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Eighteen Patents Issued for UNM Technologies in July, August, and September

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued eighteen patents during July, August, and September for technologies invented at the University of New Mexico. The patents, issued during STC.UNM’s 2018 fiscal 1st quarter, are for a variety of technologies created by researchers in the Departments of Chemical & Biological Engineering,  Electrical & Computer Engineering,  Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, Physics & Astronomy,  Emergency Medicine,  Pathology, Neurosurgery, and the Center for High Technology Materials, Center for Molecular Discovery, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Advanced Materials Lab, and College of Pharmacy.

Issued Patent for Solid-State Microscope for Selectively Imaging a Sample
Patent No. 9,696,531, issued July 4, 2017
Inventor: Stephen Hersee

This technology is a description of a high-resolution (~1µm resolution), solid-state (“lens less”) microscope. The device is based on the specialized arrangement and a particular utilization of individual controlled nanoscale light emitting components to render a high-resolution digital image. This technology can also be used to focus on a small area of the sample for in-depth examination or to detect fluorescent dye markers present in specimens.

Issued Patent for Highly Dispersed and Durable Heterogeneous Catalysts
Patent No. 9,694,351, issued July 4, 2017
Inventors: Aaron Joseph Roy, Timothy Ward, Alexey Serov, Plamen Atanassov

This technology is a preparation method using the formation of a sacrificial support as a decomposition product of ceramic material precursors to achieve high surface-area, high-performance ceramic catalysts for fuel cells, electrolyzers, batteries, and other catalyst technologies. To create highly dispersed and durable heterogeneous catalysts, the inventors have developed a multicomponent phase preparation. This preparation technique involves the catalytic element(s) and the support material, followed by an activation treatment that promotes the development of the catalytically active phase and the support surface and avoids the production of intermediate oxides.

Issued Patent for Immunogenic HPV L2-Containing VLPs and Related Compositions, Constructs, and Therapeutic Methods”
Patent No. 9,717,783, issued August 1, 2017
This technology is currently optioned/licensed.
Inventors: Bryce Chackerian, David Peabody, Ebenezer Tumban

This technology is based on virus-like particles (VLPs) of two related RNA bacteriophages, MS2 and PP7. These VLPs can display diverse targets on their surface, are highly immunogenic and confer this high immunogenicity to heterologous peptides displayed on their surfaces. The present technology includes VLPs displaying peptide antigens derived from the HPV protein, L2. L2 displaying VLPs can induce high titer antibodies that protect mice from infection with HPV pseudovirus in a mice genital challenge model. The technology has application as a stand-along HPV vaccine or as a component of a combination vaccine with broad spectrum.

Issued Patent for Imidazole-Derived Materials
Patent No. 9,722,256, issued August 1, 2017
Inventors: Alexey Serov, Plamen Atanassov

This technology is a method for manufacturing enhanced M-N-C networks derived from an imidazole-class of materials as a source of carbon and nitrogen and metal soluble salts as a source of metal, where the preparation method uses a sacrificial supports method. The synthesized catalysts are highly durable in alkaline, acid, and neutral media, inexpensive to manufacture, and environmentally friendly.

Issued Patent for Mechanochemical Synthesis for Preparation of Non-PGM Electrocatalysts
Patent No. 9,728,788, issued August 8, 2017
Inventors: Alexey Serov, Plamen Atanassov

This technology is a method for manufacturing metal-nitrogen-carbon (M-N-C) networks derived from mechanochemical synthesis assisted by sacrificial supports for tuning the M-N-C morphological, structural and electronic properties to achieve high performance for oxygen reduction reactions in fuel cell operations.

Issued Patent for Intracavity Fiber Sensors
Patent No. 9,726,472, issued August 8, 2017
Inventors: Jean-Claude Diels, Ladan Arissian

This technology is a new class of fiber laser sensors with a response that can be optimized for high frequency (RF) periodic signals, or for dc, or slowly varying phenomena.  The method implements intracavity phase interferometry (IPI) with mode-locked fiber lasers and demonstrates the measurement of slow changes of lengths with fm resolution. The sensor can detect any physical quantity that modifies the lengths of the cavity, including physical length, electric field, magnetic field, index of refraction (linear and non-linear), biological substances that attach on the fiber, and temperature changes. The sensitivity to displacement can be as small as 0.1 femtometers.  In addition, the sensor is compact, without any metallic part, making it immune to electromagnetic interference. It also has low sensitivity to noise because the signal that is measured is a frequency, rather than an amplitude.

Issued Patent for Dry Powder Nebulizer”
Patent No. 9,731,088, issued August 15, 2017
This technology is currently optioned/licensed.
Inventors: Nicola Jeanne Maynard, Hugh D. C. Smyth

This technology is a novel method of delivering micronized drug particles to the deep lung through a dry powder nebulizer. The device eliminates the need for patients to generate the inspiratory capacity needed for currently marketed respiratory dry powder products. In addition, this device allows for the delivery of much larger quantities of drug to the deep lung relative to other commonly utilized methods and devices.

Issued Patent for Tethering of Cofactors on Graphene-Like Materials
Patent No. 9,742,011, issued August 22, 2017
Inventors: Plamen Atanassov, Claudia W Narvaez Villarrubia, Sergio Omar Garcia

This technology is a bioanode design incorporating the tethering and/or immobilization of nicotinamine adenine dinucleotide to multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). This tethering is accomplished by using molecular structures containing functional group(s) on one end, acting as a footprint to interact with the MWCNTs surface by pi-stacking on a graphene-like, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons interactions, and an amide group formed on the opposite end with the cofactor. The activity of nicotinamine adenine dinucleotide with the enzyme does not show a loss of activity when attached to the MWCNT surface, allowing for electron transfer between the electrode material and the enzyme/dinucleotide coupled reaction when the fuel is oxidized. This invention can be applied to any dehydrogenase enzyme and MWCNTs-based anode design with fuel cell applications.

Issued Patent for Infusion Device”
Patent No. 9,744,292, issued August 29, 2017
This technology is currently optioned/licensed.
Inventor: Mark Hauswald

This technology is a patient-controlled analgesia device that allows patients to safely titrate their own pain medication. This device is purely mechanical, low cost and disposable.

Issued Patent for Cubic Phase, Nitrogen-Based Compound Semiconductor Films
Patent No.
9,752,252, issued September 5, 2017
Inventors: Seung-Chang Lee, Steven R. J. Brueck

This technology is a unique method and device for the epitaxial growth of cubic-phase, nitrogen-based compound semiconductor thin films on a Si substrate that is periodically patterned with nanoscale grooves terminated in <111> sidewalls. The structure symmetry forces the growth of epitaxial, cubic-phase material within each groove. These initial growth nuclei can be extended to macro-scale islands sufficient for device fabrication or coalesced with the films grown from adjacent grooves to form a continuous film. This results in a wide-area, cubic phase nitrogen-based compound semiconductor film on a Si substrate for application to photonics and high-power electronics.

Issued Patent for Flow Cytometry Apparatus Pulling Sample Stream Through Observation Chamber”
Patent No.
9,752,964, issued September 5, 2017
This technology is currently optioned/licensed.
Inventors: Bruce Edwards, Larry A. Sklar, Ronald D. Salesky

This technology is a method for operating a flow cytometry apparatus where samples are pulled rather than pushed through the flow-cytometer observation chamber. Exploiting a flow cytometer that uses negative pressure for sample intake, an automated XYZ stage introduces air-bubble separated bioassay samples directly into the cytometer from multi-well plates without need of an external peristaltic pump. This eliminates cell exposure to compressive pump forces, shortens sample transit distance to reduce fluid carryover between samples, and allows sample fluid to be moved at higher velocity without loss of optical resolution to achieve an expected increase in sample throughput.

Issued Patent for Synthesis of Nano Crystalline Niobia/Carbon Composites with Improved Hydrothermal Stability
Patent No.
9,751,076, issued September 5, 2017
Inventors: Haifeng Xiong, Abhaya Datye

This technology is a method to prepare dispersed niobia that allows it to retain its reactivity at elevated temperatures. The catalysts developed with this technology contain highly dispersed niobia nanoparticles with an average size of ca. 8 nm. The catalysts have improved hydrothermal stability and retain surface area and reactivity after hydrothermal treatments. They have applications in biorenewable conversion reactions such as dehydration, hydrolysis, and ketonization.

Issued Patent for Conjugated Polyelectrolytes and Methods of Using the Same”
Patent No.
9,750,250, issued September 5, 2017
This technology is currently optioned/licensed.
Inventors: David Whitten, Harry Pappas, Eric Hill, Kirk Schanze, Anand Parthasarathy, Yun Huang, Thomas Corbitt

This technology is a new cationic conjugated polyelectrolytes photosensitizer. This novel process to synthesize and aggregate polymers exhibits effective biocidal properties. These polymers achieve over 99% light-activated bacterial killing rate against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative strains revealing a strong potential as an effective photobiocide to kill bacteria.

Issued Patent for Compounds that Inhibit Human DNA Ligases and Methods of Treating Cancer
Patent No.
9,757,375, issued September 12, 2017
Inventors: Alan Tomkinson, Gerald Wilson, Xi Chen, Barbara Dziegielewska, Alexander MacKerell, Shijun Zhong

This technology is a method for treating cancer using compounds that inhibit human DNA ligases by inhibiting cell growth, killing tumorous cell and potentiating cell killing by DNA damaging agents. The DNA ligase inhibitors are anti-proliferative and potentiate the cytotoxicity of DNA damaging agents. These compounds may have clinical utility in the treatment of cancer, in particular malignancies with an altered DNA damage response.

Issued Patent for Multi-Source Optimal Reconfigurable Energy Harvester
Patent No.
9,768,338, issued September 19, 2017
Inventors: Sang Han, Ganesh Balakrishnan, Christos Christodoulou, Olga Lavrova

This technology involves multifunction and reconfigurable energy harvesters that achieve high efficiencies and lower costs in renewable energy systems. The proposed harvesting technology consists of a reconfigurable device that can harness, store and utilize multiple sources of wire-free energy to power various modern mobile technologies.  This reconfigurable energy harvesting system evolves and adapts to the changing availability of energy and decides to use one or more sources of energy to achieve optimal efficiencies.

Issued Patent for Methods for Treating Bacterial Infection
Patent No.
9,763,967, issued September 19, 2017
Inventors: Larry Sklar, Mark Haynes, Susan McDowell, Robert Sammelson

This technology is a compound that inhibits the invasion of host cells and decreases intracellular persistence of Staphylococcus aureus.  The inventors discovered that using this particular compound at a certain host cell activation site decreases not only the chance of invasion by bacterial pathogens, but by viral pathogens as well by inhibiting both uptake and replication.  Such a discovery may prove to be a central target in developing aggressive new treatment strategies for invasive infection of S. aureus and other pathogens.

Issued Patent for Integrated Bound-Mode Spectral/Angular Sensors”
Patent No.
9,766,123, issued September 19, 2017
This technology is currently optioned/licensed.
Inventors: Steven R. J. Brueck, Alexander Neumann, Payman Zarkesh-Ha

This technology is a new complementary metal–oxide semiconductor (CMOS) compatible plenoptic (describing the light field in terms of color, polarization, and angle of arrival) sensor array, based on dielectric waveguides, with superior color and angular selectivity. The inventors have successfully demonstrated the first integrated plasmonic filter for visible light. This approach will meet the need for inexpensive, highly selective sensors required for smart lighting. Further integrated optics extensions will possibly allow for small, high-speed sensors and applicability to high data-rate lightwave communications (LI-FI) as a high-bandwidth adjunct to wireless communications (WI-FI). The CMOS compatibility assures that these sensors will be inexpensive and suitable for mass production, allowing broad application to lighting systems.

Issued Patent for Rheological Treatment of Brain Ischemia by Drag Reducing Polymers
Patent No.
9,763,975, issued September 19, 2017
Inventors: Denis Bragin, Marina Kameneva, Edwin Nemoto

This technology is a novel method for treating, improving, or preventing both acute and chronic brain ischemia, as well as other organ ischemia. This method of treatment mainly targets enhanced blood flow that improves delivery of oxygen and nutrients to tissue.