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3D FIBER OPTIC INTERFEROMETER
Interferometry is a measurement technique that involves the superimposition of light waves, providing distance measurements with great accuracy. Highly accurate 3D measurements can only be made at the expense of time. The 3D fiber optic interferometer directly measures three- dimensional distance and position with high speed and precision. The device uses light from single mode optical fibers to determine the distance between points in space. It does not require careful alignment of the fibers and can provide determination of absolute position. This device could be utilized in a number of manufacturing and robotic applications since it overcomes many of the difficulties associated with the distance between two articulating points. The device is accurate over one meter distances and would be most useful in machine shops employing large batch statistical process control manufacturing.
3D PRINTING IN THE BODY
Implantable medical devices, such as artificial joints, coronary stents, and artificial organs increasingly are customized for individual patients using 3D printing technologies. After surgical implantation of externally printed devices, the soft tissue surrounding the implant or repaired bone must heal on its own. This process can result in disfiguration and debilitating scar tissue. Short-term implants provide temporary tissue support to assist the healing process, but eventually require surgical removal. The proposed invention facilitates printing soft structures inside the body. Heat-enabled cross-linking polymers are inserted into a body cavity as a liquid and then activated with heat, causing them to solidify. The polymers conform to a specific shape creating 3D soft structures directly in the body. The technology could repair soft tissue damage, as well as create reconstructive implants or antennae for improved transmissivity.
5-HT2B SELECTIVE INHIBITORS
Novel family of 5HT2B-selective antagonists for neuropathologies, such as Alzheimer’s disease, depression, ADHD, and migraines. Potential application in cardiology, gastroenterology, and bone marrow diseases.
Serotonin receptors are popular targets for many diseases, particularly neuropathologies. The existence of 14 subtypes, however, necessitates selective ligands. Current drugs tend to bind non-selectively to 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C as well as 5-HT2B, limiting their use. The proposed antagonists offer increased selectivity to 5-HT2B. These compounds exhibit nanomolar to micromolar selective interactions, which increases efficacy and reduces side effects of therapeutics. 5HT2B has additional potential applications in gastrointestinal, cardiac, and bone marrow related conditions.
ACCUBREATH: NON-INVASIVE, PORTABLE SUPPORT VENTILATOR
Respiratory depression and airway obstruction are the primary causes of morbidity associated with sedation and analgesia. The typical approach in these cases is to temporarily ventilate the affected patient by hand, using a face mask and a bag that is periodically squeezed to deliver breaths. The proposed technology is a non-invasive, portable ventilator designed to replace these Bag Valve Masks. This new device delivers support ventilation (up to 25 cm H2O) without the need for compressed oxygen. By monitoring patient air intake, oxygen pressure, and tidal volumes, the device helps maintain ventilation, while reducing adverse effects such as stomach inflation. The device is easy to use, requiring use of one hand, and adjusts for changing conditions.
ACUTE MYELOID LEUKEMIA COMBINATION THERAPY
Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is an aggressive cancer with a five-year survival rate under 50 percent. In fact, only about one-third of AML patients are considered healthy enough to safely undergo chemotherapy, which leaves many patients without treatment options. The proposed technology combines known AML drugs with HPMA polymers to prolong the active half-life of the drugs. This improves targeting of the tumor site and reduces off-target side effects. As each drug works through a different mechanism, the cancer cells are eliminated more completely, meaning lower doses of the drug may be used. This therapy provides treatment options for patients too sick to undergo chemotherapy or who prove non- responsive to existing, first-line treatments.
Over two million youth in America experience challenges associated with ADHD. Up to 32 percent of students diagnosed with ADHD fail to complete high school. Medication helps prevent hyperactivity and impulsivity but has little impact on academic achievement.
ADD.it assists students with time management, working memory, and executive function to improve their school performance. The software prompts students to record assignments at the end of each class following a pre-entered schedule. Parents and teachers verify students recorded information correctly. Students can schedule time to complete assignments and receive reminders for entered tasks. The software prioritizes tasks by due date and estimated time to complete. Students receive points for correctly entering, scheduling, and completing assignments as well as receiving a satisfactory grade. Students are then awarded points which can be redeemed for various purposes as determined by the parents/guardians.
Over 70,000 new cases of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) were diagnosed in 2015, while nearly 20,000 people died from the disease. Most NHL cases derive from B cell lymphocytes and are treated with rituximab and chemotherapy. Almost 40 percent of patients, however, develop resistance to these therapies. Research indicates the proposed albumin- based nanoconjugate can trigger direct and specific apoptosis of B-cell lymphomas without the help of effector cells. Hybridization of two complementary morpholino oligonucleotides or complementary coiled-coil forming peptides at B cell surface mediates crosslinking of receptors to initiate apoptosis. One oligonucleotide (MORF1) or coiled-coil forming peptide (CCE) is bound to an antibody fragment recognized by the CD20 receptor (nanoconjugate 1); the complementary oligonucleotide (MORF2) or oligonucleotide (CCK) is bound in multiple copies to human albumin.
ANCHOR, SPLICING, AND PRESTRESSING DEVICE FOR FRP RODS
Tens of thousands of US bridges and buildings, many over 50 years old, need repairs or are at risk of failure due to antiquated technology and materials. Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite rods have high strength-to-weight ratios and resist corrosion, but as yet have not been used widely in post-tensioning or in pre-stressing applications. Standard gripping anchors, when used with FRP rods used to repair infrastructure, place stress on individual fibers, leading to premature failures. The proposed technology is an inexpensive anchor, splicing, and pre-stressing device for FRP rods. The device is simple to build and uses conventional materials such as steel and epoxy to achieve pre-stressing of FRP rods of any length. It makes FRP rods a more viable option for construction, significantly reducing costs and adding a successful FRP anchor for post-tensioning and pre-stressing applications.
ANTAGONIST OF TRPV1 RECEPTOR
Transient Receptor Potential Vanillaoid-1 (TRPV1) mediates pain and inflammation. Stimuli, such as heat, protons, and chemical ligands, generate action potentials that release neurotransmitters and neuroactive peptides to stimulate nerves causing a painful, burning sensation. Studies indicate inhibiting TRPV1 could suppress pain, as well as treat chronic pain and inflammatory hyperalgesia. The proposed invention is a series of peptides that act as TRPV1 channel antagonists. These peptides are delivered to the TRPV1 channel using a carrier that prevents off-site toxicity, but still allows the antagonist to bind to the TRPV1 channel. The peptides can be delivered topically or intravenously for use in pain treatment.
ANTIBODY-DRUG COMPLEX: ENHANCED DELIVERY OF ANTI-CANCER THERAPY
The American Cancer Society states breast cancer is the second most common cancer and second leading cause of death among women in the United States, despite improvements in early detection, treatment, and survival. The preferred treatment involves targeted therapy, which uses selective antibodies and leaves normal cells relatively unharmed.
Conventional antibody-drug conjugate technology for breast cancer, however, is limited due to safety concerns about bonding that leads to low antibody concentration. A novel drug-delivery system combines cancer- specific targeting mechanisms with anti-cancer agents without chemical modifications. The conjugate is comprised of an ATP binding domain (ABD), an anti-cancer drug, and a scFv antibody that targets a specific receptor on the surface of a cancer cell. The fused protein captures an anti- cancer agent without creating a chemical bond and then delivers it to a cancer cell. The drug carrier also has intrinsic anti-proliferative properties that increase drug efficacy by depriving the cancer cell of ATP.
AT-HOME BACK TRACTION DEVICE
Lower back pain affects over 80 percent of the United States population, with adverse effects ranging from minor discomfort to severe, incapacitating pain. In many cases, lumbar traction reduces discomfort and can help the body to heal by stretching the spine and reducing pressure on compressed disks. Equipment to support lumbar traction, however, can be costly, large, complicated, and inconvenient, which often prevents in home use. A popular home solution, the inversion table, can be unsafe and also ineffective because the position cannot maintained for the 15 minutes required for traction to occur.
This Back Traction Device is a simple, comfortable device that allows sustained lumbar traction sessions to relieve lower back pain. The device uses gravity to gradually distract tissue and vertebra, decompressing the lumbar spine as the patient lays on the floor. Treatable back pain includes discomfort from nerve impingement, stenosis, arthritis, and disc bulges.
Faculty, students, and performers at concert halls and music schools desire high-quality recordings to review rehearsals, document concerts, and prepare audition materials. Time and expense restraints, however, force most venues to limit recordings. Audio Minion facilitates professional quality recordings without the active participation of a sound engineer. In spaces where microphones are routed to a control room, the system automatically initiates recordings after detecting sound levels above predetermined thresholds. Recordings conclude after sound levels fall below the threshold for a set period of time. The program stores completed files by date and time in an easy to retrieve manner. The system allows on demand access to files for review and editing. Audio Minion can track multiple spaces independently and differentiate between recordings created in each room for retrieval.
Autophagy is a cellular process that activates under conditions of nutrient stress. Excessive and long-term induction of autophagy leads to the destruction of essential proteins and organelles. It is also related to congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, and ischemia reperfusion. The proposed precise formulation of an amino acid solution comprised of isoleucine, leucine, valine and arginine increases mTOR signaling and cell growth in patients with damaged tissues and heart disease. In addition, the osmolarity and pH of the solution allow it to be administered in large volumes without risk of significant osmotic shift.
BENZONORBORNADIENE DERIVATIVES AND REACTIONS
Biorthogonal dissociative reactions boast diverse potential applications in chemical biology and drug delivery. Specific cargo molecules within cells are released when benzonorbornadienes react with tetrazines to release amines from carbamate leaving groups. These carrier molecules are highly stable at physiological conditions, but react rapidly with tetrazines and near-quantitatively release cargo molecules such as drugs and optical reporters. The reactions are designed to take place without interfering with the existing cell chemistry and could serve a number of different purposes including DNA sequencing, cell imaging, drug delivery systems, and reaction protection groups.
BH4 (KUVAN) FOR TREATMENT OF SYSTEMIC SCLEROSIS VASCULOPATHY
Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) is a multisystem autoimmune disorder with a progressively devastating course. Increased fibroblast activity results in abnormal growth of connective tissue that causes vascular damage and fibrosis. Fibrosis occurs in skin, the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and other internal organs. There is no cure, effective therapy, or gold standard measurement for disease progression. Delay in diagnosis increases morbidity and mortality. BH4 is a novel approach for treating SSc by targeting vasculopathy that precedes fibrosis. BH4 (KUVAN) is currently approved to treat phenylketonuria (PKU). Short term study results indicate that BH4 (KUVAN) alleviates SSc symptoms in patients.
BIODEGRADABLE DRUG-DELIVERING NERVE CONDUIT
Over 25 percent of patients who undergo surgery for nerve injuries experience complications from scar tissue and infections. Less than 50 percent of patients recover full motor and sensory function after a peripheral nerve injury. The Biodegradable Drug-Delivering Nerve Conduit aims to improve patient outcomes by regenerating nerves. A drug reservoir is attached to a biodegradable conduit that acts as a bridge between damaged and healthy nerves. It allows impulses to reach the damaged nerves and preserves muscle function. This technology also offers unique adaptability. It is able to release a variety of different proteins or small molecules and can also titrate drugs into a patient as necessary without a complete redesign of the technology.
BIOLOGICAL VENTRICULAR ASSIST DEVICE
Biologic ventricular assist device capable of capturing, growing, and administering stem cells in situ to regenerate and restore damaged myocardium in the heart.
Ventricular assist devices (VADs) typically support heart failure patients until a donor heart becomes available. VAD’s not only fail to regenerate heart tissue and restore normal function, but the longer a VAD is in place, the more scar tissue replaces healthy heart tissue, leaving the patient incapable of functioning without the device.
A novel biological VAD restores heart function by delivering stem cells, genes, genetically modified cells, or other therapeutic agents to end-stage heart failure patients. It also includes a stem cell accessory that captures circulating stem cells and cultures them for delivery back to the heart by an electro-mechanical delivery system. Delivering stem cells and other agents to the heart allows the myocardium to regenerate and repair itself, restoring normal function to the heart and allowing the VAD to be removed.
BRAIN HEALTH SUPPLEMENT
Surveys suggest over 15 percent of individuals suffer from at least minor depression and anxiety globally. These disorders are characterized by psychosocial and physical impairment, with a high suicide rate among those affected. Individuals suffering from psychiatric disorders that require prescription antidepressants frequently do not receive treatment. Creatine, omega-3 fatty acids and citicoline all augment brain mitochondrial function to maintain energy and stability. A brain health supplement, or nutraceutical, combining creatine, omega-3, and citicoline has shown improved attention span and mood in clinical trials. Using natural products, that are currently approved for use without a prescription and exhibit minimal sides effects, this supplement improves overall mental health.
BREAST TISSUE MARKER
Almost 300,000 mastectomies are performed in the United States each year as either preventative or curative breast cancer treatment. Many surgeries, however, require additional procedures. Small amounts of breast tissue left behind cause cancer reoccurrence in almost four percent of patients. Surgical reconstruction fails in over 15 percent of women because of insufficient skin post mastectomy. The disclosed technique reduces the risk of over and under resection by using antibodies that label breast tissue visibly. This marker enables more effective mastectomies by providing a clear distinction between breast tissue and subcutaneous fat.
BREATHING MONITORING USING STRENGTH OF WIRELESS NETWORK SIGNAL
Respiratory depression and airway obstruction are common problems, particularly for infants and post-surgical patients. Reliable respiratory monitoring helps detect and prevent complications, as well as assist with the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea. Existing technology, however, causes patient irritation and fails to monitor breathing consistently. The proposed technology enables non-invasive, wireless breathing monitoring by using the signal strength of sensors within a network to predict breathing rate. Measuring the amount of wireless fading within a network increases the accuracy and consistency of monitoring. This technology has potential applications in post-surgical care, sleep apnea monitoring, infant monitoring, and search and rescue.
BROADBAND HOLOGRAPHIC PROJECTION DEVICE
Counterfeit goods cost the United States over $600B each year. The anti- counterfeiting industry continuously develops new technologies since market ready solutions do not eliminate all counterfeiting techniques. There is a particular need for stronger methods of anti-counterfeiting in the pharmaceutical, ticketing, and bank note industries. The proposed technology enables full color holographic image projection across the electromagnetic spectrum for static or dynamic images with high efficiency and almost no absorption losses. The holographic images can operate in transmission or in reflection, making them incredibly difficult to counterfeit.
BROADLY PROTECTIVE INFLUENZA VACCINES
Influenza A causes seasonal epidemics that affect millions of people every year and result in the death of between 250,000 and 500,000 annually.
These seasonal epidemics and pandemics arise because of the constant evolution of the virus through both mutations and genetic reassortment. Current flu vaccines are type-specific, and while these vaccines may be effective against the target strain, they fail to prevent illness from variant strains. Universal vaccines target stable viral epitopes rather than the continuously changing seasonal varieties, but fail to provide meaningful protection. A novel methodology has been developed to create a more functional universal influenza vaccine. The vaccine is designed to block immune response to hemagglutinin primary antigenic determinants and elicit antibodies to less dominant antigens or proteins on the virus. This allows the immune system to recognize viral threats from non-selective proteins that are typically present in many variants of the virus, providing broader protection. The vaccine also uses antibody binding to interrupt essential viral functions and prevent spread of the disease.
CAUTI PREVENTION WITH ADVANCECATH
Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) affect over one million patients in the United States annually and contribute to approximately 13,000 deaths and $1B in healthcare costs. Two-thirds of CAUTIs develop due to Foley catheter design flaws that limit urine flow and allow bacterial colonization on the catheter’s external surface. AdvanceCath is a flexible, indwelling catheter that keeps the sphincter and prostate urethra open, which allows urine to flow around the entire catheter and eliminates the space where bacteria typically spreads. A condom-like catheter collects urine and stores it in a sterile bag. The system also has the ability to flush the urethra with an antibacterial solution to reduce risk of infection further. A bladder retention mechanism under development includes a fail-safe component that will collapse the retention component under excessive pressure and prevent damage to the urethra as the device is removed.
CELL SPECIFIC IMMUNE CHECKPOINT THERAPY
Almost 80 percent of patients undergoing immunotherapy experience toxicity complications that reduce drug efficacy and over 10 percent of patients experience life-threatening infections. New immune-tolerant elastin-like polypeptides (iTEPs) can be used as drug carriers without triggering an immune response in both mice and humans (Journal of Drug Targeting. Vol.24, p328-339). This technology has been applied to both drug delivery and immunology. The technology improves delivery of vaccines by conjugating the drug to the iTEP, which then self-assembles into highly stable, non-toxic nanoparticles with improved efficacy (Theranostics. Vol. 6(5), p666-678). The iTEPs are also utilized to target cytotoxic T lymphocytes and improve innate immune response as defense against cancer and infection. An iTEP-delivered CTL vaccine containing a metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9)-sensitive peptide and a CTL epitope peptide has been developed. The MMP-9-sensitive vaccine increased epitope presentation by 7-fold, increasing the T-cell response by as high as 9.6-fold (Molecular Pharmaceutics, 14(10), 3312-3321). It has also been applied using αPD-1 antibody for checkpoint inhibition. A fusion protein consisting of a recombinant single-chain variable fragment of αPD-1 and an amphiphilic immune-tolerant elastin-like polypeptide self-assembles into a nanoparticle, which blocks the PD-1 immune checkpoint in vitro and in vivo (Molecular Pharmaceutics, 14(5), 1494-1500).
CHEMICAL PERCOLATION SWITCH
Chemical sensors and electronic noise technology require continuous sources of energy and lack the ability to operate at low power, which limits their distribution. Sensors with low power consumption, however, have poor chemical selectivity. The proposed technology is a chemically- selective percolation sensor that can operate with zero or near-zero power consumption. The sensor includes a positive and negative electrode separated by a nano-sized switch gap. A binding agent, which differs based on the target compound, binds to the switch to form an electrically conductive-selective pathway via percolation between the positive and negative electrode. The switch connects to the power supply and switches on when exposed to a programmable threshold concentration of the target compound. Such low-energy use improves device life, reduces risk of detection, and requires less battery maintenance, and which is particularly applicable to military and defense applications.
CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH SYSTEM
No common repository for cancer-specific clinical research data to support translational research exists. Programs have developed individual mechanisms for extracting, recording, and using clinical research data, which unnecessarily complicates cancer research. The Clinical Cancer Research System aggregates all clinical and research investigations into one searchable database. This database is easy to maintain and simplifies information retrieval, which allows researchers to share basic patient information across cancer groups and complete cross study analyses. The database also provides robust security that allows for separation and protection of patient and research information.
CLINICAL NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSOR
Clinical Natural Language Processing (NLP) systems require a semantic schema comprised of domain-specific concepts and associated modifiers to accurately extract information. NLP systems leverage this schema to extract meaning from texts. In the clinical domain, creating a schema requires input from clinicians and NLP experts. The proposed technology bridges the gap between clinicians and the development of NLP systems by seamlessly analyzing data extracted from handwritten clinical notes to provide healthcare professionals with information that supports better decision making. A web-based software tool supports users in developing domain content. Content is integrated into a system that processes the handwritten clinical notes and subsequently provides actionable data to doctors and clinicians. The notes can be reviewed and corrected for accuracy. Additionally, users can search for specific annotations based on semantic content.
Motors were designed and optimized for industrial processes that require continuous smooth rotation, which typically requires minimization of cogging torque. These motors operate efficiently at high speeds, but must be geared down to achieve velocities and torques typically needed for robotics. This leads to inefficient motors with no inherent compliance. As compliance ensures safety and prevents damage to the robot, researchers have attempted to address the issue. Current solutions, however, require auxiliary components resulting in large, ineffective, and complex systems. A new type of robot actuator, comprising an electromagnetic machine combined with a local controller implementing bioinspired motion primitives. The cogging-torque actuator will accept high-level commands and adjust its own behavior according to its local experience through a combination of controlled passive dynamics and high-bandwidth feedback control. This design will facilitate more robust operation by enabling distributed control, inherent sensing capability, controllable compliance, and leveraging the nonlinear dynamics of the actuator.
COMPACT COMPLIANCE TACTILE FEEDBACK DEVICE
Haptics, the science of interfacing with users via touch, is being used to provide sensory input to users in various applications, including robotic surgery, touch screen displays, and navigational systems. While robotic or automated instruments allow users to manipulate physical objects in a remote or virtual environment, they insufficiently communicate tactile information to users. Users have to rely instead entirely on visual information decreasing efficacy. Robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery (MIS), in particular, allows for greater precision and control but relies on high-quality visual systems to guide procedures. Surgeons simply cannot feel tactile changes and the impacts of surgical tools within a body cavity. The Compact Compliance Tactile Feedback Device provides a rendering of surfaces based on the stiffness of the surface in question. The device calibrates based on the user’s force and displacement and communicates tactile feedback to the user through pressure or directional motion.
CONCRETE MICROWAVE MOISTURE METER
Concrete is created based on specific water-cement ratios depending on the application. Extra water, however, is often added to clean concrete chutes or to attain the desired stiffness in concrete mixes. Additional water presents serious strength and durability concerns and concrete that does not meet required strength standards must be removed and rebuilt with a new mix. Quality Control personnel must either take samples to a laboratory site or wait until concrete has hardened to determine whether the appropriate water-cement ratio was used. The Concrete Microwave Moisture Meter utilizes rectangular waveguides to instantly measure the water content of any concrete mix before it hardens. An electromagnetic field is applied to the concrete sample, which polarizes the water molecules. The degree of polarization can then be measured, providing the volumetric ratio of water in the concrete.
COPOLYMER DRUG DELIVERY SYSTEM FOR ANTIANGIOGENETIC THERAPIES
Recent studies show that amino bisphosphonates, such as alendronate (ALN), inhibit angiogenesis. Additionally, polymer-drug conjugates have been shown to increase the half-life of low molecular weight drugs, water solubility, and tumor accumulation. The proposed technology is a combined targeted therapy made by conjugating angiogenesis inhibitors ALN and TNP-470 to a copolymer backbone. In vitro studies provide evidence that this copolymer-drug conjugate targets both tumor epithelial and endothelial compartments. These results indicate that the proposed technology represents a promising therapy for osteosarcomas and bone metastases.
CRISPRi EPIGENOME MODIFICATION TO TREAT MUSCULOSKELETAL DISEASE
Musculoskeletal diseases are a leading cause of disability worldwide. Current treatments for osteoarthritis and low back pain (LBP), however are largely palliative and fail to prevent disease progression. Stem cell delivery treatment to the intervertebral disc in clinical trials may work, albeit on a short-term basis as cells succumb to inflammatory responses. The new technology is an innovative CRISPR-based approach that temporarily silences specific pro-inflammatory genes to regenerate the disc to full functionality. This approach promotes cell survival, stem cell differentiation, and immunomodulation under inflammatory conditions. The epigenome editing vector package can be locally injected, or autologous cells can be modified and delivered to replace the lost disc tissue. Studies with dorsal root ganglion demonstrate inhibition of degenerative intervertebral disc neuron activity and preservation of non-pathologic activity.
DEEP BRAIN STIMULATION TO TREAT DEGENERATIVE CEREBELLAR ATAXIA
Degenerative cerebellar ataxias, a group of disorders associated with progressive degeneration of the cerebellum, affect 1 in 5,000 individuals worldwide and commonly result in symptoms such as gait incoordination, tremor, and falls. No existing treatment consistently reduces motor symptoms. The proposed technology provides a therapeutic strategy for treatment of degenerative cerebellar ataxias via deep brain stimulation. The strategy involves placing electrodes in the cerebellum of subjects suffering from degenerative cerebellar ataxias and stimulating cerebellar nuclei to generate localized neural response. Electrical stimulation of cerebellum has been shown to reduce tremor and fall rates in animal models.
DIAGNOSING BIPOLAR DISORDER USING MAGNETIC RESONANCE SPECTROSCOPY
Bipolar Disorder (BD) is the fourth leading cause of disability among young people ages 10 to 24 globally. BD severely impacts quality of life by causing shifts in mood, energy, behavior, and ability to function. Many people suffer for years before obtaining an accurate diagnosis. New evidence links mitochondrial dysfunction in the brain to Bipolar Disorder. Indicators of mitochondrial function in the brain can be measured using 31- Phosphorus Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (31P-MRS). A novel algorithm that compares mitochondrial function, as determined by 31P- MRS scans, to normal levels provides objective and reliable diagnoses. Additional scans could assess efficacy of prescribed treatments by comparing current mitochondrial function to patients’ initial levels.
DIAGNOSTIC TOOL FOR MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER AND BIPOLAR DISORDER
Similar presenting symptoms make it difficult to distinguish between Bipolar Disorder (BD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) leading nearly 70 percent of patients to be misdiagnosed initially. Incorrect diagnoses results in delays in appropriate treatment and increased costs to the healthcare system. Adolescents experience higher choline levels in the anterior cingulate cortex when suffering from MDD than BD. Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) provides information regarding the biochemistry of specific regions in the brain. A novel algorithm, developed by researchers at the University of Utah, processes spectroscopic data to provide total choline levels, which can then differentiate between the two diseases. Additional scans can be used to assess efficacy of prescribed treatments for both diseases by comparing current choline levels to the patient’s initial scan and levels of healthy patients.
DRUG-FREE TARGETED TUMOR KILLING WITH MULTIMERIC ANTIBODY CONJUGATE
Monoclonal antibodies show limited clinical efficacy as a single agent therapy for solid and blood cancers. The requisite high doses result in undesired adverse immunogenicity and toxicity. Conjugating antibodies to cytotoxic drug shows durable clinical response. However antibody drug conjugate designing is complex, with knowledge of linkers, drug and antibody combinations in the context of a specific cancer. The novel therapy describes a new approach for modifying and improving antibody avidity by using graphene oxide (GO) as a targeted delivery scaffold. The GO-based aqueous composition allows non-covalent association of multiple antibody molecules on individual GO molecules, resulting in high efficacy antibodies.
EIGENGENE: PERSONALIZED CANCER DIAGNOSTICS AND PROGNOSTICS
Diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of solid tumors, such as glioblastoma (GBM) and ovarian serous cystadenocarcinoma (OV), has remained largely unchanged for decades, despite the increased availability of patient genomic data. Many tumors develop resistance to platinum-based drugs, the current first-line treatment, yet no tool exists that distinguishes between resistant and sensitive tumors prior to treatment. Eigengene provides a computational assessment of cancer genomic profiles for personalized prognostics and drug companion diagnostics. Comparing patient data to proprietary signatures, the algorithm predicts patient response to chemotherapy. Predicting patient response to treatment helps guide clinician decisions and ultimately improves patient outcomes.
ELONGATE MEMBER REINFORCEMENT WITH A STUDDED COLLAR
In 2017, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave America’s infrastructure a D+, based on the country’s crumbling infrastructure. Fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites, which are lightweight, corrosion resistant, and have a high strength to weight ratio, show promise for strengthening and rehabilitating structures, but can be cost prohibitive. The proposed device utilizes FRP to strengthen or reinforce columns, pipes, and walls at a lower cost. The device secures a support layer to a structure with a collar to facilitate load transfer between the structure and support layer, enhancing the overall strength and durability of the structure.
ERYTHROPOIETIN GENE DELIVERY FOR MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION TREATMENT
Myocardial infarction is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although cardiac remodeling can maintain normal function initially, it gradually becomes maladaptive, leading to adverse outcomes, including heart failure. A novel approach for delivering plasmid human erythropoietin gene through an Arginine-grafted Bioreducible Polymer shows promise as a gene therapy tool for treating myocardial infarction. This treatment reverses post-infarct cardiac remodeling and restores heart function. Research suggests that this bioreducible delivery vector can revive the therapeutic potential of erythropoietin and other cardioprotective genes, allowing use as an effective treatment.
ConText, a widely used, open-source clinical natural language processing algorithm, tries to confirm that information extracted from a clinical note applies to the appropriate patient and visit and is not negated. The process, however, is time consuming as it must follow over 600 rules. FastConText is a more efficient, scalable implantation of ConText suitable for large- scale clinical natural language processing. The algorithm determines contextual features of information from clinical notes by identifying negation, temporality, and experience using generalized rule processing. The new algorithm adds additional rules that improve both the speed and accuracy of natural language processing.
FINBLADE: SUBCUTANEOUS CUTTING DEVICE
Certain medical procedures, such as carpal tunnel release, require cutting subcutaneous tissue. In many of these procedures, swelling or malformation of tissues impacts nearby nerves and causes pain. Cutting the swollen or malformed tissue can provide more space for impinged nerves. In order to cut the targeted tissue, however, a cutting device must be able to both reach the targeted tissue and be removed from the patient. In open surgery for carpal tunnel release, clinicians make a 5 cm incision that takes up to 14 days to heal. Endoscopic surgery, the current alternative, entails two 1.5 cm incisions and has a 4 – 8 day recovery time. The Subcutaneous Cutting Device can be inserted like a needle or with the aid of a sub-centimeter incision, lowering recovery time substantially. Ultrasound allows visualization of the affected structure, as well as the device, in real time, thereby preventing misplacement of the needle and cutting of the wrong tissue. This device has additional applications for cyst punctures or incisions, muscle release, nerve incision, adhesion release, and tenotomy.
FLEXIBLE LOAD TRANSDUCER (FLEx) SENSOR
Sensors used to measure force load under the foot rely on strain gauge technologies that are often inaccurate and expensive. The proposed technology is a conformable, biomechanical force sensor that increases accuracy and decreases costs. This novel sensor is comprised of a flexible and compliant substrate with discrete sensors and electronic circuitry embedded in a protective cushioning layer. The sensors includes power, measurement, calibration, and data communication functions compatible with load monitoring, force sensing for touch human or robotic interfaces, gait monitoring and shoe inserts for medical, prosthetic, and athletic performance evaluation.
FUNCTIONAL PROFILING OF THE MICROBIOME
Human gut microbiota play an important role in the immune system and de novo synthesis of essential vitamins. Little is known, however, about how gut microbiota influence overall health and disease. Functional Profiling of the Microbiome will aid researchers, physicians, and patients in understanding the role of gut microbiota in human health and wellness. The proposed technology provides a way to quickly and easily identify the enzyme activity present in a sample. Coupled with existing metagenomics, this functional profile will provide insight into the effect of diet and medication use on the gut and the relationships between microbial functionality and disease progression.
FUNCTIONALLY GRADED TANTALUM/NIOBIUM CARBIDE
Hard materials resist wear, but are prone to fracture. Tough materials resist fracture, but are susceptible to wear. Ideally, a material should possess a combination of high hardness and high fracture toughness, but designing such a material has proven difficult. A novel tantalum or niobium carbide (TaC or NbC) results in a composite with superior strength and fracture toughness. The material consists of two-phases, a hard carbide on the outside and a tough carbide in the interior. The carbide substrate can be produced using conventional powder processing methods to fabricate complex shapes and surface-treatment. The proposed material outperforms tungsten carbide in applications that require hardness, fracture toughness, and corrosion resistance.
GATE: A SUPERIOR PSYCHIATRIC CONSULT SOLUTION
Psychiatric specialists consulting on a case rarely have sufficient time to
gather input from the primary care physician, patient, and patient’s family prior to engaging. GATE facilitates efficient, structured, and patient- focused communication between primary care providers and specialists, by providing a convenient web-based means for gathering input from the patient and their family. Each patient/family uses a unique log-in to GATE to access the brief assessment that will be provided to the psychiatrist. The consultation system includes a web-based evaluation tool that collects information from families about a patient and then presents that de- identified information to the specialist. The psychiatrist can then review provided information and use GATE to provide the primary care physician with a recommendation.
GEMINI: A SOFTWARE PLATFORM FOR DISEASE DISCOVERY
GEMINI (GEnome MINIng) is a flexible online framework used to explore human genetic variation. GEMINI places genetic variants, sample phenotypes and genotypes, and genome annotations into an integrated database. This provides users easy access to a simple, flexible, and powerful system for exploring genetic variation for disease and population genetics. Users upload a VCF file into a database. Each variant is automatically annotated by comparing it to several genome annotations from other sources such as: ENCODE tracks, UCSC tracks, OMIM, dbSNP, KEGG, and HPRD. GEMINI has quickly become a popular tool for rare disease research with over 500 users worldwide. The platform is used at the University of Washington’s Center for Mendelian Genomics and the USTAR Center for Genetic Discovery.
GENE THERAPY FOR RETINOPATHY OF PREMATURITY
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a leading cause of childhood blindness worldwide. It is becoming more common as emerging countries develop technology to save preterm infants, but lack resources to provide optimal care. In the United States, 14 percent of childhood blindness is attributed to ROP, while in some developing nations estimates surpass 20 percent. Treatments of severe ROP include 1) laser ablation of peripheral avascular retina, which destroys developing retina; or 2) intravitreal anti- VEGF agents, which can lead to persistent avascular retina and even blindness. The University of Utah is developing a gene therapy based novel approach by targeting STAT3, that unlike anti-VEGF treatment, will not interfere with physiologic retinal vascular development. This approach would stop the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the eye, prevent retinal detachment, and preserve vision.
HISTO!: A PATHOLOGY TRAINING APP FOR MEDICAL STUDENTS
Histology, the study of microscopic anatomy, is a cornerstone of basic medical curricula and a common first-year course. Medical and dental histology students often use outdated studying resources with grainy images and minimal detail.
Histo!, an interactive human histology app, offers instruction in biochemistry, physiology, and pathology. It contains 440 photomicrographs that illustrate 1,964 identifications, each with a detailed description. Approximately two-thirds of the identifications involve naming structures, while the rest focus on functions, diseases, and molecular components. The app includes two modes for self-testing mastery.
HYALURONAN DERIVATIVES WITH POLYPEPTIDE CONJUGATIONS
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a naturally occurring, high molecular weight, linear polysaccharide that provides a temporary wound healing matrix. It also lubricates and cushions joints. HA, however, degrades in arthritic joints. Novel hyaluronic acid derivatives, formed by attaching polypeptide braches and amino acid sequences to hyaluronan in appropriate ratios can convert into self-assembling physical networks. These derivatives have enhanced osmotic, elastic and lubrication properties. The polypeptide branches can also increase resistance to degradation in vivo and carry antioxidants or peptide ligands.
HYDROGEL AND COACERVATE BASED ADHESIVES
Adhesives and sealants are ubiquitous in numerous industries, including automotive, aerospace, packaging, and construction. Many adhesives and sealants, however, are toxic, which results in harmful effects on health and the environment. Two new adhesives formed without toxic byproducts have been developed. The first is a complex coacervate based adhesive formed by mixing oppositely charged polyelectrolytes (PEs). The PEs can rapidly change forms as solution conditions alter, allowing the adhesive to be injected as a liquid and then coagulate into a solid hydrogel adhesive as pH or salt concentrations adjust. Gelation would keep the material in place to fill voids and the material could be either biodegradable or non- biodegradable depending on the application. Initially designed for physiological conditions, the coacervate offers potential application in depots, fillers, and adhesives. The second adhesive is a viscoelastic hydrogel with an adhesive surface comprised of cross-linked acrylic polymers. The new adhesive exhibits resilience and high stiffness at low strains but low resilience and high flexibility at high strains. Heat is released as covalent bonds break and the hydrogel recovers its original stiffness as strain is alleviated, preventing failure. The adhesive layer adheres to wet and submerged substrates, enabling underwater use.
HYDROGEL-BASED LOCALIZED DRUG DELIVERY FOR GYNECOLOGICAL AND OBSTETRICAL CONDITIONS
Therapeutics for gynecologic and obstetric conditions are most commonly provided via oral or intramuscular routes of administration. Oral administration is convenient but results in poor bioavailability and unwanted side effects. Intramuscular injections facilitate cellular absorption but pain and infections can reduce patient compliance. The proposed technology enables vaginal delivery of therapeutics for gynecologic and obstetric conditions. A glycol-chitin thermosensitive, mucoadhesive hydrogel adheres to the inner wall of the vagina and delivers therapeutics, such as progesterone, directly to the vagina. The drug can be released over time, increasing efficacy of drugs designed to target specific uterine tissues.
IMMUNO-CELL THERAPY FOR BLOOD DISORDERS WITH NOVEL TARGETS
Multiple Myeloma (MM) is an incurable plasma cell malignancy with significant morbidity and mortality. While proteasome inhibitors and immunomodulatory agents have improved treatment outcomes, most patients eventually relapse. The Cancer Immunotherapy program at Huntsman Cancer Institute has established a comprehensive portfolio of novel immuno-oncology therapeutic candidates for hematologic malignancies and solid tumors. The proprietary biologics discovery platform includes a fully human antibody phage display library with a diversity of greater than 1010 clones. A number of monoclonal antibodies and CAR T cells against surface antigens, blocking antibodies against cytokines, and immune checkpoints are being advanced. The lead immunotherapy candidate is a monoclonal antibody and CAR T cell therapy targeting a novel surface receptor CD229. CD229 is selectively expressed on MM chemotherapy resistant precursor cells making it attractive for clinical development as a potential cure for MM. Extended applications include B-cell malignancies.
IMPACT THROMBOELASOMETRY: POINT OF CARE VISCOELASTIC TESTING
Trauma remains the leading cause of death for individuals under 40, with hemorrhaging contributing to 40 percent of those deaths. Trauma-induced coagulopathy (TIC), a condition that impairs blood’s ability to clot, occurs in almost half of serious combat casualties. Identification of TIC may direct hemostatic resuscitation and foster production of clots in injured patients. Current diagnostics rely on time-consuming tests performed in hospital laboratories, but a point-of-injury test for TIC could allow rapid treatment that controls hemorrhaging, while avoiding potential over- treatment. ITEM is a novel test that determines viscoelastic behavior of blood to detect coagulopathy. Proof of concept experiments were indicative of coagulopathy.
INHIBITION OF ANGIOGENESIS AND LYMPHANGIOGENESIS USING TARGETED MORPHOLINOS
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a signal protein produced by cells that stimulates lymphangiogenesis and angiogenesis. When VEGF is overexpressed, it can contribute to various disease conditions, such as cancer and age-related macular degeneration. The proposed technology modifies the polyadenylation mechanism, serving as a new drug for cancer and neovascularization disorders. It presents a new strategy for inhibition of angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis through manipulation of VEGFR isoform expression. The VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 genes produce both membrane-bound and soluble isoforms, which have different effects on these processes. The membrane bound isoforms promote angiogenesis, while the soluble isoforms suppress lymphangiogenesis.
INHIBITION OF HERPES VIRUS REPLICATION
Available antiherpesvirus drugs target viral DNA polymerases. These drugs are usually highly effective, although toxicity and development of resistance limit their use. Derivatives of Spironolactone, an existing drug used to treat congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, and kidney problems, inhibit replication of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), and Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). These derivatives exhibit decreased anti-mineralocorticoid activity and increased antiviral activity. The proposed therapeutic degrades cellular transcription factors related to virus production, lytic replication and gene expression. Use of this therapeutic has the potential to prevent KSHV and treat infectious mononucleosis, CMV, and HSV infections.
INHIBITORS OF INFLAMMATORY INJURIES CAUSED BY NEUTROPHIL EXTRACELLULAR TRAPS (NETs)
While NET formation is a potent mechanism for killing microbes, emerging evidence suggests that NETs potentiate vascular and tissue injury in inflammatory syndromes. In fact, NET formation contributes to several inflammatory disorders including acute lung injury, sepsis, small vessel vasculitis, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, and chronic autoimmune diseases. In addition, recent results indicate NETs may also be involved in some cancers. New inhibitors block NET development and prevent further tissue injury associated with inflammation. This new technology targets inappropriate, maladaptive, and injurious NET formation without altering other key neutrophil activities such as chemotaxis, phagocytosis, and ROS generation.
KIRKHAM BIRTHING HARNESS
Studies indicate that giving birth in the squatting position provides many benefits, such as shorter labor, reduced incidence of Cesarean section, and decreased need for forceps, or vacuum deliveries. Most women, however, do not have the upper leg strength required to stay in a squatting position throughout the second stage of labor (pushing), which can last from 20 minutes to 2 hours. The Kirkham Birthing Harness supports women in a squatting position without adding pressure or strain on their arms and legs. The birthing harness comprises thigh, rear torso, and body straps that support the patient. The harness itself is supported by a patient lift or comparable support systems, such as the Hoyer Lift, thus allowing the mother to maintain the squatting position for extended periods without muscle exhaustion.
LARYNGEAL MASK AIRWAY WITH ARTICULATING TIP
Anesthesiologists use laryngeal mask airways (LMAs) to keep a patient’s airways open during procedures that require general anesthesia to create a seal over the vocal cords. LMAs go past the tongue and get stuck roughly 30 percent of the time, requiring the anesthesiologist to reach into a patient’s throat with their finger to correctly place the LMA or to remove the device and start over. After two failed attempts, intubation is performed, which increases risks for the patient. A new LMA with an articulating tip can be correctly placed with a single hand. This reduces the likelihood of intubation and increases patient comfort.
LINGUISTIC SYMPTOM TRAINING APP
Speech pathology training includes classroom and clinical experience, but students receive little real world experience prior to graduation, which is problematic because most patients do not speak like textbook examples. The Linguistic Symptom Training App serves as a study tool for undergraduate and graduate speech language pathology students. The app uses self-paced training modules to help students identify and categorize linguistic symptoms from a variety of pediatric language disorders. Users access a series of sentences that mirror real speech patterns and sentence structures, then are asked to make quick judgements about whether or not each sentence contains symptoms for a specific disorder. The app could also be used to meet continuing education requirements for certified speech language pathology (SLP) clinicians.
LIQUID GLUE BIOPSY: NOVEL METHOD FOR NON-INVASIVE SKIN SAMPLING
Nucleic acid diagnostics help identify and monitor diseases. Traditional methods for the recovery of nucleic acids and proteins from the skin, however, involve the use of a scalpel or other sharp instrument. These sampling methods require local anesthesia, create bleeding wounds, produce scarring and generally necessitate sutures to close the skin. Adhesive tape has also been used to obtain skin samples, but requires repeated applications of tape strips to inflamed lesions. This new technology provides an innovative, simple approach to recover skin samples using liquid adhesives. A novel glue is painted onto the skin and then overlaid with support materials. Removing the glue facilitates harvesting of skin samples with ample material for assay testing. This method provides a one-step, efficient, and non-invasive means for recovering nucleic acids from skin lesions of all sizes.
MEDICAL GAS DELIVERY DEVICE
Patients with diseases of the heart and lungs, such as pulmonary hypertension, may not comply with use of a face mask or nasal cannula for delivery of medical gas. Movement can also render medical gas delivery methods ineffective if a patient turns their head away from the gas source. The proposed medical gas delivery device could be incorporated with a hat, hood, pillow or other garment to provide supplemental oxygen and other gases near the face of patients who struggle with a face mask or nasal cannula. The device permits patients to move without interrupting the flow of medical gas. The initial hoody device delivers medical gas from a source near the waist through a tube that expels the medical gas near the patient’s face. This reduces the chance of air-flow disruption, common with long tubing, and improves patient compliance due to the increased comfort of the delivery device.
MEDICAL HOME PORTAL
Children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN), or those at increased risk for chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions, have increased need for medical and education services. Coordination of care for CYSHCN often involves a large number of people, such as clinicians, care coordinators, family members, home care professionals, and school staff. Inadequate care coordination can lead to delays in diagnosis and treatment, diminished patient and physician satisfaction, increased cost of care, and reduced quality of life. Since CYSHCN receive care from health and non–health professionals working in different settings, care-related data can be fragmented across multiple information systems. As a result, finding the information needed to provide the best care can be daunting. Medical Home Portal provides high-quality, family-focused, and peer-authored information for families and physicians. The portal offers clinical content for nearly 50 rare chronic conditions and provides access to community resources to improve quality of care and outcomes for CYSHCN. It incorporates clinical guidelines, alerts, recommendations for screening and links to local services.
METHOD FOR SECRET KEY EXCHANGE VIA SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL PHYSICAL LAYER PROPERTIES
Secret key establishment between two entities is a fundamental requirement for private communication. The most common method for establishing a secret key is by using public key cryptography. The public key method, however, is vulnerable to security breaches, consumes significant amount of computing resources, has been relatively slow, and requires a third party authentication service. The proposed method represents a fundamental advancement in secret key exchange for wireless communications by avoiding use of a public key. It allows for the exchange of a random secret key between two transceivers by measuring particular bio-directional properties of the channel, which cannot be read at a third location. The properties may include measurements while moving a transceiver to different locations to observe the secret key. The method takes advantage of the changing space-time wireless channel in order to generate a rich and robust key which can be shared on a wireless link without communicating the secret key.
METHODS TO TREAT DRY MOUTH ASSOCIATED WITH SJORGEN’S SYNDROME
Sjogren’s Syndrome is a condition that causes immune cell infiltration into the salivary and lacrimal glands, leading to dry mouth and dry eyes. No cure exists and treatments only somewhat alleviate symptoms. Two novel methods for treating, and potentially curing, Sjogren’s are under
development. The first uses Resolvin D1 to improve salivary gland epithelial integrity in cytokine-damaged cells. Through localized delivery or intravenous administration for systemic delivery of a proprietary combination into glands to treat dry mouth and dry eye. The second uses a fibrin-based hydrogel used to regenerate salivary glands. The hydrogel is combined with functional groups, which are chemically conjugated to fluorescent FH to form new salivary tissue and eliminate dry mouth.
MeVal: PERSONAL HEALTH ASSESSMENT DATA COLLECTION TOOL
Online module combining vetted patient-reported outcomes assessment tools with data analytics to deliver consistent and reliable data for use in clinical, financial, and research applications.
Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) are the leading indicator of health care service quality. Collecting patient data, however, often requires manually aggregating and calculating outcomes. Complexity and time constraints limit the use of PROs in many healthcare systems. MeVal allows patients to report information electronically, which is then stored within their electronic medical record (EMR). MeVal combines the best PRO data assessment tools with business intelligence reporting infrastructure. This system facilitates an integrated and seamless capture and visualization of PROs, and reveals data trends for clinical, financial, and research purposes. The module also allows clinicians to access patient assessments in real- time for immediate incorporation into treatment plans.
MICROTEXTURING OF PROSTHETIC KNEE AND HIP JOINTS TO IMPROVE LONGEVITY
More than 200,000 total hip replacement (THR) surgeries are performed in the United States each year. THR surgery is needed when the articular cartilage cushioning of the joint deteriorates, causing pain and disability.
Over time, polyethylene wear particles absorb into the tissue around the prosthetic joint, which may cause inflammation, mechanical instability, or dislocation of the prosthetic joint components. As a result, patients seek revision THR surgery or live in discomfort. A new microtexturing technology places microscale texture features or “dimples” on the CoCrMo bearing surface of the prosthetic joint. The microtexture features form microhydrodynamic bearings that reduce friction and polyethylene wear.
MIMO SYSTEM AND METHODS
WiFi and LTE offer large theoretical throughput rates rarely attained by individual users due to the use of multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) systems to increase network capacities. With data consumption projected to increase by 1000x in the next decade and MIMO stalled, carriers are looking for new technologies to overcome power and processing bottlenecks. Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) can improve MIMO performance by quickly and reliably separating and routing data. The proposed technology is a MCMC MIMO decoder with Gibbs Sampler Excitation that operates at higher signal-to-noise ratios. The MCMC detector can integrate with existing tower structures and customer premise equipment enabling a 4-8x increase in network capacity at low costs. A search algorithm and adaptive filter techniques that streamline data reception and reduce signal-processing noise within MIMO systems to further increase performance and capacity have also been developed.
Each year, more first responders die of suicide than job related injuries. Millions of dollars are spent annually to provide these individuals with physical protective equipment, but less is done to help emergency personnel deal with emotional trauma. Many first responders struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) avoid seeking help out of fear that they will be seen as weak or vulnerable. Rather than attempting to repair psychological damage after such traumatic instances, Mind Shield provides mental and emotional training proactively. Using three 90 minute sessions, first responders are taught skills to reduce symptoms, address triggers, and communicate effectively. Ultimately, Mind Shield acts as additional, unseen protective gear for first responders to preserve their mental health.
MODIFIED NASAL CANNULA FOR SEAMLESS PRE-OXYGENATION TRANSITION
Anesthesiologists pre-oxygenate patients using an oxygen mask prior to intubation. Once the oxygen mask is removed, this supply of oxygen is normally sufficient for a healthy adult patient to be intubated within three minutes. Failure to intubate within this timeframe leads to hypoxia, brain injury, or death. The current industry standard is to use a bag valve mask (BVM) during pre-oxygenation. After pre-oxygenation, the BVM is removed for intubation to occur. Research has demonstrated use of a nasal cannula prior to and after the BVM increases the safe apneic window. Removing and replacing the nasal cannula for the BVM, however, disrupts the workflow. The proposed technology modifies a traditional nasal cannula by replacing the rigid tubing with collapsible tubing, allowing the nasal cannula to stay in place during pre-oxygenation and ventilation. This simplifies workflow and provides anesthesiologists with more time to intubate patients.
MODULAR OSSEOINTEGRATED, POROUS-COATED PROSTHETIC ABUTMENT SYSTEM
Percutaneous fixation implants anchor a prosthesis to a selected bone, which increases mobility, but can cause infection, skin regression, and early implant failure. Such complications require surgery to replace the implant and involve long recovery periods that reduce the quality of life for amputees. The Modular Osseointegrated, Porous-coated Prosthetic Abutment System (MOPPAS) alleviates complications associated with existing fixation systems through the use of removable modular components. Interlocking sleeves and an end cap fasten MOPPAS components together. Portions of the implant can be removed and replaced individually, which increases the longevity of implants systems and reduces more complicated, follow-on surgeries necessary to replace failed implants.
MOTION BASED ENERGY HARVESTER FOR WEARABLES
Self-powered wearables, such as watches, have existed for approximately 30 years. These wearables generate power using an eccentric rotor that rotates with movement. Certain types of motion facilitate energy generation better than others, however, with the motion from walking while being worn on the upper arm, torso, or waist, results in relatively low rates. A new eccentric rotor architecture design that includes a well-tuned rotational spring, improves the amount of power generated while walking by up to 300 percent when a device is worn on the wrist. Electricity is gained by magnetically plucked piezoelectric beams rather than gear train electromagnetic generators and can apply to any low mechanical loss electromechanical transducer.
MYC-DRIVEN DIAGNOSTIC FOR SMALL CELL LUNG CANCER
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) accounts for almost 30,000 deaths each year in the United States, with a two-year survival rate of less than six percent. Almost 40 percent of SCLC patients develop resistance to platinum-based chemotherapy, the current first-line treatment. Studies indicate that MYC amplification is associated with treatment resistance and poor outcomes, but little was known regarding how MYC impacts SCLC. Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute and the University of Utah have discovered that roughly 20 percent of SCLC patients develop a variant form of the disease, characterized by certain MYC-related biomarkers. The proposed technology detects variant SCLC by identifying the concentration of specific biomarkers in a patient. The technology can also be used to predict patient response to chemotherapy to help guide clinician decisions and improve patient outcomes.
Implantable medical devices, such as pacemakers and cochlear implants, require wireless communication capabilities. These wireless data transmission systems rely on integrated miniature antennas to transmit patient data and monitor device health. Performance of traditional antennas is limited by size constraints, incompatibility with the body, and muffled signals. The nanocomposite-based implantable antenna combines high conductivity and low stiffness, and allows wireless implantable medical devices to communicate externally without biocompatibility or stability issues. An additional external tattoo or textile antenna could also be placed on the fat layer of the skin to allow deeper placement of implantable devices in the body, while reducing radiative absorption and transmission loss. Using the combined system of implantable and external antennas improves overall implant communication.
NASAL SEPTAL SPLINTS
Surgeries to correct problems in the nasal septum are some of the most commonly performed outpatient surgical procedures. Nasal septal splints provide stability and support to the nasal septum and prevent blood from accumulating following these procedures. Traditional splints typically include pre-cut holes for receiving sutures. Often, these holes are larger than required. This results in movement of the sutures, reduced stability, and allows septal mucous membranes to evaginate through the holes if left in place for more than 14 days.
The proposed technology is a custom cut, plastic nasal splint. These splints sit caudally along the nasal septum and can be sutured in place for two to three weeks. They allow patients more time to heal, while reducing the risk of complications.
Conventional routes for synthesizing quantum dots use a high temperature, rapid injection process that makes producing large batches of quantum dots with consistent quality a challenge. Quantum dots grow faster in hot spots within the reaction vessel and slower in the cooler portions, thus broadening the size distribution of the final product and generating undesirably broad photoluminescence emission. Combining many small batches presents its own challenges because batch to batch variations cause the emission of the combined batches to broaden significantly. Navillum relies on a perturbed, low temperature equilibrium between quantum dot growth and dissolution. The creation of a thermodynamic equilibrium provides control over the net nanoparticle growth rate, quantum dot size, and shape. This process keeps the nanocrystal in its original solvent, allowing the nanocrystal to retain the desired characteristics of high efficiency and tunable photoluminescence emission. The process also scales up readily from small to large batch sizes without compromising quality.
NEARLY TRANSPARENT IMAGING SYSTEM
Traditional imaging methods, which are relatively costly and complex, rely on a lens to focus light onto a sensor that records photons. The proposed invention uses an image recording device placed at the edges of a transparent layer to accurately reproduce an image. A small fraction of the light from the outside scene scatters off imperfections in the transparent layer to reach the image-recording device. The full scene is reproduced computationally from the point sources. The image is captured without a lens and without a direct line of sight to the scene. While the system could be used to capture any image, it is applicable specifically to biometrics and automotive machine vision.
NEW PREDICTOR OF BLOOD PRESSURE RESPONSE DURING FAST VENTRICULAR ARRHYTHMIAS
Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) detect ventricular arrhythmias and deliver a jolt of electricity to restore normal heart rhythm. The strength of required electric shocks and the inability to predict when future shocks will occur cause pain and anxiety for many patients. Anti-tachycardia pacing (ATP) restores normal heart rhythm without electric shocks, but its use is limited due to concerns that ATP may not terminate severe arrhythmias. The proposed technology utilizes a novel algorithm in conjunction with an ICD to determine whether ATP or electric shock is required to restore normal heart function. The algorithm uses data already collected and stored by the ICD to predict blood pressure response during an arrhythmia by identifying the cycle length and depolarization rate of the sinoatrial node. With this software, clinicians can utilize ATP more effectively and eliminate unnecessary electric shocks.
NEXT GENERATION MULTI-PAYLOAD ANTIBODY DRUG CONJUGATE
ADCs are empowered antibodies designed to harness the targeting ability of monoclonal antibodies by linking them to cell-killing agents to overcome toxicity issues. One of the major limitations of ADCs is having an appropriate linker. The proposed technology improves the linker, making it possible to create an ADC that possesses high specificity and the advantages of macromolecular therapeutics. The technology involves a controlled living polymerization technique that results in a well-defined HPMA polymer-drug conjugate, followed by specific attachment to an antibody to generate a homogenous ADC with an adjustable amount of payload. Lead ADC, RTX-P-EPI (Rituximab conjugated to Epirubicin) has been well characterized for high linker stability, homogenous ADC mixture, and ADC internalization.
NON-INVASIVE IDENTIFICATION OF EOSINOPHILIC ESOPHAGITIS
Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a chronic disease of the esophagus that affects over 300,000 patients in the United States alone. Diagnosis requires several endoscopy procedures that utilize both visual evaluation and biopsy. At least four biopsy specimens are necessary to confirm a diagnosis. Additional biopsies are used to evaluate treatment efficacy. The cost, invasiveness, and discomfort experienced due to this method of diagnosing and monitoring EOE cause patients to forgo treatment or go undiagnosed. Using heparin as a contrast agent enables non-invasive visualization of eosinophils in single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging. The polyanion is either radiolabeled or fluorescently labeled and deposited onto the eosinophil degranulation. This provides a novel method for clinical detection and progression monitoring of EoE, as well as other diseases of the esophagus.
NOVEL ANTI-GLAUCOMA COMPOUNDS
Glaucoma is a progressive neurodegenerative disease of the eye, with the largest incidence of irreversible blindness in the world affecting 2.2 million Americans. Most current treatments lower intraocular pressure (IOP), and are only partially effective with no innovation in the last decade. Utah’s approach targets the fundamental mechanism for retinal pathology responsible for transducing the effects of eye pressure into degeneration of retinal ganglion cells. Utah small molecule inhibitor is a novel TRPV4 channel antagonist with an excellent in vivo profile suitable for clinical development.
NOVEL DELIVERY DEVICE FOR FRAGILE MEDICAL IMPLANTS
Surgical trocars are the most commonly used delivery method for implanting fragile devices in the body. These trocars create pathways in human tissue to help implant small medical devices, but can damage fragile implantable devices in the process. The proposed technology is a micro- and nanotechnology medical device carrier that enables trocars and other delivery devices to deliver fragile objects to a targeted area, safely and securely. The device is bullet shaped and hollow with holes on one side to allow for suturing to hold the implant in place. The tip of the device has a bulb for hemostats to grab and help guide delivery and extraction of the carrier. The bullet shape of the device helps reduce drag while moving through body tissue, and provides continuous protection for the fragile implant during surgery.
NOVEL GATEWAY FOR ORAL DRUG DELIVERY
Nanoparticles can carry various drug payloads with poor oral bioavailability. A new technology alters nanoparticles utilizing the enterohepatic circulation pathway to increase oral bioavailability. The therapeutic agent is layered with bile acid derivatives and a complex of anionic and cationic polymers. The result is a nanoparticle drug delivery complex with an optimal bioavailability profile. The drug delivery complex uses receptors for high absorption in the GI and small intestine and is resistant to proteolytic degradation. The nanoparticle fabrication is well characterized, with demonstrated effective oral delivery of a variety of parenteral therapeutics including unmodified Insulin, Exendin-4, Erythropoietin, Doxorubicin and plasmid DNA.
NOVEL PLATFORM FOR RAPID DIAGNOSIS OF CYTOMEGALOVIRUS
Approximately 40,000 infants in the U.S. are born with congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV). Nearly four hundred infants die from the virus each year, and over 7,000 experience permanent hearing loss. Most CMV cases are diagnosed following two failed hearing tests. Many infants, however, are asymptomatic and their condition goes undiagnosed.
Universal testing for CMV in infants could minimize missed diagnoses, but the high costs of PCR screening methods prevent widespread testing. The proposed technology utilizes a lateral flow assay (LFA) to detect CMV in saliva or urine rapidly. It involves placing a pad over anti-CMV antibodies. When the pad is saturated with either the urine or saliva of an infant, the anti-CMV gold nanoparticles will bind to any CMV present, showing as two red lines. This test is rapid, non-invasive, and inexpensive, which would allow universal testing. The device could be used either as a dip-stick style test or placed in the bottom of a diaper, eliminating labor and resource costs associated with conventional CMV testing.
NOVEL SCENT DELIVERY DEVICE
Experimental neuroscience and psychophysics often study neural and behavioral responses to scents. In these studies, the subject must be exposed to various scents, but switching from one scent to another takes time.
The proposed scent delivery device switches between scents quickly without mixing or cross-contamination. Multiple scent containing tubes that can house a liquid or solid scent are mounted on the device. Pressurized air expels scents from their tubes to the subject.
The proposed device was developed for applications in research, but also has the potential for use in single-user entertainment experiences. Scent delivery technology is being used more frequently in entertainment, but most existing technologies emit scent into the general airspace, which spreads the scent throughout the entire room, allowing scents to mix and diminishing the overall effect. The proposed device, with its scent switching capabilities and ability to deliver scent individually, has strong potential for gaming, movies, and virtual reality applications where each level or scene has a unique smell.
NOVEL SUBSTRATE FOR BLOOD-BASED METHYLATED DNA DIAGNOSTIC KITS
Use of blood-based methylated DNA biomarkers for screening of cancer and other diseases is growing. For example, screening for Septin 9 (SEPT9) methylated DNA in blood plasma facilitates the detection of colorectal cancer, since specific cytosine residues in SEPT9 are methylated in cancerous tissue but not in normal colon tissue. Accurately assessing methylation levels for methylated DNA biomarkers, however, requires a robust positive control. Typical screening assays rely on completely methylated genomic DNA from cell line sources that fail to represent naturally occurring patterns of methylated DNA accurately. This novel biomarker assay uses the pooled plasma of pregnant women as a positive control substrate for SEPT9 biomarker assays. Pooled plasma of pregnant women can also potentially be used as a positive control substrate for other methylated oncofetal biomarkers.
NOVEL TREATMENT FOR GALACTOSEMIA
Galactosemia is a rare, inherited condition where people cannot metabolize galactose due to mutations in GALT, GALE, and GALK1. The disorder appears in 1 in 40,000 live births and can be fatal if left untreated, but no long-term treatment exists. Galactosemia patients also experience intellectual and speech deficits, motor function loss, ataxia, and infertility. The inventors have discovered that accumulation of Gal1-p results in a unique form of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in fibroblasts of patients with Galactosemia. The proposed invention repurposes known ER stress inhibitors, such as Salubrinal, which have been shown to reduce phosphorylation of several intracellular proteins involved in ER stress for the treatment of Galactosemia.
OPENFURTHER: TRANSLATING DATA MODELS
Healthcare data, particularly for research, is often located on multiple, disparate databases. Querying multiple databases to identify the necessary information can sometimes take months, which delays research significantly. OpenFurther is a next generation federation architecture database built to connect disparate data resources. Using this software, heterogeneous data from different databases is transported into a single location. The database preserves heterogeneous data types in their native format, which allows querying of multiple kinds of healthcare data (genotypic, phenotypic, clinical, environmental, public health). OpenFurther provides researchers an efficient way to search multiple healthcare databases at once, helping researchers gain new knowledge and speed up the delivery of data from months to minutes.
Clinicians frequently have patient care questions that go unanswered. Several online resources provide information to assist clinical decision making but current workflow limits their use. OpenInfoButton is a novel, standards-based health information search tool that integrates with multiple EHR systems and allows clinicians to quickly answer clinical questions in real-time. The software uses contextual information stored within the patient’s electronic health record (EHR) and utilized keywords to anticipate questions and provide links to relevant information. This tool allows clinicians to conduct online medical knowledge resource searches easily from multiple sources. To date, the software includes almost 40 knowledge resources. OpenInfoButton has received Health Level Seven (HL7) Infobutton Standard certification, which is required for EHR certification in the United States.
OPTIMIZED NANOPHOTONICS FOR PHOTOVOLTAICS
Current thin-film photovoltaic (PV) cells do not absorb sunlight effectively. Various nanophotonic structures have been proposed to enhance absorption in the thin active layer of these cells, however these are trial-and-error generated designs and are difficult to optimize. A new design technique employs nanophotonic principles to create optimized light trapping structures in thin-film photovoltaic cells. Randomly textured surfaces are applied on the top surface of the thin layers of active PV cell materials. Light scattering from these textures increases the path length within the active material and excites guided-mode resonances, resulting in higher absorption. Sub-micrometer structures on the back surface of the active layer are used to further increase light absorption.
ORGANIC LIGHT-EMITTING DIODE (OLED) WITH RESONANT STRUCTURE
Existing light emitting devices suffer from efficiency problems, such as incomplete light extraction from active layers. This inability to direct light from the diode results in an 180˚ active range of light emission and power losses.
The OLED with Resonant Structure utilizes two mirrors to increase the radiative efficiency of OLEDs by 80-100 percent. The first mirror is a partially reflective, metallic patch grating resonator that reduces lateral propagation of radiative emissions’ diffusion. The second mirror is a transparent electrode of the OLED, which communicates with the optically active material. Together, these mirrors almost double the output power of the LED.
OSTEOGENESIS: METHOD FOR RETENTION OF MEDIA DURING BONE GRAFTING
Trauma or tumors in the craniofacial region can lead to loss of extended bone structure. Resultant defects in the skull require surgical repair and reshaping using rigid, static, and artificial implant materials. These materials often contribute to stress fracturing and cannot be reshaped as the patient grows, which leads to a high number of revision surgeries.
OsteoGenesis is a patient-specific, osteogenic scaffold that is both porous and resorbable. It includes two interlocking plates held together by screws that promote bone regrowth after maxillofacial surgery. Scans obtained using existing imaging techniques are used to print unique PGLA scaffolds that fit the precise needs of each patient. Spacers are used to optimize pore size for maximum particle retention and provide mechanical support. The device is bio-tolerable, preserves functional strength, and facilitates personalized medical treatment, which improves patient outcomes.
PAIN-FREE VENTRICULAR DEFIBRILLATION FOR ICDs
Approximately 1 million individuals in the United States are at high risk for sudden cardiac death. Sudden cardiac death is often associated with ventricular fibrillation (VF), so patients at high risk for VF are fitted with an implantable cardioverter (ICD). ICDs rapidly detect and treat abnormal rhythms. Unfortunately, while ICDs can save lives, they also reduce patients’ quality of life and psychological state. The proposed technology delivers low energy unique pacing for pain-free defibrillation. By reducing the defibrillation energy, the system reduces heart damage and eliminates the pain and anxiety associated with defibrillation shocks. In addition, the technology can be easily incorporated into current ICDs.
PEDIATRIC PATIENT SUMMARY
Health Information Exchange (HIE) systems provide clinicians with medical records for patients from other clinics and hospitals. Patients with extensive medical histories can have hundreds of records, often leaving clinicians’ insufficient tools to decipher patient information quickly. Pediatric Patient Summary (PPS) works with preexisting regional HIE systems to allow parents and clinicians to create detailed, succinct, and relevant summaries of a children’s medical records. PPS is particularly useful for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN). The application allows parents of CYSHCN to annotate their children’s medical records with personalized information and possible corrections so that medical providers can deliver the best possible care.
PEPTIDES FOR CLEARING DEGRADED AND UNFOLDED COLLAGEN
Collagen is a major structure protein found in almost all human tissue. Degraded collagen is present in damaged tissues and is highly associated with many critical human diseases and injuries. The collagen hybridizing peptide (CHP) can bind to these degraded collagens without affecting intact collagen. The proposed CHP has a high affinity to denatured collagen molecules for use in imaging, diagnosing, and treating diseases and injuries that cause collagen damage. The presence of Aza-Glycine residues from collagen mimetic peptide sequence increases stability of bonding to degraded collagen. The peptide can be paired with existing diagnostics and therapeutic agents to provide highly specific and targeted delivery of therapeutics or imaging markers to damaged collagen. Potential applications range from treating cancer to stabilizing blood clots and treating skin conditions.
PERFORATED PLATE SEISMIC DAMPERS
Intense earthquakes and other natural disasters cause significant damage, including deformation and buckling, to buildings that experience non-linear displacement. Structural dampers, which absorb high amounts of energy, prevent or reduce damage. Expenses and specialization, however, limit their use to high-cost applications. Perforated Plate Seismic Dampers offer a novel method for efficient seismic energy absorption at a low cost. A single steel plate shaped to have four “nodes” or fuse points, stretches under seismic accelerations, focusing the shear and tension forces onto the four nodes. This unique plate formation absorbs excess energy, thereby reducing the lateral displacement and resultant damage to buildings during seismic events.
PERSONALIZED ALLELE-SPECIFIC EXPRESSION PROFILING RNA PROBE REAGENTS & ALGORITHMS
Understanding the allele-specific expression effects helps determine how inherited mutations may impact carriers and their offspring. Existing allele expression diagnostics, such as bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) probes, only work on cultured cells, which increases the time required for testing. The proposed invention uses in situ hybridization probes to detect allele specific expression in cells and tissues. Nuclear whole transcriptome RNA sequencing is used to provide an intron retention score from samples to resolve expression of target alleles. These tools can resolve epigenetic allelic effects, genomic imprinting and random X-inactivation to monitor health and disease progression, and detect disorders by profiling RNASeq data.
PLGA AND PEI BASED PARTICLES FOR DELIVERY OF MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can regenerate tissue and treat many debilitating diseases, including cardiovascular disease. Human MSC, however, requires lengthy ex vivo expansion times to prepare a sufficient amount of cells. This reduces transfectability, while increasing costs and contamination risk. MSCs also have poor survivability and short lifespans, further limiting their use. A new mechanism using poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) and poly(ethylenimine) (PEI) porous particles to deliver MSCs increases the efficiency of MSC treatment. The polymer is optimized for MSC bonding affinity, and constructs an anchoring and supporting system for MSC-loading. The particles are loaded with MSCs and injected into the body to treat damaged tissues, specifically damage from myocardial infarction.
POLYMERS FOR EFFICIENT GENE DELIVERY
Both viral and non-viral delivery systems have been used for gene therapy, but non-viral vectors present a variety of advantages, including scalability, low immune response, flexible loading capacity, and stability. Widespread adoption of non-viral gene vectors, however, has been limited by toxicity and transfection efficiency concerns. Multiple polymers for more efficient delivery of genetic material have been developed. The first is a novel arginine-conjugating bioreducible poly(amido amine) polymer that can degrade into nontoxic molecules in an intracellular environment. Mixing the polymer with PEG inhibits plasmid DNA condensation, improves biocompatibility, and enables in vivo applications. The second polymer is a poly(ethylamine) (PEI)-based gene delivery system, made through polymerization of cysteine and dendrimer branches. The polymer has a smaller molecular weight, which increases the stability of the complex and lowers cytotoxicity. Conjugating PEI to poly(cystaminebis(acrylamide)- diaminohexane) (poly(CBA-DAH)) via a disulfide bond further decreases toxicity and allows genetic material to be released easily.
PRESSURE-SENSOR EMBEDDED STENT
Restenosis, the development of plaque deposition in the arteries, occurs in 20 percent of stent implanted patients. Diagnostic technologies on the market today are error prone, difficult to implant, and difficult to manufacture. A new stent has been developed for use in angioplasty stent placement to widen arteries the same as a traditional stent. The stent can measure the pressure along its length to accurately diagnose restenosis. By measuring any drastic drop or gradual increase in pressure through a multiple-zone pressure sensor scheme, the device is able to help locate and diagnose restenosis. These measurements are transmitted wirelessly to a data retrieval device, eliminating the need for periodic interventional procedures currently used to monitor the development of restenosis.
PRO-OR: OR SCHEDULING TOOL TO IMPROVE OPERATIONS AND REDUCE COST
Hospital Operating room (OR) planning is a complex task where numerous resources must be synchronized in order to achieve optimal resource utilization and cost efficiency. Many outpatient ORs use block scheduling to assign time to surgeons requiring hospitals to staff an entire surgical team, of nurses, anesthesiologists, and technicians, for an entire day when only a couple procedures are scheduled. This creates staffing conflicts and reduces efficiency, ultimately increasing hospital costs. OR Scheduling Tool is a smart web-based software with easy user interface, designed to improve utilization of OR time integrating various details and factors such as time needed for a procedure and hospital goals. Embedded algorithms strip patient data from schedules to allow hospitals and surgical centers to share best practices for optimizing OR time. The software is being developed for prospective OR scheduling and staffing to offer insight into cost-containment schemes.
PROTEIN-BASED PLATFORM TO GENERATE CHIMERIC ANTIGEN RECEPTOR-IMMUNE CELLS
Antigen specific T cells and Natural Killer (NK) cells generated by virus- mediated gene transfer of Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CAR) has drastically advanced cancer immunotherapy. However, virus-mediated redirection typically results in permanent CAR gene expression and off- tumor toxicity. The recombinant CAR fusion protein (rCAR) developed is mixed with isolated T and NK cells in vitro, resulting in temporarily activated cells ready for infusion in a matter of hours, rather than days or weeks from traditional methodologies. The rCAR technology is a promising advancement for treating solid and hematological malignancies.
Teachers face increasing demand to incorporate applied learning in lesson plans, but lack resources to provide these experiences. Research Quest is an instructional tool created by the Natural History Museum of Utah that offers inquiry-based science modules using interactive digital models. It leverages the museum’s research and collections to support development of critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills throughout K-12 education. These investigations support both learning and assessment.
Students work in groups to analyze evidence and answer questions. Videos from scientists, reference photos, and other instructional material help guide students through the modules. Research Quest provides teacher support materials, such as instructional strategies and lesson objectives, to assist with successful facilitation of the tool. Current modules target 6th, 7th, and 8th grade science teachers, with tools in development for other grades.
REVENUE CYCLE TRAINING
Revenue cycle management (RCM) aligns patient-generated hospital revenue by tracking care episodes from appointment scheduling and registration through discharge and final payment. Despite the importance of RCM, few training programs exist. Lack of training for revenue cycle staff limits staff engagement and results in high turnover among revenue cycle employees. The RCSS training program educates staff on the complexities of RCM. The four day program provides an overall look at the revenue cycle as well as a breakdown of the individual steps to identify team contributions, emphasize how staff fit in, and the highlight the impact of their role. The training utilizes games, hands on practice and friendly competitions to apply concepts and keep employees engaged. Materials are available post training for employees who need a refresher or have specific questions. RCSS Training has created a level of partnership with individual employees to increase retention rates.
REVERSIBLE CROSS-LINKED POLYMERS FOR DRUG DELIVERY
Controlled-release drug delivery systems often use hydrogels as drug carriers due to their adjustable swelling capacities. Hydrogel fabrication, however, typically requires cytotoxic materials or conditions that limit their use in biological systems. Additionally, synthetic hydrogels fail in high stress application because they are unable to self-heal. The proposed invention enables creation of self-healing, reversible, cross-linked polymers. The hydrogels are fabricated by mixing two liquid-state pre-polymer under physiologic conditions to form a gel at body temperature. In acidic conditions, the hydrogel becomes a viscous, free-flowing gel, but can return to its original form when pH is adjusted. These cross-linked hydrogels also exhibit shear thinning and viscoelastic recovery properties. The novel hydrogel has potential applications in vaginal drug delivery, tissue engineering, lysosomal drug delivery, gastric drug delivery, cell culture, and food gelation.
Almost 6,000 youth aged 15 – 24 commit suicide each year in the United States. Resources exist to help these youth, but all too often the lack of anonymity or the need to place a call prevent youth from reaching out.
SafeUT allows students to connect with counselors anonymously through text or web chat. All interactions are handled by licensed clinicians based on professional standard of care. The SafeUT app can also be used to send tips to school officials regarding bullying, gang activity, drugs, alcohol, and more. All communications supported by SafeUT are completely anonymous, which increases the likelihood of reporting and allows schools time to respond to issues.
Data logging devices record scientific measurements from research and industrial processes for storage and analysis. Existing data loggers are often large and expensive, with limited storage capabilities. These devices, which are built using outdated programming languages, also require a physical connection to transfer data. The Scribe Datalogger modernizes data collection and analysis. The data logger relies on external sensors to capture analog and digital measurement signals, which decreases the size and cost of the device. Scribe Datalogger then records the measurements and displays real-time signals for data visualization and diagnosis of measurement problems. The system can store up to 1000 MB of data and information can be easily retrieved from the system using existing protocols. It also facilitates platform migration by using a code translator to convert old scripts to Python, a current, flexible, and open-source programming language. Scribe Datalogger has been used in multiple projects including the UTA TRAX air quality project, the Mobile Atmospheric Lab, and the Utah Atmospheric Trace Gas & Air Quality Lab.
SECONDARY STIFFNESS DEVICES FOR STRUCTURAL SYSTEMS
In 2017, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported over $300B in structural damages caused by natural disasters. Various devices exist to prevent structural damage after seismic events by absorbing load displacements. One such device, a buckling restrained brace (BRB), absorbs energy through plastic deformation and utilizes a stiff sleeve with a metal shell to prevent buckling under compressive forces. The sleeve is prone to fracturing and excessive plastic deformation can cause permanent damage to the system. The proposed system limits displacement of steel beams during a natural disaster and reduces structural damage by adding addition stiffness to BRBs through reinforced steel sleeves. Steel compression plates attached at the joint where a steel beam connects to the ground and at the steel tube encasing mortar add stability to the system. Secondary tension straps decrease excessive deformation improving the reliability of the system.
SEISMIC SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE GEOFOAM BRIDGE
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 61,000 bridges in the United States are structurally deficient. Consolidation and post- construction creep settlement slow and inhibit accelerated construction of support systems for bridge structures on soft soil. Other common challenges include low bearing capacity, poor construction conditions, relocation of buried utilities, and potential settlement damage to adjacent structures and foundations. Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Geofoam Bridge Support Systems accelerate construction of bridge support without compromising safety. EPS eliminates the need for deep foundations or ground improvement in soft ground conditions. EPS technology is lightweight and reduces, or almost eliminates, uneven settling of soil. EPS bridges are used around the world, but not currently permitted in the United States as they do not hold up under seismic conditions. The proposed system increases stability during seismic events by utilizing a steel cable system enabling EPS bridge deployment in seismic geographic areas.
SLEEP APNEA PATIENT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is almost 100 percent effective in treating sleep apnea, which affects over 18 million Americans. Almost half of sleep apnea patients, however, abandon CPAP before treatment is complete. Lack of CPAP compliance has led insurance companies to require compliance data for reimbursement. The proposed software plugin for CPAP devices can provide compliance data, as well as overall information on the sleep apnea population. The software can facilitate targeted population management for sleep centers by providing reminders regarding clinic visits, CPAP usage statistics, and the ability to categorize patients based on insurance provider. Data can be available to clinicians immediately for virtual consultations, which would help sleep center staff manage patients in a more timely and cost effective manner.
SOLID POLYMER LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES
Conventional lithium-ion batteries provide satisfactory performance, but using liquid electrolyte creates the potential for solvent leakage and flammability hazard which has created safety and reliability concerns. Use of a solid polymer electrolyte would improve safety, but solid electrolytes often do not meet performance requirements due to low ionic conductivity at lower temperature.
These new Lithium-ion batteries utilize high performance nanocomposite solid polymer electrolytes (SPE) to improve safety and reliability. This new solid polymer electrolyte integrates low cost nanocomposite additives to allow high ionic conductivity at low temperatures, increased stability, and is pliable & moldable. Very positive test results have been obtained with the new SPE for use in lithium-sulfur, lithium-silicon, and lithium iron phosphate batteries. The new batteries can be used for energy storage, electric vehicles, portable electronics devices, sensors, and other applications.
SPELL & DEEPLOG
System logs record system states at critical points to help debug failures and promote system stability. Analyzing system logs to detect irregularities establishes more secure and trustworthy systems. Typical log parsing software provides offline, batch processing of raw files, but many applications require constant monitoring not provided by offline methods. Spell, an online streaming method, parses system event logs to dynamically extract log patterns and maintain a set of discovered message types. DeepLog utilizes Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) to model a system log as a natural language sequence that automatically learns log patterns. DeepLog detects anomalies when log patterns deviate from the model trained from log data under normal execution. When an anomaly is detected, users can diagnose and perform root cause analysis immediately, thereby increasing system security.
STAPLED PEPTIDE THERAPEUTIC FOR NON-DRUGGABLE TARGETS
Existing therapeutic platforms and drug arsenals utilize small molecules and large antibody proteins, addressing only 20 percent of the druggable market. The chemical space required for inhibition of protein-protein interactions is considered “undruggable” and remains underexplored. Undesirable properties of peptides such as instability, lack of cell/ tissue penetration, immunogenicity of synthetics, compound the problem and make it unsuitable for use in humans. The new method is a proprietary facile and efficient synthetic platform method to generate high yield stapled peptides involving macrocyclization and a two-component thiol-ene based reaction.
STAUFEN-1 TARGETING THERAPEUTIC FOR TREATMENT OF FATAL NEURODEGNERATIVE DISEASES
Neurodegenerative diseases represent an ever-increasing societal and economic burden with World Health Organization estimates indicating that they will replace cancer as the 2nd leading cause of death by 2040.
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) is a part of a family of progressive, often fatal neurodegenerative diseases with no known treatments or cures. Dominantly-acting mutations lead to expansion of a polyQ domain in the ataxin-2 (ATXN2) protein. Assembly of RNA-binding protein Staufen-1 (STAU1) with mutant ATXN2 in stable inclusions is causative, resulting in aberrant RNA processing in SCA2 and other neuronal diseases such as ALS. The proposed technology identifies STAU1 as an interventional target with STAU1 antisense therapeutic alleviating the severity of the disease in a mouse model of SCA2.
SYMPTOM ASSESSMENT APPLICATIONS FOR CANCER PATIENTS
Patients with cancer often have difficulty verbalizing symptoms, which can lead to unaddressed pain. Use of adult tools for younger patients has resulted in a communication gap between patients and providers. The proposed apps capture the complexity of patient symptoms in a way not currently possible. Adult patients can choose from over 30 symptoms, grouping them and outlining causes and key symptoms for each group. Color Me Healthy provide clinicians with meaningful resources to represent patient symptoms, thus facilitating effective communication between elementary-aged cancer patients and their providers. Symptom reporting is completed in real-time by the actual patient, rather than parents. Children use drawing and coloring to express their symptoms. The app integrates various daily activities for health and wellness promotion in addition to symptom reporting. Color Me Healthy could also be developed for use by young patients with other chronic illnesses.
SymptomCare uses patient reported outcomes to monitor patient symptoms resulting from chemotherapy at home. Users can report the presence and severity of symptoms using push button telephones. The system presents patients with a series of questions designed to determine patient condition and family wellbeing. Based on patient reported symptoms, the system generates suggestions in real time to help alleviate patient pain and discomfort. It automatically sends a warning alert to the care team when symptom severity reaches a predetermined threshold, which prompts the team to make direct contact with the patient. This enables care providers to improve the patient experience and outcomes by tracking patient symptoms outside of the clinic or hospital and responding with care suggestions. By providing updates on patient symptoms in real time, the system also functions as a case management portal for clinicians.
THERMOELECTRIC ENERGY HARVESTER
Thermoelectric power generators harvest energy from waste or natural heat without producing any direct emissions of greenhouse gases. As one of the most promising clean energy conversion technologies, thermoelectric materials transform temperature gradients into electrical power without any moving parts. Existing thermoelectric materials are limited by toxicity at high temperatures and low conversion efficiency.
This new thermoelectric energy harvester is a novel oxide-based thermoelectric material that exhibits high electrical and thermal conductivity for increased performance. The material has a “cool” side and a “heated” side that uses the temperature differential to generate electrical power. Possible uses in automobiles, power plants, generators, or anything with heat.
THERMOPHOTOVOLTAIC ELECTRICITY GENERATOR
Thermophotovoltaic energy conversion involves converting energy from heat to electricity through the use of photons. Low efficiency rates limit the use of current thermal technology since radiation emitted through thermophotovoltaics contain less energy than visible light. Most existing technology uses an outside mechanical force to maintain or manipulate a gap between the thermophotovoltaic (TPV) cell and the heat source.
The Thermophotovoltaic Electricity Generator utilizes electrostatic forces to maintain a self-regulated micro/nanosize gap between the TPV cell and heat source. This self-regulation minimizes the size and increases the efficiency of power generation. Testing indicates this new technology improves capture of heat waste and increases energy absorption by up to thirty times the industry standard.
Regular, structured practice is essential to learning an instrument, yet children and youth often fail to practice consistently. UPlay utilizes game- like lesson plans with stories that teach concepts and encourage practice to help motivate children to practice regularly. UPlay contains over fifty online lessons geared toward children ages 6 to 10. Each lesson includes five segments: a short story, a demonstration, an interactive game, piano pieces, and a quiz. The program uses music instrument digital interface (MIDI), which allows students to link their keyboard with the website and receive immediate feedback. UPlay also tracks progress and practice patterns to help instructors personalize lesson plans.
β-CATENIN/T-CELL FACTOR (TCF) FOR TARGETING CANCER AND IMMUNE TOLERANCE
Irregular activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway leads to initiation and progression of many cancers, such as colorectal cancer, leukemia, and multiple myeloma. Cancer stem cells, which are resistant to conventional therapies, are also controlled by Wnt signaling. Recent studies indicate Wnt/β-catenin signaling provides therapeutic benefits as a molecular switch between opposing immune functions to treat autoimmune diseases, cancer, and infectious diseases. The proposed technology describes design and synthesis of micro-molar inhibitors of β-catenin/Tcf inhibitors with outstanding selectivity, suitable for additional drug development.