UNM Rainforest Innovations

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued thirteen U.S. patents to STC during the months of January, February, and March for technologies invented at the University of New Mexico. The patents, issued during STC’s 2020 fiscal 3rd quarter, are for a variety of technologies created by researchers in the Departments of Neurology, Neurosciences, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, Cell Biology & Physiology, Pharmacy, Internal Medicine, Health Exercise & Sports Science, Physics & Astronomy, Chemical & Nuclear Engineering, the Center for High Technology Materials, the Center for Micro-Engineered Materials, and the Center for Biomedical Engineering.

Issued Patent for “Light Trapping in Hot-Electron-Based Infrared Photodetectors”
Patent No. 10,529,870, issue date January 7, 2020
Inventors: Sang E. Han, Seok Jun Han

This invention describes a photonic infrared detector having at least one metal layer having a broad-band IR absorption and the detector is configured to enable light to make a plurality of passes within a c-Si substrate.

Issued Patent for “P-Phenylene Ethynylene Compounds as Bioactive and Detection Agents”
Patent No. 10,533,991, issue date January 14, 2020
This invention is currently licensed.
Inventors: David Whitten, Harry Pappas, Eric Hill, Yue Zhang, Eva Chi, Arjun Thapa, Ying Wang, Patrick Donabedian, Kiran Bhaskar

Various embodiments in this invention relate to p-phenylene ethynylene compounds as bioactive and detection agents. The invention provides a method of inducing germination of microbial spores including contacting the microbial spores with a p-phenylene ethynylene compound. In various embodiments, the present invention provides a method for detecting an enzyme, a method of protein analysis, or a method of detecting a chemical agent, including introducing a p-phenylene ethynylene compound to a composition including an enzyme substrate, and analyzing the fluorescence of the p-phenylene ethynylene compound. Various embodiments provide sensors that include a p-phenylene ethynylene compound and an enzyme substrate.

Issued Patent for “CXCR Antagonistic Peptides and Uses Thereof
Patent No. 10,548,942, issue date February 4, 2020
Inventors: Jeff Hill

This invention provides a novel class of medicament based on CXCR antagonistic peptides. Among other things, the present invention provides peptides, compositions and methods for treating diseases, disorders and conditions in which a CXCR mediated pathway is implicated. Compositions and methods for effective treatment of inflammation, stroke, traumatic brain injury, pancreatic cancer, and others are provided.

Issued Patent for “Irisin-Related Cancer Treatments
Patent No. 10,548,950, issue date February 4, 2020
Inventors: Kristina Trujillo, Nicholas Gannon, Roger Vaughan

In one embodiment, this invention provides methods of treating or preventing cancer, in particular aspects breast and/or prostate cancer, by administering to a subject in need thereof a therapeutically effective amount of irisin and, optionally, one or more adjuvant therapies (e.g. synergistic co-administration of an additional anti-cancer agent or chemotherapy). Related pharmaceutical compositions, assays and kits are also provided.

Issued Patent for “Control of Chronic Neuropathic Pain and Allodynia
Patent No. 10,548,994, issue date February 4, 2020
Inventors: Erin Milligan, Jeffrey P. Norenberg 

In one embodiment, this invention provides a method of treating a subject suffering from chronic neuropathic pain and/or allodynia by administering a therapeutically effective amount of at least one LFA1 antagonist to the subject. In a preferred embodiment, the invention provides a method of treating a subject suffering from chronic neuropathic pain and/or allodynia, the method comprising administering intrathecally to the subject a therapeutically-effective amount of microparticles comprising PLGA-encapsulated pDNA-IL-10, optionally in combination with a therapeutically-effective amount of intrathecally-administered CpG oligodeoxynucleotide (CpG ODN) and/or at least one LFA1 antagonist.

Issued Patent for “Non-Toxic Larvicide
Patent No. 10,555,519, issue date February 11, 2020
Inventors: Scott Matthews, Ravi Durvasula, Ivy Hurwitz

This invention provides a larvicide comprising of an essential oil encapsulated within a non-viable yeast cell. The larvicide is particularly effective against mosquito larvae, non-toxic to humans and other non-target species, inexpensive to make, and non-toxic during manufacture, transport, and storage.

Issued Patent for “Device for Providing Cutaneous Sensations to a Fingertip
Patent No. 10,558,269, issue date February 11, 2020
Inventors: Marco Santello, Francesco Chinello, Diasuke Shibata, Domenico Prattichizzo

This invention describes a device for providing cutaneous sensations to a fingertip. It includes a lower base, an upper platform positioned over and mechanically connected to the lower base, and a shear plate positioned between the lower base and the upper platform and mechanically connected to the lower base. When a fingertip is positioned between the upper platform and the lower base, the upper platform is selectively vertically translatable relative to the lower base to provide a compressive force, and the shear plate is selectively laterally translatable relative to the lower base to provide a shear force. Accordingly, a wearable fingertip device having two degrees-of-freedom (DoF) to provide consecutive and/or concurrent compressive force and/or shear force to a fingertip is provided. The wearable fingertip device can be used in various scenarios; is portable, easily wearable, and easily manufacturable; and has low overall operating power requirements.

Issued Patent for “Inhibition and Treatment of Bacterial Infections by Sex-Specific GPER Targeting
Patent No. 10,561,648, issue date February 18, 2020
Inventors: Pamela Hall, Eric Prossnitz, Helen Hathaway

The invention is directed to the use of compounds which are modulators of the G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER) for the inhibition and/or treatment of Bacterial infections, especially Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections. Pharmaceutical compositions and methods of treatment of bacterial pathogens, including MRSA are also described.

Issued Patent for “STEP-Derived Peptide for Brain Injury Treatment”
Patent No. 10,570,381, issue date February 25, 2020
This invention is currently licensed.
Inventors: Surojit Paul

This invention describes a novel peptide sequence that is a modified derivative of a neuron-specific tyrosine phosphatase. Specifically, the novel peptide sequence is a modified derivative of striatal-enriched tyrosine phosphatase (STEP). The peptide sequence has been modified so as to be able to ameliorate and treat brain injury resulting from excessive glutamate release and/or oxidative stress. Examples of the types of brain injury which the presently disclosed peptide sequence is useful for treating includes acute brain injury resulting from stroke or traumatic brain injury and chronic disorders such as Huntington’s chorea and schizophrenia. Furthermore, the presently described peptide sequence may further be useful in the treatment and amelioration of disorders associated with fear memory such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Issued Patent for “Hollow Core Optical Fiber with Light Guiding Within a Hollow Region Based on Transverse Anderson Localization of Light
Patent No. 10,578,797, issue date March 3, 2020
Inventors: Behnam Abaie, Arash Mafi

This invention provides a hollow core optical fiber guide that comprises a body for reflecting light comprising a first end, a second end, a longitudinal dimension extending between the first end and the second end, an inner sidewall, an outer sidewall, and a transverse dimension extending radially between the inner sidewall and the outer sidewall, wherein the body comprises a plurality of optically dielectric material and each of the plurality of dielectric material having a different refractive index; and a light guiding core region disposed within the body.

Issued Patent for “Isotope Enhanced Ambroxol for Long Lasting Autophagy Induction”
Patent No. 10,583,099, issue date March 10, 2020
This invention is currently optioned.
Inventors: Graham Timmins, Vojo Deretic

This invention is directed to .sup.2H isotope enhanced ambroxol (“isotope enhanced ambroxol”) and its use in the treatment of autophagy infections, especially mycobacterial and other infections, disease states and/or conditions of the lung, such as tuberculosis, especially including drug resistant and multiple drug resistant tuberculosis. Pharmaceutical compositions comprising isotope enhanced ambroxol, alone or in combination with an additional bioactive agent, especially rifamycin antibiotics, including an additional autophagy modulator (an agent which is active to promote or inhibit autophagy) are also disclosed. These compositions are useful against an autophagy mediated disease state and/or condition), especially an autophagy mediated disease state and/or condition which occurs in the lungs.

Issued Patent for “Blood Biomarker for Early Blood Brain Barrier Disruption in Ischemic Stroke
Patent No. 10,591,491, issue date March 17, 2020
Inventors: Ke Jian (Jim) Liu, Wenlan Liu, Graham Timmins, Rong Pan

This invention provides methods and apparatus for determining blood brain barrier (BBB) damage and treating patients who may have suffered from BBB damage due to an ischemic event. The methods and apparatus involve detecting the presence of cleaved occludin fragments in a sample of blood. According to some embodiments, the method further provides determining the degree of BBB damage based on the concentration of occludin fragments in the sample. In further embodiments the present disclosure provides kits for detecting the presence of occludin fragments in a blood sample.

Issued Patent for “Cell-Based Composite Materials with Programmed Structures and Functions
Patent No. 10,605,705, issue date March 31, 2020
Inventors: C. Jeffrey Brinker, Jason Townson, Bryan Kaehr

The present invention is directed to the use of silicic acid to transform biological materials, including cellular architecture, into inorganic materials to provide biocomposites (nanomaterials) with stabilized structure and function. There has been discovered a means by which to stabilize the structure and function of biological materials, including cells, biomolecules, peptides, proteins (especially including enzymes), lipids, lipid vesicles, polysaccharides, cytoskeletal filaments, tissue and organs with silicic acid such that these materials may be used as biocomposites. In many instances, these materials retain their original biological activity and may be used in harsh conditions that would otherwise destroy the integrity of the biological material. In certain instances, these biomaterials may be storage stable for long periods of time and reconstituted after storage to return the biological material back to its original form. In addition, by exposing an entire cell to form CSCs, the CSCs may function to provide a unique system to study enzymes or a cascade of enzymes which are otherwise unavailable.

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