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Patent Digest: Spring 2018

Innovations in super-resolution imaging, information storage with nucleic acids, genome engineering, slippery self-healing and self-lubricating polymer surfaces, ex vivo tissue culture systems 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 April and June 2018 are as follows:

Methods and compositions relating to super-resolution imaging and modification

U.S. Patent 10,006,917 (June 26, 2018)

Mingjie Dai and Peng Yin

Abstract: This disclosure provides methods for generating super-resolution patterns of molecules on substrates.

Methods of storing information using nucleic acids. Credit: Harvard University

Manufacturing soft devices out of sheet materials

U.S. Patent 10,001,149 (June 19, 2018)

Kevin C. Galloway

Abstract: A soft composite actuator is described, including a first elastomeric layer; a strain limiting layer; and a first radially constraining layer, wherein the first elastomeric layer is disposed between the first radially constraining layer and the strain limiting layer; and the elastomeric layer, the strain limiting layer, and the radially constraining layer are bonded together to form at least one bladder for holding pressurized fluid. Methods of using and making of the soft composite actuator are described.

Methods of storing information using nucleic acids

U.S. Patent 9,996,778 (June 12, 2018)

George M. Church

Abstract: The present invention relates to methods of storing data using one or more nucleic acids.

Engineered heme-binding compositions and uses thereof

U.S. Patent 9,988,617 (June 5, 2018)

Michael Super, Alexander L. Watters, Philip T. Snell, and Donald E. Ingber

Abstract: Described herein are heme-binding compositions and methods relating to their use, e.g. methods of treatment of, for example, sepsis and rhabdomyolysis.

Compositions and methods relating to complex nucleic acid nanostructures

U.S. Patent 9,975,916 (May 22, 2018)

Peng Yin, Diming Wei, Mingjie Dai, Cameron Myhrvold, Yonggang Ke, and Ralf Jungmann

Abstract: The invention provides SST motifs of controlled size and shape, comprised of a plurality of oligonucleotides, and methods for their synthesis. The motifs are formed, at least in part, by the self-assembly of single stranded oligonucleotides into curved, corrugated or twisted structures. The location of each oligonucleotide in the resultant motif is known. Accordingly, the motifs may be modified with specificity.

Compositions and methods relating to complex nucleic acid nanostructures. Credit: Harvard University

RNA-guided human genome engineering

U.S. Patent 9,970,024 (May 15, 2018)

George M. Church, Prashant Mali, and Luhan Yang

Abstract: A method of altering a eukaryotic cell is provided including transfecting the eukaryotic cell with a nucleic acid encoding RNA complementary to genomic DNA of the eukaryotic cell, transfecting the eukaryotic cell with a nucleic acid encoding an enzyme that interacts with the RNA and cleaves the genomic DNA in a site specific manner, wherein the cell expresses the RNA and the enzyme, the RNA binds to complementary genomic DNA and the enzyme cleaves the genomic DNA in a site specific manner.

Slippery self-lubricating polymer surfaces

U.S. Patent 9,963,597 (May 8, 2018)

Joanna Aizenberg, Michael Aizenberg, Jiaxi Cui, Stuart Dunn, Benjamin Hatton, Caitlin Howell, Philseok Kim, Tak Sing Wong, and Xi Yao

Abstract: The present disclosure describes a strategy to create self-healing, slippery self-lubricating polymers. Lubricating liquids with affinities to polymers can be utilized to get absorbed within the polymer and form a lubricant layer (of the lubricating liquid) on the polymer. The lubricant layer can repel a wide range of materials, including simple and complex fluids (water, hydrocarbons, crude oil and bodily fluids), restore liquid-repellency after physical damage, and resist ice, microorganisms and insects adhesion. Some exemplary applications where self-lubricating polymers will be useful include energy-efficient, friction-reduction fluid handling and transportation, medical devices, anti-icing, optical sensing, and as self-cleaning, and anti-fouling materials operating in extreme environments.

Removing bubbles in microfluidic systems

U.S. Patent 9,962,698 (May 8, 2018)

Donald E. Ingber, Geraldine Hamilton, Daniel Levner, Christopher Hinojosa, and Daniel Patterson

Abstract: A microfluidic system includes a microfluidic device connected to a bubble trap device whereby fluid flowing to the microfluidic device passes through the bubble trap device to remove gas bubbles prior to entering the microfluidic device. The bubble trap can include a separation chamber and an exhaust chamber separated by a hydrophobic porous membrane and gas bubbles in the fluid entering the separation chamber pass through the hydrophobic porous membrane into the exhaust chamber while the fluid remains in the separation chamber. The bubble trap can be formed by bonding a first body portion to a first side of the hydrophobic porous membrane and bonding a second body portion to a second side of the hydrophobic porous membrane. The exhaust chamber can be connected to an elongated exhaust channel that limits the evaporation losses of the fluid through the hydrophobic porous membrane.

Rigidized inflatable structures. Credit: Harvard University

Rigidized inflatable structures

U.S. Patent 9,956,745 (May 1, 2018)

Kevin C. Galloway, Ryan Knopf, and Joshua Aaron Lessing

Abstract: A composite structural element is described, including: a first laminate layer comprising a plurality of first material layers; a second laminate layer comprising a plurality of second material layers; and an inflatable bladder configured for connection with a fluid inflation or deflation source and disposed in-between the first and second laminate layers.

Methods and uses for ex vivo tissue culture systems

U.S. Patent 9,951,313 (April 24, 2018)

Donald E. Ingber, Yusuke Torisawa, Geraldine Hamilton, Akiko Mammoto, Tadanori Mammoto, and Catherine Spina

Abstract: The technology described herein is directed to methods and devices that can be used to induce functional organ structures to form within an implantation device by implanting it in vivo within the body of a living animal, and allowing cells and tissues to impregnate the implantation device and establish normal microenvironmental architecture and tissue-tissue interfaces. Then the contained cells and tissues can be surgically removed intact and either transplanted into another animal or maintained ex vivo by perfusing it through one or more of the fluid channels with medium and/or gases necessary for cell survival.

High-throughput and highly multiplexed imaging with programmable nucleic acid probes

U.S. Patent 9,944,972 (April 17, 2018)

Peng Yin, Sarit Agasti, Xi Chen, and Ralf Jungmann

Abstract: The present invention provides, inter alia, methods and compositions for imaging, at high spatial resolution, targets of interest.

Mesoporous silica compositions for modulating immune responses

U.S. Patent 9,937,249 (April 10, 2018)

Jaeyun Kim, Weiwei Aileen Li, and David J. Mooney

Abstract: A composition comprising mesoporous silica rods comprising an immune cell recruitment compound and an immune cell activation compound, and optionally comprising an antigen such as a tumor lysate. The composition is used to elicit an immune response to a vaccine antigen.

Slippery surfaces with high pressure stability, optical transparency, and self-healing characteristics. Credit: Harvard University

Slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces and biological applications thereof

U.S. Patent 9,932,484 (April 3, 2018)

Joanna Aizenberg, Benjamin Hatton, Donald Ingber, Michael Super, and Tak Sing Wong

Abstract: A self-healing, scratch resistant slippery surface that is manufactured by wicking a chemically-inert, high-density liquid coating over a roughened solid surface featuring micro and nanoscale topographies is described. Such a slippery surface shows anti-wetting properties, as well as exhibits significant reduction of adhesion of a broad range of biological materials, including particles in suspension or solution. Specifically, the slippery surfaces can be applied to medical devices and equipment to effectively repel biological materials such as blood, and prevent, reduce, or delay coagulation and surface-mediated clot formation. Moreover, the slippery surfaces can be used to prevent fouling by microorganisms such as bacteria.

Slippery surfaces with high pressure stability, optical transparency, and self-healing characteristics

U.S. Patent 9,932,482 (April 3, 2018)

Joanna Aizenberg, Michael Aizenberg, Sung Hoon Kang, Philseok Kim, and Tak Sing Wong

Abstract: The present disclosure describes a strategy to create self-healing, slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces (SLIPS). Roughened (e.g., porous) surfaces can be utilized to lock in place a lubricating fluid, referred to herein as Liquid B to repel a wide range of materials, referred to herein as Object A (Solid A or Liquid A). SLIPS outperforms other conventional surfaces in its capability to repel various simple and complex liquids (water, hydrocarbons, crude oil and blood), maintain low-contact-angle hysteresis (<2.5°), quickly restore liquid-repellency after physical damage (within 0.1-1 s), resist ice, microorganisms and insects adhesion, and function at high pressure (up to at least 690 atm). Some exemplary application where SLIPS will be useful include energy-efficient fluid handling and transportation, optical sensing, medicine, and as self-cleaning, and anti-fouling materials operating in extreme environments.

Systems, methods and articles to provide olfactory sensations

U.S. Patent 9,931,425 (April 3, 2018)

David A. Edwards, Rachel Diane Field, Amy Michelle Yin, and Eyal Shahar

Abstract: A system to provide scents includes a scent receiver to replaceable receive scent carriers that carry scent media, a scent actuator operable to controllable release scent, and a configurable circulation subsystem. Peltier devices may used to induce active heating and active cooling of scent media according to defined scent sequence information or scent tracks. The system is also operable to collect air, including scents, from an ambient environment, and temporarily retaining such for sampling by a user. Scent tracks may be defined and shared amongst users and other entities.

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