daughters of CSS-Y males and host strain females from the B6-Chr A/J and B6-Chr PWD panels of CSSs. In addition, behavioral traits including specific tests for anxiety-related behaviors were tested in daughters of B6-Chr 129 and 129-Chr B6 CSS-Y males. Results: Across a panel of 41 multigenic traits assayed in the B6-Chr A/J panel of CSSs females and 21 multigenic traits in the B6-Chr PWD panel females, the frequency and strength for transgenerational genetic effects were remarkably similar to those for conventional inheritance of substituted chromosomes. In addition, we found strong evidence that the Y chromosome from the 129 inbred strain significantly reduced anxiety levels among daughters of B6-Chr 129 CSS-Y males. Conclusion: We found that transgenerational genetic effects rival conventional genetic effects in frequency and strength, we suggest that some phenotypic variation found in conventional studies of complex traits are attributable in part to the action of genetic variants in previous generations, and we propose that transgenerational genetic effects contribute to 'missing heritability. © 2010 Future Medicine Ltd.


Home > Press > CWRU researchers make biosensor 1 million times more sensitive: Advance aims at detecting cancers earlier, improving treatment and outcomes Abstract: Physicists and engineers at Case Western Reserve University have developed an optical sensor, based on nanostructured metamaterials, that's 1 million times more sensitive than the current best available--one capable of identifying a single lightweight molecule in a highly dilute solution. Their goal: to provide oncologists a way to detect a single molecule of an enzyme produced by circulating cancer cells. Such detection could allow doctors to diagnose patients with certain cancers far earlier than possible today, monitor treatment and resistance and more. "The prognosis of many cancers depends on the stage of the cancer at diagnosis" said Giuseppe "Pino" Strangi, professor of physics at Case Western Reserve and leader of the research. "Very early, most circulating tumor cells express proteins of a very low molecular weight, less than 500 Daltons," Strangi explained. "These proteins are usually too small and in too low a concentration to detect with current test methods, yielding false negative results. "With this platform, we've detected proteins of 244 Daltons, which should enable doctors to detect cancers earlier--we don't know how much earlier yet," he said. "This biosensing platform may help to unlock the next era of initial cancer detection." The researchers believe the sensing technology will also be useful in diagnosing and monitoring other diseases as well. Their research is published online in the journal Nature Materials. It was a terrific teamwork, Strangi said. He worked with postdoctoral researchers Kandammathee Valiyaveedu Sreekanth and Efe Ilker, PhD students Yunus Alapan and Mohamed ElKabbash, Assistant Professor of Physics Michael Hinczewski, Assistant Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Umut Gurkan (co-PI) and Antonio De Luca, who was a visiting research scholar in Strangi's lab during this study and is now an associate professor of physics at the University of Calabria in Italy. The science The nanosensor, which fits in the palm of a hand, acts like a biological sieve, isolating a small protein molecule weighing less than 800 quadrillionths of a nanogram from an extremely dilute solution. To make the device so sensitive, Strangi's team faced two long-standing barriers: Light waves cannot detect objects smaller than their own physical dimensions, which range down to about half a micron. And molecules in dilute solutions float in Brownian motion and are unlikely to land on the sensor's surface. By harnessing nanotechnology tools and by coupling a microfluidic channel with an engineered material called a metamaterial, the scientist overcame the limits. The microfluidic channel restricts the molecules' ability to float around and drives them to the sensing area on the surface of the metamaterial. The metamaterial is made of a total of 16 nanostructured layers of reflective and conductive gold and transparent aluminum oxide, a dielectric, each 10s of atoms thick. Light directed onto and through the layers is concentrated into a very small volume much smaller than the wavelength of light. The top gold layer is perforated with holes, creating a grating that diffuses light shone on the surface into two dimensions. The incoming light, which is several hundreds of nanometers in wavelength, appears to be confined and concentrated in a few nanometers at the interface between the gold and the dielectric layer. As the light strikes the sensing area, it excites free electrons causing them to oscillate and generate a highly confined propagating surface wave, called a surface plasmon polariton. This propagating surface wave will in turn excite a bulk wave propagating across the sensing platform. The presence of the waves cause deep sharp dips in the spectrum of reflecting light. The combination and the interplay of surface plasmon and bulk plasmon waves are what make the sensor so sensitive. Strangi said. By exciting these waves through the eight bilayers of the metamaterial, they create remarkably sharp resonant modes. Extremely sharp and sensitive resonances can be used to detect smaller objects. "It's extremely sensitive," Strangi said. "When a small molecule lands on the surface, it results in a large local modification, causing the light to shift." The potential Depending on the size of the molecule, the reflecting light shifts different amounts. The researchers hope to learn to identify specific molecules, beginning with biomarkers for different cancers, by their light shifts. To add specificity to the sensor, the team added a layer of trap molecules, which are molecules that bind specifically with the molecules they hunt. In tests, the researchers used trap molecules to catch two different biomolecules: bovine serum albumin, with a molecular weight of 66,430 Daltons, and biotin, with a molecular weight of 244 Daltons. Each produced a signature light shift. Other researchers have reported using plasmon-based biosensors to detect biotin in solutions at concentrations ranging from more than 100 micromoles per liter to 10 micromoles per liter. This device proved 1 million times more sensitive, finding and identifying biotin at a concentration of 10 picomoles per liter. Testing and implications In Cleveland, Strangi and Nima Sharifi, MD, co-leader of the Genitourinary Cancer Program for the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, have begun testing the sensor with proteins related to prostate cancers. "For some cancers, such as colorectal and pancreatic cancer, early detection is essential," said Sharifi, who is also the Kendrick Family Chair for Prostate Cancer Research at Cleveland Clinic. "High sensitivity detection of cancer-specific proteins in blood should enable detection of tumors when they are at an earlier disease stage. "This new sensing technology may help us not only detect cancers, but what subset of cancer, what's driving its growth and spread and what it's sensitive to," he said. "The sensor, for example, may help us determine markers of aggressive prostate cancers, which require treatments, or indolent forms that don't." Strangi's lab is working with other oncologists worldwide to test the device and begin moving the sensor toward clinical use. "We consider this just the beginning of our research," he said. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

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