Fort Worth, TX, United States
Fort Worth, TX, United States

The University of North Texas Health Science Center, commonly known as the UNT Health Science Center and abbreviated UNTHSC, is a graduate-level institution of the University of North Texas System. The 1,949-student, 33-acre campus opened in 1970 and is located in the Cultural District of Fort Worth, in the U.S. state of Texas.The UNT Health Science Center comprises the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine , the Graduate School of Biomedical science, the School of Public Health, the School of Health Professions, the UNT System College of Pharmacy, plus other centers and institutes.UNT Health at UNTHSC is the TCOM faculty practice program providing direct patient care. UNT Health handles over 600,000 patient visits annually. The group's 170 physicians practice in 40 medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties, including allergy/immunology, family practice, cardiology, neurology, obstetrics & gynecology, oncology, orthopedics, psychiatry, sports medicine and neurosurgery.Research centers and institutes at UNTSHC include the Cardiovascular Research Institute , the Center for Commercialization of Fluorescence Technologies , the Focused on Resources for her Health Education and Research , the Institute for Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Research , the Institute for Cancer Research , the Institute of Applied Genetics , the North Texas Eye Research Institute , the Osteopathic Research Center , the Texas Prevention Institute , the Center For Community Health , the Primary Care Research Center , and The Texas Center for Health Disparities .The UNT Center for Human Identification, which is housed at UNTHSC, analyzes DNA samples from both unidentified remains as well as reference samples submitted by family members of missing persons to law enforcement agencies nationwide. It also conducts all DNA analysis for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The Center is the only academic center in the U.S. with access to the FBI’s next-generation CODIS 6.0 DNA Software. UNTHSC also manages the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System for the U.S. Department of Justice.UNTHSC serves as home to several National Institutes of Health-funded research programs and currently leads all Texas health science centers in research growth. The Health Science Center also houses laboratories for TECH Fort Worth, a non-profit business incubator for biotechnology.Community and school outreach programs include Fort Worth’s annual Hispanic Wellness Fair and the annual Cowtown Marathon, which were founded by UNTHSC. The UNTHSC Pediatric Mobile Clinic provides high-quality healthcare to children in underserved areas of Fort Worth at no cost. The Health Science Center participates in 10 state and federally funded programs that bring students and teachers onto campus each summer. Wikipedia.


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Patent
University of North Texas Health Science Center and Signpath Pharma | Date: 2015-05-29

The present invention includes compositions and methods of making a nanoparticle composition comprising a polymeric core comprising one or more polymers and one or more active agents, and at least one layer of one or more lipids on the surface of the polymeric core; more specifically, the invention relates to the use of curcumin within such a lipid-polymer nanoparticle formulation for minimizing QT prolongation associated with curcumin in treatment of cancer.


Patent
University of North Texas Health Science Center and Board Of Regents Of The University Of Texas System | Date: 2015-01-20

Iron garnet nanoparticles and or iron garnet particles containing various activatable nuclides, such as holmium-165(^(165)Ho) and dysprosium-164 (^(164)Dy), are disclosed in this application. The iron garnet (e.g., HoIG and DyIG) nanoparticles and iron garnet particles can prepared using hydroxide co-precipitation methods. In some embodiments, radiosensitizers can be loaded on radioactive magnetic nanoparticles or radioactive iron garnet particle and, optionally, coated with suitable lipid bilayers. Methods of using the disclosed nanoparticles and particles for mediating therapeutic benefit in diseases responsive to radiation therapy are also provided. Another aspect of the invention provides films, electrospun fabrics or bandages coverings for the delivery of radiation to the site of a skin lesion amenable to treatment with radiation (e.g., skin cancers or psoriasis).


MacHu T.K.,University of North Texas Health Science Center
Pharmacology and Therapeutics | Year: 2011

The 5-Hydroxytryptamine3 (5-HT3) receptor is a member of the cys-loop family of ligand gated ion channels, of which the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor is the prototype. All other 5-HT receptors identified to date are metabotropic receptors. The 5-HT3 receptor is present in the central and peripheral nervous systems, as well as a number of non-nervous tissues. As an ion channel that is permeable to the cations, Na+, K+, and Ca2+, the 5-HT3 receptor mediates fast depolarizing responses in pre- and post-synaptic neurons. As such, 5-HT 3 receptor antagonists that are used clinically block afferent and efferent synaptic transmission. The most well established physiological roles of the 5-HT3 receptor are to coordinate emesis and regulate gastrointestinal motility. Currently marketed 5-HT3 receptor antagonists are indicated for the treatment of chemotherapy, radiation, and anesthesia-induced nausea and vomiting, as well as irritable bowel syndrome. Other therapeutic uses that have been explored include pain and drug addiction. The 5-HT3 receptor is one of a number of receptors that play a role in mediating nausea and vomiting, and as such, 5-HT3 receptor antagonists demonstrate the greatest anti-emetic efficacy when administered in combination with other drug classes. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Uteshev V.V.,University of North Texas Health Science Center
European Journal of Pharmacology | Year: 2014

In the central nervous system, deficits in cholinergic neurotransmission correlate with decreased attention and cognitive impairment, while stimulation of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors improves attention, cognitive performance and neuronal resistance to injury as well as produces robust analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. The rational basis for the therapeutic use of orthosteric agonists and positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of nicotinic receptors arises from the finding that functional nicotinic receptors are ubiquitously expressed in neuronal and non-neuronal tissues including brain regions highly vulnerable to traumatic and ischemic types of injury (e.g., cortex and hippocampus). Moreover, functional nicotinic receptors do not vanish in age-, disease- and trauma-related neuropathologies, but their expression and/or activation levels decline in a subunit- and brain region-specific manner. Therefore, augmenting the endogenous cholinergic tone by nicotinic agents is possible and may offset neurological impairments associated with cholinergic hypofunction. Importantly, because neuronal damage elevates extracellular levels of choline (a selective agonist of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors) near the site of injury, α7-PAM-based treatments may augment pathology-activated α7-dependent auto-therapies where and when they are most needed (i.e., in the penumbra, post-injury). Thus, nicotinic-PAM-based treatments are expected to augment the endogenous cholinergic tone in a spatially and temporally restricted manner creating the potential for differential efficacy and improved safety as compared to exogenous orthosteric nicotinic agonists that activate nicotinic receptors indiscriminately. In this review, I will summarize the existing trends in therapeutic applications of nicotinic PAMs. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Yan L.-J.,University of North Texas Health Science Center
Redox Biology | Year: 2014

It is now well established that reactive oxygen species (ROS), reactive nitrogen species (RNS), and a basal level of oxidative stress are essential for cell survival. It is also well known that while severe oxidative stress often leads to widespread oxidative damage and cell death, a moderate level of oxidative stress, induced by a variety of stressors, can yield great beneficial effects on adaptive cellular responses to pathological challenges in aging and aging-associated disease tolerance such as ischemia tolerance. Here in this review, I term this moderate level of oxidative stress as positive oxidative stress, which usually involves imprinting molecular signatures on lipids and proteins via formation of lipid peroxidation by-products and protein oxidation adducts. As ROS/RNS are short-lived molecules, these molecular signatures can thus execute the ultimate function of ROS/RNS. Representative examples of lipid peroxidation products and protein oxidation adducts are presented to illustrate the role of positive oxidative stress in a variety of pathological settings, demonstrating that positive oxidative stress could be a valuable prophylactic and/or therapeutic approach targeting aging and aging-associated diseases. © 2014 The Author.


Patent
University of North Texas Health Science Center | Date: 2015-04-07

The present invention includes compositions and methods of making an activated polymeric nanoparticle for targeted drug delivery that includes a biocompatible polymer and an amphiphilic stabilizing agent non-covalently associated with a spacer compound that includes at least one electrophile that selectively reacts with any nucleophilic on a targeting agent and places the targeting agent on the exterior surface of a biodegradable nanoshell, wherein an active agent is loaded with the nanoshell.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Fellowship | Program: | Phase: SPRF-IBSS | Award Amount: 52.02K | Year: 2015

This award supports a rising interdisciplinary scholar investigating visuomotor integration in typical development and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Effective navigation and action requires accurate visuomotor integration, or the use of visual information to guide movement. Visuomotor integration also requires attentional filtering to ensure that relevant information is processed, while irrelevant information is disregarded or suppressed. Few studies have examined visuomotor integration in naturalistic settings that allow measurement of both full-body motion and eye movement. The proposed project combines new technologies to investigate visuomotor integration in typical development and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ASD is a clinical population with known visual and motor differences in the brain regions that support these systems and in functional performance. At present, most treatment approaches focus on social communication in a broad, qualitative manner without specific attention to the role of visual and motor functioning. This project quantifies differences in eye and body movements during imitative gesturing with a robot partner, as well as during other movements such as walking. By studying how visuomotor integration impacts movement and interaction with real and virtual objects, researchers gain a better understanding of the impact this skill has on higher-order features of ASD. This, in turn, aids in developing and delivering more targeted, evidence-based treatments. Quantitative approaches to measuring visuomotor integration skills also serve as an effective biomarker of ASD for early diagnosis, since visual and motor skills can be precisely measured earlier than social communication skills.

Recent innovations in eye tracking, robotics, and virtual reality have yielded technologies that can be integrated to study the interaction between visual, motor, and attentional systems in real-time. This project investigates visual, motor, and attentional processes in ASD and typical development to determine their relative contributions to accurate perception and action using virtual environments and human-robot interaction tasks that test visual and motor responses to object motion and imitative gesturing. The project aims include refining software used to analyze motion and eye data together by calculating gaze vector in a manner that accounts for head and body movement. This enables researchers to examine the strategies used by individuals with and without ASD when locating and tracking moving objects (e.g., preference for moving the head versus shifting gaze) or gestures (e.g., waving hand). In addition to head-eye integration, the project aims include measuring full-body motor responses to object motion. In order to comprehensively investigate imitative gesturing in the human-robot interaction tasks, the researchers use a new technique, Dynamic Time Warping, which allows examination of both spatial and temporal synchrony between a gesture modeled by the robot and the imitative movement generated by a participant. This novel approach to analysis may reveal important biomarkers of ASD related to visuomotor integration, which would not be evident in studies that examine only the spatial properties of imitative gesturing. The proposed project also advances methodological approaches via the development of new tools for data collection and analysis that are specifically suited to investigating perception and action in a naturalistic environment.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Gen & Age Rel Disabilities Eng | Award Amount: 299.99K | Year: 2016

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a birth related brain injury affecting functional activities of persons throughout the life span. Many children with CP have some form of upper extremity limitations. Reduced function of the hands hinder dressing, personal hygiene, and use of assistive devices, resulting in greater dependency, restricted social participation, and a decreased quality of life. Recent investigations have indicated that the brain is capable of reorganizing itself through targeted use. Functional recovery requires repeated practice, however traditional therapy sessions are inadequate in duration and intensity. Soft robotic devices show promise as a therapy extender needed for motor learning. No device has shown comprehensive capabilities to address this need in children, particularly a device that can provide continuous measurements and data monitoring, characterize the spastic resistance, and accommodate growth as needed. The soft-­‐robotic glove, REHAB Glove, developed in this project will fill an important gap to improve independence and to reduce burden of care. The capabilities of this glove will not only address the therapy need of CP children but will also act as an important tool for data gathering for the development of dosage based therapy regimes for better outcomes. The proposed research will also serve as a training ground for medical and engineering students to become competent researchers as they will have the opportunity to join the project team for internships, mentorships, job shadowing, enrichment programs or summer academy.

Current hand rehabilitation devices, based on end-­‐effector and hard exoskeleton structures, are complex, have limited degrees of freedom, and are mostly applicable to only four fingers of the hand. All of these factors limit their capacity to support complex hand rehabilitation. Furthermore, the widespread usage of these systems in home environments is hindered by their mechanical complexity, cost, and potential safety concerns. Recent advances in soft robotics using flexible structures and actuators are being explored to reduce the complexity of these devices and improve human-­‐robotic interaction. In this work, a sensorized soft robotic glove will be developed using novel soft-­‐and-­‐rigid hybrid actuators alongside an advanced control unit with closed-­‐loop control. The PIs postulate that using a sensorized therapeutic glove capable of monitoring and assisting patient hand motion will enable children with CP to complete repetitive motions, and that children and parents can accept the robotic glove as a tool to optimize their rehabilitation. This device will help reduce the complexity, size, and cost associated with current state-­of-­the-­art care as well as enable the development of dosage based therapy studies. The soft robotic glove is made of compliant elastomeric material, which provides a safe user-­device interaction and allows customized fitting onto hands with different conditions and sizes. Sensor integration will provide the capability to monitor and record hand motion and thus evaluate the rehabilitation progress and facilitate clinical research of the hand. With an associated control unit, the device can be portable and used at home or in the hospital. This project leverages a unique collaboration that brings cutting-­edge engineering, therapy, and clinical knowledge to the development of an efficacious assistive technology that can be used to facilitate recovery of hand function. The goals of this project will be accomplished by executing the following aims: 1) Develop a soft robotic glove for children with integrated sensors that measure finger trajectory and force; 2) Develop a control algorithm to assist hand motion in different operation modes; 3) Test and validate the systems ability to measure finger motion parameters; 4) Obtain feedback from children, parents, rehabilitation physicians and therapists regarding the ease of use of the REHAB Glove, and their desire to use the tool in their daily rehab practice and exercise.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Smart and Connected Health | Award Amount: 198.00K | Year: 2014

This project builds a novel privacy-preserving framework with both new algorithms and software tools to: 1) evaluate the effectiveness of current identifier-suppression techniques for Electronic Healthcare Record (EHR) data; 2) de-identify and anonymize EHR data to protect personal information without significantly reducing the utility of data for secondary data analysis. The proposed techniques eliminate the violation of privacy through re-identification, and facilitate the secondary usage, sharing, publishing and exchange of healthcare data without the risk of breaching protected health information (PHI). This new privacy-preserving framework injects the ICD-9-CM-aware constraint-based privacy-preserving techniques into EHRs to eliminate the threat of identifying an individual in the secondary use of research data. The proposed technique and development can be readily adapted to other types of healthcare databases in order to ensure privacy and prevent re-identification of published data. The project produces groundbreaking algorithms and tools for identifying privacy leakages and protecting personal privacy information in EHRs to improve healthcare data publishing. New privacy-preserving techniques developed in this project lead towards a new type of healthcare science for EHRs. The project also delivers fundamental advancements to engineering by showing how to integrate biomedical domain knowledge with a computationally advanced quantitative framework for preserving the privacy of published EHRs. HIPAA has established protocols and industry standards to protect the confidentiality of PHI. However, our results demonstrate that, even with regard to health data that meets HIPAA requirements, the risk of re-identification is not completely eliminated. By identifying the security vulnerabilities inherent in the HIPAA standards, our research develops a more rigorous security standard that greatly improves privacy protections by applying state-of-the-art algorithms.

The developed data privacy-preserving framework has significant implications for the future of US healthcare data publishing and related applications. Specifically, the transition from paper records to EHRs has accelerated significantly since the passage of the HITECH Act of 2009. The Act provides monetary incentives for the meaningful use of EHRs. As a result, the quality and quantity of healthcare databases has risen sharply, which has renewed the publics fear of a breach of privacy of their medical information. This research work is innovative and crucial not only for facilitating EHR data publishing, but also for enhancing the development and promotion of EHRs. At the educational front, this project facilitates the development of novel educational tools to construct entirely new courses and laboratory classes for healthcare, data privacy, data mining, and a wide range of applications. As a result, it enhances the current instructional methods for teaching data privacy and data mining, and has compelling biomedical and healthcare applications that can facilitate learning of computational algorithms. This project involves both undergraduate and graduate students in the three participating institutions. The PIs make a strong effort to engage minority graduate and undergraduate students in research activities in order to increase their exposure to cutting-edge research.


Patent
University of North Texas Health Science Center | Date: 2015-05-29

The invention provide herein provides for a targeted drug delivery vehicle compositions, methods of manufacture, and methods of treatment for therapeutic applications.

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