University of Memphis Receives Pair of Medical Patents

Strengthening the impact of the cutting-edge research taking place in Memphis

April 26, 2023 — The Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) within the Division of Research & Innovation has received notifications of two issued patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patents are a result of research from faculty within the Herff College of Engineering. The first issued patent focuses on the prevention of inflammation, with the second focused on fluorescence microscopy. 

Dr. Gary Bowlin, chair of excellence and professor in Biomedical Engineering, is an inventor of the patent “Composition and method for Inhibiting Inflammation,” U.S. Patent # 11,202,850. The co-inventors are Allison Fetz-Palazola, of which this was part of her dissertation research, and Dr. Marko Radic (UTHSC). This invention has the potential to greatly decease the time it takes to heal post trauma including but not limited to healing the site of implanted devices. Bowlin has written a summary of the invention as follows: 

Neutrophils are the sentinels of the innate immune response. Unfortunately, neutrophil activation can sometimes result in chronic inflammatory and fibrotic responses that impair tissue repair and wound healing associated with implanted devices and tissue regeneration templates. Peptidyl arginine deiminases are intimately linked with the process of inflammation and its most vivid manifestation, the release of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). NETs, which consist of decondensed nuclear chromatin and granule components, have protective functions in an infection, but an excess of NETs leads to impaired wound healing, tissue damage and fibrosis. Methods for inhibiting inflammation surrounding an acellular template are urgently required. This invention features compositions and methods for inhibiting inflammation in connection with an acellular template (e.g., an electrospun template) that is impregnated with an agent (e.g., N-.alpha.-benzoyl-N5-(2-chloro-1-iminoethyl)-L-ornithine amide (Cl-amidine)) that inhibits a peptidyl arginine deaminase to minimize inflammation associated issues upon implantation of the templates.”

Dr. Chrysanthe Preza, professor and chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering, is one of the co-inventors of the U.S. Patent # 11,287,627 “Multi-focal Light-sheet Structured Illumination Florescence Microscopy System.” The invention is a multi-focal light-sheet structured illumination system that can be implemented as a part of a commercial fluorescence microscope or as a module that is adaptable to fit a number of commercially available microscopes. The system provides simultaneous capture of 2D images from multiple planes within a 3D volume, which are resolved laterally and axially to provide improved resolution along the three dimensions (x,y,z). A Wollaston prism allows several axially-localized high-contrast structure illumination patterns to be generated. This invention can assist in providing more accurate data when analyzing proteins at sub-cellular levels.

Both inventions have contributed to the increasing success of the University of Memphis’ intellectual property portfolio, while also increasing OTT’s push in new inventions and innovations in the Mid-South. 

For more information on these patents and other UofM technologies available for commercialization, visit the Office of Technology Transfer website or contact Dr. Hai Trieu, director, at hhtrieu@memphis.edu.