Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tech Spotlight: Ferroelectric Liquid Crystals (FLCs) with True Gray Scale for Improved Information Displays

Liquid crystals (LCs) are organic materials possessing the fluidity of liquids and the long range molecular orientation found in crystals. Ferroelectric liquid crystals (FLCs) involve spontaneous electric polarization of a material that is very rapidly orientable by applying an external electric field. FLCs combined with silicone chips providing the necessary electric fields have various applications in micro-displays for camera viewfinders and hand held pico-projectors.

A University of Colorado research group led by David Walba and Noel Clark has developed an approach for generating FLC electro-optics with gray-scale resolution without the need for a DC balance. This new approach involves “electrostatic V-shaped switching” where there is no electric field inside the liquid crystal layer of the device. V-shaped switching eliminates the need for DC balance, allowing the achievable brightness of the image to be ~2x as bright as current approaches. It creates true gray scale modulation instead of a perceived gray scale, reduces power dissipation for increased battery life, and provides “phase only” modulation potentially useful for holographic imaging.

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, July 5, 2011

Tech Spotlight: Improved Treatment of Brain Tumors using MicroRNA

A research team at the University of Colorado led by Rajeev Vibhakar has discovered that a specific microRNA has growth-suppressive activity in medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor of childhood. While medulloblastoma outcomes have improved, there is significant therapy-related morbidity: while chemotherapy can significantly reduce risk of recurrence, which is typically fatal, most chemotherapeutic agents kill both tumor and normal cells, resulting in various side effects.

Dr. Vibhakar’s work provide methods for treating cancer by inhibiting Bmi-1 by using miRNA128. Bmi-1 is believed to be necessary for cell regeneration of hematopoietic stem cells as well as peripheral and central nervous system neural stem cells. Bmi-1 is also thought to inhibit ageing in neurons, as well as also playing a role in several other types of cancer, such as bladder, skin, prostate, breast, ovarian, colorectal as well as hematological malignancies. Accordingly, Dr. Vibhakar’s work demonstrates the utility for treating these cancers by inhibiting Bmi-1 using miRNA128. This approach has the potential to be more efficacious than conventional chemotherapy, and to produce fewer side effects.

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