UNM Rainforest Innovations

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued fifteen U.S. patents to STC during the months of April, May and June for technologies invented at the University of New Mexico. The patents, issued during STC’s 2019 fiscal 4th quarter, are for a variety of technologies created by researchers in the Departments of Chemical & Biological Engineering, Physics & Astronomy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Chemistry, Pathology, Internal Medicine, Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, Computer Science, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neurosciences, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and the Centers for High Technology Materials, Molecular Discovery, and Micro-Engineered Materials.

Issued Patent for “System and Methods for Performing Medical Physics Calculations”
Patent No. 10,248,764, issued April 2, 2019
This technology is currently licensed.
Inventors:  Roy William Keyes, Christian Romano, Shuang Luan, Dorian C. Arnold

This technology is a method for calculating radiation fluence and energy deposition distributions on a networked virtual computational cluster. Using this method, complex Monte Carlo simulations that normally require significant equipment, personnel and financial resources can be performed efficiently and inexpensively by hospitals and clinics requiring radiation-therapy dose calculations.

Issued Patent for “High Quality AlSb for Radiation Detection
Patent No. 10,249,780, issued April 2, 2019
Inventors: Ganesh Balakrishnan, Adam Alexander Hecht, Erin Ivey Vaughan

This technology is an improved manufacturing technique using epitaxial growth for producing high quality (high resistivity, high mobility) aluminum-antimony semiconductor material (AlSb) for use in radiation detection, including X-rays and gamma rays.  The inventors have demonstrated proof-of-concept diode-detector radiation measurement tests for the development of thin-film, room-temperature semiconductor detector that can be integrated directly into CMOS electronics for inexpensive, small size, and extremely power-efficient, active radiation detection.

Issued Patent for “Method for Treating Obesity, Diabetes, Cardiovascular and Kidney Diseases by Regulating GPR30/GPER Activity”
Patent No. 10,251,870, issued April 9, 2019
This technology is currently licensed.
Inventors:  Eric R. Prossnitz, Matthias Barton, Matthias R. Meyer

This technology is in the field of molecular biology/pharmacology and provides methods for using compounds that modulate the effects of GPR30/GPER for treating obesity and diabetes (preferably agonists) as well as disease states and/or conditions that result from excessive formation of reactive oxygen species (preferably antagonists). These compounds may function as agonists and/or antagonists of the disclosed estrogen receptor and/or modulate the expression/upregulation of nox and nox-associated reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Issued Patent for “Blood Biomarker for Early Blood Brain Barrier Disruption in Ischemic Stroke
Patent No. 10,254,295, issued April 9, 2019
Inventors:  Ke Jian Liu, Wenlan Liu, Graham Timmins, Rong Pan

This technology is a method and apparatus (kit) for determining blood brain barrier (BBB) damage and treating patients who may have suffered from BBB damage due to an ischemic event.  The kit detects the presence of cleaved occluding fragments in a sample of blood and determines the degree of BBB damage based on the concentration of occluding fragments in the sample.  BBB disruption is believed to be a precursor to intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), a possible side effect of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) treatment for acute ischemic stroke.  This technology identifies patients with high and low risk for ICH for tPA treatment.

Issued Patent for “Dual Matrix Composite Embedded Conductors and Deployable Structures
Patent No. 10,256,546, issued April 9, 2019
Inventors:  Joseph Costantine, Christos G. Christodoulou, Youssef Antoine Tawk, Christoph Benedikt Lukas Karl, Nicolas Nik Lee, Ignacio Maqueda Jimenez, Sergio Pellegrino, Maria Sakovsky

The technology is a deployable conical/helical UHF antenna with rigid sections separated by flexible sections with a conductor that is attached to the rigid and flexible sections.  The flexible sections have hinges that connect the rigid sections together to form a conical configuration.  This antenna is suitable for CubeSat applications where size constraints, storage limitations, and performance requirements are important.

Issued Patent for “Activated GTPase-Based Assays and Kits for the Diagnosis of Sepsis and Other Infections
Patent No. 10,261,084, issued April 16, 2019
Inventors: Tione Buranda, Jacob Ongudi Agola, Soumik BasuRay, Scarlett Swanson, Angela Wandinger-Ness, Peter C. Simons, Virginie Bondu

This technology is a method for diagnosing sepsis or a virus-related infection (often a viral hemorrhagic fever infection) by detecting and measuring the level of a set of sepsis and virus infection-associated GTPase biomarkers in a sample using multiplexed flow cytometry.  The technology also provides related kits that are point-of-care diagnostics for determining an early-stage sepsis or the severity of a virus infection, especially in a hospital or other setting.

Issued Patent for “Compounds for Use in Diagnosing and Treating Melanoma, including Metastatic Melanoma and Methods Related to Same”
Patent No. 10,265,425, issued on April 23, 2019
This technology is currently licensed.
Inventor: Yubin Miao, Haixun Guo

The present invention is a novel use of a melanoma-specific [labeled, lactam bridge-cyclized alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone] peptide to target melanocortin-1 (MC1) receptors to improve the early and accurate detection of melanoma. These non-invasive diagnostic tools/compounds are used to image and treat cancers, especially, melanoma, including metastatic melanoma in vivo. The present invention represents a step forward in the diagnosis and treatment of melanoma, including metastatic melanoma using non-invasive molecular imaging techniques. The novel probes of the present invention are also useful to initiate therapy for melanoma as well as monitor patients’ response to chemotherapy treatments and other interventions or therapies used in the treatment of melanoma/metastatic melanoma.

Issued Patent for “Synthetic Long Read DNA Sequencing”
Patent No. 10,266,904, issued April 23, 2019
This technology is currently licensed.
Inventors: Jeremy Scott Edwards

This technology is a method of sequencing long synthetic reads (between 1kb and an entire chromosome) using short read next generation technology.  Scaffolding of short reads into synthetic long reads facilitates the assembly of full de novo genome sequencing.

Issued Patent for “Methods and Systems for Detecting Cancer
Patent No. 10,278,649, issued May 7, 2019
Inventors:  Majeed M. Hayat, Sanjay Krishna, Eugenio Sebastian Godoy, David A. Ramirez

This technology is a technique for classify lesions as malignant or benign. The technique includes: cooling an area of skin including a lesion of a patient to initiate a warm-up process; receiving a temporal sequence of thermal images of the area of skin representing a thermal recovery of the area of skin, the temporal sequence of thermal images generated by an infrared camera; generating a temporal profile of the thermal recovery based on the temporal sequence of thermal images; analyzing temporal statistical properties of the temporal profile; determining a malignancy probability that the lesion is malignant based on an analysis of the temporal profile, wherein the determining includes extracting one or more statistical features based on continuous-time stochastic signals in the sequence of thermal images; and classifying the lesion based on the malignancy probability.

Issued Patent for “PCSK9 Peptide Vaccine Conjugated to a QBeta Carrier and Methods of Using the Same
Patent No. 10,279,019, issued May 7, 2019
Inventors:  Alan Remaley, John T. Schiller, Marcelo Amar; Bryce Chackerian

This technology is related to the fields of molecular biology, virology, immunology and medicine. The invention provides a composition comprising a virus-like particle (VLP) of an RNA-bacteriophage and at least one antigenic PCSK9 peptide, wherein the VLP and the at least one antigen are linked with one another. The invention also provides methods for producing the compositions of the invention. The compositions of the invention are useful in the production of vaccines for the prevention, treatment or alleviation of PCSK9-related disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and other diseases and conditions, including dyslipidemias.

Issued Patent for “Surface Plasma Wave Coupled Detectors
Patent No. 10,283,667, issued May 7, 2019
Inventors: Steven R. J. Brueck, Sanjay Krishna, Seung-Chang Lee

This technology is a method for forming an infrared (IR) electromagnetic energy detector. The detector includes a substrate having a first refractive index; a metal layer; an absorber layer having a second refractive index and disposed between the substrate and the metal layer; a coupling structure to convert incident radiation to a surface plasma wave; additional conducting layers to provide for electrical contact to the electromagnetic energy detector, each conducting layer characterized by a conductivity and a refractive index; and a surface plasma wave (“SPW”) mode-confining layer having a third refractive index that is higher than the second refractive index disposed between the substrate and the metal layer.

Issued Patent for “Compact Biosensor of Matrix Metalloproteinase with Cadmium Free Quantum Dots
Patent No. 10,299,707, issued May 28, 2019
Inventors: John B. Plumley, Erin D. Milligan, Marek Osinski

This technology is a quantum dot (QD)-modified, optical fiber-based biosensor that characterizes matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) enzyme activity at pain signaling sites in the central nervous system (CNS) in vivo. Related systems and peptide biomarker screening methods are also provided.  The MMP as biomarker is a non-neuronal approach to identifying neuropathic pain.

Issued Patent for “Enhancement of the Phase Response of Intracavity Phase Interferometers
Patent No. 10,317,212, issued June 11, 2019
Inventors:  Jean-Claude Diels, Ladan Arissian, Matthias Lenzner, James Hendrie

This technology is an apparatus, systems, and methods for enhancement of the phase response of intracavity-phase interferometers applications in laser gyros.

Issued Patent for “Light-Emitting Device Having III-V Semiconductor Gain Section Coupled to Whistle-Geometry Tunable Filter
Patent No. 10,320,149, issued June 11, 2019
Inventors:  Marek Osinski, Frederic Grillot

This technology is a wavelength tunable semiconductor laser comprising a laser gain section (510) optically coupled to an underlying optical waveguide (520). First and second passive microring resonators (530, 560) having a whistle geometry, are arranged on both sides of the laser gain section and evanescently coupled with the optical waveguide (520). Highly reflective broadband mirrors (541, 571) are provided at the free ends of optical waveguide branches (240, 270) tangentially connected to the microring resonators. The first and second passive microring resonators provide an optical feedback to the laser gain section and allow for selecting the desired wavelength. The laser structure can be implemented according to a III-V/Si technology.  The technology provides for a wider tuning range without large changes in optical output power for tuning the wavelength of semiconductor lasers.

Issued Patent for “DNA Sequencing and Epigenome Analysis”
Patent No. 10,329,614, issued June 25, 2019
This technology is currently licensed.
Inventor:  Jeremy Scott Edwards

This technology provides methods for DNA sequencing and performing epigenomic analyses.  Generally, the methods include immobilizing a plurality of copies of a DNA molecule on a surface, stretching at least a portion of the immobilized DNA molecules, and sequencing at least a portion of the immobilized, stretched DNA molecules.  The technology addresses understanding the role of extra-exome regions of the genome in regulating gene expression and disease processes. While next-generation sequencing technologies allow one to perform exome or whole genome sequencing, interpreting the results—especially the importance of mutations or variants in the extra-exome regions comprising more than 98% of the genome—remains extremely challenging. Phased haplotype information regarding, for example, sequence variants, mutations, and/or epigenetic marks can provide valuable information currently missing in conventional whole genome strategies.

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