Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tech Spotlight: Stress Relaxation in Crosslinked Polymers

Internal stress buildup during polymerization of a crosslinked network is a typical result of polymerization shrinkage. This stress may decrease the ultimate mechanical properties of the polymer and/or limit its applications. For example, in optical materials internal stress may introduce unwanted birefringence, and in dental materials result in unwanted shrinkage.

A University of Colorado research group led by Christopher Bowman and Timothy Scott have developed a solution to this problem in which internal stress is relieved through reversible cleavage of the polymer backbone, accomplished by incorporating “reversible chain cleavage” groups into the polymer backbone. This solution is applicable to a variety of polymeric materials, including polymeric coatings, fiber reinforced materials and optical materials, and eliminates shrinkage stress in dental materials and reinforced composites.

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, May 24, 2011

Tech Spotlight: Low Energy, Low Temp Flash Sintering of Ceramics

Dense ceramic bodies are traditionally produced by sintering green powder compacts at high temperatures, in a process that is energy intensive. For example, zirconia requires several hours at 1400°C. Over the last years, new techniques that use electromagnetic and electrical fields in tandem with time and temperature have been shown to decrease the time and temperature for sintering. Although these methods (collectively known as field-assisted sintering techniques, FAST) produce sintering in shorter times and at reduced temperatures, their potential for widespread commercialization is debated, mainly due to the high cost and complexity of the equipment and unsolved technical issues.

Researchers at the University of Colorado have found that oxides of industrial interest, such as stabilized zirconia, can be sintered in a matter of seconds, at a furnace temperature of 800°C. Such short processing time and low furnace temperatures are unprecedented and can lead to huge energy savings in the production of technical and traditional ceramics. This Flash-Sintering can find wide applications not only in the sintering of monolithic products, but also in the sintering of ceramic coatings on various substrates.

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

Thursday, May 19, 2011

May 2011 Newsletter Now Available

Top stories from TTO's May newsletter:

Physical Activity Innovations to Develop CU Wireless Fitness Monitoring Device
The University of Colorado and Physical Activity Innovations Inc. (PAI) have executed an exclusive license agreement allowing the company to commercialize a fitness feedback technology developed at the University. The technology is a small, Bluetooth-enabled sensor that allows users to wirelessly track time spent in daily physical activities, calories burned, and progress toward user fitness and weight-loss goals. The technology was developed by  Raymond Browning and James Hill of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, with researchers at Clarkson University and the University of Lausanne. (Read the full press release.)

Two Innovation Bills Approved by Colorado Legislature
In early May two bills supporting technology innovation and commercialization passed the Colorado legislature, and now await signature by Governor Hickenlooper. First, HB 1283: Extending the Bioscience Discovery Evaluation Grant Program (PDF) extends through 2018 the BDEG program enacted in 2008 to accelerate commercialization of bioscience inventions from Colorado research institutions. SB47: Innovation Reinvestment Act (PDF) uses a net increase in state corporation income tax withholdings within the bioscience and cleantech sectors to provide additional funding for the BDEG program and to fund a similar program focused on cleantech, and will go into effect in 2014. (See also: Bioscience restored to clean-tech funding bill.)

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

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Physical Activity Innovations to Develop CU Wireless Fitness Monitoring Device

AURORA, Colo., May 18, 2011 – The University of Colorado and Physical Activity Innovations Inc. (PAI) have executed an exclusive license agreement allowing the company to commercialize a fitness feedback technology developed at the University. The technology is a small, Bluetooth-enabled sensor that allows users to wirelessly track time spent in daily physical activities, calories burned, and progress toward user fitness and weight-loss goals.

The technology was developed by Raymond Browning and James Hill of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Edward Sazonov of Clarkson University (lead inventor of the licensed technology) and Yves Schutz of the University of Lausanne. The Fit Companion device is a small, unobtrusive device that may be mounted in any shoe; the device wirelessly transmits data to a cell phone where the user receives easy-to-understand information about their physical activity throughout the entire day. This feature creates a feedback system incorporating calories burned, body weight and physical activity, which can alert the wearer when time spent in sedentary activity exceeds a predetermined threshold, or when a daily physical activity goal has been met.

"When it comes to burning calories, a moderately active person can burn as many calories as a person who sits all day but then has a very vigorous workout," says Dr. Browning, who serves as research co-lead at PAI. "Our goal is to provide people with feedback that motivates them to stay at least moderately active every day.” PAI received the Bluetooth Innovator of the Year award in the Bluetooth Innovation World Cup 2009.

"PAI is attacking the obesity epidemic head-on with innovative tools such as the Fit Companion,” added Paul Tabor of the University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office. “If the company can meet its goal of producing an accurate and comfortable device at a low cost, it will transform the monitoring of physical activity and have an immense impact on human health."

About Physical Activity Innovations
Physical Activity Innovations Inc. is developing unique, footwear-based systems that motivate users to increase their daily physical activity. Technology in the footwear-based systems is based on research from Clarkson University, Colorado State University, and the University of Colorado. The company is funded by Phase I SBIR grants issued by the National Institutes of Health,1R43DK083229-01A1, and the National Science Foundation, IIP-1013575. The company has been a member of the Rocky Mountain Innosphere, the Northern Colorado Technology Incubator, since 2009. The company is based in Fort Collins, Colo. More information can be found at www.physicalactivityinnovations.com.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Podcast: Drs. Malik Kahook and Naresh Mandava, Anschutz Medical Campus Inventors of the Year


W3W3 radio spoke with Malik Kahook, an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, and Naresh Mandava, Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, about their work developing novel treatments for eye diseases:


I think collaboration is key. I think being passionate about what you're researching is key. Malik and I are fortunate in what we do is taking care of patients every day, we know where the holes are in terms of traditional modalities of treatment we have for diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration and really we are very passionate about what we do. You have to be driven, have a goal in mind and don't be afraid to fail.
Listen to the podcast or view an archive of all TTO podcasts.

Four CU Companies Receive Tech Commercialization Grants from State of Colorado

DENVER, Colo., May 2, 2011 – Four companies formed around technologies developed at the University of Colorado were recently selected to receive funding from Colorado's Bioscience Discovery Evaluation Grant Program. The company grant program (BDEG-Co), launched in 2007 by the State of Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, provides early-stage matching “seed” grants to enable the development and commercial validation of promising technologies that are licensed from Colorado research institutions by Colorado based start-up companies.

CU-based companies receiving funding in this round:

2CTech Corp. – the company’s proprietary SeeQ technology, based on research by CU School of Medicine researchers Jeffrey Olson and Naresh Mandava, uses intraocularly-delivered photoactive nanoparticles (particles which convert light to electrical energy, similar to a conventional solar cell but on a sub-cellular scale) to advance the treatment of ocular diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa, retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration, which lead to diminished sight and eventually blindness.

BioAMPS International - focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of proprietary antimicrobial peptide therapeutics for the treatment of systemic infectious diseases due to drug-resistant bacteria. The company’s proprietary technology platform, based on work by CU School of Medicine researcher Robert S. Hodges, utilizes novel designs of D-conformation peptides (a type of peptide with increased half-life inside the body) to create unique drug candidates.

Mosaic Biosciences - advancing a fundamentally new class of synthetic materials to support native tissue regeneration. With its proprietary platform technology based on the work of CU-Boulder researchers Christopher Bowman and Kristi Anseth, Mosaic expects to significantly impact the field of tissue regeneration, including applications in wound healing, bone regeneration, cartilage repair, stem cell therapy, and dermal fillers.

SuviCa – a drug discovery company that uses a novel screening technology developed by CU-Boulder professor Tin Tin Su, which employs mutant Drosophila (fruit flies) to identify and develop compounds that enhance the efficacy of standard cancer treatments and have the potential for use in combination therapy against cancer.

“We are delighted that these CU licensee companies have received these matching grants,” said David N. Allen, CU’s Associate VP for Technology Transfer. “They represent technologies coming from CU’s Boulder and Anschutz Medical Campuses, and highlight opportunities for improving human health through drug and medical device products."