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

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued fourteen patents during April, May and June for technologies invented at the University of New Mexico. The patents issued during STC.UNM’s 2018 fiscal 4th quarter are for a variety of technologies created by researchers in the Departments of  Electrical & Computer Engineering, Chemical & Biological Engineering, Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, Physics & Astronomy, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology,  Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, and in the Center for High Technology Materials and Center for Biomedical Engineering.

Issued Patent for “Method and Apparatus for Quantum Information Processing Using Entangled Neutral-Atom Qubits”
Patent No. 9,934,469, issued April 3, 2018
Inventors:  Ivan Deutsch, Yuan-Yu Jau, Grant Biedermann

This technology is a method and system for quantum information processing that creates and uses entangled quantum states for quantum computing as one of its most important applications, as well as in the fields of cryptography, communication, and navigation, among others.

Issued Patent for “Methods to Introduce Sub-Micrometer, Symmetry-Breaking Surface Corrugation to Silicon Substrates to Increase Light Trapping”
Patent No. 9,941,426, issued April 10, 2018 
This technology is currently optioned/licensed.
Inventors:  Sang Eon Han, Sang M. Han, Swapnadip Ghosh, Brittany R. Hoard

This technology provides methods introducing sub-micrometer, symmetry-breaking surface corrugation onto silicon (Si) substrates, using wet chemistry. Such symmetry-breaking surface corrugation would improve light trapping and substantially increase the efficiency of Si-based solar cells. Interferometric lithography (IL) is used to fabricate a variety of etch templates that serve as a mask during chemical etching of Si surface.

Issued Patent for “Malaria Vaccine”
Patent No. 9,943,580, issued April 17, 2018 
This technology is currently optioned/licensed.
Inventors:  David S. Peabody, Bryce Chackerian, Gabriel M. Gutierrez, Steve Chienwen Huang, Amy R. Noe, James A. Pannucci, Scott Winram

This technology is comprised of bacteriophage MS2 virus-like particles (VLPs) that display mimitopes of the malaria protein called RH5. The VLPs serve as a vaccine to elicit antibodies that recognize the RH5 protein and inhibit growth and invasion of the malaria parasite in red blood cells.

Issued Patent for “Intracavity Fiber Sensors Using Two Orthogonal Polarization Modes in an Optical Parametric Oscillator Cavity Coupled to a Sensing Element” 
Patent No. 9,958,252, issued May 1, 2018
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, for dc, or for 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 is compact without any metallic part, making it immune to electromagnetic interference, has low sensitivity to noise because the signal that is measured is a frequency, rather than an amplitude.

Issued Patent for “Biological Detector and Method” 
Patent No. 9,958,516, issued May 1, 2018
Inventors:  Laurel Sillerud, Todd Alam, Andrew F. McDowell

This nanoparticle technology can be coupled with either antibodies, small molecules, or proteins to rapidly selectively detect and identify dilute biological and chemical materials that are either in complex mixtures or by themselves.

Issued Patent for “Raman Fiber Laser” 
Patent No. 9,966,728, issued May 8, 2018
Inventor:  Ravinder Jain

This technology is a new generation of narrowband, tunable, mid-infrared Raman fiber lasers for spectroscopic sensing applications. These lasers are based on extending the technology of near-IR narrowband distributed feedback (DFB) fiber lasers to develop low-cost and reliable compact mid-infrared sources. This invention should have large impact on trace gas sensing for environmental monitoring, industrial monitoring, monitoring and control of contaminants, and homeland security applications.

Issued Patent for “Cell-Based Composite Materials with Programmed Structures and Functions” 
Patent No. 9,970,000, issued May 15, 2018
Inventors:  C. Jeffrey Brinker, Bryan Kaehr, Jason Townson

This technology is a simple method to derive functional biomorphic composites, silica “frustules,” and carbon replicas from mammalian cells, allowing straightforward customization of structure and function via chemical and genetic engineering.  This method does not require pre-infiltration of templating molecules (e.g., cationic polymers) or multistep layer-by-layer assembly. It has applications in specimen collection, stabilizing enzymes and high value drugs, and circumventing costly cold chain processes in pharmaceuticals and agricultural industries.

Issued Patent for “Charged Singlet-Oxygen Sensitizers and Oppositely-Charged Surfactants”
Patent No. 9,968,698, issued May 15, 2018 
This technology is currently optioned/licensed.
Inventor:  David G. Whitten, Eric Hill, Harry Pappas

This technology is a surfactant complex that is able to withstand prolonged periods of irradiation, continuing to effectively kill both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, while the oligomer by itself loses its biocidal effectiveness quickly in the presence of light. This novel technology has demonstrated that complexation with surfactants is a viable method for long-term light-activated biocidal applications.

Issued Patent for “Polony Sequencing Methods” 
Patent No. 9,982,296, issued May 29, 2018
Inventor:  Jeremy S. Edwards

This DNA sequencing technology is an ultra-high throughput sequencing method that increases read length and read density in less time and at a significantly lower cost compared with gold standard technology.  The technology has applications for accelerating the pace of basic and clinical biomedical research for discovering diagnostic and prognostic markers for the treatment of diseases that could substantially impact health care.

Issued Patent for “CXCR Antagonistic Peptides and Uses Thereof” 
Patent No.  9,981,003, issued May 29, 2018
Inventor:  Jeff W. Hill

This technology is a potent inhibitor that mediates neuroinflammation and neuronal death resulting from stroke or inflammatory neurological disorders including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).  The inhibitor could be used to prevent neurological damage and neuroinflammation in stroke and neurological disorders.

Issued Patent for “Shape-Preserving Transformations of Organic Matter and Compositions Thereof” 
Patent No. 9,989,447, issued June 5, 2018
Inventors:  Bryan Kaehr, Jason Townson, Kristin Meyer

This technology is a simple method to derive functional biomorphic composites, silica “frustules”, and carbon replicas from mammalian cells, allowing straightforward customization of structure and function via chemical and genetic engineering.  This method does not require pre-infiltration of templating molecules (e.g., cationic polymers) or multistep layer-by-layer assembly. It has applications in specimen collection, stabilizing enzymes and high value drugs, and circumventing costly cold chain processes in pharmaceuticals and agricultural industries.

Issued Patent for “DNA/RNA Sequencing Using a Semiconducting Nanopore” 
Patent No. 9,988,677, issued June 5, 2018
Inventors:  Mark Fleharty, Dimiter N. Petsev, Frank B. Van Swol

This technology novel apparatus including, though not necessarily limited to, biosensors utilizing semiconductor materials in electrolyte solutions and methods for using the same. The biosensors rely on a unique property wherein a charged body in the electrolyte solution produces a detectable change in the local conductivity of the semiconductor as the body approaches or travels near the semiconductor.

Issued Patent for “Methods for Diagnosing Bacterial Infections”
Patent No. 10,000,787, issued June 19, 2018 
This technology is currently optioned/licensed.
Inventors:  Graham Timmins, Pete Louis A. Silks

This technology is a breath test for the presence of the bacterium Clostridium difficile, detecting bacterial load and response to therapy.

Issued Patent for “Inflatable, Free-Standing Solar Updraft Tower with Optimal Geometry and Active Control”
Patent No. 10,006,443, issued on June 26, 2018
Inventors:  Peter V. Vorobieff, Nima Fathi, Andrea A. Mammoli, Vakhtang Putkaradze, Michael Chi, Seyed Sobhan Aleyasin, Francois Gay-Balmaz

This technology is a self-supporting chimney apparatus for improved construction of solar updraft towers that minimize energy losses. Solar updraft towers are a simple and reliable way to generate electricity using solar radiation and the principle of convection.  The chimney apparatus has at least one inflatable compartment and several toroidal compartments to maximize the structure’s integrity and minimize deflection under wind loading. The technology combines solar thermal energy generation with photovoltaic energy generation and uses the waste heat of the latter for greater efficiency.