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1583
The thermoelectric effect is the direct conversion of temperature differences to electric voltage and vice versa. Thermoelectric effects are used in various applications, where heat energy is saved, that would be otherwise lost. Although the TE conversion efficiency is nowadays low (5-8%), the novel...

The thermoelectric effect is the direct conversion of temperature differences to electric voltage and vice versa. Thermoelectric effects are used in various applications, where heat energy is saved, that would be otherwise lost. Although the TE conversion efficiency is nowadays low (5-8%), the novel technique developed at Weizmann Institute, has a disruptive potential to change this market.  

Prof. Y. Imry and his team at Weizmann Institute came up with Thermal Electric conversion technique, based on a new TE device architecture which allows performance enhancement. The core invention is in the field of Bi-junction thermoelectric device architecture, having a thermoelectric gate interposed between two electric regions, leading to thermal electric conversion efficiency optimization.

Applications


Various TE devices will benefit from better TE efficiency, achieved by the developed conversion technique. The growing market for thermoelectric energy harvesters will reach $865 million by 2023. Current TE market is driven by consumer energy harvesting applications and some niche segments:

  •  Automotive energy harvesting applications, since around 40% of the energy produced by internal combustion engines is currently lost in heat through the exhaust.
  • Wireless devices/sensors segment is forecasted to account for over a third of the overall market for thermoelectric harvesters and cooling by 2023.

Advantages


In order to drive down the thermoelectric module costs and facilitate broad deployment, TE has several barriers to overcome: 

  •  low conversion efficiency;
  • toxicity and low availability of chemical elements constituting part of the thermoelectric materials.

 In this context, the main TE market challenges are reaching higher efficiencies using low cost thermoelectric materials. These challenges can be addressed by the proposed technology.


Technology's Essence


Prof. Y. Imry and his team at Weizmann Institute have developed novel bi-junction TE device, having a thermoelectric gate interposed between two electric regions, aiming at TE efficiency improvement. Thermoelectric efficiency depends on the figure of merit (ZT). The figure-of-merit curves, for the developed 3-T TE device configurations show that higher ZT should be achieved.  

The secret essence of the invented configuration is in using two independently adjustable input parameters - voltage and temperature - as drivers for optimizing device thermoelectric efficiency.

 

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  • Prof. Yoseph Imry
1604
Novel reporter gene for magnetic resonance imaging applications.The ability to image the duration and location of gene expression in vivo and noninvasively is imperative for the future of biology and clinical medicine. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a widely used noninvasive clinical diagnostic...

Novel reporter gene for magnetic resonance imaging applications.The ability to image the duration and location of gene expression in vivo and noninvasively is imperative for the future of biology and clinical medicine. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a widely used noninvasive clinical diagnostic tool that offers views into deep tissues at exquisite spatial resolution. Recently, MRI has emerged as a valuable tool for monitoring the expression of genes by utilizing metal-complexed MRI agents to display transgene activity in vivo. However, administration of metal complexes into tissues and cells is challenging. Intra-cellular metalloproteins such as Ferritin have been utilized as endogenous MRI contrast agents, but offer relatively low sensitivity. The present technology provides a novel Ferritin-based transgene with enhanced MRI contrast.

 

Applications


  • Non-invasive imaging of gene expression in transgenic mice models.
  • Monitoring target gene expression in pre-clinical studies.
  • Long-term cell labeling and tracking.
  • Visualization of cellular- and gene-based therapeutics.

Advantages


  • Does not require delivery of exogenous substrate.
  • Enhanced MRI contrast over current Ferritin-based reporters.
  • Conversion to magnetite is achieved in physiological conditions and not by synthetic modification or by extreme heating. 

Technology's Essence


Ferritin, the main Iron storage intracellular protein, contains a paramagnetic ferryhydrate core, and thus was proposed as an endogenous MRI reporter gene. However, Ferritin provides relatively low sensitivity. One way to increase sensitivity of Ferritin is to convert the non-crystalline ferrihydrate in its core into crystal magnetite as has been done chemically, to form magneto-ferritin. The current method enhances the magnetic properties of Ferritin by engineering a Ferritin protein fused to a bacteria-derived peptide. This novel recombinant fusion protein facilitates conversion of ferrihydrate into crystal magnetite and by this induces MRI contrast. The new construct can serve for monitoring delivery and differentiation of cells in vivo in cellular based therapy. 

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  • Prof. Michal Neeman
1647
Novel algorithms developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science for Content-Based Image Retrieval (CBIR) can enhance search engines by crowd-sourcing and improved clustering.Discovering visual categories among collection of images is a long standing challenge in computer vision, which limits images-...

Novel algorithms developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science for Content-Based Image Retrieval (CBIR) can enhance search engines by crowd-sourcing and improved clustering.
Discovering visual categories among collection of images is a long standing challenge in computer vision, which limits images-based search engines. Existing approaches are searching for a common cluster model. They are focused on identifying shared visual properties (such as a shared object) and subsequently grouping the images into meaningful clusters based upon these shared properties. Such methods are likely to fail once encountering a highly variable set of images or a fairly limited number of images per category.
Researchers form Prof. Michal Irani lab suggest a novel approach based on ‘similarity by composition’. This technology detects statistically significant regions which co-occur across images, which reveals strong and meaningful affinities, even if they appear only in few images. The outcome is a reliable cluster in which each image has high affinity to many images in the cluster, and weak affinity to images outside the cluster.

Applications


  • Images search engines - can be applied for collaborative search between users.
  • Detecting abnormalities in medical imaging.
  • Quality assurance in the fields of agriculture, food, pharmaceutical industry etc.
  • Security industry- from counting people up to identifying suspicious acts.
  • Computer games and brain machine interface.

Advantages


• Can be applied to very few images, as well as benchmark datasets, and yields state-of-the-art results.
• Handles large diversity in appearance.
• The search is not a global search, it requires no semantic query, tagging or pre-existing knowledge.
• The multi-images collaboration significantly speeds up the process, reducing the number of random samples and iterations.
• Set of images are obtained in time which is nearly linear in the size of the image collection.


Technology's Essence


In “clustering by composition”, a good cluster is referred as one in which each image can be easily composed using statistically significant pieces from other images in the cluster while is difficult to compose from images outside the cluster. Multiple images exploit their ‘wisdom of crowds’ to further improve the process. Using a collaborative randomized search algorithm images can be composed from each other simultaneously and efficiently. This enables each image to direct the other images where to search for similar regions within the image collection. The resulted sets of images affinities are sparse yet meaningful and reliable.

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  • Prof. Michal Irani
1556
Synthetic carbon fixation pathways can allow plants to produce more biomass using the same amount of energy from sunlight. Novel carbon fixation cycles discovered at The Weizmann Institute hold potential to greatly increase the capacity of organisms to convert atmospheric carbon into sugars. Modern...

Synthetic carbon fixation pathways can allow plants to produce more biomass using the same amount of energy from sunlight. Novel carbon fixation cycles discovered at The Weizmann Institute hold potential to greatly increase the capacity of organisms to convert atmospheric carbon into sugars.

Modern agriculture faces limited arable land and climate changes. Carbon fixation under these conditions will become a significant growth limiting factor. The proposed solution provides the ability to enhance crop yields using the same expanse of land.

The novel technology presents alternative synthetic carbon fixation pathways that were discovered by harnessing a systems biology approach. These pathways are predicted to harbor a significant kinetic advantage over their natural counter parts, making them promising candidates for synthetic biology implementation.

Applications


  • Synthetic organisms utilizing this revolutionary technology can offer higher carbon fixation rates as compared to natural alternatives allowing:
  • Superior rate of biomass generation, providing cost effective feedstock for the production of biofuels.
  • Enhanced food production via increased crop yields.

Advantages


  • Minimal thermodynamic bottlenecks and superior kinetics over natural counterparts.

Technology's Essence


The productivity of carbon fixation cycles is limited by the slow rate and lack of substrate specificity of the carboxylating enzyme, RuBisCo. In his discovery Dr. Milo addresses the inefficiency of the carbon fixation process through an alternative cycle that is predicted to be two to three times faster than the Calvin–Benson cycle, employing the most effective carboxylating enzyme, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase, using the core of the naturally evolved C4 cycle.

A computational strategy was applied, comparing kinetics, energetic and topology of all the possible pathways that can be assembled from all ~4,000 metabolic enzymes known in nature.

The results suggest a promising new family of synthetic carbon fixation pathways.

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  • Prof. Ron Milo
1633
The ErbB family consists of four structurally related receptor tyrosine kinases. Excessive ErbB signaling is associated with enhanced tumorogenesis, and as such serves as a major therapeutic target in a wide array of solid tumor cancers. A member of this family, the human epidermal growth factor...

The ErbB family consists of four structurally related receptor tyrosine kinases. Excessive ErbB signaling is associated with enhanced tumorogenesis, and as such serves as a major therapeutic target in a wide array of solid tumor cancers. A member of this family, the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (ErbB-2/HER2), is overexpressed in a variety of human cancers, including breast and gastric tumors. ErbB-2/HER2 amplification correlates with elevated metastatic activity and poor prognosis. An innovative and highly potent approach for cancer treatment is proposed here, based on delivering novel nucleic acid-based entities called aptamers targeting ErbB-2/HER2. Remarkably, the antitumor effect exerted by the multimeric anti-ErbB-2/HER2 aptamers is twofold stronger than that elicited by currently available antiErbB-2 monocolonal antibodies.

Applications


  • A novel class of molecules for the treatment of human cancers exhibiting excessive ErbB-2/HER2 signaling.
  • Combination with other therapeutic modalities may predictably enhance the antitumor activity of the aptamer.
  • Aptamers may also be harnessed as carrier molecules to deliver toxic loads into cancer cells.

Advantages


  • Unlike traditional methods for producing monoclonal antibodies, no organisms are required for the in vitro selection of oligonucleotides. This facilitates the selection and chemical design process of aptamers.
  • Aptamers are produced chemically in a readily scalable process.
  • Non-immunogenic.
  • Unlike other oligonucleotide-based therapeutics (siRNAs, antisense RNA), aptamer therapeutics can be developed for intracellular as well as extracellular or cell-surface targets.

Technology's Essence


Aptamers are single-stranded oligonucleotides that fold into defined architectures and avidly bind to targets such as proteins, with the same effectiveness and affinity associated with mAbs. Using a novel screening technology the research team has identified a multimeric aptamer with pronounced ErbB-2/HER2 inhibitory activity. Preliminary preclinical experiments show that treatment of gastric tumor-bearing mice with trimeric aptamer resulted in reduced tumor growth that was nearly twofold stronger than that achieved with a monoclonal anti-ErbB-2/HER2 antibody.

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  • Prof. Yosef Yarden
  • Prof. Michael Sela
1587
An innovative technique to preserve and prolong shelf-life in crop-plants cost-effectively. Different agricultural crops from Solanaceous species which include tomato, potato and eggplant, overcome oxidative stress by the production of steroidal glycoalkaloids (SGAs) and steroidal saponins. Although...

An innovative technique to preserve and prolong shelf-life in crop-plants cost-effectively.
Different agricultural crops from Solanaceous species which include tomato, potato and eggplant, overcome oxidative stress by the production of steroidal glycoalkaloids (SGAs) and steroidal saponins. Although SGAs contribute to plant resistance to a wide range of pathogens and predators some are considered as toxic to humans, with potato known as most relevance to food safety.
This innovative technology offers improvement  of nutritional composition and prolonged shelf-life of Solanaceous species, which are widely consumed crop-plants with a market size of hundreds of billions of tones produced yearly worldwide.

Applications


Modification of steroidal glycoalkaloids and steroidal saponins compounds in plants can be used for two purposes:
1. Widely used crop-plants from Solanaceae species with reduced anti-nutritional components.  Leading to a longer shelf-life of crop-plants with safer nutritional compounds. 
2. Highly resistant modified plant with enriched toxic steroidal glycoalkaloids content for non-edible usage. 

Advantages


  • Prolongs shelf-life- by preventing post-harvest elevated toxicity levels.
  • Reduction of undesired anti-nutritional alkaloids, by means that do not affect other biological plant pathways.
  • Helps avoiding spoilage and toxicity of plants that manifest during storage and process.
  • Stress and pathogen-resistant plants for non-edible usage: Genetically modified plants with elevated toxic steroidal glycoalkaloids content will result in enhanced resistance to stress related factors. The outcome will also be prolonged shelf-life achieved in a clean economic manner (reduced need of pesticides/ insecticides).

Technology's Essence


The invention relates to key genes and enzymes on the biosynthesis pathway converting cholesterol to SGA. Biosynthesis involves an array of genes. Modulation of specific regulatory, transcription factor genes had enabled strict control of the production of steroidal alkaloids and glycosylated derivatives therefore.
Prof. Asaph Aharoni discovered the key genes in the biosynthesis of steroidal saponins and steroidal alkaloids in his lab at the Weizmann institute. He also developed a method for altering the gene expression and the production (reduction or elevation) of these components in plants from the Solanaceae species.

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  • Prof. Asaph Aharoni
1611
Novel HIV-derived peptides for the treatment of T-cell related disorders.Autoimmune diseases affect millions of individuals worldwide and the cost of these diseases, in terms of actual treatment expenditures and lost productivity, is measured in billions of dollars annually. Uncontrolled activation of...

Novel HIV-derived peptides for the treatment of T-cell related disorders.Autoimmune diseases affect millions of individuals worldwide and the cost of these diseases, in terms of actual treatment expenditures and lost productivity, is measured in billions of dollars annually. Uncontrolled activation of T cells is a hallmark of many autoimmune diseases; prominent among these are rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis and Type I diabetes. T cells also play a cardinal role in the rejection for organ transplantation or graft versus host disease. Currently available therapies such as immunosuppressive drugs suppress the patient's entire immune response, thereby increasing the risk of infection, and can cause toxic side effects to non-lymphoid tissues. The development of new immunosuppressive agents capable of selectively inhibiting the activation of T lymphocytes with minimal side effects is therefore desirable. The present invention provides novel peptides endowed with immunosuppressive activity, for the treatment of T-cell related conditions such as autoimmune, inflammatory and graft rejection disorders.

 

Applications


Treatment of various T-cell mediated pathologies including:

  • Autoimmune diseases.
  • Inflammatory disorders.
  • Graft rejection and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).

 


Advantages


  • The peptides exhibit minimal toxicity.
  • The peptides are about 20 times more potent than the strongest peptide reported from the HIV envelope proteins.
  • The peptides are less hydrophobic than other gp41-derived peptides and as such are more readily soluble in aqueous solution.

Technology's Essence


A team of scientists from the Weizmann Institute has developed peptides, derived from the ectodomain of the HIV gp41 envelope protein, that are able to effectively inhibit T cell activation. These peptides are 20-fold more potent as immunosuppressive peptides compared to other HIV-derived immunosuppressive peptides. The novel gp41-derived peptides robustly attenuated autoimmune disease in vivo, as shown in an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) animal model, while demonstrating minimal toxic effect in both in vivo and in vitro studies. Furthermore, the novel peptides are remarkably less hydrophobic than other HIV-derived peptides, and therefore can readily dissolve, facilitating their administration as therapeutic agents.

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  • Prof. Yechiel Shai
1657
Bioengineered formatotrophic E.Coli can be utilized to efficiently generate biomass from electricity. A popular direction for cleantech in recent years is that of biorefineries, that use living organisms to supply the human demand for chemical commodities. Electricity is considered to be a potential...

Bioengineered formatotrophic E.Coli can be utilized to efficiently generate biomass from electricity. A popular direction for cleantech in recent years is that of biorefineries, that use living organisms to supply the human demand for chemical commodities. Electricity is considered to be a potential feedstock for biorefineries, with the end products serving as solid or liquid storage of energy.  Such microbial electrosynthesis is highly dependent on mediators to enable electron transfer from an electrode to a living cell. 
Formic acid (formate) is an electron mediator with a number of desired features for microbial electrosynthesis. However, wild-type organisms that can grow on formate are not suitable for industrial use due to slow growth rates and metabolism. 
Researchers at the Weizmann Institute have successfully engineered a formatotrophic E.coli. By combining systematical analysis with computational tools they screened numerous metabolic pathways and identified the optimized metabolic pathway that supports efficient formate-based growth. This innovative method enables the design of industrial strains of bacteria capable of efficient microbial electrosynthesis.

Applications


  • Biofuel and chemical commodities production.

Advantages


  • Efficient and robust storage of electrical energy.
  • Cost effective conversion of C1 compounds into sugars.

Technology's Essence


By engineering E. coli, the ”workhorse” bacteria used in biotechnology and enabling its growth on formate, researches at Dr. Ron Milo’s lab paved the way for efficient microbial electrosynthesis. The Researches started by investigating many metabolic pathways in order to discover how a model organism such as E.coli can be engineered for formatotrophic growth.  estimate which pathway is most suitable to support growth on formate each pathway was examined based on various criteria such as biomass yield, thermodynamic favorability, chemical motive force, kinetics and additional practical challenges. 
One short favorable pathway was consistently identified, that is the reductive glycine pathway. Furthermore.  Researches generated an isolated organism that is able to convert formate to pyruvate or glycerate.


Licensing Status


Pending

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  • Prof. Ron Milo
1564
A new recyclable size-selective filtration device. Particle size, chemical purity and dispersion of nanoparticles crucially determine their optical, electronic and chemical properties. Size-selective separation technologies are becoming increasingly important for the development of nanoparticles with...

A new recyclable size-selective filtration device.

Particle size, chemical purity and dispersion of nanoparticles crucially determine their optical, electronic and chemical properties. Size-selective separation technologies are becoming increasingly important for the development of nanoparticles with well-defined sizes, which have application in the fields of optoelectronic devices, biomedicine, materials, and catalysis.

Researchers at the Weizmann Institute have fabricated supramolecular ultrafiltration membranes that can be used for filtration and size-selective chromatography of nanoparticles. The membranes are composed of a self-assembled three-dimensional fibrous network that is held together by reversible non-covalent interactions.

The membranes are robust, easy to fabricate, and recyclable.

Applications


  • Size-selective separation of semiconductor and metal nanoparticles
  • Uniformity and monodispersity of nanoparticles in solution.
  • Size exclusion chromatography of nanoparticles in the sub-5-nm size regime.

Advantages


  • Efficient and inexpensive

  • Fast and easy fabrication

  • Recyclable

  • Self-assembled

  • Dual application regime: filtration and/or chromatography


Technology's Essence


The recyclable supramolecular membranes are formed from unique perylene derivatives that are large and flat aromatic molecules. These molecules are insoluble in water and form a 3-D network over a solid support, which can be used for the separation of nanoparticles.

The filters can be subsequently recycled from this mixture using an organic solvent (e.g. dichloromethane), which separates the membrane material from the water-soluble nanoparticles, and reused without loss of performance.

This material is hence highly attractive for application in the field of nanotechnology.

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  • Prof. Boris Rybtchinski
1640
Although early programs targeting MMPs (matrix metalloproteins) were largely unsuccessful due to adverse side effects, they remain a viable and highly desirable therapeutic target. The main obstacle in the attempts to target MMPs is the ability to selectively target individual family members. The...

Although early programs targeting MMPs (matrix metalloproteins) were largely unsuccessful due to adverse side effects, they remain a viable and highly desirable therapeutic target. The main obstacle in the attempts to target MMPs is the ability to selectively target individual family members. The present invention provides highly selective targeted therapy against MMP-7, which is strongly associated with aspects of cancer development such as angiogenesis and metastasis.
The innovative concept leading to this high selectivity is immunization with both a synthetic metal-protein mimicry molecule, previously developed by the present inventors, followed by the metalloenzyme itself (e.g. MMP-7). The resulting antibody exhibits exceptional degree of specificity towards MMP-7 over other MMPs.
The present technology offers an opportunity to re-introduce improved MMP-targeting agents to the cancer therapeutics market, in particular aggressive cancers that face a major unmet medical need. 

Applications


  • Therapy for MMP-7 associated diseases
  • Diagnostic tool for MMP-7 associated diseases

Advantages


  • Highly selective
  • Safe – avoids adverse effects that are associated with broad spectrum MMP inhibitors.
  • Efficient – targeting a physiological active conformation of the enzyme

Technology's Essence


The present technology is based on a previous invention that was developed in Prof. Sagi's lab, of synthetic metal-protein mimicry molecules that mimic the conserved structure of the metalloenzyme catalytic zinc-histidine complex within the active site of each MMP enzyme.
These molecules were shown to be powerful immunogens in the generation of highly selective MMP antibodies since they recognize both electrical and structural determinants residing within the enzyme active site. The potential of this method to successfully generate MMP-targeting therapeutics was shown for MMP-9/2 inhibitory antibodies in mouse models of inflammatory bowel disease.
Prof Sagi and her team now take this invention a step further to achieve even higher specificity. They show that immunizing with the mimicking molecules described above, followed by immunization with the metalloenzyme itself increases selectivity further.   
Implemented for MMP-7-targeting, this approach yielded an antibody with a 5 fold lower Ki towards MMP-7 than towards other MMPs (e.g. MMp-2 and MMP-9).


 

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  • Prof. Irit Sagi
  • Prof. Irit Sagi
1540
A novel TMS method that eliminates the restrictions of angular positioning, exciting more neurons per area of stimuli, in further areas of the brain.   Current TMS methods and TMS methods under development, suffer shortcomings of a highly specific directional electric field, which demands a precisely...

A novel TMS method that eliminates the restrictions of angular positioning, exciting more neurons per area of stimuli, in further areas of the brain.

 

Current TMS methods and TMS methods under development, suffer shortcomings of a highly specific directional electric field, which demands a precisely targeted application. Current methods are extremely sensitive to the movements of the patient or the device. Once a position is established the patient must remain still for the treatment. Furthermore, stable and reproducible positioning is costly and time-consuming.

 

Researchers at the Weizmann Institute developed a method to induce a rotating magnetic field in TMS applications, yielding optimal targeting of brain regions where correct orientation cannot be determined (e.g. via motor feedback). This innovative method can also stimulate brain regions with no preferred axonal orientation, and open new applications in diagnostics and research in neuronal cultures and rats, previously unresponsive to conventional TMS.

Applications


  • Accurate, cost-effective, enhanced rfTMS devices for treatment of depression, migraines and other mental disorders.
  • A novel model system in rats and neuronal cultures for development of diagnostics and therapeutics.

Advantages


  • Exciting more neurons in the same area of stimulation
  • Accessing areas in the brain that are currently unresponsive to conventional TMS.
  • No positional restrictions
  • Requires less voltage

Technology's Essence


The theory behind this technology involves the understanding that neural response is direction dependent. Neurons whose axons are parallel to the magnetic field will be most significantly stimulated. Additionally, factors of magnetic field, rise time and neural cooperatively play a role. All these are addressed by a rotating magnetic field creating anisotropy of angles that match the neurons’ orientation and the excitation of dendrites by applying pulses of the order of 1ms. This solution offers greater control over the TMS system.

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  • Prof. Elisha Moses
1593
The study of social behavior in groups of mice may have crucial implications for understanding the social aspects of different disorders.  To be executed correctly, group studies require the ability to track individual’s behavior within the group structure. The main challenge of current research tools...

The study of social behavior in groups of mice may have crucial implications for understanding the social aspects of different disorders. 
To be executed correctly, group studies require the ability to track individual’s behavior within the group structure. The main challenge of current research tools is to allow individuals identification while maintaining sufficient resolution for accurate tracking.
The present technology provides a system that utilizes fluorescent fur dyes to differentially mark and track individuals within a group. Using a sensitive color camera and a newly designed tracking algorithm, behavior of groups may be recorded and analyzed with high temporal and spatial resolution.   
The technology further offers a method for characterizing the group’s interactions using the maximum entropy model.

 

Applications


 


Advantages


  • High spatial and temporal resolution – enabled by sensitive color video tracking.
  • Enables high detailed analysis of individual behavior within the group.
  • Suitable for community study of groups - limited only by available fur dyes.
  • Compatible with long-term analysis.
  • Simple, cost effective.
  • Minimal suffering and improved animal welfare.

  • Technology's Essence


    The present technology takes advantage of the fact that mice are nocturnal (active at night) animals, to mark their fur with different fluorescent dyes. Under ultraviolet light, the mice can be accurately and automatically tracked, over a number of days. As the mice are allowed to move freely in an interesting arena for exploration containing ramps, nest boxes and barriers (Figure 1), their trajectory and behavior are recorded using a sensitive color camera.
    The system further includes an image processing module which analyses the recorded images, calculates a spatiotemporal model and the nature of social interactions between individuals.
    Combining detailed behavioral and genetic analysis ate the level of individuals, in association with group analysis, may enable the identification of genetic and neuronal correlates of complex social interactions. 

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    • Prof. Alon Chen
    1616
    Existing treatments against cancer are non-sufficiently selective. Immunotherapy based treatment offers highly selective and efficient solution to this problem. A promising approach in Immunotherapy is adoptive cell therapy (ACT). In ACT, therapeutic lymphocytes are administrated to patients in order...

    Existing treatments against cancer are non-sufficiently selective. Immunotherapy based treatment offers highly selective and efficient solution to this problem.
    A promising approach in Immunotherapy is adoptive cell therapy (ACT). In ACT, therapeutic lymphocytes are administrated to patients in order to treat a disease. In this process antibody-type cells are generated ex vivo, and then infused to the patient. By this technology the cells can be redirected against specific tumors via genetic engineering, using chimeric receptors.
    Currently ACT is logistically and economically challenging since it is limited by the used of the patients’ own cells. Another key concern is safety, due to the danger that the allogeneic cells will be rejected by the patient, or will attack the patient.
    In cancer, use of tumor specific, chimeric receptor redirected allogeneic T cells can transform ACT into a standardized, off-the shelf therapy. Overall this method proposes a safe and effective adoptive therapy using allogeneic cells while avoiding the use of bone marrow transplantation (BMT).

    Applications


    • Cancer immunotherapy

    Advantages


    • Off the shelf, standard treatment
    • Safe
    • Effective
    • No bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is required

    Technology's Essence


    A novel approach for adoptive immunotherapy using fully MHC-mismatch allogeneic T cells. These cells are redirected with tumor specific non-MHC-restricted antibody-based chimeric antigen receptor (T-bodies) in the absence of Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). In order to create a standardize treatment, the redirection of T cells can be done through an antibody-based chimeric antigen receptor (CAR), thus creating ‘universal effector T cells’. This is based on a combination of of MHC-mismatched allogeneic T-cells with an MHC unrestricted chimeric antigen receptor. These cells would recognize their target independently of MHC restriction, therefore applied as an ‘off-the shelf’ immunotherapy. Regarding the second challenge of avoiding GVHD, by using a controlled lymphodepletion the researchers were able to create therapeutic window during which the allo-T-body cells could destroy the tumor before being themselves rejected.

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    • Prof. Zelig Eshhar
    1664
    Neuroinflammation is well established as a key secondary injury mechanism following CNS trauma, such as traumatic brain/spinal injury or ischemic stroke, and it has been long considered to contribute to the damage sustained and fatal outcomes following brain injury. Early inflammatory events enhance...

    Neuroinflammation is well established as a key secondary injury mechanism following CNS trauma, such as traumatic brain/spinal injury or ischemic stroke, and it has been long considered to contribute to the damage sustained and fatal outcomes following brain injury.
    Early inflammatory events enhance brain damage, yet they provide the framework for later inflammatory events that enhance tissue remodeling and are crucial for tissue recovery.
    A major unmet need in the field is a targeted treatment that would down regulate the damaging events of inflammation, while maintaining reparative functions. 
    Altering between CNS microglia pro and anti-inflammatory activation states is at the core of injury-induced neuroinflammation and presents an opportunity to specifically tilt the balance towards anti-inflammatory and repair processes.
    The present discovery elucidates the mechanisms that lead to injury-induced microglia over-activation and proposes IFN-? as a therapeutic strategy to induce microglia resolving state and relive inflammation. 

    Applications


    Anti-inflammatory treatment following CNS injury

    Advantages


    • Targeted therapy – avoids general immuno-suppressive side effects
    • Based on a well understood molecular mechanism
    • May allow relatively large therapeutic window – according to proof-of-concept  preliminary experiments

    Technology's Essence


    Resident microglia are the major specialized innate immune cells of the central nervous system (CNS). During the process of wound healing or pathogen removal, there is an induction of the microglia active pro-inflammatiry phenotype (M1), leading to a transient inflammatory response, which is resolved via local conversion to the M2 anti-inflammatory phenotype.  Following acute injury, microglia fail to acquire an inflammation-resolving phenotype (M2-like phenotype) in a timely manner, often resulting in self-perpetuating local inflammation and tissue destruction beyond the primary insult.
    Prof. Schwartz and her team uncovered the mechanisms that lead to injury-based inhibition of the M1 to M2 phenotype switch.  They showed that the capacity to undergo pro- to anti-inflammatory (M1-to-M2) phenotype switch is controlled by the transcription factor Interferon regulatory factor-7 (IRF7).  Their results demonstrate that restoring Irf7 expression by IFN-? (a known IRF7 activator) reactivates the circuits leading to M2 conversion by improving the resolution of pro?inflammatory cytokines expressed by microglia ex vivo and in vivo, following acute CNS insult.
    Importantly, the anti-inflammatory activity of IFN-? was demonstrated in-vivo, when administrated 24h following the primary insult, proposing a relatively large therapeutic window.

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    • Prof. Michal Schwartz-Eisenbach
    1571
    A novel social behavior monitoring system automatically tracks the precise location of each animal at excellent temporal resolution. This innovative technology provides simultaneous identification of complex social and individual behaviors via an integration of RFID and video surveillance. There is a...

    A novel social behavior monitoring system automatically tracks the precise location of each animal at excellent temporal resolution. This innovative technology provides simultaneous identification of complex social and individual behaviors via an integration of RFID and video surveillance.

    There is a rapidly growing interest in detecting the molecular substrates of social behavior. This interest is driven by the vast implications of such understanding in both research and the pharmaceutical industry, since some prevalent pathological conditions are mainly characterized by a behavioral deficit or abnormality.

    It is extremely challenging to quantify social behavior in a reliable manner. Existing methods struggle to find a balance between objectively quantifying behavior on one hand while enabling a natural, stress-free behavioral estimation on the other hand. Currently, researchers work in a strictly controlled and constrained environment that is estranged and stressful to the animals. The outcome is a highly contaminated measurement of natural behavior. This difficultly becomes increasingly complex when more than one animal is involved as often applied in social behavioral studies.

    Applications


    • Rigorous characterization of social organizational deficiencies and evaluation of their severity in animal and human models (for example in autism).
    • An optimized system for estimating the efficacy of clinical treatments.

    Advantages


    • Long-term tracking of unlimited number of simultaneously studied animals.
    • Machine based, hence objective and automated quantification of behavior.
    • Excellent spatiotemporal resolution in semi natural environment
    • Flexible- the number, size and distribution of the RFID antennas can be adjusted with different enclosure dimensions.
    • Can be applied from Individual behavioral profile or pairs interactions up to collective social organization of groups.
    • Systematic analysis and classification of basic locomotion up to more complex social

    Technology's Essence


    Researchers at the Weizmann institute developed a method for tightly controlled monitoring of social behavior in a semi-natural environment. They used integrated and synchronized chip reporting and continuous video postage to precisely locate each individual animal. Using this automated monitoring which provides an exceptional temporal resolution they achieved correct identification of numerous basic individual behaviors as well as complex social behaviors. Such complex behavioral profiles set the basis for subsequent analysis which reveals the formation of a social hierarchy.

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    • Dr. Tali Kimchi

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