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  • Electrobiome: Microbial Production of Chemicals & Fuels from Carbon Dioxide

    The inventors have developed an electrosynthetic microbiome, called the ElectrobiomeTM, that directly converts CO2, water, and small amounts of electricity into hydrogen (H2), formic acid, and acetic acid.  MUSC researchers have identified alternative conditions capable of driving the Electrobiome towards higher yields of acetic acid or hydrogen.  The outputs from the Electrobiome can then be fed into a second bioreactor to generate bioplastics.  The Electrobiome has been continually operating for more than three years, which demonstrates sustainability that far surpasses other electrosynthetic microbiomes.  As an added benefit, the electrical input into the Electrobiome can be intermittent, allowing it to run only when low-cost electricity is available.  Thus far, >1kg of H2 or acetic acid per m3 of reactor volume may be produced per day (1kg H2 ? 1 gallon gasoline equivalent) without costly, rare-earth catalysts at the cathode. 

  • Peptide for Wound Healing and Tissue Repair
    The inventors have developed a wound-treating material for use in promoting wound healing, decreasing scarring, decreasing inflammation, or promoting formation of healthy tissue architecture post-injury. This JM2 peptide effectively works by blocking hemichannels and lessening ATP release from cells. The JM2 peptide is able to modulate the initial innate immune response to rebuild normal tissue instead of scar tissue. When utilizing the JM2 peptide, there is improved vasculature surrounding an implant capsule with a smaller connective tissue response. This technology has applications in not only surgical implants and dermatological applications, but also age-related macular degeneration and many other injuries or inflammation that are a result from trauma, surgery, or disease.

  • Researchers at MUSC have developed a high-throughput assay that uses fluorescence polarization (FP) to distinguish the fluorescent penicillin, Bocillin-FL, in free or PBP-bound form.  The assay can be used to identify new compounds that inhibit penicillin binding proteins (PBPs), which are proven targets for ?-lactam antibiotics. This assay was used to screen a 50,000 compound library for potential inhibitors of N. gonorrhoeae PBP 2. As a result, 32 compounds were identified that exhibited >50% inhibition of Bocillin-FL binding to PBP 2. These included a cephalosporin that provided validation of the assay. This assay paves the way for more comprehensive high-throughput screening of compound libraries for non-?-lactam antimicrobial compounds.
    Researchers at MUSC have identified a specific fragment of the mesenchymal-epithelial transition factor (MET) receptor as a peptide with robust antifibrotic properties. Preliminary studies show that the purified peptide markedly reduces collagen and other extracellular matrix proteins in scleroderma lung fibroblasts and in TGF-?-stimulated normal lung fibroblasts.
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