Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tech Spotlight: Non-toxic Peptide-based Biofilm Inhibitor

Robert Hodges of the University of Colorado and collaborators have developed a non-toxic, high affinity (sub-nanomolar) peptide ligand that binds specifically to stainless steel and other non-metallic surfaces to prevent Pseudomonas biofilm formation. No compound or reagent has previously been demonstrated to have this property. Pseudamonas is the most common culprit in biofilm formation, but research is also underway to confirm that this peptide has broader anti-microbial properties, and prevents colonization by a wide variety of organisms.

This technology prevents biofilm formation, with limited amounts of material, in an environmentally-friendly and safe manner. It is non-toxic, and safe for use with implantable medical devices, catheters, and endotracheal or gastrointestinal tubes. It also has industrial applications in all areas where biofilm formation presents a problem, such as pulp and  paper plants, water treatment, and oil and gas pipelines.

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.  

Monday, March 29, 2010

Flashback Technologies to Commercialize CU Cardiovascular Monitoring Technology

AURORA, Colo. – March 29, 2010 – The University of Colorado recently completed a license agreement with Flashback Technologies, LLC for CU technology enabling fast, non-invasive detection of acute blood loss volume and prediction of cardiovascular collapse in emergency situations.

Hemorrhagic shock – physical shock caused by rapid blood loss – is a leading cause of death on the battlefield and in civilian trauma settings. Flashback’s first product, CipherSensor, analyzes real-time physiological data such as blood oxygen level and blood pressure to detect subtle hemodynamic changes in real-time. CipherSensor’s algorithms quickly and accurately detect the early-onset of blood loss, continuously estimate blood loss volume, and predict a patient’s individual risk for cardiovascular collapse. The technology will enable medical professionals to quickly identify bleeding patients and triage them to an appropriate trauma center.

“The predictive power of Flashback’s technology represents a gigantic leap forward in physicians’ ability to use continuous, real-time vital sign data to direct the diagnosis and treatment of human disease and traumatic injury,” said Paul Tabor of the CU Technology Transfer Office. “We are eager to see how this technology is further developed for use in numerous clinical settings.”

The algorithms used in CipherSensor were developed by Steven Moulton, M.D., a professor in the surgery department at the UC Denver School of Medicine with a joint appointment at The Children’s Hospital, and Greg Grudic, Ph.D., formerly an assistant professor in the CU-Boulder computer science department and now chief technology officer at Flashback. Moulton and Grudic believe their platform technology can be applied to a wide range of medical conditions, including intracranial hypertension, seizure monitoring, childhood asthma, congestive heart failure and anesthesia monitoring.

“CipherSensor uses advanced mathematics and machine learning techniques to discover and model previously hidden physiological relationships,” said Grudic. “Our algorithms analyze streaming vital sign data, looking for beat-to-beat changes that no human could detect,” added Moulton. “CipherSensor represents an entirely new type of intelligent, predictive medical device.” Further development work is in progress at Flashback, the University of Colorado and the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Army.

About FlashBack Technologies:
FlashBack Technologies, LLC was founded in 2009 and is based in Longmont, Colorado. The company is using novel and proprietary machine learning techniques to extract and analyze large amounts of complex physiological data. This work has led to the discovery of several previously hidden hemodynamic relationships and the development of a patent-pending platform technology for the real- time analysis of human vital sign data. This work is being carried out by investigators in the Departments of Surgery (UC Denver) and Computer Science (CU-Boulder) at the University of Colorado, under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research. To learn more, visit www.flashbacktechnologies.com.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

University of Colorado 14th Among Universities in 'Patent Power'

IEEE Spectrum's annual U.S. patent survey, 2010 Patent Power, reviewed over 1000 world organizations to find out who owns the most influential patent portfolios. According to Spectrum, the analytic methodology "goes beyond patent counts to emphasize how frequently a company's patents are cited by other patents."

Within the category of Universities/Education/Training, the University of Colorado ranked 14th, immediately behind Stanford and MIT. (Click here for 'patent power' scorecards sorted by categories.)

H/t: tto2newco.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tech Spotlight: Physical Layer Signaling for Wireless Communications

A University of Colorado computer science research group led by Dirk Grunwald and Doug Sicker has developed a new wireless communications technology that reduces the signaling overhead involved in establishing connections within mobile device networks. The technology increases the number of devices that can use a tower, the amount of spectrum available for data transmission, and the inherent value of carriers' spectrum licenses.  Wireless carriers could deploy the standard on their networks in partnership with device makers like Apple and RIM, thereby increasing the value of their spectrum and the data capacity of their networks. This technology can also be applied in more localized wireless networks such as femtocell networks.

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. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Podcast: Dr. Robert Hodges, UC Denver Inventor of the Year

W3W3 radio spoke with Robert Hodges (Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics; John Stewart Endowed Chair in Peptide Chemistry) about his research on a universal influenza vaccine. Said Hodges:
The most rewarding part of basic research is to be able to see what you've discovered become a drug and actually treat disease and be effective, so that's the goal. I encourage all researchers to go that route but it is more difficult than just doing great science. You have to do the clinical aspect and of course when you get involved in the translational research things sometimes don't work out. That's the risk.
Listen to the podcast or view an archive of all TTO podcasts.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March 2010 Newsletter Now Available

Highlights from TTO's March 2010 newsletter:

ROTEC Licenses University of Colorado Water Desalination Technology
The University of Colorado recently completed a license agreement with Reverse Osmosis Technologies (ROTEC) for CU technology enabling more efficient treatment of groundwater to make it suitable for drinking. ROTEC, an Israel-based water treatment technology company, will use the licensed technology to improve the performance of its water desalination process. A pilot demonstration is already underway in Israel.

HepQuant Licenses CU Test to Assess Chronic Liver Disease
The University of Colorado and HepQuant, LLC, a Colorado-based company, have completed a licensing agreement allowing HepQuant to further develop a CU diagnostic technology to assess chronic liver disease. The first product to be developed based on the licensed technology, HepQuant-Dual™, is a non-invasive, cost-effective test that measures the liver's portal circulation using natural compounds labeled with stable isotopes. The test enables a physician to detect liver disease, measure the severity of the disease, and predict risk for future complications. The test was invented by Gregory Everson, Professor and Director of Hepatology at the UC Denver School of Medicine.

Tech Transfer Office Squeezed by Recession
The University of Colorado tech transfer office has been forced this year to significantly scale back the amount of money it invests in CU research bound for licensing. Despite that, patent applications are up and the creation of start-up companies spawned at CU are on pace with past years.

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

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tech Spotlight: Beamed Energy for Increased Performance of Solid Rocket Motors

A University of Colorado research team has developed a method for augmenting the thrust of a solid rocket motor by directly coupling beamed microwave (MW) energy to alumina particles in the diverging section of a nozzle as shown at left. Based on data recorded through experimentation, the coupling of MW radiation with micron-sized alumina particles increases the particle temperature by absorbing the beamed energy. The gas temperature and velocity is increased through collisions with the high temperature particles. The velocity increase of the gas results in higher thrust and specific impulse, which is thrust per unit mass flow. Therefore, the main mechanism of thrust increase is expected to be gas-particle collisions which transfers the increased energy of particles to kinetic energy of the expanding gas.

Since the MW energy radiates from a remote, ground-based source, the mass increase on the vehicle itself is minimal, which is a distinct advantage. Additionally, only the diverging section of the nozzle would need altering to handle higher temperature operation since the power addition only occurs in this section. The enhanced performance provided by this beamed propulsion concept can lead to reduction in the complexity of launch vehicle staging and possibly single stage to orbit operation. Advantages of beamed energy propulsion include that it requires little to no additional mass to be carried on-board the vehicle. Beamed energy propulsion can also overcome the inherent limitations on specific impulse imposed by chemical energy production mechanisms.

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. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Event: Entrepreneurship Under the Microscope

A celebration of CU research and technology

The CU Tech Transfer Office has joined with the Leeds School of Business' Deming Center for Entrepreneurship and the Colorado Institute for Molecular Biology (CIMB) in recognizing and celebrating innovation and commercialization around the CU campus and beyond. On March 18, meet and network with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and business community members - hear from speakers, panelists, and today's movers and change-makers about some of the university's most interesting and exciting sectors:

•    Tom Cech, Director, CIMB
•    Russell Moore, CU-Boulder Associate Vice Chancellor for Research
•    Catharine Merigold, General Partner, Vista Ventures
•    Misha Plam, serial entrepreneur with multiple university startups
•    Hang (Hubert) Yin, Assistant Professor, CIMB/Chemistry & Biochemistry

This event will also include a poster session highlighting CU-Boulder technologies that are ready to take the next step toward commercialization.

When: Thursday, March 18
Where: Stadium Club at Folsom Field, CU-Boulder 
Registration: online

(There is no cost for CU faculty, staff and grad students - CU attendees may register here.)

Link to full event description.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

ROTEC Licenses University of Colorado Water Desalination Technology

Pilot demonstration underway in Israel; NATO and other international funding received to support more work.

Boulder (March 4, 2010) – The University of Colorado recently completed a license agreement with Reverse Osmosis Technologies (ROTEC) for CU technology enabling more efficient treatment of groundwater to make it suitable for drinking. ROTEC, an Israel-based water treatment technology company, will use the licensed technology to improve the performance of its water desalination process.

The efficient recovery of fresh water from ocean water or waste-water is of paramount importance in arid regions, in highly industrialized regions, and in locations close to ocean water but remote from fresh water sources. ROTEC is developing an innovative technology for increasing the amount of  brackish (partially saline) groundwater that can be reclaimed by reverse osmosis, using a Reverse Flow methodology developed by scientists J. Gilron and E. Korin of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

In reverse osmosis systems, precipitation of salts found in saline and hard water causes scaling; this is one of the main factors limiting the recovery of potable water. The licensed technology, developed by Alan Greenberg of the CU department of mechanical engineering, is a patented ultrasonic sensor that can detect when scaling begins. The sensor triggers a change in the system flow patterns so that scaling is prevented. “We are glad to see this technology applied to one of the world’s most important problems,” said Kate Tallman, Director of Technology Transfer for CU-Boulder.

Ben-Gurion University and ROTEC have begun operations at a pilot facility on the Sde Boker campus of BGU, and plan to operate the pilot at a Mekorot desalination plant in Eilat and at an additional test site in Jordan in 2010 or 2011. "This is a great opportunity for ROTEC to incorporate and test its high recovery desalination technology in industrial scale RO systems", said Noam Perlmuter, Chief Executive Officer of ROTEC. BGU and CU-Boulder were recently awarded grants from the NATO Science for Peace program and the Middle East Desalination Research Center (MEDRC) to facilitate development of these projects. 

About ROTEC:
ROTEC (Reverse Osmosis Technologies) is a water treatment company developing novel technologies for the improved desalination of brackish groundwater, thus increasing the recovery rate, reducing dramatically brine volumes for disposal and minimizing anti-scalants consumption. The company was founded in 2009 to commercialize research from Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; the company is collaborating with researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder. For more information about ROTEC please visit: www.rotec-water.com.

Photo: ROTEC water desalination unit, © 2010, ROTEC

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tech Spotlight: Novel Bacterial Protein as a Therapeutic Angiogenesis Inhibitor

Bacterial toxins have been used for nearly two decades to successfully treat various types of cancers. A University of Colorado research team has identified a novel extracellular bacterial protein which was found to specifically kill, through a receptor-mediated mechanism, human vascular endothelial cells (HUVEC) derived from human placenta at extremely low concentrations (picomolar). Subsequent testing of a highly purified protein preparations revealed that this  protein inhibits the  proliferation of endothelial cells, and inhibits angiogenesis in a chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay. These data indicate that the protein, or a portion thereof, could be used as an angiogenesis inhibitor for therapeutic purposes to inhibit the vascularization of tissues associated with disease states. The research team has also performed Zebrafish experiments (a widely used antiangiogenic model) demonstrating that this protein is a powerful angiogenesis inhibitor within a safe therapeutic range (data available under CDA).

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.

Monday, March 1, 2010

HepQuant Licenses CU Test to Assess Chronic Liver Disease

CU technology enables a new approach to monitoring and diagnosing liver disease.
   
Aurora (March 1, 2010). The University of Colorado and HepQuant, LLC, a Colorado-based company, have completed a licensing agreement allowing HepQuant to further develop a CU diagnostic technology to assess chronic liver disease.

All major manifestations of chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis, ascites, fibrosis, varices and encephalopathy, are linked to an impairment of the liver’s portal circulation. About 15-30 million people in the United States, and at least 500 million worldwide, suffer from these diseases. The first product to be developed based on the licensed technology, HepQuant-Dual™, is a non-invasive, cost-effective test that measures the liver’s portal circulation using natural compounds labeled with stable isotopes. The test enables a physician to detect liver disease, measure the severity of the disease, and predict risk for future complications.

The test was invented by Gregory Everson, Professor and Director of Hepatology at the UC Denver School of Medicine. “This is an exciting advance for monitoring patients, and provides physicians with a new tool for evaluating liver disease,” says Everson. The company anticipates that clinical trials will begin in late 2010, with commercial availability by 2013, subject to FDA approval.

HepQuant originally optioned the technology from CU in 2008, when it received a $100,000 seed investment from the University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office to support further commercial development. ”Technology Transfer’s proof-of-concept investment program helped HepQuant leverage a grant from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and augment Dr. Everson’s clinical studies with market and regulatory planning, a critical step toward a sustainable new biomedical enterprise,” said Tom Smerdon, Director of Licensing and New Business Development at the CU Technology Transfer Office.

About HepQuant LLC
HepQuant, LLC, formed in June 2007, is a development stage company positioned to successfully enter the liver diagnostics market with its proprietary and innovative method for assessing the liver’s portal circulation at all stages of chronic liver disease. Detecting significant hepatic impairment could trigger effective treatment and reduce the risk for future life-threatening complications. Potentially, HepQuant’s tests of the liver’s portal circulation will be more accurate, specific, safe, non-invasive, and cost effective compared to existing and emerging test methods, and as a result may offer significant advantages for the patient, physician and third party payers. www.hepquant.com.