Through Technologies

New Patents

Electrically Small, Super-Directive Antennas Inspired by Insect Anatomy

A UW–Madison researcher has developed an electrically small array that converts super-resolving antennas to super-directive antennas by utilizing a phase shifter. The resolution enhancement increases the total amount of collected power and the overall signal-to-noise output.

The receiver system includes two antennas and a processing circuit with a differential phase shifter (DPS). The second antenna receives a signal, which then is phase shifted as a function of its angle of incidence relative to the array’s boresight axis. An output signal can be configured by combining the phase-shifted signal with the first antenna’s original signal.

Three distinct DPS methods can achieve the same result. Active DPS can be implemented using a mixer, filters, amplifiers and voltage controlled phase shifter. Direct DPS is another analog process, while digital DPS samples and processes the antenna signals digitally.
(Sep 30, 2014) P120184US01

More Efficient and Reliable High Power Quantum Cascade Lasers

UW–Madison researchers have developed a design to reduce threshold-current density and virtually suppress electron leakage using certain multiquantum well structures in the active regions of QCL devices. The structures are designed to work reliably over long periods of time at high efficiency and power (i.e., watt range) during quasi-continuous or continuous wave (CW) operation.

Known methods may be used to fabricate the semiconductor structure and laser devices and to form the electron injector, active region and electron extractor. The active region features a series of quantum wells and barriers of various alloy compositions. The energies of the first and second barrier in the active region are less than the third barrier.
(Sep 30, 2014) P120315US01

Multilayered Film for Delivering Proteins and Other Small Molecules into Cells

UW-Madison researchers have developed a new way of delivering proteins and other small molecules into cells. This approach uses a cationic “anchor” to improve incorporation of proteins into multilayered films.

Before the protein or small molecule is integrated into the film, a cationic protein transduction domain, such as nonaarginine, is attached to it. Appending short, cationic peptides or oligomers to proteins can facilitate their layer-by-layer assembly into PEMs, as well as their uptake by cells.

Then the cationic molecule is incorporated into a polyelectrolyte multilayered film, along with anionic polymers such as sodium polystyrene sulfonate, to result in a multilayered assembly that is preferably about 80 nanometers thick. When this composition is presented to a cell, the film dissolves, delivering the molecule to the cell.
(Sep 16, 2014) P07251US

High-Symmetry, Bicontinuous Lyotropic Liquid Crystals with Percolating Nanoscale Domains

UW–Madison researchers have developed a new class of anionic Gemini amphiphiles based on aliphatic carboxylic acids that exhibit a strong propensity to form G-phase LLC assemblies in an aqueous solution. Moreover, these G-phases are broadly stable between 25 and 100 degrees Celsius and across a wide range of amphiphile concentrations (up to 20 weight percent).

The LLC-forming material comprises water or another polar solvent and an anionic Gemini (“twin tail”) surfactant containing at least one carboxylate moiety. This scaffold furnishes ready access to useful, high-symmetry Q-phase LLCs having well-defined pore wall functionalities that can be readily tuned by chemical synthesis for specific applications.
(Sep 16, 2014) P120009US01

Easy Test for β-lactoglobulin (BLG) Milk Allergen

UW–Madison researchers have developed a simple, rapid test for detecting and quantifying BLG in food. Their method takes advantage of the fact that current signals passed through a hydrogen peroxide solution will be diminished if BLG is present.

Specifically, a known concentration of hydrogen peroxide is added to a sample suspected of containing BLG. The sample is electrolyzed using a working electrode at a fixed potential sufficient to electrolyze any BLG. The current signal within the sample is measured and compared to control curves. If BLG is present, the signal will be smaller than expected. The more the signal is diminished, the greater the concentration of BLG in the sample.
(Sep 16, 2014) P120220US01

Benzodiazepine Derivatives with Reduced Side Effects for Treatment of Neuropathic Pain

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have developed new benzodiazepine derivatives useful in the treatment of neuropathic pain with reduced sedative and ataxic effects. GABA is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Non-selective benzodiazepine drugs, such as valium, act by enhancing the inhibitory effects of GABA at GABAA receptors in the CNS. These drugs broadly target GABAA receptors containing a1, a2, a3, or a5 subunits.

Recently, it was discovered that the various effects of non-selective benzodiazepines are specifically mediated through certain a subunit-containing GABAA receptor populations in the brain. a1-containing GABAA receptors control sedation, whereas the anti-anxiety and anti-pain activity works mainly through a2 and a3 receptors. a5 receptors play critical roles in learning and memory consolidation.

The inventors of this technology have produced GABAA receptor agonists specific for a2 and a3 receptors. Because the compounds do not affect a1 receptors, they have significant neuropathic pain protection without sedative and ataxic effects. In addition, the compounds are anxiolytic and anti-convulsant. The inventors are carrying out pre-clinical testing of these compounds by conducting in vitro studies and animal studies in rats, mice and monkeys. These compounds were found to have significant neuropathic pain protection in mice and rats without causing sedation, muscle relaxation or ataxic effect.
(Sep 10, 2014) T09021US02

Improved Highly Constrained Image Reconstruction (HYPR) Method

UW-Madison researchers have developed an improvement to the HYPR process in which a higher quality composite image may be produced when subject motion is present during the scan. The composite image is produced by accumulating data from a series of acquired image frames, and the number of image frames used is determined by the amount and nature of subject motion. Subject motion is determined on a pixel-by-pixel basis, and the integration of each pixel with the composite image is based on the detected motion. This adaptation allows the best image possible to be produced when the subject moves during the scan.

The method can be applied to digital subtraction angiography (DSA) and X-ray fluoroscopy by acquiring a series of image frames as a contrast agent flows into the area being imaged. The improved HYPR method then is used to form the composite image on a region-by-region basis.
(Sep 2, 2014) P07487US

Blue-Green Phytochrome-Based Fluorophores with Strong Fluorescence

UW–Madison researchers have created unique blue-green fluorophores with increased fluorescence.  These fluorescent molecules were created by targeted mutation of particular amino acid residues in the phytochrome domain from wild type cyanobacteria such as Thermosynechococcus elongatus.  They have several advantages over currently used reporters such as GFP or luciferase, including their thermostability and small size.  Additionally, different fluorophores can be used to “fine tune” the excitation/emission to a particular wavelength to meet the needs of a specific system or experiment.
(Sep 2, 2014) P08462US02

Synthesis of Low-Cost, High-Density DNA Microarrays

UW-Madison researchers have developed a system and method for synthesizing DNA microarrays using a device that includes a reduction optics assembly and a target assembly. These new components incorporate image reduction and precision stage motion into the synthesis process, increasing the density of the DNA chip to 25 times the density of a traditional microarray while maintaining the cost per feature. As a result, the system offers a significant reduction in the cost of DNA microarrays by increasing the amount of information contained within the microarray while keeping the consumables necessary for the process constant when compared to similar technologies.
(Aug 26, 2014) P08067US

Lignin-Metal Complex Formation to Enhance Biofuel Production Processes

UW-Madison researchers have developed a method of cellulose hydrolysis using metal compounds to prevent the non-productive adsorption of enzymes by lignin during biofuel production. Metal compounds such as ferrous, magnesium and calcium compounds are used to form lignin-metal complexes. The formation of the lignin-metal complex prevents adsorption of enzymes by deactivating the non-productive adsorption sites on lignin. As a result, more enzymes are available for efficient cellulose saccharification. The formation of a lignin-metal complex allows a pretreatment step with no high-volume wash involved, reducing the energy and water costs associated with the biofuel production process.
(Aug 26, 2014) P100184US02