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Nineteen Patents Issued for UNM Technologies in October, November, and December

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued nineteen patents during October, November, and December for technologies invented at the University of New Mexico.

The technologies were created by UNM researchers in the centers and departments of Center for High Technology Materials, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Department of Biological & Chemical Engineering, Department of Computer Science, Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Pathology, Department of Civil Engineering, and Center for Biomedical Engineering.

Issued Patent for “Cubic Phase, Nitrogen-Based Compound Semiconductor Films”
Patent No. 9,461,112, issued October 4, 2016
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 which 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.

Issued Patent for “Surface Plasma Wave Coupled Detectors”
Patent No. 9,466,739, issued October 11, 2016
Inventors: Steven R. J. Brueck, Sanjay Krishna, Seung-Chang Lee

This technology is a surface-plasma, wave-coupled detector consisting of binding a high- index layer above a low-index layer to confine the surface plasma wave mode.  This type of structure helps to maximize absorption in the active detector medium with minimized contact resistance, as well as eliminates leaky mode characteristics which can lead to a drop in absorption.

Issued Patent for “Radiolabeled Alpha-Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone Hybrid Peptide for Melanoma Targeting”
Patent No. 9,463,255, issued October 11, 2016
This technology is currently optioned/licensed.
Inventors: Yubin Miao

This technology is a receptor-targeting radiolabeled peptide for melanoma imaging. More specifically, a novel RAD-conjugated α-MSH hybrid peptide was created, targeting both MC1 and αv3 integrin receptors for M21 human melanoma imaging. The tumor uptake was demonstrated as being specific and MC1 receptor-mediated in mice.

Issued Patent for “Method and System for Feature Extraction and Decision Making from Series of Images”
Patent No. 9,471,974, issued October 18, 2016
Inventors: Sanjay Krishna, Sanchita Krishna, Majeed M. Hayat, Pradeep Sen, Maziar Yaesoubi, Sebastian Eugenio Godoy, Ajit Vijay 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 and by examining these differences, the system developed will give doctors a better idea of whether the abnormality is or is not malignant. This system is comprised of six stages which work together for proper functioning of the entire system. The most relevant part of such a technology is the procedure and methodology that enables the decision making from images acquired by the proposed imaging system.

Issued Patent for “Signal Propagation Biomolecules, Devices and Methods”
Patent No. 9,476,090, issued October 25, 2016
Inventors: Carl Brown, III, Steven Wayde Graves, Darko Stefanovic, Matthew Richard Lakin

This technology is a DNA-RNA hybrid which acts as a molecular interface enabling DNA computing components to interact and communicate with one another. This DNA-RNA hybrid molecule is the bimolecular equivalent of an electrical circuit. This molecule links existing DNA computation architectures and is capable of transmitting between different kinds of DNA computing circuit components. The DNA-RNA hybrid molecule employs a dual stem-loop design and contains five domains. Each domain plays a distinct role in signal propagation. The unique structure of the DNA-RNA hybrid molecule allows for multiple types of molecular logic circuits to be interfaced with each other; expanding the utility of these systems.

Issued Patent for “Protocells and Their Use for Targeted Delivery of Multicomponent Cargos to Cancer Cells”
Patent No. 9,480,653, issued November 1, 2016
Inventors: Jeffrey C. Brinker, Carlee Erin Ashley, Xingmao Jiang, Juewen Liu, David S. Peabody, Walker Richard Wharton, Eric Carnes, Bryce Chackerian, Cheryl L. Willman

This technology is a novel method for reducing bilayer defects and controlling surface charge of protocells.  Successive steps of electrostatistically-mediated lipid exchange between silica-supported layers and oppositely-charged free liposomes allow for cargo retention, delivery and release inside cells. Drug-loaded cationic silica cores were fused and successively exchanged with liposomes of opposite charges. The researchers used lipid fusion and exchange between free and nanoparticle-supported liposomes to reduce defects and control the zeta potential (surface charge) of protocells. These parameters are crucial for drug containment and delivery to mammalian cells.

Issued Patent for “WGM-based Molecular Sensors”
Patent No. 9,482,608, issued November 1, 2016
Inventors: Ravinder Jain, Mani Hossein- Zadeh

This technology is a novel method for ultrasensitive detection of trace molecules. This method proposes a device based on combining attenuation and unique phase properties along with the whispering gallery mode behavior in high-Q and infrared microresonators to permit ultrasensitive molecular sensors that are much easier to implement than those based on similar technology in the past.

Issued Patent for “Biomimetic Membranes and Methods of Making Biomimetic Membranes”
Patent No. 9,486,742, issued November 8, 2016
Inventors: Susan Rempe, Jeffrey C. Brinker, David Michael Rogers, Ying-Bing Jiang, Shaorang Yang

This technology is a membrane using nanoporous materials that is a breakthrough in membrane design for pressure-driven water filtration. Exploiting recent advances in nanofabrication techniques, and inspired by protein channels in biological membranes that demonstrate efficient filtration, the inventors have used molecular design principles of natural porous systems to create robust synthetic porous membranes. The membranes produced 3-fold improvement in water flux over commercial RO membranes at high applied pressures. Because these membranes exhibit high salt rejection and improved water flux even at low pressures, efficiency is doubled.

Issued Patent for “Compounds with Reduced Ring Size for use in Diagnosing and Treating Melanoma, Including Metastatic Melanoma and Methods Related to Same”
Patent No. 9,493,537, issued November 15, 2016
This technology is currently optioned/licensed.
Inventors: Yubin Miao, Haixun Guo

This technology is a novel radiolabeled melanoma-targeting, α-MSH peptide with enhanced tumor uptake and decreased renal uptake. These capabilities highlight this novel peptide as an effective radiopharmaceutical for melanoma imaging and therapy.

Issued Patent for “Dry Powder Inhaler with Flutter Dispersion Member”
Patent No. 9,492,625, issued November 15, 2016
Inventors: Hugh D. C. Smyth, Parthiban Selvam, Charles Randall Truman

This technology is a dry-powder inhaler based upon the intense aero-mechanical forces generated during flutter.  The flutter element is configured to vibrate in response to airflow through the chamber and aerosolizes the dose of powdered medicament.  During flutter, the intense vibrational energy concentrated in the film dislodges and de-aggregates the drug from the film to allow for efficient and reproducible respiratory drug delivery. This device allows for the dry powder drug to be delivered (as a pure drug with no excipient) from a patient-driven, simple, scalable device.

Issued Patent for “Cathode Catalysts for Fuel Cell Application Derived from Polymer Precursors”
Patent No. 9,502,719, issued November 22, 2016
Inventors: Alexey Serov, Barr Halevi, Michael Robson, Wendy Patterson, Kateryna Artyushkova, Plamen B. Atanassov

This technology is a method for preparing an M-N-C network catalyst using inexpensive and readily available polymer precursors. These catalysts perform well in both alkaline and acidic media, are highly durable, and are inexpensive to manufacture. By modifying the M-N-C morphological, structural, and electronic properties, the desired performance in oxidation reduction reactions is achieved.

Issued Patent for “Immunogenic Respiratory Syncytial Virus Glycoprotein-Containing VLPs and Related Compositions, Constructs, and Therapeutic Methods”
Patent No. 9,511,135, issued December 6, 2016
This technology is currently optioned/licensed.
Inventors: Bryce C. Chackerian, David S. Peabody

This technology provides vaccines candidates for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). These vaccine candidates have proven to be highly immunogenic in vivo. The candidate vaccines are currently undergoing testing in animal models of RSV infection.

Issued Patent for “Cathode Catalysts for Fuel Cells”
Patent No. 9,515,323, issued December 6, 2016
Inventors: Alexey Serov, Barr Halevi, Kateryna Artyushkova, Plamen B. Atanassov

This technology is a method for producing catalytic materials that do not suffer from the drawbacks of current systems. The nature and ratio of the materials used, as well as the heat treatment temperature profile and chemical environment, and the etchant used all effect and contribute to optimal catalyst performance.

Issued Patent for “Spatio-Temporal Tunable Pixels ROIC for Multi-Spectral Imagers”
Patent No. 9,521,346, issued December 13, 2016
Inventors: Glauco Rogerio Cugler-Fiorante, Payman Zarkesh-Ha, Sanjay Krishna

This technology is a novel 96 × 96 30 µm pitch mixed-signal ROIC, with a pixel-level tunable bias control.  It is capable of providing a large bias voltage, in both polarities, on each individual pixel independently. Along with developing this innovative ROIC, the inventors have developed a FPGA-based test bench to control, test and characterize the new ROIC system, which already allows the FPA-ROIC to work as an autonomous IR detector and image processing system. This is an essential feature for portable applications. The ROIC has several applications in sensor technology, including infrared retina, classification cameras, and remote sensing imagers.

Issued Patent for “Growth of Cubic Crystalline Phase Structure on Silicon Substrates and Devices Comprising the Cubic Crystalline Phase Structure”
Patent No. 9,520,472, issued December 13, 2016
Inventors: Steven R. J. Brueck, Seung-Chang Lee, Christian Wetzel, Theeradetch Detchprohm, Christoph Stark

This technology combines metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) with large area nanoscale interferometric lithography to grow and fabricate LEDs using cubic GaN materials incorporating InxGa1-xN quantum wells grown on patterned Si (100) substrates.

Issued Patent for “Low-Profile, High Tension Mesh Plate for Subcutaneous Fracture Fixation”
Patent No. 9,517,097, issued December 13, 2016
Inventors: Leroy Rise, Christina Salas, Aaron Dickens, Mahmoud Reda Taha

This technology is a low-profile, high tension mesh plate designed for fractures in subcutaneous bones where high tensile stresses exist. The invented mesh plate can be fixed to bone with screws in order to stabilize fractures and can easily be formed to precisely fit the bony surface contour.  Additionally, these mesh designs can be produced from a wide variety of materials that may avoid potential long-term effects associated with metallic implant corrosion, breakdown, and soft-tissue irritation.  Such technology is likely to outperform much larger compression plates and steel-wire fracture repair techniques that are currently used.

Issued Patent for “Semi-Quantitative Lateral Flow Assays”
Patent No. 9,518,985, issued December 13, 2016
Inventors: Scott A. Sibbett

This technology is a semi-quantitative, lateral-flow assay device and method for generating semi-quantitative data from a lateral-flow assay. The device comprises a thin, porous hydrophilic substrate with a star-shaped or other two-dimensional geometry having a liquid sample-receiving central region and multiple arms that extend or radiate out from the central region. Each arm has an analyte-capturing agent that creates a reaction zone. The reaction zone of each arm is located at a different distance and in different quantities from the central regions in a manner that can be analyzed to yield semi-quantitative data from the lateral-flow assay.

Issued Patent for “Methods to Introduce Sub-Micrometer, Symmetry-Breaking Surface Corrugation to Silicon Substrates to Increase Light Trapping”
Patent No. 9,530,906, issued December 27, 2016
This technology is currently optioned/licensed.
Inventors: Sang Eon Han, Brittany R. Hoard, Sang M. Han, Swapnadip Ghosh

This technology is a method for producing sub-micrometer, symmetry-breaking periodic surface corrugation on silicon (Si) substrates using wet chemistry for etching.  These methods are simple, cost effective and eliminate the need to use off-cut substrates.  Conventional lithography as well as roll-to-roll nanoimprint techniques can be used to fabricate a variety of etch templates that serve as a mask during chemical etching of the Si surface.  Such symmetry-breaking surface corrugation would improve light trapping and substantially increase the efficiency of Si-based solar cells.

Issued Patent for “Structure, Synthesis, and Applications for Poly (Phenylen) Ethynylenes (PPEs)”
Patent No. 9,527,806, issued December 27, 2016
This technology is currently optioned/licensed.
Inventors: David G. Whitten, Kirk S. Schanze, Anand Parthasarathy, Eunkyung Ji, Motokatsu Ogawa, Thomas S. Corbitt, Dimitri Dascier, Ying Wang, Linnea K. Ista, Eric H. Hill

This technology is a method for synthesizing conjugated polyelectrolytes (CPEs) with six different chain lengths.  These synthesized compounds were created from precursors with controlled and similar molecular weights.  The polymers have also shown significant biocidal activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria while under UV light.  Given these traits, these compounds can be used in a wide variety of applications and may be effective in a variety of new anti-bacterial treatment methods.