New Patents

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.
(Jul 28, 2020) P160048US02

Improved System for Stroke Therapy and Rehabilitation

UW-Madison researchers have developed an improved system for stroke therapy and rehabilitation.  This system collects movement intention signals from the brain in real-time via EEG and initiates functional electrical stimulation (FES) of the appropriate muscle(s) to assist the neurons in regrowing their connections from the brain to the muscles along the correct pathways.  Additional general sensory stimulation may be added to this therapy to further encourage proper neuron regrowth. 
(Jul 14, 2020) P09245US02

Point-of-Care Obstetrical Imaging for Minimally or Untrained Birth Attendants

UW–Madison researchers with expertise in ultrasound technology and maternal-fetal health have designed a simplified, low cost ultrasound device to help minimally or untrained care providers recognize complications in pregnant women and make appropriate referrals. The operator does not need to interpret technical images.

The device is manually swept across the patient’s abdomen; automated algorithms extract critical structural information from these manual sweeps and convert the data into a 3-D model. Sequential estimation techniques are used to assess fetal gestational age, growth, presentation and number, as well as placental location.

The system features three main improvements:
  1. A specialized transducer fits comfortably in the hand, unlike conventional probes.
  2. The easy-to-understand interface guides the operator to move the probe across the patient’s abdomen; sonographic training is not required.
  3. If the device detects potential complications (e.g., if the fetus is malpresented, or the placenta is over the cervix) an alarm/flash will signal that the patient should be evaluated by a trained care provider.
(Jul 14, 2020) P160185US02

‘Smart’ Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunt

UW–Madison neurological surgeons and their collaborators have developed a ‘smart’ shunt that is self-regulating and overcomes the issue of over-drainage associated with all commercially available systems.

The new system features continuous intracranial pressure sensing and a novel valve design actuated by a piezoelectric lever. An external wireless transmitter (e.g., RFID device) connected to a computer enables physicians to control the shunt, to set parameters or thresholds for the valve.

By monitoring intracranial pressure and continuously alternating between opened/closed valve position, the system prevents fluid from constantly draining. This allows the surrounding tissue to rebound from the catheter holes, allows the brain to retain its normal shape, and mitigates blockage concerns.
(Jul 14, 2020) P170214US01

Thermogel for Combination Drug Delivery

UW–Madison researchers have developed hydrogels for delivering drug combinations to cancer patients. The gel is made of a solution of heat-sensitive, biodegradable block copolymers (PLGA-PEG-PLGA) that turn semisolid at body temperature.

The gel can contain a combination of therapeutic agents like rapamycin, paclitaxel and 17-AAG. After being administered to a patient, the gel releases the drugs at a controlled rate, and then biodegrades into nontoxic fragments.
(Jun 16, 2020) P130338US03

Natural Antibiotic to Treat Clostridium Infection and More

UW–Madison researchers have identified a potential new antibiotic to treat infections caused by C. difficile, Staphylococcus and other drug-resistant strains. The compound is a natural product called ecteinamycin. It was discovered and isolated from a sea squirt bacterium (Actinomadura). Preliminary data suggests ecteinamycin is potent, selective and able to protect cells against bacterial toxins.
(May 26, 2020) P140428US02

New Technology for Measuring Stress in Tendons, Ligaments and Muscles

UW–Madison researchers have developed a new device and technique for dynamically, noninvasively and accurately measuring longitudinal stress in tendons, muscles and ligaments in vivo.

The inventors use skin-mounted accelerometers to measure transverse wave speeds in superficial tissues under time-varying loading scenarios. Such wave speed propagation metrics are then used to determine tissue stress based on a wave propagation model.
(Apr 28, 2020) P150362US01

Field Portable Smartphone Device for Water Quality Monitoring

A University of Wisconsin-Green Bay professor of chemistry has developed a portable, accurate, low cost, smartphone-based analytical device for the field-measurement and geographical mapping of environmentally relevant water quality parameters. In its current embodiment, the device is a colorimeter for measuring absorbance that includes a visible light source with onboard power, imaging filters, a sample cuvette, and a mounting mechanism for attachment to a smartphone or tablet. An accompanying app is used to record camera images of samples and convert them to numerical absorbance data for analysis. The app will be further developed to allow integration with an online ArcGIS platform for uploading and mapping the data.
(Apr 21, 2020) T150032US02

Enhanced Blood-Brain Barrier Model Outperforms All Others

UW–Madison researchers have developed a more realistic, reproducible in vitro model of the BBB. The model uses either human embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells as a source of BMECs.

These cells are treated with retinoic acid to produce further BBB maturation and improve barrier properties. They are purified and co-cultured with other types of neurovascular cells, including pericytes, astrocytes and differentiated neural progenitor cells (NPCs).
(Mar 17, 2020) P130017US02

Computer Accelerator System Boosts Efficiency

UW–Madison researchers have developed a specialized memory access processor that takes over the job of feeding data to the accelerator. It is placed between the main processor and the accelerator.

The circuit is specialized for a narrow task, in this case performing memory access and address calculations. It is as fast as the main OOO processor yet more efficient. The main OOO processor – free from memory access duties – may switch to an energy conserving sleep mode until the accelerator is finished, or may move on to other tasks.
(Mar 17, 2020) P140164US01