University of Memphis Receives 10 Patents in 2021

Continuing to grow research and commercialization opportunities

Jan. 14, 2022 — The Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) within the Division of Research & Innovation at the University of Memphis experienced another great year with several notifications of issued or allowed patents centered on various technologies.

In early 2021, it was announced that OTT received notices from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office of allowed patents focused on cybersecurity and temperature sensor kit, as well as issued or allowed patents in Australia, Japan and China for bioengineered honey-based technologies for tissue regeneration.

Since then, OTT has received notifications on five additional patents either allowed or issued in 2021, further expanding the patent portfolio at the University of Memphis.

Additional Patents Allowed or Issued in 2021:

Autotaxin Inhibitors

Inventors: Duane D. Miller, Gabor G. Tigyi, Souvik Banerjee, Abby L. Parrill-Baker

U.S. Patent: 11,124,490 issued 9/21/21

Abstract: Autotaxin (ATX), is primarily known to catalyze the hydrolysis of lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) resulting in the production of the growth-factor-like bioactive phospholipid lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). LPA elicits a number of cellular responses, including cell proliferation and migration, resistance to apoptosis, chemotaxis, neuropathic pain as well as platelet aggregation, by activating a set of six G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) LPA. The ATX-LPA signaling pathway has been connected with a number of diseases, including cancer growth, metastasis, and therapeutic resistance, fibrotic diseases, neuropathic pain, inflammation, autoimmune diseases, as well as cardiovascular diseases. In recent years, research efforts have been reported both from industry and academia on the development of potent ATX inhibitors, with the ability to modulate the LPA production, as an emerging class of drug entities for potential therapeutic uses.  Several medicinal chemistry efforts have identified chemical entities with ATX inhibitory activity. These efforts have resulted in a number of novel ATX inhibitors belonging to two distinct families, a) lipid-like ATX inhibitors, that mimic the natural LPC as well as LPA phospholipids and b) non-lipid ATX inhibitors. Despite these efforts over the years, limited success has been achieved in preclinical development of ATX inhibitor drug candidates. There remains a considerable unmet need to develop novel ATX inhibitors. The present disclosure provides novel ATX inhibitors, and pharmaceutical compositions comprising said inhibitors, as well as methods of treatment comprising administration of said inhibitors.

Fully reconfigurable modular body-worn sensors

Inventor(s): Bashir Morshed, Ruhi Mahajan

U.S. Patent: 10,973,430 issued 4/13/21

Abstract: this invention is a sensor level modular and fully reconfigurable EEG system along with other body-worn sensors that will allow Lego-like connectivity of multi-modal sensors on the body. This is achieved by elimination of the DRL circuit from the traditional EEG (and ECG) circuit design with a new analog front-end design that is independent for each channel. Consequentially, a system is envisioned where the number of EEG channel (sensor nodes) can be one or many, independent of the design, and can be customized at the time of deployment in a Lego-Like fashion. Subsequently, such system can incorporate any type of body worn sensors with the network. Additionally, the sensors can be equipped to perform some computation on the local sensor data that will enable distributed intelligence. The outcomes will enhance capabilities of neurological and physiological data collection at natural environments.

Si2Te3 Resistive Memory (allowed)

Inventor(s): Jingbiao Cui, Keyue Wu, Jiyang Chen, Xiao Shen

Abstract: the resistance switching behavior constitutes the principle for resistive random access memory which is considered as the next generation storage devices. This invention suggests to use an emerging 2D material Si2Te3 for fabricating resistive memory devices. The resistance switching inSi2Te3 it's achieved by applying a positive or negative voltage to switch the conductance between two states, i.e. high resistance and low resistance states.

Multi-focal Light-Sheet Structured Illumination Fluorescence Microscopy System (allowed)

Inventor(s): Chrysanthe Preza, Ana Doblas, Manuel Martinez- Corral, Genaro Saavedra and Juan Carlos Barreiro

Abstract: Biological and biomedical research critically depend on three-dimensional (3D) imaging for accurate analysis of subcellular structures within thick cellular samples. In order to retrieve the sample structure, a 3D image is composed computationally by recording a stack of 2D images at different depths within the sample. Such a technique is employed in wide-field microscopy (WFM), wherein images are obtained by scanning the sample volume axially. Limitations that prevent high quality 3D images of specimens when using WFM include: (1) limited spatial resolution imposed by diffraction; and (2) inability to obtain high-resolution optically-sectioned images which means that the final 3D image is missing information present in the underlying sample.  A widely-used microscopic technique known as structured illumination microscopy (SIM) can surpass the resolution limit due to diffraction and overcome the lack of optical sectioning associated with WFM. SIM is based on the modification of the illumination system of a conventional WFM so that the specimen is illuminated by a structured illumination (SI) pattern, enabling the recovery of high resolution information via computational methods. Different optical schemes have been proposed to create the needed SI pattern. The present disclosure provides a novel, cost-effective approach in producing a 3D SI pattern, which modulates the excitation light in both the lateral and axial direction thereby enabling 3D super resolution in fluorescence microscopy through the use of computational methods.

Chitosan nanofiber compositions, compositions comprising modified chitosan and method of use (allowed)

Inventor(s): Joel Bumgardner, Chaoxi Wu

Abstract: Electrospun nanofibers that mimic the structure and function of the natural extracellular matrix (ECM) are of great interest in tissue engineering as scaffolding materials to restore, maintain or improve the function of human tissue. Recently, there has been a growing interest in nanofibers made of chitosan, a cationic polysaccharide derived from the exoskeletons of crustaceans. The invention includes chitosan nanofibers having enhanced structural integrity, compositions comprising such chitosan nanofibers and related methods of use. In a particular aspect, electrospun chitosan nanofibers can be reversibly acylated to enhance structural integrity and promote healing and the formation of tissues in a subject. 

"We continue to push forward with protection of more innovative research for commercialization development purposes,” said Dr. Hai Trieu, director of the Office of Technology Transfer. “At the same time, we are making available to any potential licensees a wide range of technologies ranging from biomaterials, therapeutic solutions and medical diagnostics to advanced sensors, renewable energy systems and information technologies."

For more information on these patents or for licensing inquiries, contact Dr. Hai Trieu at hhtrieu@memphis.edu.