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CTL eNewsletter: April 2009

C Dots May Improve Cancer Imaging

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY - To diagnose and remove cancer cells, surgeons must identify the location and size of the tumor, a challenge currently addressed by imaging techniques based on sound waves, radio waves, and optical probes that use fluorescent light particles injected inside the body. Hybrid Silica Technologies, Inc., a new business founded on Cornell technologies, is partnering with researchers at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to explore ways to improve cancer imaging using C dots, a flourescent nanoparticle developed at Cornell. C dots were developed in 2005 by Hooisweng Ow, then a graduate student working with Ulrich Wiesner, Cornell professor of materials science and engineering. Sloan-Kettering researchers were interested in whether C dots offered better results than quantum dots in detecting and illuminating tumors in mice.

Research results from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering experiments are promising, suggesting that C dots are safe for the body, versatile, bright and biostable.  Compared to “free dyes” C dots emit an estimated three times more light and can bind with a wider variety of organic materials to improve imaging quality.  C dots can be coated with polyethlylene glycol to protect them from being recognized and cleared by white blood cells in the body. Their small size (C dots can be made to ten nanometers or smaller) enables them to be effectively cleared thru the kidneys over a 48-hour period.

Dye molecules are encased inside a silica-based core which is contained inside a rigid silica shell to form C dots.






The silica core of C dots contains dye molecules encased in a rigid silica shell. Silica is a non-toxic material commonly found in nature in sand and quartz, but also found in our bodies, and in fruits, grains and vegetables. In contrast, quantum dots are made of toxic materials including cadmium and lead. Kenneth Wang, Ow and Weisner co-founded Hybrid Silica Technologies to commercialize the C dots and are exploring additional applications in displays, biological imaging, optical computing, sensors and microarrays.

For more information about Hybrid Silica Technologies, Inc., contact Scott Macfarlane at

Q Therapeutics Begins Clinical Trials on Their First Product

Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY - Q Therapeutics, Inc. is working to help the millions of people who suffer from debilitating diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) that currently available pharmaceutical and biotechnology products cannot repair. The company is beginning clinical trials this year on its first product, Q-CellsTM to test whether Q-CellsTMcan treat demyelinating diseases such as transverse myelitis, multiple sclerosis (MS), and potentially some traumatic spinal cord injuries in humans. Q-CellsTM are not stem cells; instead, they are glial progenitor cells that in animal experiments, repaired rather than replaced, myelin on injured neurons when they were injected into the brain or spinal cord near the point of injury. Research from Dr. Steven Goldman formerly of the Weill Cornell Medical College on the use of stem cells and progenitor cells for treating the human brain has contributed to Q Therapeutic Inc.’s broad patent portfolio.

When injected into myelin-defective models, Q-CellsTM (human glial cell nuclei stained red) produce normal myelin (stained green).

Earlier this year the company received $8 million in Series B funding and hopes to raise $7 million to $12 million more in the coming months. That money will allow the company to get its first clinical data using human subjects. Q Therapeutics, Inc. expects to file its investigational new drug application this year with the FDA; clinical trials will take place at Johns Hopkins University on wheelchair bound patients with transverse myelitis, a severe form of multiple sclerosis. In the interim, Q Therapeutics, Inc. is developing drug discovery research tools based on Q-CellTM that could be on the market and starting to generate revenue within a year.

Q-CellsTM were identified by Q Therapeutic’s cofounder Dr. Mahendra Rao through research conducted at the University of Utah and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Rao started the company in 2004 with help from Dennis Farrar, a founder of Myriad Genetics Inc. and other biotechs. Q-CellsTM will be manufactured at the University of Utah's Cell Therapy Facility in accordance with FDA requirements.

For more information about Dr. Goldman’s and related research, contact Dr. Brian Kelly at


Upcoming Events

BIO International Convention

Date: May 19-21, 2009

Time: 9:00AM-5:00PM

Location: Atlanta, GA

CCTEC will participate, along with Cornell University and Tompkins County Area Development, in the BIO International Convention held in Atlanta, GA. From May 19 - May 21, CCTEC will meet with attendees and share information on technology transfer at Cornell.

Boot Camp

Date: June 4, 2009
Time: 9:00AM - 7:00PM
Location: East Hill Office Bldg, 395 Pine Tree Rd, Ithaca, NY

Panelists of experts will take attendees through the process of starting a company.

Cornell University Reunion

Date: June 4 & 5, 2009

Time: 11:00AM - 2:00PM
Location: Barton Hall

CCTEC will participate in the Cornell Reunion Event to share information about Cornell's technology transfer efforts.

Recent Events

Cornell Business & Medicine Symposium

Date: April 30, 2009

A yearly intercampus symposium that explored how business and medicine can collaborate to solve today's healthcare challenges. Part of the "Sick in America" series.

IP & Pizza™, College of Veterinary Medicine

Date: April 29, 2009

Members of CCTEC and the College of Veterinary Medicine gathered for a discussion about what constitutes a public disclosure over pizza and salad. The discussion was led by Ranjana Kadle, Hodson Russ.

Click here to view photos from the event.

Seminar & Social Hour™

Date: April 29, 2009

Sasikanth Manipatruni, Graduate Student in Electrical & Computer Engineering, discussed Silicon Photonics while attendees enjoyed hors d'oeuvres and beverages.

Click here to view photos from the event.

CCTEC New Business & Emerging Technology Showcase™

Date: April 16, 2009

The CCTEC showcase at Celebration '09 highlighted exciting new Cornell technologies and unique business opportunities from the Ithaca campus and the Weill Cornell Medical College campus.

Click here to view the list of new businesses and emerging technologies that were showcased.

Click here to view photos from the showcase.