First Edition Of the MLSIC Newsletter!


Welcome to the first edition of the MLSIC Newsletter! Click the option on the side bar to follow this blog and receive our updates via email. Its a Great way to stay informed! We update on everything that is going on at MLSIC as well as interesting news on scientific and technological developments.

Please read, enjoy, follow and post feed back as you like. 


Delphinus Medical Technologies Inc. Recieves 501(k) Clearance


      Delphinus Medical Technologies, Inc., innovator and developer of a new ultrasound platform that images the entire breast, received 501(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at the close of 2013 for the SoftVue™ whole breast ultrasound tomography system, approved for diagnostic breast imaging. SoftVue is not intended for use as a replacement for screening mammography.
Delphinus is the first company to design and manufacture a breast ultrasound system that utilizes ring transducer technology to transmit and receive ultrasound signals. Traditional hand-held ultrasound and automated breast ultrasound systems obtain only reflected echoes returning in the direction of the linear transducer. By contrast, SoftVue captures reflection echoes from all directions around the breast and gathers transmitted signals coming through the breast, something no other ultrasound system, currently available, can do.
With the breast suspended in warm water and a short exam time of one to two minutes per breast, the exam is safe, fast and comfortable.  While traditional ultrasound looks at only a limited area of breast tissue, SoftVue provides a complete map of the whole breast.  And unlike traditional ultrasound where the outcome of the exam is dependent on operator skill and experience, the exam is consistent and uniform, removing user variability.
With an experienced team dedicated to advancing breast imaging and women’s health, Delphinus is committed to assisting medical professionals better define and diagnose breast disease, while establishing a better patient experience that can be available for all women, regardless of age and without the concern of radiation or discomfort.

Debra Saunders
VP, Marketing and Sales
Delphinus Medical Technologies, Inc.


Chemical Dynamics Wins 2013 Best of Plymouth Award for Analysis & Consulting


      Chemical Dynamics Llc specializes in multiple services to the coatings industry. The staff at Chemical Dynamics is comprised of Ronald Lewarchik, Mihir Shah and Jason Lawson with a combined experience of over 50 years in coatings technology. The researchers are named on 50 or more US and foreign Patents and three R&D Awards for innovations in new polymers and coatings that provide energy savings, lower organic emissions, improved corrosion resistance and improved performance for a variety of industries including Automotive, Building Products, Product Finishes, Coil Coatings, Aerospace and Food packaging.
Services include new product development, consulting, testing, expert witness reports and expert testimony. Current clients requesting support for the development of innovative coating products include four Fortune 100 companies in the automotive OEM, automotive refinish and food packaging markets.
Chemical Dynamics LLC, is also in the process of commercializing a new ambient cure coating for direct application on rusty steel. Unlike any other technology, this technology has the ability to penetrate to base metal, polymerize to a high density cross-linked impervious film and thus prevent further corrosion. A composition of matter patent has been applied for this innovation.
A few examples of innovative technologies from Chemical Dynamics is that nearly all Ford Cars and Trucks use Infinicote, a patented product developed by Chemical Dynamics for Martinrea, an automotive supplier of fuel handling equipment (fuel filler tubes, gas tanks etc.). Infinicote was also a finalist for the PACE Award for the most innovative product developed by an automotive supplier. Chemical Dynamics, LLC also developed and patented a heat reflective coating that saves energy, this coating was developed using a DOE sub-grant and was used by the Department of Energy on aluminum window frames at the DOE Building in Washington, DC. Chemical Dynamics has also developed coatings for such diverse applications like High Heat Low COF Coatings, Foundry Coatings, Intumescent Coatings and Conductive Coatings and Materials for applications over both steel and aluminum. Prior positions for Lewarchik include Adjunct Research Professor at Eastern Michigan University’s Coatings Research Institute from 2004 to 2009 and Global Director and VP of Industrial and Coil Coatings technology at BASF.

Ronald J. Lewarchik
Chemical Dynamics LLC



Handheld assistive device to accommodate essential tremor

Essential tremor is one of the most common movement disorders. As hands shake uncontrollably, even sharing a meal with friends and family can become difficult. Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a spoon that helps to cancel out the effects of the tremor while eating. The spoon, developed by Lift Labs, uses small electronic sensors to detect small movements caused by tremor, and then it responds to cancel out those movements. In a new study in the journal Movement Disorders, the researchers found that the new spoon (pictured) helped the participants hold the spoon steady and improved their ability to get food from a bowl to their mouths. Given that medications don’t help everyone and only a few patients qualify for surgery, the researchers hope that the new spoon and other devices like it will improve quality of life in individuals with essential tremor.

Read more:
Journal article: A noninvasive handheld assistive device to accommodate essential tremor: A pilot study. Movement Disorders, 2014. DOI: 10.1002/mds.25796
Image credit: Lift Labs


Monkeys born with edited genes

Monkeys born with edited genes

DNA-snipping technique inspired by bacteria shows therapeutic promise
11:27AM, FEBRUARY 1, 2014
two cynomolgus monkeys

EMBRYO EDIT  Two female cynomolgus monkeys named Mingming and Ningning are the first primates to have their genes precisely edited by scientists.


The birth of two monkeys in China provides hope that a new type of gene therapy may one day help correct genetic defects in people.

The two cynomolgus monkeys, also known as crab-eating macaques, are the first primates to have their genes precisely edited using a gene-snipping tool borrowed from bacteria, a team of Chinese scientistsreports January 30 in Cell. The work is part of an effort to genetically engineer monkeys to produce mutations like those seen in human diseases, especially ones involving the brain.

Other researchers have inserted foreign genes into primates (SN: 6/20/09, p. 13), but until now, no one has succeeded in altering the animals’ own genes, says Guoping Feng, a neurobiologist at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT who was not involved in the work.

To alter the monkeys’ genes, Jiahao Sha of Nanjing Medical University and his colleagues wielded molecular scissors first discovered in bacteria. The scissors are a DNA-cutting enzyme called Cas9. In bacteria, Cas9 is part of a primitive “immune system” — known as CRISPRs — that defends against viruses by chopping up ones that the bacteria have encountered before and recognize as threats.

The technique has been used to edit the genes of human cells growing in laboratory dishes and in rats, mice and other laboratory organisms, but never before in a living primate.

Sha, along with Xingxu Huang of Nanjing University and Weizhi Ji of the Yunnan Key Laboratory of Primate Biomedical Research and Kunming Biomed International, injected mRNA used to produce Cas9 into single-celled monkey embryos. At the same time, the researchers inserted other small RNA molecules that would guide the enzyme to three genes the scientists wanted to disrupt. Once the enzyme reached the genes, it would snip the DNA, leaving the cell to attempt a repair. In some cases, the cell would be unable to repair the break correctly, leading to disruption of the gene’s activity.

Researchers hope to use the technique to disrupt genes linked to human diseases so they can study how the disease develops and test treatments. For this study, the researchers chose three genes to disrupt: Nr0b1, which is involved in keeping embryonic stem cells flexible and for determining sex; Ppar-gamma, which helps regulate metabolism; and Rag1, an immune system gene.

The researchers found that two of the three targeted genes had been simultaneously altered in eight of 15 injected embryos. Eight embryos were transplanted into surrogate mothers. The researchers delivered the first two female babies, named Mingming and Ningning, from one of the surrogate moms on November 11, 2013. Both infants carry disrupted Ppar-gamma andRag1 genes. Two of the other surrogates miscarried, and the researchers said in an e-mail that they are awaiting the birth of the remaining baby monkeys.

Only the targeted genes were disrupted, the researchers reported. That fact is encouraging, says Jennifer Doudna, a biochemist and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of California, Berkeley who is a pioneer of CRISPR techniques. It suggests that CRISPRs could be used to repair some human genes without inadvertently damaging others.

Feng agrees that the work suggests gene editing might one day fix some genetic defects in people by snipping out and replacing mutated DNA. “If you can put a mutation in, this suggests you can take a mutation out,” he said.

There are still problems to solve before the technology could ever be used in people, and even hurdles to using gene-edited monkeys as stand-ins for humans, he said. The technique was not as efficient as the researchers had hoped; they failed to disrupt one of the three targeted genes.

Another pitfall: Even though the researchers injected embryos at the single cell stage, the enzyme didn’t start snipping until the cells had divided, making the monkeys into mishmashes of cells with different mutations, and leaving some cells unaltered. Such mixed-up monkeys would confuse studies of any diseases they might be designed to mimic, so the researchers would need to wait years until the monkeys could breed and produce offspring with just one type of mutation in all their cells.


Y. Niu et al. Generation of gene-modified cynomolgus monkey via Cas9/RNA-mediated gene targeting in one-cell embryos.Cell. Vol. 156, February 13, 2014, published online January 30, 2014. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.01.027

Further Reading

T. H. Saey. Three monkeys a genetic mishmashScience News Vol. 181, January 28, 2012, p. 15.

T. H. Saey. Four marmosets are first transgenic primatesScience News Vol. 175, June 20, 2009, p. 13. 

Welcome to the Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center Blog.

Welcome to the MLSIC blog. For those of you that don’t know me or may be reading our blog without ever coming to MLSIC; Hello! My name is Cayla and I’ll be entertaining you during your duration of this blog post!
Little bit about me for you. I’m the Innovation Center Coordinator at Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center (MLSIC). I help out our Facilities Manager Fred with the goings on at MLSIC. Aside from that I’m the Friendly face at the front door. Currently, I hold another job as a server/expo at a large restaurant chain (we will leave the name out for safety sake).  When I’m not working I also participate in an internship program through Schoolcraft College at the MLSIC center.  My team is currently working on a Cyanobacteria based bio fuel. I’m pursuing a degree in general science currently, with the hope of moving on into the field of Marine Archaeology.  My passion is discovery and I aim to live my life one discovery after another.
Now a little bit about the Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center.  Start with a group of entrepreneurs and economic development agencies determined to make Michigan a hub for the life sciences. Add a 57,000+ square foot life science incubator complete with state-of-the-art labs, well-appointed offices and conference rooms, a loading dock, ample parking, and every possible business amenity. Recruit tenants that include not only start-ups but business accelerator organizations and life science leaders. Provide plenty of opportunities for networking, mentoring and expertise sharing. The result is the Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center (MLSIC). Really we are a fantastic center for start-ups centering in Biopharmaceutical, Life Science and Medical Technology.

With this blog I hope to do two things, Entertain and Educate. The Educate will happen on its own, I’m sure if you’re reading this you, like me, have a compulsion towards discovery and expanding your knowledge of the world around you. The Entertaining part…. Well we will have to see on that one huh? So follow, subscribe or just send me a line with any feedback you’d like.

Thanks for reading!


The community stagnates without the impulse of the individual.
The impulse dies away without the sympathy of the community.

William James