January 31, 2017

January 2017 patents

Innovations in vaccine technology, nanoscale wire sensors and field-effect transistors, HDAC inhibitors, identifying homologous genes, structural color, and more

Harvard faculty Greg Verdine, John Rinn, George Whitesides, Peng Yin, Vinothan Manoharan, Michael Greenberg, Charles Lieber, Ronald Walsworth, Jeff Lichtman, Ting Wu, David Mooney, Ulrich von Andrian, and John Mekalanos are among the inventors issued U.S. patents during January 2017.

The innovations recognized are as follows:

Protein matrix vaccines and related methods of making and administering such vaccines
U.S. Patent 9,533,032 (January 3, 2017)

John J. Mekalanos

Abstract: The invention relates to vaccine compositions having a carrier protein and an antigen of interest entrapped in a complex, methods of making such vaccines, and methods of vaccine administration.

High-sensitivity nanoscale wire sensors
U.S. Patent 9,535,063 (January 3, 2017)

Charles M. Lieber, Xuan Gao, and Gengfeng Zheng

Abstract: One aspect of the invention provides a nanoscale wire that has improved sensitivity, for example, as the carrier concentration in the wire is controlled by an external gate voltage. In one set of embodiments, the nanoscale wire has a Debye screening length that is greater than the average cross-sectional dimension of the nanoscale wire when the nanoscale wire is exposed to a solution suspected of containing an analyte. In certain instances, the Debye screening length associated with the carriers inside nanoscale wire may be adjusted by adjusting the voltage, for example, a gate voltage applied to an FET structure. In some cases, the nanoscale wire can be operated under conditions where the carriers in the nanoscale wire are depleted and the nanoscale wire has a conductance that is not linearly proportional to the voltage applied to the nanoscale wire sensor device, for example, via a gate electrode.

Vaccine nanotechnology
U.S. Patent 9,539,210 (January 10, 2017)

Ulrich H. von Andrian, Omid C. Farokhzad, Robert S. Langer, Tobias Junt, Elliott Ashley Moseman, Liangfang Zhang, Pamela Basto, Matteo Iannacone, and Frank Alexis

Abstract: The present invention provides compositions and systems for delivery of nanocarriers to cells of the immune system. The invention provides vaccine nanocarriers capable of stimulating an immune response in T cells and/or B cells, in some embodiments, comprising at least one immunomodulatory agent, and optionally comprising at last one targeting moiety and optionally at least one immunostimulatory agent. The invention provides pharmaceutical compositions comprising inventive vaccine nanocarriers. The present invention provides methods of designing, manufacturing, and using inventive vaccine nanocarriers and pharmaceutical compositions thereof. The invention provides methods of prophylaxis and/or treatment of diseases, disorders, and conditions comprising administering at least one inventive vaccine nanocarrier to a subject in need thereof.

Controlled release of growth factors and signaling molecules for promoting angiogenesis
U.S. Patent 9,539,309 (January 10, 2017)

Lan Cao and David J. Mooney

Abstract: The present invention comprises compositions, methods, and devices for delivering angiogenic factors and signaling molecules to a target tissue, and controlling the release of these factors and signaling molecules to spatially and temporally restrict their release and dissemination, for the purpose of promoting angiogenesis in target tissues wherein increased blood supply is needed.

Class- and isoform-specific HDAC inhibitors and uses thereof
U.S. Patent 9,540,317 (January 10, 2017)

Ralph Mazitschek and James E. Bradner

Abstract: The present invention is drawn to compounds of Formula (I) below:
US Patent 9540317 structure
and the pharmaceutically acceptable salts thereof, wherein R and R'' are defined herein. The compounds are useful inhibitors of histone deacetylases (HDAC).

Methods of identifying homologous genes using FISH
U.S. Patent 9,540,685 (January 10, 2017)

Chao-ting Wu and Brian Beliveau

Abstract: The present invention relates to methods of hybridizing nucleic acid probes to genomic DNA.

Multi-color nanoscale imaging based on nanoparticle cathodoluminescence
U.S. Patent 9,541,512 (January 10, 2017)

Ronald Walsworth, Jeff Lichtman, Narayanan Kasthuri, David Glenn, Huiliang Zhang, and Richard Schalek

Abstract: Multi-color CL images of nanoparticle samples may be generated, by irradiating with a scanning electron beam a nanoparticle sample that containing a plurality of spectrally distinct optical emitters configured to generate CL light at respective different color channels, then detecting the CL light from the nanoparticles to generate multi-color NP-CL images of the nanoparticle sample. In some embodiments, SE (secondary electron) images of the sample may be acquire, substantially simultaneously with the acquisition of the CL images, so as to generate correlative NP-CL and SE images of the nanoparticle sample. In some embodiments, the nanoparticles may be surface-functionalized so that the nanoparticles selectively bind only to particular structures of interest.

Nanoscale field-effect transistors for biomolecular sensors and other applications
U.S. Patent 9,541,522 (January 10, 2017)

Charles M. Lieber, Hwan Sung Choe, and Xueliang Liu

Abstract: The present invention generally relates to nanoscale wires, including to nanoscale wires used as sensors. In some cases, the nanoscale wires may be used to directly determine analytes, even within relatively complicated environments such as blood, unlike many prior art techniques. In some aspects, the nanoscale wire form at least a portion of the gate of a field-effect transistor, and in certain aspects, different periodically-varying voltages or other electrical signals may be applied to the field-effect transistor. For example, in one set of embodiments, sinusoidally-varying voltages of different frequencies may be applied to the nanoscale wire and the source electrode of the field-effect transistor. The electrical conductance or other properties of the nanoscale wire in response to the periodically-varying voltages may then be determined and used to determine binding of the species.

Method of promoting excitatory synapse formation with an anti-Ephexin5 phospho-Y361 antibody
U.S. Patent 9,541,546 (January 10, 2017)

John Salogiannis, Michael E. Greenberg, and Seth S. Margolis

Abstract: The invention provides methods of screening a compound that can increase spine/excitatory synapse formation and/or numbers. The compound is identified by contacting Ephexin5 with a test compound and selecting the compounds that inhibit Rho GEF activity of Ephexin5. Additionally, the invention also provides methods for increasing spine/excitatory synapse formation and/or numbers by contacting a neuron with an Ephexin5 inhibitor.

Photonic balls containing a microstructure of core-shell particles exhibiting angularly-independent structural color
U.S. Patent 9,541,674 (January 10, 2017)

Vinothan Manoharan, Sofia Magkiriadou, and Jin-Gyu Park

Abstract: A photonic assembly for observing a preselected color includes an assembly of colloidal particles in a continuous liquid phase, the colloidal particles comprising a core scattering center and a shell layer surrounding the core, wherein the core scattering center is selected to scatter light having a predetermined wavelength, and wherein the shell has a thickness selected to provide an overall colloidal particle size that is about the same dimension as the wavelength of preselected color to be observed.

Riboregulator compositions and methods of use
U.S. Patent 9,550,987 (January 24, 2017)

Alexander A. Green, Peng Yin, and James J. Collins

Abstract: The invention provides novel and versatile classes of riboregulators, including inter alia activating and repressing riboregulators, switches, and trigger and sink RNA, and methods of their use for detecting RNAs in a sample such as a well and in modulating protein synthesis and expression.

Density-based methods for separation of materials, monitoring of solid supported reactions and measuring densities of small liquid volumes and solids
U.S. Patent 9,551,706 (January 24, 2017)

Scott T. Phillips, George M. Whitesides, Katherine A. Mirica, Emanuel Carrilho, Andres W. Martinez, Sergey S. Shevkoplyas, Phillip W. Snyder, Raquel Perez-Castillejos, Malancha Gupta, Adam Winkleman, and Katherine L. Gudiksen

Abstract: The ability to levitate, to separate, and to detect changes in density using diamagnetic particles suspended in solutions containing paramagnetic cations using an inhomogeneous magnetic field is described. The major advantages of this separation device are that: i) it is a simple apparatus that does not require electric power (a set of permanent magnets and gravity are sufficient for the diamagnetic separation and collection system to work); ii) it is compatible with simple optical detection (provided that transparent materials are used to fabricate the containers/channels where separation occurs; iii) it is simple to collect the separated particles for further processing; iv) it does not require magnetic labeling of the particles/materials; and v) it is small, portable. The method and kits provided provide for separation and collection of materials of different densities, diagnostics for detection of analytes of interest, monitoring of solid-supported chemical reactions and determination of densities of solid and liquid mixtures.

IncRNA-knockout mice
U.S. Patent 9,554,564 (January 31, 2017)

Ka-Man Venus Lai, Guochun Gong, John Rinn, David Frendewey, and David M. Valenzuela

Abstract: Genetically modified non-human animals are provided that exhibit a functional lack of one or more lncRNAs. Methods and compositions for disrupting, deleting, and/or replacing lncRNA-encoding sequences are provided. Genetically modified mice that age prematurely are provided. Also provided are cells, tissues and embryos that are genetically modified to comprise a loss-of-function of one or more lncRNAs.

Stitched polypeptides
U.S. Patent 9,556,227 (January 31, 2017)

Gregory L. Verdine and Young-Woo Kim

Abstract: The present invention provides inventive stitched polypeptides, pharmaceutical compositions thereof, and methods of making and using inventive stitched polypeptides.

Press Contact

Caroline Perry, (617) 495-4157
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Press Contact

Caroline Perry
(617) 495-4157
Email