Development of a clinical protocol for the validation of a detection test for ??amyloid aggregates in retinal scan images.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that is difficult to detect early before apparent manifestations of cognitive decline. Current detection methods rely on expensive and hardly accessible imaging techniques (PET scans). Optina Diagnostics developed a new camera as well as innovative image processing methods to propose a non-invasive test to identify the presence of AD biomarkers in evaluated individuals. The objective of this collaborative effort is to develop a clinical protocol to test this new technology.

Discovery of Endocannabinoid modulating compounds for Alzheimer’s disease therapeutics development

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia which worsens over time. Current therapeutic against Alzheimer’s disease provides only symptomatic treatment. This limited effectiveness provides us with an opportunity to direct our research efforts towards developing new agents to prevent or retard the disease. Studies have shown that very small amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a chemical found in marijuana, can slow the production of Amyloid beta (A?) protein. This protein is found to be the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease and a key contributor in its progression.

Towards a Universal Polymer Crosslinker

A crosslink is a chemical bond that links one polymer chain to another. Adding crosslinks can enhance the strength of polymers, and can improve performance at high temperatures. In this collaboration between Epic Ventures Inc and the Wulff Research Group at the University of Victoria, we are inventing a new family of chemical crosslinkers that will literally work with any polymer that contains carbon–hydrogen bonds.

Chemical and biological characterization of the non-tetrahydrocannabinoid profiles of medicinal plants

We propose to perform detailed studies that characterize chemically and biologically and the unaltered ancestral plant species of the Cannabis genus. Chemically, these studies will provide the chemotype profiles for each parental species for a spectrum of non-tetrahydrocannabinoid compounds. Biologically, these studies will provide the pharmacological profiles for each parental species in conjunction with the genomic nucleotide sequences.

Freshwater Oil Spill Remediation Study at the IISD-Experimental Lakes Area: (The FOReSt Project)

The Freshwater Oil Spill Remediation Study (FOReST) project will use small contained oil spills in enclosed environments within a lake to study examine the effectiveness of shoreline cleanup procedures and potential ecological impacts of oil spills. The resilience of freshwater aquatic ecosystems to recover from a spill will also be examined. We will examine the ability of bacterial communities to respond to the introduction of oil and biodegrade petroleum compounds.

Assessing Volatile Organic Compounds as a Measure of Crop Health

Plants produce a blend of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) quickly in response to various growing conditions and plant stressors. These compounds are released well before there are any obvious signs of stress, such as wilting or loss of chlorophyll. Blueberry and other crops with thicker leaves, are slow to show obvious signs of stress and therefore are more prone to reduced crop quality and quantity than other field crops.

Fruit Extract to Dyes - Elucidating the Mechanism of Dye Formation using Genipin to Unlock New Colours

Dyes which are either sourced directly or derived from naturally-occurring products are of growing interest in the cosmetics industry. Sourcing chemical dyes or their close precursors from natural products can significantly reduce the environmental impact of manufacture by reducing the number of derivatization and purification steps. The industrial partner, Inkbox Ink, currently uses genipin, a dye precursor derived primarily from extracts of the gardenia fruit, in their semi-permanent tattoo technologies.

Activity-based screening of DNA-Encoded libraries

Cell surface receptors are targets of ~50% of pharmaceutical and biological drugs. Still many of such receptors have no known therapeutic inhibitors because 1) the receptors are only active in cells 2) isolation and purification of the receptor is not viable and 3) determining activity of a potential therapeutic is complicated by binding that can lead to a productive (antagonism/agonism) or an unproductive response.

Nanostructured cathode material for high performance all-solid-state sodium battery

Lithium batteries are almost universally integrated in modern electronics applications due to their high efficiency and scalability. However, the liquid lithium-ion electrolyte utilized in these batteries has a multitude of safety concerns including flammability, toxicity, and the ability to explode if short-circuited. These issues lead to problems while operating in hazardous environments, more stringent transportation regulations, and pose a threat to the personal safety of consumers.

Molecular Characteristics of Cellulose and Cellulose Derivatives

Cellulose is a commercially important biopolymer. Due to its abundance, biocompatibility and renewability it has shown important commercial applications in food, pharmaceuticals, biomedical. Depending on the origin and the processing methods used, the resulting fiber dimensions, structure, crystallinity and molecular weight (MW) can vary over a broad range. MW is one of the most important parameters in polymer characterization as many of its properties depend on it. Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) has been the technique of choice for determining these properties.