Presently, there are almost 100,000 people in Canada with COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS CoV-2 virus, and almost 7000 have died. Although an effective vaccine is the ultimate goal, it is a long way off. To slow the spread and reduce the medical, social, and economic burdens, new treatments are needed. To find those, we need to know how the SARS CoV-2 virus works. In the proposed research, we will study two new proteins that SARS CoV-2 makes, which haven’t been seen in viruses before, to find out how they harm cells.
Differential mobility spectrometry (DMS) is a technique that is used for the analysis of chemicals by separating complex gaseous mixtures under the influence of an electric field. It is a widely used technique and is successfully deployed in many areas, including drug and explosives testing at airports. In analytical laboratories, it can be used to separate peptides – the components that make up proteins and viruses. However, analysis of data from these experiments can be ambiguous and difficult to interpret.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health crisis on an unprecedented scale, with over 1 million confirmed cases, spread over 200 countries. With the world at a virtual standstill, and no existing treatments, there is an enormous need for novel therapeutics and vaccines to combat COVID-19. Our group is working on a DNA vaccine strategy that exploits our proprietary miniaturized DNA vector technology, called ministring DNA (msDNA), to encode and deliver specially engineered copies of COVID-19 viral proteins.
This project will use mixed research methods to investigate the models used to support innovation in Ontario’s healthcare facilities. The research will improve our understanding of how, and why healthcare organizations can participate in more open innovation processes. Such approaches have been shown to improve the breadth and quality of new products and service development, but knowledge around how best to approach open innovation in healthcare remains low.
Our project aims to design and develop COVID19 vaccines engineered from viruses that infect bacterial cells only. SARS-CoV2 pathogenic components have been identified and modified to develop the vaccine. Although these components are pathogenic in nature, they are modified to pose no harm. The vaccine is designed to be administered intranasally, where it relocates to the lower respiratory tract. Upon reaching respiratory cells, the vaccine binds to respiratory cells and delivers the carried component. The delivered component will self-assemble into a SARS-CoV2 shape mimic.
Social distancing due to COVID-19 has meant that older adults have not been as able to see their doctors. Older adults have chronic conditions, such as diabetes, that can flare up and cause emergencies. So, finding older adults who are unwell is very important. Community support services, such as those providing meals-on-wheels, are available to find older adults who need help. Researchers designed a self-report tool to use over the phone to see if a person needs to see a health-care worker or go to the hospital.
Electric vehicles (EVs) industry is a promising solution to address the oil crisis and environmental pollution. There are some challenges that limited the widespread adoption of EVs such as limited driving range, long charging time, and safety consideration. To tackle these challenges, the battery management system (BMS) in electric vehicles requires substantial improvement. For instance, accurate battery on-line state estimation in BMS, such as state of charge (SOC), state of health (SOH), and state of power (SOP) can enhance the reliability of EVs.
The objective is to develop an in-line Process Analytical Technology (PAT) tool to monitor viability and biomass levels at the fermentation stage bacterial organisms.
The Master student will be engaged in the development of the PAT tool for deployment into a state-of-the-art vaccine manufacturing facility. The student will use benchtop tools such as flow cytometry to monitor the bacterial fermentation process and develop correlations to the inline measurements.
The successful development of new drug formulations, delivery vehicles, and devices for the eye requires testing in physiologically relevant in vitro eye models. The use of cell tissue culture plates provides a good model for testing toxicity, but they lack some of the important factors present on the eye. There are microfluidic chips that have been developed for toxicity testing, but they are too expensive for use in early screening protocols.This project aims to develop a cost-effective microfluidic chip for rapid assessment of cytotoxicity of ophthalmic formulations and devices.
With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of lives have been lost and society has dramatically changed. However, as these restrictions are eased, rapid and accurate testing is the only way to keep this virus under control. Serapis Labs is working on an at-home test for COVID-19 to screen for current infection. The goal is to provide an inexpensive test, can be shipped via mail, and gives results within an hour. This project focuses on developing nucleic acid testing techniques into a format that meets that goal.