July 2016 patents
Engineered tissue films, info storage in nucleic acids, strong and stretchy hydrogel, continuous directed evolution, and more
Harvard faculty David Mooney, Kit Parker, George Whitesides, George Church, Mikhail Lukin, Joost J. Vlassak, Zhigang Suo, David Liu, and Roy Gordon are among the inventors issued U.S. patents during July 2016.
The innovations recognized are as follows:
Programming of cells for tolerogenic therapies
U.S. Patent 9,381,235 (July 5, 2016)
Roger Warren Sands, Eduardo Alexandre Barros e Silva, Toshihisa Kawai, and David J. Mooney
Abstract: Biomaterial systems, e.g., gel scaffolds, are used in vivo to recruit immune cells and promote their activation towards a non-inflammatory phenotype, thereby leading suppression of inflammation. The compositions and methods are useful to reduce the severity of autoimmunity, chronic inflammation, allergy, and periodontal disease.
Engineered cell growth on polymeric films and biotechnological application thereof
U.S. Patent 9,383,350 (July 5, 2016)
Kevin Kit Parker, Adam W. Feinberg, George M. Whitesides, Sergey S. Shevkoplyas, and Alexander Feigel
Abstract: A free-standing thin film is fabricated from a structure comprising a base layer coated with a sacrificial polymer layer, which is in turn coated with a flexible polymer layer. Cells are then seeded onto the flexible polymer layer and cultured to form a tissue. The flexible polymer layer is then released from the base layer to produce a free-standing thin film comprising the tissue on the flexible polymer layer. In one embodiment, the cells are myocytes, which can be actuated to propel or displace the free-standing film. In another embodiment, the free-standing film is used to treat injured human tissue.
Methods of storing information using nucleic acids
U.S. Patent 9,384,320 (July 5, 2016)
George M. Church
Abstract: The present invention relates to methods of storing data using one or more nucleic acids including converting a format of information into a plurality of bit sequences of a bit stream with each having a corresponding bit barcode, converting the plurality of bit sequences to a plurality of corresponding oligonucleotide sequences using one bit per base encoding, synthesizing the plurality of corresponding oligonucleotide sequences, and storing the synthesized plurality of corresponding oligonucleotide sequences.
High-precision GHZ clock generation using spin states in diamond
U.S. Patent 9,385,654 (July 5, 2016)
Dirk R. Englund, Jonathan Hodges, Mikhail D. Lukin, and Norman Y. Yao
Abstract: Techniques for obtaining a frequency standard using the crystal field splitting frequency of nitrogen vacancy center in diamond are disclosed. In certain exemplary embodiments, a microwave field is applied to the diamond and optically exciting the diamond under green light. The photoluminescent response of the diamond is measured by a photodetector. The intensity of the photoluminescent response can be used to determine the phase shift between the microwave and the crystal field splitting frequency. The microwave field frequency can be adjusted until the phase shift is below a predetermined threshold, and the microwave frequency can then be output for use as a standard.
Interpenetrating networks with covalent and Ionic Crosslinks
U.S. Patent 9,387,276 (July 12, 2016)
Jeong-Yun Sun, Xuanhe Zhao, Widusha R. K. Illeperuma, Kyu Hwan Oh, Joost J. Vlassak, Zhigang Suo, Jianyu Li, and David J. Mooney
Abstract: The invention features a composition comprising a self-healing interpenetrating network hydrogel comprising a first network and a second network. The first network comprises covalent crosslinks and the second network comprises ionic or physical crosslinks. For example, the first network comprises a polyacrylamide polymer and second network comprises an alginate polymer.
Cas9-recombinase fusion proteins and uses thereof
U.S. Patent 9,388,430 (July 12, 2016)
David R. Liu, John Paul Guilinger, and David B. Thompson
Abstract: Some aspects of this disclosure provide compositions, methods, and kits for improving the specificity of RNA-programmable endonucleases, such as Cas9. Also provided are variants of Cas9, e.g., Cas9 dimers and fusion proteins, engineered to have improved specificity for cleaving nucleic acid targets. Also provided are compositions, methods, and kits for site-specific recombination, using Cas9 fusion proteins (e.g., nuclease-inactivated Cas9 fused to a recombinase catalytic domain). Such Cas9 variants are useful in clinical and research settings involving site-specific modification of DNA, for example, genomic modifications.
Self-aligned barrier and capping layers for interconnects
U.S. Patent 9,390,971 (July 12, 2016)
Roy Gerald Gordon, Harish B. Bhandari, Yeung Au, and Youbo Lin
Abstract: An interconnect structure for integrated circuits for copper wires in integrated circuits and methods for making the same are provided. Mn, Cr, or V containing layer forms a barrier against copper diffusing out of the wires, thereby protecting the insulator from premature breakdown, and protecting transistors from degradation by copper. The Mn, Cr, or V containing layer also promotes strong adhesion between copper and insulators, thus preserving the mechanical integrity of the devices during manufacture and use, as well as protecting against failure by electromigration of the copper during use of the devices and protecting the copper from corrosion by oxygen or water from its surroundings. In forming such integrated circuits, certain embodiments of the invention provide methods to selectively deposit Mn, Cr, V, or Co on the copper surfaces while reducing or even preventing deposition of Mn, Cr, V, or Co on insulator surfaces. Catalytic deposition of copper using a Mn, Cr, or V containing precursor and an iodine or bromine containing precursor is also provided.
Continuous directed evolution
U.S. Patent 9,394,537 (July 19, 2016)
David R. Liu, Kevin Michael Esvelt, and Jacob Charles Carlson
Abstract: The invention provides systems, methods, reagents, apparatuses, vectors, and host cells for the continuous evolution of nucleic acids. For example, a lagoon is provided in which a population of viral vectors comprising a gene of interest replicates in a stream of host cells, wherein the viral vectors lack a gene encoding a protein required for the generation of infectious viral particles, and wherein that gene is expressed in the host cells under the control of a conditional promoter, the activity of which depends on a function of the gene of interest to be evolved. Some aspects of this invention provide evolved products obtained from continuous evolution procedures described herein. Kits containing materials for continuous evolution are also provided.