News

Smart Contact Lenses

June 9, 2021

(LOS ANGELES) – Contact lenses have long been considered as a standard of care for vision correction. However, they may also be fashioned into wearable devices for use as diagnostic and therapeutic tools. These so-called smart contact lenses contain wireless sensors that detect and measure bodily metabolites found in human tears; the data collected serves as diagnostic indicators of a person’s health. Smart contact lenses can also be used as drug delivery vehicles which deliver drugs directly into the tear film. This improves the drug’s efficacy and reduces its side effects.

International Living Donation Storytelling Project

May 20, 2021

(LOS ANGELES) – The Transplant Research and Education Center has proudly partnered with the Canadian Blood Services to launch several new resources to increase organ donation and transplant awareness in Canada! The Living Donation Storytelling Project is a digital library of living donation stories submitted by real people sharing their living donor kidney transplant journeys. In collaboration with Canadian Blood Services, the Storytelling Project now includes stories from Canadian donors and recipients in English and French.

Terasaki Institute For Biomedical Innovation is Awarded Grant From The Good Food Institute

May 18, 2021

(LOS ANGELES) – The Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation (TIBI) has been awarded a grant by The Good Food Institute (GFI) to develop a unique and effective method of producing cultivated meat, which is meat grown directly from the cell. The TIBI researchers will draw upon their extensive experience in tissue engineering and cell culturing techniques to develop their innovative technology, which would use unique microcarriers in differentiating cell cultures. The project dovetails with GFI’s mission of advancing alternative proteins to create more sustainable methods of producing meat.

Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation and HTL Biotechnology Announce Memorandum of Understanding for Research in Translational Biomaterials

May 7, 2021


The Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation (TIBI), a research institute at the frontier of personalized and precision medicine, and HTL Biotechnology, the world leader in using hyaluronic acid and other biopolymers for biotechnology solutions, announce their Memorandum of Understanding to explore the creation of a joint research program. This program focuses on biomaterials for translational projects; it would combine TIBI's microneedle and bioprinting technologies with HTL's expertise in biopolymers for aesthetics, dermatology, ophthalmology, rheumatology, tissue engineering and drug delivery applications.

The Terasaki Institute's broad biomaterials research platform is expanding in size and scope. "Our institute leads the world in developing bioprintable, biopolymer-based technologies poised to revolutionize drug delivery and wearable and implantable devices. Working jointly with HTL, we expect to bring to life a new generation of biopolymer-based applications in critical sectors of precision and regenerative medicine," said Maurizio Vecchione, TIBI's Chief Innovation Officer.

"This MOU demonstrates HTL's strong commitment to innovation, both internally and externally. We look forward to working with the Terasaki Institute and to translating today's technologies into tomorrow's medicines," said HTL Deputy CEO Charles Rubin.


"We look forward to a successful collaboration that will produce impactful innovations for patients and will mutually benefit both organizations," said Ali Khademhosseini, Ph.D., the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation's Director and CEO.

 

Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation Announces Inaugural Leadership Board

April 26, 2021

(Los Angeles) – The Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation announces the establishment of the inaugural Leadership Board.  This board brings together individuals passionate about research and technology to enhance and create practical solutions for patient health and wellness and provides vital opportunity to support the growth of the Institute.  This board includes distinguished individuals who will leverage their expertise to provide strategic guidance on innovation, research areas, promote key initiatives, and support the mission and vision of the Institute. 

Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation Awarded NIH Grant to Develop Precision Drug Delivery to Cancer Cells

April 26, 2021

Methods allow for localized, controlled and sustained delivery of chemo and immunotherapeutic drugs

(LOS ANGELES) – The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $2.5 million grant to the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation (TIBI). The grant will be used to develop innovative drug delivery methods to treat liver cancer. TIBI, a leader in the field of bioengineering and personalized healthcare solutions, will draw upon their extensive experience with biomaterials to create more effective ways to target and destroy tumor cells.

Worldwide, cancer is among the leading causes of death. In the United States, it accounts for one in four deaths, exceeding half a million annually. Among those cancer-related deaths, liver cancer ranks sixth, and its occurrence has risen 4% in the last ten years. In addition, liver cancer has a five-year survival rate of only 9% for regional types and 3% for metastatic forms. In some cases, liver tumors may be surgically removed, but this is not always possible. Liver transplantation is presently the best hope for patients, but there is a huge shortage of suitable donor livers available.

Outside of transplantation, the current gold standard for treating liver cancer patients is with systemic chemotherapy. However, this method has significant shortfalls. Systemic chemotherapy does not specifically and quantitatively deliver anti-cancer drugs precisely to the liver tumors. Moreover, this method often results in toxicity to the non-cancerous liver tissue surrounding the tumors, as well as systemic side effects which cause great pain and discomfort to the patient.

Another method, commonly used to treat hepatitis patients who develop liver cancer, is trans-arterial chemoembolization, or TACE. In this technique, small particles are delivered through a catheter into an artery that is directly supplying a tumor. The particles block the artery and restrict tumor growth. Concurrently, the particles may serve as anti-cancer drug delivery vehicles which precisely target the tumor cells; the restricted blood flow caused by the vessel blockage also serves to concentrate the drug around the tumor.

The addition of chemotherapeutic drugs to the tumor site may not be enough, however, to destroy malignant tumor growth. These types of tumors exhibit unrestricted growth because they have found ways to suppress the body’s normal immune response system. Immunotherapeutic drugs can reverse this suppression and reinstate the body’s natural immune defenses to destroy tumor cells and inhibit their growth.

The TIBI researchers’ work will fully address the challenges involved in liver cancer treatment. They will develop an improved TACE method for more effective, controllable, and sustained drug delivery, as well as embolization of tumor cell vasculature. And the combinatory effects of using both chemo and immunotherapeutic drugs to destroy the tumor cells will take full advantage of the improved TACE procedure.

“Our proposed methods represent a groundbreaking advance in the field of liver cancer treatment,” said Dr. Khademhosseini. “It has the potential for generalization to many other types of cancer where localized embolization and drug delivery are required.”

A recap of Dr. Waterman’s participation at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s “A Fairer and More Equitable, Cost-Effective, and Transparent System of Donor Organ Procurement, Allocation, and Distribution” webinar

By Erica Ho, Senior Research & Education Associate

April 16, 2021

On Friday April 16, Dr. Amy Waterman spoke at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s virtual public webinar, “A Fairer and More Equitable, Cost-Effective, and Transparent System of Donor Organ Procurement, Allocation, and Distribution”. This webinar was held to educate the public on two important aspects of the current state of deceased donor organ transplantation in the country. The morning session comprised of medical leaders from around the world sharing their own countries’ experiences with navigating fair and timely organ transplantation processes. Learning about these different approaches from other countries will undoubtedly help the United States devise new policies and methods to improve its own organ procurement and distribution systems. Dr. Waterman was a guest speaker in the second half of the webinar as part of a panel of experts in identifying and mitigating inequalities patients face during the referral, evaluation, and waitlisting stages of their deceased donor organ transplant journey.

Graphene Quantum Dots for Medical Imaging

April 14, 2021

(LOS ANGELES) – Quantum dot technology is a subject of interest for big television manufacturers, who are incorporating this technology into building their liquid crystal display (LCD) televisions.  Quantum dots are tiny nanocrystals which have a special power: when exposed to light, they become luminous and give off a very pure and precise color depending on their size.  The desired color can be fine-tuned by adjustment of the quantum dot’s size; using the dots in an LCD television enhances the colors on the screen and results in a better picture.  Quantum dot technology can also be used in other ways, such as in solar panels and for medical uses.

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