LifeChips Program

imageOur mission is to promote and enable research and education in efforts that combine life science and technology at micro and nano-scales. Furthermore, LifeChips program at UC Irvine intends to promote the dissemination of LifeChips work into the public sector to increase public understanding and create economic opportunity. With this overall vision and specific mission in mind, we identify the several goals for the center. These can be divided into three components of the LifeChips center: Education, Research and outreach to our community and Industry.

UC Irvine's LifeChips IGERT

UC Irvine's LifeChips IGERT program is a new graduate research program where students combine the practices of engineering, physical sciences, biological sciences and medicine to produce small-scale technologies that benefit human health.

Graduates of the LifeChips program will have the skills necessary to develop technology used to identify new drugs, facilitate stem cell research and improve scientists' understanding of tissue, organs, cells, DNA and other basic components of life. LifeChips IGERT students earn their degrees in their home departments, but perform research on LifeChips projects.

Currently, LifeChips graduate students are involved in a major research project regarding the technology and instruments used in plastic surgery. A recent study conducted by LifeChips students polled San Diego and La Jolla plastic surgery practitioners on ways to innovate plastic surgery and make the process more efficient. We would like to thank the plastic surgeons who participated in this study: the feedback we received has helped us in the development of new medical devices. Soon the LifeChips program will distribute our newly engineered products that we hope will change the future of plastic surgery technology.

Do Fungi and Lavender Essential Oil go Well Together?

Recent studies show that lavender essential oil may have some very powerful anti-fungal effects. This property gives scientists hope that new medications containing lavender essential oil could be used to deal antifungal resistant infectious conditions.

Laboratory exams were carried out only to prove that lavender essential oil is capable of fighting the fungi responsible for various kinds of nail and skin infections.

The essential oil demonstrated great potency, killing a wide range of strains responsible for skin conditions. The oil was detrimental in the case of some Candida strains, as well.

This discovery could cause a breakthrough in medicine since the number of medications that can deal with fungus-related infections is limited. In addition, the usage of many such medications is connected to unpleasant side effects.

Lavender essential oil is a natural product, yet another aspect that is very likely to increase its popularity as a fungal infection treatment product. Although medicine has progressed lately, fungal infections are becoming more stubborn and thus difficult to treat with traditional medications.

Various strains of fungi have mutated to become resistant against traditional treatments. Lavender essential oil functions by destroying the cell membranes of bacteria. The exact mechanism is to be studied in more details.

Clinical studies will be needed before lavender anti-fungal products become available on the market. The essential oil is largely popular in aromatherapy because of its anti-microbial properties. Lavender oil is also used for relaxation and the treatment of depression.

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LifeChips Program Collaborates With A Medical Equipment Manufacturer

A major medical equipment manufacturer has donated a number of products to the LifeChips IGERT program to gain student feedback on the effeciveness of their products. One department of the LifeChips IGERT program received exam tables for use in their practice. The graduate students named several features that they found useful in the exam tables such as swiveling bases, adjustable headrests and vacuum-formed seamless tops. The feedback that the medical equipment company receieved will help them develop new exam table models designed for more specialized forms of medical practice.