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Seventeen Patents Issued for UNM Technologies in April, May, and June

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued seventeen patents during April, May, and June for technologies invented at the University of New Mexico. The patents, issued during STC.UNM’s 2017 fiscal 4th quarter, are for a variety of technologies created by researchers in the  Departments of Chemistry, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Chemical & Biological Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Physics & Astronomy, Cancer Genomics, Hematology, Pathology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Radiology, Internal Medicine, and Neurosciences; and the Centers for High Technology Materials, Emerging Energy Technologies, Biomedical Engineering, and the Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Issued Patent for Anticancer Therapy
Patent No. 9,610,371, issued April 4, 2017
Inventor: Jeffrey Norenberg
This technology is a combination therapy for treating pancreatic cancerous and precancerous conditions. The combination therapy involves administering the first therapeutic agent that selectively increases a specific receptor on cancerous cells. The second agent then selectively binds to that receptor and killing the cancer cell. The invention includes a radioisotopic somatostatin analog for the treatment of pancreatic cancer and is a promising therapeutic strategy for further pre-clinical evaluation.

Issued Patent for “DNA Sample Preparation and Sequencing”
Patent No. 9,617,590, issued April 11, 2017
This technology is currently optioned/licensed.
Inventors: Jeremy Edwards, Payman Zarkesh-Ha, Steven R.J. Brueck
This technology is a highly innovative next-generation genetic sequencing platform that implements an ISFET integrated circuit in haplotype sequencing. The invention is a significant advancement in sequencing, showing great promise in reducing overall genome sequencing time and cost.

Issued Patent for Targeting Abnormal DNA Repair in Therapy-Resistant Breast and Pancreatic Cancers
Patent No. 9,623,008, issued April 18, 2017
Inventors: Alan Edward Tomkinson, Feyruz Rassool
This technology is a method for identifying solid tumors suitable for treatment using inhibitors of alternative (ALT) non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) factors. The research shows that an ALT NHEJ pathway is upregulated in breast cancer cell lines and tumors that are either intrinsically resistant or have acquired resistance to antiestrogen therapies. These cell lines are hypersensitive to DNA repair inhibitors that target the ALT NHEJ pathway, demonstrating that ALT NHEJ is a novel therapeutic target in breast cancers that are resistant to frontline therapies.  Changes in NHEJ protein levels serve as biomarkers to identify candidates for this therapeutic approach.

Issued Patent for “System and Methods for Using a Dynamic Scheme for Radiosurgery”
Patent No. 9,630,023, issued April 25, 2017
This technology is currently optioned/licensed.
Inventors: Shuang Luan, Nathan Swanson, Lijun Ma
This technology is a method and system for Gamma Knife radiosurgery based on the concept of “dose-painting” to take advantage of robotic patient positioning systems on the Gamma Knife C and Perfexion units. The spherical high dose volume created by the Gamma Knife unit is viewed as a 3D spherical “paintbrush,” and treatment planning is reduced to finding the best route of this “paintbrush” to “paint” a 3D tumor volume. Under the dose-painting concept, Gamma Knife radiosurgery becomes dynamic because the patient is moving continuously under the robotic positioning system. The invention significantly improves dose conformity, shortens treatment times and multiple isodose distributions.

Issued Patent for “Non-PGM Cathode Catalysts for Fuel Cell Application Derived from Heat- Treated Heteroatomic Amines Precursors”
Patent No. 9,634,331, issued April 25, 2017
This technology is currently optioned/licensed.
Inventors: Alexey Serov, Barr Halevi, Kateryna Artyushkova, Plamen Atanassov, Ulises Martinez
This technology is a method for preparing an M-N-C network catalyst using inexpensive heteroatomic amine precursors. These catalysts perform well in alkaline, acidic, and neutral media, are highly durable, and are inexpensive to manufacture. The technology improves oxidation reduction by modifying the M-N-C morphological, structural, and electronic properties.

Issued Patent for Halide-Based Scintillator Nanomaterial”
Patent No. 9,644,141, issued May 9, 2017
Inventors: Marek Osinski, Nathan Withers, Brian Akins, Gennady Smolyakov, Krishnaprasad Sankar
This nanocrystal scintillator technology significantly improves performance and is applicable to a range of industries. Colloidal nanocrystals have attracted tremendous interest over the last few years for a wide range of applications. So far, their potential has largely eluded the nuclear detection community. Compared to currently used micrometer scintillating particles, nanocrystals offer the prospect of significantly improved performance. Due to their small size, they are expected to have better solubility in organic polymer or inorganic sol-gel host materials and to cause much less scattering, which should result in higher efficiency of the scintillator.

Issued Patent for Modulators of GTPase and Use in Relevant Treatment
Patent No. 9,642,835, issued May 9, 2017
Inventors: Tudor Oprea, Laurie Hudson, Larry Sklar, Angela Wandinger-Ness, Jeffrey Aube, Jennifer Golden, Zurab Surviladze, Chad Schroeder, Denise Simpson, Julica Nöth
This technology is a compound that directly binds to the enzyme, preventing nucleotide binding. Usually aberrant regulation or expression of Rho GTPases is linked to formation of tumors or other disorders. For this reason, the novel inhibitor of Cdc42 GTPase, capable of regulating Rho GTPases activity, is extraordinarily useful, particularly since it is specific and acts reversibly. There are limited pharmacological tools targeting individual small GTPases.

Issued Patent for Bi-Functional Catalysts for Oxygen Reduction and Oxygen Evolution
Patent No. 9,647,275, issued May 9, 2017
Inventors: Alexey Serov, Nalin Andersen, Plamen Atanassov
This technology is a method of preparing transition metal-oxide catalysts for devices such as fuel cells that use sacrificial supports using readily available/inexpensive nitrate precursor materials. The precursor materials are deposited onto the surface and into the pores of the sacrificial support, followed by a heat treatment and etching of the support, producing an optimal performing catalyst. Tests have shown that mixed-oxide catalysts prepared from copper and cobalt precursors using this innovative method possess high activity in alkaline and neutral media, have high surface area and conductivity, and porous structure.

Issued Patent for Nested Frequency Combs
Patent No. 9,653,877, issued May 16, 2017
Inventors: Jean-Claude Diels, Ladan Arissian
This technology is a new method for detecting gamma rays from neutrons. It is based on a new technique of Intracavity Phase Interferometry (IPI) using compact mode-locked fiber lasers, which sense changes of indices of refraction with high sensitivity.  Unlike traditional sensors where the signal is proportional to the length of the sensing element, the invention’s sensitivity is independent of the size of the laser device, allowing for miniaturization.

Issued Patent for Compact Biosensor of Matrix Metalloproteinase with Cadmium-Free Quantum Dots
Patent No. 9,655,553, issued May 23, 2017
Inventors: John Plumley, Erin Milligan, Marek Osinski
This technology is a device, including an optical fiber modified with quantum dots (QDs), for biosensing in the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) in vivo, by characterizing matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) enzyme activity for identification and diagnosis of specific neurological diseases.

Issued Patent for Metal-Oxide Catalysts for Fuel Cells
Patent No. 9,666,877, issued May 30, 2017
Inventors: Alexey Serov, Ulises Martinez, Plamen Atanassov
This technology is a new method for manufacturing metal catalysts. The preparation method of these metal catalysts involves two steps: (1) synthesis of oxides by spray pyrolysis or by sacrificial support method, and (2) the deposition of metal precursors onto the surface and pores of oxides followed by heat treatment in either inert or reductive atmospheres. The palladium catalysts produced by these methods possess high activity in different types of media and can reduce organic and inorganic molecules, paving the way for their use in fuel cells.

Issued Patent for Large-Scale Patterning of Germanium Quantum Dots by Stress Transfer”
Patent No. 9,666,431, issued May 30, 2017
Inventors: Sang M. Han, Talid Sinno
This technology is a novel process for producing a 2D array of germanium (Ge) quantum dots on silicon-germanium (SiGe) substrates. The process involves reusable technology that has the potential to offer transformative cost-reductions in fabricating a well-defined 2D array of nanostructures. Ge growth is steered in a well-defined nanoscale 2D array without forming dislocations and maintaining a high degree of uniformity across large areas.

Issued Patent for “Pliable Pressure-Sensing Fabric”
Patent No. 9,671,297, issued June 6, 2017
This technology is currently optioned/licensed.
Inventor: Scott Sibbett
This technology is a method for fabricating and designing highly pliable pressure-sensing arrays. The invention is easily scaled to fabricate devices with a large sensing area, but without requiring more than 4 signal transmission lines. This results in a thin, multi-laminate composite with high pliability and correspondingly low flexural rigidity.

Issued Patent for “Flow Cytometry for High Throughput Screening”
Patent No. 9,677,989, issued June 13, 2017
This technology is currently optioned/licensed.
Inventors: Larry Sklar, Bruce Edwards, Frederick Kuckuck
The HyperCyt® fluorescent detection and analysis system and services provides a simple solution for high throughput cytometry that allows samples to be removed from sample wells in multiple well plates at rates exceeding one sample per second and sample volumes in the range of 5 microliters or less. In order to perform these applications, a flow cytometer with at least one laser is required, while multiple lasers provide for increased sample multiplexing. The HyperCyt® system incorporates a sample handler and cytometer that is integrated with a plate handling system and should be used with real-time data analysis for optimal performance.

Issued Patent for Method and System for Feature Extraction and Decision-Making from Series of Images
Patent No. 9,691,147, issued June 27, 2017
Inventors: Sanjay Krishna, Pradeep Sen, Majeed Hayat, Maziar Yaesoubi, Sanchita Krishna, Sebastian Godoy, Ajit Barve
This technology is a complete imaging and analysis system for the detection of skin cancer that can offer doctors and medical technicians an entirely passive, non-intrusive, way of detecting skin cancer. This concept is based on the principle that healthy tissue has different thermal properties than diseased tissue; by examining these differences, the developed system can give doctors a better idea of whether the abnormality is benign or malignant.

Issued Patent for Systems and Methods for Distributing Power Using Photovoltaic Resources and a Shifting Battery System
Patent No. 9,692,234, issued June 27, 2017
Inventors: Olga Lavrova, Andrea Mammoli, Brian Arellano, Feng Cheng, Wesley Greenwood, Jonathan Hawkins, Steve Willard
This technology is an algorithm aimed at improving photovoltaic (PV) power by controlled charging and discharging of a battery energy storage system. The algorithm can achieve optimization of the economics of the system through a number of ways, including meeting the physical demands of the system and delivering power when price of energy is high. Additionally, energy is capable of being delivered in a predictable manner and economic benefit is maximized by delivering power when it is most valuable to the system.  Most importantly, this algorithm has been field-tested using real utility-scale hardware.