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May 31, 2019

May 2019 patents

Innovations in rehabilitative walking devices, transparent sensors and actuators, conditioning for tissue transplants, microfluidic systems, retrievable information storage using nucleic acids, and more

Harvard faculty Conor Walsh, Eugene Goldfield, David Scadden, Marko Loncar, David Weitz, Jeff Lichtman, George Church, Don Ingber, David Knipe, Peng Yin, Donhee Ham, George Whitesides, Greg Verdine, Zhigang Suo, and Ken Nakayama are among the inventors issued U.S. patents in May 2019.

The innovations recognized are as follows:

Systems, methods, and devices for assisting walking for developmentally-delayed toddlers
U.S. Patent 10,278,883 (May 7, 2019)

Conor J. Walsh, Eugene C. Goldfield, Sang-Eun Song, and Evelyn Park

Abstract: In at least some aspects, the present concepts include a method of enabling rehabilitation of bodily control of a user comprising the acts of: integrating the user within a multi-module robotic system, the multi-module robotic system comprising modules of a flexible exosuit, a support module, a mobile base, or a combination thereof, applying one or more forces, cues, or a combination thereof on the user, based on one or more subtask-specific functions of the modules, to cause a developing of one or more subtasks of the bodily control, and managing control of one or more remaining subtasks of the bodily control by the modules in place of at least in part, the user while applying the one or more forces, cues, or a combination thereof.

Compositions and methods for non-myeloablative conditioning
U.S. Patent 10,280,225 (May 7, 2019)

David T. Scadden, Rahul Palchaudhuri, Derrick J. Rossi, and Agnieszka D. Czechowicz

Abstract: Disclosed herein are non-myeloablative antibody-toxin conjugates and compositions that target cell surface markers, such as the CD34, CD45 or CD117 receptors, and related methods of their use to effectively conditioning a subject's tissues (e.g., bone marrow tissue) prior to engraftment or transplant. The compositions and methods disclosed herein may be used to condition a subject's tissues in advance of, for example, hematopoietic stem cell transplant and advantageously such compositions and methods do not cause the toxicities that are commonly associated with traditional conditioning methods.

Device support structures from bulk substrates
U.S. Patent 10,281,648 (May 7, 2019)

Michael J. Burek and Marko Loncar

Abstract: A substrate is composed of a first material. A photonic structure is composed of the first material connected to one or more support structures composed of the first material between the photonic structure and a surface of the substrate, with at least one of the support structures supporting a first section of a strip of the photonic structure. The first section has a width that is wider than a width of a second section of the strip and has a length that is at least about twice the width of the second section of the strip.

Manipulation of fluids, fluid components and reactions in microfluidic systems
U.S. Patent 10,286,396 (May 14, 2019)

Seth Fraden, Hakim Boukellal, Yanwei Jia, Seila Selimovic, Amy Rowat, Jeremy Agresti, and David A. Weitz

Abstract: Microfluidic structures and methods for manipulating fluids, fluid components, and reactions are provided. In one aspect, such structures and methods can allow production of droplets of a precise volume, which can be stored/maintained at precise regions of the device. In another aspect, microfluidic structures and methods described herein are designed for containing and positioning components in an arrangement such that the components can be manipulated and then tracked even after manipulation. For example, cells may be constrained in an arrangement in microfluidic structures described herein to facilitate tracking during their growth and/or after they multiply.

Single cell nucleic acid detection and analysis
U.S. Patent 10,287,630 (May 14, 2019)

Xiaoliang Sunney Xie, Katsuyuki Shiroguchi, Peter A. Sims, and Tony Z. Jia

Abstract: Methods and compositions for digital profiling of nucleic acid sequences present in a sample are provided.

Methods, apparatuses and systems for collection of tissue sections
U.S. Patent 10,288,532 (May 14, 2019)

Kenneth Jeffrey Hayworth, Richard Schalek, Juan Carlos Tapia, Narayanan Kasthuri, and Jeff Lichtman

Abstract: Methods, apparatuses and systems for facilitating automated or semi-automated collection of tissue samples cut by a microtome. In one example, a collection apparatus may be moved back and forth between respective positions at which the collection apparatus is operatively coupled to a microtome so as to collect cut tissue samples, or routine access to the microtome is provided. Relatively easy movement and positioning of the collection apparatus is facilitated, while at the same time ensuring structural stability and appropriate alignment and/or isolation between the collection apparatus and the microtome. A fluid reservoir receives samples cut by the microtome, and the collection apparatus may collect samples via a conveyor-like substrate disposed near/in the reservoir. A linear movement of the substrate may be controlled based on a cutting rate of the microtome, and the fluid level in the reservoir may be automatically maintained to facilitate effective sample collection.

Methods for retrievable information storage using nucleic acids
U.S. Patent 10,289,801 (May 14, 2019)

George M. Church

Abstract: A method of storing information using monomers such as nucleotides is provided 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 on a substrate having a plurality of reaction locations, and storing the synthesized plurality of corresponding oligonucleotide sequences.

Microfluidic cartridge assembly
U.S. Patent 10,293,339 (May 21, 2019)

Donald E. Ingber, Daniel Levner, Guy Thompson II, and Christopher David Hinojosa

Abstract: According to aspects of the present invention, a cartridge assembly for transporting fluid into or out of one or more fluidic devices includes a first layer and a second layer. The first layer includes a first surface. The first surface includes at least one partial channel disposed thereon. The second layer abuts the first surface, thereby forming a channel from the at least one partial channel. At least one of the first layer and the second layer is a resilient layer formed from a pliable material. At least one of the first layer and the second layer includes a via hole. The via hole is aligned with the channel to pass fluid thereto. The via hole is configured to pass fluid through the first layer or the second layer substantially perpendicularly to the channel. Embossments are also used to define aspects of a fluidic channel.

Formation and control of fluidic species
U.S. Patent 10,293,341 (May 21, 2019)

Darren Roy Link, David A. Weitz, Manuel Marquez-Sanchez, and Zhengdong Cheng

Abstract: This invention generally relates to systems and methods for the formation and/or control of fluidic species, and articles produced by such systems and methods. In some cases, the invention involves unique fluid channels, systems, controls, and/or restrictions, and combinations thereof. In certain embodiments, the invention allows fluidic streams (which can be continuous or discontinuous, i.e., droplets) to be formed and/or combined, at a variety of scales, including microfluidic scales. In one set of embodiments, a fluidic stream may be produced from a channel, where a cross-sectional dimension of the fluidic stream is smaller than that of the channel, for example, through the use of structural elements, other fluids, and/or applied external fields, etc. In some cases, a Taylor cone may be produced. In another set of embodiments, a fluidic stream may be manipulated in some fashion, for example, to create tubes (which may be hollow or solid), droplets, nested tubes or droplets, arrays of tubes or droplets, meshes of tubes, etc. In some cases, droplets produced using certain embodiments of the invention may be charged or substantially charged, which may allow their further manipulation, for instance, using applied external fields. Non-limiting examples of such manipulations include producing charged droplets, coalescing droplets (especially at the microscale), synchronizing droplet formation, aligning molecules within the droplet, etc. In some cases, the droplets and/or the fluidic streams may include colloids, cells, therapeutic agents, and the like.

Foreign DNA surveillance protein
U.S. Patent 10,294,480 (May 21, 2019)

David M. Knipe and Megan Horn Orzalli

Abstract: A method for augmenting expression of a heterologous nucleic acid in a eukaryotic cell or increasing the efficiency of gene expression using any gene expression system is carried out by decreasing expression or activity of an endogenous Interferon-induced protein-16 (IFI16).

High-throughput and highly multiplexed imaging with programmable nucleic acid probes
U.S. Patent 10,294,510 (May 21, 2019)

Peng Yin, Sarit Agasti, Xi Chen, and Ralf Jungmann

Abstract: The present invention provides, inter alia, methods and compositions for imaging, at high spatial resolution, targets of interest.

Integrated circuit for NMR systems
U.S. Patent 10,295,636 (May 21, 2019)

Yi-qiao Song, Jeffrey Paulsen, Donhee Ham, and Dongwan Ha

Abstract: An integrated circuit is provided for use in conjunction with an external antenna. The integrated circuit includes a memory circuit, a pulse sequencer, an NMR transmitter circuit and an NMR receiver circuit. The memory circuit is configured to store user-defined parameter data pertaining to an excitation period and an acquisition period that are part of an NMR pulse sequence. The pulse sequencer and the NMR transmitter circuit are configured to cooperate to generate RF signals in accordance the user-defined parameter data stored in the memory circuit, wherein such RF signals are supplied to the external antenna for emitting excitation signals from the external antenna during the excitation period of the NMR pulse sequence. The NMR receiver circuit is configured to receive electrical signals generated by the external antenna during the acquisition period of the NMR pulse sequence.

Soft bladder for interabdominal surgery
U.S. Patent 10,299,779 (May 28, 2019)

Robert F. Shepherd, George M. Whitesides, and Bobak Mosadegh

Abstract: A surgical device for displacement of organs within a body cavity for providing at least visual access to a selected site includes an expandable bladder, wherein the elasticity of the bladder varies across the surface of the bladder, said variation in elasticity selected to provide a predetermined, non-spherical shape when expanded; and a valve on the proximal end on the inflatable bladder for introduction of a pressurizing gas into the soft bladder.

Stitched polypeptides
U.S. Patent 10,301,351 (May 28, 2019)

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.

Stretchable ionics for transparent sensors and actuators
U.S. Patent 10,302,586 (May 28, 2019)

Jeong Yun Sun, Christoph Matthias Keplinger, Zhigang Suo, and George M. Whitesides

Abstract: A class of devices enabled by ionic conductors is highly stretchable, fully transparent to light of all colors, biocompatible or biodegradable, and capable of operation at frequencies beyond 10 kilohertz and voltages above 10 kilovolts. These devices enabled by ionic conductors can be used as large strain actuators, full-range loudspeakers, as strain or pressure sensors and as stretchable interconnects. The electromechanical transduction is achieved without electrochemical reaction. When large stretchability and high optical transmittance are required, the ionic conductors have lower sheet resistance than all existing electronic conductors.

Systems and methods for machine learning enhanced by human measurements
U.S. Patent 10,303,982 (May 28, 2019)

David Cox, Walter Scheirer, Samuel Anthony, and Ken Nakayama

Abstract: In various embodiments, training objects are classified by human annotators, psychometric data characterizing the annotation of the training objects is acquired, a human-weighted loss function based at least in part on the classification data and the psychometric data is computationally derived, and one or more features of a query object are computationally classified based at least in part on the human-weighted loss function.

Press Contact

Caroline Perry, (617) 495-4157

Press Contact

Caroline Perry
(617) 495-4157