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Patent Digest: Summer 2019

Innovations in cancer vaccine and genome editing technologies, protein engineering, pop-up manufacturing of structures with integrated electronics, 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.

This Wyss Institute’s U.S. patents issued between July and September 2019 are as follows:

In situ antigen-generating cancer vaccine. Credit: Harvard University

In situ antigen-generating cancer vaccine

US Patent 10,406,216 (September 10, 2019)

Jaeyun Kim, David J. Mooney, Weiwei Aileen Li, Praveen Arany, and Or Gadish

Abstract: The invention provides compositions and methods for utilizing scaffolds in cancer vaccines.

Prefabricated alginate-drug bandages

US Patent 10,391,196 (August 27, 2019)

Cathal J. Kearney, Uyanga Tsedev, David J. Mooney, Aristidis Veves, Thomas Michael Braschler, and Sidi A. Bencherif

Abstract: The invention provides a solution to the drawbacks associated with conventional alginate dressings. This invention features improved alginate dressings or bandages as well as a fabrication process that results in an alginate sheet that is preloaded with drug, can be stored in a freeze-dried state, and is compliant and ready to use at the time of administration.

High-throughput immune sequencing

US Patent 10,392,726 (August 27, 2019)

George M. Church, Francois Vigneault, Uri Laserson, and Ido Bachelet

Abstract: Methods and compositions for determining and/or monitoring the immune state of an individual are provided.

High-throughput immune sequencing. Credit: Harvard University

Solidifiable composition for preparation of liquid-infused slippery surfaces and methods of applying

US Patent 10,385,181 (August 20, 2019)

Joanna Aizenberg, Michael Aizenberg, Philseok Kim, and Alex Vena

Abstract: A body having a lubricant reservoir is described, comprising: a porous polymeric body; and a lubricating liquid, said lubricating liquid occupying the pores to provide a lubricated porous surface having a lubricant reservoir and a lubricant overlayer over the polymer surface. Also described herein is a system for use in the formation of a low-adhesion and low-friction surface includes a flowable precursor composition comprising a prepolymer and a curing agent, said composition capable of application as a coating over a large surface area; a lubricating liquid that is capable of forming a coating with the hardened precursor composition, wherein the lubricating liquid and hardened polymer together form a coating of lubricating liquid stabilized on and in the hardened polymer; and instructions for applying the precursor composition onto a surface for the purpose of obtaining a low-adhesion and low-friction surface.

De novo design of allosteric proteins

US Patent 10,385,333 (August 20, 2019)

Srivatsan Raman, Noah D. Taylor, and George M. Church

Abstract: Methods and compositions for making and isolating allosteric DNA binding proteins that bind to one or more allosteric effectors to induce a conformation change in the proteins are provided.

Multiplexed genome editing. Credit: Harvard University

Multiplexed genome editing

US Patent 10,375,938 (August 13, 2019)

George M. Church, Luhan Yang, and Marc Guell

Abstract: A method of modulating some or all copies of a gene in a cell is provided including introducing into a cell one or more ribonucleic acid (RNA) sequences that comprise a portion that is complementary to all or a portion of each of the one or more target nucleic acid sequences, and a nucleic acid sequence that encodes a Cas protein and maintaining the cells under conditions in which the Cas protein is expressed and the Cas protein binds and modulates the one or more target nucleic acid sequences in the cell.

Pop-up laminate structures with integrated electronics

US Patent 10,376,326 (August 13, 2019)

Joshua B. Gafford, Samuel B. Kesner, Conor J. Walsh, Michael Karpelson, Robert J. Wood, Zivthan Dubrovsky, Benjamin I. Goldberg, Kathleen O’Donnell, and Michael J. Smith

Abstract: A multi-layer, super-planar laminate structure can be formed from distinctly patterned layers. The layers in the structure can include at least one rigid layer and at least one flexible layer; the rigid layer includes a plurality of rigid segments, and the flexible layer can extend between the rigid segments to serve as a joint. The layers are then stacked and bonded at selected locations to form a laminate structure with inter-layer bonds, and the laminate structure is flexed at the flexible layer between rigid segments to produce an expanded three-dimensional structure, wherein the layers are joined at the selected bonding locations and separated at other locations. A layer with electrical wiring can be included in the structure for delivering electric current to devices on or in the laminate structure.

Pop-up laminate structures with integrated electronics. Credit: Harvard University

Nanoscale Imaging Of Proteins And Nucleic Acids Via Expansion Microscopy

US Patent 10,364,457 (July 30, 2019)

Asmamaw Wassie, Fei Chen, Edward Stuart Boyden, Shahar Alon, George Church, Evan Daugharthy

Abstract: The invention enables in situ genomic and transcriptomic assessment of nucleic acids to be conducted in biological specimens that have been physically expanded. The invention leverages the techniques for expansion microscopy (ExM) to provide new methods for in situ genomic and transcriptomic assessment of nucleic in a new process referred to herein as “expansion fluorescent in situ hybridization” (ExFISH).

Magnetic capture of a target from a fluid

US Patent 10,357,780  (July 23, 2019)

Joo Hun Kang, Donald E. Ingber, and Michael Super

Abstract: Disclosed herein is an improved method for magnetic capture of target molecules (e.g., microbes) in a fluid. Kits and solid substrates for carrying the method described herein are also provided. In some embodiments, the methods, kits, and solid substrates described herein are optimized for separation and/or detection of microbes and microbe-associated molecular pattern (MAMP) (including, e.g., but not limited to, a cell component of microbes, lipopolysaccharides (LPS), and/or endotoxin).

Soft retractors. Credit: Harvard University

Soft retractors

US Patent 10,349,927 (July 16, 2019)

Kevin C. Galloway and Joshua Aaron Lessing

Abstract: A soft material retractor includes at least two soft actuators, each actuator having at least one pressurizable interior space, wherein the actuator has a first flexible resting state and a second stiffer pressurized state; and a flexible sheet spanning the actuators such that the actuators can be spaced apart from each other by a distance selected to displace a volume of material of a body cavity. The retractor can be uses for holding open wounds or incisions, with trochars, or to displace anatomical features such as organs within a body cavity.

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