Inventions, Patents and Portfolios - WARF

New Patents

More Stable, Efficient Photocatalysts for Reducing Small Molecules

The researchers have now developed amino-terminated diamond surfaces that can be used as electron emitters for catalyzing the reduction of small molecules, particularly inert gases. Compared to the previously designed H-terminated diamond surfaces, the amino-terminated surfaces exhibit superior electron emission and are significantly more chemically stable in the presence of UV light and water.

Reduction reactions that can be carried out using the new photocatalyst include but are not limited to: N2 to NH3 or hydrazine (N2H4); CO2 to CO or organic molecules such as methane (CH4), formaldehyde (H2CO) or methanol (CH3OH); and the reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx) to N2. Other molecules that can be reduced include benzene ring-containing organic molecules such as substituted and unsubstituted benzene and naphthalene.
(Aug 21, 2018) P150202US01

Streamlined Design for Transferring Analytes

The researchers have now improved their design and developed a microfluidic device that directly integrates with tubes, strip tubes and well plates. In this way a sample can be directly transferred from the device to downstream analysis instruments.

The device comprises a strip of wells that hold various volumes of output fluid. Following sample isolation via the researchers’ previously developed SLIDE technique, the strip containing the sample and output buffer is removed from the SLIDE and applied to a set of strip tubes in the same way that conventional covers would be applied.

Then, by flicking or centrifuging the tubes, the sample is transferred from the cap to the tube. At this point the sample is ready for PCR or other downstream analysis.
(Aug 7, 2018) P130361US01

Improved Immiscible Alloy Formation with Stabilizing Nanoparticles

UW–Madison researchers have developed a method for controlling the size of minority phase droplets during alloy formation. The approach utilizes nanoparticles to rapidly restrict the growth of the droplets after they nucleate and to inhibit coagulation when they collide, allowing for a more uniform mixture.

The nanoparticles are made of a thermally stable ceramic or other material, and are added to the hot liquid alloy solution. Only then is the melt allowed to cool, with the nanoparticles spontaneously assembling between the growing droplets and the rest of the material. In this way, the nanoparticles act as a thin coating around the droplets to prevent them from growing, coalescing and sinking.
(Jul 31, 2018) P120305US01

Improved Phantom for Iron and Fat Quantification MRI

UW–Madison researchers have designed a phantom that accurately reflects in vivo MRI signal behavior in the presence of both fat and iron. The key innovation is that the new phantom is constructed using a lipid emulsion substrate with superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) particles that are proportionately larger than the fat particles, such that the field from those particles encompasses the entirety of the fat signals.
(Jul 31, 2018) P150328US01

New Target for Diagnosing, Treating Neurodegenerative Diseases

UW–Madison researchers have demonstrated that neurofilament tangles lead to subsequent degeneration and death of motor neurons in ALS patients. They also discovered that these tangles are caused by the reduced expression of a type of neurofilament mRNA. Thus, neurofilament regulation appears to be a promising target for drug screening and gene therapy.

The researchers conducted their studies using motor neurons derived from ALS patients.
(Jul 17, 2018) P140125US02

Flux-Switching Permanent Magnet Machine for High Speed Operation

UW–Madison researchers have developed a new 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 relies on innovative radial flux topology that features an offset rotor structure, dual stators and concentrated coil windings.
(Jul 10, 2018) P140405US01

Boron- and Nitride-Containing Catalysts for Oxidative Dehydrogenation of Small Alkanes and Oxidative Coupling of Methane

UW–Madison researchers have developed improved ODH catalysts for converting short chain alkanes to desired olefins (e.g., propane to propene and ethene) with unprecedented selectivity (>90 percent).

The new catalysts contain boron and/or nitride and minimize unwanted byproducts including CO and CO2. They contain no precious metals, reduce the required temperature of the reaction and remain active for extended periods of time with no need for costly regenerative treatment.

In addition to driving ODH reactions, the new catalysts can be used to produce ethane or ethene via oxidative coupling of methane (OCM).
(Jul 3, 2018) P150387US02

Tailored Radiopharmaceutical Dosimetry for 4-D Treatment Planning System

UW-Madison researchers have developed a system for precisely tailoring the quantity and timing of the administration of a radiopharmaceutical to a particular patient. To generate time-activity curves, an imaging radioisotope is first administered and the subject is scanned using dynamic PET/CT imaging. From the acquired datasets, the critical organ, which displays toxicity at the lowest injection level, is determined. A fractionation scheme is then developed for tumor control and toxicity avoidance, and precise, patient-specific administration schedules are created based on the effect that varying dose rates have on the critical organs and tumors. This two-step technique can provide sufficient precision to allow the combination of radiopharmaceutical treatment with other radiation treatment such as external-beam radiotherapy.
(Jun 26, 2018) P09003US

Modified Yeast with Enhanced Tolerance for GVL Biomass Solvent

UW–Madison researchers have developed a genetically modified strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that is more resistant to GVL toxicity and grows more than 1.5 times faster than wild yeast in the presence of GVL.

The researchers deleted two genes (Pad1p and Fdc1p) in the yeast that play a role in mediating GVL tolerance. The new strain is the first ethanol-producing yeast specifically tailored for GVL-based techniques.
(Jun 26, 2018) P140430US02

New Rotor Magnet Configuration Delivers Greater Efficiency at a Lower Price

UW–Madison researchers have developed a streamlined sinusoidal rotor magnet design for interior permanent magnet machines.

By altering the classic rectangular block design for embedded magnet stacks in favor of a sinusoidal, axially varied orientation, researchers have increased the efficiency of rotors in IPMMs in a twofold fashion: Not only does this new design reduce the amount of magnet material necessary for rotor production, but it also provides an optimized distribution of flux that significantly reduces torque pulsation and spatial harmonics. The new design is easy to manufacture and is complementary to rotors already in existence.
(Jun 19, 2018) P150363US01