New Patents

New Protein Production Strategy for Plants

UW–Madison researchers have identified a new plant viral IRES that can facilitate the efficient expression of multiple proteins from a single mRNA. The researchers discovered the new IRES in the Triticum mosaic virus (TriMV), a wheat virus that expresses 10 proteins from a single mRNA strand.
(Jan 30, 2018) P140069US02

High-Throughput Genome Editing and Engineering of Industrial Yeast, Other Fungi

UW–Madison researchers have developed expression cassettes that facilitate genome editing and sequence replacement in fungi at an extraordinarily high rate. Their HERP (Haploid Engineering Replacement Protocol) cassettes combine thymidine kinase (TK) enzyme with meganucleases, and permit hundreds of thousands of independent transformations to be obtained in a single experiment.

TK (from human Herpes Simplex Virus) serves as both a selectable and counter-selectable marker. Since the common ancestor of all fungi lacked the gene, the marker is likely of nearly pan-fungal utility. Relevant species should include Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Saccharomyces mikatae, Saccharomyces kudriavzevii, Saccharomyces uvarum and Neurospora crassa.
(Jan 30, 2018) P140240US03

Generating Vasculogenic Cell Populations from Human Stem Cells

UW–Madison researchers have developed a method for generating substantially pure populations of vasculogenic cells (i.e., pericytes and smooth muscle cells) from induced pluripotent stem cells following their differentiation into mesenchymal colony-forming progenitors, called mesenchymoangioblasts (MABs).

The process includes culturing the progenitors in a serum-free medium under conditions that promote differentiation to MABs. Subsequently, the MABs are cultured in medium containing PDGFBB to obtain pericytes, or sphingosylphosphorylcholine (SPC) and transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) to obtain smooth muscle cells.
(Jan 16, 2018) P130364US02

Database Engine for Faster Analytics

UW–Madison researchers have developed “Widetable,” a query processing method that provides a faster and more efficient means for scanning data across multiple tables.

The method accelerates queries by denormalizing multiple tables of a relational database into a smaller number of “wide row” tables using an outer join function. Such denormalization substantially increases the amount of data that must be stored to represent the database. While this might be expected to slow scan rates, speed is gained by eliminating other time-consuming operations.
(Jan 16, 2018) P140266US01

Implantable Cancer Drug Delivery Device Signals the Future of Personalized Medicine

UW–Madison researchers have developed a new microfluidic device that allows efficient, minimally invasive delivery of drugs within a tumor, sparing patients from the unnecessary drug toxicity of full and indeterminate chemotherapy regimens.

With nothing more than a hypodermic needle, researchers and clinicians are able to administer small implantable devices containing concentrations of chemotherapeutic compounds to the primary tumor. Each device remains anchored and stable by deploying small barbs upon implantation. Specific drugs or drug combinations can be delivered to different areas of the tumor. Surgical removal of the tumor with the devices in place enables assessment of drug efficacy on affected cells.
(Jan 16, 2018) P150255US01

Provoking Anti-Tumor Immune Response with Rhamnose

UW–Madison researchers have developed L-rhamnose antigen-lipid conjugates for provoking anti-tumor immune responses in humans and other animals. The conjugates can be inserted into tumor cell membranes where they attract cancer-fighting cytotoxic T cells.

The conjugates contain at least two L-rhamnose moieties connected to a lipid (such as DPoPE) via a standard linker. They are structured to invade tumor cell membranes and display antigen on the cell surface. The new conjugates could be combined with other chemotherapeutic agents and administered as a pharmaceutical injection or ointment.
(Jan 9, 2018) P120290US02

Improved Neuron Electrode Array Uses Graphene

UW–Madison researchers have designed a new micro-ECoG device that is flexible and transparent over a broad spectrum. The device includes an implantable electrode array made of conductive graphene sheets on a biocompatible substrate.

Both the substrate and the graphene sheets are transparent over a broad range of wavelengths in the UV, IR and visible spectrum. This allows light to be passed through the array and the underlying tissue for imaging purposes or optical stimulation.

The device is called CLEAR (Carbon Layered Electrode Array).
(Jan 9, 2018) P140254US01

More Efficient Water-Splitting Cells

UW–Madison researchers have developed a method for synthesizing nanoporous BiVO4 electrodes with large surface areas. The material is made up of a porous network of BiVO4 particles smaller than 150 nm and coated with oxygen evolution catalyst. The small size of the particles addresses prior drawbacks by increasing a property called electron–hole separation yield. The material is made by applying a vanadium solution to a type of bismuth crystal. The mixture is heated and converted into a porous network of BiVO4 particles.
(Jan 2, 2018) P140325US01

Axial Flux-Switching Permanent Magnet Machine for High Speed Operation

UW–Madison researchers have developed a new axial FSPM machine that can be run at high speed with less fundamental frequency required, therefore overcoming one of the largest barriers to adoption. The new design features innovative axial flux topologies with offset rotor and/or stator structures.
(Jan 2, 2018) P150249US01

Consumer-Friendly Test for Detecting Very Small Amounts of Bacteria or Other Cells

UW–Madison researchers have developed a novel method for detecting very low levels of bacteria or other cells. In this method, which is suitable for over-the-counter use by consumers, the aggregation of nanoparticles indicates the absence of the target, rather than the presence of the target as in commercially available tests.

The method uses a bifunctional linker. One portion of the linker binds to a target, while a second portion facilitates aggregation of nanoparticles. When the linker is bound to the target, little nanoparticle aggregation occurs. When the target is absent, the linker is available to facilitate aggregation of the nanoparticles. This aggregation can be observed through visual or other means, providing a simple yet sensitive method for detecting pathogenic microorganisms.
(Dec 26, 2017) P100326US02