Technologies

New Inventions

Nylon-3 Polymers to Treat Fungal Infections

UW–Madison researchers have found that nylon-3 polymers developed in their lab display potent antifungal activity against a broad spectrum of common fungal pathogens, with minimal toxicity towards mammalian cells. The polymers have some activity alone, and when used in combination with existing drugs provide synergistic effects against Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans and Aspergillus fumigatus strains, including some resistant strains.

Synergistic combination offers efficacy with significantly reduced amounts of drug and corresponding toxicity, which could potentially expand the relevant patient population.

The polymers were designed to resemble host-defense peptides (HDPs), which are natural molecules that exhibit antimicrobial activities.
(Dec 21, 2017) P170021US02

Analogs of Diptoindonesin G for Breast Cancer Drug Development

UW–Madison researchers have synthesized analogs of Dip G that have shown a greater ability than the parent molecule to decrease ERα expression and stabilize ERβ in cultured breast cancer cells. The compounds are active for ameliorating, attenuating and halting the growth/metastasis of breast cancers.
(Aug 29, 2017) P170010US02

Physics ‘Office Hours’ educational learning platform

A physics education researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has designed a novel and interactive app-based study aid platform for students in STEM disciplines. The platform’s interface is built around education research into how students conceptualize problems they do not understand. It is a novel tool to help students see why they are struggling with a particular problem, and what might help them solve it, rather than solving the problem for them. The team’s first working prototype, the Physics Office Hours app, has been designed for use in introductory-level college physics. The app is designed to mimic a scenario students might face during ‘office hours’ with a professor: Rather than offering an answer, the instructor guides the students through problems via a series of questions. A user-friendly online interface allows app content to be easily updated and changed over time and as more problem sets become available. In addition, the app architecture can easily be adapted to problem sets in other STEM disciplines and therefore serves as a platform technology.
(Jun 27, 2017) T150035US01

Efficient In Vitro Assay for Antigen-Specific Tolerance

Building on their work, UW–Madison researchers have now developed a T cell-bound cytokine (T-CBC) assay for detecting and quantifying regulatory T cells specific to self-antigens or donor alloantigens. The new method comprises (a) culturing the subject’s T cells for 24 hours in the presence of one or more target antigens and (b) analyzing the cultured T cells for expression of a marker (EBi3; TGFβ/LAP) indicative of antigen-specific immune suppression.
(Jun 9, 2017) P160186US02

Genetic Testing for Acquired Peripheral Neuropathy in Dogs

UW–Madison researchers have identified a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) that is predictive of APN syndrome in dogs, based on a genome-wide association study. Using a population of Labrador retrievers (56 cases and 26 controls), the researchers have shown that a SNP on CFA1 tags the causal variant for APN in the Labrador retriever breed.
(May 19, 2017) P160048US02

Rhinovirus-C Peptide for Development of Vaccines and Antivirals

UW–Madison researchers have identified novel immunogenic peptides from RV-C that are useful targets for therapeutic antibodies.

Recent advances in microscopy enabled the researchers to determine (with atomic resolution) the structure of an RV-C strain, both in its full, infectious form and as native empty particles. The structures highlighted immunogenic surfaces that could be used to design antivirals or vaccines against RV-C.
(Apr 19, 2017) P160341US02

Lignin-Derived Aldehydes as Antifungal Agents

UW–Madison researchers have identified a set of compounds within the lignin biosynthesis pathway that exhibit pronounced antifungal activity against both plant and animal pathogens. The compounds are: p-hydroxycoumaryl aldehyde, coniferyl aldehyde and sinapyl aldehyde.

They show inhibition of the plant pathogens Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (‘white mold’), Alternaria solani (early blight), Alternaria alternata (leaf spot, etc.) as well as the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the human pathogen Candida albicans, which is responsible for a host of infections prevalent in immunocompromised patients. Additionally, the compounds show strong inhibition of the oomycete pathogen Phytophthora, displaying complete inhibition of growth at 250 µg/mL.
(Apr 17, 2017) P160167US02

Imaging Technique for Recognizing Hand Gestures & Other Micromotions in 3-D

UW–Madison researchers have developed a new imaging technique that analyzes speckle patterns to track extremely small 3-D motions on the order of 10-100 microns. This technique enables, for the first time, precise 3-D measurement of multiple moving objects using low-cost, off-the-shelf components.
(Apr 10, 2017) P170202US01

Industrial Streptomyces with Capability to Grow on Cheap and Abundant Cellulose

Building on their work, the researchers have developed an optimized set of enzymes useful to create Streptomyces with the capability to grow on cellulosic polysaccharide substrates. The method enables industrially relevant strains to grow on cellulose as the sole carbon source.

Using an engineered plasmid expression system derived from the ActE strain, the researchers transformed two commercial species (S. lividans and S. venezuelae) and showed that they were able to grow on filter paper as the sole carbon source. Other suitable host stains include S. coelicolor, S. griseus, S. clavuligerus, S. hygroscopicus, S. viridochromogenes and S. avermitilis.
(Apr 4, 2017) P160252US02