Through Technologies

New Patents

Statistical Imaging Reconstruction Is Faster, Cuts Noise

A UW–Madison researchers has developed an iterative reconstruction method that simultaneously achieves high convergence speed and high parallelizability. The method can work with various medical imaging systems, including CT, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), X-ray angiography and positron emission tomography (PET).

In general, a nonlinear reconstruction problem is decomposed into separate linear sub-problems that can be solved more efficiently. The statistical image reconstruction process is decomposed into a statistically weighted algebraic reconstruction update sequence. After this step, the image is de-noised using a regularization function.
(Dec 8, 2015) P130341US01

Improved Infrared-Responsive Hydrogel for Use in Microfluidics and Optics

UW–Madison researchers have developed an improved infrared-responsive hydrogel by incorporating graphene oxide flakes into a thermo-responsive hydrogel polymer. These composite hydrogels have an intrinsically higher surface area and absorbance band than conventional metal nanoparticles, resulting in a larger volumetric change in response to infrared light. The researchers also have provided a microfluidic device and a lens structure that incorporate these composite hydrogels as actuators. Both devices can be operated by heating the composite hydrogel in its swollen state to a temperature sufficient enough to shrink its volume. The hydrogel can be restored to its original volume by allowing it to cool and re-swell. In the microfluidic device volume reduction of the hydrogel allows fluid to flow through a channel and in the lens structure volume change relates to a change in focal length. 
(Nov 24, 2015) P120025US01

Designing Ubiquitin Oligomers

UW–Madison researchers have developed methods for synthesizing oligomers of Ub and Ub-like polypeptides with a well-defined number of Ub units. The oligomers are constructed using thioether groups rather than the natural isopeptide linkages. The thioether groups may be designed to closely mimic the native isopeptide or may be varied.

Methods for preparing and coupling Ub building blocks (i.e., monomers) also are provided.
(Nov 24, 2015) P120240US02

Snap-On Microfluidic Lid for Handheld Diagnostics and Chemical Tests

UW–Madison researchers have developed a microfluidic design and method that supports rapid and simplified handheld diagnostics and assays.

The device is formed in two separate sections— a base and a functionalized lid—that can be snapped together. The base has channels running between two ports. The lid, which is disposable and holds a well prepackaged with selected liquids like a drug or chemical, has a piercing mechanism. When pressed to the base, the membrane covering the well is perforated and the substance induced to flow down into the base, through its channels and back up into the lid’s absorption pad.

The functionalized lid can not only pump, but also can be designed to apply a chemical gradient using wells filled with hydrogel and reagents that diffuse into the channels.
(Nov 17, 2015) P110044US01

Unleashing Biomass Sugars Using Bromine Salt

UW–Madison researchers have developed a process for hydrolyzing lignocellulosic biomass in concentrated aqueous solutions of inorganic bromine salt with a small amount of acid. The process breaks down the lignocellulose material (corn stover, saw dust, hardwood, softwood, etc.) into fermentable sugars without pretreatment.

The reaction works on the raw lignocellulosic biomass for 5-200 minutes at moderate temperatures, hydrolyzing cellulose and hemicellulose and releasing monosaccharides for subsequent biofuel or chemical production. Lignin separates from the product sugars and can be filtered out for use in co-products. The bromine salt, like LiBr or CaBr2, also can be recovered and reused.
(Nov 17, 2015) P110209US02

Improved GPU Performance by Memory-Link Compression

A UW–Madison researcher has developed a GPU design for faster data transfer by compressing and decompressing data passed between the units and their memories.

The computational elements of the GPU are adapted to receive, execute and output data through connected memory channels. A compressor/decompressor associated with each channel prepares the data for reading and storage.
(Nov 17, 2015) P120224US01

Broad Application Bioresorbable Polymers

A researcher at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point has developed a series of reversible cross linked biocompatible films with straightforward monomer synthesis from mercaptosuccinic acid and succinic acid. Base monomers are polymerized or crosslinked in a highly robust reaction without the need for protection and deprotection allowing for the creation of a wide variety of difunctional and polyfunctional monomers. To date polymers with a wide range of properties have been created, from those that are transparent and flexible to hard and tough polymers. The crosslinking is conducted at a low temperature and little to no lactic acid is needed depending on the application. These crosslinking reactions offer the unique feature of being readily reversible allowing for depolymerized to base monomers without degradation lending the polymers to highly effective recycling for sustainable commodity applications. The monomers can also have application in copolymers and dendrimers.
(Nov 17, 2015) T100002US02

Atmospheric Growth of Vertically Oriented Graphene

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee have developed an atmospheric pressure based deposition method to produce vertically oriented graphene nanosheets, two-dimensional ‘graphitic’ platelets standing vertically on silicon, stainless steel and copper substrates. The resulting product shows increased surface area compared to traditional horizontally oriented graphene structures. Early data shows improved performance when compared to existing materials. Early research has shown the method to be amenable to continuous production.
(Nov 17, 2015) T130004US02

Improved Method for Density Multiplication and Lithography via Directed Block Copolymer Assembly

UW–Madison researchers now have developed an improved method to create dense, uniform nanoscale patterns via integration of lithographic techniques and self-assembling block copolymer technology.  The method involves chemical patterning, for example by electron-beam lithography, to activate desired regions on a substrate.  Then a block copolymer film possessing a specific structure and composition is deposited on the patterned substrate.  Upon perturbation of the system, microphase separation of copolymer domains becomes thermodynamically favorable, which generates a second pattern comprising the constituents of the original block copolymer.

The second pattern may have greater density and resolution than the first pattern, depending on the particular block copolymer and desired pattern.  In certain applications of the improved method, density can be increased by a factor of four, resolution can be doubled and superior pattern uniformity can be achieved. 

When employed with other chemical etching techniques, the improved patterning method can be used to fabricate a substrate possessing one to seven trillion features per square inch with a deviation less than one nanometer from ideal placement.  The features patterned on the substrate may include cylinders parallel or perpendicular to the surface, hemispheres or rows.  These techniques could be used to manufacture hard drives or similar disk storage systems that could hold much more information per unit area than surfaces prepared by traditional lithographic methods.
(Nov 10, 2015) P09061US

GMP Protein Burns Fat, Boosts Bone Strength in Women

UW–Madison researchers have developed dietary approach to increase bone mineralization and fat metabolism in female humans and animals using GMP. The peptide can be isolated from whey using standard methods and administered in an effective amount as a food product, nutraceutical or dietary supplement.
(Nov 10, 2015) P110272US03