tag:license.umn.edu,2005:/technologies Available Technologies - University of Minnesota Office for Technology Commercialization University of Minnesota Technology Commercialization Office 2019-09-26T14:09:15Z tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15136 2019-09-26T14:09:15Z 2019-09-26T14:21:06Z Antibody based treatment for Type 1 Diabetes 20180340 - Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic, incurable disease affecting 1.5 million Americans with an estimated 40,000 new cases each year. Healthcare associated expenses and lost income due to T1D is estimated at $14 billion annually. T1D is treated with regular administration of insulin, however the rising cost of insulin has led patients to ration treatment with devastating effects. 1 in 4 patients have reported cost-related insulin underuse resulting in poor glycemic control. Consequently, premature deaths related to such non-adherence are on the rise. T1D results from an autoimmune response in which the body attacks its own insulin-producing pancreatic beta-cells. As a result, the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. This can cause complications ranging from blindness, kidney failure to early death. Researchers at the University of Minnesota seeking to find new interventions for diabetes identified serpin B13 proteinase inhibitor as a potential target for diabetes treatment. The scientists developed a monoclonal antibody (mAb) targeting serpin B13 (clone B29) that shows promise as a novel treatment strategy for T1D. When administered to diabetes prone mice, the antibody reduces the number of inflammatory cells (associated with an auto-immune response) and leads to increased proliferation of beta cells in the animals. This approach is particularly promising as a human therapeutic since studies in humans have shown that natural serpin B13 autoantibodies are associated with positive outcomes in T1D. Instructively, high levels of serpin B13 autoantibodies were correlated with lower risk for T1D. Building on the efficacy observed with the mouse mAb, it is anticipated that a humanized version of the antibody will prevent immunogenic effects while offering therapeutic relief. Due to its ability to reduce inflammation and induce tissue regeneration, this novel humanized mouse monoclonal antibody (mAb) targeting serpin B13 may also prove therapeutic for inflammatory and/or central nervous system diseases (e.g., bone fractures, ulcerated skin lesions/wounds, multiple sclerosis, lupus, hair loss, etc.). This technology is now available for license! The university is excited to partner with industry to see this innovation reach its potential. Please contact Kenneth Karanja to share your business’ needs and your licensing interests in this technology. The license is for the sale, manufacture or use of products claimed by the patents. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15134 2019-09-19T15:07:36Z 2019-09-20T14:00:22Z Minneapolis Institute of Art “Riddle Mia This” App 2019-071 - The Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) becomes a giant puzzle room with the free “Riddle Mia This” app. Players work individually or as a team to solve an interactive museum mystery using the app to search for clues in the artworks to expose a secret society. The app creates an augmented reality puzzle room and helps guide players through the museum. Instead of building new rooms or hiding physical clues requiring players to move paintings, the app uses virtual reality technology to hide clues in plain sight. The game is geared toward ages 12 and above and takes about an hour to complete. The app is expected to draw new audiences and help visitors discover new items in the collection. “Riddle Mia This” is a free download for an iPhone or Android device. The open-source app can be shared easily with other museums. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15131 2019-09-17T15:27:32Z 2019-09-17T15:33:33Z Augmented non-invasive hearing system 20170320 - This technology is a noninvasive hearing multiplexing device that uses ultrasound signals to transmit audible sounds by exploiting cochlear regions that are under-utilized. The device, which is attached to the head/neck region, sends modulated ultrasonic signals to vibrate brain fluids. This vibration, in turn, produces audible sound signals in channels that are typically not used. As the signals are sent as vibrations through brain fluid, the airborne sound coming through the ear canal remains undisturbed. In other words, the device can be used to perform multiplexing with the cochlea to send desired sound signals in new perceptual channels without affecting normal hearing. Humans can hear sound signals in frequency ranging from 20Hz to 20kHz. However, some frequencies in this range are attenuated by the outer/middle ear (e.g., below 100Hz and above 8kHz). The technology described here uses modulated ultrasonic signals to enable hearing in those under-used frequencies. Multiple transmitters can be used to simultaneously stimulate different regions of the cochlea without distorting airborne sound. Such a technology can be utilized to send speech or other useful sound signals in a noisy environment, such as construction sites, war zone, or manufacturing facilities. This technology can be integrated with cell phones and other consumer products. This technology may also be used to develop new types of music production that combines normal sound along with ultrasound hearing. The device and accompanying algorithm can be optimized based on individual’s hearing preference and anatomy. Preliminary proof of concept in animal studies This technology is now available for license! The university is excited to partner with industry to see this innovation reach its potential. Please contact Kevin Anderson to share your business’ needs and your licensing interests in this technology. The license is for the sale, manufacture or use of products claimed by the patents. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15130 2019-09-17T15:07:42Z 2019-09-17T15:14:58Z Multimodal Synchronization, Sound & Electrical Stimulation, Hearing Aid (mSync-hEAR) 20160094 - The technology is a hearing aid device with an integrated electrical stimulator to use for enhanced hearing rehabilitation. Electrodes are attached to different parts of the ear to provide precisely-timed electrical stimulations relative to acoustic signals transmitted from the hearing aid. Application of synchronized acoustic and electrical stimulation is used to suppress or enhance activity in the auditory system. The suppression of neural activity can be used for the treatment of hearing conditions such as Tinnitus and hyperacusis. This device can also be used to enhance hearing aid effectiveness. Combining electrical stimulation of the ear region with precise timing relative to the sound input can alter activity in the auditory system. Based on the nature and time of electrical stimuli, the activity in the auditory system can either be enhanced or suppressed. The device features the ability to modify these signal parameters in real-time, enabling the user to change the sensitivity towards certain sound signals on the go. This multimodal synchronization therapeutic device can be used to enhance hearing rehabilitation, balance hearing across different energy ranges, and suppress other hearing ailments. The device features a wireless module that can be used to power and control the device remotely. Proof of concept tested in animals. This technology is now available for license! The university is excited to partner with industry to see this innovation reach its potential. Please contact Kevin Anderson to share your business’ needs and your licensing interests in this technology. The license is for the sale, manufacture or use of products claimed by the patents. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15129 2019-09-16T14:38:49Z 2019-09-16T14:55:42Z Simplified, Single-Vessel Synthesis and Separation of Ammonia 2019-222 - The Haber-Bosch process, the standard synthesis technology to make ammonia, reacts nitrogen gas and hydrogen gas at high pressures and temperatures over an iron-based catalyst and then separates the ammonia from the reaction mixture by condensation. Major drawbacks of Haber-Bosch are the low yield of ammonia requiring recirculation of reaction gases, hazards, and cost of high pressure and temperature reaction conditions. These major drawbacks result in very large investments to build and maintain centralized ammonia production plants that are complex, costly and hazardous to operate. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed a reaction apparatus that combines catalyst and absorbents in a single vessel. When this vessel is charged with hot, compressed nitrogen and hydrogen, at low pressures, ammonia is formed just as it is in the Haber- Bosch process. However, unlike the Haber-Bosch process , ammonia production is much more efficient with higher conversion rates (75% vs. 20% in the Haber-Bosch process). In addition, as reaction and separation process takes place in a single vessel, the process is more energy efficient and reduces the capital and operating costs significantly. Furthermore, reducing the complexity and hazards opens up possibilities for smaller, decentralized plants for ammonia production. Proof of concept: lab-scale reactor tested. Continuing to optimize absorbents. This technology is now available for license! The University is excited to partner with industry to see this innovation reach its potential. Please contact Larry Micek to share your business’ needs and your licensing interests in this technology. The license is for the sale, manufacture or use of products claimed by the patents. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15128 2019-09-12T17:06:40Z 2019-09-12T17:28:20Z Pain therapy without the risk of respiratory depression, addiction or abuse 20160199 - It is estimated that up to 100 million Americans live with moderate to severe pain as a result of disease or injuries. Opioid-based analgesics are the gold standard for pain treatment. However, the long-term use of these analgesics carries significant risk for lethal respiratory depression, tolerance, addiction and diversion. Approximately 25% of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them at an estimated economic burden of $78.5 billion annually. There is a significant unmet need for pain management modalities without this social-economic burden. Opioid receptors reside in both the central and peripheral nervous system and risks associated with opioid analgesics are primarily due to actions within the central nervous system. There have been several strategies employed to avoid these risks, including: (1) slow-release opioid analgesics, (2) combining drugs that activate opioid receptors (agonists) with drugs that block opioid receptors (antagonists), (3) adding abuse-deterring compounds to the formulation, and (4) using opioid agonists that do not enter the brain. Unfortunately, these approaches have failed to provide effective pain management that truly eliminates the risk of addiction. University of Minnesota researchers Dr. George Wilcox and Dr. Carolyn Fairbanks have developed a novel method for treating pain by administering a peripherally restricted μ-opioid analgesics in combination with a δ-opioid receptor analgesic. Combining loperamide, a highly efficacious μ-opioid receptor agonist that is excluded from the central nervous system, and oxymorphindole, a δ-opioid receptor agonist that was shown to synergize with morphine spinally, elicits an analgesic effect in inflamed animals at doses as much as 150 times less than administration of either compound alone. Restriction of the μ-opioid agonist to the peripheral nervous system eliminates the respiratory depression and abuse/addiction potential associated with opioid-based analgesics that gain access to the CNS. Furthermore, while the compounds behave synergistically in relation to their analgesic properties, their combination does not multiply observed side effects, which results in a therapeutic treatment window that is 5-50 times larger than either compound used alone. Taken together the loperamide-oxymorphindole combination is a promising pain intervention with a significantly diminished risk profile. In vivo animal data. This technology is now available for license! The university is excited to partner with industry to see this innovation reach its potential. Please contact Kenneth Karanja to share your business’ needs and your licensing interests in this technology. The license is for the sale, manufacture or use of products claimed by the patents. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15124 2019-09-06T15:56:28Z 2019-09-09T21:29:54Z Heart’s Desire™ Redbud Spring Flowering Tree 2019-139 - Heart’s Desire™ Redbud (Cercis canadensis UMN7101) is a small flowering tree developed for residential or commercial landscaping. The tree originated as an open-pollinated seedling of unknown origin growing at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. For more than 40 years now, this time-tested, exceptionally hardy tree has welcomed spring with a stunning profusion of lavender pink blooms. The rounded, spreading tree is cold hardy through USDA Zone 4 and grows 15-20 feet tall and 20-30 feet wide. It features medium green summer foliage that changes to yellow in the fall. The pale magenta to light purple, pea-like flowers grow in clusters, and the tree produces 2 to 4-inch brownish-gray pods. Heart’s Desire™ Redbud, cold hardy through USDA Zone 4, exhibits superior cold tolerance to other genotypes in this species. This cold tolerant Cercis canadensis landscape tree provides attractive flowers, foliage and bark characteristics typical for the species. Its exceptional cold tolerance allows it to be grown in cold climates where less cold-tolerant Cercis genotypes are typically damaged or killed by cold temperatures. This technology is now available for license! The University is excited to partner with industry to see this innovation reach its potential.  Please contact BJ Haun to share your business needs and licensing interests in this technology.  tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15123 2019-09-03T15:14:19Z 2019-09-12T20:02:34Z Non-invasive Neuromodulation for Reversible Modulation of Neural Activity 20180087 - Non-invasive techniques to reversibly modulate neural activity can be valuable in research, diagnostic, and therapeutic applications. Researchers at the University of Minnesota recently discovered that transcranial low-intensity focused ultrasound (tFUS) can reversibly suppress evoked-responses and modulate functions within the nervous system. This technology uses a high-precision dual-mode, phased-array ultrasound system to deliver tFUS neuromodulation signals to target nervous tissues with high spatial resolution (voxel size: < 2 cubic mm). Using specific parameters, tFUS can reversibly modulate neural activity by non-invasively heating a spatially-restricted volume of neural tissue without histological damage. This technology has also been shown to have superior temporal and spatial resolution when compared to other neuromodulation platforms, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tcDCS). Professor Emad Ebbini’s team has demonstrated suppression of somatosensory-evoked potentials using tFUS in rodents. Activity suppression is found to be highly correlated and temporally consistent with in vivo temperature changes. Noninvasive heating of spatially-restricted volume of neural tissue without damage may provide a method of temporarily suppressing specific neural pathways or controlling networks through multiple foci. This technology may also be useful in investigating the basis of disease and neural function. Focused thermal neuromodulation pairs a method of noninvasive investigation of the underlying locations and networks of diseases of the central nervous system with a monitored treatment platform. Prototype developed. In vivo study performed in rodents. This technology is now available for license! The university is excited to partner with industry to see this innovation reach its potential. Please contact Kevin Nickels to share your business’ needs and your licensing interests in this technology. The license is for the sale, manufacture or use of products claimed by the patents. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15121 2019-08-30T16:11:48Z 2019-08-30T16:19:22Z Trotter or Pacer? Accurate Method to Detect Preferred Gait in Standardbred Horses 20180249 - Prof. McCue at the University of Minnesota has developed a method to accurately predict gait profiles (pacer vs. trotter) in Standardbred horses using genetic testing. This test examines a specific set of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and uses a conditional inference tree algorithm to predict the gait profile of a horse with over 99% accuracy. The results of this test will help owners, trainers and breeders to: While mutation in DMRT3 gene can be used as a necessary indicator for “gaitedness”, it is fixed in Standardbreds and is not useful to predict the preferred gait profile. It is worth noting that nearly 20% of the offspring of Standardbred trotter stallions go on to race as pacers (Cothran et al., Anim Genet. 1987). Pilot scale demonstration in an independent population (99.4% accuracy) This technology is now available for license! The university is excited to partner with industry to see this innovation reach its potential. Please contact BJ Haun to share your business’ needs and your licensing interests in this technology. The license is for the sale, manufacture or use of products claimed by the patents. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15120 2019-08-27T17:19:59Z 2019-08-27T17:27:33Z Delivery of developmental regulators to whole plants for the induction of genetically altered meristematic tissue 20180381 - The ability to genetically alter plants to add desirable traits or relevant resistances is an incredibly powerful tool in commercial agriculture and basic research. However, the process for doing so is both lengthy and technically challenging. Current protocols use sterile tissue culture of plant cells, which is not possible in many plant species and calls for technical expertise and instrumentation. Plant cells that are successfully altered must be grown for months to form a new, mature plant and obtain seed for subsequent planting. New work coming out of the Voytas lab at the University of Minnesota has created a method to bypass these limitations. The lab induced novel meristems (plant stem cells) on existing plants in the presence of gene editing reagents, resulting in the formation of genetically altered shoots. By allowing these shoots to mature to seed, it’s possible to harvest seed months faster than current methods without needing tissue culture. This technology is the combination of three innovations: (1) the identification of developmental regulator combinations that induce shoot meristem formation, (2) a method for delivery of regulators to whole plants and (3) a strategy for co-delivery of regulators and gene editing reagents in a transient expression system. Different combinations of developmental regulators (i.e. WUS, STM, MPΔ), produced growths/plantlets in species where it has been challenging, including agriculturally relevant crops. Two unique methods for the delivery of regulators to plants were developed, AgroBest treatment of seedlings and direct injection into trimmed plants, the latter of which does not require sterile tissue culture. The availability of these two methods provides flexibility and optimization for varying situations. Bringing this technology one step further, the researchers devised a transient expression system to simultaneously introduce the genome editing tools and the developmental regulators. Using a non-integrating vector makes it possible to create plants that are gene-edited but not transgenic, relieving regulatory burdens for commercial crops and increasing customer adoption. Compared to the current methods of genetically engineering plants and harvesting seed, this approach is faster, simpler, and increases the number of species it’s possible to modify. This technology is now available for license! The university is excited to partner with industry to see this innovation reach its potential. Please contact BJ Haun to share your business’ needs and your licensing interests in this technology. The license is for the sale, manufacture or use of products claimed by the patents. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15119 2019-08-26T14:08:03Z 2019-08-26T14:13:34Z Confined-space Reservoir Orifice Flow (CRO-Flow) Measurement Technique 2019-242 - This technology is a hydrologic flow measurement device that can be deployed in confined spaces such as the roadside catch basins or outfalls from rooftops. Equipped with integrated sensors, this device can provide real-time data on flow conditions, sediment trapping, temperature, and water quality. The device can be applied to stormwater or meltwater monitoring in roadside catch basins (i.e., at the drain inlet) to be used for adaptive management of flood hazards, excessive chemical pollutants, sediment trapping, etc. Deployed at several locations and incorporated into an Internet of Things (IoT) network, real-time data acquired from these devices can be used to monitor and plan city-wide water management systems more efficiently. Stormwater/meltwater flow and quality measurement in confined spaces is hard to achieve as sediments and debris can cause damage to the sensors, increasing its cost of maintenance and outages. This new device is designed to handle the high amount of sediments and debris in roadside catch basins. The design of the water outlet provides differential flow rate, making the device suitable for different water flow conditions. The modular design of the device facilitates easy maintenance and addition of new sensing components. Data collected by the device can either be stored on-site or transmitted to remote locations where the data can be monitored and analyzed in real-time. Working prototype built and tested. This technology is now available for license! The university is excited to partner with industry to see this innovation reach its potential. Please contact Kevin Nickels to share your business’ needs and your licensing interests in this technology. The license is for the sale, manufacture or use of products claimed by the patents. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15118 2019-08-23T15:11:14Z 2019-08-23T15:21:43Z A discrete and effective wearable breast pump for nursing mothers 20170195 - Due to its health benefits, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding infants for a minimum of one year, a goal that only 35% of babies in the US reach. A barrier to breastfeeding for many mothers is the difficulty in pumping milk, a practice commonly cited as inefficient, time-consuming and both physically and socially uncomfortable. This is in large part due to the currently commercially available breast pumps that stimulate milk production using suction. These pumps are noisy, require a user to partially disrobe and necessitates access to a power outlet; physically isolating women from carrying out tasks and fully participating in the work-place. Compounding the problem, these pumps poorly mimic infant’s stimulation of milk and many women report increased discomfort and decreased milk output, which adds to the challenges. A group of researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Medical Devices Center have come up with a solution to take the “suck” out of pumping, literally. They have developed a concealed, wearable breast pump that uses mechanical compression (instead of vacuum suction) and warmth to mimic infant stimulation for milk expression. The mechanical stimulation (which uses data-determined pressure and pattern specifications), is capable of increasing milk output and also allows the pump to operate quietly compared to vacuum driven pumps.The pump is also designed as a wearable device that can be concealed under clothing, facilitating a woman to pump discreetly while continuing to carry out tasks in the workplace or the home. This technology empowers mothers to more fully engage in their careers and daily lives while still prioritizing their baby by lessening the physical and opportunity costs associated with pumping milk. This technology is now available for license! The university is excited to partner with industry to see this innovation reach its potential. Please contact Kevin Anderson to share your business’ needs and your licensing interests in this technology. The license is for the sale, manufacture or use of products claimed by the patents. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15115 2019-08-21T16:30:57Z 2019-08-21T16:50:17Z Matrix for Storage of Biofluid Specimens and Biological Drugs at Room Temperature 20130180-20180392 - Cryogenic storage is the predominant method of storing biological samples in healthcare and scientific research. However, a single -80°C freezer uses the same amount of energy as an average US household and is prone to power failure that could destroy the samples. This exorbitant cost is prohibitive in resource-limited regions making specimen collection and storage unfeasible. Furthermore, the harsh freeze-thaw processing of samples leads to degradation of numerous proteinaceous biomolecules. This preservation technique is also problematic for increasingly prevalent biological drugs that require stabilization. Currently, this class of drugs is often freeze dried, a process that can cause aggregation, formulation of insoluble aggregates or crystallization of the drug. The new room temperature stabilization technology provides solutions to both of these problems using a novel matrix of modified polysaccharides that stabilize biofluid specimens at non-cryogenic temperatures (4°C to room temperature) in a dried state for long-term storage. University of Minnesota researchers developed a technology that employs an electrospun fibrous matrix of polysaccharides onto which a biofluid specimen or biological drug can be applied, and subsequently dried/vitrified under vacuum. This process creates a mixture of polysaccharides and biological materials in a glass solid that entraps and stabilizes macromolecules for long term-storage at non-cryogenic temperatures. In the formulation, for increased biomolecular preservation, the end-groups of the polysaccharide sugar dextran was reduced (from an aldehyde to a relatively inert alcohol), forming dextranol and eliminating the creation of protein-dextran conjugates. This method has been shown to effectively preserve samples, minimizing sample aggregation often observed during cryopreservation and leading to 90-100% recovery of biomarkers assayed (including those that are refractory to freezing). This technology represents the first-ever alternative to cryogenic preservation of a broad range of proteinaceous biomarkers and serum metabolites and facilitates research and medicine in underdeveloped and rural environments. Identifying cancer biomarkers may allow early disease detection, monitoring of disease progression and/or therapeutic response, and could one day reduce mortality, improve quality of life and minimize healthcare costs. However, this discovery and validation process has been slow to progress, and of the thousands of molecular signatures being evaluated, less than two dozen have been approved by the FDA, due in part to poor stability and less than-optimal biospecimen storage conditions. The considerably less stringent storage requirements afforded by this technology will be valuable in keeping samples viable for future research, facilitating the process of biomarker discovery and validation. This technology is now available for license! The university is excited to partner with industry to see this innovation reach its potential. Please contact Kenneth Karanja to share your business’ needs and your licensing interests in this technology. The license is for the sale, manufacture or use of products claimed by the patents. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15108 2019-08-13T21:08:27Z 2019-08-13T21:15:57Z Immunostimulatory conjugates for targeted delivery as adjuvants 20180330 - This technology encompasses novel vaccine adjuvants with limited systemic exposure. The development of vaccines based on antigen subunits have been plagued by struggles with inducing the necessary T-cell response to confer protection while maintaining minimal toxicity. This technology overcomes these challenges using a two-pronged approach. First, the use of novel agonists for TLR7 and TLR8 trigger a prominent T-cell response. Second, conjugation of these agonists to a biomolecule that is trafficked to lymph nodes elicits focused immunostimulation. The sum product is a covalent conjugate that is “immune silent” until it travels to the lymph node where it is unmasked, leading to potent adjuvantic effects with negligible systemic exposure. Due to their ability to stimulate strong T-cell responses, TLR7 and TLR8 agonists have been prime targets for development as adjuvants. Unfortunately, their propensity to diffuse out of the vaccination site and cause systemic exposure and toxicity has been a major drawback. This technology identified novel TLR7/TLR8 stimulating compounds (C2-phenolic imidazoquinoline derivatives) and conjugated them to Hyaluronic Acid (HA) for targeting to lymph nodes. Other technologies have attempted similar lymph node delivery, but the strategies or compounds employed to do so are often incredibly complex. HA as a natural biopolymer is optimal for this purpose, with ideal biodegradability, biocompatibility and an excellent clinical track record. HA also serves to mask the reactive portions of the agonists and the adjuvant remains unreactive until it is delivered to the target lymphoid tissue and unmasked. This technology is now available for license! The university is excited to partner with industry to see this innovation reach its potential. Please contact Kevin Anderson to share your business’ needs and your licensing interests in this technology. The license is for the sale, manufacture or use of products claimed by the patents. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15107 2019-08-13T14:35:43Z 2019-08-16T19:01:12Z A TLR-2 stimulatory molecule for use as a vaccine adjuvant 20180382 - Adjuvants are required to potentiate the immune response to increase efficacy and longevity of many vaccines. The need for new adjuvants is becoming increasingly recognized. The few adjuvants that are commercially available fall into a small number of classes, and the creation of new adjuvants has been hindered by issues of toxicity. Using systematic high-throughput screening, the very first heterocyclic small molecule capable of simulating the immune receptor TLR-2 was identified. Through stimulation of cytokines and chemokines, this molecule (9-fluoro-7-hydroxy-3-methyl5-oxo-N-(pyridin-3-ylmethyl)-2,3-dihydro-1H,5H-pyrido [3,2,1-ij]quinoline-6-carboxamide) is available for development as an adjuvant in vaccines as well as in the treatment of certain cancers. Currently, the two most common adjuvants are aluminum- or lipopeptide- based. Aluminum alone is a poor inducer of T-cell response, which is necessary particularly for protein or subunit based vaccines. While lipopetide-based adjuvants are much better at priming T-cells to respond to introduced antigen, they suffer from problems of aggregation, which complicates their purification and characterization. This technology has the potential to overcome both of these hurdles through activation of TLR-2 via a novel structure (avoiding issues of aggregation). This class of compounds has the potential to serve as a potent adjuvant (alone or in combination) for a wide variety of vaccines; reducing the antigen concentration required in vaccines as well as the overall number of immunizations necessary to confer protection, leading to more cost effective vaccines. TLR-2 stimulating compounds have also shown promise for potentiating T-cell responses against tumors making this molecule a prime target for development as an anti-cancer therapeutic. This technology is now available for license! The university is excited to partner with industry to see this innovation reach its potential. Please contact Kevin Anderson to share your business’ needs and your licensing interests in this technology. The license is for the sale, manufacture or use of products claimed by the patents. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15106 2019-08-12T17:37:34Z 2019-08-12T17:54:20Z Binderless, Easy Lighting Charcoal Briquettes 20180156 - This technology is a new method to cost effectively make biofuel briquettes/pellets from torrefied woody biomass using less than 5% binding material. Charcoal briquettes/pellets made using this technology are highly moisture resistant and these briquettes/pellets do not disintegrate or turn mushy when exposed to water. Flavoring ingredients can be added after briquetting or pelleting, thereby increasing retention of a variety of artificial flavors. Moisture resistance also enables easy transportation and outdoor storage. In addition, this engineered charcoal has lower ash content (< 5%) and ~65% volatile content, compared to over 23% ash and about 35% volatile content of conventional charcoal. In the conventional approach to making biofuel pellets, flavoring agents are added prior to the pelleting step but flavoring is often lost due to process heat. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed an improved charcoal briquettes/pellets to which flavors can be added both before and after the pelleting step. This technique, which applies a combination of drying, torrefaction, grinding, and densification procedures, uses less than 5% of binding agent. The briquettes/pellets made using this technique offers significantly higher heating value to the briquette along with greater yield than conventional techniques. Typical woods such as red oak, maple, other hardwood or softwood species can be used, and application of a variety of flavoring ingredients such as liquid smoke, citrus, orange, lemon, paprika, oregano, etc. is possible. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15098 2019-07-26T15:35:54Z 2019-08-26T16:22:39Z Machine Learning-based Dynamic Activity Recommendation System 20180356 - While wearables, such as FitBit and other activity trackers, are useful for tracking and recording user’s physical and sleep activities, annotation and effective interpretation of data requires expertise. Moreover, evaluation of longitudinal activity data is done only in retrospect. Recently, researchers at the University of Minnesota developed a data mining and machine learning approach to optimize a prediction framework, that anticipates sleep quality beforehand. By evaluating a person’s physical activities over time, the algorithm recommends a set of activities to improve the quality of the individual's sleep. Polysomnography (PSG) is the gold standard for clinical sleep diagnosis, and requires multiple sensors to track brain activity, body movement, heart rate, breathing frequency, and O2 levels. While PSG provides high-fidelity data, accuracy can be low because patients are required to sleep in the hospital, missing the more accurate picture of a patient’s behavior in familiar settings. Wearables on the other hand, can track sleep and physical activities (actigraphy) around-the-clock in familiar settings. This recommender system was developed to evaluate actigraphy data of individuals using human activity recognition algorithms. After evaluation, the algorithm can identify behavioral patterns that lead to good or poor quality sleep. These patterns are then used as target behavior, to ensure a good night's sleep. This machine learning algorithm can be integrated with existing wearables to predict and recommend highly personalized behavioral changes to improve the individual’s quality of sleep. Algorithm developed and validated in a small study. Currently under evaluation in a clinical trial with a larger patient population. This technology is now available for license! The university is excited to partner with industry to see this innovation reach its potential. Please contact Andrew Morrow to share your business’ needs and your licensing interests in this technology. The license is for the sale, manufacture or use of products claimed by the patents. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15097 2019-07-24T17:45:47Z 2019-08-14T16:15:38Z Protocol for Golf Course Soil Moisture Mapping 2019-332 - Are you a golf course superintendent or staff member who wants to reduce water consumption at your course? Significant reductions can be possible by programming your irrigation system to match soil moisture variability. While the technology required to collect and map soil moisture data is already commercially available, its adoption has been poor. This is primarily due to lack of knowledge about how to collect and analyze the data effectively. In addition, analysis software can be expensive and requires training. To help get over these hurdles, researchers at the University of Minnesota have created a detailed protocol to walk the users through the entire process. With this step-by-step protocol (written instructions & videos), users can easily This self-teaching protocol package will enable golf course maintenance crews to better utilize existing technologies to make data driven irrigation decisions to reduce water consumption and maintenance costs. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15086 2019-07-16T18:01:56Z 2019-07-26T16:51:55Z Enzymatic production of new therapeutic β-lactones 20170348 - This technology is a method for creating a wide variety of β-lactones using enzymatic production. β-lactones have shown strong therapeutic properties including antimicrobial activity. This emerging class of compounds also includes the only FDA approved anti-obesity drug (orlistat) and a potent anti-cancer drug (marizomib) in phase III clinical trials for glioblastoma. However, having been historically difficult to synthesize and purify, only a handful of new β-lactones have been isolated annually. Using bacterial enzymes responsible for β-lactone synthesis, this technology makes it possible for the first time to synthesize hundreds of different β-lactones for therapeutic development. The current methods for producing β-lactones include purification from microbes and chemical synthesis, both of which are incredibly challenging because of the natural reactivity of β-lactones. This technology bypasses these challenges by purifying and employing the enzymes (OleA, OleC and OleD) used by a variety of bacteria to synthesize β-lactones from more readily available substrates (3-hydroxy acid, acyl-CoA, carboxylic acids, or fatty acids). Furthermore, the development of an algorithm to identify β-lactone producing genes in hundreds of bacterial strains has provided more enzymes to make an ever-expanding set of these molecules. This technology provides the ability to form the first-ever β-lactone library, making it possible to evaluate the full therapeutic potential of these compounds. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15084 2019-07-16T16:07:46Z 2019-07-16T16:17:44Z Plant Biometric Estimation Using 3D Models 20180266 - This technology is a new device and method for autonomously estimating a variety of crop biometrics using ordinary, two-dimensional images of the field. First, the system creates a three-dimensional (3D) model of the crop using images captured by an unmanned vehicle. Next, the locations and orientations of leaves and stems of individual plants are autonomously defined by the system. Using this information, the system can estimate crop biometrics, including: Early detection of crop deficiencies, and periodic evaluation of the status of growth is critical for managing healthy crops and maximizing the yield. Plant biometrics information is routinely used for assessing crop health and growth status. However, obtaining this information often requires destruction of the crops being analyzed. On the other hand, nondestructive techniques tend to be labor intensive and lack resolution and accuracy. Alternatively, detailed 3D models of the crops created using high-resolution images obtained from an unmanned vehicle can be used. Recently, researchers at the University of Minnesota have developed a system to autonomously construct a detailed 3D model of the crops using ordinary, RGB images. The system is also capable of processing the 3D model to estimate a variety of useful plant biometric data, made readily available to the farmers. This new biometrics detection method helps farmers better understand the needs of not only the entire farm, but also of individual plants. Such high accuracy biometrics data enables farmers to quickly identify nutrition requirements and steer potential treatment decisions directed towards a small area to an entire farm. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15058 2019-07-10T14:35:31Z 2019-07-10T20:00:32Z A Single Device for Vaginal Dilation and Flushing 2019-196 - This medical device is a modular vaginal dilation and flushing device that helps improve patient compliance and prevent serious postoperative complications associated with vaginoplasty. Patient compliance is improved by reducing the number of painful dilation and douching procedures required during the 90-days post-op period. The device can be used for preventing both acute and chronic post-op complications, including risks of infection, necrosis due to uneven pressure, vaginal stenosis, and neovaginal prolapse. By exploiting a stent design, the device reduces severe complications caused by vaginal packing with lubricated gauze, and frequent insertion and removal of hard plastic dilators. This all-in-one modular device replaces lubricated gauze, plastic dilators, and the douching mechanisms that are commonly used in perioperative and postoperative period following a vaginoplasty procedure. The device is designed to simultaneously provide uniform radial support to the neovaginal cavity as well as facilitate douching procedures. The flexible stent layer and soft external layer reduces pain during dilation/cleaning procedures, thereby improving patient compliance and reducing the risk of tissue trauma, infection, skin slough or vaginal prolapse. Channels built in the device promote coating of douching fluid to the entire neovagina, providing a better clean than typical douching. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15047 2019-06-27T20:16:09Z 2019-07-05T14:34:36Z Autonomous High-Accuracy Analysis of Prostate Cancer Biopsies 2019-015 - This technology is an automated, machine learning-based tissue analysis software that can predict the percentage of cancerous epithelium on histologically-stained samples, and reliably detect prostate cancer. This technology significantly reduces time and cost associated with manual annotation (i.e., detection and delineation) of tissue sample pathology slides often done by pathologists. The regression model developed here accurately predicts the percentage of cancerous epithelium within a sample, and a threshold is applied to reliably obtain a binary label of cancer vs. non-cancer sample. The gold standard for obtaining the ground truth to train a predictive model requires the manual annotation of ex vivo prostatectomy samples. Such manual annotations performed by trained pathologists are very time-consuming and prone to error due to subjectivity. The method described here automates the laborious process of cancer annotation, saving significant time while achieving cancer detection accuracy comparable to that of a trained pathologist. This automated cancer annotation algorithm uses colorimetric information obtained from more than one type of staining (including morphology, architecture, and pathologic state of tissue), thereby increasing its predictive accuracy. The ground truth used to train the predictive model is derived from manual annotation of samples at high resolution, which ensures high confidence in its accuracy. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15046 2019-06-27T19:41:49Z 2019-07-24T14:26:48Z Food Supply Chain Risk Assessment and Mitigation Tools 20180173-20180174-20180175-20180176-20180177-20180178 - A software portfolio for assessing and mitigating food supply chain risk ensuring we have a reliable source of food.  FDA mandatory food recall alerts come far too late, after the majority of sickness has already occurred and the majority of processing, packaging and shipment has already taken place. The delayed issuance of FDA warnings can be very expensive for companies. These software based tools will help companies and governments identify and mitigate food supply chain risks. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15042 2019-06-25T21:23:13Z 2019-06-25T21:33:43Z Simplified Peritoneal Dialysis Connection Reduces Infection Risk 2019-238 - This technology is a new peritoneal dialysis (PD) connection interface that simplifies the process of connecting and disconnecting a peritoneal dialysis cycler or solution bag. It is expected to reduce rates of PD-associated peritonitis. The technology features a redesigned transfer set and transfer set caps. The patient inserts a capped transfer set and capped disposable tubing (patient line) into corresponding entry ports at either side of an enclosure, where an embedded magnet uncaps both the transfer set and the patient line. Once both caps are removed, the patient can slide the tubes further in until the two connect magnetically, allowing flow of dialysis fluid to begin. Peritonitis poses a serious risk for peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients. Touch contamination of the peritoneal tubing is to blame in nearly one-third of peritonitis cases. Current devices and aseptic methods require thorough hand washing, several steps and very careful handling of the transfer set and caps. These steps can be complicated and overwhelming for patients, especially frail, arthritic, disabled, distracted or visually impaired patients. This new device is a connection interface that eliminates the risk of touch contamination. It reduces the number of steps to connect and disconnect from their cycler or solution bags. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15040 2019-06-25T16:25:22Z 2019-06-25T17:18:04Z iTorsion - Smartphone App for Ocular Torsion Diagnosis 20180320 - A smartphone app (iTorsion) for diagnosis of ocular torsion by physicians. It is not intended for self-diagnosis by patients. Patients wear standard red/green glasses. While holding the smartphone perpendicular to the ground, the patient should predominantly see one line out of each eye. The patient is asked to make the lines parallel with each other and with the ground. After finishing the test, the app will report the degree of extorsion and intorsion for each of the patient’s eyes. Ocular torsion affects thousands of people in the United States. Traditional diagnostic methods often require special equipment (e.g., Double Maddox Rod) and lack precision. The iTorsion app offers a simpler and more precise method to diagnose the problem. iTorsion requires only a smartphone and red/green glasses. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15029 2019-06-05T17:40:51Z 2019-06-05T17:53:03Z Click-Chemistry Reagent for Mass Cytometry 2019-210 - This technology is a novel mass cytometry compatible molecular probe that uses click-chemistry mediated labeling of target molecules. This new lanthanide(Ln)-chelated azide containing probe allows for the detection of an expanded range of molecular features by mass cytometry compared to lanthanide-tagged antibodies.This probe is not dependent on antibodies and can be used with multiple lanthanide tags. Its flexibility allows simultaneous, multi-parametric detection of molecular targets via antibodies with RNA synthesis, lipid regulation of proteins and other emerging mass cytometry applications.   Potential applications of this technology include high precision identification of populations of immune cells, simultaneous characterization of drug responses in multiple cell types, dynamics of cell differentiation, and DNA synthesis. Flow cytometry, the current method of choice for detecting molecular targets, can only detect 20 or fewer molecular targets and requires complex mathematical calculations for deconvolution of the data. Mass cytometry, which uses lanthanide-tagged antibodies to detect molecular targets in individual cells, is best suited for detecting proteins but not other types of molecular features. Until now, no click-chemistry reagent containing lanthanide-tagged probe has been available. This new technology offers a more versatile strategy that allows labeling with a lanthanide ion of choice. It shows results comparable to current antibody-based methods. The novel Ln-azide probe can be loaded with multiple lanthanide tags for multiparametric assays.  tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15027 2019-06-05T14:37:55Z 2019-06-05T14:46:26Z Simplified Recycling of Multicomponent Polymer Products 2019-233 - This technology is a new multiblock copolymer compatibilizer that improves the recyclability of mixed plastic waste streams such as PET-PE (poly(ethylene terephthalate) - polyethylene). New methods are used to synthesize novel PET-PE multiblock copolymers that exhibit compatibility and mechanical strength in polyester/polyolefin multilayer films and blends. The method couples oligomers of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) and polyethylene (PE). The materials enable recyclabilty of PET/PE products as blends. In addition, the new multiblock copolymer can be used as a tie-layer adhesive between polyolefin and polyester layers of a multilayer film. Polyolefins and polyesters such as polyethylene (PE) and poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) are usually combined to produce food or other packaging. However, their pure components cannot be easily or economically physically separated, so the multicomponent products are generally not recycled. Polyesters and polyolefins exhibit interfacial properties that result in poor general compatibility and poor adhesion. This technology works effectively as a compatibilizer for PET-PE polymer blends and enables use of ordinarily unusable blends to be formed into practical materials. These multiblock copolymers significantly improve recyclability of packaging materials by making it possible to recycle multicomponent products by direct melt blending. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15026 2019-06-04T16:42:38Z 2019-06-04T16:53:08Z Enhanced Brain Structural Connectivity Mapping 20180310 - This technology is a software based model for analyzing whole brain diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data to estimate function specific brain circuits. The approach reveals detailed anatomical connectivity patterns for each functional module and recovers structural connections that are underestimated by diffusion MRI (dMRI). Using Human Connectome Project (HCP) data, the model successfully identified function specific anatomical circuits, such as the language and resting state networks. Traditionally, estimating brain circuits by incorporating information from functional MRI into diffusion MRI is challenging. Seed regions for tractography are selected from fMRI activation maps to extract the white matter pathways of interest. This new method jointly analyzes whole brain dMRI and fMRI data revealing detailed anatomical connectivity patterns for each functional module. This novel framework explicitly models interactions between structural and functional connectivity measures, thereby improving anatomical circuit estimation. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15025 2019-06-03T18:43:29Z 2019-06-03T18:55:10Z Large 3D Printed Skull Window for Neuroscience Research 20170158 - This technology is a method for creating a large, optically clear window in the skull that facilitates basic neuroscience research over a larger section of the brain. The technology has two components:  This technology greatly expands the arsenal of neuroscience tools and therapies that can be used for basic research and pharmaceutical applications that require optical access to the brain. Light-based neurotherapies are difficult to use in vivo. The currently accepted method of obtaining optical access to the brain is to excise a section of skull, implant a planar glass coverslip, and shine light through the cranial window. This method offers good resolution but a small field of view. It can also deform the brain and damage the underlying tissue, disrupting therapies and experiments. Other technologies (e.g., skull thinning, light emitting probes/optical probe insertion, and wavefront shaping) suffer from poor resolution, a small field of view, or both. This new technology is minimally invasive, has low surgical variability, reduces tissue damage and dramatically increases field of view. The three dimensional geometry of the implants allow excision of much larger sections of the skull allowing for access to a much wider region of the brain. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15024 2019-06-03T14:16:47Z 2019-06-03T14:30:25Z Subfield Level Model for Improved Nitrogen Fertilizer Recommendations 2019-048 - This technology is a software based model for precision application of nitrogen-based fertilizer where soil conditions change drastically over a large field. The software integrates the EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate) field (or subfield) based agroecosystem model with a geographic information system (GIS) database. It creates a simulation “template” for every unique location in a field, whether large scale (e.g. hectares) or small scale (e.g. individual plant). For each unique location, it performs a secondary calibration using any spatially precise data available (e.g., crop yield maps, aerial images indicative of crop biophysical parameters or soil characteristics) collected over any time scale. Agroecosystem modeling, used for generating nitrogen (N) fertilizer recommendations, is traditionally performed at the field scale or larger. Such field level models result in an entire field getting the same fertilizing recommendation. Because of inherent variability within a field, these recommendations are not always accurate and could lead to using excess fertilizer (resulting in surface and groundwater pollution) or using insufficient fertilizer (resulting in yield losses). Another reason current nitrogen modeling tools are less accurate is that they lack sufficient calibration. This novel approach takes the traditional modeling one step further by performing a secondary calibration using data with high spatial resolution. The software integrates remote sensing and crop systems model to spatially determine in-season nitrogen stress. The new model provides better nitrogen fertilizer recommendations which improves crop nitrogen efficiency and reduces the likelihood of nitrate contamination of water resources. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15015 2019-05-21T15:12:34Z 2019-05-21T15:36:53Z Clinical Quality MRI Image under Inhomogeneous Magnetic Field 20170013 - This technology is a new MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) acquisition sequence implemented in software that provides clinical quality images under extremely inhomogeneous magnetic fields. The novel method employs radiofrequency (RF) pulse trains for signal excitation and acquires refocusing echoes generated by the RF pulse train excitations. It does not use refocusing RF pulses.  This new steady state sequence uses a train of low-flip-angle (e.g., 5°) short duration (e.g., tens to hundreds of microseconds) pulses and a wide bandwidth for signal excitation. It is specifically designed to yield robust data in the face of extreme B0 inhomogeneity while limiting RF peak power and specific absorption rate (SAR).  A modified version of this MP-SSFP sequence can also be used to map the three-dimensional (3D) distribution of B0, even when the degree of B0 inhomogeneity is extremely large. For example, high quality three-dimensional (3D) images and B0 mapping have been demonstrated using a magnet with 200 kHz of resonance frequency variation across the object of interest. In a clinical 1.5 Tesla magnet, this degree of B0 inhomogeneity corresponds to ~3000 ppm. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) under highly inhomogeneous static magnetic fields faces fundamental difficulties in signal excitation and data acquisition. The conventional approach of using spin-echo sequences is limited by the requirement to use short, high-flip-angle (180°) refocusing pulses which results in high SAR in subjects. This new approach introduces an MRI method under inhomogeneous magnetic fields that uses only short, low-flip-angle RF pulses. A 3D B0 map can be measured by using phase-encoding in all three spatial directions. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15014 2019-05-20T21:24:46Z 2019-05-20T21:32:01Z Design of Energy Efficient Microprocessor 20170334 - This technology is a new method that exploits dynamic timing slack (DTS) to reduce the voltage of a processor, based on the application being executed, without reducing the frequency. It automatically identifies DTS by analyzing an application binary and processor to determine parts of a design guaranteed not to be exercised by the application. The process then analyzes the timing safety of the constrained design at different voltages to determine the minimum safe operating voltage for an application/processor pair. Because a given application may not exercise the most timing critical paths of a processor, this process reduces voltage as long as all paths exercisable by the application meet timing constraints. Processors that run simple applications (e.g., for door/window sensors, remote sensors, IoT devices, heart rate monitors, etc.) require extended battery life. Demand for simple processors that are smaller and consume less power is growing as demand for the devices and sensors grows. Current techniques for optimizing processor design suffer performance and design time overheads. This new automated solution analyzes the software and the chip’s CAD file to identify portions of the processors that can be turned off or removed, thus enhancing the battery life of these simple devices. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15013 2019-05-20T19:00:59Z 2019-07-24T14:27:54Z Optimizing Processors for IoT Applications 20170061-20170333 - This technology is a portfolio of methods for optimizing circuit and chip design to obtain processors that are smaller, less complex and consume less power than their full featured counterparts.  These novel, dynamic techniques are designed around gate-based, rather than path-based analysis, which recognizes that a set of gates maps to a unique set of paths in a design. Gate-based analysis can efficiently analyze large designs over large time windows, even full processor designs and full applications. Current techniques enumerate a circuit’s paths to identify the longest exercised and highest activity paths. This enumeration is not scalable, due to the large number of paths in modern digital designs. This new method efficiently captures in a gate level simulation the set of paths activated by an application. This information can be used for targeted processor optimizations. Processors that run simple programs (e.g., for door/window sensors, remote sensors, IoT (internet of things) devices, heart rate monitors, etc.) require extended battery life. Demand for simple processors are growing as current devices use full featured, general-purpose processors that incur higher power and area overheads. This new automated approach generates application-specific processors that reduce the area and power requirements of the chip. The technology analyzes the software and the chip’s CAD file to identify portions of the processors that can be turned off or removed, thus enhancing the battery life. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15012 2019-05-20T16:45:46Z 2019-05-20T17:33:02Z MHC Class II Molecules with Enhanced Co-receptor Affinity 20180109 - New enhanced-affinity MHCII molecules could improve current research tools for the study of CD4 T cells during cancer, infections, and autoimmune disease. A novel process uses directed evolution to create modified MHCII molecules with better binding affinity than their wild-type counterparts for the co-receptor CD4 found on T cell surfaces. Current methods for detecting and understanding specific types of T cells are imperfect. A CD4 T cell uses its unique T-cell receptor (TCR) molecules to bind to a foreign peptide embedded in an MHCII molecule on host cells. At the same time, the T cell’s CD4 molecules bind to the stalk of the MHCII molecules and cooperate with the TCR to activate the T cell. Peptide:MHCII tetramer-based flow cytometry is a preferred method for the study of CD4 T cells specific for MHCII-bound peptides from microbes, cancers, and autoantigens. Unfortunately, peptide:MHCII tetramers do not bind to CD4 molecules and therefore fail to detect CD4 T cells with low affinity TCRs. This new technology creates a new generation of modified MHCII molecules evolved to bind CD4 with stronger affinity than wild-type MHCII molecules. Tetramers formed with peptide-bound CD4 affinity-enhanced MHCII tetramers detect T cells that are missed by peptide-bound wild-type MHCII tetramers. This technology allows researchers to detect more relevant T cells than currently possible. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15011 2019-05-17T21:28:21Z 2019-05-21T15:46:44Z Real-time Coordination of Merging Vehicles 20160328 - A new vehicle merge assist technology uses Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) to coordinate merging between vehicles. DSRC, a short-range wireless communication protocol developed specifically for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) or vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication, allows vehicles to communicate with other nearby vehicles and with various infrastructures (e.g. road signs). The new merge assist system uses standard GPS receivers and DSRC-based wireless V2V communication to acquire accurate relative trajectories of surrounding vehicles. The trajectory information provides drivers with real-time guidance on how best to merge and may even facilitate automated merging in the future. Field tests using lane-level position resolution could distinguish two vehicles on separate or adjacent lanes of a multiple-lane freeway. The system can work with Cellular V2V (C-V2V), which is the new approach for vehicle-to-vehicle communication. Current merge assist systems use an individual vehicle’s sensors and may require additional vehicle-based sensors or infrastructure-based sensors to detect approaching vehicle trajectories. Common GPS-based devices can guide drivers by showing an image of the junction on a map, but they do not have lane-level resolution and cannot show other approaching vehicles. High-accuracy differential GPS receivers with vision- or sensor-based systems and high-resolution maps can provide lane-level resolution and precise absolute positions of other vehicles, but their use is limited by very high cost and complexity. This new technology achieves relative lane level resolution using less expensive, commonly available GPS receivers deployed with emerging V2V communications technology. It requires less computation and lower cost sensors. It can be especially valuable for blind intersections and obstructed views. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15010 2019-05-17T20:41:26Z 2019-05-17T20:48:41Z Multiplex Plant Gene Targeting through Homologous Recombination 20160266 - This new method uses homologous recombination to achieve first-ever multiplexed gene targeting in plants. The novel approach uses a geminivirus replicon to overcome traditional gene targeting challenges for plant genome engineering. The technology efficiently achieves multiplexed gene targeting by integrating a selective marker into one of the loci to regenerate plants with modifications in other loci at a high frequency. Modified wheat plants in experiments were regenerated in less than six weeks and showed a promising multiplexed gene targeting frequency of 1.1% (e.g., 13.75% of the cells that underwent gene targeting contained both modifications). Advantages of multiplex homologous recombination include simultaneous gene edits to confer multiple traits, reduced time to introduce traits into crop plants, and introducing gene edits for academic purposes. Unlike targeted mutagenesis, gene targeting and gene repair in plants is quite difficult. Targeted modification of plant genomes remains a challenge due to ineffective methods for delivering reagents for genome engineering to plant cells. Furthermore, the few reports that describe gene targeting in plants are limited to only one chromosomal target. This method uses geminivirus-based replicons and CRISPR/Cas9 as a delivery method for sequence-specific nucleases (SSNs) and DNA repair templates into plant cells. The technique achieves multiple targeted integration of nucleotide sequences into different loci of the plant genome, as well as into different genomes in polyploid species. This is the first time that homologous recombination at two different loci within the same cell has been demonstrated. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15009 2019-05-17T20:00:56Z 2019-05-17T20:10:56Z 5’-exonuclease Increases Gene Editing Efficiency of Plants 20160020 - Introducing a T5 bacteriophage 5’-exonuclease simultaneously with traditional gene targeting reagents (i.e., site-specific nucleases such as CRISPR/Cas9 or a TALEN system) can increase the frequency/rate of homologous recombination in gene targeting. This novel eukaryotic (plant) cell gene editing method uses the 5’-exonuclease—applied as a protein or nucleic acid in the presence of a supplied or endogenous repair template—to cause homologous recombination between the chromosomal target broken by the nuclease and the repair template. The technology exploits the natural mechanism of homology search by exposed 3’-ends of broken double-stranded DNA that mediates homologous recombination. The 5’-exonuclease can resect the 5’-ends at the double-stranded break caused by the site-specific nuclease (SSN), potentially increasing the abundance and possibly the size of exposed 3’-ends. 5’-exonuclease is a small protein that can be expressed as a transcript fusion with the nuclease and is easily deliverable by current methods to introduce the other gene targeting reagents. In addition, it is compatible with transient editing strategies using DNA replicons to make the modification and then degrade without integrating unwanted foreign DNA. Low efficiency of gene targeting remains a challenge for genome engineering efforts, particularly in plants. This new method, which adds the 5’-exonuclease to a homologous recombination reaction, demonstrated a threefold increase in efficiency and yield of desired genetically engineered products (e.g., Nicotiana benthamiana and wheat cells), and when combined with geminivirus technology, achieved a 15 to 50 fold increase in gene targeting. By harnessing the natural biology of the cell, this technology does not require exposure to chemicals, small molecules or interfering RNA that could impact cellular processes unrelated to gene targeting. Furthermore, no negative effects are expected on the viability or regenerative capacity of cells exposed to this reagent. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15003 2019-05-09T12:52:10Z 2019-05-09T13:09:49Z Synthesizing Virtual Oscillators for Inverter-Based Power Systems 20160422 - This technology is an alternative strategy to droop control to enable the design of scalable microgrids and systems containing large numbers of power electronics inverters. Virtual Oscillator Control (VOC) is a decentralized control strategy for AC systems where inverters are modulated to emulate the dynamics of weakly nonlinear oscillators. This new design methodology enables VOC deployment on digital controllers and allows straightforward translation of a set of AC power system performance specifications directly into control parameters. A coordinate transformation is also leveraged to enable the user to obtain tunable relationships between the real and reactive power delivered by the inverter and the system voltage and frequency. This design flexibility essentially allows VOC to subsume the functionality of traditional droop controllers while enabling enhanced speed and responsiveness to dynamic conditions. Microgrids are a collection of energy sources interfaced to an AC electric distribution network that can be operated independently from the bulk AC system. Energy conversion is accomplished by power-electronics inverters, which are typically controlled to regulate the voltage amplitude and frequency of the inverters’ terminal voltage. Typically, the strategy employed to do this is droop control, which is only well defined in a sinusoidal steady-state and linearly trades off the inverter-voltage amplitude and frequency with real- and reactive-power output. Compared to droop control, Virtual Oscillator Control (VOC) is a time-domain controller that enables interconnected inverters to stabilize arbitrary initial conditions to a synchronized sinusoidal limit-cycle. The resulting models form a VOC design procedure such that the inverter satisfies standard AC performance specifications related to voltage regulation, frequency regulation, dynamic response and harmonic content. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15002 2019-05-07T17:03:54Z 2019-05-07T20:55:26Z Directional Coordinated Reset Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) 20180061 - This technology is a system for coordinated reset deep brain stimulation (CR DBS) which uses a segmented DBS array electrodes and short-term electrical pulses delivered in a fixed or varying sequence. This therapy uses multiple contacts in different locations of the target brain structure to offer flexibility to CR contact configuration and intensity selection. In some cases, this can also provide flexibility to cross structure CR configuration. In addition, a novel stimulation strategy delivers high stimulation intensity at the beginning of treatment, until optimal therapeutic improvement is achieved, and then reduces the stimulation to a low intensity to maintain the therapeutic effect. Directional CR DBS could be used to treat nervous system or multiple movement disorders (e.g., Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, dystonia, and other neurological and/or psychiatric conditions). Traditional isochronal DBS, while a successful treatment for Parkinson's disease, has not changed for decades. Constant high frequency stimulation from the traditional DBS drains the device battery within several years, requiring risky battery replacement surgeries. In addition, current spread related side effects limit its application and therapeutic window. Directional CR DBS combines new DBS lead technology and a novel strategy to produce a comparable—or even better—therapeutic effect than traditional DBS therapies and with fewer side effects. Because it uses a very low stimulation intensity (one third or less than traditional isochronal DBS), it significantly reduces battery consumption. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15001 2019-05-07T15:26:50Z 2019-05-07T17:01:44Z Spintronic Analog-to-Digital Convertor (ADC) 20140257 - A first-of-its-kind spintronic analog-to-digital converter (ADC) based on magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) can convert magnetic signals directly into digital electrical signals. Spin Hall effect (SHE) and voltage assisted magnetization switching control MTJ magnetization and convert analog signals to digital signals.  This novel device features:   The device is fully compatible with standard CMOS technology, and because it uses electron spin during the analog to digital conversion, it is very energy efficient, fast and robust. The ADC works with any type of MTJ device, including in-plane MTJ or perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA). This novel technology offers a new route for designing very fast, very high resolution, low cost ADCs in large scale. Traditional analog-to-digital converter (ADC) technology such as Flash ADC is limited by conversion speed, power consumption and circuit complexity. The conventional transistor-based ADCs also require more comparators. The novel design and circuit architecture of this new ADC replaces each comparator of the flash ADC with an MTJ comparable in size to a single transistor. The non-volatile MTJ saves space by significantly reducing the number of transistors. By using magnetoresistive devices as comparators, this new design produces smaller devices that consume less power and provide faster comparison between analog input values and reference voltages. It can allow for a wider range of MTJ device configurations and materials which could lead to reduced costs and improved circuit performance. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/15000 2019-05-06T22:11:22Z 2019-05-06T22:21:44Z Enhanced Resolution Cardiac MRI 20170286-20170315 - This technology is an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) pulse sequence for cardiac imaging which enables an increased number of slices across the heart volume per heart beat resulting in enhanced temporal and spatial resolution. The method may result in a decrease in overall scan time. The novel method combines outer volume suppression (OVS) and accelerated imaging, such as simultaneous multi-slice (SMS)/compressed sensing (CS), without introducing fold-over artifacts. Cardiac MRI is often slow and is typically limited to only three slices across the heart per heartbeat. In addition, 3D high resolution cardiac imaging sequences can take up to 10 minutes. Current OVS techniques do not usually allow for a reduction of the FOV, as the residual signal creates fold-over artifacts. This novel method enables increased acceleration rates and reduces fold-over artifacts. Combining OVS with SMS and CS accelerates scan time, particularly for body imaging and improves temporal and spatial resolution. A novel imaging sequence uses the CAIPIRINHA method for multi-band (MB) imaging to allow myocardial perfusion imaging. This method adds an outer-volume suppression module to reduce signals from the chest and back while the heart is imaged. Multi-band imaging may increase the coverage significantly, and adding the OVS module may enable faster multi-band imaging rates. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/14984 2019-04-23T15:53:16Z 2019-04-23T16:00:31Z In Vivo Measurement of ATP Hydrolysis 20130111 - This technology is a new magnetic resonance spectroscopy-magnetization saturation transfer (MRS-MST) pulse sequence implemented in software that provides the ability to measure adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis rate in vivo. It is a double-saturation 31P MST protocol that uses inversion-recovery data and spectral data to measure ATP hydrolysis rate without requiring quantification of inorganic phosphate levels. By eliminating the need to quantify inorganic phosphate (Pi, 31P), this technology overcomes the primary barrier in determining the ATP turnover rate in vivo. The method will help basic science researchers investigate the energetic foundation of the function and dysfunction of certain organs and tissues. Clinically, it may be used to grade tissue function, to grade the severity of certain heart diseases (e.g. myocardial infarction) and evaluate stem cell treatments and other therapies with high spatial resolution. It has been speculated that decreased myocardial ATP production may contribute to cardiac dysfunction. However, accurate measurements of myocardial ATP turnover rates could never be examined in vivo. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy-magnetization saturation transfer (MRS-MST) has been extensively used for more than a decade to measure the ATP flux via creatine kinase (CK) in myocardial tissue. However, MRS-MST has generally not been successful in vivo in large animal models because the products of ATP hydrolysis (ADP and Pi) are at levels too low to be accurately measured. This new MRS-MST method can calculate the ATP hydrolysis rate in vivo in humans. It allows ATP hydrolysis rate to be measured in organ systems where inorganic phosphate levels are difficult to quantify. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/14983 2019-04-22T21:39:23Z 2019-04-30T14:58:46Z Improved MRI Signal-to-Noise Ratio with Digital Beam Forming 201210248 - This technology is algorithms implemented in software on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners. The method is expected to increase signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), which enhances image fidelity, reduces tissue heating (SAR), and enables image acceleration. It comprises the beam forming invention: Receive-only, Transmit (B1 shimming) and Receive, and Synthetic Aperture. The latter is expected to improve SNR even though computational complexity and scan time may increase.The method is expected to be compatible with most 3T clinical scanners. To improve signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), current magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners borrow phased arrays techniques from radar. However, when this approach digitizes image data it does not use certain information (e.g., geometric information pertaining to the directivity of each individual MR coil element) and may lose other information (e.g., phase), which could further improve SNR. This new software adapts the advanced radar techniques of beam forming and synthetic aperture radar to MRI, improving image contrast and SNR on a voxel-by-voxel basis. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/14981 2019-04-17T18:55:01Z 2019-04-19T12:14:28Z Soft Tissue Elasticity Imaging Method to Assess Pathology 20140062 - This invention uses ultrasound to measure the nonlinear mechanical properties of an object including those of biological tissues. This information can be used to detect abnormalities in tissues. The technique combines the advantages of using acoustic radiation force (ARF) ultrasound for local tissue characterization and the capability of assessing the nonlinear tissue elasticity as an additional new modality for differential cancer diagnosis. At present, no techniques are capable of assessing nonlinear tissue elasticity locally via acoustic radiation force (ARF) ultrasound. ARF generated by modulated ultrasound is already used in a number of medical diagnostic techniques: Vibroacoustography, Shear Wave Elasticity Imaging (SWEI), Supersonic Imaging, and Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse Imaging (ARFI). However, these techniques only diagnose the tissue locally by assessing its linear elastic parameters. Estimating a tissue’s nonlinear elastic parameters may elevate the differential diagnosis of cancerous lesions. This localization is especially important when imaging highly heterogeneous tissues as it allows the user to distinguish, in terms of linear and nonlinear tissue, between neighboring regions with high spatial resolution. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/14980 2019-04-16T20:43:32Z 2019-04-16T20:46:44Z Spin Magneto-optical Modulator 20160103 - A new optical modulator, based on magneto-optic effect and spintronic technology, achieves optical modulation using pure spin current without net charge current. A significant advantage of this spin magneto-optical modulator is its low energy consumption. It uses spin polarized current as the input, and since spin current can be generated without any charge current, electrical power dissipation can be zero or very low. Furthermore, the device does not use an electric field applied on an insulating material for modulation. Instead, modulation of the phase of the optical signal is achieved through the non-reciprocal phase shift induced in magneto-optic material integrated on photonic waveguide. Conventional optical modulators, based on electro-optical effect using electrical current or voltage as input, consume electrical energy due to capacitive and resistive dissipation. However, because the optical signal can be modulated without any charge current, this new technology consumes significantly less power and operates at much higher speeds than conventional devices. The operation speed is no longer limited by the RC response speed of the modulator because electrical charge does not need to be accumulated to achieve modulation. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/14979 2019-04-16T19:48:31Z 2019-04-16T20:15:43Z Improved Multi-Band Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) 20140303 - Three new multi-band (MB) imaging methods for MRI adaptively optimize and improve MB imaging performance and quality and increase its flexibility. These approaches can be widely applied to any MB imaging based method. Traditional MB imaging uses only one set of fixed parameters for both imaging acquisition and reconstruction, a practice that limits the performance and flexibility of MB imaging. This new adaptive MB imaging (AMI) technology overcomes such limitations. This approach applies multiple imaging acquisition and reconstruction controlling factors (based on different targeted organs) and improves existing MB imaging by offering more flexibility, optimal performance and improved imaging quality. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/14978 2019-04-16T18:36:16Z 2019-04-16T18:49:04Z In Vitro Metastatic Tumor Model 2019-018 - This technology is a new 3D bioprinted method to create in vitro tumor models. The 3D printed microenvironments reconstruct the chemical, physical and/or spatiotemporal aspects of native biological microenvironments. The design incorporates the vasculature and stromal elements involved in tumor microenvironments (e.g., tumor cells, fibroblasts and blood vessels). In addition, the technology has integrated spatiotemporal control of tumor cell migration and angiogenesis by creating chemical gradients of growth factors using 3D printed stimuli-responsive capsules.The model provides tools for understanding the mechanism of cancer metastasis, for drug screening and testing patient specific therapies. Many anticancer drugs succeed in cell culture yet fail in pre-clinical testing because “drug-in-a-dish” assays doesn’t replicate the complexity of a tumor’s microenvironment. Conventional 2D monolayer cell cultures cannot accurately mimic characteristics of native tumor microenvironments, and current 3D cultured tumor cells, while able to more closely mimic natural behaviors, still cannot model the tumor microenvironment. This new 3D bioprinted platform helps bridge the gap between 2D cell cultures and animal models. The 3D models establish physiological cell–cell, cell–extracellular matrix (ECM) and cell–chemical signal interactions with precise spatiotemporal resolution. In addition, the constructs consist of human cells, rendering them more clinically relevant and versatile with the option to incorporate a patient's own cells for precise selection of effective therapies. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/14969 2019-04-10T16:05:38Z 2019-04-10T16:13:47Z Active Knit Compression Stockings 20170407 - Active knit compression garments dynamically apply compression to various areas of the body for medical, athletic and aerospace applications. The technology uses knitted garments that integrate shape memory alloy (SMA) wires trained through an annealing process to remember a straight or slightly curved form. When heated, the SMA wires return to those trained forms to cause the knit to contract, providing active compression. The knitted garments can wrap around the body in the form of leg sleeves, arm sleeves or body wraps. The garments give the wearer dynamic control by providing variable levels of functional compression, which is determined by the properties of the SMA, knit stitch type, size and structure and temperature of the SMA knit. Current compression garments include large, inflatable garments tethered to inflation sources or passive, elastic stockings that are not only difficult to put on/take off but do not apply controllable or dynamic pressures on the body. This new active knit compression technology combines the mobility and low-profile features of the passive knit compression stockings with the dynamic and controllable features of the inflatable garments. Using shape memory alloy materials trained to return to specific forms when heated, this technology is lightweight, low profile and provides dynamic control over the amount of pressure exerted. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/14968 2019-04-09T10:55:37Z 2019-04-15T16:10:08Z Dual Mode Tactile and Proximity Sensor z07113 - A new tactile sensor system measures not only contact force (tactile information) but also the approach of an object before it touches the sensor (proximity information). The sensor consists of two layers of an electrode array crossed to make a capacitor cell. Dielectric materials sandwiched between the two electrode layers form a capacitor array at the crossing points. The dielectric material between the electrodes deforms due to contact force, inducing a capacitance change between the upper and lower electrodes. Scanning this capacitance change captures contact force distribution, and by using the fringe capacitance in the upper electrodes, the sensor can sense the approach of an object (proximity) before it touches the sensor. ** View the Term Sheet ** ** Contact Kevin Nickels for specific details. ** Existing sensors can either operate as a tactile sensor by detecting the contact pressure or as a proximity sensor to detect an approaching object. Tactile and proximity sensors are needed in systems such as robots. When two individual sensors are used on a robot, a large area and volume is required. This technology is the first ever to implement a tactile sensor with proximity sensing capability in a single platform. tag:license.umn.edu,2005:Technology/14967 2019-04-08T21:03:39Z 2019-04-08T21:11:28Z Central Airway Stent Removal Device 20180250 - A device for placement, repositioning or removal of central airway (i.e., trachea and main bronchi) stents using either a flexible or rigid bronchoscopy. The device uses a stent gripping mechanism with the appropriate range of force required to detach a stent from tracheal/bronchial tissue and to travel across tracheal/bronchial cavity to remove it. Central airway stenting is a necessary option for treating central airway stenosis arising from lung transplant or lung cancer complications. However, stent placement can also result in complications such as stent migration from affected area, ingrown tissue around stent, infection, necrosis, which require removal of the stent. Interventional Pulmonologists use standard forceps that do not work well with the mechanical and geometrical properties of stents. The process can take a long time to capture or destroy the stent in order to remove it. Sometimes the process must be aborted and the stent must stay implanted. Currently, there is no specific tool designed for removing central airway stents. This new device was designed to withstand the mechanical and geometrical properties of airway stents to allow for their removal.