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Technology Name
Briefcase
Scientist
1684
Gaseous energy sources such as hydrogen and natural gas (predominantly methane) encompass an intrinsic transport problem because of their volatility and flammability. Adsorption of the gas on a solid material (such as MOF) facilitates safe, light and economical transport of the gas. This is especially...

Gaseous energy sources such as hydrogen and natural gas (predominantly methane) encompass an intrinsic transport problem because of their volatility and flammability. Adsorption of the gas on a solid material (such as MOF) facilitates safe, light and economical transport of the gas. This is especially significant in the huge natural gas (NG) market where solutions are required for storage and transport of the gas whether from NG reservoirs in high pressure giant tanks or as a compact low pressure NG tank for small vehicles and other NG powered devices.
The invention involves a new method for the formation of uniform metal organic frameworks (MOFs) at quantitative yields and in a controlled manner.
These MOFs can be tailored to adsorb specific gases for low pressure - high volume storage and transport applications.

Applications


  • Low pressure – high volume gas storage and transportation
  • Safe storage of toxic or otherwise dangerous gases
  • Low energy solid phase gas separation and purification
  • Production of MOF-based catalysts

Advantages


  • Uniform crystallite morphology
  • A quantitative process
  • Ability to design and control product structure
  • Control of pore size
  • Single step process
  • No additives

Technology's Essence


The invention comprises a new solvothermal synthetic procedure in which specific metal ions are selected to react with specific organic ligands to form uniform sub-microstructured MOFs with a narrow size distribution and without the need for a modulator to define the crystal morphology.
Controlling the selected reagents as well as the specific reaction conditions influences the resulting crystallites formed and enables a fine selection of the desired structure.
MOFs prepared this way have exceptional uniformity profiles of size and shape and can be tailored to selectively adsorb specific gases for low pressure - high volume storage and transport applications.

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  • Prof. Milko E. Van der Boom
1752
Heart failure is the leading cause of death in the western world. Existing treatments fail to compensate the irreversible loss of functional cardiomyocytes (CM), thus presenting a major medical unmet need. Inducing native CM replacement is one approach being tested as regenerative treatment, with the...

Heart failure is the leading cause of death in the western world.
Existing treatments fail to compensate the irreversible loss of functional cardiomyocytes (CM), thus presenting a major medical unmet need. Inducing native CM replacement is one approach being tested as regenerative treatment, with the advantage of a more straightforward methodology over cell transplantation approaches. 
In a multidisciplinary study, headed by Prof. Eldad Tzahor from the Weizmann institute of Science, the tyrosine kinase ERBB2 was shown to be both necessary for CM proliferation and sufficient to reactivate postnatal CM proliferative and regenerative potentials.
Thus, potentiation of ERBB2 signalling in adult CMs might represent a promising therapeutic approach for CM replacement in heart failure.

Applications


  • Induction of cardiomyocytes replacement therapy following heart injury.

Advantages


  • Straightforward methodology – Avoids complications associated with the requirement for cell transplantation.
  • Include several optional targets - both ERRB2 and its downstream effectors serve as potential targets for therapeutic agents, which may be administrated in combination, to increase chances for successes. 

Technology's Essence


The ligand-receptor network consisting of NRG1, and its tyrosine kinase receptors ERBB4, ERBB3 and ERBB2, plays critical roles during heart development.
In a multidisciplinary study, headed by prof. Eldad Tzahor from the Weizmann institute of Science, ERBB2 was shown to be necessary and limiting for NRG1-induced CM proliferation in the neonate.
Inspired by this finding, the team examined the possibility to use ERBB2 as a target for induced cell proliferation and regeneration in adult hearts. Using loss- and gain-of-function genetic experiments in mice, they reveal that NRG1/ERBB2 signalling is both essential for CM proliferation and heart integrity in the neonatal period, and sufficient to prolong the postnatal proliferative and regenerative windows.
Regeneration was shown to be a result of increased CM dedifferentiation and proliferation accompanied by neovascularization and followed by redifferentiation, tissue replacement with reduced scar formation and restoration of function.
Thus, these finding highlight ERBB2 as a strong target for heart regeneration treatments as well as its downstream effectors.

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  • Prof. Eldad Tzahor
1597
Metal-oxide material generates electromechanical stress an order of magnitude above existing materials.The ability to develop a mechanical stress in response to the application of an external electric field has many uses, and characteristic materials are classified as either piezoelectric or...

Metal-oxide material generates electromechanical stress an order of magnitude above existing materials.The ability to develop a mechanical stress in response to the application of an external electric field has many uses, and characteristic materials are classified as either piezoelectric or electrostrictive. Modern inorganic piezoelectric devices are used for a wide variety of applications from inexpensive speakers and headphones, to sophisticated sonar transducers. Over the last several decades, these materials have become highly reliable and technologically mature, but the magnitude of the mechanical stress they can generate in response to an input electric signal has reached an upper limit.This innovative technology applies Gadolinium-doped Cerium Oxide (Gd-doped CeO2) to piezoelectric and electrostrictive devices and will enable high-performance electromechanical materials with output capabilities an order of magnitude above existing solutions, in excess of 500 MPa. This could facilitate the next generation of many consumer and industrial electronic devices.

Applications


  • Wide range of personal electronic devices
  • Industrial and fine electronics – specifically powerful acoustic transducers

Advantages


  • Generate large displacement and large stress simultaneously
  • Sensitive and tunable properties

Technology's Essence


In piezoelectric devices, stress develops due to the deformation of a non-centrosymmetric lattice under the application of an electric field. In commercial electrostrictors, or materials with centrosymmetric lattices and very large dielectric constants, an external electric field distorts the unit cells of the lattice, rendering them locally non-centrosymmetric. In both cases, the electromechanical stress develops due to a small displacement of atoms within each unit cell. Increasing the magnitude of the response would lead to more powerful actuators, and permit a decrease in the operating voltage; therefore, the search for novel mechanisms of electromechanical response in solids remains an important objective for both fundamental and applied science.

We have demonstrated that Gd-doped CeO2, specifically Ce0.8Gd0.2O1.9, can generate stress an order of magnitude greater than the best electromechanically active materials. The large stress develops in response to the rearrangement of cerium-oxygen vacancy pairs and their local environment. This effect is expected to be two-fold; i) an applied electric field results in strain and stress directly, and ii) application of the external electric field affects the elastic modulus of Ce0.8Gd0.2O1.9 by suppressing the chemical strain effect. This is a fundamentally different mechanism than materials currently in use. In this view, Gd-doped CeO2 is representative of a new family of high-performance electromechanical materials.

 

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  • Prof. Igor Lubomirsky
1643
Improving beta cell isolation and purification techniques is a critical step towards the development of new cell-based therapies, diagnostic applications and diabetes research. Pancreatic Islets are composed of mixed cell populations, among them beta cells, which represent a major focus of interest due...

Improving beta cell isolation and purification techniques is a critical step towards the development of new cell-based therapies, diagnostic applications and diabetes research. Pancreatic Islets are composed of mixed cell populations, among them beta cells, which represent a major focus of interest due to their participation in the pathology of diabetes. Various techniques have been suggested to accomplish this step, yet efficient and robust isolation of beta cells remains a challenging task.
The present invention provides an efficient tag-free isolation method for pancreatic cell sub-types, based on separation according to a newly identified collection of surface markers. These markers are tightly correlated with specific functions, such as insulin production, ensuring enrichment of the desired functionality.
Probing against the newly identified markers in a combinatorial manner allows high degree of purity without compromising the yield, significantly increasing the amount of purified cells. Finally, the method is compatible with both extracts of pancreatic tissues and stem cells derived cultures, the latter set up high expectations in the diabetes therapy field.

Applications


A kit for isolation of distinct pancreatic cell subtypes

Advantages


  • High purity without compromising the yield of isolated cells.
  • Compatible with a variety of heterogeneous sources including cells extracted from pancreatic tissue, committed lineages of stem cells and cultures of differentiated stem cells.                                               

Technology's Essence


Using an innovative high throughput screen, linking specific cell surface markers with a particular functionality (e.g. insulin production), a collection of markers not previously identified in connection with pancreatic cells or with diabetes was found to be consistently expressed in human islets.
Cell isolation according to the selected markers is performed by exposing the heterogeneous source of cells to specific antibodies that recognize these markers, followed by a choice of sorting techniques such as fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS).
The innovative concept of this method is the use of marker combinations, iterating the selection. Only cells that express both markers will be sorted out, thus increasing specificity and reducing contaminations. This increased specificity gives rise to a higher degree of purity without compromising the yield, resulting in larger amounts of isolated cells.
By applying the initial screen in yet another iteration, additional markers can be added to the selection, to refine the isolation procedure. 
As this method is generally applicable to the purification of mature as well as pluripotent or partially differentiated beta cell progenitors, it holds great potential for the isolation of clinically relevant cells for treatments of diabetes.

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  • Prof. Michael Walker
  • Prof. Michael Walker
1551
A novel set of manganese, ruthenium and related borohydride complexes (Pincer-type) were developed as remarkably efficient and environmentally-benign catalysts for the synthesis of alcohols, amines, amides, imines and esters, which are the basic building blocks for the research, chemicals,...

A novel set of manganese, ruthenium and related borohydride complexes (Pincer-type) were developed as remarkably efficient and environmentally-benign catalysts for the synthesis of alcohols, amines, amides, imines and esters, which are the basic building blocks for the research, chemicals, pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries. In addition, a catalytic carbon-carbon bond formation using non-activated aliphatic nitriles and carbonyl compounds was achieved with the manganese complex. These reactions are conducted under mild and neutral conditions, using low catalyst loading, require no hydrogen acceptors or oxidants, employ no corrosive or toxic reagents and generate no waste. Moreover, manganese is one of the most abundant transition metals on earth crust, making it appealing and biocompatible when considering a system for eventual scale-up and industrial use.

In view of global concerns regarding economy, environment and sustainable energy resources, there is an urgent need for the discovery of new catalytic reactions. These newly developed catalysts address key problems of current traditional synthetic methodologies, both from the economic and the environmental aspects.

Applications


·         Pharmaceuticals

·         Dyes

·         Cosmetics and fragrances

·         Fibers

·         Agrochemicals


Advantages


·         Cost-effective in terms of reagents, reactions conditions (low temperature and pressure) and waste treatment (green reactions).

·         New synthetic pathways that were not possible before, such as the synthesis of amides and imines directly from alcohols and amines, esters synthesis from alcohols and methanol synthesis from CO2 and hydrogen.

·         Broad substrate scope.

·         Excellent yields.


Technology's Essence


Prof. David Milstein’s group has discovered a new mode of action for metal-ligand cooperation, involving aromatization–dearomatization of ligands. Pincer-type, pyridine-based complexes of Mn, Ir, Rh, Ru, Pd, Pt and acridine complexes of Ru have been shown to exhibit such cooperation, leading to facile activation of C-H, C-C, H-H, N-H, O-H bonds, and to novel, environmentally friendly reactions catalyzed by Mn and Ru.

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  • Prof. David Milstein
1621
Novel treatment for angiogenesis-related diseases.Angiogenesis — the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vasculature — has an essential role in development, reproduction and repair. Pathological angiogenesis is a common theme in a broad range of diseases such as cancer, autoimmune diseases,...

Novel treatment for angiogenesis-related diseases.Angiogenesis — the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vasculature — has an essential role in development, reproduction and repair. Pathological angiogenesis is a common theme in a broad range of diseases such as cancer, autoimmune diseases, age-related macular degeneration and atherosclerosis. The global market for angiogenesis stimulators and inhibitors is forecast to reach ~US $50 billion by the year 2015. Most of the currently marketed angiogenesis regulators, such as Avastin, typically display modest efficacy and therefore further highlight the great need for the development of novel therapeutics. The current technology presents a novel method to treat angiogenesis-related disorders by modulating apolipoprotein B (ApoB).

Applications


  • ApoB is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of cancer and other non-neoplastic diseases.
  • ApoB levels may serve as a biomarker for cancer metastasis.

Advantages


  • The anti-angiogenic effect of LDL administration was demonstrated in vivo, in zebrafish models, as well as in vitro, in relevant human cells lines.
  • Regulation of ApoB levels may be applied to treat a broad range of angiogenesis-dependent diseases.
  • Detection of ApoB levels can be readily achieved by analysis of body fluids such as blood and plasma.

Technology's Essence


Using a high-throughput genetic screen for vascular defects in zebrafish, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have identified a genetic mutation that leads to excessive angiogenesis. The mutated gene is responsible for the assembly of ApoB-containing lipoproteins such as LDL, otherwise known as the ‘bad’ cholesterol. The group has found that low levels of LDL promote the formation of new blood vessels by directly interacting with the VEGF pathway. The outlined technology offers methods to modulate the levels of ApoB in order to stimulate, or inhibit angiogenesis, dependent on the therapeutic strategy. For example, inhibition of angiogenesis by increasing ApoB levels may repress tumor growth and attenuate its metastatic potential. In another application of this technology, increased circulating levels of ApoB can serve as a biomarker for the overproduction of blood vessels, thus enabling early diagnosis of pathogenic states in angiogenesis-dependent diseases.

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  • Dr. Karina Yaniv
1582
Over-expression of an oil globule protein for increased production of oil. Oil globules are discrete organelles, ubiquitous in animals, microorganisms and plants. Plant oil globules contain specific proteins that are tightly bound to their surface. These proteins are suggested to have different roles,...

Over-expression of an oil globule protein for increased production of oil.

Oil globules are discrete organelles, ubiquitous in animals, microorganisms and plants. Plant oil globules contain specific proteins that are tightly bound to their surface. These proteins are suggested to have different roles, including globules formation, degradation and stabilization. The present invention relies on the fact that oil globule associated proteins stabilize the oil bodies, and suggests the induction of one of these proteins as a means to obtain high yields of oil globules. 

Applications


  • Higher yields of oil for food and biodiesel

  • Higher yield of the pigment astaxanthin or beta carotene in pigment-accumulating algae


Advantages


  • Obtaining valuable materials (oil and pigments) with a relatively simple manipulation (i.e., over-expression of the globule-associated protein)
  • Cost-effective

Technology's Essence


In many microorganisms (e.g., yeasts, micro-algae and bacteria), the accumulation of oil globules appears to be induced specifically in response to environmental stresses such as nutrient limitation, high irradiance or osmotic stress. One specific protein, found only in micro-algae, was enriched in isolated globules and in stressed cells, in correlation to astaxanthin accumulation. This correlation makes the protein a promising candidate to function in stress response, and more specifically, in globule buildup. Therefore, it may be expected that its over-expression in plants or in algae could increase the accumulation of oil (tryglycerides).

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  • Prof. Uri Pick
1602
A novel technology for robust downregulation of bacterial genes.RNAi (RNA interference) is a powerful method for downregulation of gene expression in eukaryotic systems. RNAi-based technologies are extensively applied as scientific research tools, as well as actively explored as promising therapeutic...

A novel technology for robust downregulation of bacterial genes.RNAi (RNA interference) is a powerful method for downregulation of gene expression in eukaryotic systems. RNAi-based technologies are extensively applied as scientific research tools, as well as actively explored as promising therapeutic agents. However, although an efficient way to dowregulate bacterial and microbial gene expression has been long sought after, RNAi is not applicable in these species. The present technology offers a rapid and simple means to silence gene products in prokaryotic systems.

Applications


  • Treatment of bacterial infection, by targeting bacterial genes vital for antibiotic resistance or bacterial virulence.
  • Enhanced biofuel production by targeting genes that interfere with ethanol and/or hydrogen biosynthesis.
  • Generation of improved bacterial strains for the diary industry (e.g. phage-resistant strains).
  • Discerning prokaryotic gene function by silencing the expression of the gene product.

Advantages


  • The present technology may offer means to treat antibiotics-resistant strains.
  • Because CRISPR-based technology does not involve ‘classical’ genetic engineering, the resulting products do not require labeling as 'genetically modified'.
  • CRISPR-based technology system allows for the development of a rapid, scalable and high-throughput platform to probe the function of genetic circuits in prokaryotes.

Technology's Essence


CRISPR (clusters of regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) is a recently discovered anti-viral system that functions as the prokaryotic-equivalent of the adaptive immune system. CRISPR provides bacteria with protection against foreign genetic elements such as viruses by incorporating short stretches of invading DNA sequences in genomic CRISPR loci. These integrated sequences are thought to function as a genetic memory that prevents the host from being infected by the viruses and other genetic elements containing this recognition sequence. A team of researchers at the Weizmann Institute, headed by Dr. Rotem Sorek, has developed a unique technology to gain robust and rapid silencing of prokaryotic gene expression by exploiting the CRISPR system capacity to efficiently downregulate gene products. This potent technology can potentially be utilized in a broad range of areas such as in the agriculture, food and pharmaceutical industries as well as in the scientific research arena.

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  • Prof. Rotem Sorek
1646
Dedicated and highly efficient EPR analysis of small volume samples in a range of few µl is now made simple with a novel device invented at the Weizmann Institute of Science. This device features a new ejection mechanism and a unique cold trap which enables collection of all time points in a RFQ series...

Dedicated and highly efficient EPR analysis of small volume samples in a range of few µl is now made simple with a novel device invented at the Weizmann Institute of Science. This device features a new ejection mechanism and a unique cold trap which enables collection of all time points in a RFQ series in one continuous experiment.
In order to design and develop inhibitors for therapeutic purposes, the reaction mechanisms of enzymes must be understood. For biological applications, a common methodology of addressing this need is combining Rapid Freeze Quench with Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (RFQ)-EPR, which allows the trapping and analysis of short lived intermediates in chemical reactions. However, commercial RFQ-EPR devices are limited for high field EPR applications due to the demand of large sample volumes for each time point.
Prof. Goldfarb and her team built a new RFQ apparatus based on microfluidic flow and unique ejection and freezing systems, which can be used for collecting small volume samples in capillaries for high field EPR.

Applications


This technology, combined with the variety of W-band high resolution EPR technique (ENDOR, DEER and ESEEM) enables better mechanistic studies of enzymatic reactions, with an emphasis on structural transformations during the reaction, in an efficient and accurate way.


Advantages


  • Collecting all RFQ time points in one continues experiment.
  • Produce small volume samples in the range of a few µl, and handles small capillaries, for high field ERP.
  • An improved dead time of ~5ms, relative to the commercial RFQs with a typical dead-time of 5–10 ms.
  • Ease-of-use and speed.

Technology's Essence


The innovative apparatus consists of two main parts: the microfluidic device and the freeze-quench setup. The microfluidic device comprises a mixer, which mixes the two reacting solutions, a flow path where the reaction occurs, and a sprinkler from which the solution is sprayed out of the device. Prof. Goldfarb and her colleagues improved the common mixing device by adding a fast stream of nitrogen gas which mixes with the ejected reaction solution, and sprays the frozen aerosol out in tiny drops at high speed.
The innovative RFQ device was planned to have a cold solid surface on which the freezing happens rather than the traditional ejection into a cold liquid, in order to minimize the losses of the frozen solution. Moreover the plate rotates at a speed correlated to the flow speed of the solution, thus samples of different reaction times can freeze on a different radius. The frozen samples are then collected into quartz capillaries.

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  • Prof. Daniella Goldfarb
1555
Albumin binding probe for extending the lifetime of drugs. Most polypeptide drugs, in particular non-glycosylated proteins of molecular mass less than 50 kDa, are short-lived species in vivo having circulatory half lives of 5-20 min. Drug association with endogenous albumin may be suitable for...

Albumin binding probe for extending the lifetime of drugs. Most polypeptide drugs, in particular non-glycosylated proteins of molecular mass less than 50 kDa, are short-lived species in vivo having circulatory half lives of 5-20 min. Drug association with endogenous albumin may be suitable for designing an approach to protract the action in vivo of, potentially, any short-lived peptide/protein drug. In doing so two principal obstacles must be overcome: (1) following its conjugation, the probe introduced into a peptide or a protein should have sufficient affinity to albumin to manifest prolonged action in vivo, and (2) in case such covalent introduction results in an inactive product, the latter should be capable to undergo slow reactivation at physiological conditions. The present invention relates to engineering prolonged-acting prodrugs employing an albumin-binding probe that undergoes slow hydrolysis at physiological conditions.

Applications


  • Prolonging half life of short-lined drugs

Advantages


  • Prolonging the action of the drug without effecting its activity 
  • A desirable pharmacokinetic pattern

Technology's Essence


Since albumin is long-lived in vivo, drugs and endogenous substances that tightly associate with it have lower clearance rates than that of the unbound substances, and exhibit prolonged lifetime profiles in vivo. The present invention is based on a concept according to which a long chain fatty acid (LCFA) like albuminbinding compound is covalently linked to a short-lived amino-containing drug to form a non-covalent drug conjugate capable of associating with albumin in vivo, i.e., a long-lived prodrug that gradually releases the pharmacologically active constituent. This approach has been successfully implemented with several drugs (e.g. insulin, exendin and gentamicin).

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  • Prof. Matityahu Fridkin
  • Prof. Yoram Shechter
1629
A new unsupervised learning tool for analyzing large datasets using very limited known data via clustering was developed by the group of Prof. Domany. This solution was originally demonstrated for inferring pathway deregulation scores for specific tumor samples on the basis of expression data.Nearly...

A new unsupervised learning tool for analyzing large datasets using very limited known data via clustering was developed by the group of Prof. Domany. This solution was originally demonstrated for inferring pathway deregulation scores for specific tumor samples on the basis of expression data.
Nearly all methods analyze pathway activity in a global “atomistic” manner, based on an entire sample set, not attempting to characterize individual tumors. Other methods use detailed pathway activity mechanism information and other data that is unavailable in a vast majority of cancer datasets.
The new algorithm described here transforms gene-level information into pathway- level information, generating a compact and biologically relevant representation of each sample. This can be used as an effective prognostic and predictive tool that helps healthcare providers to find optimal treatment strategies for cancer patients. Furthermore, this method can be generically used for reducing the degrees of freedom in order to derive meaningful output from multi-dimensional data using limited knowns.

Applications


  • Personalized cancer treatment.
  • A tool for mining insight from large datasets with limited knowns.

Advantages


  • Provides personalized solutions.
  • Can be utilized for rare conditions with very limited known information.
  • Proved on real oncologic datasets.
  • A Generic unsupervised learning tool.

Technology's Essence


The algorithm analyzes NP pathways, one at a time, assigning a score DP(i) to each sample i and pathway P, which estimates the extent to which the behavior of pathway P deviates from normal, in sample i. To determine this pathway deregulation score the expression levels of those dP genes that belong to P using available databases are used. Each sample i is a point in this dP dimensional space; the entire set of samples forms a cloud of points, and the “principal curve” that captures the variation of this cloud is calculated. Then each sample is projected onto this curve. The pathway deregulation score is defined as the distance DP(i), measured along the curve, of the projection of sample i, from the projection of the normal samples.

 

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  • Prof. Eytan Domany
  • Prof. Eytan Domany
1585
Our scientific team has discovered a method to apply the Gabor Transform to signal processing and data compression. Compared to existing methods that are based on Fourier transform, the new method provides for up to 25% savings in content size for video, audio and images, without any loss in quality...

Our scientific team has discovered a method to apply the Gabor Transform to signal processing and data compression.

Compared to existing methods that are based on Fourier transform, the new method provides for up to 25% savings in content size for video, audio and images, without any loss in quality.

By embracing our method, content providers, ISPs and mobile carriers can achieve major savings in data storage and data transfer costs.

Applications


The method can be used in virtually all applications involving data storage, communication and signal processing. One of the main commercial application is for lossy data compression for video, audio and images. Those types of content constitute the bulk of today’s Internet traffic, and improved compression will generate substantial savings in storage and data transfer costs.

The method also applies to the storage, communication and processing of quantum information and may therefore be expected to have applications in quantum calculations, quantum communication and quantum information processing.


Advantages


Existing data compression methods are based on numerical implementations of the Fourier transform, known as FFT, DCT and similar.

Compared to these methods, Gabor transform method demonstrates a very significant advantage in terms of the size of compressed material.  

The method provides for up to 25% savings in data size, while keeping the same perceived quality of the content.


Technology's Essence


We have discovered the definitive solution to the problem of obtaining accuracy and stability in the Gabor transform.  We realized that there must be an exact informational equivalence between the Gabor transform and the discrete Fourier transform (DFT). The latter is known to provide an exact representation of functions that are band-limited with finite support.  Since the DFT implicitly assumes periodic boundary conditions, to obtain this exact equivalence one needs to modify the Gaussians in the Gabor transform to obey periodic boundary conditions. This leads to Gaussian flexibility with Fourier accuracy --- precisely what has been sought since 1946.

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  • Prof. David J. Tannor
1610
A novel method for increasing Insulin content in pancreatic beta cells. In healthy individuals, Insulin is produced by beta cells of the pancreas. In people with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), these cells do not produce enough Insulin to effectively fine-tune blood sugar levels. In the US alone...

A novel method for increasing Insulin content in pancreatic beta cells.

In healthy individuals, Insulin is produced by beta cells of the pancreas. In people with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), these cells do not produce enough Insulin to effectively fine-tune blood sugar levels. In the US alone there are up to 3 million affected individuals with 30,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Worldwide, T1DM incidence has been increasing in recent years by 2% to 5%. Traditionally treated by multiple daily injections of recombinant Insulin, T1DM management represents a significant burden to both patients and the healthcare system. Recent data estimate that T1DM costs the US ~$15 billion annually in medical costs and lost income. Thus, novel therapeutic approaches to amplify Insulin production in diseased beta cells or to replace them entirely are in great need. The present technology describes a cell-based method to enhance beta cell differentiation and Insulin production by the downregulation of a pancreas-enriched microRNA.

 

Applications


  • Cell replacement therapy: directed differentiation of stem cells towards a beta cell fate followed by transplantation of these engineered cells into patients.
  • These methods can potentially be applied to other Insulin deficiency-related conditions such as diabetes mellitus type 2, metabolic syndrome and obesity.

Advantages


  • Simple and robust method for accelerating beta cell differentiation.
  • Cell base therapy for diabetes.
  • Increasing Insulin level.

Technology's Essence


A research team headed by Dr. Hornstein from the Weizmann Institute has discovered an essential role for microRNA-7 (miR-7), a microRNA that is highly and selectively expressed in the endocrine pancreas, in the regulation of beta cell differentiation. By down-regulating the expression of miR-7, the researchers were able to accelerate beta cell differentiation, and concomitantly to augment their Insulin production rate. The data gained from these studies can be further utilized in cell-based therapy applications to restore Insulin production in damaged beta cells, or alternately to replace these cells with stem cells coaxed to differentiate towards a beta cell fate.

 

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  • Dr. Eran Hornstein
1650
Efficient Production of natural Astaxanthin in bioengineered bacteria is a game changer for the nutraceuticals industry. The market-pull for natural Astaxanthin is much greater than the supply. Synthetic Astaxanthin is produced from petrochemical sources; it contains unwanted stereoisomers and is...

Efficient Production of natural Astaxanthin in bioengineered bacteria is a game changer for the nutraceuticals industry. The market-pull for natural Astaxanthin is much greater than the supply. Synthetic Astaxanthin is produced from petrochemical sources; it contains unwanted stereoisomers and is rejected by consumers who prefer natural Astaxanthin. Production of natural Astaxanthin in microalgae is laborious, expensive, and time-consuming.
Researchers at the Weizmann Institute used a combinatorial approach to construct bioengineered operons capable of modulating the expression levels of enzymes involved in the production of Astaxanthin. By combinatorial pairing of these genes in E. coli, they achieved natural Astaxanthin production 4-fold higher than previously reported.
The innovative method can challenge the deficiencies of natural Astaxanthin production in microalgae. Following scale-up and industrial development of the proprietary process, production of natural Astaxanthin has the potential to be considerably cheaper and competitive with the cost of synthesizing Astaxanthin.

Applications


  • Cost-effective Production of natural Astaxanthin for the nutraceuticals industry, animal feed industry, and others.
  • A doorway to the generation of many future products in E. coli, specifically metabolites that are produced in elaborate metabolic pathways.

Advantages


  • Full control over carotenoid accumulation profile.
  • Cheaper, straightforward generation of Astaxanthin in E. coli as opposed to generation in algae which involves high raw materials cost, land usage, air emissions etc.
  • Natural Astaxanthin as opposed to synthetic, uncontaminated with intermediate compounds and stereoisomers.

Technology's Essence


At Dr. Ron Milo’s lab researchers employed a method that uses the relatively short Ribosome Binding Site (RBS) sequence in a combinatorial manner. The methodology involves combinatorial pairing of target genes (Astaxanthin metabolic pathway enzymes) with a small set of RBS sequences and assembling them into a library of synthetic operons to explore protein expression space and to locate desired phenotypes in bacteria.
The researchers used a small set of RBS sequences to modulate in parallel the protein expression levels of multiple genes over several orders of magnitude. Using this approach, they were able to efficiently scan a large fraction of the Astaxanthin metabolic expression space with a manageable set of tested genotypes.

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  • Prof. Ron Milo
1559
The Weizmann Institute is actively seeking a company interested in commercializing a novel technology that reduces sulfur content in refined fuels. Fossil fuels sources such as oil, coal, natural gas, shales and others contain varying amounts of sulfur compounds. As world reserves of high quality...

The Weizmann Institute is actively seeking a company interested in commercializing a novel technology that reduces sulfur content in refined fuels. Fossil fuels sources such as oil, coal, natural gas, shales and others contain varying amounts of sulfur compounds. As world reserves of high quality fossil fuels diminish and regulatory standards tighten on reduced levels of sulfur containing emissions, the need for effective methods for removal of refractory sulfides from refined fuels arises.

This invention makes use of a catalytic reaction to remove refractory sulfides from refined fuels thereby enabling the reduction and removal of sulfides. The catalyst is then purified by aerobic oxidation (low temperature combustion) and reused.

Applications


  • Desulfurization of fuels in oil refineries - useful for deep desulfurization of fuels containing relatively small amounts of organic sulfur compounds.

Advantages


  • The process does not require high pressure hydrogen and can be carried out at low temperature.

  • The process complements present HDS technology tp remove refractory sulfides.

  • Catalyst recovery and recycle is carried out by low temperature pyrolysis.

  • No need for additional separation or adsorption processes.

  • No need for additional fuel drying steps.


Technology's Essence


The invention relates to a method for removing heteroaromatic, refractory sulfides down to sub-ppm levels from refined fuels such as gasoline, diesel oil and kerosene. The process uses a heterogeneous catalyst that reacts with the refractory sulfides and oligomerizes or polymerizes them to insoluble polymers that are adsorbed on the catalyst. After use, the catalyst is recovered and purified by low temperature aerobic total oxidation (combustion) reused. This process completes desulfurization of fuels in oil refineries.

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  • Prof. Ronny Neumann

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