New Patents

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

Vernier Permanent Magnet Machines with High Torque Density

UW–Madison researchers have developed a VPM rotor geometry that improves torque density and power factor by routing the stator flux in a way that boosts it. The new, single barrier design comprises an iron section with an air barrier near the rotor core to guide the stator magnet flux in a desirable path. This was created for the spoke-type configuration topology, where the magnets are aligned similar to the spokes of a bicycle wheel in the rotor. This design solution boosts the flux without compromising performance or cost.
(Mar 17, 2020) P170230US01

Golf Technique Improvement Aid Trains for Proper Club Alignment Throughout the Swing

A former professional golfer and University of Wisconsin-Green Bay graduate has developed a novel training aid that improves golf performance by keeping a golfer’s arms and club aligned properly throughout the swing. This innovative tool attaches to a golf club and can be adjusted to fit users with varied grip styles and forearm sizes. It is designed with a unique offset hinge system that enables the golfer to experiment with a continuous range of variations in the arm-to-club relationship during the swing and gives feedback when incorrect motion occurs.
(Mar 17, 2020) T170043US02

Bioreversible Protein Esterification

UW–Madison researchers have developed an efficient new method for esterifying proteins using certain diazo compounds. The compounds convert protein carboxyl groups into esters in buffered water. The modification is removed by enzymes that reside in all human cells, making the method bioreversible.

Diazo compounds have the general formula R2C=N2, but not all are effective. They must have a basicity within a certain range.
(Mar 3, 2020) P130148US02

Food & Drug Safety: Time-Temperature Indicator for Perishables

UW–Madison researchers have developed nanoreactors that can detect exposure of a perishable good to an undesired temperature. The device comprises a metal precursor in a stabilizing carrier such as gelatin or chitosan. Upon exposure to heat, the metal precursor forms nanoparticles that can be detected visually or spectroscopically by a change in color, peak wavelength or peak absorbance, as well as the size, number or shape of the nanoparticles that form. The nanoreactors could be applied to product packaging and ‘switched on’ to begin temperature tracking.
(Mar 3, 2020) P150240US02

Perovskites for Stable, High Activity Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cathodes and Related Technologies

Using high-throughput computing and informatics to screen thousands of candidates, UW–Madison researchers have identified doped perovskite compounds that exhibit both high catalytic activity and thermodynamic stability under ORR operating conditions. These improvements are believed to enable lower-temperature operation of SOFCs and improve device lifetime.

In total, approximately 1950 distinct perovskite compositions were simulated. The most active predicted compounds were found to contain alloys of transition metals and redox-inactive dopant elements (ex., Zr, Hf, Nb, Re and Ta) that can enhance stability.
(Mar 3, 2020) P160222US01