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Patent Digest: Fall 2020

Innovations in orthopedic device technology, nucleic acid detection and labeling, neuronal modeling, pathogen vaccines, and more

To realize its overarching goal to invent and commercialize disruptive solutions for healthcare, energy, architecture, robotics, and manufacturing, the Wyss Institute is creating a patent portfolio in relevant areas that are or can become an essential basis for specific business development and commercialization efforts. To learn more about these innovations, contact our Business Development Team.

The Wyss Institute’s U.S. patents issued between October and December 2020 are as follows:

Nucleic acid nanostructure barcode probes

U.S. Patent 10,876,971 (December 29, 2020)

Chenxiang Lin, Chao Li, William M. Shih, Peng Yin, and Ralf Jungmann

Provided herein are, inter alia, barcode probes comprised of transiently or stably fluorescently labeled nucleic acid nanostructures that are fully addressable and able to be read using standard fluorescent microscope and methods of use thereof including methods of use as detectable labels for probes.

Patent Digest: Fall 2020
Engineered microbe-targeting molecules and uses thereof. Credit: Harvard University

Engineered microbe-targeting molecules and uses thereof

U.S. Patent 10,865,235 (December 15, 2020)

Donald E. Ingber, Michael Super, Jeffrey Charles Way, Mark J. Cartwright, Julia B. Berthet, Dinah R. Super, Martin Rottman, and Alexander L. Watters

Described herein are engineered microbe-targeting or microbe-binding molecules, kits comprising the same and uses thereof. Some particular embodiments of the microbe-targeting or microbe-binding molecules comprise a carbohydrate recognition domain of mannose-binding lectin, or a fragment thereof, linked to a portion of a Fc region. In some embodiments, the microbe-targeting molecules or microbe-binding molecules can be conjugated to a substrate, e.g., a magnetic microbead, forming a microbe-targeting substrate (e.g., a microbe-targeting magnetic microbead). Such microbe-targeting molecules and/or substrates and the kits comprising the same can bind and/or capture of a microbe and/or microbial matter thereof, and can thus be used in various applications, e.g., diagnosis and/or treatment of an infection caused by microbes such as sepsis in a subject or any environmental surface. Microbe-targeting molecules and/or substrates can be regenerated after use by washing with a low pH buffer or buffer in which calcium is insoluble.

Orthopedic device including protruding members

U.S. Patent 10,864,100 (December 15, 2020)

Conor James Walsh, Alan T. Asbeck, Matthew W. Yarri, Jillian Christine Cochran, and Stefano Marco Maria De Rossi

Orthopedic devices may include rigid members for coupling to portions of a limb that includes a joint, and a cable that couples to the rigid members and extends up to a powered element. The orthopedic devices are configured to produce beneficial forces using the rigid member and the cable, which beneficial forces are translated to the wearer. The orthopedic devices include control systems that generate control signals for controlling the powered element.

Patent Digest: Fall 2020
Soft Exosuit for Assistance with Human Motion. Credit: Harvard University

Methods for Detecting and Identifying Genomic Nucleic Acids

U.S. Patent 10,844,426 (November 24, 2020)

Evan R. Daugharthy, Son C. Nguyen, Chao-ting Wu, and George M. Church  

The present invention relates to a method of identifying a target genomic nucleic acid sequence including hybridizing a set of probes to the target genomic nucleic acid sequence, wherein the set of probes has a unique associated barcode sequence for identification of the target genomic nucleic acid sequence, wherein each probe of the set includes (1) a complementary sequence complementary to a first strand of the target genomic nucleic acid sequence and (2) the associated barcode sequence or a portion of the associated barcode sequence, sequencing the associated barcode sequence from probes hybridized to the target genomic nucleic acid sequence using a fluorescence-based sequencing method, and identifying the target genomic nucleic acid sequence by the sequenced barcode sequence.

Soft Exosuit for Assistance with Human Motion

U.S. Patent 10,843,332 (November 24, 2020)

Conor J. Walsh, Alan Thomas Asbeck, Ye Ding, Ignacio Galiana Bujando, and Stefano Marco Maria de Rossi

A motion control system includes an actuator having an actuation member, the actuation member having a proximal end attached to the actuator on a first side of a joint and a distal end attached to an anchor element attachment point on a second side of the joint. A first sensor is configured to output signals defining a gait cycle and a second sensor is configured to output signals representing a tensile force in the at least one actuation member. A controller receives the output signals from the sensors and actuates the actuator, during a first portion of the gait cycle, to apply a force greater than a predetermined threshold tensile force to the anchor element attachment point via the actuation member to generate a beneficial moment about the joint and to automatically actuate the actuator.

Patent Digest: Fall 2020
Neuronal axon mimetics for in vitro analysis of neurological diseases, myelination, and drug screening. Credit: Harvard University

Neuronal axon mimetics for in vitro analysis of neurological diseases, myelination, and drug screening

U.S. Patent 10,845,360 (November 24, 2020)

Krystyn J. Van Vliet, Anna Jagielska, Kimberly Homan, Jennifer A. Lewis, and Travis Alexander Busbee

Aspects of the present invention provide improved methods and apparatus for use in in vitro modeling of the interaction of cells with cellular constructs/parts/axons, including axon mimetics and use of three-dimensional fibers.

Microfluidic device having offset, high-shear seeding channels

U.S. Patent 10,836,987 (November 17, 2020)

Karel Domansky, Christopher David Hinojosa, Donald E. Ingber, Daniel Levner, and Guy Thompson II

A microfluidic device for determining a response of cells comprises a microchannel and a seeding channel. The microchannel is at least partially defined by a porous membrane having cells adhered thereto. The microchannel has a first cross-sectional area. The seeding channel delivers a working fluid to the cells within the microchannel. The seeding channel has a second cross-sectional area that is less than the first cross-sectional area such that a flow of the working fluid produces a substantially higher shear force within the seeding channel to inhibit the attachment of cells within the seeding channel. And when multiple seeding channels are used to deliver fluids to multiple microchannels that define an active cellular layer across the membrane, the seeding channels are spatially offset from each other such that fluid communication between the fluids occurs only at the active region via the membrane, not at the seeding channels.

Patent Digest: Fall 2020
Microfluidic device having offset, high-shear seeding channels. Credit: Harvard University

Click-crosslinked hydrogels and methods of use

U.S. Patent 10,821,208 (November 3, 2020)

Rajiv Desai, Neel Satish Joshi, David J. Mooney, Sandeep T. Koshy, and Alexander G. Stafford

The present disclosure provides click-crosslinked hydrogels and methods of use.

Microfluidic cartridge assembly

U.S. Patent 10,814,323 (October 27, 2020)

Donald E. Ingber, Daniel Levner, Guy Thompson, II, and Christopher David Hinojosa

According to aspects of the present invention, a cartridge assembly for transporting fluid into or out of one or more fluidic devices includes a first layer and a second layer. The first layer includes a first surface. The first surface includes at least one partial channel disposed thereon. The second layer abuts the first surface, thereby forming a channel from the at least one partial channel. At least one of the first layer and the second layer is a resilient layer formed from a pliable material. At least one of the first layer and the second layer includes a via hole. The via hole is aligned with the channel to pass fluid thereto. The via hole is configured to pass fluid through the first layer or the second layer substantially perpendicularly to the channel. Embossments are also used to define aspects of a fluidic channel.

Pathogen vaccines and methods of producing and using the same

U.S. Patent 10,813,988 (October 27, 2020)

Michael Super, Edward J. Doherty, Mark Cartwright, Des White, Alexander G. Stafford, Omar Abdel-Rahman Ali, Amanda Graveline, Donald E. Ingber, David J. Mooney, and Benjamin Seiler

The present invention provides vaccine compositions and methods of producing such compositions. Other embodiments of the invention include methods of treating a pathogen infection, methods of vaccinating a subject against a pathogen infection, and methods for treating an antibiotic-resistance bacterial infection in a subject in need thereof. In further embodiments, the invention includes methods of decreasing the level of a pathogen in a subject having a pathogen infection, methods of increasing the surviving rate of a subject having a pathogen infection, methods of reducing the level of pain associated with a pathogen infection, and methods of reducing the level of distress associated with a pathogen infection in a subject in need thereof. Novel scaffold compositions and opsonin-bound or lectin-bound pathogen compositions, and uses thereof, are also provided herein.

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