Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tech Spotlight: Genes and Mechanisms for Improving Cellulosic Ethanol Production in E. Coli

A research group led by Dr. Ryan Gill of the University of Colorado has utilized genome-wide tools and analysis techniques to engineer bacterial strains with increased tolerance to acetate, furfural, and  ethanol. Acetate and furfural tolerance are important for efficient conversion of pretreated cellulosic biomass, and ethanol tolerance is important for the production of ethanol as a biofuel. This technology offers bacterial strains capable of tolerating industrially-relevant concentrations of acetate, furfural, and ethanol, along with other inhibitors found in cellulosic hydrolysate.

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, September 25, 2009

Job Opportunity: Biology/Chemistry Licensing Associate


The CU Technology Transfer Office is seeking a Licensing Associate for its Boulder office, with a background in Chemistry (including Biochemistry), Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, Biology or a related discipline. The Licensing Associate manages a portfolio of intellectual property, which involves identifying, soliciting, and evaluating invention disclosures for patent and market potential, prioritizing investments in the portfolio, and negotiating and administering option and license agreements. Please review the full requirements - to apply, visit www.jobsatcu.com (posting #808284).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Event: CU Innovation Alliance Breakfast

The Boulder Chamber of Commerce’s annual Esprit Entrepreneur celebration will present the CU Innovation Alliance Breakfast on Tuesday, October 6 from  8-10 a.m. at the Millennium Harvest House Hotel. This breakfast, in conjunction with the 25th Celebration of Esprit Entrepreneur, will highlight emerging CU-Boulder technologies at all stages – in the lab, new startup companies and successful businesses. “It's a great opportunity to meet the players in CU’s technology community and see upcoming technology and entrepreneurs,” said Mark Weakley of Holme Roberts and Owen, sponsor of the breakfast. Presenting companies will include:
Xalud Therapeutics is developing novel therapies pioneered at CU-Boulder for the treatment of neuropathic pain and other diseases of the central nervous system. Xalud’s lead product candidate is a proprietary, non-opioid based therapy that eliminates neuropathic pain in highly-predictive, gold-standard rodent models. Neuropathic pain is a multi-billion dollar global market with tremendous unmet clinical needs.

TechoShark's hoozat application (developed in the CU-Boulder computer science department) is the most efficient location-aware and context/preference-aware social and business networking program for mobile device users. It provides real-time, location-based social networking and business and marketing intelligence by leveraging existing third-party social networks and tools with a wide variety of functionalities. The application benefits business people and anyone interested in receiving pertinent, real-time social and business networking information through their mobile devices.

Tusaar is developing a CU-Boulder technology that creates more efficient and cost-effective methods of purifying metal-laden acidic water. The Tusaar technology displaces conventional precipitation technology that causes the formation of toxic sludge, and utilizes readily available raw material from industrial suppliers.
 
Quest Product Development
's MicroFlex technology (developed jointly at CU-Boulder and UC Denver) is an innovative, ultra-slim, ultra-flexible endoscope that will provide physicians with tools for minimally invasive surgery in currently inaccessible areas. MicroFlex provides digital control over the shape of a flexible endoscope, involving advanced metal alloys, micro-actuators and a digital control system.

Mentor InterActive (founded in 2004 by faculty members of the CU-Boulder Center for Computational Language and EducAtion Research, known at that time as the Center for Spoken Language Research) develops new products for the children's education software and learning technologies market. The company is targeting the more than 30 million children in the fast growing education products and services market with its My Virtual TutorTM product line of engaging and fun-to-play software packages that teach children to read.

For registration, please visit www.esprit2009.com; for more information contact Lindsay Polak (303-735-5518).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tech Spotlight: Inhibition of ERK1/2 as a Treatment for Cardiac Hypertrophy and Heart Failure

A research team at the University of Colorado led by Dr. Carmen Sucharov has produced results, through multiple in vivo and in vitro studies, supporting the use of a family of  methods for treating cardiac hypertrophy or heart failure by administering an inhibitor of ERK1/2, which plays a crucial role in the various signal systems that effect hypertrophic signaling. This method can be used to treat identified patients as well as to prevent onset in those who are identified as at risk, exhibiting longstanding uncontrolled hypertension, congenial predisposition to heart disease, or a familial history of cardiac hypertrophy.

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.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

September 2009 Newsletter Now Available

Highlights from TTO's September 2009 newsletter:

U of Colo Announces $1.6M in Bioscience Commercialization Grants
The University of Colorado has selected 11 projects for funding under a 2008 legislative initiative to increase the commercial potential of bioscience technologies from Colorado research institutions. These grants, known as 'proof of concept' grants, fill a crucial gap in funding between basic research funding (typically from federal agencies) and industrial commercialization of technology (funded by companies). The grants are designed to move promising new drugs, diagnostic tests and medical devices closer to commercial readiness. Under House Bill 1001, passed in 2008, the State of Colorado provided a total of $1.5 million to Colorado research institutions in 2009, matched by equal funding contributed by the universities.

New CU-Boulder Biotechnology Facility to Tackle Challenges Ranging From Cancer and Heart Disease to Tissue Engineering
A revolutionary biotechnology and biomedical research and teaching facility being built at the University of Colorado at Boulder will tackle a wide variety of pressing human health challenges ranging from cancer, aging and cardiovascular disease to inherited diseases, vaccine development and tissue engineering. The new facility will offer the opportunity for a wide swath of researchers to collaborate, said CU-Boulder Distinguished Professor and Nobel laureate Tom Cech. Cech is director of the Colorado Initiative in Molecular Biotechnology (CIMB), which will use the new building as a springboard to further research, teaching and technology at the intersections of life sciences, physical sciences, math, computational sciences and engineering.

A Look at TTO in FY2009 and Going Forward

    In August 2009 TTO released its performance metrics for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009. Please follow this link to a short presentation summarizing our performance.

    This podcast presents a fiscal year end update from David Allen, Associate VP for Technology Transfer and Tom Smerdon, Director Of Licensing & New Business Development. Net: in a challenging fiscal environment, TTO managed well, and focused on continuing to deliver value to its primary internal and external constituents and stakeholders.

Read the full newsletter, or sign up to receive a monthly email update.

Tech Spotlight: System for Passive Optical Imaging and Ranging

Investigators at the University of Colorado have developed a novel method and system for passive optical imaging and ranging. In this technique, the distance of objects to an optical system is estimated in conjunction (if so desired) with other parameters such as the object brightness and object transverse position. .An optical mask such as a diffractive optical element is placed within the optics in front of a sensor array such as a CCD or CMOS device. The optical mask encodes the three-dimensional response of the system. A particular implementation creates a point spread function (“PSF”) that rotates as a function of the object position. The image or images are digitally processed to recover both a depth map of the scene and other parameters such as image brightness. The task of the digital process is to implement an estimation algorithm selected from a variety of methods according to system tradeoffs between processing time and estimate accuracy. The system and method provide depth resolution beyond the depth-of-field limit imposed by the numerical aperture of the system. Competing technologies are very cumbersome; they typically require two cameras and heavy computation. None can provide depth super-resolution. The novel method developed at the University of Colorado can be implemented with very low cost under mass production.

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

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tech Spotlight: Advanced Techniques in Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Dr. Yiping Du, an MRI physicist at the University of Colorado Denver, has developed a portfolio of advanced MRI techniques.

First, Dr. Du has created a new technique for simultaneous MR imaging of both arterial and venous vasculature in a single scan using a dual-echo or multi-echo acquisition approach (see figures in summary at left). The major advantage of this technology is the reduction of scan time. Related to this, Dr. Du has also developed an image-domain high-pass filter for enhancing the visibility of venous vasculature. The filtered 3D dataset can be used to reduce off-resonance artifact and provide a positive venous contrast and can be displayed using maximum intensity projection (MIP).

Second, Dr. Du has invented a technique for fast, quantitative 3D whole-brain mapping of myelin water fraction in the white matter of the brain (see figure in summary at right). This technology has the potential to greatly reduce the chance of permanent disability and improve the quality of life in MS patients by early diagnosis and early treatments. Results also suggest that the technique has the potential to differentiate demyelination, a therapeutically reversible process, from irreversible axonal damage and provide guidance to therapeutic interventions.

To read non-confidential summaries of these technologies, including links to relevant patent documents and scientific publications, please click the images above. For more CU technologies available for licensing, please visit our Tech Explorer site.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Link: New CU-Boulder Biotechnology Facility to Tackle Challenges Ranging From Cancer and Heart Disease to Tissue Engineering



A revolutionary biotechnology and biomedical research and teaching facility being built at the University of Colorado at Boulder will tackle a wide variety of pressing human health challenges ranging from cancer, aging and cardiovascular disease to inherited diseases, vaccine development and tissue engineering.

The new facility will offer the opportunity for a wide swath of researchers to collaborate, said CU-Boulder Distinguished Professor and Nobel laureate Tom Cech. Cech is director of the Colorado Initiative in Molecular Biotechnology (CIMB), which will use the new building as a springboard to further research, teaching and technology at the intersections of life sciences, physical sciences, math, computational sciences and engineering.

“One of the most exciting features of this building is the chance for those in chemistry, biochemistry and biology to interact with engineers, physicists, chemists and computer scientists on problems in modern biology best approached in interdisciplinary fashion," Cech said. The modern equipment in the facility also will give biotech companies the chance to come in and collaborate with CU-Boulder faculty and students and use powerful biochemical, genetic and pharmacological screening instruments, for example, to better understand biochemical processes and further drug design.

Read the full release, and watch the video.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tech Spotlight: Controllable Nanometer-sized Valve Using Zeolite Membrane

A University of Colorado research team led by Dr. John Falconer and Dr. Richard Noble has developed a polycrystalline MFI zeolite layer, prepared with two types of pores, which behaves as a chemically-activated and chemically-specific nanometer-sized valve. The layer consists of zeolite crystals with ~0.6 nm zeolite pores and larger pores (0.6 – 4 nm) that are spaces between the crystals. Most gas and liquid flow is through these larger pores, which reversibly close and open due to adsorption in and desorption from the zeolite pores respectively. The valve closing is chemically specific and highly sensitive. A combination of vapor- and liquid-feed flow measurements, for both single components and binary mixtures, clearly demonstrated this behavior. This nano-valve may have applications for separations, chemical sensors, and controlled release of molecules.

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.