Through Technologies

Explore WARF Inventions and Patents

WARF Technologies

WARF’s portfolio of more than 1,600 patented technologies covers a wide range of categories, including analytical instrumentation, pharmaceuticals, food products, agriculture, research tools, medical devices, pluripotent stem cells, clean technology, information technology and semiconductors.

Information summaries, which describe each technology and its applications, benefits, inventors and patent status, can be downloaded, printed and shared by clicking on the technology category links to the left on this page.

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New Inventions

New System for Producing Fungal Secondary Metabolites

UW–Madison researchers have developed a new system for producing fungal secondary metabolites using test plasmids and a genetically modified strain of Aspergillus nidulans (TPMW2.3). The strain begins producing secondary metabolites when a gene promoter in the plasmid is triggered by culture conditions. This allows researchers to induce or repress production.

Peptide Mimics Last Longer, Target Protein-Protein Interactions

UW–Madison researchers have developed modified Z-domain peptides that last longer in vivo while retaining strong binding properties. The researchers removed one of the helices and stabilized the remaining two with a disulfide bond. They substituted some residues with alpha and beta amino acid residues; the latter helps resist degradation by proteolytic enzymes.

The α/β-peptide mimics (or foldamers) can be tailored to target a variety of different proteins and protein-protein interactions. Given their small size (39 amino acids) relative to full-length Z-domains (59 amino acids), the new peptide mimics are easier to synthesize and modify.

Hydrogel Arrays for Screening Cell-Substrate Interactions, Now in Multiwell Format

Building on their previous work, the researchers have now adapted their method to any commercially available, glass or polystyrene-bottom multiwell plate. In the new process, hydrogel is covalently immobilized to the bottom of each well and then selectively polymerized. In this way the spots are completely isolatable, allowing for systemic and independent control of their chemical composition and XYZ physical dimensions.

Once the hydrogel array is formed, each of the spots can be exposed to different soluble factors without risk of diffusion.

New Amphiphiles for Manipulating Membrane Proteins

UW–Madison researchers have developed improved amphiphiles for solubilizing, isolating and characterizing membrane proteins. They can be prepared from cholic acid, deoxycholic acid and lithocholic acid, which are steroids found in bile.

The new amphiphiles, called CAO, DCAO and LCAO, are effective in challenging biochemical systems, such as extraction of delicate photosynthetic superassemblies from native lipid bilayers.

Superabsorbent, Sustainable Aerogels

UW–Madison researchers have developed organic aerogels with excellent absorbent properties. They are made by combining a water soluble polymer and cellulose nanocrystals/nanofibers (CNFs) derived from biomass. The polymer, such as PVA (polyvinyl alcohol), is cross-linked to form a gel and then water is removed by freeze-drying. The surface of the aerogel is coated with an organosilane, making it highly water repellent and superoleophilic (‘oil loving’).
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New Patents

Fluoropolymer-Based Emulsions for the Intravenous Delivery of Fluorinated Volatile Anesthetics

UW-Madison researchers have developed a novel formulation for the intravenous delivery of fluorinated volatile anesthetics. The formulation consists of an aqueous solution; semi-fluorinated block copolymers with hydrophilic and fluorophilic blocks; a fluorinated therapeutic compound, such as a volatile anesthetic; and a stabilizing additive. The formulation may be an emulsion, with the block copolymers, therapeutic compound and stabilizing additive dispersed in the aqueous solution. The block copolymers encapsulate large amounts of the therapeutic compound in micelles or other supramolecular structures that can circulate in the blood and deliver the compound to target tissues.

As compared to conventional lipid-based delivery systems, this formulation provides enhanced performance. When injected intravenously, it can rapidly and efficiently deliver high concentrations of fluorinated volatile anesthetics to specific active sites on ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors.

Degradable Neutral Layer for BCP Lithography

UW–Madison researchers have developed easier-to-cleave neutral layers using a new type of polymer film. Linkages both within the film, as well as between the film and its substrate, may be cleaved apart using only a mild acid or light (‘photocleaving’).

The film is made of random copolymer chains having crosslinkable functional groups. The film can be coated on a BCP substrate and then selectively removed.

Treating X-Linked Hypophosphatemia (XLH), Bone Deformity and Other Renal Phosphate Wasting Disorders

UW–Madison researchers have developed methods to treat XLH, and potentially other renal phosphate wasting disorders, using polyarginine peptides. The peptides stimulate the 7B2-SPC2 protein complex, overcoming a primary abnormality resulting from the PHEX gene mutation responsible for the cascade of abnormal protein functions that lead to the XLH phenotype.

Administered alone or with other pharmaceutical agents, the arginine peptides work by enhancing FGF-23 degradation into inactive fragments and suppressing FGF-23 production. The resultant normalized levels of FGF-23 and other proteins completely rescue the HYP phenotype, including the abnormalities in the serum phosphate and bone mineralization.
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