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December 7th, 2017

November 2017 patents

Innovations in electrochemical filters, anti-PD1 antibodies, genome editing and Cas9 delivery, automatic analysis of animal behavior, and more

Harvard faculty Mohamed Masoud, Jene Golovchenko, Neel Joshi, Arlene Sharpe, Quan Lu, David Weitz, George Church, David Mooney, Bob Datta, Chad Vecitis, and Tirthankar Dasgupta are among the inventors issued U.S. patents in November 2017.

The innovations recognized are as follows:

3D dentofacial system and method
U.S. Patent 9,808,326 (November 7, 2017)

Mohamed I. Masoud

Abstract: A reference standard or reference system for dental feature location and orientation can include evaluating the facial appearance of one or more subjects based on aesthetic criteria and selecting a subset of subjects. The reference standard further includes constructing 3D representations, (e.g., a 3D virtual model), of the facial and dental features of the subset of subjects, from photographs of the face and mouth of each subject and determining the location and/or orientation of one or more dental features for each subject. The location and/or orientation values for each subject can be used to produce an average value and a standard deviation that forms the basis for a reference standard as part of reference system for evaluating patients. The method and system further includes constructing 3D representations (e.g., a 3D virtual model) of the facial and dental features of a patient from photographs of the face and mouth of the patient and determining the location and/or orientation of one or more dental features of the patient in order to compare them to the reference standard and develop a treatment plan for the subject based on differences between the patient's measurements and reference standard. The reference standard can use the pupils (e.g., in the natural head position orientation) as a landmark for registration and scaling of the reference standard to the patient under evaluation.

Surface wetting method
U.S. Patent 9,815,082 (November 14, 2017)

Jene A. Golovchenko, Bo Lu, and Aaron T. Kuan

Abstract: In a method for forming nanopores, two opposing surfaces of a membrane are exposed to an electrically conducting liquid environment. A nanopore nucleation voltage pulse, having a first nucleation pulse amplitude and duration, is applied between the two membrane surfaces, through the liquid environment. After applying the nanopore nucleation voltage pulse, the electrical conductance of the membrane is measured and compared to a first prespecified electrical conductance. Then at least one additional nanopore nucleation voltage pulse is applied between the two membrane surfaces, through the liquid environment, if the measured electrical conductance is no greater than the first prespecified electrical conductance.

Genetic reprogramming of bacterial biofilms
U.S. Patent 9,815,871 (November 14, 2017)

Neel Satish Joshi, Peter Quoc Nguyen, and Zsofia Magarian

Abstract: Described herein are methods and compositions relating to engineered curli fibers, e.g. CsgA polypeptide. In some embodiments, the methods and compositions described herein relate to functionalized biofilms.

Antibody molecules to PD-1 and uses thereof
U.S. Patent 9,815,898 (November 14, 2017)

Gordon James Freeman, Arlene Helen Sharpe, Walter A. Blattler, Jennifer Marie Mataraza, Catherine Anne Sabatos-Peyton, Hwai Wen Chang, and Gerhard Johann Frey

Abstract: Antibody molecules that specifically bind to PD-1 are disclosed. The anti-PD-1 antibody molecules can be used to treat, prevent and/or diagnose cancerous or infectious conditions and disorders.

Delivery of CAS9 via ARRDC1-mediated microvesicles (ARMMs)
U.S. Patent 9,816,080 (November 14, 2017)

Quan Lu, Qiyu Wang, and Stanley N. Cohen

Abstract: Methods, systems, compositions and strategies for the delivery of WW domain-containing fusion proteins into cells in vivo, ex vivo, or in vitro via ARMMs are provided. Methods, systems, compositions and strategies for the delivery of Cas9 proteins and/or Cas9 variants into cells in vivo, ex vivo, or in vitro via fusion to ARMM associated proteins (e.g., ARRDC1 or TSG101) are also provided.

Assays and other reactions involving droplets
U.S. Patent 9,816,121 (November 14, 2017)

Jeremy Agresti, Liang-Yin Chu, David A. Weitz, Jin-Woong Kim, Amy Rowat, Morten Sommer, Gautam Dantas, and George Church

Abstract: The present invention generally relates to droplets and/or emulsions, such as multiple emulsions. In some cases, the droplets and/or emulsions may be used in assays, and in certain embodiments, the droplet or emulsion may be hardened to form a gel. In some aspects, a heterogeneous assay can be performed using a gel. For example, a droplet may be hardened to form a gel, where the droplet contains a cell, DNA, or other suitable species. The gel may be exposed to a reactant, and the reactant may interact with the gel and/or with the cell, DNA, etc., in some fashion. For example, the reactant may diffuse through the gel, or the hardened particle may liquefy to form a liquid state, allowing the reactant to interact with the cell. As a specific example, DNA contained within a gel particle may be subjected to PCR (polymerase chain reaction) amplification, e.g., by using PCR primers able to bind to the gel as it forms. As the DNA is amplified using PCR, some of the DNA will be bound to the gel via the PCR primer. After the PCR reaction, unbound DNA may be removed from the gel, e.g., via diffusion or washing. Thus, a gel particle having bound DNA may be formed in one embodiment of the invention.

Controlled delivery of TLR3 agonists in structural polymeric devices
U.S. Patent 9,821,045 (November 21, 2017)

Omar Abdel-Rahman Ali, Glenn Dranoff, and David J. Mooney

Abstract: The present invention comprises compositions, methods, and devices for creating an stimulating an antigen-specific dendritic cell immune response. Devices and methods provide prophylactic and therapeutic immunity to subjects against cancer and infectious agents.

Method of making a deletion in a target sequence in isolated primary cells using Cas9 and two guide RNAs
U.S. Patent 9,822,370 (November 21, 2017)

Kiran Musunuru, Chad A. Cowan, and Derrick J. Rossi

Abstract: Disclosed herein are methods, compositions, and kits for high efficiency, site-specific genomic editing of cells.

Reducing noise and temperature during measurements in cryostats
U.S. Patent 9,826,622 (November 21, 2017)

Ferdinand Kuemmeth and Charles M. Marcus

Abstract: A device is disclosed to reduce noise and temperature during measurements in cryostats comprising, the device comprising any of, or a combination of, the following PC boards, each conditioning a different frequency range: a RC-PC board having a two-stage RC filter in series with a surface-mounted pi-filter; a RF-PC board having a plurality of surface-mounted pi-filters in series, each configured with different low-frequency cutoff frequencies; and a Sapphire-PC board having a sapphire substrate having high heat conductivity at low temperature with thin metal films routed in a meandering fashion.

System and method for automatically discovering, characterizing, classifying and semi-automatically labeling animal behavior and quantitative phenotyping of behaviors in animals
U.S. Patent 9,826,922 (November 28, 2017)

Sandeep Robert Datta and Alexander B. Wiltschko

Abstract: A method for studying the behavior of an animal in an experimental area including stimulating the animal using a stimulus device; collecting data from the animal using a data collection device; analyzing the collected data; and developing a quantitative behavioral primitive from the analyzed data. A system for studying the behavior of an animal in an experimental area including a stimulus device for stimulating the animal; a data collection device for collecting data from the animal; a device for analyzing the collected data; and a device for developing a quantitative behavioral primitive from the analyzed data. A computer implemented method, a computer system and a nontransitory computer readable storage medium related to the same. Also, a method and apparatus for automatically discovering, characterizing and classifying the behavior of an animal in an experimental area. Further, use of a depth camera and/or a touch sensitive device related to the same.

Electrochemical carbon nanotube filter and method
U.S. Patent 9,827,517 (November 28, 2017)

Chad D. Vecitis and Kirsten Van Fossen

Abstract: A filtration apparatus and filtration method can be used to reduce at least one contaminant (e.g., organic molecules, ions and/or biological microorganisms) in an aqueous fluid. The filtration apparatuses and methods of the invention can separate at least one contaminant from an aqueous fluid and/or oxidize at least one contaminant. In operation, an aqueous fluid is flowed through a filtration apparatus comprising a porous carbon nanotube filter material at an applied voltage. In some embodiments, the filtration apparatus described herein can be used for dead-end filtration. In some embodiments, the filtration apparatus described herein can be used for cross-over filtration.

Statistical predictive modeling and compensation of geometric deviations of 3D printed products
U.S. Patent 9,827,717 (November 28, 2017)

Qiang Huang, Tirthankar Dasgupta, and Sobambo Sosina

Abstract: A non-transitory, tangible, computer-readable storage media may contain a program of instructions that causes a computer system having a processor running the program of instructions to: receive design information indicative of the design of a three-dimensional object to be printed by a three-dimensional printer; receive test product deformation information indicative of deformation in the profiles of no more than five, three-dimensional test products that have a circular or polygonal cross section that were made by the three-dimensional printer; generate polygon product deformation information indicative of a predicted deformation of a polygon shape that the three-dimensional printer will print and that has a number of sides and a number of sizes that are both different from each of the number of sides and number of sizes that the no more than five, three-dimensional test products have; and generate adjustment information indicative of an adjustment needed to print a desired profile of the polygon shape that the three-dimensional printer will print to make the printed shape accurate.

Use of nuclear spin impurities to suppress electronic spin fluctuations and decoherence in composite solid-state spin systems
U.S. Patent 9,829,557 (November 28, 2017)

Ronald L. Walsworth, Nir Bar-Gill, Chinmay Belthangady, and Linh My Pham

Abstract: A solid state electronic spin system contains electronic spins disposed within a solid state lattice and coupled to an electronic spin bath and a nuclear spin bath, where the electronic spin bath composed of electronic spin impurities and the nuclear spin bath composed of nuclear spin impurities. The concentration of nuclear spin impurities in the nuclear spin bath is controlled to a value chosen so as to allow the nuclear spin impurities to effect a suppression of spin fluctuations and spin decoherence caused by the electronic spin bath. Sensing devices such as magnetic field detectors can exploit such a spin bath suppression effect, by applying optical radiation to the electronic spins for initialization and readout, and applying RF pulses to dynamically decouple the electronic spins from the electronic spin bath and the nuclear spin bath.

Tags: Issued Patents

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