UNM Rainforest Innovations


The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued 17 U.S. patents to UNM Rainforest Innovations during the months of April, May, and June for technologies invented at the University of New Mexico. The patents, issued during UNM Rainforest Innovations’ 2022 fiscal fourth quarter, are for a variety of technologies created by researchers in the Departments of Pharmacy; Pharmaceutical Sciences; Internal Medicine; Molecular Genetics & Microbiology; Nanoscience & Microsystems; Pathology; Physics & Astronomy; Chemical & Nuclear Engineering; Chemical & Biological Engineering; Electrical & Computer Engineering; the Center for Biomedical Engineering; the Center for Emerging Energy Technologies; and the Center for High Technology Materials.

Issued Patent for “Optical nuclear magnetic resonance microscope and measurement methods

Patent No. 11,313,817, issued April 26, 2022

Inventors: Victor M. Acosta, Andrey Jarmola

(Ref. 2018-011)

A variety of application can use nuclear magnetic resonance as an investigative tool. Nuclear magnetic resonance measurements can be conducted using a nuclear magnetic resonance microscope. An example nuclear magnetic resonance microscope can comprise a film embedded in a coverslip, where the film is doped with reactive centers that undergo stable fluorescence when illuminated by electromagnetic radiation having a wavelength within a range of wavelengths and a magnetic field generator to provide a magnetic field for nuclear magnetic resonance measurement of analytes when disposed proximal to the film. Microwave striplines on the coverslip can be arranged to generate microwave fields to irradiate the analytes for the nuclear magnetic resonance measurement. Control of the microwave signals on the microwave striplines can be used for dynamic nuclear polarization in the nuclear magnetic resonance measurement of analytes.


Issued Patent for “Smart-MEAs for High Power Fuel Cells”

Patent No. 11,322,765, issued May 3, 2022

This technology is currently licensed.

Inventors: Alexey Serov, Plamen B. Atanassov

(Ref. 2013-073)

Included here are methods for optimizing, designing, making, and assembling various component parts and layers to produce optimized MEAs. Optimization is generally achieved by producing multi-layered MEAs wherein characteristics such as catalyst composition and morphology, ionomer concentration, and hydrophobicity/hydophilicity are specifically tuned in each layer. The MEAs are optimized for use with a variety of catalysts including catalysts with specifically designed and controlled morphology, chemical speciation on the bulk, chemical speciation on the surface, and/or specific hydrophobic or hydrophilic or other characteristics. The catalyst can incorporate non-platinum group metal (non-PGM) and/or platinum group metal (PGM) materials.


Issued Patent for “Integrated bound-mode spectral sensors with chirped gratings”

Patent No. 11,326,946, issued May 10, 2022

This technology is currently licensed.

Inventors: Steven R.J. Brueck, Payman Zarkesh-Ha, Alexander Neumann

(Ref. 2017-095)

Provided is a spectral sensor array, including: a planar waveguide on a substrate; a chirped input coupling grating, wherein the chirped input coupling grating comprises a transverse chirp to provide a spectrally selective coupling of incident light into the planar waveguide; an output coupling grating; and an array of photodetectors arranged to receive the light coupled out of the waveguide.


Issued Patent for “Method and system for in-line optical scatterometry

Patent No. 11,327,012, issued May 10, 2022

Inventors: Steven R.J. Brueck, Juan Jose Faria Briceno, Ruichao Zhu

(Ref. 2018-094)

A system for measuring a periodic array of structures on a sample is provided. The system includes an optical source configured to produce an optical beam; an optical system configured to control the polarization of the optical beam and to focus the optical beam with a first NA.sub.1 on a sample surface and to sweep the angle of incidence across a range of angles with an approximately fixed focal position on a sample surface with a second NA.sub.2 wherein NA.sub.2>NA.sub.1; additional optical components configured to receive the optical beam reflected from the sample surface and to focus the reflected beam onto a detector; and a recording system to record the reflectivity of the sample surface as a function of the angle of incidence.


Issued Patent for “Isotope enhanced ambroxol for long lasting autophagy induction

Patent No. 11,331,284, issued May 17, 2022

Inventors: Graham Timmins, Vojo P. Deretic

(Ref. 2016-043)

The present invention is directed to .sup.13C and/or .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 are useful against an autophagy mediated disease state and/or condition, for example, a Mycobacterium infection, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, Sjogren’s disease and lung cancer. Methods of treating autophagy disease states and/or conditions, especially including autophagy disease states or conditions which occur principally in the lungs of a patient represent a further embodiment of the present invention. Methods of synthesizing compounds according to the present invention are disclosed herein.


Issued Patent for “Non-toxic larvicide

Patent No. 11,337,422, issued May 24, 2022

Inventors: Ivy Foo-Hurwitz, Ravi Durvasula, Scott Matthews, Michael Workman

(Ref. 2018-106)

A larvicide comprising an essential oil encapsulated within a non-viable yeast cell is described here. 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 with heteroepitaxial structure made using a growth mask

Patent No. 11,342,438, issued May 24, 2022

Inventors: Steven R.J. Brueck, Stephen Hersee, Seung-Chang Lee, Daniel Feezell


Issued Patent for “Method of forming a seed area and growing a heteroepitaxial layer on the seed area

Patent No. 11,342,441, issued May 24, 2022

Inventors: Steven R.J. Brueck, Stephen Hersee, Seung-Chang Lee, Daniel Feezell


Issued Patent for “Semiconductor product comprising a heteroepitaxial layer grown on a seed area of a nanostructured pedestal

Patent No. 11,342,442, issued May 24, 2022

Inventors: Steven R.J. Brueck, Stephen Hersee, Seung-Chang Lee, Daniel Feezell


Issued Patent for “Method of making heteroepitaxial structures and device formed by the method

Patent No. 11,349,011, issued May 31, 2022

Inventors: Steven R.J. Brueck, Stephen Hersee, Seung-Chang Lee, Daniel Feezell


Issued Patent for “Method of making heteroepitaxial structures and device formed by the method

Patent No. 11,374,106, issued June 28, 2022

Inventors: Steven R.J. Brueck, Stephen Hersee, Seung-Chang Lee, Daniel Feezell

(Ref. 2012-007)

This invention describes a method for making a heteroepitaxial layer. The method comprises providing a semiconductor substrate. A seed area delineated with a selective growth mask is formed on the semiconductor substrate. The seed area comprises a first material and has a linear surface dimension of less than 100 nm. A heteroepitaxial layer is grown on the seed area, the heteroepitaxial layer comprising a second material that is different from the first material. Devices made by the method are also disclosed.


Issued Patent for “Active Targeting of Cells by Monosized Protocells

Patent No. 11,344,629, issued May 31, 2022

Inventors: C. Jeffrey Brinker, Kimberly Butler, Paul N. Durfee

(Ref. 2017-056)

In one aspect, the disclosure provides mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNPs), monodisperse populations of MSNPs and related protocells which exhibit cell binding specificity. For example, MSNPs and protocells of the disclosure may be used to target specific delivery of therapeutic agents to CD19 or EGFR expressing cancer cells, or target specific delivery of therapeutic agents to other cell types. Related protocells, pharmaceutical compositions and therapeutic and diagnostic methods are also provided.


Issued Patent for “Optically cooled platform for thermal management applications

Patent No. 11,349,279, issued May 31, 2022

Inventors: Marek Osinski, Alexander Neumann, Gennady Smolyakov

(Ref. 2019-080)

Provided here is a semiconductor device comprising a waveguide having a core, said core having inserted therein one or more layers of nanoemitters.


Issued Patent for “Method for rapid differential diagnosis of infection using supercritical fluid chromatographic separation of microbial quorum sensing molecules

Patent No. 11,360,062, issued June 14, 2022

Inventors: Aaron Neumann, Linnea Ista

(Ref. 2016-047)

This invention provides a method for rapid differential diagnosis of infection using supercritical fluid chromatographic separation of quorum sensing molecules as biomarkers for infection agents.


Issued Patent for “Single-stage hardware sorting blocks and associated multiway merge sorting networks

Patent No. 11,360,740, issued June 14, 2022

Inventors: Robert B. Kent, Marios S. Pattichis

(Ref. 2020-072)

This invention entails a system and methods for designing single-stage hardware sorting blocks, and further using the single-stage hardware sorting blocks to reduce the number of stages in multistage sorting processes, or to define multiway merge sorting networks.


Issued Patent for “Oral gelling liquid formulations

Patent No. 11,369,631, issued June 28, 2022

Inventors: Jason T. McConville, Elnaz Sadeghi

(Ref. 2019-041)

This invention describes a gelling liquid formulation comprising a thermoresponsive hydrogel modified with an agent that reduces the alters the native gelation point of the thermoresponsive hydrogel and methods for making and using the same.


Issued Patent for “Metal matrix composites for contacts on solar cells”

Patent No. 11,374,133, issued June 28, 2022

This technology is currently licensed.

Inventors: Sang M. Han, Omar Abudayyeh, David Wilt, Nathan Gapp

(Ref. 2015-123)

A method for forming electrical contacts for a solar cell and a solar cell formed using the method is provided. The method includes forming a first metal layer over predefined portions of a surface of the solar cell; depositing a carbon nanotube layer over the first metal layer; and forming a second metal layer over the carbon nanotube layer, wherein the first metal layer, the carbon nanotube layer, and the second metal layer form a first metal matrix composite layer that provides electrical conductivity and mechanical support for the metal contacts.

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