New Patents

Algorithm for Selective Enhancement of Speech Signals

UW-Madison researchers have developed an audio signal enhancement system and method for speech processing, recognition and/or enhancement. Unlike traditional systems, this algorithm recognizes that contrast enhancement, when applied to non-pathological or unimpaired regions of the frequency spectrum, can actually impede a listener’s ability to understand the underlying speech. The system’s contrast enhancement algorithm and selective control mechanism provide a method to selectively manipulate or augment portions of an audio signal and allow other portions to be unenhanced or enhanced differently. As a result, this system can be used to preserve the ability of a listener to process the unenhanced or differently-enhanced portions of the audio signal.

The enhancement process is accomplished by dividing an input auditory signal into a plurality of spectral channels, and either performing or not performing enhancement on established subsets of the channels. Then the enhanced and unenhanced signals are combined to form a selectively enhanced output auditory signal.
(Jul 11, 2017) P100334US01

Flexible Thin-Film Transistors for Mass Production

UW–Madison researchers have developed a new approach for fabricating high performance radiofrequency TFTs. Their method enables mass production and takes advantage of recent improvements in nanoimprinting lithography (NIL) technology.

The new TFTs include a trench cut into the semiconductor layer that separates the source and drain regions. The trench provides the TFTs with a unique current flow path that helps prevent several issues (e.g., short channel effect) that typically arise at this scale. The fabrication process is so fine that the length of the channel region is on the order of submicrons.
(Jul 11, 2017) P150093US01

Gas-Phase Purification of Peptides Reaps Accuracy in Mass Spectrometry Quantitation

UW–Madison researchers have developed a method to eliminate interference by directly segregating ions of interest from similarly massed and charged non-targets or contaminants that were unintentionally co-isolated between stages of MS/MS.

This is accomplished using samples embedded with isobaric tags. Following initial ionization, an established proton transfer reaction (PTR) is commenced, reducing the charges of ions in the gas phase by introducing even-electron anions. The populations thus diverge according to mass-to-charge ratio, with the precursors of interest able to be selected.

During subsequent analysis of the purged ions, their tags are cleaved, fragmenting into charged particles that generate data readouts. Relative abundance of the purified peptides thus can be derived with significantly improved accuracy.
(Jul 4, 2017) P110234US02

Algorithm Improves Resolution of Time-Frequency Analysis for Medical Diagnostics, Telecommunications

UW-Madison researchers have developed a pseudo-wavelet algorithm known as the “damped-oscillator oscillator detector” (DOOD). This algorithm is unique among all wavelet and pseudo-wavelet algorithms in that it is the only algorithm that is explicitly based on modeling data as a “driving force” that interacts with a hypothetical set of mathematical oscillators. In the DOOD algorithm, an entirely new spectral density can be defined as the time rate of change in the energy specifically due to interaction with the data driving force, referred to as the data power. The data power measure is more sensitive to the presence or absence of data oscillators than traditional energy measures.

The DOOD algorithm allows an enormous frequency range to be spanned over as many orders of magnitude as desired. The instantaneous phase of oscillation and correlation functions can be calculated easily. The inverse of the DOOD transform is accomplished readily, which means that the DOOD algorithm also can be used to compress data. Any time-frequency or correlation analysis that can be accomplished by conventional means also can be accomplished using the DOOD algorithm, with the advantages of greater flexibility in defining the frequency range and better time resolution.
(Jun 27, 2017) P100227US01

Diagnostic Kit for Blastomycosis

UW–Madison researchers have developed a method for obtaining highly pure native BAD-1 protein that could be used to detect B. dermatitidis infection.

A solution containing native BAD-1 protein or fragments is collected from cultured fungus strains. The solution is combined with nickel-chelating resin, washed and eluted to obtain a highly pure form without the need for more expensive recombinant methods. This can be mixed and analyzed with a patient’s sample to determine if the fungus is present.
(Jun 27, 2017) P110280US02

Motor for Electric Vehicles Solves Load/Loss Tradeoff

UW–Madison researchers have developed a new IPM design methodology that offers a solution to conventional performance tradeoffs.

The new design features variable flux linkage characteristics to reduce iron and copper loss under low and high load conditions, respectively. The design does not compromise torque capability and exploits flux leakage already present in every PM machine. In other words, compared to previous IPMs, this technology is able to convert a weakness into an advantage.

More specifically, the rotor geometry is designed such that flux leakage can be shifted to cross the air gap and become desirable flux linkage when stator current is applied. It can be increased or decreased as needed based on load conditions.
(Jun 27, 2017) P120243US01

Qubit Measurement System Is Efficient, Scalable

UW–Madison researchers have developed a novel qubit measurement system based on counting microwave photons. The new system replaces currently used amplification and heterodyne detection techniques.

The measurement proceeds in three stages. First, the state of the qubit is mapped to the microwave photon occupation of a readout cavity. The occupation of the cavity is subsequently detected using the Josephson photomultiplier (JPM), a microwave-frequency photon counter. The measurement leads to a binary digital output: ‘click’ or ‘no click.’ The output may be transmitted to a single flux quantum (SFQ) circuit for classical processing.

SFQ circuits, like qubit circuits, are based on superconducting thin films. Therefore, the SFQ processor could be operated on the same cryogenic stage as the quantum circuit to make the system more compact and to reduce measurement latency. Other methods rely on wiring and electrical connections to take measurements and feed them to a room-temperature device for processing, resulting in losses and inefficiencies.
(Jun 27, 2017) P140246US01

All-Glass Optical Microresonator for Single Molecule Spectroscopy and More

Building on their previous work, the researchers have developed all-glass microtoroidal resonators with improved sensitivity (i.e., superior Q/V ratio). Unlike their SiO2 on Si counterparts, the new resonators can be made chip scale – a significant advantage. Moreover, the use of glass in place of silicon makes the platform more desirable for applications including label-free sensing due to optical transparency in the visible region. Additionally, glass is a robust, chemically inert material and more biocompatible than silicon.

The new fabrication method follows the same general scheme as the previously developed oxide-on-silicon toroids, but the materials are inverted. This results in a silicon toroid atop an oxide pillar, followed by thermal oxidation to form an all-glass structure in the final step.
(Jun 13, 2017) P150382US01

Potential for Vaccine Against Johne’s Disease

UW–Madison researchers have developed MAP strains with mutated global gene regulators (GGRs) that may be utilized in a vaccine against Johne’s disease.

GGRs are proteins needed for initiating RNA synthesis, for example, sigma factors and transcriptional regulators. By deleting, inactivating or reducing some key GGR sequences in MAP bacteria, non-virulent strains could be produced and administered to animals to confer immunity.
(May 30, 2017) P130200US02

Preventing Septic Shock and Death with Peptide Antibodies

UW–Madison researchers have identified gastrointestinal tract, e.g., mucosal, inflammation as a key factor in SIRS. From this breakthrough, they have developed oral peptide antibodies to control the inflammation and/or prevent translocation of intestinal luminal bacteria into systemic circulation. The antibodies specifically bind sPLA2-IB, a pancreatic enzyme traditionally thought to only be involved in the digestion of dietary phospholipids. The antibodies are prepared using standard techniques and may be humanized or avian egg yolk antibodies. They are preferably administered as an oral pharmaceutical.
(May 23, 2017) P120312US01