UNM Rainforest Innovations

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued nine 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 2020 fiscal 4th quarter, are for a variety of technologies created by researchers in the Departments of Cell Biology & Physiology; Molecular Genetics and Microbiology; Internal Medicine; Chemical and Nuclear Engineering; Chemical and Biological Engineering; Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering; Electrical and Computer Engineering; the Center for Micro-Engineered Materials; the Center for Biomedical Engineering, and the Center for High Technology Materials.

Issued Patent for “IRGM and Precision Autophagy Controls for Antimicrobial and Inflammatory Disease States and Methods of Detection of Autophagy
Patent No. 10,610,564, issue date April 7, 2020
Inventors: Vojo Deretic, Tomonori Kimura

The present invention relates to the discovery that IRGM, encoded by a uniquely human gene which confers risk for inflammatory diseases, affects autoophagy through a hitherto unknown mechanism. The present invention shows that IRGM controls autophagy and that IRGM modulators, in particular, double-stranded RNA, including poly I:C, poly-UG (polyUGUGU) and polyICLC and muramyldipeptide and related analogs of same, including N-acetyl muramyl-L-alanyl-D-isoglutamine (Muramyl dipeptide or MDP) and numerous other compounds as identified herein, which may be used alone, in combination, or in combination with alternative autophagy modulators and additional bioactive agents to provide effective therapies for a number of diseases, including cancer, bacterial infections and inflammatory diseases, especially including tuberculosis infections and Crohn’s disease, among others. The present invention is also directed to compositions and methods for treating inflammatory or autophagy-related diseases including diseases which cause excessive inflammation in patients.

Issued Patent for “Materials with Atomically Dispersed Chemical Moieties
Patent No. 10,619,256, issue date April 14, 2020
Inventors: Alexey Serov, Plamen Atanassov

This invention describes synthetic materials that are useful as heterogeneous catalysts or electrocatalysts. The materials can be used to catalyze oxidation and/or reduction reactions and/or oxygen/hydrogen evolution/oxydation reactions.

Issued Patent for “Conjugated Polyelectrolytes and Methods of using the Same”
Patent No. 10,638,759, issue date May 5, 2020
This invention is currently licensed.
Inventors: David G. Whitten, Harry Pappas, Eric Hill, Kirk Schanze, Anand Parthasarathy, Yun Huang, Thomas Corbitt

The present invention describes a new cationic conjugated polyelectrolytes photosensitizer. This novel process to synthesize and aggregate polymers exhibits effective biocidal properties. These polymers achieve over 99% light-activated bacterial killing rate against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative strains revealing a strong potential as an effective photobiocide to kill bacteria.

Issued Patent for “Structural Displacement Measurement using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Equipped with Lasers
Patent No. 10,641,898, issue date May 5, 2020
Inventors: Fernando Moreu, Mahmoud Reda Taha

This invention describes an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and laser generator may be used to measure structural displacements. The system may measure relative movement of the UAV and the structure, as well as individual movement of the UAV. The individual movement of the UAV may then be subtracted from the relative movement of the UAV and the structure, in order to accurately calculate structural displacements.

Issued Patent for “Growth of Cubic Crystalline Phase Structure on Silicon Substrates and Devices Comprising the Cubic Crystalline Phase Structure
Patent No. 10,644,144, issue date May 5, 2020
Inventors: Steven Brueck, Seung-Chang Lee, Christian Wetzel, Mark Durniak

A transistor comprises a substrate comprising a Group III/V compound semiconductor material having a cubic crystalline phase structure positioned on a hexagonal crystalline phase layer having a first region and a second region, the cubic crystalline phase structure being positioned between the first region and the second region of the hexagonal crystalline phase layer. A source region and a drain region are both positioned in the Group III/V compound semiconductor material. A channel region is in the Group III/V compound semiconductor material. A gate is over the channel region. An optional backside contact can also be formed. A source contact and electrode are positioned to provide electrical contact to the source region. A drain contact and electrode are positioned to provide electrical contact to the drain region. Methods of forming transistors are also disclosed.

Issued Patent for “Systems and Methods for Leveraging Path Delay Variations in a Circuit and Generating Error-Tolerant Bitstrings”
Patent No. 10,666,256, issue date May 26, 2020
This invention is currently licensed.
Inventors: James Plusquellic, James Aarestad

A Hardware-Embedded Delay PUF (HELP) leverages entropy by monitoring path stability and measuring path delays from core logic macros. HELP incorporates techniques to deal with bias. A unique feature of HELP is that it may compare data measured from different test structures. HELP may be implemented in existing FPGA platforms. HELP may leverage both path stability and within-die variations as sources of entropy.

Issued Patent for “Systems and Methods for Analyzing Stability using Metal Resistance Variations
Patent No. 10,671,350, issue date June 2, 2020
Inventors: James Plusquellic

This disclosure describes techniques for analyzing statistical quality of bitstrings produced by a physical unclonable function (PUF). The PUF leverages resistance variations in the power grid wires of an integrated circuit. Temperature and voltage stability of the bitstrings are analyzed. The disclosure also describes converting a voltage drop into a digital code, wherein the conversion is resilient to simple and differential side-channel attacks.

Issued Patent for “Radially stacked solar cells based on 2D atomic crystals and methods for their production
Patent No. 10,680,129, issue date June 9, 2020
Inventors: Francesca Cavallo, Vijay Sarahi Mangu

A solar cell for collecting solar radiation can include a barrier layer such as a dielectric barrier layer and a heterostructure including a first light absorbing layer and at least a second light absorbing layer. A method for forming the solar cell can include forming a sacrificial layer on a support substrate and forming the barrier layer on the sacrificial layer. The barrier layer is formed to have a strain gradient through its thickness. The heterostructure is attached to the barrier layer and the sacrificial layer is removed, thereby separating the barrier layer and the heterostructure from the support substrate. During the removal of the sacrificial layer, the strain gradient causes the barrier layer and heterostructure, to roll, curl, or spiral, thereby resulting in a radially stacked heterostructure that provides a light concentrating optical cavity having multiple light absorbing layers with different band gaps.

Issued Patent for “Method for Treating Obesity, Diabetes, Cardiovascular and Kidney Diseases by Regulating GPR30/GPER Activity”
Patent No. 10,682,341, issue date June 16, 2020
This invention is currently licensed.
Inventors: Eric Prossnitz, Matthias Barton, Matthias R. Meyer

The current invention is in the field of molecular biology/pharmacology and provides methods of 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).

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