Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tech Spotlight: Simple, Low-cost On-chip Amplification Technique for DNA Microarrays

A research team led by Dr. Christopher Bowman of the University of Colorado has developed an improved method of detecting molecular recognition events for applications that prioritize low cost and minimization of reliance on instrumentation and skilled labor for assay performance and data interpretation. Amplification through photopolymerization provides an easy, inexpensive on-chip amplification technique for DNA microarrays that would minimize protocol steps, yield minimal false positives and false negatives, and function as a robust technique insensitive to environmental conditions or operator variation. Currently, this technology is available for licensing in the fields of cancer detection and detection of STD’s and blood-borne pathogens.

To read a non-confidential summary of this technology, including links to key publications and patent documents, please click the image above. For more CU technologies available for licensing, please visit our Tech Explorer site.

Monday, June 29, 2009

ION Engineering Licenses CU Carbon-Capture Technology

Startup company accelerates development of ionic liquid solutions to control greenhouse emissions

BOULDER (June 29, 2009). The University of Colorado and ION Engineering, LLC, have finalized an exclusive licensing agreement to develop and commercialize technology enabling efficient and economical capture of CO2 and other contaminants from natural gas wells and coal-fired power plant emissions. ION’s breakthrough technology, developed by CU-Boulder Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering researchers Jason Bara, Dean Camper, Richard Noble and Douglas Gin, is the first to successfully integrate ionic liquid solutions into carbon capture and emissions control technology.

The viability of ION’s proprietary solvent systems has been demonstrated in the laboratory, and the company is currently optimizing their solvents for specific gas compositions and completing their engineering design for larger scale laboratory and field pilots. “The potential for ION’s technology is exciting, both with the advantages it offers natural gas processors and the opportunity to advance the effective capture of greenhouse gases in power generation,” said Dr. Alfred “Buz” Brown, the company’s CEO. Partnerships are being developed with companies around the world to demonstrate the technology and bring it to market.

ION Engineering recently received a $100,000 Proof-of-Concept Investment from the CU Technology Transfer Office and the CU-Boulder Energy Initiative after optioning rights to the technology in December 2008. Based in Boulder, ION Engineering was formed in 2008 by Bara and Camper, along with Christopher Gabriel, a research associate at CU, and by Dr. Brown, who brings more than 30 years of technology commercialization and venture creation experience. “We believe that ION Engineering is poised for considerable impact based on this outstanding technology platform,” said David Allen, CU’s Associate Vice President for Technology Transfer.

About ION Engineering
ION Engineering is the first clean-tech company to successfully introduce ionic liquid solutions for carbon capture in the global energy industry. The company’s proprietary scientific solution is the most economical way to capture carbon from coal-fired plant emissions. In addition, ION’s breakthrough natural gas “sweetening” solvents significantly reduce operating and capital costs for cleaning contaminated or “sour” raw gas – offering the potential to greatly increase the volume of economically recoverable gas reserves. To learn more about ION Engineering’s bold science for clean energy, please visit www.ion-engineering.com.

Podcast: Dr. Sara Honn Qualls, CU-Colorado Springs New Inventor of the Year

W3W3 radio spoke with Sara Honn Qualls about her research into family development in later life and clinical interventions, and the development of neurological wellness and assessment tools for elderly care management.

Listen to the podcast.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Illumasonix to Develop CU Blood Flow Visualization Technology

BOULDER (June 23, 2009). Illumasonix, LLC, an early-stage medical device company headquartered in Colorado, has executed an exclusive license with the University of Colorado (CU) for a non-invasive method to provide quantitative information on complex blood flow in the treatment of vascular disease.

The technology being developed by Illumasonix was invented by Dr. Robin Shandas, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder and of Pediatrics and Cardiology at the University of Colorado Denver. It uses both ultrasound and FDA approved microbubbles to track blood flow, providing real-time assessment of blood flow and detecting blockages. Cardiovascular and neurovascular diseases affect millions of people annually, with stroke being the third leading cause of death and disability in the U.S. The Illumasonix technology offers a new diagnostic tool combining the high spatial resolution of MRI technology with the temporal resolution and ease-of-use of ultrasound.

Illumasonix reported positive initial results from its ongoing human feasibility study of this technology in early 2009; the company anticipates that its first product offering could reach the market as early as 2011. ”The Illumasonix technology will provide a substantially more accurate and predictive way to assess cardiovascular health,” said Erick Rabins, V.P. of Allied Minds and Manager of Illumasonix. “We believe it will become the primary tool used to determine when and if surgical intervention is required.”

Illumasonix was formed in 2007 in a partnership between CU and Allied Minds, an investment corporation specializing in early stage university business ventures. The company received undisclosed initial capitalization and research funding from Allied Minds, as well as approximately $250K in matching funds from the State of Colorado. Illumasonix is a great example of the importance of early stage development financing for promising technologies. We are thankful for the funding support provided by Allied Minds and the State of Colorado,” added Tom Smerdon, Director of Licensing and New Business Development, CU Technology Transfer Office.

About Illumasonix, LLC, and Allied Minds, Inc.
Illumasonix LLC is a privately-held company formed by Allied Minds, Inc. in cooperation with the University of Colorado to commercialize a minimally-invasive method to provide quantitative information on complex blood flow in the treatment of vascular disease. www.illumasonix.com.

Allied Minds, Inc. is a seed organization for early-stage technology, focused on converting academic discoveries into commercial reality by working exclusively with a network of U.S. universities and national labs. By filling the gap between government grants and traditional venture capitalists, Allied Minds focuses on funding innovations with significant transformative potential. Instead of managing funds, the company fosters early-stage companies through to success, generating value for all stakeholders. Allied Minds has a nationwide footprint with offices in Boston, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, and a European presence in London, United Kingdom. www.alliedminds.com.

Tech Spotlight: FireFly: An intelligent ‘light pen’ enabling seamless collaborative computing

A research team led by James Sullivan of the University of Colorado Center for LifeLong Learning and Design (L3D) has developed a pen-like LED device that can be used to control a computer system or application, such as a drawing, sketching, or a game program. This user-friendly device allows multiple users to simultaneously sketch ideas, annotate, and control computer functions while supporting the informal face-to-face communications that take place during group collaborations. Furthermore, because this technology scales from a laptop monitor to a large screen display, this approach supports the development of interactive applications to serve a wide range of groups, from small design teams to community based activities where interactive feedback and input is desired from diverse constituencies.

To read a non-confidential summary of this technology, please click the image above. For more CU technologies available for licensing, please visit our Tech Explorer site.

Friday, June 19, 2009

June 2009 Newsletter Now Available

Highlights from TTO's June 2009 newsletter:

CU Announces Second Round of Renewable Energy Commercialization Grants
The University of Colorado has selected three projects for funding in the second round of a grant program designed to bring the projects closer to becoming commercial products. Earlier in 2009, the CU Technology Transfer Office (TTO) and the CU-Boulder Energy Initiative (EI) formed a partnership to award these grants, known as 'proof of concept' grants, to support commercialization of promising energy and cleantech technologies. The projects were selected for funding by the TTO and EI using a competitive internal application process. The winning grant proposals were:
David Denkenberger and John Zhai, for a demonstration of an improved micro-channel heat management device for power plants, energy-efficient vehicles and buildings, and other industrial applications.

Conrad Stoldt and Se-Hee Lee, for work on improved performance of lithium-ion (Li+) batteries via solid-state nanostructuring.

Robert Erickson, for a project on 'smart' power electronics for photovoltaic panels that maximize the energy captured by each panel. This proposal was funded as a $50,000 proof of concept investment to Phobos Energy, a University of Colorado startup company based on technology from Dr. Erickson's CU-Boulder lab.
Mentor Launches Educational Tools
Mentor InterActive Inc., a Boulder-based company spawned from the University of Colorado at Boulder, partnered with Troy, N.Y.-based 1st Playable Productions LLC to the new My Virtual Tutor Reading Adventures, a software series designed to help teach pre-kindergarten through second-grade children how to read. It's scheduled to launch for Nintendo DS on Aug. 18, Nintendo Wii in spring 2010 and other platforms after that.

Read the full newsletter.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tech Spotlight: “Green” Replacement for Industrial Applications of Polar Organic Solvents

A University of Colorado research team led by Douglas Gin and Richard Noble has developed a new “green” replacement for polar organic solvents, which are commonly used in cleaning, reactions, and processing in many industries. Today these solvents are known to be volatile, hazardous to health, toxic in the environment, and flammable, with no comparable alternatives. This novel solvent is non-volatile, has a high thermal range of operation, can be mixed with water in specific ratios to control the properties and reactivity of the preferred solvent solution, and eliminates need for safety controls and procedures, improving production and handling processes.

To read a non-confidential summary of this technology, including links to relevant patent documents, please click the image above. For more CU technologies available for licensing, please visit our Tech Explorer site.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tech Spotlight: Neuro-protective Peptide for Treatment of Stroke and Other Neuronal Damage

A research group led by Dr. K. Ulrich Bayer of the University of Colorado has generated a cell-penetrating peptide compound with significant neuro-protective effect in cell-culture tests. Importantly, neuro-protection was observed even when the compound was applied after the insult. This discovery opens a clinically relevant window of therapeutic opportunity for stroke, and also implies clinically relevant effects for other conditions of acute neuronal damage, including traumatic brain injury and ischemia. Neuro-protective effects are also expected in chronic neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, although clinical relevance will depend on tolerance towards chronic treatment with the compound.

To read a non-confidential summary of this technology, please click the image above. For more CU technologies available for licensing, please visit our Tech Explorer site.