Through Technologies

New Patents

Improved Micellar Delivery System for Hydrophobic or Fluorophilic Drugs

UW-Madison researchers have created highly stable and biocompatible micelles for the delivery of hydrophobic or fluorinated therapeutic agents. These micelles are self-assembled from semi-fluorinated copolymers consisting of discrete hydrophilic, fluorophilic and hydrophobic domains. Specifically, the copolymers may include blocks of polyethylene glycol, fluorocarbon and phospholipid.

Encapsulating hydrophobic and/or fluorophilic compounds with these micelles provides enhanced solubilization, protection and stabilization as compared to conventional drug delivery methods. The fluorophilic block effectively seals the hydrophobic core, making the micelles and therapeutic agents more stable, and can be modified to selectively “tune” the release rate of the encapsulated compound.  
(Dec 2, 2014) P06151US

Purification of Beta Casein from Milk

UW-Madison researchers have developed a novel, low-cost separation protocol for removing functional beta-casein from milk without adding unwanted by-products. This process allows a significant amount of highly soluble beta-casein to be extracted from milk, while also improving the cheese-making properties of the milk. Beta-casein is separated from other milk serum components using non-ceramic, cross-flow polymeric microfiltration membranes to form a permeate enriched in beta-casein. Milk may be cooled prior to microfiltration to enhance the separation. Beta-casein is then easily purified from this enriched permeate through demineralization. Cheese formed using the milk partially depleted of beta-casein has enhanced meltability and reduced bitterness, while the purified beta-casein exhibits improved yield, purity and solubility; excellent foaming and emulsification properties; and is suitable for use as a food product additive.
(Nov 18, 2014) P05143US

Cranberry Variety Trade Named "Sundance," with Large Berry Size and Favorable Bud Set Traits

UW–Madison researchers have developed a new variety of cranberry with the trade name “Sundance.” This variety was developed through a cross of the “Stevens” cultivar and a seedling selection of “Ben Lear” that offers significantly improved traits over its “Ben Lear” parent. “Sundance” is superior to the predominant cranberry cultivar “Stevens” in fruit size, overall coloration, yield potential and flower bud set. Also, under high crop loads, “Sundance” tolerates high levels of fertilizer to improve yield and flower bud set without causing excessive vine growth. Researchers believe that the improved fruit quality of “Sundance,” specifically larger size and solid cell structure, will result in an improved variety for sweetened dried cranberry production.

Growers interested in this cranberry variety should license the variety from WARF and obtain vines from one of the approved propagators listed below. The license between WARF and the grower must be in place before vines can be obtained.
  • Cranberry Creek Cranberries Inc.
  • Dempze Cranberry Co.
(Nov 18, 2014) P100154US01

Crystallized Vitamin D Analogs “MET-1” and “MET-2”

UW–Madison researchers now have developed a method using either diethyl ether or a mixture of 2-propanol and hexane to crystallize MET-1 and MET-2. This efficient process removes most of the contaminants from the synthetic forms, resulting in a highly pure product.
(Nov 11, 2014) P120098US02

Gravity- and Pressure-Controlled Valve System for Controlling Cerebrospinal Fluid in the Ventricular System

UW–Madison researchers have developed a system that allows drainage of excess CSF and prevents CSF overdrainage. A key insight is that cardiac pulsations can be transmitted inside the shunt tubing, creating a pulsatile pressure wave that propagates down the tubing. When this pressure wave hits a pressure differential valve, it can force the valve open during the systolic phase of the pressure wave, pumping some CSF through the valve with each systolic phase. In this way, CSF can be pumped across a valve as long as the peak pressure within the shunt tubing exceeds the preset pressure differential threshold for that valve, even if the mean pressure is below that same threshold. Overdrainage then occurs. The improved system and valve design prevent slit ventricle syndrome by addressing both gravity siphon effects and cardiac pulsations.

The improved system consists of tubing that leads from the ventricular system into a valve system that has two arms, a forward flow arm and a return flow arm. A one-way low threshold pressure differential valve is located in the forward flow arm. CSF that passes this first valve can either exit the valve system through a one-way higher threshold exit valve that leads into the peritoneal cavity, or it can flow through the return flow arm via a one-way low threshold valve that returns CSF back to the inlet side of the valve system. By choosing appropriate pressure differentials for the three valves, one can bracket the pressures on the inlet side between a set minimum and maximum value. If the ICP rises above the set maximum, then CSF will flow through the inlet valve and out the exit valve. If the ICP drops below the set minimum, then CSF will flow through the return valve and back towards the inlet side of the valve system, thus preventing overdrainage. The high threshold pressure differential exit valve also incorporates a gravity compensation unit that negates the gravity siphoning effect, regardless of the orientation of the patient. Thus, the net effect is to allow for drainage of excess CSF while preventing overdrainage due to either the cardiac pulsation or gravity siphon effect.
(Nov 4, 2014) P110042US01

New Method of Constructing a Quantum Cascade Laser with Improved Device Performance

UW–Madison researchers have developed a method to grow a QCL on compositionally graded metamorphic buffer layers. Unlike traditional QCLs that position the device directly on an InP or GaAs substrate, this method uses these substrates to grow the graded metamorphic buffer layers; this localizes dislocations and provides a platform with a larger lattice spacing on which to grow the QCL structures. Thus, the metamorphic buffer layers can be utilized as virtual substrates with a specified lattice spacing, opening up the palette of III/V alloys available for new device architectures and strain mitigation.

The researchers have developed a semiconductor structure comprising a GaAs substrate, a metamorphic buffer layer structure over the substrate and a quantum cascade structure over the metamorphic buffer layer structure. This QCL is characterized by its ability to emit light at 4.5 microns or less when under the influence of an applied electric field.
(Nov 4, 2014) P110156US01

VeA, a Global Regulator of Secondary Metabolism, Can Increase Production of Secondary Metabolites

UW-Madison researchers now have identified another global regulator of secondary metabolism, called VeA.  VeA is a conserved protein that interacts with LaeA in an as yet unknown mechanism.  Overexpression of veA upregulates secondary metabolism in A. flavus to a greater degree than overexpression of laeA.  This gene could be used to increase the production of important natural products, including novel products with medicinal value.
(Oct 28, 2014) P09056US02

Improved System for Large-Scale Production of Metal Matrix Nanocomposites

UW–Madison researchers have developed an apparatus for producing metal matrix nanocomposites on an industrial scale. The apparatus has three main integrated systems: a nanoparticle feeding system, a mechanical mixing system and a cavitation system. The apparatus also comprises a production chamber defining a cavity and a pumping conduit. In addition, the researchers have developed a method for producing MMNCs that involves introducing nanoparticle agglomerates into a volume of molten metal, wherein a flow is created that continuously carries the nanoparticle agglomerates.
(Oct 21, 2014) P110292US01

Low-Noise, Phase-Insensitive Linear Amplification at Microwave Frequencies

UW–Madison researchers have developed a system and method for a low-noise, phase-insensitive linear amplifier capable of accommodating readout signals from quantum computing applications, even when such signals reach frequencies in the RF and microwave range. The amplifier can improve signal-to-noise ratio significantly by incorporating a low-inductance device geometry that is compact, straightforward to model at microwave frequencies and readily integrated into an RF or microwave transmission line environment. The device’s input and output can be matched to transmission-line impedances.

The amplifier system includes an input providing a direct coupling configured to receive a high-frequency input signal. The system also includes an amplifier containing a dielectric material separating superconducting layers, forming an amplifier loop configured to receive the input signal and deliver an amplified signal. The system includes an output providing a direct coupling configured to deliver the amplified signal. A quantum information processing network is configured to receive and relay high-frequency signals. The network includes a signal source, a source of qubits and a linear cavity resonator. The network also includes a transmission line communication system configured to transmit and receive the high-frequency signal, and an amplifier coupled directly to the transmission line communication system through an input and output.
(Oct 14, 2014) P120028US01

Method for Quantification of R2* Relaxivity in Magnetic Resonance Imaging

UW–Madison researchers have developed a method for measuring R2* with MRI in which signal decays that occur as a result of macroscopic variations in the main magnetic field of the MRI system are incorporated into a chemical-shift based signal model. The model provides for the mitigation of errors due to macroscopic field variations and allows better signal-to-noise ratio performance compared to existing R2* measurements.

The method samples echo signals occurring at different echo times to acquire MRI image data. For each of the echo signals, a signal model is formed to account for relative signal components for each different chemical species, such as water and fat. Magnetic field inhomogeneity values associated with the MRI system are estimated by fitting the acquired image data to the signal models. This allows the creation of signal models that account for relative signal components for each different chemical species and signal decay resulting from macroscopic variations in the main magnetic field of the MRI system. The method also allows estimation of R2* for at least one of the chemical species by fitting the acquired image data to the signal models.
(Oct 7, 2014) P110135US01