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December 5th, 2018

November 2018 patents

Innovations in bioprinting, genomics, molecular sensing, hyperdoped semiconductors, wound healing, metalenses, and more

Harvard faculty Jennifer Lewis, Ting Wu, Charles Lieber, Eric Mazur, Mike Aziz, Dave Mooney, Federico Capasso, and George Church are among the inventors issued U.S. patents in November 2018.

The innovations recognized are as follows:

Method of printing a tissue construct with embedded vasculature
U.S. Patent 10,117,968 (November 6, 2018)

Jennifer A. Lewis, David B. Kolesky, Mark A. Skylar-Scott, Kimberly A. Homan, Ryan L. Truby, and Amelia Sydney Gladman

Abstract: A printed tissue construct comprises one or more tissue patterns, where each tissue pattern comprises a plurality of viable cells of one or more predetermined cell types. A network of vascular channels interpenetrates the one or more tissue patterns. An extracellular matrix composition at least partially surrounds the one or more tissue patterns and the network of vascular channels. A method of printing a tissue construct with embedded vasculature comprises depositing one or more cell-laden filaments, each comprising a plurality of viable cells, on a substrate to form one or more tissue patterns. Each of the one or more tissue patterns comprises one or more predetermined cell types. One or more sacrificial filaments, each comprising a fugitive ink, are deposited on the substrate to form a vascular pattern interpenetrating the one or more tissue patterns. The vascular pattern and the one or more tissue patterns are at least partially surrounded with an extracellular matrix composition. The fugitive ink is then removed to create vascular channels in the extracellular matrix composition, thereby forming an interpenetrating vascular network in a tissue construct.

Methods of identifying homologous genes using FISH
U.S. Patent 10,119,160 (November 6, 2018)

Chao-ting Wu and Brian Beliveau

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

High-resolution molecular sensor
U.S. Patent 10,119,955 (November 6, 2018)

Charles M. Lieber, Qihua Xiong, Ping Xie, and Ying Fang

Abstract: A solid state molecular sensor having an aperture extending through a thickness of a sensing material is configured with a continuous electrically-conducting path extending in the sensing material around the aperture. A supply reservoir is connected to provide a molecular species, having a molecular length, from the supply reservoir to an input port of the aperture. A collection reservoir is connected to collect the molecular species from an output port of the aperture after translocation of the molecular species from the supply reservoir through the sensing aperture. The sensing aperture has a length between the input and output ports, in the sensing material, that is substantially no greater than the molecular length of the molecular species from the supply reservoir. An electrical connection to the sensing material measures a change in an electrical characteristic of the sensing material during the molecular species translocation through the aperture.

Creation of hyperdoped semiconductors with concurrent high crystallinity and high sub-bandgap absorptance using nanosecond laser annealing
U.S. Patent 10,121,667 (November 6, 2018)

Eric Mazur, Benjamin Franta, Michael J. Aziz, and David Pastor

Abstract: In one aspect, a method of processing a semiconductor substrate is disclosed, which comprises incorporating at least one dopant in a semiconductor substrate so as to generate a doped polyphase surface layer on a light-trapping surface, and optically annealing the surface layer via exposure to a plurality of laser pulses having a pulsewidth in a range of about 1 nanosecond to about 50 nanoseconds so as to enhance crystallinity of said doped surface layer while maintaining high above-bandgap, and in many embodiments sub-bandgap optical absorptance.

Bacterial spore based energy system
U.S. Patent 10,125,747 (November 13, 2018)

Ozgur Sahin

Abstract: A method and system for providing an engine for producing mechanical energy through the absorption and evaporation of moisture uses a hygroscopic material in one or more configurations to do mechanical work. The hygroscopic material can include microbial spores, plant cells and cell materials, silk and hydrogel materials that absorb moisture and expand or swell when exposed to high relative humidity environments and shrink or return to nearly their original size or shape when exposed to low relative humidity environments wherein the moisture evaporates and is released. By exposing the hygroscopic material to a cycle of high relative humidity environments and low relative humidity environments, useful work can be done. One or more transmission elements can be used to couple the hygroscopic material to a generator that converts the mechanical energy to, for example, electrical energy. The hygroscopic material can be applied to flexible sheet materials that flex as the hygroscopic material absorbs or evaporates moisture. The hygroscopic material can also be applied to elastic conductive materials, such that the plates of a capacitor mechanically change the capacitance of the device.

Devices for wound healing
U.S. Patent 10,130,661 (November 20, 2018)

Aristidis Veves, David J. Mooney, and Jonathan Garlick

Abstract: The present invention provides devices and methods for improving wound healing, in particular, in diabetic subjects.

Collimating metalenses and technologies incorporating the same
U.S. Patent 10,132,465 (November 20, 2018)

Steve Byrnes, Francesco Aieta, Federico Capasso, and Alan Lenef

Abstract: Metalenses and technologies incorporating the same are disclosed. In some embodiments, the metalenses are in the form of a hybrid multiregion collimating metalens that includes a first region and a second region, wherein the hybrid multiregion collimating metalens is configured to collimate (e.g., visible) light incident thereon. In some instances the first region includes an array of first unit cells that contain subwavelength spaced nanostructures, such that the first region functions as a subwavelength high contrast grating (SWHCG), whereas the second region includes an array of second unit cell, wherein the array of second unit cells includes a near periodic annular arrangement of nanostructures such that the second region approximates the functionality of a locally periodic radial diffraction grating. Lighting devices including such metalenses are also disclosed.

Scaffolds for cell transplantation
U.S. Patent 10,137,184 (November 27, 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.

Screening assays and methods
U.S. Patent 10,137,426 (November 27, 2018)

Christopher J. Love, Hidde L. Ploegh, and Jehnna Ronan

Abstract: Screening assays and methods of performing such assays are provided. In certain examples, the assays and methods may be designed to determine whether or not two or more species can associate with each other. In some examples, the assays and methods may be used to determine if a known antigen binds to an unknown monoclonal antibody.

Method for generating a three-dimensional nucleic acid containing matrix
U.S. Patent 10,138,509 (November 27, 2018)

George M. Church, Je-Hyuk Lee, Richard C. Terry, and Evan R. Daugharthy

Abstract: Methods of making a three-dimensional matrix of nucleic acids within a cell is provided.

Tags: Issued Patents

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