New Patents

Use of Salate Derivatives to Treat Multiple Sclerosis

UW–Madison researchers led by Prof. Hector DeLuca have discovered that two specific salate esters commonly found in sunscreen almost completely prevented experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) development in mice without affecting body weight. Salicylates are well-known nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); the complete suppression of EAE by topical administration of homosalate and octyl salicylate is a novel finding.
(Oct 8, 2019) P160384US02

Grass Modified for Easier Bioprocessing

The researchers have identified another gene of interest in rice, corn/maize and other grasses, called p-coumarate monolignol transferase (PMT). This is the first gene reportedly involved in the acylation of lignin monomers. In essence, interfering with this gene could make plants more amenable to biorefining.
(Oct 1, 2019) P120040US02

Lipid-Free Emulsions for Delivering Anesthesia, Other Hydrophobic Drugs

UW–Madison researchers have developed non-lipid nanoemulsions for delivering propofol and other hydrophobic compounds. The formulations contain miniscule droplets of semifluorinated block copolymers and phospholipid surfactants, and are highly stable without the need for conventional lipid components like soybean oil.

The ingredients can be adjusted to (i) enhance stability, (ii) accelerate or slow drug release rates and (iii) increase shelf life.
(Oct 1, 2019) P140235US02

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.
(Oct 1, 2019) P160252US02

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.
(Oct 1, 2019) P160341US02

Assay to Determine Risk of Fungal Infection

More specifically, the researchers have developed a detection agent made up of calnexin peptides that recognize the telltale signs of infection. The peptides are able to track how a patient’s helper T cells respond to infection and/or vaccination.
(Sep 17, 2019) P140236US02

Rechargeable Desalination Battery

UW–Madison researchers have designed a rechargeable desalination cell that can operate on seawater and is capable of performing a desalination/salination cycle with a net potential input as low as 0.2 volts. The cell comprises a sodium-storage electrode coupled to a chloride-storage electrode made of nanocrystalline bismuth foam.

The bismuth-based electrodes are able to store chloride ions in their bulk by oxidizing Bi to BiOCl in the presence of an oxygen source, such as water. Advantageously, BiOCl is insoluble in water over a wide pH range and inert against water oxidation. It also is stable over a wide range of anodic potentials. As a result, the new electrodes can be used for chloride removal in a variety of aqueous sources.

The BiOCl electrode can be converted back to a bismuth electrode by a reduction reaction, where the chloride ions are released into the electrolyte. This reverse reaction allows for the repeated use of the electrode for chloride storage/release via multiple chlorination/dechlorination cycles.
(Sep 17, 2019) P170083US01

Method for Data-Consistency Preparation and Improved Image Reconstruction

Recognizing the link between data consistency and artifact mitigation, UW–Madison professor Guang-Hong Chen has developed an improved processing method that is applicable across modalities, including CT imaging, PET, SPECT and MRI.

The new method provides a practical means to define a data inconsistency metric (DIM) that can be used to locally characterize the inconsistency level of each acquired datum or a view of acquired data. The DIM can be used in a data classification technique to select an optimal data set with a minimal data inconsistency level to reconstruct images with minimal artifact contamination.

The acquired datasets can be classified into one or more subsets based upon the value of DIM. After data classification, a reconstruction technique, such as the SMART-RECON algorithm pioneered by Prof. Chen, can be used to reconstruct these sub-images. Each sub-image is consistent with the subset of the projection view angles for a given range of DIM values. The result is substantially improved images.
(Sep 17, 2019) P170192US01

Single-Shot Vascular MR Imaging Without Contrast Agent

UW–Madison researchers have developed a non-contrast-enhanced MR angiography and venography (MRAV) method that can acquire arterial-specific signals in one imaging slice and venous-specific signals in another slice during a single cardiac cycle.

In the MRAV approach, radio frequency (RF) saturation pulses may be applied to one or more slabs to selectively suppress MR signals flowing into a selected imaging slice. In this way, the pulses may be selected and timed to suppress venous blood signals in an arterial imaging slice, or to suppress arterial blood signals in a venous imaging slice.

The RF saturation pulses and single-shot acquisitions may be timed to occur during substantially steady state inflow into the respective imaging slice.
(Sep 10, 2019) P130045US01

Improved Manufacture of Porous Materials for Catalysis and More

A UW–Madison researcher has developed a new method for manufacturing porous metal-oxygen based materials. The method achieves structures with controlled porosity and shape based on air oxidation.

In brief, the materials are produced from metal alloys via an oxidative dealloying process that selectively removes one or more elements from the alloy and converts remaining elements into a stable metal-oxygen matrix having a controlled porosity. Once fabricated, the porous matrices are post-treated to render them suitable for various downstream applications.
(Aug 20, 2019) P160073US01