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January 07, 2019

December 2018 patents

Innovations in proteomics, photonic materials, deposition of RFID tags, treatment of metabolic disorders, scaffolds for cell transplantation, self-folding machines, and more

Harvard faculty Steven Gygi, Marc Kirschner, Wilhelm Haas, Leonid Peshkin, Joanna Aizenberg, Rob Howe, Rob Wood, Simon Talbot, Lee Kaplan, David Mooney, Priscilla Yang, Nathanael Gray, David Weitz, Jennifer Lewis, Malcolm Whitman, Tracy Keller, Ralph Mazitschek, Gokhan Hotamisligil, and Adam Cohen are among the inventors issued U.S. patents in December 2018.

The innovations recognized are as follows:

Accurate and interference-free multiplexed quantitative proteomics using mass spectrometry
U.S. Patent 10,145,818 (December 4, 2018)

Martin Helmut Wuhr, Steven P. Gygi, Wilhelm Haas, Graeme Conrad McAlister, Leonid Peshkin, Ramin Rad, and Marc W. Kirschner

Abstract: Embodiments are directed to a method, a computer readable medium encoded with instructions that, when executed, perform a method, and a system for performing mass spectrometry analysis. Molecules of different samples may be labeled with a chemical tag, allowing a multiplexed analysis of multiple samples. The labeled molecules may be fragmented, each fragmented molecule creating at least two separate ions. The relative abundance of each of the heavier ions, which may comprise the original molecule from the sample, may be measured. A relative abundance of the labeled molecules in each of the samples may be determined from the measured relative abundances of the heavier ions.

Band-gap tunable elastic optical multilayer fibers
U.S. Patent 10,146,007 (December 4, 2018)

Joanna Aizenberg, Mathias Kolle, Peter Vukusic, and Robert D. Howe

Abstract: The rolled photonic fibers presents two codependent, technologically exploitable features for light and color manipulation: regularity on the nanoscale that is superposed with microscale cylindrical symmetry, resulting in wavelength selective scattering of light in a wide range of directions. The bio-inspired photonic fibers combine the spectral filtering capabilities and color brilliance of a planar Bragg stack compounded with a large angular scattering range introduced by the microscale curvature, which also decreases the strong directional chromaticity variation usually associated with flat multilayer reflectors. Transparent and elastic synthetic materials equip the multilayer interference fibers with high reflectance that is dynamically tuned by longitudinal mechanical strain. A two-fold elongation of the elastic fibers results in a shift of reflection peak center wavelength of over 200 nm.

Deposition of RFID tags
U.S. Patent 10,149,736 (December 11, 2018)

Michael J. Smith, Frank L. Hammond, III, Robert J. Wood, and Simon G. Talbot

Abstract: In a method for printing an RFID tag on an object, a deposition mask is applied to the surface of an object. With the deposition mask on the surface of the object, RFID materials are deposited on at least one portion of the surface exposed by aperture(s) in the deposition mask. In particular embodiments, RFID tags can be deposited on medical instruments.

Compositions of microbiota and methods related thereto
U.S. Patents 10,149,867 and 10,149,870 (December 11, 2018)

Lee M. Kaplan, Alice P. Liou, Peter J. Turnbaugh, and Jason L. Harris

Abstract: Methods and compositions are provided for treating weight related conditions and metabolic disorders by altering microbiota in a subject. One aspect provides methods and compositions to alter microbiota in a subject by administering to the subject a composition that includes a substantially purified microbiota from phyla such as Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Firmicutes and Verrucomicrobia or orders such as Bacteroidales, Verrucomicrobiales, Clostridiales and Enterobacteriales or genera such as Alistipes, Clostridium, Escherichia, and Akkermansia. Another aspect includes a pharmaceutical composition for altering microbiota that includes a therapeutically effective amount of substantially purified microbiota and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier. Yet another aspect includes methods for treating a disorder, such as obesity, in a subject in need of such treatment by changing relative abundance of microbiota in a gastrointestinal tract of the subject without or in addition to a surgical procedure.

Scaffolds for cell transplantation
U.S. Patent 10,149,897 (December 11, 2018)

David J. Mooney, Omar Abdel-Rahman Ali, Eduardo Alexandre Barros e Silva, Hyun Joon Kong, Elliot Earl Hill, Jr., and Tanyarut Boontheekul

Abstract: A device that includes a scaffold composition and a bioactive composition with the bioactive composition being incorporated into or coated onto the scaffold composition such that the scaffold composition and/or a bioactive composition controls egress of a resident cell or progeny thereof. The devices mediate active recruitment, modification, and release of host cells from the material.

Substituted heterocyclic compounds for treating or preventing viral infections
U.S. Patent 10,150,742 (December 11, 2018)

Priscilla Yang, Nathanael S. Gray, Chandrasekhar Miduturu, and Margaret J. Clark

Abstract: Disclosed herein are pyrimidine compounds of formula I and formula II and methods for treating or preventing a viral infection, such as infections caused by dengue virus in a subject, comprising administering to said subject an effective amount of a pyrimidine compound of formula I or formula II.

Self-folding machines
U.S. Patent 10,151,304 (December 11, 2018)

Samuel M. Felton, Robert J. Wood, Michael T. Tolley, Erik D. Demaine, and Daniela Rus

Abstract: A self-folding machine comprises a laminate including a flexible layer with a first side and a second side; a first rigid layer including at least one gap laminated to the first side of the flexible layer; a second rigid layer including at least one gap laminated to the second side of the flexible layer, wherein the rigid layers are more rigid than the flexible layer; a first contractible layer laminated to the first rigid layer and extending across at least one gap in the first rigid layer; and a second contractible layer laminated to the second rigid layer and extending across at least one gap in the second rigid layer, wherein the first and second contractible layers retract to respectively create folds in the machine across gaps in the first and second rigid layers when activated.

Rapid production of droplets
U.S. Patent 10,151,429 (December 11, 2018)

David A. Weitz and Esther Amstad

Abstract: The present invention generally relates to the production of fluidic droplets. Certain aspects of the invention are generally directed to systems and methods for creating droplets by flowing a fluid from a first channel to a second channel through a plurality of side channels. The fluid exiting the side channels into the second channel may form a plurality of droplets, and in some embodiments, at very high droplet production rates. In addition, in some aspects, double or higher-order multiple emulsions may also be formed. In some embodiments, this may be achieved by forming multiple emulsions through a direct, synchronized production method and/or through the formation of a single emulsion that is collected and re-injected into a second microfluidic device to form double emulsions.

Printed stretchable strain sensor
U.S. Patent 10,151,649 (December 11, 2018)

Jennifer A. Lewis, Joseph T. Muth, Daniel M. Vogt, Ryan L. Truby, Yigit Menguc, David B. Kolesky, and Robert J. Wood

Abstract: A printed stretchable strain sensor comprises a seamless elastomeric body and a strain-sensitive conductive structure embedded in the seamless elastomeric body. The strain-sensitive conductive structure comprises one or more conductive filaments arranged in a continuous pattern. A method of printing a stretchable strain sensor comprises depositing one or more conductive filaments in a predetermined continuous pattern into or onto a support matrix. After the depositing, the support matrix is cured to embed a strain-sensitive conductive structure in a seamless elastomeric body.

Halofuginol derivatives and their use in cosmetic and pharmaceutical compositions
U.S. Patent 10,155,742 (December 18, 2018)

Malcolm Whitman, Tracy Keller, and Ralph Mazitschek

Abstract: The present invention provides halofuginol, and derivatives and salts thereof, including diasteromerically enriched compositions thereof. The invention also provides pharmaceutical and cosmetic compositions thereof as well as methods for using halofuginol and derivatives thereof in treating chronic inflammatory diseases, autoimmune diseases, dry eye syndrome, fibrosis, scar formation, angiogenesis, viral infections, malaria, ischemic damage, transplant rejection, neurodegenerative diseases, T-cell neoplasms, and cosmetic conditions.

Method for lysing a single cell in a solid tissue
U.S. Patent 10,159,952 (December 25, 2018)

Alexei Finski and Gavin MacBeath

Abstract: The invention provides a method for lysing a single cell embedded in a tissue from the inside of the cell, and collecting the intracellular lysate for use in analytical methods. This method preserves the state of molecules of the cell, and therefore allows for transformation of a single target cell in live tissue into a format that can be evaluated using analytical methods.

Anti-aP2 antibodies and antigen binding agents to treat metabolic disorders
U.S. Patent 10,160,798 (December 25, 2018)

Gokhan S. Hotamisligil, Mehmet F. Burak, Feyza Engin, Scott B. Widenmaier, Elisabeth Helen Roberts, Adrian Richard Moore, Carl Brendan Doyle, Ralph Adams, Karine Jeannine Madeleine Herve, Shauna Mhairi Wales, and Kerry Louise Tyson

Abstract: This invention is in the area of improved anti-aP2 antibodies and antigen binding agents, and compositions thereof, which target the lipid chaperone aP2/FABP4 (referred to as "aP2") for use in treating disorders such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease, and/or cancer, among others. In one aspect, improved treatments for aP2 mediated disorders are disclosed in which serum aP2 is targeted and the biological activity of aP2 is neutralized or modulated using low-binding affinity aP2 monoclonal antibodies, providing lower fasting blood glucose levels, improved systemic glucose metabolism, increased systemic insulin sensitivity, reduced fat mass, reduced liver steatosis, reduced cardiovascular disease and/or a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Systems, methods, and workflows for optogenetics analysis
U.S. Patent 10,161,937 (December 25, 2018)

Adam Ezra Cohen, Joel Kralj, Adam D. Douglass, and Daniel Hochbaum

Abstract: The invention provides methods for characterizing cellular physiology by incorporating into an electrically excitable cell an optical reporter of, and an optical actuator of, electrical activity. A signal is obtained from the optical reporter in response to a stimulation of the cell. Either or both of the optical reporter and actuator may be based on genetically-encoded rhodopsins incorporated into the cell. The invention provides all optical methods that may be used instead of, or as a complement to, traditional patch clamp technologies and that can provide rapid, accurate, and flexible assays of cellular physiology.

Press Contact

Caroline Perry, (617) 495-4157

Press Contact

Caroline Perry
(617) 495-4157