New Patents

Generating Medical Isotopes with Safer Vessel and Materials

Wisconsin researchers have developed a ring-shaped, or annular, fissile solution vessel for generating medical isotopes.

The assembly holds three nested chambers. Ions are first directed into an internal target chamber containing a gas. The neutrons that are generated pass outward, through a cooling jacket, into the surrounding fissile solution vessel. This vessel contains an aqueous composition of nuclear material and is shaped to increase heat transfer area to volume. Neutrons strike the nuclear material, generating isotopes and additional neutrons. The solution vessel is separated by another cooling jacket from an outer chamber that reflects neutrons.
(Jun 25, 2019) P120047US01

Compound Combination Targets Bacterial Virulence

The researchers have discovered that two lead compounds (E22/M64) can be combined to target multiple QS pathways at the same time (Rhl/Pqs), resulting in enhanced activity against P. aeruginosa and potentially other pathogens. This new cocktail approach is superior because it attenuates virulence factor production across a range of relevant environments where single compounds fail.
(Jun 18, 2019) P160176US02

A Novel Series of Antimicrobials Target Bacteria Membranes to Overcome Antibiotic Resistance

UW–Madison researchers have developed a novel series of antimicrobial compounds that target the membranes of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and are effective both against actively growing and stationary bacteria.

The series of compounds are analogs and derivatives of DCAP, or (2-((3-(3,6-dichloro-9H-carbazol-9-yl)-2-hydroxypropyl)amino)-2-(hydroxymethyl)propane-1,3-diol).

This series of compounds disrupts the bacterial cell envelope and causes cell death, and has only minor effects on eukaryotic cells. With this discovery, new antimicrobials based on DCAP analogs and derivatives could be used to combat resistant bacterial cells.
(Jun 11, 2019) P120204US02

Smoother Surfaces with Pulsed Laser Polishing

UW–Madison researchers have developed a two-regime method to reduce rough surface features using a multiple-pass PLP approach.

In the first regime, melt pools are created on the surface using energy pulses, which generate higher temperatures where the beam is focused. Thermocapillary flow pulls down asperities into the melt pools. This can cause material to push up at the edge of the pools as they resolidify. A second regime applies different energy pulses to remove and/or rearrange the upwelled material.
(Jun 11, 2019) P130168US01

Improved Methods and Materials for Transforming Plant Cells

UW-Madison researchers have developed a method of using a DNA-launching platform to introduce viral RNA into a host cell that has been engineered to support viral replication and expression. The platform encodes a modified viral RNA molecule located downstream of a DNA-dependent RNA polymerase promoter. After the platform is introduced into a host cell, it effectively “launches” the RNA molecule into the cell, where the RNA is replicated and expressed.
(Jun 4, 2019) P07367US

Poly(UG) Polymerase: A Useful New RNA Tool

UW–Madison researchers have identified a poly(UG) polymerase in a roundworm called Caenorhabditis elegans. The newly discovered enzyme adds repeating UG sequences to the ends of RNA. This activity could be useful as a research tool in vitro, e.g., providing a new way to synthesize cDNA of RNAs of unknown sequence.

The gene in C. elegans that encodes the enzyme is called RDE-3. Although its sequence was already known, its polymerase activity was not.
(May 28, 2019) P140268US02

Combatting Biofilms by Disrupting Bacteria Quorum Sensing

UW–Madison researchers have developed a set of 2-aminobenzimidazole (2-ABI) derivatives that can almost totally inhibit or disperse biofilms by disrupting QS in Gram-negative bacteria, particularly P. aeruginosa. These small molecules have previously been shown to fight Gram-positive biofilm growth.

The compounds can be developed using known methods and applied in many forms, such as anti-biofilm coatings, hydrogels, disinfectants and pharmaceutical compositions. They work by acting as replacements for naturally occurring QS ligands in the ligand-protein binding system of bacteria. In this way, the compounds disturb coordination signals and thereby impede biofilm formation.
(May 21, 2019) P110358US02

Memory Processing Unit Boosts Performance, Cuts Energy Usage

UW–Madison researchers have developed a system to dramatically improve the benefits of 3-D die-stacking memory. Their system allows a host processor to efficiently offload entire pieces of computation for faster processing with reduced power consumption.

More specifically, memory processing unit cores are tightly coupled with sections of stacked memory layers, combined as memory ‘vaults’ in hardware. Application code is segmented into discrete partitions (‘shards’) in software for storage in the vaults. As a result, an application program is effectively broken up for execution among multiple processing cores in close proximity to memory.
(May 14, 2019) P140414US01

Bio-Based Production of Non-Straight-Chain and Oxygenated Fatty Acids for Fuels and More

UW–Madison researchers have identified several enzymes in the bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides that can be purified to produce non-straight-chain fatty acids in vitro or expressed in genetically modified microorganisms including E. coli for synthesis in vivo. Strains may be ‘fine-tuned’ to produce a specific type of non-straight-chain fatty acid (e.g., furan-containing) by expressing, overexpressing or deleting the enzymes in various combinations.
(Apr 30, 2019) P140318US02

“Green” Triboelectric Power Boards Turn Footsteps into Electricity and More

UW–Madison researchers have developed the first TENG device built entirely from biodegradable and green materials. The two active layers comprise cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) or wood fibers chemically treated to alter their electron affinity. CNFs and wood fibers are ideal because they have high surface areas, can be functionalized with a variety of chemical groups and can be formed into flexible and optically transparent films.
(Apr 30, 2019) P160323US01