Self-Disinfecting Computer Keyboard

Ambient lighting conditions activate a proprietary keyboard surface resulting in disinfection. These keyboards can be used in healthcare facilities to help prevent the spread of healthcare acquired infections (HCAIs).

Stem Cell Therapy Replacement for Retinal Ganglion Cells: Treatment for Glaucoma and Other Eye Diseases

Glaucoma is disease in the eye characterised by the progressive loss of retinal ganglion cells. Stem cell based therapeutics provide a method for restoration of neurons damaged by retinal disease. We have identified a population of neural stem cells in the adult human eye that can be isolated from donor retina. Stem cells can differentiate into retinal neurons in vitro and in vivo following transplantation into animal models of retinal degeneration.

Novel Method of Analysis of Stroke Data

Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the UK at an estimated overall annual cost of £7 billion. Clinical outcomes in stroke are not improving as fast as conditions of similar aetiology. A major cause is the difficulty in providing targeted care in a patient group with such hugely diverse requirements.

UCL has developed a system for predicting clinical outcomes so as to provide advance information on the optical clinical management of each patient.

Imatinib and other ABL inhibitors to treat ocular neovascularisation

Retinal and choroidal diseases are the most common cause of vision loss in the western world. They are either caused by the leakage and neovasculatisation from retinal vessels (diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusions, retinopathy of prematurity and neovascular glaucoma) or by new vessels growing into the retina and subretinal space (AMD, ocular histoplasmosis, pathologic myopia, etc.)

The current treatment options are based on preventing neovasculatisation through using anti-VEGF agents which slow down the progressing disease. New evidence is emerging, however, to suggest that long term use of anti-VEGF agents can have neurotoxic effects. Researchers at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology have identified a new cellular mediator of the angiogenic pathway ABL1 kinase. ABL kinases are druggable targets which can be inhibited providing an alternative treatment to the ani-VEGFs in the management of AMD and ocular neovascularisation.

Tau-gene-specific non-coding RNA genes for the therapeutic reduction of tau levels

During genome transcription, both coding and non-coding transcripts are generated with a wide range of both size and coding potential. Among these are long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) genome transcripts, some of which are antisense to protein-coding genes (AS-lncRNAs). These AS-lncRNAs have been shown to regulate chromatin state, transcription, RNA stability, and translation of the gene.

Researchers at UCL have developed a therapeutic RNA molecule that corresponds with an AS-lncRNA, which can modulate the expression of a target gene. This has potential as a novel therapy for diseases where therapeutic gene suppression is desirable, for example therapeutic reduction of the tau protein in Alzheimer's Disease and other tauopathies.

Compliment Factor H Related 5 protein (CFHR5) and kidney disease

We have demonstrated that an abnormality of the protein Complement Factor H Related 5 (CFHR5) leads to a disposition of complement C3 and kidney failure. we have invented an efficient test for this genetic abnormality and have used it to screen a population. We have also invented an ELISA assay to measure the circulating CFHR5 protein levels in humans. We believe this will be useful in diagnosis and assessment of patients with a variety of diseases including SLE, immune complex glomerulonephritis and perhaps age-related macular degeneration. We have also proposed a role for CFHR5 protein (or agents mimicking its action) in the treatment of these diseases and are currently testing this experimentally.

Synthetic engineered potassium channel (EKC) for gene therapy

Epilepsy affects around 60 million people globally and there remains an urgent need for novel treatment methods. Researchers at UCL Institute of Neurology have developed a novel synthetic engineered potassium channel (EKC) as a gene therapy tool to treat epilepsy and other neurological conditions. The inventors have preclinical results demonstrating their engineered potassium channel reduces seizures in a rodent model of epilepsy.

LipoGlucoCEST – Novel Imaging Agents for GlucoCEST

GlucoCEST is a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique that enables visualisation of natural, non-radioactive glucose that can be used in cancer diagnosis. However, this technique has limitations due to interactions with the body glucose sensing system.

To solve this problem, researchers at UCL Institute of Neurology and Department of Chemistry have developed a novel set of imaging agents based on liposome-encapsulated sugar compounds that addresses these issues.