Ionita Calin Ghiran

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The ulcer-causing gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori is the only bacterium known to colonize the harsh acidic environment of the human stomach. H. pylori survives in acidic conditions by producing urease, which catalyzes hydrolysis of urea to yield ammonia thus elevating the pH of its environment. However, the manner in which H. pylori is able to swim(More)
Mannan-binding lectin (MBL), a member of the collectin family, is known to have opsonic function, although identification of its cellular receptor has been elusive. Complement C1q, which is homologous to MBL, binds to complement receptor 1 (CR1/CD35), and thus we investigated whether CR1 also functions as the MBL receptor. Radioiodinated MBL bound to(More)
This article reports the development of an optical imaging technique, confocal light absorption and scattering spectroscopic (CLASS) microscopy, capable of noninvasively determining the dimensions and other physical properties of single subcellular organelles. CLASS microscopy combines the principles of light-scattering spectroscopy (LSS) with confocal(More)
Sickle cell disease affects 25% of people living in Central and West Africa and, if left undiagnosed, can cause life threatening "silent" strokes and lifelong damage. However, ubiquitous testing procedures have yet to be implemented in these areas, necessitating a simple, rapid, and accurate testing platform to diagnose sickle cell disease. Here, we present(More)
CD4(+) T cells are involved in the development of autoimmunity, including multiple sclerosis (MS). Here we show that nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)) blocks experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mouse model of MS, by inducing immune homeostasis through CD4(+)IFNγ(+)IL-10(+) T cells and reverses disease progression by restoring tissue(More)
The identification of extracellular vesicles (EVs) as intercellular conveyors of biological information has recently emerged as a novel paradigm in signaling, leading to the exploitation of EVs and their contents as biomarkers of various diseases. However, whether there are diurnal variations in the size, number, and tissue of origin of blood EVs is(More)
Short, uniform-length actin filaments function as structural nodes in the spectrin-actin membrane skeleton to optimize the biomechanical properties of red blood cells (RBCs). Despite the widespread assumption that RBC actin filaments are not dynamic (i.e., do not exchange subunits with G-actin in the cytosol), this assumption has never been rigorously(More)
Magnetic levitation, which uses a magnetic field to suspend objects in a fluid, is a powerful and versatile technology. We develop a compact magnetic levitation platform compatible with a smart-phone to separate micro-objects and estimate the density of the sample based on its levitation height. A 3D printed attachment is mechanically installed over the(More)
The NIH Extracellular RNA Communication Program's initiative on clinical utility of extracellular RNAs and therapeutic agents and developing scalable technologies is reviewed here. Background information and details of the projects are presented. The work has focused on modulation of target cell fate by extracellular vesicles (EVs) and RNA. Work on(More)
early disease detection is a logical, imperative goal necessary to improve dramatically the patient's odds for successful treatment strategies, survival and overall increase the quality of life. Given the continuous increase in health care cost mostly due to therapy focused on end stage sequelae of diseases rather than prevention and early detection, it has(More)