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

HealthPet Auto-Feeder

Developed out of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, the HealthPet Auto-Feeder is a wet-food pet feeder that automatically feeds cats and dogs by storing and delivering up to 15 heat-packed food pouches in 2-ounce serving containers allowing for multiple feedings per day. Additional pouches can be added with further modification to increase the quantity that can be dispensed. Food containers are stored vertically in revolving cylinders on top of the feeder and released with an electric timer that allows pet owners to program feeding times throughout the day. A conveniently located storage container has been designed so that it can be removed with ease for disposal of empty containers. The device has been designed so that it is completely motorized, user friendly and can be adapted for use with a mobile app for remote control.

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.

Covalently Linked Soft Networks of Gold Nanoparticles

A researcher at UW-Eau Claire has invented a method for efficient fabrication of gold nanoparticle plasmonic waveguides. Nanoparticles are synthesized and purified by known techniques and cast upon an air-water interface. A solution is introduced to the nanoparticles and upon evaporation the nanoparticles form a crosslinked coherent network. The crosslinking imparts a mechanical strength to the film, permitting further manipulation including transfer to solid substrates and surface chemical modification. Incorporation of photoreactive crosslinkers renders the process reversible.

Poly(UG) Polymerase: A Useful New RNA Tool

UW–Madison researchers have identified a poly(UG) polymerase in a roundworm called Caenorhabditis elegans. The newly discovered enzyme adds repeating UG sequences to the ends of RNA. This activity could be useful as a research tool in vitro, e.g., providing a new way to synthesize cDNA of RNAs of unknown sequence.

The gene in C. elegans that encodes the enzyme is called RDE-3. Although its sequence was already known, its polymerase activity was not.

Treating Hemophilia B with Modified Protein

A UW–Madison researcher has developed new Factor IX mutants for treating blood coagulation conditions, including hemophilia B, hemorrhagic disorder and thrombosis. The modified proteins contain combined mutations in the heparin and antithrombin binding sites that prolong half-life and stability.

The new mutants show improved in vivo activity and more sustained therapeutic effect than naturally occurring Factor IX. They could potentially be administered intravenously, orally or by another route.
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New Patents

Combining VIPR with Inversion Recovery for Improved MRI

UW–Madison researchers have now developed an algorithm combining VIPR with IR. This combination, along with a unique projection ordering, results in a large set of 3-D, high spatial resolution images with multiple different image contrasts.

VIPR-IR works by allowing more flexibility in creating segments of repetition times (TRs) that sweep a range of inversion times. The user may select a desired number of consecutive projections to be combined for better image quality. The number of these consecutive projections can be chosen after data acquisition. In other words, data is combined retrospectively.

Rather than trying to predict which imaging parameters will produce the best contrast for a particular patient, the method acquires multiple images across a range of contrast settings. The process does not take longer than a typical scan.

Surgical Manipulator with Finer Motion Control and Capability

A UW–Madison researcher has developed a new device, called an interleaved continuum-rigid manipulator, that combines safety and high performance. The device is made of flexible segments interleaved with small, rigid-link joints. The segments elastically flex upon insertion into tissue, and are designed for tendon-driven articulation and telescoping motion. The rigid joints serve as limited stroke actuators to move and control the flexible segments.

Eliminating Encoding Distortion in MRI for Clarity in the Presence of Metal

UW–Madison researchers have developed a new pulse sequence approach for performing spectrally-resolved, 3-D MRI without using a frequency encoding gradient during the scan process. This allows for spectral encoding of signals such that local magnetic field differences—like those around metal substances—can be measured. Moreover, signal separation can be performed to distinguish tissue types and the relaxation rate of transverse magnetization, R2*, can be measured.

The technology comprises a magnet configured to generate a polarizing field around a subject, gradient coils and a radio frequency (RF) system applying and receiving signals. A computer first directs the RF system to produce a pulse that rotates net magnetization about an axis, and the coils establish three phase-encoding gradients along respective perpendicular directions.

Data are acquired as defined by the three gradients by sampling magnetic resonance signals during multiple time points in which no field gradients are established by the MRI system. This process eliminates any artifacts due to frequency encoding and enables accurate, spectroscopic imaging with higher spatial resolution.
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