Novel Proteins for Immunization Against Cryptosporidiosis

96048 -NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize a novel technology for immunization against cryptosporidiosis in livestock. US patents Nos. 6,323,020 and 6,759,048 have been granted for this technology.
Abstract
Cryptosporidiosis is a parasitic disease caused by the protozoal agent Cryptosporidium parvum, which affects the intestines of mammals and is spread through the fecal-oral route, often through contaminated water. Infection by Cryptosporidium is a major problem in the agricultural industry, affecting cattle and other livestock. In addition to the direct economic costs due to loss of cattle, infected animals may also contaminate water supplies, causing the spread of the disease to humans. At this time, there are no known drugs available to successfully prevent or cure an infection. A multi-university team of researchers has identified a novel protein of Cryptosporidium parvum as a promising target for vaccine development. The protein and derivative synthetic peptides contain at least two distinct epitopes defined by monoclonal antibodies that neutralize the infectivity of C. parvum. The targeted amino acid epitopes are conserved among geographical isolates of C. parvum which suggests that they are not subject to antigenic variations, making this technology a promising candidate for vaccine development. Links to Granted US Patents:

About the Inventors
  • Dr. Lance E. Perryman is currently Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University.
  • Dr. Douglas P. Jasmer is currently a Professor in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology & Pathology at Washington State University. His laboratory research centers around the investigation of the molecular and cellular effects of host/parasite interactions and parasite biology.
  • Dr. Michael W. Riggs is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Veterinary Science and Microbiology at the University of Arizona. His research interests center on the immunobiology and molecular pathogenesis of parasitic protozoal diseases of zoonotic importance. Current research is focused on development of recombinant and synthetic vaccines for cryptosporidiosis; immunotherapy of cryptosporidiosis; definition of the molecular pathogenesis of host cell recognition, attachment, and invasion by C. parvum; structural characterization of C. parvum glycoprotein ligands; animal model development; and improved methods for diagnosis and detection.
  • Dr. Travis C. McGuire is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology & Pathology at Washington State University.

System and Method of Error Control for Interactive Low-Bit Rate Video Transmission Over the Internet

98040 -Solution to vastly improve the quality of interactive video transmissions over the internet
Abstract
An important application of the Internet is its use for interactive video. As an example, several distance learning programs already are using this mode of course delivery. Unfortunately, the quality of the video signal is sometimes mediocre at best. An NCSU researcher has developed a signal processing algorithm that is intended to greatly improve the picture quality of interactive video.

Two of the key problems associated with interactive video transmission are: the limited bandwidth available and the fact that packets of information can be lost. In an attempt to reduce the required bandwidth, video signals are compressed. For the existing technology, this compression involves first transmitting an initial image (intra frame), and subsequently only sending the changes in picture elements (pixels) for each new frame. In most applications, the numbers of changes is a small fraction of the total number of pixels, and the amount of data that needs to be sent is dramatically reduced. With this technique, if the data are ever lost or corrupted for one frame, all of the following frames are corrupted--at least until a new intra frame is sent.

The algorithm is a technique in which lost packets of information can be resent after a delay in time and, through the use of data buffers, be used to restore the lost data such that subsequent picture frames are correct. The algorithm has been reduced to practice and shown to result in higher quality video for a fixed bandwidth.

Advantages

  • A signal processing algorithm that is envisioned being implemented as part of a MPEG (communications) card for a PC (or other computer) which handles video transmissions.
  • Could also be implemented in software
  • Patent Information

    An US patent No. 6,105,407 has been issued, titled "System and Method of Error Control for Interactive Low-Bit Rate Video Transmission". The patent is available for licensing. About The Inventor
    Dr. Injong Rhee
    Dr. Injong Rhee is Professor of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. He works primarily on network protocols for the Internet. His major contributions in the field include the development of congestion control protocols, called BIC and CUBIC. Since 2004, these protocols have been the default TCP algorithms for Linux and are currently being used by more than 40% of Internet servers around the world and by several tens millions Linux users for daily Internet communication. He also has invented several multimedia streaming and multicast technologies licensed to companies for commercial applications. He started a company Togabi Technologies based on these technologies in 2000 where he developed and launched the world's first video streaming products and push-to-talk (PTT) VoIP products for cell phones. His recent research topics include mobile ad hoc networks, delay/disruption tolerant networks, and P2P systems. He has been consulting for companies including Boeing, Lucent Technologies, CISCO, Korea Telecom, LG Electronics, and LG Datacom. He received NSF Career Award in 1999 and NCSU New Inventor's award in 2000. Dr. Rhee is currently on a sabbatical and working with Samsung Electronics.

An Enhanced Method for the Recovery of Calcium Phosphate from Agricultural and Municipal Wastewaters

98060 -This technology is protected by US patent 6,893,567 and Canadian patent no. 2,453,228.
North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize the novel wastewater treatment system.

Abstract

Conservation and recovery of phosphorus from agricultural and municipal wastewater effluents is important because of economic and environmental reasons. More sustainable techniques using phosphorus recovery for liquid waste are important to close the phosphorus cycle in modern human society and address future scarcity. In addition, phosphorus build up in soils to excessively high levels due to animal manures often results in eutrophication and pollution of surface waters. Therefore, the removal and recovery of phosphorus is a desirable feature for new treatment technology for livestock and municipal effluents because the nutrients can be concentrated and exported off the farm, substitute for commercial fertilizers, help close the phosphorus cycle, and create new businesses.

Researchers at NCSU and the USDA have developed a novel method to remove phosphorous from animal wastewater as calcium phosphate that requires minimum chemical addition and recovers phosphorous in a reusable form. This method also enables precision control of the Nitrogen:Phosporus ratio of the treated waste to desired levels to enable application to crops. The process was successfully tested in pilot and full-scale demonstrations.

The process is accomplished by biologically treating the wastewater to remove the ammonia and carbonate buffers through nitrification and increasing the pH of the clarified wastewater by chemically treating it with an alkaline earth metal-containing compound consisting of calcium or magnesium to precipitate phosphorus to form a useable effluent and a solid phosphorus precipitate. The effluent, having a specified nitrogen:phosphorus ratio, is useful as a fertilizer or spray for remediation of contaminated soils. The presence of infectious microorganism such as enteropathogenic bacteria and picarnoviruses will be reduced in the useable effluent. The solid phosphorus is recovered in a marketable form without need of further processing having about 24% phosphate (P2O5) with over 99% plant availability.

Advantages

  • Allows for the recovery and application of wastewater
  • Can be used with agricultural or municipal wastewater sources
  • Can be used for prevention or treatment of contamination


Patents

This technology is protected by issued US patent 6,893,567 and Canadian patent 2,453,228

About The Lead Inventor

Dr. Matias Vanotti is a Scientist with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Florence, South Carolina. His research has focused on development of innovative waste management technologies. These technologies include liquid-solid separation with polymers, high-performance nitrifiers, anammox, nitrogen recovery, and phosphorus recovery methods and systems. He received the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) National Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer in 2010 and 2015. .

Synthetic Peptide that Causes Bundling of Actin in Vitro and in Situ

00007 - North Carolina State University is seeking an industry partner to commercialize a short, synthetic peptide that causes bundling of actin and has potential for use as a research tool or as a therapeutic for bacterial and viral infections and diseases involving uncontrolled cell division.
Abstract
NCSU researchers, in collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers, have identified a novel, short, synthetic peptide derived from sucrose synthase that prevents actin depolymerization and causes actin to bundle in vitro and in situ. The actin cytoskeleton is an essential cellular structure involved in cell division, cell growth and organization, and the coordination of various intracellular processes. This peptide causes irreversible bundling of filamentous actin (F-actin), thereby preventing cell division. This peptide also prevents formation of actin comet tails, which provide the driving force for movement of certain viruses and bacteria (e.g., Listeria) from cell to cell. This peptide can be used as a tool for basic research to study the role of the actin cytoskeleton or to prevent or decrease actin-dependent cellular activities such as cytokinesis, cell division, lamellipodia formation, ruffling, and motility. This peptide can also be used to control diseases such as cancer that involve uncontrolled cell division, to treat certain pathogenic bacterial and viral infections, or to prevent metastasis. Although existing cancer drugs such as paclitaxel also inhibit cytoskeletal dynamics, these drugs can cause serious side effects on other fast-growing cells because degradation of these drugs is slow. In contrast, peptides such as this synthetic peptide are less likely to cause cumulative cytotoxicity because they are more easily degradable. Advantages

  • Bundles F-actin, thereby preventing cell division.
  • Prevents formation of actin comet tails used by certain pathogenic bacteria and viruses to travel from cell to cell.
  • Predicted to cause less cumulative cytotoxicity than existing drugs that act by inhibiting cytoskeletal dynamics.
Relevant Patent Information: This technology is protected by U.S. Patent No. 8,039,438. About The Inventors
Dr. Steven Huber was a USDA Professor of Botany and Crop Science at North Carolina State University before moving to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Huber received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on identification of biological mechanisms that regulate important plant processes and impact growth and development.
Dr. Heike Sederoff is an Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Biology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University. Dr. Sederoff received her Ph.D. in Plant Biochemistry from the University of Göttingen (Germany). Her research interests include metabolic engineering of plant primary metabolism in algae and crop plants for biofuel development and genomic networks of abiotic stress responses.
Dr. Carolyn Larabell was a Staff Scientist in the Life Sciences Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory before being appointed a Professor in the Department of Anatomy at the University of California, San Francisco, and Director of the National Center for X-Ray Tomography. Her research focuses on the use of soft x-ray tomography to address fundamental questions in cell and developmental biology.

Novel Cubic ZnMgO Alloys for Integration with Silicon and Other Substrates with Cubic Symmetry

01001 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize the novel deep ultraviolet ZnMgO to visible CdMgO optical thin films

Abstract

Group III-Ns have enjoyed much of the recent growing interest in the deep ultraviolet optical range, and have provided such breakthrough technologies as high brightness “white” LEDs and BLU-RAY® device technologies through GaN and AlGaN alloys. These material systems have enabled fantastic advances in the application of semiconductor science to the photonics community, advancing semiconductor manufacturing technologies and fundamental materials science along the way.

However, alloying large amounts of Al into the GaN lattice to blue-shift the absorption into the solar blind has proved challenging due to material constraints and defect formation, as well as low Al surface mobility. Maintaining active dopant concentration and device conductivity is correspondingly reduced. Additionally, the inversion-asymmetric wurtzite crystal structure exhibits both internal spontaneous and piezoelectric polarization. This can lead to charge isolation in narrow quantum wells similar to the Quantum Confined Stark Effect. This spacial separation in overlap of the electron and hole wave functions results in reduced recombination efficiency and thereby reduced emission from quantum-confined optoelectronic devices.

Here we present an alternative. While III-N semiconductors possess wurtzite crystal structures, a few key wide band gap oxides have simple cubic rocksalt structures. This material system allows for isotropic charge transfer through the lattice, reducing the likelihood of carrier separation in quantum-confined structures. Conveniently, oxide thin films also avoid the threat of internal oxidation passivation of produced epilayers. Oxides are also readily wet-etch-able, requiring less complex processing for fabrication of advanced device architectures.

Cubic ZnMgO and CdMgO thin films have opened the deep ultraviolet and visible spectrum (respectively) to exploration by oxide optoelectronic devices. These extraordinary films are readily wet-etch-able, have inversion symmetric lattices, and are made of common constituents.

Advantages

  • Made of broadly available constituents including Zn, Mg, O, and Cd
  • Enable spectral detection from the deep ultraviolet into the visible
  • Robust material characteristics suitable for radhard applications


Patents Information

This work is protected by two issued US patent applications on cubic ZnMgO, CdMgO, or both on MgO, Si, and GaAs substrates: US 6,518,077 and US 6,423,983.

About The Lead Inventor

Dr. Jagdish Narayan is a John C.C. Fan Family Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and director of the National Science Foundation Center for Advanced Materials and Smart Structures at North Carolina State University. His research has had a profound impact on thin film epitaxy across the misfit scale, defects and interfaces, laser processing, semiconductor doping and novel materials processing which led to a record three IR-100 Awards for new materials and technologies.

Flow Control for Multimedia Streaming

01045 - Rate-based flow control for congestion in asymmetric networks.

Abstract

Congestion and flow control are integral parts of any Internet data transport protocol whose traffic travels a shared network path. It is widely accepted that the congestion avoidance mechanisms employed in TCP have been one of the key contributors to the success of the Internet. However, few commercial streaming applications today are equipped with end-to-end flow control. The traffic generated by these applications is unresponsive to congestion and can completely lock out other competing flows, monopolizing the available bandwidth. The destructive effect of such traffic on the Internet commonwealth is commonly referred to as congestion collapse.

TCP is ill-suited for real-time multimedia streaming applications because of their real-time and loss-tolerant natures. The bursty transmission, and abrupt and frequent deep fluctuations in the transmission rate of TCP cause delay jitters and sudden quality degradation of multimedia applications. For asymmetric networks, such as wireless networks, cable modems, ADSL, and satellite networks, transmitting feedback for (almost) every packet received as it is done in TCP is not advantageous because of lack of bandwidth on the reverse links. In asymmetric networks, packet losses and delays occurring in reverse paths severely degrade the performance of existing round trip based protocols, such as TCP, resulting in reduced bandwidth utilization, fairness, and scalability. The use of multicast further complicates the problem. Accordingly, there exists a long-felt need for methods and systems for end-to-end flow control that avoid the difficulties associated with conventional flow control protocols.

It solves flow control for data transmission over the Internet. The protocol (algorithm) developed in the invention is unique in that it is designed to give less fluctuation in rate control than existing protocols, such as TCP, while maintaining fairness in bandwidth consumption with respect to the other data flows on the same end to end paths. A receiver performs TCP-like flow control calculations based on packets received from a sender. The receiver calculates a transmission rate and forwards the transmission rate to the sender. The sender sends packets to the receiver at the rate calculated by the receiver. Thus, rather than having sender-based flow control as in TCP, the receiver controls the rate at which packets are delivered.

Patent Information

An US patent 7304951 has been issued titled "Methods and systems for rate-based flow control between a sender and a receiver". The patent is available for licensing.

About the Lead Innovator Dr. Injong Rhee
Dr. Injong Rhee is Professor of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. He works primarily on network protocols for the Internet. His major contributions in the field include the development of congestion control protocols, called BIC and CUBIC. Since 2004, these protocols have been the default TCP algorithms for Linux and are currently being used by more than 40% of Internet servers around the world and by several tens millions Linux users for daily Internet communication. He also has invented several multimedia streaming and multicast technologies licensed to companies for commercial applications. He started a company Togabi Technologies based on these technologies in 2000 where he developed and launched the world's first video streaming products and push-to-talk (PTT) VoIP products for cell phones. His recent research topics include mobile ad hoc networks, delay/disruption tolerant networks, and P2P systems. He has been consulting for companies including Boeing, Lucent Technologies, CISCO, Korea Telecom, LG Electronics, and LG Datacom. He received NSF Career Award in 1999 and NCSU New Inventor's award in 2000. Dr. Rhee is currently on a sabbatical and working with Samsung Electronics.

Woven Electrically Conductive Network For Power, Data, Sensors, Etc.

01171 -NCSU is currently seeking a licensee to commercialize methods and systems for selectively conntecting and disconnecting conductors in a fabric
Abstract
One problem with conventional fabric-based electrical circuits is that the electrical resistance of connection points in a fabric varies from one connection point to another. For example, if conductors are woven into a fabric as warp yarns and weft yarns, the space between contact points of the warp and weft yarns varies from one contact point to the next. As a result, uniform resistance between contact points cannot be achieved. In addition, reduced contact between conductors at contact points increases DC resistance and produces undesirable AC characteristics such as parasitic capacitance and inductance. Thus, there exists a long-felt need for improved methods and systems for selectively connecting and disconnecting conductors in a fabric. In order to address this need, A team of researchers from North Carolina State University have designed and fabricated methods and systems for selectively connecting and disconnecting conductors in a fabric. The invention, a woven electrically conductive network for power and signal transmission, is comprised of first and second conductors that are integrated into the fabric such that the conductors intersect at a crossover point. The conductors are bonded to each other at the crossover point to improve AC and DC characteristics. Disconnect areas may be provided near the crossover point to allow selective disconnection of the conductors from the crossover point. Advantages

  • The product developed is a multifunctional textile fabric that can perform like a circuit board capable of power and signal transmission.
  • Because conductive fibers can be selectively connected and disconnected in a flexible substrate, such as a fabric, the footprint of the circuit board is reduced. For example, a fabric with interconnected conductive fibers can be rolled up and/or folded to increase electrical component density.
  • The invention could be used in civilian and military communication, physiological status monitoring, and wearable computing.
Patent Information
  • This technology is protected in US Patent Nos. 6,852,395 and 7,329,323
About The Inventors
Dr. Tushar K Ghosh is a Professor of Textile and Apparel Technology and Management (TATM) at North Carolina State University. His research interests include the mechanics of fibrous assemblies, electro-textiles (Fiber/Textile based electrical devices), electroactive polymer-based devices, design and analysis of technical textiles, dynamics of textile processes, and technology of fabric formation in particular, weaving technology. Dr. Abdel-Fattah Mohamed Seyam is also a Professor of Textile and Apparel Technology and Management (TATM) at North Carolina State University. Dr. Seyam has research interests in weaving, knitting, carving dynamic, and needlepunching. Dr. John Muth is an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University and a member of the faculty of the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering for North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. His research interests include nanoelectronics and photonics, including optical materials and photonic devices. Anuj Dahwan is a former Research Assistant in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University.

Sock for detection of pressure points on feet.

02131 -NC State is seeking a licensee to commercialize a pressure sensitive sock for early diagnosis of pressure exerted by footwear. This technology is protected by US Patent Number 6,918,883. Abstract: Diabetic foot lesions are an underlying cause of hospitalization, disability, morbidity and mortality, particularly among elderly patients. The development of a diagnostic for early-stage plantar ulcers would be of great value in decreasing and preventing diabetic foot amputation. A group of researchers led by Dr. David Hinks at NC State have developed a sock that has a coating for detecting pressure points on the foot of a patient with diminished sensation. The sock can be coated with a pressure-sensitive film comprised of a photoluminescent probe. The areas of increased pressure can be detected by simply exposing the film to a light source capable of exciting the probe molecules. Alternatively, the sock can be coated with a coloring agent or dye such that the dye transfers to the pressure points in the foot, after the sock has been worn for a period of time. The present invention, which was developed in collaboration with Dr. James Horton of Cannon Research Institute of Carolinas Medical Center, is particularly applicable to patients with diabetic neuropathic feet wherein portions of feet may be insensitive to pressure. Early detection of such pressure points will allow for treatment to prevent more severe complications such as plantar ulcers which frequently result in amputations. Additionally, patient’s shoes can be altered to relieve the pressure. Advantages: A cheap and easy method for detection of pressure points. A method for detection of pressure points in real time while the patient is wearing his/her own shoes. The socks can detect increased pressure all over the foot - not just in the sole of the foot. The socks can also be used for detection of pressure points in cancer or alcoholic patients. Improved quality of life for patients. Reduced cost for prevention and curative care of patients with neuropathic feet. About the inventors: Dr. David Hinks is Professor in the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University. He obtained his Ph. D. and B. Sc. from University of Leeds, U.K. Dr Hinks’s current research is focused in the areas of color perception and measurement; dyestuff design, synthesis and application including modeling of dye-fiber interactions. Dr. James Horton is a faculty in the Cannon Research Institute of Carolinas Medical Center. He did his MD from Duke University and fellowship from University of Florida. His interests include education of students and residents, general infectious diseases as well as HIV.

Water Soluble Fluorescent Sensors To Detect And Identify Biologically Important Saccharides

02139 -NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize the saccharide detection technology.
Carbohydrate molecules known as saccharides are clinically and physiologically important analytes that are implicated in numerous medical conditions and disorders. Both, monosaccharides and Polysaccharides are involved in diverse biological systems and hence play a role in disorders. Cell-surface polysaccharides, an important group of saccharides, often form characteristic signatures of different cell types. Similarly, regulation of glucose concentration in the blood is associated with diabetes and hypoglycemia. Currently, the presence and concentration of these carbohydrates is measured using antibodies and enzymes. Antibodies specific for cell-surface polysaccharides have been used for development of in vitro diagnostic tools. However, success in the in vivo application of antibody-based diagnostic agents have been limited because of their poor stability, immunogenicity, poor permeability and complexity in chemical conjugation with the diagnostic agents or imaging agents. Development of selective sensor compounds for polysaccharides has been limited due to the complexity of polysaccharides and their conformational flexibility. Continuous glucose monitoring using implanted sensors could improve disease management in diabetics. The current enzyme-based method for glucose measurement cannot be incorporated into implantable devices due to instability issues associated with protein-based products. Overall, the high degree of structural similarity between different saccharides can hinder their selective detection. And though enzymatic color assays are very selective, they tend to be more expensive and require greater care of reagents. Thus, methods for reliably detecting saccharide presence in a broad array of biological, chemical and clinical samples remain an ever-pressing need. Researchers at NC State University have developed novel fluorescent sensors for saccharides. These sensors are capable of detecting monosaccharides (eg. glucose and fructose) and polysaccharides. Advantages:

  • Compounds lead to highly specific and selective detection.
  • Very stable compounds.
  • Compounds possess desirable pharmaceutical properties.
  • Low complexity, non immunogenic and permeable compounds.
Uses:
  • Detection of cancer and other diseases using biomarkers.
  • Diabetes management by continuous glucose measurement.
  • Diagnostic labeling, drug delivery & selective imaging.

Patent Information:

  • This technology is protected by US patent no. 6,916,660

About the inventor: Dr. Binghe Wang is currently a Professor and Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Drug Discovery at Georgia State University. Dr. Wang earned his undergraduate degree from Beijing Medical University and his doctoral degree from the University of Kansas. He performed postdoc research at the Universities of Arizona and Kansas before serving as Adjunct Professor of Organic, Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry at North Carolina State University.

Fabric and Yarn Structures to Improve Signal Integrity in Fabric-based Electrical Circuits

03028 -NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize novel fabric and yarn structures for improving signal integrity in fabric-based electrical circuits.
Abstract
Electronics, computer, communication, medical, automotive, toy, defense equipment manufacturing and many other industries could benefit from this invention. There are numerous military and civil applications for the invention. It could be applied to the manufacture of a wearable garment/fabric based electronic network that can either act as a wearable flexible garment/fabric circuit board or it can be used for incorporating electronic circuitry (like sensors, transceivers or other communication devices) within the garment/fabric, with an effective means of sending electrical signals (without significant signal losses) in any desired direction. This invention addresses signal integrity issues (mainly digital signal crosstalk phenomenon) between neighboring conductive threads acting as transmission lines in woven or knitted electrically conductive fabric-based circuits. In this invention, several yarn and fabric structures are proposed and developed in order to improve signal integrity (reduce digital signal crosstalk) in woven electrical networks or circuits. Advantages:

  • Using yarn structures of the present invention, the digital signal crosstalk is significantly reduced over nongrounded conductive yarn structures.
  • Conductive yarn structures can be spaced more closely to each other, and therefore, component density can be increased without increasing circuit board area.
  • The proposed methods for making yarn and thread structures decrease the time required to produce fabric-based electric circuits and facilitate creation of regions in the threads for electrical device interconnection and disconnection.
Patent Information
  • This technology is protected in US Patent No. 7,348,285
  • About the Inventors
    Dr. Tushar K. Ghosh is a Professor in NCSU's Department of Textile & Apparel Technology & Management. His research interests include technology of yarn and fabric formation, mechanics of fiber assemblies, and characterization of fibrous materials. Prof. Ghosh has been active in research and educational programs on application of fibers and textiles in well specified technical or functional usage. His current research activities include analytical and computer modeling as well as mechanical characterization of fibrous structures, textile-based electrical devices/systems, and electroactive polymer-based actuators. Dr. Abdel-Fattah M. Seyam is Professor, Associate Department Head and Director of Graduate Programs in NCSU's Department of Textile & Apparel Technology & Management. From 1991 to 1999 he established three areas of research: Mechanics of Woven Fabrics, Carding Dynamics, and Needlepunch Process and Products. Currently he is exploring new research areas in direct garment manufacturing using meltblown technology, micromachines in textiles, and integrating electronic components in smart textile structures. Dr. John F. Muth is Associate Professor with NCSU's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His primary research interests include nanoelectronics and photonics including optical materials and photonic devices.

A New Method for Fabricating Self-Assembled Nanostructures

03038 -

NCSU is currently seeking an industry partner to commercialize a means for creating stable three-dimensional nanodot arrays via self-assembly which could heavily contribute to ultra-dense computer memory as well as to a variety of other enhancements in hard materials.

Abstract:

Researchers from the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at North Carolina State University have developed a breakthrough technology in the fabrication of self-assembled 3D nanostructures. This technology has a wide variety of potential applications, including more efficient next-generation LEDs and denser computer storage devices. The researchers have shown the ability to control spin patterns in nanodot arrays, indicating clear capacity for significantly increased storage density.

The nanostructures are formed through embedding nanoparticles of metals and semiconductors into metal, ceramic, or semiconductor matrices. The number density and size of the nanoparticles inside a given matrix can be varied systematically to produce novel and improved optical, magnetic, mechanical, and electronic properties. The size of these nanodots can vary from 1-50 nm with non-uniformity less than 5-10%. This technology is a major advancement in ultra-dense magnetic data storage, solid-state lighting, super-strong materials, and spintronics. For more information, check out the National Science Foundation press release and more recent news article below.

Advantages:

  • This method can be applied to virtually any metallic or ceramic material. For example:

    • nickel can be used to create structures for data storage,
    • gallium nitride or zinc oxide for solid-state applications,
    • copper, tungsten carbide and nickel aluminide for superstrong materials,
    • and aluminum oxide for ceramics.

  • These nanodot arrays self-assemble, providing uniformity both in the size of the nanodots themselves and in their dispersion throughout the matrix material.
  • The process is simple; the matrix material is grown simultaneously with the deposition of the nanodots in the matrix.
  • The process is efficient and low-cost; all of the steps can be executed in the same processing chamber.

Related Patent Information:

About the Inventors:

Dr. Jagdish Narayan is a John C.C. Fan Family Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and director of the National Science Foundation Center for Advanced Materials and Smart Structures at North Carolina State University. His research has had a profound impact on thin film epitaxy across the misfit scale, defects and interfaces, laser processing, semiconductor doping and novel materials processing which led to a record three IR-100 Awards for new materials and technologies.

Dr. Ashutosh Tiwari was a Research Associate working with Dr. Narayan in the Materials Science and Engineering department at North Carolina State University.

Growth and Integration of Epitaxial Gallium Nitride (GaN) on a Silicon Substrate

03068 -NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize novel methods for the growth and integration of epitaxial gallium nitride films with silicon-based devices. Abstract There is considerable interest in the growth and characterization of Aluminum Nitride (AlN) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) thin films for applicaton in optoelectronic and high-temperature devices, due to chemical stability at high temperatures, excellent mechanical properties, good thermal conductivity and a high breakdown field. Particularly, the wide bandgaps of AlN and GaN makes this material promising for ultra-violet (UV) diode emitters. Conventional methods require these devices be made through heteroepitaxial growth on expensive and size-limited substrate materials such as silicon carbide or sapphire; these methods depend on a nitrogen source for the formation of GaN which, when using a silicon substrate instead, results in the formation of an interlayer of silicon nitride which is not a useful surface upon which to grow epitaxial GaN. Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a novel method to effectively grow and integrate epitaxial films of GaN on a silicon substrate. This invention provides the mechanisms for the dynamic control of the deposition processes on a monolayer-by-monolayer basis to effect optimal atomic reconstruction of the silicon and nitrogen at the silicon substrate surface. Silicon provides less expensive and larger area substrates for the fabrication of III-nitrides-based light-emitting diodes and lasers. Using domain matching epitaxy, these films are ordered on the silicon in such a way as to allow for cost-effective co-integration of wide band-gap optoelectronic devices with large-scale silicon based microelectronics. It is also possible to modify the structure formation of the epilayer during growth, without interrupting the process, to incorporate other material structures or dopants. Advantages

  • Epitaxial films of GaN and AlN can be grown directly onto a silicon substrate, eliminating the need to use expensive and size-limited substrates such as silicon carbide and sapphire. Silicon provides less expensive and larger area substrates for the fabrication of III-nitrides- based light-emitting diodes and lasers.
  • These films are ordered on the silicon by domain matching epitaxy which allows for cost effective co-integration of wide bandgap optoelectronic devices with large-scale silicon based microelectronic devices.
  • The structure formation of the epilayer can be modified during growth to incorporate other material structures or dopants without interrupting the process.
Patent Information
  • The technology is under the protection of patent No.7,803,717.
About the Inventors Dr. Thomas A. Rawdanowicz is a Research Assistant Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at North Carolina State University. He manages the MSE department's electron-optical and X-ray instrumentation and educates students and researchers on the use of X-ray diffraction and transmission, scanning and spectrometry. His research interests include synthesis and characterization of electronic and opto-electronic materials, thin film growth using highly non-equilibrium processes, and electron beam-based analytical instrumentation and techniques. Dr. Jagdish Narayan is the John Fan Family Distinguished Chair Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at NC State University. He is also the Director of the NSF Center for Advanced Materials and Smart Structures. His research interests include, among others, ion implantation and defects in semiconductors, rapid thermal and transient thermal processing of semiconductors, laser-solid interactions, doping, diffusion and gettering in semiconductors and supersaturated semiconductor alloys for advanced electronic devices, high temperature superconductors, diamond and diamond-like thin films and nanostructured materials.

Diffraction Enhanced X-Ray Imaging Of Articular Cartilage

04012 -NCSU is currently seeking a licensee to commercialize diffraction enhanced x-ray imaging of articular cartilage.
Abstract
Standard radiographic evaluation of osteoarthritic disorders only involves detecting the narrowing that occurs in a joint space as joint cartilage is destroyed from disease because the cartilage tissue is invisible in x-ray imaging. A high resolution image of human articular cartilage from the talar dome of an ankle joint, for example, can now be obtained using Diffraction Enhanced Imaging (DEI), an x-ray radiographic technique that has contrast from x-ray refraction, scatter rejection, and absorption. Dr. Dale Sayers and a team of researchers from the Department of Physical and Mathematical Sciences at North Carolina State University have invented a method and system that uses DEI to provide information about an internal structure of cartilage (defects, structural abnormalities, loss of articular cartilage) before other visual evidence of disease has evolved. The method comprises of, a generated x-ray beam that is transmitted through soft tissue material. The transmitted beam from the soft tissue is directed at an angle of incidence upon a crystal analyzer, and the image is detected either at or near a peak of a rocking curve of the crystal analyzer. Advantages

  • With the DEI imaging according to this invention, it is possible to visualize articular cartilage using the new x-ray modality, referred to as DEI. Moreover, the combination of the high spatial resolution that can be achieved with x-rays, and the independent detection of refraction patterns, scatter rejection, and x-ray absorption make the method of the invention capable of detecting not only articular cartilage and gross cartilage defects but also structural abnormalities within the tissue.
  • With the DEI imaging of this invention, it is possible to detect cartilage degeneration even in early stages, such as before any clinical evidence of disease evolves. The imaging of this invention can be used as a part of a new x-ray generation in research as well as in clinical radiology, especially in skeletal x-ray, and in other areas where soft tissue contrast needs to be enhanced.
Relevant Patent Information: This technology is protected under U.S. Patent No. 6,577,708. About The Inventor
The late Dr. Dale Edward Sayers was a Professor of Physics at North Carolina State University. Dr. Sayers earned his Bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley; and his Master's and Ph.D. at the University of Washington. He joined the North Carolina State University physics faculty in 1976. His research centered on the development of a new analytical technique, extended x-ray absorption fine structure, or EXAFS. His work opened a new field of research that completed its 12th bi-annual meeting in Sweden in 2003. Sayers earned a number of national and international awards including the Bertram Warren Award of the American Crystallographic Association; the Centennial Scholar Award of Case Western Reserve University; and the Outstanding Achievement Award of the International XAFS society. At NC State, Sayers was honored with the University Libraries faculty Award and the Alumni Association's Outstanding Research Award. He was a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and held positions as visiting professor/scientist at several international institutions.

Synthetic Mineral Microparticles For Retention Aid Systems

04061 -North Carolina State University is seeking a licensee to commercialize Synthetic Mineral Microparticles For Retention Aid Systems in Papermaking. (US Patent Nos. 6183650, 5989714 and 6,184,258)
Summary
Metallic microparticles are used to improve the rate of retention of fine materials and enhance the rate of drainage of water during the paper making process. A method for the production of synthetic mineral particles by admixing soluble metal salt and one or more compounds is described. For example, this method can be used to produce silicate by the reaction of a meta-silicate with metal salt. Furthermore these particles produced provide a system of agglomeration useful in water treatment. Additionally the method for controlling drainage and retention in the formation of a paper matrix is described. This method provides equal or enhanced performance compared to present retention and drainage aids.
The invention described in US Patent No. 6,183,650 takes incoming mill water and removes naturally present solids or provides clarification to any water stream.
US Patent No. 6,184,258 deals specifically with the production of a synthetically produced bentonite-type inorganic microparticle which can be used in the retention, water drainage and sheet formation process of papermaking, resulting in tangible cost saving opportunities.
US Patent No. 5,989,714 describes the composition of these microparticles.
Advantages

  • enhanced performance compared to present retention and drainage aids
  • tangible cost saving opportunities
  • microparticles are formed on-site
  • process involves simple mixing at ambient pressure
  • process variables are easily adjustable

About the Inventors

Dr. Martin A. Hubbe is a Professor and Buckman Distinguished Scientist in the Department of Forest Biomaterials at North Carolina State University. He is also the Director of Buckman Wet-End Chemistry Research Program.

Purification of Immunoglobulins using Affinity Chromatography and Peptide Ligands

05041 -NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize a novel method for the purification of immunoglobulins using affinity chromatography and peptide ligands. A patent is currently pending for this technology. The U.S. Patent Application No. is 11/035,016.
Abstract
This invention concerns the making and use of peptide ligands for the purification of immunoglobulins from liquids containing immunoglobulins such as blood or blood plasma, plasma fractions, ascites fluid, aqueous cell culture, milk, and colostrums. In this invention, an immunoglobulin binding peptide having the general formula, from amino terminus to carboxy terminus, of Z-R.sup.1--R.sup.2--R.sup.3--R.sup.4--R.sup.5--R.sup.6--X, is described, wherein: R.sup.1 is H or Y; R.sup.2 is a hydrophobic, preferentially aromatic, amino acid (for example W, F, Y, V); R.sup.3 is a positively charged or aromatic amino acid (for example R, H, F, W); R.sup.4 is a hydrophobic or positively charged amino acid (for example G, Y, R, K, L); R.sup.5 is a positively charged or aromatic amino acid (for example W, F, R, H, Y); R.sup.6 a random amino acid but preferably hydrophobic or negatively charged (for example V, W, L, D, H); X is present or absent and when present is a linking group; and Z is present or absent and when present is a capping group bonded to the N terminus of R.sup.1; and wherein the amino acids of said peptide are in D form, L form, or a combination thereof. Methods of using such peptides for the purification of immunoglobulins are also described. Advantages

  • The ligands described in this invention are more robust and less costly than antibodies that might be used for affinity purification.
  • The ligands can be produced chemically on a large scale under GMP conditions and they are not as subject to immunological responses as Protein A or G if they leak into the product.
About the Inventors
Dr. Ruben G. Carbonell is the Frank Hawkins Kenan Distinguished Professor, NCSU Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Enigneering. He is the Director of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science; the co-Director of the NSF Science and Technology Center for Environmentally Responsible Solvents and Processes; and the Director of the Kenan Center for the Utilization of CO2 in Manufacturing. His research interests include biochemical engineering; molecular recognition for bio-separations, diagnostics, colloid and interface science; and transport processes and compressible fluids. Haiou Yang Patrick V. Gurgel Guangquan Wang

Hydroentangling Jet Strip Device Defining an Orifice

05002 -NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize a novel hydroentangling jet strip device defining an orifice. This technology is protected in US Patent No. 7,303,465.
Abstract
A hydroentangling jet strip device is provided, wherein such a device comprises a plate member having opposing sides and defining at least one nozzle orifice extending between the opposing sides. Each nozzle orifice includes an axially-extending capillary portion having an aspect ratio between a length of the capillary portion and a diameter of the capillary portion, wherein the aspect ratio is less than about 0.70 so as to be capable of providing a cavitation-free constricted waterjet. Advantages
This hydroentangling jet strip device has one or more orifices, wherein orifice erosion and jet strip durability (service life) are improved over existing jet strip configurations. About the Lead Inventor
Dr. Behnam Pourdeyhimi is the Klopman Distinguished Professor of Textile Materials and Associate Dean for Industry Research and Extension. He also serves as the Director of the Nonwovens Cooperative Research Center at the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University. His research interests are in the areas of nonwovens, materials, biomaterials, modeling performance, special textile structures, and image analysis.

New chiroptical switching materials: One-handed helical polyguanidines synthesized by helix-sense-selective polymerization of achiral monomers

05093 -NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize a new chiroptical switching material synthesized by helix-sense-selective polymerization of achiral monomers. (Patent protected) Abstract Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed new chiroptical switching polymers, including chiral binapthyl titanium alkoxide complexes, that are low-cost alternatives to traditional chiroptical polymers created from chiral monomers. This is the first example of chiroptical switching phenomenon occurring in a helical polymer possessing no chiral moieties in the polymer chains. These kinetically-controlled helical polymers, such as polycarbodiimide, are formed from the helix-sense-selective polymerization of achiral monomers, such as carbodiimides. This new material offers chiroptical switching at an easily controlled 38.5 degrees C, as opposed to other chiroptical switching polymers for which the switching temperatures are generally below 0 degrees C. Controlling and switching the chiroptical properties of molecules is of continued interest because of potential applications in sensor data storage, optical devices and liquid-crystalline displays, among many others. Advantages

  • The new chiroptical switching material is prepared at a low cost, needing only a small amount of chiral catalysts and inexpensive achiral monomers.
  • The chiroptical switching phenomenon occurs at 38.5 degrees C, which is easily controlled, whereas with other chiroptical switching polymers the switching temperatures are generally below zero.
  • In addition to thermally-induced switching, switching can occur by changing the solvent polarity.
  • The newly designed and synthesized chiral binaphthyl titanium catalysts are well-characterized and have great potential to also be used in other asymmetric syntheses.
About the Inventors Dr. Bruce Novak is a Howard J. Schaeffer Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at North Carolina State University. His research group program currently encompasses projects concentrated in macromolecular chirality, the design of organometallic complexes for use in living polymerizations, the development of transition metal catalysts for the polymerization of functional olefins, the catalytic formation of polymerization of thermodynamically unstable monomers, and the development of photoactive materials for applications ranging from photolithography to reversible molecular switching. Hong-Zhi Tang was a Research Associate working with Dr. Novak in the Department of Chemistry at North Carolina State University.

'Covington': A New Orange-Fleshed Table-Stock Sweetpotato

05P033 -

U.S. Plant Patent PP18,516 has been issued for this cultivar.

'Covington' is an orange-fleshed, smooth-skinned and rose-colored table-stock sweetpotato cultivar. Four years of field tests and observations demonstrate that 'Covington' has great sprout production and transplant survival with high yields. Compared to 'Beauregard,' the dominant sweetpotato variety produced in the U.S., 'Covington' is very similar in appearance and color with equal yields, shorter and more uniformly shaped roots, higher dry content matter, improved flavor and lower environmental sensitivity, making it a highly desirable sweetpotato cultivar.

In addition, 'Covington' features disease resistance against fusarium wilt, streptomyces soil rot, southern root knot nematode and russet crack. Due to its high yields, great baking quality and excellent flavor, 'Covington' sweetpotatoes account for about 90% of North Carolina sweetpotatoes and about 20% of sweetpotatoes grown nationwide.

Characteristics

Publications

'Covington' Sweetpotato

Inventors

Dr. Craig Yencho is a professor in the department of horticultural science at North Carolina State University. He received his Ph.D. in Entomology with a minor in Plant Breeding from Cornell University. His research interests include potato and sweetpotato breeding, applications of molecular biology and plant biochemistry to plant improvement, plant resistance to insects and pathogens and international development. Dr. Yencho has developed numerous potato and sweetpotato cultivars while at North Carolina State University, such as the 'Sweet Caroline' ornamental variety series.

Kenneth Pecota is a researcher in the department of horticultural science at North Carolina State University. He received his M.S. in horticultural science from North Carolina State University. His research interests include sweetpotato breeding and genetics, specifically developing high quality sweetpotatoes adapted to North Carolina's growing conditions and developing new traits.

A Cationic Bleach Activator With Enhanced Hydrolytic Stability

06055 -NCSU is currently seeking a licensee to commercialize a cationic bleach activator with enhanced hydrolytic stability. Abstract Bleaching is a critical textile wet process that is commonly required for the preparation of cotton and other fibers to remove colored and non-colored natural impurities prior to dyeing and finishing. One of the most common bleach methods is hot hydrogen peroxide bleaching under alkaline conditions. This process is energy intensive and causes chemical damage on cotton fibers. Bleaching at lower temperature and/or faster times can be achieved by addition of a chemical called bleach activator. However, bleach activators will degrade (hydrolyze) in aqueous solutions, impairing their bleaching efficiency. Researchers from the Department of Textiles Engineering, Chemistry & Science at North Carolina State University have invented a new type of cationic bleach activator, N-[4-(triethylammoniomethyl)benzoyl] butyrolactam chloride (TBBC, II)), that is stable to aqueous hydrolysis, yet provides excellent bleach performance. With this bleach activator, we are able to provide satisfactory bleaching performance in a shorter time and at lower temperatures than conventional peroxide bleaching. Possible applications include oxidation of dye in residual dye house effluent, bleaching cellulosic materials such as paper, bleaching chemically sensitive materals such as wool, Tencel and fiber blends. Advantages

  • More stable in aqueous solution than current products.
  • More efficient bleaching and less strength loss
  • Directly applicable to conventional bleaching process without changing any facility.
Patent Information
  • U.S. Patent No. 7,179,779 ("Cationic bleach activator with enhanced hydrolytic stability") has been issued for this invention.
  • Related patents US 5,460,747 ("Multiple-substituted bleach activators") and US 5,686,015 ("Quaternary substituted bleach activators") are also owned by NCSU.
About The Inventor Dr. Peter J. Hauser is a Professor for the Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry & Science at North Carolina State University. Dr. Hauser received his Ph.D. degree from North Carolina State University. His research interests include the use of cationized cotton to improve cotton dyeing processes, finishes, wet processing, and the use of cyclodextrins in textile applications. Dr, David Hinks is the Interim Dean for College of Textiles, and the Cone Mills Professor of Textile Chemicstry, Director for Forensic Sciences Institute. Dr. Hinks obtained the Ph.D. degree from the University of Leeds. His research interests include color perception and measurement and dyestuff design, synthesis and application. Dr. Jung Jin Lee is a previous postdoctoral research associate in College of Textile at North Carolina State University. Dr. Sang-hoon LIm is a previous postdoctoral research associate in College of Textile at North Carolina State University.

Nanostructured Polymer Based Actuators

06070 -North Carolina State University is seeking a licensee for a new technology that provides novel TPE compositions for use as electrical/mechanical actuators.

Abstract:

Researchers at NCSU have developed a novel technology that involves the formulation and preparation of thermoplastic elastomer gels (TPEG) for electrical actuation. Traditionally, a film of a dielectric elastomer is coated on both sides with a compliant electrode material to form a TPEG. When a bias is applied, the resulting electrostatic forces compress the film in thickness and expand it in area, producing high strains over 200% as reported in the literature for some materials. However, the TPEGs reported in this invention consist of a microphase-ordered triblock copolymer with hard end blocks and a soft midblock swollen in the presence of a midblock-selective, nonvolatile solvent. The unique features of these unique TPEGs is that it demonstrates for the first time the use of a nanostructured thermoplastic elastomer modified for actuators . These TPEGs can be easily tunable for the desired applications with a lightweight structure of flexible dimension. Possible areas of application include electrical, mechanical and electromechanical devices such as artificial muscles, smart structures, aerospace applications, and robotics.

Advantages:

  • Ease of tailoring for multiple uses and various dimensions
  • Nanostructured thermoplastic elastomers utilized
  • Greatly reduction of power consumption
  • Use of sustainable biological based constituents

Patent Information

  • US patent 7,956,520 has been issued for this invention

About the Inventors Professor Richard J. Spontak was a research scientist with Procter & Gamble before he joined the NCSU faculty in 1992. Dr. Dr. Spontak conducts studies to improve the current understanding of microstructural polymer systems, which are of scientific interest as self-assembling polymers and commercial value as adhesives, (bio)compatibilizing agents, nanotemplates, and membranes. Professor Tushar K. Ghosh, Professor, College of Textiles, North Carolina State University, holds a doctorate degree in Fiber and Polymer Science. His research interests include technology of yarn and fabric formation, mechanics of fiber assemblies, and characterization of fibrous materials. Dr. Ghosh has been active in research and educational programs on application of fibers and textiles in well specified technical or functional usage (known as Technical Textiles, e.g. geotextiles, electrotextiles, automotive airbags, etc.) His current research activities include analytical and computer modeling as well as mechanical characterization of fibrous structures, textile-based electrical devices/systems, and electroactive polymer-based actuators.

A new class of hydrocarbon polymer comparable to polynorbornene

07010 - Researchers at NC State University have developed a new low-cost process to synthesize cyclobutene-based polymers, which can be used in oil spill absorbents, anti-vibration materials, and high friction rubber.

Abstract

Traditional cyclobutene-based polymers, which have advancing properties such as low dielectric constant and high noise absorption capacity, have not been widely used because of the high energy consumption during its manufacture process, resulting in higher prices.

A group of researchers at NC State University have specifically focused on developing a low-cost process to synthesize new type of cyclobutene-based polymer via a low-temperature and energy-saving process by conquering the difficulty of open-ring polymerization. The generated polymers have comparable properties as polynorbornene (NorsorexTM), a commercialized high performance cyclobutene-based polymer on the market, but can be produced with a much lower energy cost at a reduced processing temperature.

The polymers produced by this method have advanced properties such as low dielectric constant, low moisture uptake, and high electrical insulation. They find their applications in the scaling of microelectronic devices, damp proofing, high friction rubber, and oil absorbents. Meanwhile, the material can be formed as copolymers to provide optimal thermal stability in reaction with ethylene or norbornene. It is also possible to add a wide array of functional groups to polymer chains, enhancing the hydrophilic properties, optical properties, crystallization, and other characters of the final product.

Patent Information

  • Patents US8,030,424, and US8,404,792 Cyclobutene polymers and methods of making the same have been granted for this invention.


Advantages
  • Low manufacture processing cost
  • Advancing physical, electronic, thermal properties
  • Flexibility in chain functionalization


  • About the Inventors
    Dr. Bruce Novak is a previous professor in the Department of Chemistry at NCSU. He received his M.S. from California State University and Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology. Dr. Novak’s research involves polymer and material chemistry such as macromolecular chirality, optical switches and molecular machines.

    Dr. Keitaro Seto is currently a Sr. Synthesis Specialist at Promerus LLC. He received his M.S. from Tokyo University of Science and Ph.D from North Carolina State University under the direction of Dr. Bruce Novak.

Ionic Liquid Based Pretreatment of Lignocellulosic Materials for Biofuel Production.

07042 -North Carolina State University is seeking an industry partner to commercialize a novel method for the ionic liquid based pretreatment of lignocellulosic materials for biofuel production.
Ethanol is gaining in popularity as an alternative fuel and is currently primarily made from the starch in kernels of field corn. However, the use of corn as a starting material is a severe limitation since corn is a valuable food source. Cellulosic biomass, produced from low cost, substainable and renewable feedstocks, would provide a great opportunity for the commercial production of bioethanol. Processing of lignocellulosic materials to ethanol consists of four major unit operations: pretreatment, hydrolysis, fermentation and product separation/purification. Current methods of pretreatment of lignocellulosics include dilute acid treatment and ammonia fiber explosion. Pretreatment is one of the most technically challenging processing steps due to the difficulty in successfully preparing the lignoncellulosic matrices for the addition of hydrolytic enzymes. Researchers at NCSU have developed a novel technique that will overcome the pretreatment hurdle in biological hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass. This innovative technique utilizes the dissolution of wood or lignocellulosic materials in ionic liquid media. This pretreatment disrupts the physical and chemical barriers of the cell walls so that hydrolytic enzymes can more effectively access the biomass macrostructure. This is anticipated to significantly reduce feedstock degradation as well as the amount of enzyme needed, resulting in decreased cost. The success of this invention will significantly reduce the overall costs of biofuel production from biomass, which would bring invaluable economic and societal benefits. Advantages:

  • Can be applied to a wide variety of lignocellulosic materials including wood chips, sawdust, corn stover, rice straw, paper sludge, waste papers and switchgrass.
  • Lessened environmental impact since only ionic liquid and water are used as solvents.
  • Final yield will be higher than current acid treatment technologies.
  • Reduced cost and energy consumption.
Patent Information: US Patent No. 8,182,557 has been issued on this technology. Related Invention: Chemical Production From the Anaerobic Pyrolysis of Lignocellulosic Materials in Ionic Liquids. (Case number: 07083, the link is at the bottom of the page). About the Inventor:
Dr. Dimitris S. Argyropoulos is a Professor of Chemistry in the Dept. of Wood & Paper Science at NC State and the Finland Distinguished Professor of Chemistry with the Department of Chemistry at University of Helsinki. Dr. Argyropoulos received his Masters in Polymer Chemistry at Brunel University and his PhD in Chemistry at McGill University. His research interests include: reaction mechanisms, oxidation of phenolic substrates, catalysis and biomimetic systems for oxidations, lignin oxidative enzymes, heteronuclear and multidimensional NMR, phosphorus31 and fluorine 19 NMR, yellowing of paper, oxygen delignification and lignin analysis and isolation methods.

NC-Star a Hybrid Sprite-type Melon

07P008 -

Sprite melons have gained popularity among consumers in North Carolina due to their unique, sweet flavor, and crisp texture. NC-Star is a hybrid melon developed at NC State from a Sprite melon intercross, which maintains many of the Sprite melon’s characteristics. NC-Star has crisp, white flesh and a smooth, white rind. The melons are elongated in shape with a small size and small seed cavity. The fruit is uniform in shape with a lack of defects. The average fruit weight is 0.6 kg. NC-Star has a high sugar content with a brix sweetness score of 13.

NC-Star vines have typical palmate leaves with a serrated margin and an indeterminate growth habit. This variety has a moderate fruit yield, which matures early. NC-Star is adapted to growth in the southern U.S. with a growing season from June to September.

Characteristics

Inventor

Dr. Todd C. Wehner is a Professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He also serves as an Instructor for the Plant Breeding Academy at UC Davis. He received his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Over the course of his career he has released 62 cultivars and breeding lines. Dr. Wehner’s research focuses on cucurbit breeding and genetics.

Tammy L. Ellington is a Research Specialist in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on cucurbit genetics and breeding.

Wilfred R. Jester is an Extension Associate in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He is also the Horticulturist and NC Specialty Crops Program Coordinator. His program focuses on extension and applied research in vegetable crops.

Dr. Jonathan R. Schultheis is a Professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He received his Ph.D. in Horticultural Science from the University of Florida. He is a specialist in sweetpotato, cucurbits, and sweet corn. His work focuses management and production research and extension in vegetable crops.

Additional Information on NC State's Cucurbit Breeding Program.

NC-301Inbred, Oriental Crisp-Flesh Melon Breeding Line

07P009 -

NC-301 is an oriental, crisp-flesh, Sprite-type melon breeding line produced from an intercross with a Sprite melon and self-pollinated past an S10 generation. This line features crisp, white fleshed fruit with smooth white skin free from defects. This inbred line was selected through field trials for several characteristics including resistance to downy mildew (Pseudoperonospora cubensis) and powdery mildew (Podosphaera xanthii), as well as yield and high sugar content. The fruit produced from this line are small in size with a sweet flavor similar to that of a Sprite melon.

NC-301 was also selected for growth characteristics such as rapid vine growth and flowering. NC-301 is useful as a parental line for the production of new Sprite-type melon hybrids with desirable growth and fruit characteristics.

Characteristics

Inventor

Dr. Todd C. Wehner is a Professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He also serves as an Instructor for the Plant Breeding Academy at UC Davis. He received his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Over the course of his career he has released 62 cultivars and breeding lines. Dr. Wehner’s research focuses on cucurbit breeding and genetics.

Tammy L. Ellington is a Research Specialist in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on cucurbit genetics and breeding.

Wilfred R. Jester is an Extension Associate in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He is also the Horticulturist and NC Specialty Crops Program Coordinator. His program focuses on extension and applied research in vegetable crops.

Dr. Jonathan R. Schultheis is a Professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He received his Ph.D. in Horticultural Science from the University of Florida. He is a specialist in sweetpotato, cucurbits, and sweet corn. His work focuses management and production research and extension in vegetable crops.

Additional Information on NC State's Cucurbit Breeding Program.

Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip' Buddleja

06P033 -

U.S. Plant Patent PP19,991 has been issued for this cultivar.

Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip' is a Buddleja shrub ideal for gardens, containers or landscaping. Part of the Chip series of Buddleja shrubs, the cultivar has fragrant violet-blue flowers and blooms from early Summer until early Fall. Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip' is a deciduous perennial that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and is deer resistant. Compared to other Buddleja cultivars, Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip' is non-invasive and compact.

Five years of field tests and observations demonstrate that Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip' has a reduced stature, semi-upright growth, prolific flowering, excellent winter cold hardiness, sterility (seedless) and easy maintenance, making it an excellent addition to any residential garden or commercial landscape.

Characteristics

Exclusive Licensee

Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip' is exclusively licensed to Spring Meadow Nursery.

Lead Inventor

Dr. Dennis James Werner is an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus of Horticultural Science at NC State. He received his Ph.D. in Horticulture from Michigan State. In his more than twenty-five years at NC State, he has developed numerous Buddleja cultivars, including the successful Chip and Miss series that are exclusively licensed to Spring Meadow Nursery. Dr. Werner has also focused his breeding efforts on peaches, ornamental peaches and redbuds.

Chemical Production From the Anaerobic Pyrolysis of Lignocellulosic Materials in Ionic Liquids

07083 -North Carolina State University is seeking an industry partner to commercialize the novel chemical production from the anaerobic pyrolysis of lignocellulosic materials in ionic liquids. US Pat. No. 7,959,765 has issued on this technology.
The increasing environmental concerns and environmental protection rules have prompted increased interest in developing convenient pathways for converting biomass to valuable biomaterials. Among these, renewable and biodegradable polymeric materials hold a very prominent position in significantly reducing or even replacing the use of synthetic polymers thus avoiding long-term pollution issues. Although wood has long been used as a raw material for building, fuel, and paper by mankind, research into its conversion to valuable biomaterials has emerged as a hot research area only recently thanks to advances in bioengineering and catalytic chemistry. The complex structure of wood makes it insoluble in common molecular solvents and a chemical or physical pretreatment is necessary for further applications. Most pretreatments involve the use or release of environmentally unfriendly chemicals. These pretreatments require the consumption of large amounts of expensive and often hazardous chemicals and energy and often result in some level of feedstock degradation. Researchers at NCSU have developed a novel environmentally sustainable technique for the catalytic cracking and/or thermal decomposition of wood-based lignocellulosics into liquid pyrolysis oil and valuable chemicals. Pyrolytic breakdown of biomass is an important method to produce a large number of chemical substances. The process of anaerobic pyrolysis converts organics to solid, liquid and gas by heating it in the absence of oxygen. A possible application of this technology is to produce wood based chemical feedstock. This proposed novel technique allows wood and other lignocellulosic materials to be dissolved in ionic liquid media under mild conditions, resulting in the creation of uniform molecular mixtures of lignocellulosic biomass. This technology offers the first direct, convenient and environmentally friendly pathway for the conversion of lignocellulosic renewable resources into a variety of materials and chemicals with numerous economic and societal benefits. Advantages:

  • Increases efficiency of wood pyrolysis
  • Enhances wood gasification efficiency and selectivity
  • Lessened environmental impact since only ionic liquid and water are used as solvents.
  • Reduced cost and energy consumption.
Related Technology: Ionic Liquid based pretreatment of Lignocellulosic Material for Biofuel Production. (Case number: 07042, Please follow the weblink below). About the Inventor
Dr. Dimitris S. Argyropoulos is a Professor of Chemistry in the Dept. of Wood & Paper Science at NC State and the Finland Distinguished Professor of Chemistry with the Department of Chemistry at University of Helsinki. Dr. Argyropoulos received his Masters in Polymer Chemistry at Brunel University and his PhD in Chemistry at McGill University. His research interests include: reaction mechanisms, oxidation of phenolic substrates, catalysis and biomimetic systems for oxidations, lignin oxidative enzymes, heteronuclear and multidimensional NMR, phosphorus31 and fluorine 19 NMR, yellowing of paper, oxygen delignification and lignin analysis and isolation methods. Dr. Haibo Xie is visiting scientist in the laboratory of Dr. Argyropoulos.

Compounds that Increase Shelf-life and Freshness of Agricultural Produce and Horticultural Plants

07092 -

Novel cyclopropene amine compounds that counteract ethylene responses in plants and maintain freshness by blocking the ethylene receptor.

Abstract

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, about one-third of the food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted. Lost or wasted food amounts to nearly $680 billion in industrialized countries and $310 billion in developing countries. One major cause of lost or wasted food is spoilage from ethylene. While ethylene is a natural plant hormone that stimulates or regulates ripening, abscission, senescence and germination, the hormone also shortens shelf-life by hastening fruit ripening and floral senescence and results in spoilage, loss and waste. Current compounds to block ethylene require continuous exposure or react indiscriminately, creating a need for improved compounds to counteract ethylene in agricultural produce and/or horticultural plants.

To extend shelf life and prevent agricultural losses and waste, researchers at NC State have discovered novel cyclopropene compounds that counteract ethylene responses and block ethylene receptors. The compounds are long lasting as they incorporate nitrogen atoms in a manner that reduces the possibility of hydrogen bonding and prevents water solubility. Additionally, these compounds are more active, requiring smaller amounts for application, increasing shelf-life and decreasing preservation costs. In addition to agricultural produce, the technology can also be used to extend the freshness and viability of horticultural plants.

Advantages

  • Exhibits significant anti-ethylene activity
  • Can be applied as a gas, salt or mixture of both by a spray, dip or in a solution
  • Reduces hydrogen bonding and water solubility to ensure long lasting application

Related Patent Information

  • Patents have been issued on this technology in the United States, China, Columbia, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Africa, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

About the Inventor

Dr. Edward Sisler was a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry at NC State. He earned his Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from NC State and was a professor and researcher at the university for more than fifty years. His research interests included plant hormone binding, plant hormone action and how ethylene interacts with its receptors. His work led to the discovery of 1-Methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), a compound similar to ethylene and actively used in SmartFresh Technology to prevent food spoilage. In addition to 1-MCP, Dr. Sisler has discovered several organic ethylene antagonists and holds numerous patents.

'Miss Ruby' Buddleja

06P035 -

U.S. Plant Patent PP19,950 has been issued for this cultivar.

'Miss Ruby' is a Buddleja shrub ideal for gardens, containers or landscaping. Part of the Miss series of Buddleja shrubs, the cultivar has fragrant bright pink flowers and dense silver grey foliage and blooms from early Summer until early Fall. 'Miss Ruby' is a deciduous perennial that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and is deer resistant. Compared to other Buddleja cultivars, 'Miss Ruby' is non-invasive and compact.

Key features of 'Miss Ruby' include a reduced stature, semi-upright growth, prolific flowering, excellent winter cold hardiness, male sterility, reduced female fertility and easy maintenance, making it an excellent addition to any residential garden or commercial landscape.

Characteristics

Exclusive Licensee

'Miss Ruby' is exclusively licensed to Spring Meadow Nursery.

Lead Inventor

Dr. Dennis James Werner is an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus of Horticultural Science at NC State. He received his Ph.D. in Horticulture from Michigan State. In his more than twenty-five years at NC State, he has developed numerous Buddleja cultivars, including the successful Chip and Miss series that are exclusively licensed to Spring Meadow Nursery. Dr. Werner has also focused his breeding efforts on peaches, ornamental peaches and redbuds.

Fuel Injection Device for Automotive Application

08009 -

NCSU is currently seeking an industry partner to commercialize a new fuel injection device that offers both significantly improved fuel efficiency and reduced harmful emissions.

Abstract

Current fuel injection devices deliver fuel into the engine cylinder via a multi-hole injection device or pintle-type injection device with fixed injection cone angles for both Spark-Ignition (SI) and Compression Ignition (CI) engines. They often lead to fuel-wall impingement and cylinder-liner wetting resulting in higher hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions and lower fuel efficiency. In order to meet the more stringent emission regulations, low emission combustion methods, such as Homogeneous Charge Combustion Ignition (HCCI) combustion or low-temperature combustion, are gaining traction. However, precise control of air-fuel mixing is a critical requirement for HCCI. Currently available fuel delivery technologies lack flexibility in meeting these HCCI mixture requirements due to fixed injection cone angles.

Researchers at NC State have developed a novel fuel injection device that significantly improves the flexibility in spray cone geometry and flow rate control, thereby accurately controlling the air-fuel mixing process for HCCI combustion. The fuel flow rate is controlled by the opening and closing of a valve at the core of the device, while the spray cone angle is controlled independently by a pintle mechanism that changes the pintle location in the injection nozzle. A low pressure prototype of this device has been tested and has produced favorable results. The device can be adapted to both SI and CI engines and is appropriate for any type of internal combustion engine, including gasoline, diesel or hybrid engines; mobile or stationary engines; and engines used for civil or military purposes. Furthermore, the fuel injection device is potentially applicable to any fluid delivery process requiring independent control of flow rate and spray cone geometry.

Advantages

  • Enhances flexibility in spray cone geometry and control of fuel flow rate
  • Improves the air-fuel mixing process to more easily meet emission regulations
  • Offers low hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions and higher fuel efficiency
  • Applicable to any type of internal combustion engine, including both SI and CI engines

Related Patent Information

  • This technology is protected by US Patent Application 12/812,553 “Fuel injection device for an internal combustion engine, and associated method” and International Patent Application PCT/US09/30707.

About the Inventors

Dr. Tiegang Fang is an Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University. He received his Bachelor of Engineering in Automotive Engineering from Tsinghua University in China, his MS in mechanical Engineering from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, and his PhD in the same from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Fang’s research areas lie in combustion and propulsion, internal combustion engines, exhaust emissions and air pollution control, alternative fuels, renewable energy, spray and atomization, laser diagnostics for reacting flows, energy conversion systems, heat and mass transfer, and fluid mechanics.

Dr. Gregory Buckner is a Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University and an Affiliate Faculty member with the UNC/NCSU Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering. He earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Louisiana State University, his MS from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Buckner’s research areas lie in modeling, analysis, and control of dynamic systems, electromechanical systems, surgical robotics, intelligent control, and mechatronics.

A Linear Gray Scale for the Assessment of Small Color Differences

08048 -North Carolina State University is seeking a licensee to commercialize a novel perceptually linear gray scale for the assessment of magnitude of color differences in colored objects.
Summary
Researchers at NCSU have developed a perceptually linear gray scale for the assessment of perceived magnitude of color differences in colored objects. Current data shows that using this new linear scale as a reference for colored objects produces more consistent color valuations than current standards. The invention has been particularly useful in obtaining repeatable and reproducible data in the assessment of color differences of a colored material that may have changed due to mechanical or chemical testing. It is expected to be utilized in any industry related to colored products, such as textiles, paints, plastics, cosmetics, printing, and photography. The developers of this invention considered the use of a linear gray scale would qualify as a marked improvement over the geometric scaling methods, which are currently used by the International Standards Organization and the American Society for Testing and Materials, as this technology shows a standard deviation of the average color judgments signifcantly lower than the geometric counterparts. The variance found for average color judgment through in this method is also significantly lower than that for the ISO and ASTM standards. Advantages

  • Consistency on color valuation
  • Better color judgement
About the Inventors
Dr. Renzo Shamey is an professor in Polymer and Color Chemistry at the NCSU College of Textiles. He completed his PhD and post doctoral studies at the University of Leeds. Dr. Shamey then jointed Heriot-Watt University in Galashiels (Scotland) where he established and lead the Automation and Novel Coloration Research Group. He joined the Polymer and Color Chemistry program at TECS in 2003. Dr. David Hinks is the Cone Mills Professor of Textile Chemistry and the Director of Forensic Sciences Institute. He also serves as the program director for the Polymer and Color Chemistry program, a position he had held since 2003. Dr. Hinks received his PhD from the University of Leeds in 1993 and taught at NCSU from 1993 to 1996. Prior to resuming his academic career, Dr. Hinks worked as a research chemist at Milliken & Co. in Spartanburg, SC.

Mosquito Attractant and Oviposition-Stimulating Compositions

08089 - North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to commercialize a novel composition for attracting mosquitoes and stimulating oviposition. A U.S. utility patent application has been filed for this invention.

Abstract

Mosquitoes serve as vectors for the spread of several diseases that severely impact the health of humans, pets, and livestock. For example, container-inhabiting mosquitoes such as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are vectors for the dengue and yellow fever viruses. Due to the continued importance of diseases such as these, there is significant interest in biorational approaches for mosquito control. These approaches include identification and implementation in mosquito-control programs of behavior-modifying compounds such as host attractants, repellents, and oviposition-site attractants and stimulants. Oviposition-site attractants and stimulants are particularly promising because they target gravid mosquito females, the most important epidemiological component of the mosquito population. Consequently, oviposition-site attractants and stimulants have great potential, not only in detection and surveillance of mosquito populations and associated pathogenic viruses, but also in sustainable vector and disease suppression.

Researchers at North Carolina State University have identified specific carboxylic acids and methyl esters of bacterial origin that are potent oviposition attractants and stimulants for gravid Ae. aegypti. In egg-laying bioassays in which gravid females were released in cages containing a test cup filled with a blend of these bacterial compounds, over 85% of the total eggs oviposited after a 24-hour exposure period were found in the test cup. The discovery of these compounds will enhance the efficacy of surveillance and control programs for Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus in at least two ways. First, increasing the numbers of eggs laid in target containers will enhance the sensitivity of oviposition traps used to detect and monitor the activity of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus in disease-endemic regions. Second, increasing the residence time within containers will assure that females will receive ample exposure to traps impregnated with lethal toxicants or biologically active materials, such as insect growth regulators, that can be horizontally transferred.

Advantages:

  • Sensitivity of oviposition traps that are used to detect and monitor activity of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus in disease-endemic regions will be enhanced.
  • Increased residence time in target containers will increase efficacy of traps impregnated with lethal toxicants or insect growth regulators.

Related Patent Information

  • A U.S. Patent has been filed.

About the Inventors

Dr. Charles Apperson is a William Neal Reynold Professor Emeritus in the Department of Entomology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University. Dr. Apperson received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside. His research interests include vector biology, the biology and ecology of container-inhabiting mosquitoes, the environmental and behavioral factors affecting mosquito oviposition, the microbial ecology of mosquito habitats, and the ecoepidemiology of mosquito-transmitted diseases.

Dr. Loganathan Ponnusamy was a Research Associate before becoming a Senior Research Scholar in the Department of Entomology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University. Dr. Ponnusamy received his Ph.D. in Microbiology (Botany) from the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, University of Madras (India). His research interests include mosquito oviposition attractancy and the molecular microbial ecology of bacterial populations in mosquito habitats.

Dr. Coby Schal is a Blanton J. Whitmire Distinguished Professor in the Department of Entomology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University. Dr. Schal received his Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Kansas. His research interests include chemical ecology, behavioral endocrinology, and insect physiology.

Bailey Peanut

08P018 -

U.S. PVP Certificate 201000213 has been issued for this cultivar.

Bailey is a Virginia-type peanut cultivar suitable for production in the Virginia-Carolina region. Bailey features a variety of desirable pod and seed traits, making it commercially outstanding as a Virginia-type variety. In addition, Bailey demonstrates good agronomic performance and, more importantly, partial resistance to the four most common diseases in the Virginia-Carolina peanut production area: early leaf spot, Cylindrocladium black rot, Sclerotinia blight and tomato spotted wilt virus.

In multiple yield tests spanning multiple years, Bailey's overall yields have proven to be significantly superior to most existing Virginia-type cultivars. Numerous replicated trials show that Bailey produces approximately 42% extra-large kernels, 34% jumbo pods and 46% fancy pods, in addition to improved pod brightness versus check cultivars. Bailey's agronomic performance, higher percentage of fancy pods, and partial resistance to the most common diseases in the Virginia-Carolina production area make it an important addition to the current peanut cultivar market.

Characteristics

Lead Inventor

Dr. Thomas Isleib is a Professor of Crop Science at NC State. He received his PhD in Crop Science and Statistics from NC State. He has developed numerous Virginia-type peanut cultivars while at NC State, including the successful 'Wynne' and 'Sugg' varieties. He is involved in the Peanut Quality and Evaluation (PVQE) program administered jointly by NC State and Virginia Tech.

Intelligent Wireless Crack Detection System

08110 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize the novel intelligent wireless diagnostic system for aircrafts and other civil structures.

Abstract

Engineers design their products for durability and to maximize useful lifecycle. In buildings and airplanes, the lifespans of these objects can be measured in decades. Ultimately, exposure to environmental agents and recurring cyclic loads leads to cracks and fractures, resulting in deterioration of the entire structure. Crack detectors are periodically employed to monitor structural conditions since safety and reliability are of paramount concern.

Some industries implement crack sensors rather than use manual crack inspection, but these sensors are often connected via physical wires to the monitoring device. Wired connections can be impractical where there is electromagnetic interference, regulatory constraints, and space or structural constraints. Additionally, these wired crack detectors often cannot detect temporary cracks, such as in an airplane cabin which may expand when pressurized causing temporary cracks but when the cabin is de-pressurized, the temporary cracks may close.

In light of these challenges, researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a wireless sensor network for such structures. The crack detectors are fixed to areas which have a higher probability of developing cracks or fractures. When one of the sensors detects a crack, the information about the crack is relayed to other sensors in the network. The crack data contains details about the location, time stamp, temperature and other desired information. These nodes then wirelessly communicate the data to an external monitor.

Advantages

  • The sensors are wireless, thereby avoiding all potential concerns of EMI.
  • The crack sensors are small and light weighted and hence can be customized for any geometry.
  • The remotely monitored system automatically and continuously records and reports the structural integrity of critical components without the need for disassembly.
  • It can be manufactured using off-the-shelf technologies and thereby minimize the cost.
  • Reduces the costs of maintaining older aircrafts and structures


Patent Information

  • This invention is patented, bearing the patent number US 8510061


About The Lead Inventor

Dr. Edward Grant is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University. He also a Professor in Joint Biomedical Engineering Department at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University, the Director of the Center for Robotics and Intelligent Machines at North Carolina State University, a and Senior Scientist in the Department of Advanced Robotics at the Italian Institute of Technology. His research interests include Bioelectronics Engineering, Computational Intelligence, Controls and, Robotics.

Polymer Based Nanofibers Impregnated with Drug Infused Plant Virus Particles as a Responsive Fabric for Therapeutic Delivery

09055 -NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize nonwoven webs impregnated with drug-infused plant virus nanoparticles for controlled drug delivery. (This technology is patented under US Patent #8,535,727.)
Abstract
Drug delivery systems achieve controlled release by encapsulating pharmaceuticals in biodegradable polymers. Plant virus capsids are currently being investigated as carriers of therapeutics to further improve controlled drug release. Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a novel material including a biodegradable nonwoven web of polymer fibers having a plant virus carrier loaded with therapeutic agents. This unique structure utilizes the two different kinetic regimes of polymer degradation and drug release from the virus to more precisely control the rate of drug delivery to patients. Polymer nanofiber/viral capsid systems also have the potential to be developed into a new class of diagnostic or sensing systems to detect early stages of disease, or low levels of toxins, viruses, or bacteria. Advantages

  • Drug delivery can be controlled over time or occur instantly if required.
  • Coupling the release of drug from the virus capsid with the polymer degradation is likely to result in a more uniform release over time compared to release from a polymer alone.
  • By modifying the polymer used, this device could have a wide range of applications in diagnostic or sensing systems.
About The Inventor
Dr. Steven A. Lommel is the William Neal Reynolds Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology & Genetics and serves as the Associate Dean for Research in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences and is the Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Research. Dr. Lommel is an editor for Virology and has served on the editorial boards of several other prestigious journals. His research focuses on a small RNA plant virus, Red clover necrotic mosaic virus, as a model system for nano-cargo delivery. Dr. Ruben Carbonell is the Frank Hawkins Kenan Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University and also serves the director of Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC) at NCSU. Professor Carbonell was Co-Director of the NSF Science and Technology Center for Environmentally Responsible Solvents and Processes from 1999 to 2008, and Director of the center's industrial consortium on the Utilization of Carbon Dioxide in Manufacturing. His main areas of research include molecular recognition processes for biological molecules using ligands derived from combinatorial libraries and their applications to separations, detection and pathogen removal. He has been an invited speaker at numerous leading universities, national and international meetings, and he has served as a consultant or board member for several centers, institutes, corporations and national laboratories. Dr. Behnam Pourdeyhimi is the Klopman Distinguished Professor of Textile Materials and Associate Dean for Industry Research and Extension. He also serves as the Director of The Nonwovens Cooperative Research Center at the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University. Dr. Pourdeyhimi's research interests are in the area of nonwovens, materials, biomaterials, modeling performance, special textile structures, and image analysis. His expertise is recognized by major corporations and leading research bodies around the world. He acts as consultant to over 30 bodies and major Corporations. Mr. Richard Guenther is a research assistant in the Department of Plant Pathology. In his more than 20 years at North Carolina State University, he has authored and co-authored over 25 peer reviewed publications focused on the structure/function and dynamics of proteins and RNA. Mr. Guenther has been involved in the commercialization and technology transfer of two additional technology developed at North Carolina State University. Dr. Sara Honarbakhsh earned her doctorate in Fiber and Polymer Science under the direction of Dr. Pourdeyhimi. Her graduate work has been nationally recognized by the Nonwovens Cooperation Research Center and the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry.

NC 1 CS Tomato Breeding Line

09P012 -

NC 1 CS is a large-fruited, fresh-market tomato breeding line featuring the crimson (ogc) gene for improved red color and increased lycopene content. NC 1 CS has a vigorous determinate growth habit and produces large, smooth fruit with deep oblate to flattened globe shape, jointed pedicels and dense foliage to protect the fruit from sun. Ripe fruit are firm, have an exceptionally bright red interior and exterior color and are highly resistant to gray wall and cracking.

NC 1 CS has genetic resistances to verticillium wilt (Ve gene), race 1 and 2 of fusarium wilt (I and I-2 genes) and tomato spotted wilt virus (Sw-5 gene). NC 1 CS is useful as a parental line to develop superior F1 hybrids with enhanced red fruit color, lycopene content and tomato spotted wilt virus resistance.

Characteristics

Lead Inventor

Dr. Randy Gardner is Professor Emeritus of horticultural science at NC State. He received his PhD in pomology from Cornell University and has released 27 named tomato varieties and 40 tomato breeding lines. He has bred tomatoes at the University for 40 years and is widely recognized for his contributions to tomato breeding.

Additional information on NC State's tomato breeding program can be found at https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/fletcher/programs/tomato/.

NC 2rinEC Tomato Breeding Line

10P007 -

NC 2rinEC is a large-fruited, fresh- market tomato breeding line featuring the crimson (ogc) gene for improved red color and increased lycopene content and the ripening inhibitor (rin) gene for long shelf-life. NC 2rinEC is the second enhanced color rin line released by the NC State Tomato Breeding Program. NC 2rinEC has a vigorous determinate growth habit and produces large firm fruit with deep oblate to flattened globe shapes, jointed pedicels and dense foliage to protect the fruit from sun. Immature fruit have a uniform light green color (u gene) and glossy finish while mature fruit are firm with a light red exterior and yellowish green interior tinged with red and are highly resistant to gray wall and cracking.

NC 2rinEC has genetic resistance to verticillium wilt (Ve gene) and fusarium wilt (I and I-2 genes). In addition, NC 2rinEC is useful as a parental line to develop superior F1 hybrids with improved fruit color, lycopene content and long shelf-life.

Characteristics

Lead Inventor

Dr. Randy Gardner is Professor Emeritus of horticultural science at NC State. He received his PhD in pomology from Cornell University and has released 27 named tomato varieties and 40 tomato breeding lines. He has bred tomatoes at the University for 40 years and is widely recognized for his contributions to tomato breeding.

Additional information on NC State's tomato breeding program can be found at https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/fletcher/programs/tomato/.

Sugg Peanut

10P008 -

U.S. PVP Certificate 201000265 has been issued for this cultivar.

Sugg is a Virginia-type peanut cultivar suitable for production in the Virginia-Carolina region. Sugg features a variety of desirable pod and seed traits, making it commercially outstanding as a Virginia-type variety. In addition, Sugg demonstrates good agronomic performance and, more importantly, partial resistance to the four most common diseases in the Virginia-Carolina peanut production area: early leaf spot, Cylindrocladium black rot, Sclerotinia blight and tomato spotted wilt virus.

In multiple yield tests spanning multiple years, Sugg's overall yields have proven to be significantly superior to most existing Virginia-type cultivars. Numerous replicated trials show that Sugg produces approximately 48% extra-large kernels, 44% jumbo pods and 44% fancy pods, in addition to improved pod brightness versus check cultivars. Sugg's agronomic performance, higher percentage of jumbo and fancy pods, and partial resistance to the most common diseases in the Virginia-Carolina production area make it an important addition to the current peanut cultivar market.

Characteristics

Lead Inventor

Dr. Thomas Isleib is a Professor of Crop Science at NC State. He received his PhD in Crop Science and Statistics from NC State. He has developed numerous Virginia-type peanut cultivars while at NC State, including the successful 'Wynne' and 'Bailey' varieties. He is involved in the Peanut Quality and Evaluation (PVQE) program administered jointly by NC State and Virginia Tech.

'Merlot': A New Semi-Upright Redbud

10P011 -

U.S. Plant Patent PP22,297 has been issued for this cultivar.

'Merlot' is a new and distinct redbud cultivar selected for its attractive purple leaf color and semi-upright growth habit. This cultivar demonstrates excellent branching, dense growth and prolific bright lavender flowering. It is ideal as an ornamental tree for home and commercial landscapes and requires minimal pruning. Abundant inflorescences bearing clusters of bright lavender papilionaceous (pea-like) flowers typically appear in late March to early April and continue through mid-late April depending on weather conditions. Individual flowers persist for approximately 10 days, rarely producing fruit or seed, a major asset in landscape settings. 'Merlot' features outstanding, dark purple, glossy foliage that turns burgundy and ultimately green as the growing season progresses. Its distinctive small, thick, glossy, leaf character remains well into the latter part of the growing season, distinguishing 'Merlot' from the foliage of 'Forest Pansy,' which becomes unattractive and necrotic in late summer.

'Merlot' adapts well to USDA hardiness Zone 6 and higher and is relatively consistent in characteristics even under different growing conditions associated with yearly climactic variation. 'Merlot' requires well-drained soil, full sun and moderate moisture. No serious pest or disease problems are known to affect this cultivar. 'Merlot' is more compact than other redbuds. In various testing locations, 'Merlot' has demonstrated superior heat and drought tolerance as compared to 'Forest Pansy'. A unique combination of leaf character, moderate vigor, semi-upright dense habit, abundant bright lavender flowers and low fruit production make 'Merlot' a perfect tree for small yards.

Characteristics

Exclusive Licensee

'Merlot' is exclusively licensed to Plant Haven International, Inc..

Lead Inventor

Dr. Dennis James Werner is an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus of Horticultural Science at NC State. He received his Ph.D. in Horticulture from Michigan State. In his more than twenty-five years at NC State, he has developed numerous Redbud cultivars. Dr. Werner has also focused his breeding efforts on peaches, ornamental peaches and Buddleja varieties, including the successful Chip and Miss series.

'Whitewater': A New Weeping Redbud

10P009 -

U.S. Plant Patent PP23,998 has been issued for this cultivar.

'Whitewater' is a new and distinct weeping redbud cultivar selected for its attractive variegated leaf color and weeping growth habit. This cultivar demonstrates excellent branching and is ideal as an ornamental tree for home and commercial landscapes. Distinctive green and white variegated leaves in Spring and early Summer, which ultimately turn to green late in Summer, distinguish 'Whitewater' from other redbud cultivars. Retention of variegation in leaves during the growing season is similar to that of 'Silver Cloud'. However, the weeping growth and upright vase shaped habit of 'Whitewater' distinguish it from 'Silver Cloud', a well-known similar cultivar that lacks weeping growth habit.

'Whitewater' adapts well to USDA hardiness Zone 6 and higher and requires well-drained soil, full sun to partial shade and moderate moisture. No serious pest or disease problems are known to affect this cultivar. 'Whitewater' plants are moderately vigorous after chip budding in the nursery setting. Attractive dark, rose-purple, sweet pea like blooms and a unique combination of desirable features make 'Whitewater' the perfect weeping tree for smaller sized yards.

Characteristics

Exclusive Licensee

'Whitewater' is exclusively licensed to Plant Haven International, Inc..

Lead Inventor

Dr. Dennis James Werner is an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus of Horticultural Science at NC State. He received his Ph.D. in Horticulture from Michigan State. In his more than twenty-five years at NC State, he has developed numerous Redbud cultivars. Dr. Werner has also focused his breeding efforts on peaches, ornamental peaches and Buddleja varieties, including the successful Chip and Miss series.

'Ruby Falls': A New Weeping Redbud

10P010 -

U.S. Plant Patent PP22,097 has been issued for this cultivar.

'Ruby Falls' is the first weeping purple redbud cultivar in the market. This cultivar was selected for its attractive purple leaf color and weeping growth habit. 'Ruby Falls' demonstrates excellent branching and features attractive and prolific lavender flowering. It is ideal as an ornamental tree for home and commercial landscapes and requires minimal pruning. During Spring, 'Ruby Falls' exhibits distinctive purple leaves, turning to burgundy and ultimately green later in Summer. This combination of architecture and leaf color is unique in a redbud cultivar and distinguishes 'Ruby Falls' from the green-leaf weeping cultivar 'Covey'. Retention of purple color in leaves during the growing season is similar to that of 'Forest Pansy', but the elegant weeping growth of 'Ruby Falls' contrasts with the non-weeping habit of 'Forest Pansy'.

'Ruby Falls' adapts well to USDA hardiness Zone 5b and higher and is relatively consistent in characteristics even under different growing conditions associated with yearly climactic variation. 'Ruby Falls' requires well-drained soil, full sun and moderate moisture. No serious pest or disease problems are known to affect this cultivar. Plants of 'Ruby Falls' are vigorous after chip budding in the nursery setting, growing up to 1.8 meters the year after fall budding. Large heart shaped purple foliage, unique weeping habit and attractive reddish-purple flowers make 'Ruby Falls' the perfect weeping tree for small yards.

Characteristics

Exclusive Licensee

'Ruby Falls' is exclusively licensed to Plant Haven International, Inc..

Lead Inventor

Dr. Dennis James Werner is an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus of Horticultural Science at NC State. He received his Ph.D. in Horticulture from Michigan State. In his more than twenty-five years at NC State, he has developed numerous Redbud cultivars. Dr. Werner has also focused his breeding efforts on peaches, ornamental peaches and Buddleja varieties, including the successful Chip and Miss series.

A method for producing liquid fuel from heat-loving microorganisms

10048 -NCSU is seeking a licensee to commercialize a technology for producing liquid fuel from heat-loving microorganisms.
Abstract
Domestic biofuels are an attractive alternative to petroleum-based transportation fuels. Biofuels are typically produced from plant matter, such as sugars, oils, and biomass. This plant matter is created by photosynthesis, a process that converts solar energy into stored chemical energy in plants. However, photosynthesis is an inefficient way to transfer energy from the sun to a plant and then to biofuel. Electrofuels - which bypass photosynthesis by using self-reliant microorganisms that can directly use the energy from electricity and chemical compounds to produce liquid fuels - are an innovative step forward. NC State is working with the University of Georgia to create electrofuels from primitive organisms called extremophiles that live in extreme, hot water environments. The team has genetically engineered these microorganisms so they can use hydrogen to turn carbon dioxide directly into alcohol-based fuels and other valuable precursor molecules. They are currently optimizing this system and working to scale up the technology.

Advantages:

  • Sequesters atmospheric Carbon dioxide and reduces demands for land, water, and fertilizer traditionally required to produce biofuels.
  • Produces industrially useful chemicals.
  • Widespread use of electrofuels could also help stabilize gasoline prices saving drivers money at the pump.

About The Inventors
Dr. Robert M. Kelly is the Alcoa Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. Kelly's research areas lie in physiology, enzymology and biotechnological potential of microorganisms. His recent interests are in biochemical engineering, biocatalysis at extremely high temperatures, microbial physiology and enzyme engineering. Dr. Michael Adams is a Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the University of Georgia.

Defect Reduction in III-Nitrides

10080 -North Carolina State University is seeking a licensee to commercialize a completely new technique for reducing structural defects in epitaxial III-N materials and devices.
Summary
All of the current approaches aimed at uniformly reducing the defect density of large area III-N epitaxial films have had only limited success, yielding materials with defect densities still in the range of 108-109/cm2. Moreover, despite intense efforts, high-quality bulk-grown native substrates have yet to materialize substantially in the marketplace and are limited in size. If the defect density of III-N films is to be reduced significantly, an innovative solution is needed.
Collaborators in the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Material Science and Engineering have developed an entirely new approach to defect density reduction that has never been described or attempted in any lattice-mismatched system. Their method does not only reduce defects below the current state-of-the-art, but it also is scalable to large area substrates. Despite its radical nature, however, this innovative method requires little retooling. In fact, it can be implemented simply by performing a few additional steps during film preparation using common semiconductor fabrication equipment. The invention is simple, elegant, and supported by initial laboratory results.
Advantages

  • Grow epi-ready substrates having uniformly low defect densities and produce devices with significantly improved characteristics
  • Scalable to large area substrates because there is no limitation on substrate size
  • Compatible with epitaxial growth on Si, sapphire, SiC, diamond, and any other substrates commonly used in III-N epitaxy
  • Results in uniform defect density reduction, unlike current techniques that simply yield films having various regions of high and low defect densities
  • III-N films grown via this method are stable even when subjected to temperatures in excess of 1000°C

Patent Information
  • US Patent filed
About the Inventors
Dr. Salah M. Bedair is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University. He investigates semiconductor growth techniques, such as atomic layer epitaxy, laser-assisted deposition, molecular beam epitaxy, and chemical vapor deposition. Professor Bedair also studies optical and microwave devices, such as detectors, wave guides, solar cells, light emitting diodes, semiconductor light bulbs, and modulation doped field effect transistors. He holds numerous patents relating to III-N epitaxy and devices.
Dr. Nadia El-Masry is a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at North Carolina State University. Her research interests include growth and characterization of III-V thin film semiconductor materials and bulk metallic alloys, structural characterization by x-ray and transmission electron microscopy, and the growth and characterization of magnetic materials.
Mr. Pavel Frajtag is a graduate student in the Department of Material Science and Engineering.

A method for printing from mobile devices without printer drivers through a remote printer server

12010 -A cloud printing solution for mobile devices.

Abstract

Cloud printing is the technology that enables printers to be accessed over a network through cloud computing. In this method of cloud printing developed at North Carolina State University, networked printing is enabled in mobile devices without printer drivers. This method works for all existing networked printers without a single modification. Cloud printing is realized by the support of a remote printing server which takes care of all printer specific commands instead of mobile devices.

This cloud printing solution makes a mobile device into a bridge connecting two TCP sockets. One socket is initiated between a printer and a mobile device. The other socket is initiated between a mobile device and a cloud printing service running in a remote printing server. Through two TCP sockets, the mobile device discovers a printer and forwards (from a socket to the other socket) a file to printer (or specify a file to print if the file is in the cloud server) as well as the response from a printer to the server and the server detects the model of the printer. Then, the server generates the printer-specific printing commands and delivers them to the mobile device through the printing servie running on the server. The mobile device forwards the commands again to the printer. Then, the printer can understand the commands and print the designated file. Error messages from the printer can be handled by the reverse path and the messages interpreted by the server (e.g., lack of papers, toners) are finally delivered to the mobile device..

Advantages

  • Enables networked printing in mobile devices without printer drivers.
  • Can easily be integrated with cloud services.
  • Can be also applied to many other peripherals which have networking capability, for example, scanners, surveillance cameras, keyboards, mouses etc.
  • Well suited for smartphones due to continuous network connectivity.


Patent Informaton

An US patent application has been filed and published under application number US 14/401,513 entitled "Cloud Powered System Enabling Mobile Devices to Control Peripherals without Drivers". The patent application is available for licensing.

About the Inventors Dr. Kyunghan Lee Dr. Kyunghan Lee was a Senior Research Scholar with the Department of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. Dr. Lee received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).

Dr. Injong Rhee Dr. Injong Rhee is Professor of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. He works primarily on network protocols for the Internet. His major contributions in the field include the development of congestion control protocols, called BIC and CUBIC. Since 2004, these protocols have been the default TCP algorithms for Linux and are currently being used by more than 40% of Internet servers around the world and by several tens millions Linux users for daily Internet communication. He also has invented several multimedia streaming and multicast technologies licensed to companies for commercial applications. He started a company Togabi Technologies based on these technologies in 2000 where he developed and launched the world's first video streaming products and push-to-talk (PTT) VoIP products for cell phones. His recent research topics include mobile ad hoc networks, delay/disruption tolerant networks, and P2P systems. He has been consulting for companies including Boeing, Lucent Technologies, CISCO, Korea Telecom, LG Electronics, and LG Datacom. He received NSF Career Award in 1999 and NCSU New Inventor's award in 2000. Dr. Rhee is currently on a sabbatical and working with Samsung Electronics.

NC-Yadkin: A new wheat cultivar

10P019 -

NC-Yadkin is protected by U.S. P.V.P. 201100354.

NC-Yadkin is a soft red winter wheat cultivar selected for its excellent grain yield, good test weight, and resistance to common wheat diseases. The release of NC-Yadkin aims to provide North Carolina growers with a high yielding, disease resistant cultivar for the mid/full-season market niche. This new cultivar is uniquely different from all known wheat cultivars. Moreover, NC-Yadkin features resistance to powdery mildew and leaf rust, as a tolerance to Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV) and moderate resistance to Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) (Scab).

NC-Yadkin areas of adaptation include Maryland, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina and north Georgia. In field tests across these locations, NC-Yadkin had a significantly higher grain yield than Pioneer 26R61 and AGS 2000, and a significantly higher test weight than USG 3555 and ASG 2000. NC-Yadkin ranked fourth in yield out of the 46 cultivars examined in the North Carolina Official Variety Tests over two consecutive seasons. Micro milling and baking quality analyses on grain samples indicate that flour yield of NC-Yadkin has similar Softness Equivalent or Sucrose SRC values to other common cultivars. However, NC-Yadkin had the highest Lactic Acid Retention score among the cultivars tested, indicating it may be suitable for cracker flour production. NC-Yadkin flour yield, baking quality, and resistance to common wheat diseases make it a great addition to the wheat cultivar market.

Characteristics

Lead Inventor

Dr. J. Paul Murphy is a Professor of Crop Science at North Carolina State University. His research focuses on studying the genetics of crop disease resistance and developing cultivars of wheat, oat, and triticale that combine overall agronomic superiority with end-use quality.

Spray Winding Process for Fabricating High Fraction and Highly Aligned Carbon Nanotube Composites

11014 -

North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to commercialize a process for creating exceptionally strong and electrically conductive carbon nanotube composites.

Researchers at NCSU have developed a method for fabricating carbon nanotube (CNT) composites of exceptional combined mechanical and electrical properties. In a process called "spray winding," a CNT ribbon is pulled by a rotating mandrel from a CNT array aligned in a single direction and a polymer solution is applied, by spray gun or solution bath, to the ribbon. The exceptional properties are the result of the high volume fraction and good dispersion of unidirectionally aligned, long CNTs within the matrix produced in this process. So far, this process has yielded CNT composites with tensile strengths, Young's moduli, and electrical conductivities of 3.8 GPa (higher than that of the previously strongest carbon fiber composite), 290 GPa, and 1230 S/cm, respectively.

CNTs can be considered as "nano-fibers" with tensile mechanical properties superior to any commercial fiber. This characteristic has driven research in the field of CNT composite material due to their potential as the next generation multifunctional composite structures. However, harnessing the mechanical properties of CNTs in composite materials has proven to be much more challenging than in traditional fiber-based composites. Their often microscopic lengths and tendency to agglomerate makes alignment difficult and reduces load transfer efficiency. It is a challenge to utilize long chain CNTs in high volume fractions with a high degree of alignment while integrating the matrix at the molecular level between CNTs to facilitate maximum load transfer. The tendency for CNTs to bundle makes them difficult to disperse in any solvent or matrix. Alignment in a matrix becomes even more complicated when long CNTs are used. To realize the outstanding properties of CNTs in composites, innovative processing is required.

Advantages:

  • Strong, stiff, and electrically conductive carbon nanotube composites can be fabricated through a process that allows for a high volume fraction and good dispersion of undirectionally aligned, long CNTs. Tensile strengths, Young's moduli, and electrical conductivities as high as of 3.8 GPa, 290 GPa, and 1230 S/cm have been recorded.
  • This process is simple and scalable for large-scale industrial production.

About the Inventors:

Xin Wang and Wei Liu were graduate students in Dr. Yuntian Zhu's research group.

Dr. Philip D. Bradford, Assistant Professor at NC State Department of Textiles, has research interests in carbon nanotube (CNT) synthesis, applied carbon nanotube research, carbon nanotube textile materials, and fiber based composite materials. The unifying theme throughout his nano-composite research is producing composites with high volume fractions of aligned carbon nanotubes whose nanostructure looks similar to traditional unidirectional composites. These composites include prepregs of aligned CNTs, carbon-carbon composites with aligned CNTs and metal matrix CNT composites. His research group is one of few that have the ability to produce aligned "sheets" or "ribbons" of CNTs from CNT arrays, which is utilized throughout his research.

Dr. Yuntian Zhu, Distinguished Professor at NC State Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has research interests in synthesis of long CNTs and CNT arrays; CNT fibers and CNT composites for aerospace applications, deformation physics of nano metals and alloys, design and development of nano metals and alloys with high strength and high ductility, mechanisms of irradiation defect evolution and irradiation resistance of nano materials. He was the team leader of the Nanomaterials Team in MPA-STC, Los Alamos National Laboratory before he joined the NCSU faculty in 2007.

Tele-operated robotic mobile catheter

11030 -NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize active catheter device and associated systems and methods.
Catheters are used in medical diagnoses and surgical procedures such as tissue ablation, stent deployment, measuring fluid pressure and delivering and extracting fluids from different sites in the body. To avoid tissue perforation, tips of the catheters can be deflected (i.e. via tensioned cables) to steer the body of the catheter in a desired trajectory. Current catheters may be difficult to maneuver, particularly when navigating complex anatomical pathways. Since such pathways may be relatively fragile, there may be a risk of tissue perforation. Generally, once the catheter is advanced into the anatomical pathway, the physician feeds the catheter to the desired location by axially advancing the catheter in a manual procedure, where the natural shape of the anatomical pathway(s) is used to guide the catheter. However, the mechanical forces exerted by the catheter may result in non-perforating but potentially damaging stresses on the tissue defining the pathway. Researchers at NCSU have developed a robotic catheter with user-controlled bending segments. This tele-operated device uses computer-based controls to interpret joystick commands and to actuate the shape memory alloy tendons for accurate tracking of the commanded tip position. The device exhibits high mobility and precise positioning of the catheter tip, two desirable attributes of ablation catheter technology. Advantages:

  • Enhanced efficacy of minimally invasive surgical procedures
  • Increased bending of catheters and reduced antagonistic forces on actuators
  • Unlike conventional actuators, these actuators do not reduce or eliminate the shape memory characteristics necessary for actuation
  • Increased actuator length
  • Low-cost alternative to other robotic surgical systems

Uses:
  • The device can be used for any procedure currently performed with catheter technologies, such as endocardial ablation, angioplasty, stent replacement and angiography
  • It can also be used for minimally invasive procedures in the open cavities of the body, such as the thoracic or abdominal cavity. Specifically, it could be uitilized for epicaridal pacing lead placement within the thoracic cavity
  • Non-medical applications include its employment to navigate and inspect unreachable or hazardous spaces like enclosed machinery or a nuclear reactor core through a small access hole


Patent Information
This technology is protected under issued US Patent 9,308,350 B2

About the inventors:
Dr. Buckner is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NC State. His research focuses on the design and control of electromechanical systems, with applications to surgical robotics and automotive systems. Prior to his appointment at NCSU, Dr. Buckner was a research engineer at the University of Texas Center for Electromechanics in Austin, TX. Dr. Buckner is a Distinguished Undergraduate Professor at NCSU, a recipient of the NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, the ASEE Southeast Region New Faculty Research Award, and the NCSU Outstanding Teacher Award.

VHF-Driven Coaxial Atmospheric Plasma Source

12009 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industrial partner to commercialize a coaxially-driven VHF plasma source for atmospheric air plasmas.
Abstract
A coaxially-driven VHF plasma source for atmospheric air plasmas has been built and characterized. Electrical and optical characterization of this source present a unique operating regime when compared to state of the art atmospheric systems such as dielectric barrier discharge, pulsed DC, microwave, or AC blown arc discharges. This plasma source is based on a coaxially driven system driven at 162MHz where the gas feed to the plasma region is fed through the dielectric break between the powered and grounded electrodes of a cylindrical coaxial system. The discharge does not appear to produce streamers or arcs, but instead remains as a steady-state glow located at the end of the inner coaxial power feed. Plasma impedance was determined by comparing the loaded and unloaded impedance of the coaxial source RF input; this termination impedance was combined with a simple high-frequency global model to estimate an electron density of approximately 10^11 cm^-3 at 400W delivered power in air. Optical emission characterization of the source shows a monotonic increase in emission with respect to power; however, the relative intensity of the peaks from excited species remains constant over a power range from 300 to 600W. This unique source geometry presents a possible pathway for high gas throughput, large area, high power density processes such as surface modification, air purification, media removal and chemical surface treatment.
Advantages:

  • The high frequency drive is believed to generate a plasma load ballasting effect that introduces a negative feedback mechanism that inhibits the formation of thermally induced instabilities. This configuration serves as both the source assembly and matching network for the system.
  • The unique chemistries and high power densities observed in this system make it ideally suited for chemical abatement, biological remediation and surface treatments such as deposition, etch and activation.
  • Medical applications such as sterilization, wound treatment, and surgical instrumentation are some of the fastest growing plasma applications and have been largely enabled by advances in atmospheric source technology.
  • In addition to medical applications, surface treatments of soft materials and liquids, and plasma modification of large scale systems (such as plasma removal of paint and coatings on vehicles and other large structures) are only a sampling of the applications that now have a practical pathway via atmospheric plasma systems.
Relevant Patent Information A non-provisional patent application has been filed for this invention. About the Inventor
Dr. Shannon received his Ph.D. (1999) from the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences at the University of Michigan. After graduating, Shannon joined the technical staff at Applied Materials Inc. in Sunnyvale, Calif., where he focused on the design, characterization and control of cutting edge plasma chambers for integrated circuit fabrication. While at Applied Materials, Shannon also held an adjunct faculty position in the Chemical and Materials Engineering Department at San Jose State University, where he taught subjects including plasma science, ion beam interactions with materials and integrated circuit fabrication. "I study the mechanisms in plasma discharges that can extend materials fabrication to the nano-scale. My current research interests include advanced diagnostics for process control, novel plasma sources for new methods of materials fabrication, and correlation of global plasma parameters to on-surface material processes such as etching, deposition, and surface modification."

Expression of Extremophile Enzymes as Co-Products from Biofuel-Producing Algae and Cyanobacteria

11037 - North Carolina State University is seeking industry partners to commercialize the expression of extremophile, high-value, industrial enzymes from biofuel-producing algae and cyanobacteria. A US non-provisional patent application has been filed to protect this invention. Abstract In recent years, industrial scale production of biofuels from microalgal sources has received considerable attention. However, the relatively high cost of producing biofuels using these organisms has typically outweighed the economic value derived from the biofuel produced. Consequently, there is a need to either cut the cost of producing biofuels using these organisms or increase the value derived from the organisms. Researchers at North Carolina State University have addressed this problem by stably transforming green microalgae to produce not only lipid biofuels but also high value, extremophile enzymes and lipids that are useful in industrial biotechnology. Enzyme-based production of chemicals is a rapidly growing industrial sector that is primarily driven by production and use of enzymes from microbial sources, including extremophiles. One of the advantages of extremophile enzymes is that they can function in extreme environments present in the industrial setting. For example, extremophiles function in environments with extreme temperature, pH, salinity, metal ion concentrations, pressure, and/or radiation levels. Because of the rapidly growing demand for industrial production of chemicals through enzymes such as these, engineering algae and cyanobacteria to produce these extremophile enzymes will make biofuel production from algal and cyanobacterial feedstocks more economically viable. Advantages

  • Simultaneous production of high-value, industrial enzymes and growth of organisms for lipid biofuel production.
  • Increases economic viability of biofuel production from algal and cyanobacterial feedstocks.
About The Inventors Dr. Amy Grunden is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University. Dr. Grunden received her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Cell Science from the University of Florida. Her research interests include the physiology and biotechnological applications of extremophile microorganisms. Dr. Heike Sederoff is an Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Biology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University. Dr. Sederoff received her Ph.D. in Plant Biochemistry from the University of Göttingen (Germany). Her research interests include metabolic engineering of plant primary metabolism in algae and crop plants for biofuel development and genomic networks of abiotic stress responses.

Lo & Behold® 'Purple Haze' Buddleja

11P004 -

U.S. Plant Patent PP24,514 has been issued for this cultivar.

Lo & Behold® 'Purple Haze' is a Buddleja shrub ideal for gardens, containers or landscaping. The cultivar has fragrant purple-violet flowers and blooms from early Summer until early Fall. Lo & Behold® 'Purple Haze' is a deciduous perennial that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and is drought tolerant. Compared to other Buddleja cultivars, Lo & Behold® 'Purple Haze' is non-invasive and compact.

Three years of field tests and observations demonstrate that Lo & Behold® 'Purple Haze' has a reduced stature, semi-upright growth, prolific flowering, excellent winter cold hardiness, reduced female fertility and easy maintenance, making it an excellent addition to any residential garden or commercial landscape.

Characteristics

Exclusive Licensee

Lo & Behold® 'Purple Haze' is exclusively licensed to Spring Meadow Nursery.

Lead Inventor

Dr. Dennis James Werner is an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus of Horticultural Science at NC State. He received his Ph.D. in Horticulture from Michigan State. In his more than twenty-five years at NC State, he has developed numerous Buddleja cultivars, including the successful Chip and Miss series that are exclusively licensed to Spring Meadow Nursery. Dr. Werner has also focused his breeding efforts on peaches, ornamental peaches and redbuds.

'Miss Molly' Buddleja

11P005 -

U.S. Plant Patent PP23,425 has been issued for this cultivar.

'Miss Molly' is a Buddleja shrub ideal for gardens, containers or landscaping. Part of the Miss series of Buddleja shrubs, the cultivar has fragrant fuchsia flowers and blooms from early Summer until early Fall. 'Miss Molly' is a deciduous perennial that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and is deer resistant. Compared to other Buddleja cultivars, 'Miss Molly' is non-invasive and compact.

Three years of field tests and observations demonstrate that 'Miss Molly' has a reduced stature, semi-upright growth, prolific flowering, excellent winter cold hardiness, male sterility, reduced female fertility and easy maintenance, making it an excellent addition to any residential garden or commercial landscape.

Characteristics

Exclusive Licensee

'Miss Molly' is exclusively licensed to Spring Meadow Nursery.

Lead Inventor

Dr. Dennis James Werner is an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus of Horticultural Science at NC State. He received his Ph.D. in Horticulture from Michigan State. In his more than twenty-five years at NC State, he has developed numerous Buddleja cultivars, including the successful Chip and Miss series that are exclusively licensed to Spring Meadow Nursery. Dr. Werner has also focused his breeding efforts on peaches, ornamental peaches and redbuds.

A Passive-elastic Exoskeleton Using Controlled Energy Storage and Release to Assist Human Locomotion

11054 -

NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize a novel mechanical ankle support allowing natural joint movement.

Summary

The invention describes an ankle support system designed to reduce the amount of energy and effort needed for human locomotion. The device utilizes a novel clutch mechanism that allows free motion of the ankle joint, while still serving as a rigid support when standing. By utilizing strategically timed exchanges between the user's center of mass energy and the strain energy stored in the parallel elastic springs, a 20% reduction in the energy needed for locomotion is likely. In addition, unlike similar ankle supports, this device requires no external energy or control mechanisms reducing its complexity, cost, and weight. These novel features give this device a wide range of applications in the rehabilitation and performance enhancement markets.

Advantages:

  • Mechanical ankle support improves a user's ability to walk, jog, or run while still using their natural motion and gate.
  • Purely mechanical device requiring no electrical components or external power sources.
  • Easily adjustable to fit individual wearer.
  • Novel clutch system allows the device to reduce the energy needed for locomotion while still providing a rigid support when standing.
  • Provides a lightweight, simple, and cheap framework that can provide energy-neutral mechanical assistance.

Related Patent Information

About the Inventors:

Dr. Gregory Sawicki obtained his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University. He then attended the University of California, Davis and graduated with a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Next, Dr. Sawicki graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann-Arbor with a Ph.D. in Human Neuromechanics. After obtaining his Ph.D. he pursued postdoctoral studies in Integrative Biology at Brown University. Currently, Dr. Sawicki is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University and UNC-Chapel Hill, as well as the director of the Human PoWeR Laboratory.

Bruce Wiggin is a design engineer specializing in mechatronic, robotic, and medical device design. He has over 7 years of industry experience as a design engineer in addition to 5 years of research experience while pursuing his PhD. His designs have received many national awards including a Da Vinci Award, the President's Award from the American Society of Biomechanics, and several local awards and grants.

Dr. Steve Collins is Director of the Experimental Biomechatronics Laboratory and Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University

High Power Density Switched-Capacitor Converter for Offshore Wind Energy Systems

11072 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize the novel High Power Density Switched-Capacitor Converter.
Abstract
To tap the wind potential and to run the grid solely on HVDC, a DC-DC converter is used to convert the low voltage rectified output of the wind turbine to high voltages. This new family of step-up SC converter can significantly reduce the required filter capacitors in switched-capacitor converter, leading to high power density and reduced cost. It utilizes diodes instead of transistors in some embodiments along with some design improvements to ensure superior performance over conventional DC-DC converter designs. Advantages

  • In comparison with existing switched capacitor converter, this invention requires less filter capacitor when they have the same output voltage ripple, resulting in high power density and reduced cost..
  • It is promising for applications that require high step-up conversion ratio DC/DC converter.
Patents
  • US 9,362,814 - issued 06/07/2016
About The Inventor
Dr. Alex Huang is Progress Energy Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering at North Carolina State University. He also director of the Advanced Transportation Energy Center (ATEC) as well as the director of the NSF Engineering Research Center, The FREEDM Systems Center at North Carolina State University. Dr. Huang is a fellow of IEEE. His research areas include Power Management Integrated Circuit, Power Semiconductor Devices, Advanced Power Electronics, Renewable Energy Integration and Smart Grid. Wu Chen is a Research Assistant in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University.

Incorporation of Lignin in Network & High Performance Polymer Applications

11102 -

NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize chemical processes that allow for the utilization of lignin in high performance polymer applications

Abstract:

Dr. Argyropoulos, Professor of Forest Biomaterials at NCSU, has developed four chemistries that allow lignin to be incorporated into network and high performance polymer applications. Lignin is a common byproduct of the wood pulping, bio-ethanol digestion, and saccharification processes.

  1. In one chemistry, lignin from a variety of sources, plant feedstocks, and processing conditions can be produced with predictable and uniform properties. The reactive groups in technical lignin can be selectively protected smoothly and reproducibly, creating alkyl-aryl ethers.
  2. Lignin polymers can be synthesized into functional components for three dimensional network polymer systems by creating pendant unsaturated moieties within the lignin. This reaction is simple, involves readily available starting materials, and produces a high yield. This chemistry can be used to covalently incorporate lignin via vulcanization schemes within rubber tire formulations. These lignin derivatives can also be processed further to create chain-extended lignin polymers with pendant unsaturated moieties.
  3. The chemistry has been developed to synthesize lignin polymers into integral components for linear, high-performance, thermally stable polymer and copolymer systems, polymer blends and, polymer composites. The partially protected lignin ethers can be reacted to produce melt and heat stable polyethers. Appropriate selection of reactants offers reactions with adjustable kinetics and polymer chain lengths.
  4. Selective fractionation schemes have been developed that allow for the isolation of technical lignins with consistent chemical and polymer characteristics irrespective of the manufacturing details of the lignin. These chemistries offer the possibility of providing lignin streams that are dependable and not subjected to process variations.

Rapid technological advances in the area of biofuels have created a stream of lignin polymers that are in need of new markets so as to add value to the biofuels market. Lignin macro-molecules from raw industrial processes are unsuitable for high performance polymer applications as they have undergone severe hydrolytic degradation, giving them a highly reactive structure and a relatively low molecular weight.

Advantages:

  • Lignin is made available for use in high performance applications and can be made to have many tunable polymeric characteristics: pendant reactive functionality, glass transition temperature, molecular weight, and TGA profiles, etc...
  • The chemical structure and thus the physical properties of lignin polymers can be controlled, allowing for tunable/superior products. MWs as high as 17,000 g/mol and 5% mass loss temperatures as high as 315°C have been achieved.
  • The variety of approaches developed in this technology offers tangible possibilities and opens new avenues for the extensive utilization of an otherwise intractable biopolymer.

Applications:

  • Additives in tire formulations
  • Carbon fibers
  • Thermally stable polyethers and polyether sulfones
  • And many more!

About the Inventor:

Dr. Dimitris S. Argyropoulos is a Professor and Finland Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. His research group focuses on the organic chemistry of wood components and the development of new chemistry for transforming the carbon present in our trees toward producing valuable chemicals, materials and energy.

TCP performance enhancement in cellular networks through accurate BDP estimation

12011 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize a novel method for TCP performance enhancement in cellular networks through accurate BDP estimation on mobile devices.
Abstract
In wireless cellular networks, the queuing buffer space in the network is typically colossal. The receive window control mechanism in most of the smartphones (especially Android phones) is too aggressive and makes the network queue large. This leads to long packet delay as well as slow propagation of loss information. In this conceived mechanism, a smartphone delivers the appropriate amount of receive window to the sender by taking the minimum round trip time (RTT) and estimating BDP (Bandwidth Delay Product) using this minimum RTT. By upgrading the TCP modules in smartphones (in the kernel level), the performance enhancement is achievable without modifying the senders. Considering the senders are typically huge servers, the devised technique is simple yet powerful. Advantages

  • In this cellular TCP enhancement technique, the packet delay in smartphones is reduced by 50% and throughput is increased by 15%. It is achieved by intelligently monitoring the network queue condition.
  • Since the cellular networks are always bandwidth limited, this technique will deliver an immediate and enormous impact.
  • TCP enhancement without changing server sides (i.e., sender sides) is extremely difficult. This technique resolves that concern.
About The Inventors
Dr. Injong Rhee is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. He also heads the Networking research Lab at North Carolina State University. He primarily works on network protocols for the Internet. His research areas also include - Architecture and Operating Systems, Embedded and Real-Time Systems, Networking and Performance Evaluation, Parallel and Distributed Systems. Dr. Kyunghan Lee is a Senior Research Assistant in the Department of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. His research interests include Human/Vehicular Mobility Data traffic offloading in cellular networks for cloud services Protocol design for mobile devices.

Image 4.1 - Image Analysis Software

11138 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize its image analysis software for fiber, nonwovens and texture analysis.

State-Of-Development:Software is developed and tested

Abstract

Background
The development of data and image analysis techniques create endless possibilities for their application and one such application is analysis of textiles. The digital image analysis permits a more detailed analysis of structural parameters of textile products such as thickness, hairiness and number of twists. Image analyses allow creating high quality fiber and observe any possible fiber faults as well as determine the cause of any faults. The image analysis helps in identification and creation of textile products in combination to estimation of their correctness. Conventionally fiber and nonwoven experts perform this estimation, which is highly dependent on human vision and subject matter expertise. This method is highly prone to errors and results in inconsistent evaluation results. Therefore, there is a need of better image analysis software to resolve the limitations of human vision and produce high quality fiber.

Innovation
NCSU distinguished professor and globally renowned researcher in the space of textiles has developed full image analysis software with unique algorithms for fiber, nonwoven and texture analysis of a digitized image. Software includes unique sections for fiber, non-woven analysis, texture analysis and standard imaging functions to provide easy and user-friendly interface. Additionally, software offers numerous analytic methods to further analyze the digitized image.


Advantages

  • Software is full image analysis system with unique algorithms for fiber, nonwoven and texture analysis of a digitized image
  • Use digitized image and offers numerous analytic methods to analyze the image
  • Software is written in visual C++ language and use Intel library
  • Software runs on PC platform with windows operating systems XP, 7 in both 32 bit and 64 bit


  • Application Areas

  • Fiber and nonwoven analysis
  • Texture analysis
  • Textile product development


  • Publications

    Over 100 publications in the area of microscopy and image analysis utilizing this software, just to mention few:
  • Semnani, D., Latifi, M., Tehran, M. A., Pourdeyhimi, B., & Merati, A. A. (2006). Grading of yarn appearance using image analysis and an artificial intelligence technique. Textile Research Journal, 76(3), 187-196.
  • Lee, F., Pourdeyhimi, B., Hazzard, C., & Summerville, J. (2003). Analysis of coatings appearance and durability testing induced surface defects using image capture/processing/analysis. Revista De Metalurgia, (2003), 206-212.
  • Na, Y. J., & Pourdeyhimi, B. (1995). Assessing wrinkling using image analysis. Textile Research Journal, 65(3), 149-157.


  • Books

    Pourdeyhimi, B. (1999). Imaging and image analysis for plastics. Norwich, NY: Society of Plastics Engineers, Plastics Design Library.

    About The Inventors

    Dr. Behnam Pourdeyhimi is the Klopman Distinguished Professor of Textile Materials and Associate Dean for Industry Research and Extension. He also serves as the Director of the Nonwovens Cooperative Research Center at the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University. His contributions to fiber / textile science, engineering and technology and his contributions to the profession have been well recognized by several awards. He has published several books and monographs, over 150 refereed journal articles and over 150 conference presentations. He is the recipient of The Fiber Society Young Distinguished Achievement Award (1994) and Fellowship of the Textile Institute (1994). Also, he acts as consultant to over 30 bodies and major Corporations.

    Key Terms

    Textile, Fiber and nonwoven, texture, analysis, digital image analysis

    Plant Virus and Non-Woven Fiber Nanotechnology Delivery System for Agricultural Applications

    12018 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize a novel plant virus and non-woven fiber nanotechnology delivery system for nematicides and other small molecules critical for plant development. A PCT application has been filed for this invention.
    Abstract
    Plant parasitic nematodes are one of the world's major agricultural pests, causing in excess of $125 billion in worldwide crop damage annually. The traditional way to combat nematode infestations is with potentially toxic, environmentally dangerous, and difficult-to-handle nematicides. The majority of these are contact and fumigant pesticides that are either heavily restricted or eliminated entirely for use in the United States due to their high toxicity. Given the toxicity and severe limitations of these agents, there is a need for new methods and delivery systems for treating plants with nematicides. Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a plant-virus-based, small molecule delivery system for the controlled delivery of nematicides. This delivery system comprises nematicide-loaded plant viral nanoparticles combined with tailored seed coating formulations. Encapsulation of nematicides by the plant viral nanoparticles will eliminate non-target adverse effects, and incorporation into seed coatings is a more economical and environmentally-friendly delivery mechanism than granular nematicide applications. In addition, the coating formulation can be tailored for controlled release based on biodegradation rate in the soil, making the system adaptable to enable delivery of active ingredients to nematodes during the critical early growth stage of plants. This plant-virus-based, small molecule delivery system can also be used for the controlled delivery of a wide range of other small molecules critical for plant development, including other pest repellants, nutrients, and hormones. This nanotechnology delivery system has the ideal attributes for agricultural application: it is robust and viable in a wide range of environments; it is stable in buffers, the soil, and physiological fluids; it has low leakage rates for small molecule cargo; it presents targeting molecules conveniently; and it can be triggered to release cargo specifically inside a targeted cell. Advantages

    • Eliminates non-target adverse effects through encapsulation of nematicides by plant viral nanoparticles.
    • Loading of active agents into plant viral nanoparticles is repeatable and scalable.
    • Economical and environmentally friendly relative to current nematicide control technologies.
    • Can be tailored for controlled time release of nematicide during necessary treatment windows.
    • Enhanced cargo capacity and colloidal stability in solution compared to other nano-scale delivery vehicle strategies.
    • Less leakage than other nano-scale delivery vehicle strategies.
    About The Inventors
    Dr. Steven Lommel is a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University. Dr. Lommel received his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include plant virology, plant viral pathogenesis, virus structure, and virus nanotechnology.
    Dr. Julie Willoughby is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry, and Science in the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University. Dr. Willoughby received her Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from North Carolina State University. Her research interests include nanosciences, surface modification, fibers and polymers; technical textiles and textile structure; and health and safety.
    Mr. Richard Guenther is a Research Technician in the Department of Plant Pathology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University. He received his B.S. in Geology from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

    Nanostructured Polymer-inorganic Fiber Media for Filtration of Chemical Aerosols and Vapors

    11157 -

    The technology of air purification has had few major advancements since WWI. Contaminated air is mainly treated by carbon-based material such as activated charcoal, which has served as the primary material for air purification and is still the material of choice by the military. However, current battlefield conditions and threats from terrorist attacks on domestic sites demand new filtration media for personal protective equipment (PPE) and air purification. These filters can be used in PPE, vehicles, and fixed site shelters, significantly strengthening protection levels against chemical and biological weapons.

    In contrast with charcoal, nanofiber media are a good candidate for next generation filtering devices. However, existing polymeric nanofiber media lack stability in the presence of chemical aerosols that behave as plasticizers such as chemical warfare agents (CWAs) and toxic industrial chemicals (TICs).

    A recent technology developed at NC State University offers a new platform to capture and decompose CWAs and TICs. It accomplishes this by modifying nanofibers with nanoscale chemistries to create metal oxide and hybrid organic/inorganic structures. The nanoscale enhancement has two advantages: improved nanofiber stability and additional filtering of CWAs and TICs without adding any burden to the user of the filtration device. The organic/inorganic composite coating acts as a barrier to dissolution, protecting the fiber mats by either laying directly on top of the fiber media or by substantially encapsulating all the fibers within the mat. This barrier layer is produced using common deposition methods such as atomic layer deposition, molecular layer deposition, vapor phase infiltration, and sequential vapor infiltration. The barrier layer can also contain materials that increase the fiber media's chemical resistance and/or chemical reactivity. In the latter case, components in the barrier layer can react with toxins to reduce them to benign species.

    Advantages:
    • More robust filtering- greater resistance to chemical reagents compared to conventional nanofiber structures
    • Enhanced filtering- can combat harmful plasticizing agents and potentially destroy them
    • Mechanical properties maintained compared to untreated fiber structures
    Related Patent Information:
    • Technology protected under the published PCT patent application WO 2013071065 A1
    About the Inventors:

    Dr. Gregory Parsons is Alcoa Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. He received a PhD in Physics from North Carolina State University in 1990 in the area of amorphous silicon and related materials for thin film photovoltaics. He joined NC State Chemical Engineering as Assistant Professor in 1992 and became professor in 2002. In 2006 he launched NC State University's Nanotechnology Initiative to address fundamental understanding of nanomaterials and nanoscale processing, and he currently serves as the Initiative Director. Professor Parsons' research focuses on surface chemistry and chemical processing of thin film materials by atomic and molecular layer deposition, including nanoscale surface chemistry on polymers and fibrous media, and applications in renewable energy generation and storage. Professor Parsons was elected Fellow of the American Vacuum Society in 2005, and in 2009 he was named to NC State's Academy of Outstanding Teachers.

    Dr. David S. Ensor is a Distinguished Fellow in Aerosol Science and Nanotechnology from RTI International. He is a leading expert in filtration, indoor air quality, and cleanroom technology with more than 40 years of experience in aerosol science and air pollution research. He founded the American Association for Aerosol Research and the research journal Aerosol Science and Technology.

    Method to discover Wi-Fi Aps without scanning

    12027 -A novel method to discover Wi-Fi APs without scanning.
    Abstract
    This invention provides a method of creating a database, recording the distributions of cellular signal strengths from multiple base stations when a smart device is connected to a Wi-Fi AP. The method includes a training period of recording information for all Wi-Fi APs that have ever been connected during the period. Training of the WiFi AP is done by characterizing cellular signal with its probabilistic distribution while a mobile device is connected to the AP. After creation of the database, the method runs a probabilistic estimation function to identify a Wi-Fi AP based on few observed samples of cellular signals and the database. The method is unique in using the distributions of cellular signal strengths to probabilistically estimate the most likely Wi-Fi AP rather than using the average signal strengths. The method further includes a procedure of updating database regularly and sharing the database to other users of the same device model. Whenever the display of a smart device (e.g., smartphone, tablet, etc.) turns on, the device initiates Wi-Fi scans to discover nearby Wi-Fi APs. Given that a person stays long in a few places such as home and office and there are a few Wi-Fi APs installed in such locations, scanning for entire channels is waste of energy. This invention provides a method to discover a Wi-Fi AP installed in a location without scanning. It further provides a method to detect a location where there has been no Wi-Fi APs to suppress scanning. Advantages

    • This method is estimated to save more than 10% of energy based on the total battery capacity.
    • It can also be considered to be implemented as a default Wi-Fi detection method for smart devices.
    • For cloud services which synchronize user data in the background all the time, a technique to save 3G/4G data traffic is required. Offloading the data to Wi-Fi networks (with some delay) essentially requires an energy efficient Wi-Fi discovery method, which is catered by this invention.
    About The Inventor
    Dr. Injong Rhee is Professor of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. He is the Principal Investigator of Networking Research Lab (NRL) in North Carolina State University. He works primarily on network protocols for the Internet. His major contributions in the field include the development of congestion control protocols, called BIC and CUBIC. Dr. Kyunghan Lee is a senior research associate in the Department of Computer Science at North Carolina State University.

    Lo & Behold® 'Ice Chip' Buddleja

    12039 -

    U.S. Plant Patent PP24,015 has been issued for this cultivar.

    Lo & Behold® 'Ice Chip' is a Buddleja shrub ideal for gardens, containers or landscaping. Part of the Chip series of Buddleja shrubs, the cultivar has fragrant white flowers and blooms from early Summer until early Fall. Lo & Behold® 'Ice Chip' is a deciduous perennial that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and is drought tolerant. Compared to other Buddleja cultivars, Lo & Behold® 'Ice Chip' is non-invasive and compact.

    Five years of field tests and observations demonstrate that Lo & Behold® 'Ice Chip' has a reduced stature, semi-upright growth, prolific flowering, excellent winter cold hardiness, sterility (seedless) and easy maintenance, making it an excellent addition to any residential garden or commercial landscape.

    Characteristics

    Exclusive Licensee

    Lo & Behold® 'Ice Chip' is exclusively licensed to Spring Meadow Nursery.

    Lead Inventor

    Dr. Dennis James Werner is an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus of Horticultural Science at NC State. He received his Ph.D. in Horticulture from Michigan State. In his more than twenty-five years at NC State, he has developed numerous Buddleja cultivars, including the successful Chip and Miss series that are exclusively licensed to Spring Meadow Nursery. Dr. Werner has also focused his breeding efforts on peaches, ornamental peaches and redbuds.

    Lo & Behold® 'Lilac Chip' Buddleja

    12040 -

    U.S. Plant Patent PP24,016 has been issued for this cultivar.

    Lo & Behold® 'Lilac Chip' is a Buddleja shrub ideal for gardens, containers or landscaping. Part of the Chip series of Buddleja shrubs, the cultivar has fragrant lilac flowers and blooms from early Summer until early Fall. Lo & Behold® 'Lilac Chip' is a deciduous perennial that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and is deer resistant. Compared to other Buddleja cultivars, Lo & Behold® 'Lilac Chip' is non-invasive and compact.

    Key features of Lo & Behold® 'Lilac Chip' include a reduced stature, semi-upright growth, prolific flowering, excellent winter cold hardiness, reduced fertility and easy maintenance, making it an excellent addition to any residential garden or commercial landscape.

    Characteristics

    Exclusive Licensee

    Lo & Behold® 'Lilac Chip' is exclusively licensed to Spring Meadow Nursery.

    Lead Inventor

    Dr. Dennis James Werner is an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus of Horticultural Science at NC State. He received his Ph.D. in Horticulture from Michigan State. In his more than twenty-five years at NC State, he has developed numerous Buddleja cultivars, including the successful Chip and Miss series that are exclusively licensed to Spring Meadow Nursery. Dr. Werner has also focused his breeding efforts on peaches, ornamental peaches and redbuds.

    iSpace: a Large-scale Time-sensitive Distributed Control Technology

    13133 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize iSpace, a novel Large-scale Time-sensitive Distributed Control Technology.
    Abstract
    iSpace technology is a platform technology that has a collection of novel capabilities such as network delay compensation, bandwidth allocation, fault diagnosis, energy management, distributed optimization and secure distributed control. This solution for the control and management of large-scale time-sensitive industrial applications is a group of distributed smart modules embedded with the following salient features:

    • Local neighboring modules coordination through wired and/or wireless communications.
    • Delay compensation and bandwidth allocation schemes to optimize the availability of communication links and information flows.
    • Distributed optimization algorithms applied locally for near-optimal power and energy managements.
    • Secure distributed algorithms to detect network inconsistency and identify cyber-attacks or malicious operations locally
    • Distributed system structure that is easy to scale to different sizes of various applications and resilient to component failures and human faults
    • The supervisory monitor that collects information from all the distributed modules only for surveillance, data backup, emergence intervention and control.
    iSpace will meet the strong demands for efficiency, scalability, security and robustness in the control and management of large-scale time-sensitive industrial applications, such as energy management system, power grids and transportation systems.
    Advantages
    • The distributed algorithms implemented in the distributed smart control modules are simple which leads to less computation burden and power consumption.
    • The distributed algorithms only rely on short-distance communication – sharing and exchanging information among their neighbors.
    • The delay compensation and bandwidth allocation algorithms optimize the availability of communication links and information flows.
    • The distributed optimization algorithm is able to make near optimal decisions for the entire system and apply them locally.
    • The secure distributed algorithms are able to detect network inconsistency and identify cyber-attacks or malicious operations locally to protect the entire system proactively.
    • The distribute system structure is much more scalable and resilient than the existing control schemes because it scales well as the network grows with plug-and-play capabilities, and exhibits resilience and robustness to the node and link failures.

    Patent Information
    • Patent filed (under Provisional) with application number 61/827,585.
    About The Inventors
    Dr. Mo Yuen Chow is Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the North Carolina State University. He is the Principal Investigator at Advanced Diagnosis, Automation and Control Lab (ADAC Lab) and iSpace Lab in North Carolina State University. His research primarily focuses on Diagnosis, Network-Based Distributed Control, Mechatronics and Automation, Motor Systems, Smart Grid, Power distribution Systems, and Unmanned Vehicles. Wente Zeng is a PhD student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the North Carolina State University. His research interest includes networked control systems, distributed control and system security.

    Little Ruby®: A New and Distinct Hybrid Dogwood

    13243 -

    U.S. Plant Patent PP26,542 has been issued for this cultivar.

    Little Ruby® is a new cultivar of Hybrid Dogwood with multi-colored leaves and stunning pink flowers. Emerging and young leaves of Little Ruby® start as green in the Spring, transition to red and mature to maroon in the Fall. Five years of field tests and observations demonstrate that Little Ruby® has a compact and rounded stature, prolific flowering, hardiness to wintry weather and easy maintenance.

    Little Ruby® adapts well to USDA hardiness Zone 6 and higher and requires well-drained soil, full sun and moderate moisture. No serious pest or disease problems are known to affect this cultivar. Attractive pink to reddish purple flowers combined with semi-evergreen foliage make Little Ruby® a beautiful addition to any home or landscape.

    Characteristics

    Exclusively Licensed

    Little Ruby® is exclusively licensed by the North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association, Inc.

    Inventor

    Dr. Thomas Ranney is a professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He also serves as the Program Leader of the Mountain Crop Improvement Lab. He received his Ph.D. in Horticulture and Plant Protection from Cornell University. Dr. Ranney’s research focuses on breeding and improvement of nursery and bioenergy crops, and he has introduced more than thirty different plant cultivars.

    Pretreatment of switchgrass using niobium oxide catalysts

    12146 -

    Abstract:

    In the biomass-to-ethanol conversion process, cellulose needs to be liberated from the rigid lignin that seals it in, in order for the material to be processable. One of the conventional methods for this pretreatment is acid hydrolysis. Traditionally, liquid acid precursors are employed that create toxic waste, requiring downstream treatment, and are not easily recyclable. Waste can be reduced and made more recyclable if a solid acid catalyst is used.

    Researchers at NC State University have developed a new process for the acid hydrolysis delignification of biomass. This technology utilizes the solid acid niobium oxide as catalyst for this pretreatment. Not only does the niobium oxide catalyst reduce pollution, but it can also be reused for multiple pretreatments.

    Advantages:

    • Reduces toxic wastes
    • Reusable

    About the Inventors:

    Dr. Praveen Kolar is an Assistant Professor of Agricultural Waste Management, in the NC State University Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. He worked for seven years in aquaculture industry in India, during which, his responsibilities were aquaculture water quality management, processing of seafood, and feed distribution. His current research interests include conversion of agricultural wastes into energy and value added products including heterogeneous catalysts and adsorbents. Kolar teaches courses in Food Process Engineering and Heterogeneous Catalysis.

    Dr. Ratna Sharma-Shivappa is an Associate Professor in the NC State University Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. Her research interests include production of biofuels and value added products from biological substrates such as agricultural and food processing residues and extraction and production of antimicrobial compounds for application in food safety.

    Yane Ansanay is a graduate assistant in the NCSU University Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering.

    Technologies for intravascular ultrasound transducers for contrast imaging

    12127 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize intravascular ultrasound transducers for contrast imaging. The novel technology is a small device, introduced into a blood vessel with a catheter, which utilizes contrast imaging to determine the properties of plaques. To assess these plaques, it utilizes a dual frequency circular array intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) system with micromachined piezo-composite transducers. This new tool will open the door to new diagnostic approaches for vasa vasorum imaging, particularly for pathologic neovascularization, and IVUS-based molecular imaging of inflammation and other biomarkers of disease progression for improved clinical assessment of atherosclerotic plaques.
    Background
    Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity in the developed world. The imaging of coronary atherosclerosis and methods to non-invasively assess the instability of atheromatous plaques are critically important in the diagnosis and treatment of this disease. X-ray angiography and gray scale intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) are currently utilized in atherosclerotic plaque assessment, but these methods provide limited information as to stenosis degree or plaque morphology, and recent research suggests that neither of these features is predictive of plaque vulnerability. New post-processing IVUS techniques aimed at determining plaque vulnerability are hindered by imaging resolution, and IVUS catheters designed for nonlinear contrast imaging are not available. These limitations highlight a key unmet clinical need- to develop a tool that can assess the instability of atherosclerotic plaques via high-resolution vasa vasorum (neovascularization) imaging and molecular imaging of intravascular biomarkers of inflammation and angiogenesis.
    Advantages

    • The methodology is capable of determining plaque vulnerability by detecting the amount and activity of small blood vessels within the plaque - the higher the activity and number of small blood vessels, the more likely the plaque will grow larger and/or break away from the vessel wall to create a clot.
    • The invention may provide additional information about molecular changes associated with angiogenesis, inflammation, and thrombus.
    • The methodology is capable of non-linear ultrasound imaging - transducers can send ultrasound waves at frequencies low enough to activate contrast agents (1-10 MHz) and receive echoes at higher frequencies (above 30 MHz) to significantly increase the resolution of the image (current methodologies are unable to do this).

    About The Inventors
    Dr. Paul Dayton is an associate professor in the UNC/NCSU Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering and an associate chair at UNC. Dr. Dayton's research interests involve developing new technologies for imaging blood flow, microvasculature, and molecular markers using ultrasound and microbubble contrast agents. Dr. Xiaoning Jiang is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. Jiang's research interests include the use of smart materials, smart structures, micro/nanofabrications and devices, and their applications in biomedical, mechanical, and aerospace engineering.

    Smart Transmitters and Receivers for Underwater Communications

    12294 -High Efficiency Optical Communications with Electronic Beamsteering

    Abstract

    Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) represent a quickly growing domain in modern naval engineering. Praised for broad applications, uses can range from inspection and maintenance, to reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare. However, the ability to readily communicate with these autonomous vehicles is critical to their continued application and broader advancement of the industry.

    NC State has developed a platform technology of smart transmitters and receivers for underwater communication at high data rates. The front-end is compact, small, and lightweight and consumes less power compared to existing systems. The transmitters are directional, with individually addressable LEDs or lasers for electronic beamsteering, estimating water quality from backscattered light. Receivers have a segmented field of view and are capable of estimating the angle of arrival of signals, giving information about relative pose between vehicles. Angle of arrival information can be supplemented by using code division multiple access techniques.

    Overall, this new communication technology helps in mitigating the challenges of underwater optical communication like field of view, pointing, and tracking requirements as well providing information about water quality to allow adaptive optical communication strategies to be used as range or water quality changes. This novel technique is designed to enable communication technology within swarms of underwater sensor nodes and vehicles.

    Advantages

    • Multiple addressable LEDs or lasers.
    • Electronic beamsteering allow for multiple sources of information gathering and multitasking.
    • Can be implemented across multiple devices to establish swarms of vehicles or develop networked communication nodes.


    Advantages

    • A US utility patent application has been filed and recently published under application number 14/133,112


    Method for Capturing and Detecting Human Noroviruses (HuNoV)

    12187 - NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize a novel method for capturing and detecting human noroviruses (HuNoV). A PCT application has been filed for this technology.

    Abstract

    Human Noroviruses (HuNoV) are a leading cause of acute viral gastroenteritis worldwide, and cause over 50% of food borne illness in the United States resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. Outbreaks commonly occur in closed settings such as schools, hospitals, and cruise ships and correct diagnosis allows for effective reporting and follow-up to reduce the likelihood of further infections. Even with the emergence of molecular-based detection methods, including reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), the concentration of HuNoV is so low in food and environmental samples that it is necessary to perform labor-intensive pre-concentration steps such as viral concentration and purification before proper analysis. These methods frequently result in co-precipitation of matrix associated compounds that can potentially interfere with nucleic acid amplification and detection downstream. More specific methods using antibodies or carbohydrate ligands are promising; however, due to the tremendous antigenic diversity of HuNoV, these methods lack broad reactivity. Since there are few approved methods for detection of HuNoV in different sample types, a sensitive assay for detecting the virus has great market potential both in food safety as well as in human clinical diagnostics.

    Researchers at North Carolina State University have identified and characterized novel DNA aptamer sequences that can be used for the capture and detection of Human Noroviruses (HuNoV). These unique DNA aptamers have affinity to various strains in both genogroups I and II, and can be used as an alternative to antibodies or human histoblood group antigens (glycopeptides) in the immunomagnetic separation (IMS) of HuNoV from a variety of sample matrices. Due to their protease degradation resistance, increased inclusivity, high specificity and affinity to the target virus, ease of synthesis and lower cost, these aptamers provide an attractive substitute to antibodies.

    Advantages:

    • The high binding affinity combined with the stability of the aptamers makes them suitable for detection of low concentrations of HuNoV in food, environmental and clinical samples.
    • Unlike antibodies, aptamers are small in size and resistant to protease degradation.
    • Lower production cost and longer shelf life compared to antibodies.
    • Ideal for capture, concentration and detection of HuNoV from complex sample matrices.
    • Aptamers labelled with biotin or FAM can be adapted to different assay formats e.g.: Aptamer-linked immunosorbent assay (ALISA), PCR, Fluorescent and colorimetric detection platforms, Magnetic capture-based methods, assays, and potentially biosensors.

    Related Patent Information

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Lee Ann-Jaykus is a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutritional Sciences at North Carolina State University. She received her PhD and postdoctoral training from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her B.S. and M.S from Purdue University. Dr. Jaykus's research activities focus on application of molecular biological methods for the detection of pathogenic microorganisms in foods. Her current research projects involve the development of nucleic acid amplification technology for the detection of human enteric viruses (hepatitis A virus and HuNoV) in shellfish, fresh produce, and ready-to-eat food commodities; understanding the foodborne transmission of these viruses; and investigating various in activation and control strategies. She serves as the Scientific Director of the USDA-NIFA Food Virology Collaborative (NoroCORE) (http://norocore.ncsu.edu/cms/).

    Genetically Engineering New Metabolic Capabilities in Hyperthermophiles

    12192 -

    A novel method to genetically engineer hyperthermophillic microorganisms to increase their metabolic capabilities and broaden their application in industrial processes

    Abstract

    Hyperthermophilic microorganisms that grow near or above 100 degrees Celsius and the proteins they produce are of great interest to the biotechnological industry. Enzymes produced by such organisms can be easily purified by heat treatment and have greater resistance to chemical denaturants. Additionally, it is favorable to perform some experiments at higher temperatures to increase reaction rates. However, until recently, the use of hyperthermophiles for biotechnological applications has been limited due to lack of available genetic engineering tools to modify these organisms for specific biotechnological applications.

    Researchers at North Carolina State University, working with collaborators at the University of Georgia, have developed a novel method for heterologous protein expression in hyperthermophiles. This protein expression system can confer new metabolic capabilities, such as biomass degradation or biofuel production in microorganisms that can grow at 100oC. This technology allows for the engineering of a temperature-dependent specific gene induction system which can be used as a powerful genetic tool for heterologous protein expression with minimal interference from the hosts metabolism and without the need for chemical inducers.

    Advantages

    • Enhances biotechnological applications of thermostable enzymes by conferring new metabolic capabilities in extreme hyperthermophiles.
    • Allows temperature-dependent control of heterologous protein expression with minimal interference of the hosts metabolism.
    • Enables specific induction of gene expression without the need for chemical inducers.
    • Enables the genetic engineering of microorganisms for efficient and enhanced bioproduct and biofuel formation.
    • Related Patent Information

      • A PCT Application has been filed for this technology.

      About the Inventors

      Dr. Robert M. Kelly is the Alcoa Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University and the Director of NC State Biotechnology Program. Dr. Kelly's research areas include genomics, physiology, enzymology, and biotechnological potential of microorganisms that thrive in extreme environments. His recent interests are in biomolecular engineering, biocatalysis at extremely high temperatures, microbial physiology, functional genomics, bioenergy, and biofuels.

      Dr. Michael Adams is a Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the University of Georgia. His research interests are in Physiology, metabolism, enzymology, bioinorganic chemistry, and functional and structural genomics of anaerobic microorganisms, particularly in hyperthermophiles.

    Forming an artificial leather substrate from leather waste

    12223 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize the artificial leather made from wet blue.

    Abstract

    Conventional processes for producing tanned leather and tanned leather goods generate considerable waste material. One of the waste byproducts of the leather tanning process is the clippings or shavings from the surface of the leather that resemble pulp and is known as "wet blue" because of its color after tanning with a chromium compound. Despite being available in large quantity, wet blue shavings from the tanning process, as well as scraps from cut leather and other leather waste from conventional leather processes, are usually bulked and transported to landfills. Unfortunately, disposal of leather waste in this way is environmentally undesirable, impacts livestock, can result in air pollution and fouling of wastewater, and can be costly to the leather producer.

    Fortunately, NC State University has recently developed a new method to produce artificial leather from wet blue and other leather tanning scraps. By cleverly layering and crosslapping a lightweight web of synthetic or organic fibers the inventors have been able to produce a substrate for a new nonwoven material. After adding the leather scraps, and needle-punching the resulting composite crosslapped fiber web, a nonwoven material is produced which is dense, smooth, and suitable for finishing. Comprised of 50% or more of leather scrap, this technology significantly reduces environmental impact and waste production.

    Advantages

    • Dense and compact nonwoven material
    • Smooth surface suitable for finishing such as embossing, drying, buffing, surface coating and more
    • Uses existing scrap and waste to reduce cost and improve cleanup


    About The Lead Inventor

    Dr. Behnam Pourdeyhimi is the Klopman Distinguished Professor of Textile Materials and Associate Dean for Industry Research and Extension. He also serves as the Director of the Nonwovens Cooperative Research Center at the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University. Behnam's research interests are in the area of nonwovens, materials, biomaterials, modeling performance, special textile structures, and image analysis. His expertise is recognized by major corporations and leading research bodies around the world. He acts as consultant to over 30 bodies and major Corporations.

    Increasing Photosynthetic Efficiency and Plant Productivity for Crop Improvement and Biofuel Production

    12234 -NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize a novel technology for increased photosynthetic efficiency and biofuel production Abstract
    Biofuels offer renewable alternatives to petroleum-based fuels that reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to nearly zero. However, traditional biofuel production is limited not only by the small amount of solar energy that plants convert through photosynthesis into biological materials, but also by inefficient processes for converting these biological materials into fuels. Farm-ready, non-food crops are needed that produce fuels or fuel-like precursors at significantly lower costs with significantly higher productivity. To make biofuels cost-competitive with petroleum-based fuels, biofuel production costs must be cut in half. Researchers at North Carolina State University have genetically modified the oil-crop plant Camelina sativa to produce high quantities of both modified oils and terpenes. These components are optimized for thermocatalytic conversion into energy-dense, drop-in, transportation fuels. The genetically engineered Camelina will capture more carbon than current varieties and have higher oil yields. The Camelina will be more tolerant to drought and heat, which makes it suitable for farming in warmer and drier climate zones in the United States. The increased productivity of this enhanced Camelina and the development of energy-effective harvesting, extraction, and conversion technology could provide an alternative non-petrochemical source of fuel. The principles underlying the genetically modified Camelina will also be used for improvement of other crops. Carbon dioxide uptake and assimilation is a limiting factor for plant productivity. Transgenic crops created with this technology will have reduced photorespiratory energy loss and enhanced photosynthetic efficiency, thereby increasing plant productivity. In addition, transgenic crops created with this technology will have enhanced thermotolerance, drought resistance, delayed senescence, and photosynthetic centers protected from oxidative damage. Advantages

    • Enhanced photosynthetic efficiency and plant productivity.
    • Enhanced thermotolerance, drought resistance, delayed senescence, and protection from oxidative damage.
    • Ability of plants to grow on marginal lands.
    • Will enable large-scale and cost-competitive production of renewable jet fuel from Camelina.
    Relevant Patent Information A provisional patent application has been filed for this invention. About The Lead Inventors
    Dr. Heike Sederoff is an Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Biology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University. Dr. Sederoff received her Ph.D. in Plant Biochemistry from the University of Göttingen (Germany). Her research interests include metabolic engineering of plant primary metabolism in algae and crop plants for biofuel development and genomic networks of abiotic stress responses.
    Dr. Amy Grunden is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University. Dr. Grunden received her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Cell Science from the University of Florida. Her research interests include the physiology and biotechnological applications of extremophile microorganisms.

    Monoclonal antibodies to detect zebrafish Novel Immune-type Receptor 9 (Nitr9)

    12239 - NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize the monoclonal antbodies used to detect zebrafish Novel Immune-type Receptor 9 (Nitr9). Abstract Zebrafish is a widely used vertebrate model organism for scientific research, especially for developmental biology, genetics, immunology and cancer research. Zebrafish novel immune-type receptor 9 (Nitr9) is predicted to function as an activating natural killer (NK) cell receptor (NKR). Activating NKRs in mammals play essential roles in the recognition of virally infected or transformed cells. Inventors from NC State in collaboration with University of South Florida have developed two monoclonal antibodies that can specifically recognize the Nitr9 protein in zebrafish with a high sensitivity. Applications 1. Demonstrated detection of recombinant Nitr9 in transfected cells by indirect immunofluorescence, flow cytometry and western blot analyses. 2. Demonstrated detection of native Nitr9 from normal zebrafish tissues by western blot. 3. Potential detection of native Nitr9 by indirect immunofluorescence and flow cytometry. 4. Potential to activate or block Nitr9 function in live cells. About the Inventor Dr. Jeffrey Yoder is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences at College of Veterinary Medicine, NCSU. The overall goal of the Yoder lab is to utilize comparative genomics, molecular biology and biochemistry to identify and functionally characterize novel innate immune response genes.

    RedLink : ePOS Software for University Bookstores

    12262 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize its virtual bookstore management software for POS (point-of-sale) system.

    State-Of-Development:Software is developed and tested.

    Abstract

    Background
    The network economy is rapidly taking shape, and ecommerce is at the forefront of this emerging paradigm. Along with the development of network, ecommerce is integrating in our lives and changing the way people's buy products or access information. Companies like Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Books-A-Million have already established the ease and convenience that ecommerce offers in the space of bookstore. Book store system includes general functions of online book shopping in the foreground and system management in the background. However, currently available bookstore management systems are prone to errors, mistakes and inefficient. Additionally, staff workers at the POS (point-of-sale) end needs training and work countless hours to provide better buying experience to customers. Therefore, there is a need to have robust, easy to use and simple interface for online bookstore system.

    Innovation
    NCSU researcher has developed a virtual bookstore management software. It has the ability to be integrated with the currently available Sequoia Retail Systems as well as provide additional features focusing on ecommerce. This system performs verification process to simplify the order fulfillment requirement. Additionally, it uses custom pick lists with barcodes and SQL real-time queries to the order database to provide accurate and current feedback. It also includes an order pickup interface for easy and quick order retrieval by magnetic card swipe.


    Advantages

  • Simplifies order fulfillment in ecommerce and retail, especially books
  • Program interfaces with software provided by Sequoia Retail Systems, a POS system provider and provide additional features focusing on ecommerce, especially textbooks
  • Reduce errors, training timing and temporary staff/payroll
  • Software is written in VBA and SQL language
  • Run on windows platform with Access 2007+


  • Application Areas

  • Ecommerce, especially textbooks
  • Bookstores


  • About The Inventors

    Tuyen X. Tran currently works as Virtual Store Manager at the NC State University Bookstores. He has received Governor’s Award for Excellence and one of five winners in the Outstanding State Government Service category. Tran was honored for his dedication to helping students and faculty by improving textbook ordering and service. Furthermore, he was instrumental in helping the university to meet new Higher Education Opportunity Act requirements.

    Key Terms

    Virtual bookstore, textbooks, ecommerce, point-of-sale

    Use of extremely thermophilic microorganisms to produce electrofuels

    13003 -

    A novel technology for the production of electrofuels from hyperthermophillic organisms

    Abstract

    In the past, rising concerns regarding access to petroleum-based transportation fuels made biofuels an attractive alternative. However, biofuels are traditionally produced from plant matter, such as sugars, oils, and biomass. Due to growing pressure on the world's food resources caused by a rapidly growing human population, available farmland is increasingly designated to grow crops for food rather than for biofuels. However, there is still an urgent need to find an efficient, green alternative to traditional petroleum-based fuels. One potential alternative are electrofuels which are produced by microorganisms that can directly use the energy from electricity and chemical compounds to produce liquid fuels.

    Researchers at North Carolina State University, working with collaborators at the University of Georgia, have developed a novel method to genetically engineer extremophiles so that they can produce electrofuels. Extremophiles are microorganisms that live in extreme environments with temperatures reaching over 100 degrees Celsius. These engineered microorganisms can use hydrogen to turn carbon dioxide directly into economically valuable electrochemicals and alcohol-based fuels.

    Advantages

    • Utilizes H2 to turn CO2 directly for efficient production of electrochemicals and alcohol-based fuels.
    • Highly cost competitive and more efficient than existing biofuels.
    • Environmentally friendly technology that limits greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Eliminates the need for plant-based feedstocks and the demand for land, water, and fertilizers traditionally required for biofuel production.
    • Facilitates industrial scale processes through the use of extremely thermophilic microorganisms.

    Related Patent Information

    • A PCT application related to this invention has been filed.

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Robert M. Kelly is the Alcoa Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University and the Director of NC State Biotechnology Program. Dr. Kelly's research areas include genomics, physiology, enzymology, and biotechnological potential of microorganisms that thrive in extreme environments. His recent interests are in biomolecular engineering, biocatalysis at extremely high temperatures, microbial physiology, functional genomics, bioenergy, and biofuels.

    Dr. Michael Adams is a Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the University of Georgia. His research interests are in Physiology, metabolism, enzymology, bioinorganic chemistry, and functional and structural genomics of anaerobic microorganisms, particularly in hyperthermophiles.

    Reconfigurable room-temperature liquid metal structures

    13020 -

    North Carolina State University is developing methods for controlling the reconfiguration of liquid metal structures.

    Abstract:

    Researchers at NC State University recently discovered a new phenomenon that allows for the reconfigurable orientation of room-temperature liquid metal structures. The ability to flow, stabilize, and withdraw the liquid metal on demand for shaping into useful and responsive structures is critical for tunable reconfigurable systems, e.g. tunable smart phone antennas, dynamic testing equipment, etc. Complex metallic structures can be formed at will. As seen in this video, a liquid metal structure can be made to change shape in order to obtain a particular desired electrical, optical, thermal, or mechanical property, e.g. conductance, resistance, resonant frequency, inductance, directionality, etc. Wires can be made to break and can even be made self-healing.



    Previously, the large surface tension of liquid metal made this advanced technology a particularly challenging goal, but this obstacle has now been overcome. Applications of this technology are numerous and broad. This discovery promises to enable new opportunities in wireless communication (i.e. antennas), switches, sensors, optical elements, interconnects, and new fields yet to be explored.


    Advantages:
    • Liquid metal can change shape rapidly and in controllable ways
    • Allows any desired shape-dependent property to be obtained
    • Does not involve mercury
    • Can reconfigure against gravity
    • Does not require any bulky mechanical auxiliary instruments

    Patent Information:
    • NC State University has filed a provisional patent application describing this technology.

    OTT Manager: Dr. Casey Boutwell

    About the lead inventors:

    Dr. Michael Dickey is an Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. He received a PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin where he also received a Master's of Science in Chemical Engineering. He was a post-doctoral fellow in the chemistry department at Harvard University. Professor Dickey's research focuses on developing alternative micro- and nano-fabrication techniques and studying the fundamental properties of the materials that are used or produced by these processes.

    NC State graduate students Collin Eaker and Mohammad Rashed Khan are co-inventors of this technology.

    TinyECC: A Configurable Library for Elliptic Curve Cryptography in Wireless Sensor Networks

    13038 - A ready to use closed source cryptographic technology for sensor network applications.

    Abstract

    TinyECC 2.0 is a software package providing ECC-based PKC operations that can be flexibly configured and integrated into sensor network applications. It provides a digital signature scheme (ECDSA), a key exchange protocol (ECDH), and a public key encryption scheme (ECIES). TinyECC uses a number of optimization switches, which can turn specific optimizations on or off based on developer's needs.

    TinyECC 2.0 is intended for sensor platforms running TinyOS-2.x. The current version is implemented in C, with additional platform-specific optimizations in inline assembly for popular sensor platforms. An original open source version implemented in NesC has been tested on MICA2/MICAz, TelosB/Tmote Sky, BSNV3, and Imote2. TinyECC 2.0 supports SECG recommended 128-bit, 160-bit and 192-bit elliptic curve domain parameters.

    Advantages

    • A ready-to-use closed source software package for ECC-based PKC operations that can be flexibly configured and integrated into sensor network applications.
    • Provides a number of optimization switches, which can turn specific optimizations on or off based on developers’ needs.
    • Different combinations of the optimizations have different execution time and resource consumptions, giving developers great flexibility in integrating TinyECC into sensor network applications.


    About the Inventor

    Dr. Peng Ning
    Dr. Peng Ning is a professor of Computer Science in the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University. He was an assistant professor at NC State University from August 2001 to July 2006. He received his PhD degree in Information Technology from George Mason University in 2001. Prior to his PhD study, he received an ME in Communication and Electronic Systems in 1997, and a BS degree in Information Science in 1994, both from University of Science and Technology of China. Peng Ning is a member of the ACM, the ACM SIGSAC, the IEEE, and the IEEE Computer Society.

    IC-CRIME

    13095 - A novel collaborative crime investigation tool for law enforcement.

    Abstract

    IC-CRIME is a pioneering software platform for interdisciplinary, cyber-enabled crime reconstruction through innovative methodology and engagement (IC-CRIME). Using 3D laser scanning technology paired with browser-based 3D game engines, the IC-CRIME system brings law enforcement teams together into 3D virtual reconstructions of real-world crime scenes to collaborate to solve crimes. Crime scene investigators and other authorized personnel can collaborate with each other in viewing, exploring, and annotating these virtual crime scene models at any time from any web browser, anywhere in the world.

    Within IC-CRIME, a group of investigators collaborate in a virtual meeting space, which appears in the form of a virtual investigative laboratory. From a given laboratory, multiple different crime scenes can be simultaneously accessed by an unlimited number of other investigators or forensic experts who no longer need to be physically co-located in order to collaborate on tasks related to the physical space of a crime scene. Each user in the virtual investigative laboratory is represented by a different 3D avatar.

    The system uses the Unity3d computer game engine to allow full navigation of the virtual laboratory and virtual crime scenes. Using IC-CRIME, investigators are able to revisit a crime scene long after a crime scene unit has completed data collection and the scene has been released by law enforcement. The system facilitates virtual walkthroughs, and allows individual users to place virtual evidence flags into the virtual crime scene to annotate with the scene with external data sources and comments, for later review by all interested investigators.

    The IC-CRIME software platform is available for licensing.

    Advantages

    • A tool for collaborative investigation of 3D representations of crime scenes.
    • A virtual investigative laboratory in which crime scene investigators can collaborate at any time from any web browser, anywhere in the world.
    • Uses Unity3d computer game engine to allow full navigation of the virtual laboratory and virtual crime scenes.
    • System facilitates virtual walkthroughs, and allows individual users to place virtual evidence flags into the virtual crime scene to annotate with the scene with external data sources and comments.


    About the Lead Innovator

    Dr. Michael Young

    Dr. R. Michael Young is a Professor of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. He is founder and executive director of the NC State Digital Games Research Initiative and directs the Liquid Narrative research group. His research focuses on the development of computational models of interactive narrative with applications to computer games, educational and training systems and virtual environments. He has published more than 80 papers in leading conferences and journals in computer games, artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, autonomous agents and intelligent user interfaces.

    Sullivan Peanut

    13236 -

    U.S. PVP Application 201500287 has been filed for this cultivar.

    Sullivan is a new high-oleic acid, large-seeded Virginia-type peanut cultivar suitable for production in the Virginia-Carolina region. Sullivan features a variety of desirable horticultural traits, making it commercially outstanding as a new Virginia-type variety. Its fatty acid content is characterized by high levels of oleic acid and depressed linoleic acid content, a trait becoming increasingly popular in the peanut industry for extending the shelf-life of the variety. In addition, Sullivan demonstrates good agronomic performance and, more importantly, partial resistance to the four most common diseases in the Virginia-Carolina peanut production area: early leaf spot, Cylindrocladium black rot, Sclerotinia blight and tomato spotted wilt virus.

    In more than 20 yield tests spanning a six-year period, Sullivan's overall yields have proven to be significantly superior to most existing Virginia-type cultivars. Numerous replicated trials show that Sullivan produces approximately 42% extra-large kernels, 45% jumbo pods and 40% fancy pods, while exhibiting greater pod brightness. Sullivan's agronomic performance, seed shelf-life and unique partial resistance to the most common diseases in the Virginia-Carolina production area make it an important addition to the current peanut cultivar market.

    Characteristics

    Lead Inventor

    Dr. Thomas Isleib is a Professor of Crop Science at NC State. He received his PhD in Crop Science and Statistics from NC State. He has developed numerous Virginia-type peanut cultivars while at NC State, including the successful 'Bailey' and 'Sugg' varieties. He is involved in the Peanut Quality and Evaluation (PVEQ) program administered jointly by NC State and Virginia Tech.

    WiFox: Scaling WiFi Performance for Large Audience Environments

    13116 - Solution to the problem of traffic congestion in WLANs due to traffic asymmetry.

    Abstract

    WLANs are the most popular means of access to the Internet. The proliferation of mobile devices equipped with WiFi interfaces, such as smart phones, laptops, and personal mobile multimedia devices, has heightened this trend. WLANs were designed such that an access points serves few associated clients with symmetric uplink/downlink traffic patterns. In such a setting, more than one access point provides wireless access to the Internet for many user devices .Usage of WiFi hotspots in locations such as airports and large conventions frequently experience poor performance in terms of downlink goodput and responsiveness. WiFi traffic gets slowed down in high-population environments because computer users and the WiFi access point they are connected to have to send data back and forth via a single channel. If a large number of users are submitting data requests on that channel, it is more difficult for the access point to send them back the data they requested. Similarly, if the access point is permanently given a high priority – enabling it to override user requests in order to send out its data – users would have trouble submitting their data requests. Either way, things slow down when there is a data traffic jam on the shared channel.

    Now NC State researchers have created WiFox, a novel technology which monitors the amount of traffic on a WiFi channel and grants an access point priority to send its data when it detects that the access point is developing a backlog of data. The amount of priority the access point is given depends on the size of the backlog – the longer the backlog, the higher the priority. In effect, the program acts like a traffic cop, keeping the data traffic moving smoothly in both directions. The research team tested the program on a real WiFi system in their lab, which can handle up to 45 users. They found that the more users on the system, the more the new program improved data throughput performance. Improvements ranged from 400 percent with approximately 25 users to 700 percent when there were around 45 users. Average response time for requests was also reduced by 30-40 %. This translates to the WiFi system being able to respond to user requests an average of four times faster than a WiFi network that does not use WiFox.

    Advantages

    • Enables better usage of wireless channels for 802.11 networks.
    • Eventually results in better user experiences for places like airports, malls, coffee shops etc.
    • Results in improved network goodput (up to 700% improvement), better response time and energy savings for mobile users.
    • The Wi-Fox solution can be realized as a software upgrade for WiFi Access Points without requiring any changes to existing hardware, protocols or user's devices.


    Patent Information

    An US patent application has been published under application number US 14/517,488 “Scaling WiFi Performance for Large-Audience Environments”.

    About the Lead Innovator

    Dr. Injong Rhee

    Dr. Injong Rhee is Professor of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. He works primarily on network protocols for the Internet. His major contributions in the field include the development of congestion control protocols, called BIC and CUBIC. Since 2004, these protocols have been the default TCP algorithms for Linux and are currently being used by more than 40% of Internet servers around the world and by several tens millions Linux users for daily Internet communication. He also has invented several multimedia streaming and multicast technologies licensed to companies for commercial applications. He started a company Togabi Technologies based on these technologies in 2000 where he developed and launched the world's first video streaming products and push-to-talk (PTT) VoIP products for cell phones. His recent research topics include mobile ad hoc networks, delay/disruption tolerant networks, and P2P systems. He has been consulting for companies including Boeing, Lucent Technologies, CISCO, Korea Telecom, LG Electronics, and LG Datacom. He received NSF Career Award in 1999 and NCSU New Inventor's award in 2000. Dr. Rhee is currently on a sabbatical and working with Samsung Electronics.

    Supersonic nanotechnology for the formation of fibers below 50 nm

    13089 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize the novel nanowoven fiber mats with 50 nm diameter crystalline polymer fibers.

    Abstract

    The crystalline structure of polyamides, and in particular nylon 6, has attracted much attention due to its applications in filtration media. Current methods to form polyamide fibers utilize electrospinning and solution blowing, resulting in the creation of fibers with cross-sectional diameters in the range of 100-600 nm. Reducing this cross-sectional diameter could open new applications, such as coalescence filters, where smaller fibers of about 50 nm would be more desirable.

    Researchers in the College of Textiles at NC State University, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Korea University, have developed a novel process for electrically-assisted supersonic solution blowing of nylon 6 fibers having a diameter of less than 50 nm. A gas jet pulls, stretches, and bends the polymer strands, resulting in a deformation that facilitates solvent evaporation. The application of an electric current creates a potential difference between the nozzle head and collector mat such that the elongated fibers, having a unique crystalline structure, are easily collected on the mat.

    Advantages

    • Creation of crystalline polymer nanofibers with diameters of less than 50 nm
    • Elongated fibers having unique crystalline structures
    • Could be used in nonwoven webs for filtration and separation as well as medical applications requiring superior surface area


    Patents Information

    A PCT application has published (PCT/KR2012/004803) and a US application has published (Pub. No. US20140234457 A1)

    About The Lead Inventor

    Dr. Behnam Pourdeyhimi is a William A. Klopman Distinguished Endowed Chaired Professor in the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University. Dr. Alexander Yarin is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Suman Sinha-Ray is a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Drs. Min Wook Lee and Sam Yoon are researchers in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Korea University.

    Robust subspace recovery on image sequence analysis

    14086 -Algorithm to resolve the subspace clustering problem in image sequences and videos in real-time

    Abstract

    Subspace clustering is a major problem in the areas of unsupervised learning, computer vision, disease detection, face clustering, and image segmentation. During the process of dimensionality reduction or clustering a collection of unlabeled data points, it is assumed that the high dimensional data points are distributed in a single low dimensional subspace. However, in reality high dimensional data is often distributed in a union of low dimensional subspaces (UoS). The underlying subspace structure may be affected by unknown and unexpected sparse errors and/or outliers. This problem is difficult to address but should be resolved as there is a deviation of structures from the ideal models affecting performance of the sequence analysis.

    Researchers at NC State University propose a bi-sparsity model as a framework to analyze this problem and present a novel algorithm to recover the union of subspaces in the presence of sparse corruptions. This technology can segment the foreground and background of image sequences or videos under general conditions. The inventors formulate the problem as a non-convex optimization problem and an appropriate condition of exact recovery is explained and proven. The algorithm proposed by the inventors is designed to well approximate the global solution of the optimization problem. This is particularly useful in video surveillance, medical image processing, and in solving the face clustering problem under poor lighting conditions.

    Advantages

    • Ability to segment foreground and background of image sequences or videos.
    • Solve face recognition issues under various lighting conditions.


    About the Inventors

    Dr. Hamid Krim is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State University. His primary research interests include Communications and Signal Processing (including Digital Communications, Digital Signal Processing, Image Analysis and Computer Vision).

    Dr. Xiao Bian was a graduate student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State University.

    Relevant publications by the Inventors

    • Xiao Bian and Hamid Krim, "Video-based Human Activity Analysis: An operator based Approach", paper and oral presentation in the 20th International Conference on Computer Graphics, Visualization and Computer Vision - Click Here
    • Xiao Bian and Hamid Krim, "Optimal Operator Space Pursuit: A Framework for Video Sequence Data Analysis", 11th Asian Conference on Computer Vision (ACCV), 2012 - Click Here
    • Xiao Bian and Hamid Krim, "Hidden Markov Model for Human Activity Video via Image Operator Sequence Embedding", submitted to Geometric Science of Information (GSI2013) - Click Here


    Receiver-Position-Controlled Field Focusing for Dynamic Inductive Power Transfer Systems

    13102 -NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize a novel technology of Wireless Power Transfer
    Abstract
    Wireless power transfer (WPT) based on magnetic coupling is becoming widely accepted as a means of transferring power over small to medium distances. WPT systems show promise for charging electric vehicle batteries, electronic devices, and other technologies. Stationary wireless charging systems have relatively high efficiencies (>90%) if the source and receiver coils are well aligned. However, in dynamic charging systems (say, when powering a vehicle while driving along a roadway, powering a swarm of robots moving on a flat surface, powering factory automated guided vehicles or overhead conveyers), the issue of alignment becomes more challenging. This leads to power transfer inefficiencies and potential non-adherence to electromagnetic field emission standards. One approach to dynamic WPT is to have an elongated source coil coupled with a small receiver. This system results in low coupling coefficient (and therefore low efficiency) due to the relatively large self-inductance of the elongated source coil. Another issue is that the field emitted in the uncoupled sections of the track needs to be contained to ensure that emissions standards are met. The issue of low coupling is solved by segmenting the source coil, so that only the sections coupled with the receiver can be selectively turned on. The challenge becomes implementing a method to control the power delivery to each section of the source coil as the function of the receiver position. State of the art solutions use receiver position sensor, communication links and complex relays or switches and compensation circuits to achieve the power flow control. Researchers in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering have developed a system for transferring power between a sectionalized source and a one or more dynamically moving receivers. The proposed system uses the reflected reactance from the receiver to automatically limit the field strength in uncoupled portions of the source-receiver system, thus allowing the system to more easily meet the electromagnetic field emission standards without complex shielding circuits, switches, electronics and communication requirements. The power transfer is at its peak when the source and receiver coils are close to their maximum allowable coupling, resulting in improved system-level efficiency. Advantages:

    • Amplifies power transfer when the source and receiver and well coupled, resulting in increased power efficiency and reduced system losses.
    • Reduces power transfer when source and receiver are weakly coupled, allowing the system to meet electromagnetic field emission standards without the need for complex shielding, switches, electronics or communication channels.
    • Simple method of powering multiple devices placed on a powered surface without additional communication or control steps.
    • This new WPT system could be used when powering a vehicle while driving along a roadway, powering a swarm of robots moving on a flat surface, powering factory automated guided vehicles or overhead conveyers, or for powering multiple personal electronic devices placed on a surface (e.g. laptops on a table).
    Related Patent Application:
    • Issued PCT patent: WO 2014127036 A1 "Systems and methods for wireless power transfer "
    About the inventors:
    Dr. Srdjan Lukic is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at North Carolina State University. He obtained his doctoral degree at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. His primary research interests are power electronics and power systems, particularly electric vehicle systems, power management ICs and power semiconductor devices. Zeliko Pantic is a doctoral candidate in the department of electrical and computer engineering and co-inventor of this technology. Mr. Pantic was a researcher at the University of Belgrade in Serbia before moving to North Carolina. His research interests include designing electromechanical systems, electric vehicle systems, power management integrated circuits and power electronics. North Carolina State University graduate student Kibok Lee is a co-inventor of this technology.

    NC 4Grape Tomato Breeding Line

    13107 -

    NC 4Grape is a grape tomato breeding line featuring the crimson (ogc) gene for improved red color and increased lycopene content. NC 4Grape has a compact, indeterminate growth habit with short internodes conferred by the recessive brachytic (br) gene and produces firm ,dark red fruit with elongate ovate shape and jointed pedicels. Immature fruit are glossy and uniform green in color (u gene). Ripe fruit are crisp, sweet and highly resistant to bursting and cracking.

    NC 4Grape has genetic resistances to fusarium wilt race 3 (I-3 gene) and tomato spotted wilt virus (Sw-5 gene). In addition, NC 4Grape is heterozygous recessive for the ms-10, aa gene combination, which gives it male sterility linked to the green stem seedling trait. NC 4Grape is useful as a parental line to develop superior F1 hybrids with multiple-disease resistance, increased lycopene content and an excellent sweet flavor.

    Characteristics

    Lead Inventors

    Dr. Randy Gardner is Professor Emeritus of horticultural science at NC State. He received his PhD in pomology from Cornell University and has released 27 named tomato varieties and 40 tomato breeding lines. He has bred tomatoes at the University for 40 years and is widely recognized for his contributions to tomato breeding.

    Dr. Dilip Panthee is an Associate Professor of horticultural science at NC State. He received his PhD in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and has co-released five named tomato varieties and six tomato breeding lines. Dr. Panthee assumed leadership of NC State's tomato breeding program following Dr. Gardner's retirement in 2008.

    Additional information on NC State's tomato breeding program can be found at https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/fletcher/programs/tomato/.

    NC 5Grape Tomato Breeding Line

    13106 -

    NC 5Grape is a grape tomato breeding line featuring the crimson (ogc) gene for improved red color and increased lycopene content. NC 5Grape has a compact, indeterminate habit with short internodes conferred by the recessive brachytic (br) gene and produces firm, dark red fruit with elongate ovate shape and jointless pedicels. Ripe fruit are crisp, sweet and highly resistant to bursting and cracking.

    NC 5Grape is useful as a parental line to develop superior F1 hybrids with increased lycopene content and excellent flavor.

    Characteristics

    Lead Inventors

    Dr. Randy Gardner is Professor Emeritus of horticultural science at NC State. He received his PhD in pomology from Cornell University and has released 27 named tomato varieties and 40 tomato breeding lines. He has bred tomatoes at the University for 40 years and is widely recognized for his contributions to tomato breeding.

    Dr. Dilip Panthee is an Associate Professor of horticultural science at NC State. He received his PhD in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and has co-released five named tomato varieties and six tomato breeding lines. Dr. Panthee assumed leadership of NC State's tomato breeding program following Dr. Gardner's retirement in 2008.

    Additional information on NC State's tomato breeding program can be found at https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/fletcher/programs/tomato/.

    NC 6Grape Tomato Breeding Line

    13109 -

    NC 6Grape is a grape tomato breeding line that has a compact, indeterminate growth habit with short internodes conferred by the recessive brachytic (br) gene. It produces firm, dark red fruit with elongate ovate shape and jointed pedicels. Immature fruit have a glossy, uniform light green color (u gene). Ripe fruit are crisp, very sweet and highly resistant to bursting and cracking.

    NC 6Grape has genetic resistance to late blight (Ph-2 gene). NC 6Grape is useful as a parental line to develop superior F1 hybrids with late blight resistance and an excellent sweet flavor.

    Characteristics

    Lead Inventors

    Dr. Randy Gardner is Professor Emeritus of horticultural science at NC State. He received his PhD in pomology from Cornell University and has released 27 named tomato varieties and 40 tomato breeding lines. He has bred tomatoes at the University for 40 years and is widely recognized for his contributions to tomato breeding.

    Dr. Dilip Panthee is an Associate Professor of horticultural science at NC State. He received his PhD in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and has co-released five named tomato varieties and six tomato breeding lines. Dr. Panthee assumed leadership of NC State's tomato breeding program following Dr. Gardner's retirement in 2008.

    Additional information on NC State's tomato breeding program can be found at https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/fletcher/programs/tomato/.

    Smart Wearable Sleep Detection Device

    13124 -A novel flexible sleep monitoring system using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS).

    Abstract

    An estimated 50-70 million adults in the US suffer from sleep or wakefulness disorder. These people are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity as well as reduced quality of life and productivity. The global market for sleep aids is expected to reach $76 billion by 2019.

    Sleep quality can currently be estimated using mobile apps or wearable devices such as the FitBit One or Jawbone Up. These devices use an accelerometer to determine sleep and awake cycles. To actually record and analyze the blood oxygenation levels of a sleeping individual, sleep studies must be performed. Sleep studies are conducted in labs where patients are monitored overnight while wearing bulky wired sensors often connected to a skull cap. These caps are known to cause discomfort in patients, which can cause erroneous results during the sleep studies. Additionally, these systems are extremely expensive since they require professional help to set up and use. One night at a hospital-based sleep lab can cost a patient $1,900. Medicare payments for sleep testing rose from $62 million in 2001, to $235 million in 2009, according to the Office of the Inspector General.

    Fortunately, researchers at NC State have developed Sleepi-Band, a novel wearable sleep monitoring device that helps users more effectively measure sleep quality to address their sleep disorders. Sleepi-Band is a compact device containing embedded wireless sensors that utilize functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS). This sensor system consists of a light source, photo detectors, polymer electrodes, and thermistors that can be worn as a waist band, head band, or even an adhesive bandage. The device measures several vital signs such as heart rate and respiration rate, which are used to identify and sort sleep stages. Monitoring sleep in this manner could lead to revolutionary new therapies for sleep disorders or perhaps even ways of overcoming jetlag. The information gathered by Sleepi-Band is much more accurate than the data gathered by mobile apps or devices worn on a person’s wrist. Sleepi-Band is currently under clinical testing at the Duke Sleep Disorders Laboratory.

    Advantages

    • Convenience: This device is a wireless wearable technology and could be a wrist band, head band, or even an adhesive bandage that the user can wear to sleep.
    • Insight: Can be used to measure several vital signs such as heart rate, respiration rate and sort sleep stages. This leads to revolutionary new therapies for sleep disorders or perhaps even ways of overcoming jetlag.


    Patent Information

    An international PCT patent application has been filed and may be available upon request.

    About the Inventor

    Dr. Alper Bozkurt is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Principal Investigator of iBionics lab at North Carolina State University. His research interests include development of microscale sensors, actuators and methodologies for biological systems.

    Mitochondrial DNA as a molecular indicator of thermal food processing efficacy.

    13144 -

    North Carolina State University is seeking a commercial partner to further develop and commercialize a novel molecular diagnostic test platform to assess the efficacy of thermal processing of foodstuffs.

    Abstract

    The global food diagnostics market is expected to grow to US $10 billion by 2019. This is largely due to tighter regulatory requirements, public concern about food safety, and our increasing global knowledge of potential food pathogens. Industrial food production often relies on thermal treatment to destroy microbial spores and increase shelf life and safety. The efficacy of this heat treatment can be assessed by testing for bacterial growth using either cell culture or molecular methods. Cell culture methods can be inefficient as bacterial spore concentration can be low requiring multiple tests to confirm food safety. Available microbiological tests are not sensitive enough, are expensive, and frequently require over 48 hours of testing time to deliver results. Additionally, molecular tests for detecting bacterial DNA cannot differentiate between live or dead spores and often lack specificity.

    Researchers at NC State in collaboration with the USDA have invented a cost effective, sensitive and quick method of testing the efficacy of thermal processing. Food material contains abundant copies of conserved mitochondrial DNA that degrades gradually during microwave or thermal treatment. The amount of remaining mitochondrial DNA can be correlated with the viability of bacterial pathogens in the processed foods. This test can be completed in under 3-6 hours using a conventional PCR or qPCR molecular test. This technology can be used to test food processed by pasteurization, conventional heating, retorting, industrial microwaving, and roasting for human consumption and/or animal feed

    Advantages

    • Quantitative, sensitive test for bacterial contamination after thermal food processing.
    • Fast assay which delivers results in 3-6 hours.
    • Low cost single test system for multiple foodstuffs.

    Related Patent Information

    • A PCT application related to this invention has been filed.

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Jane Caldwell graduated from her Ph.D. at NC State in 2014. Her focus as a graduate student was tracking fecal and bacterial contaminants in environmental waters and ready-to eat vegetables using culture and molecular methods; the development and validation of real-time PCR primer/Taq probe sets; adaptation and development of rapid biosensors to source tracking and food safety monitoring.

    Dr. Ilenys M. Perez-Diaz is a USDA Associate Professor of Food Science in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at NC State. Her research is focused on the development of microbiology-based technologies for the improvement of the quality, safety, and value of commercially available vegetable products. She is interested in the development of improved techniques to prevent the growth of spoilage microorganisms and assure inactivation of pathogenic bacteria in vegetable products.

    Multi-Resonant Systems for Wireless Inductive Power Transfer

    13158 -NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize a novel technology of Wireless Power Transfer
    Abstract
    Wireless power transfer (WPT) based on magnetic coupling is becoming a widely accepted method of transferring power over small to medium distances. Selection of an optimal signal frequency is an important aspect of system design that affects system performance. It would appear that high frequency operation would lead to increased power transfer, due to the higher induced voltage in the receiver, but there are two main problems with this. First, high-frequency high-power converters are limited by the semiconductor device performance, in terms of switching speed and efficiency. Second, converters generate substantial unwanted harmonic content that needs to be filtered out, resulting in additional losses or suboptimal utilization of the converter Volt-Amp rating. Researchers in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering have developed a multi-resonant WPT system which solves both of these problems. By redesigning the WPT system to transmit and receive power at multiple frequencies simultaneously, power multiplexing can be incorporated into the system. As a result, low frequency power converters can be used to transmit power at multiple frequencies in the spectrum, while optimally utilizing the available Volt-Amp rating of the inverter. Advantages:

    • Higher power transfer efficiency as a result of spreading the power transfer throughout the spectrum.
    • Satisfaction of EMC rules and regulations by reducing the magnitude of the resulting emitted field for a given transferred power.
    • High frequency switching devices are not needed, leading to higher operational efficiency.
    • This new WPT system could be used for charging electric vehicles and small electronic devices such as smart phones, eReaders and tablet PCs
    Related Patent Application:
    • Issued PCT patent: WO 2014127036 A1 "Systems and methods for wireless power transfer "
    About the inventors:
    Dr. Srdjan Lukic is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at North Carolina State University. He obtained his doctoral degree at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. His primary research interests are power electronics and power systems, particularly electric vehicle systems, power management ICs and power semiconductor devices. Zeliko Pantic is a doctoral candidate in the department of electrical and computer engineering and co-inventor of this technology. Mr. Pantic was a researcher at the University of Belgrade in Serbia before moving to North Carolina. His research interests include designing electromechanical systems, electric vehicle systems, power management integrated circuits and power electronics.

    Pinnacle Blueberry

    13161 -

    U.S. Plant Patent Application 14/120,395 has been filed for this cultivar.

    North Carolina State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture proudly and jointly release Pinnacle, a new and distinct southern highbush blueberry cultivar. Pinnacle features a variety of desirable horticultural traits that make it commercially outstanding as a new variety cultivar. It is characterized by an early-season ripening, consistently good yields of large fruit size, and excellent fruit color, quality, and firmness. Pinnacle's early ripening genotype places this cultivar at a very favorable window in the blueberry market, when prices remain high. It ripens between the very early O'Neal and the second early New Hanover southern highbush cultivars. Moreover, Pinnacle has not been susceptible to infection by blueberry red ringspot virus, or stem blight and stem canker fungal diseases that have commonly targeted other blueberry cultivars.

    In replicated trials, Pinnacle has performed equal to or better than existing, highly commercial, blueberry cultivars. Overall yields are equal to or better than O'Neal and Hanover. However, fruit yields in the large diameter categories are much higher than O'Neal, Hanover, or even Duke, the industry standard northern highbush cultivar. Over 50% of Pinnacle berries had diameters greater than 16mm, which is similar to the late season cultivar Legacy, and larger than the Duke and Croatan cultivars. In addition to its large-sized fruit, Pinnacle features a superior post-harvest shelf-life due to its low soluble solids/acids ratio. These phenotypic advantages make Pinnacle an important addition to the current blueberry cultivar market.

    Characteristics

    Lead Inventors

    Dr. James Ballington is a Professor of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He earned a B.S. and M.S. degrees from Clemson University, and a Ph.D. from North Carolina State University. He has released a variety of cultivars, including 7 peach, 32 blueberry, and 7 strawberry varieties. In 2002, he was named a fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science. He specializes in developing new varieties of small fruit crops that better serve farmers and consumers in North Carolina.

    Dr. Arlen Draper is a retired USDA blueberry geneticist and considered to be the world's foremost blueberry expert. His work on blueberry germplasm has led to the introduction of many highbush complex hybrids including the O'Neal, Sierra, and Biloxi cultivars.

    Stabilization Of Chromophores On High Surface Area Metal Oxide Semiconductor Surfaces By Atomic Layer Deposition

    13159 - NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize the use of ALD of Al2O3 as a blocking material to increase the performance of DSSCs and DSPECSs..
    Summary
    The stability of metal oxide bound chromophores and catalysts are important for the lifetime and ultimately, the commercial viability of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) and dye-sensitized photoelectrosynthesis cells (DSPECSs). This is particularly true in water oxidation DSPECs, where the surface-bound chromophores are known to be unstable under aqueous conditions and elevated pHs. The use of ALD for stabilizing the surface is the concern of this particular invention. Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) of Al2O3 and other insulating oxides on the photoanodes of DSSCs is known to slow recombination between electrons in the semiconductor and the redox mediator, which increases open circuit voltage (Voc) and improves device efficiency. While ALD has been used to bind metal oxides onto chromophores on the surface of a material; it has not been used as a blocking material until this invention. Dr. Parson's group has used ALD of Al2O3 onto the surface-bound chromophores, demonstrating a 10X increase in surface stability which leads to increased performance during the lifetime of DSSCs and DSPECSs. This technique is potentially generalizable for other ALD materials and choromophores including: Al2O3, TiO2, SiO2, ZrO2, Fe2O3, MnO2, Co2O3, NiO, In2O3, Mo2O5, SnO2, Ta2O5, HfO2, and SrTiO3. Application/Advantages
    • 10 fold increase in stability with ALD of Al2O3 on chromophore derivatized surfaces. • Increased performance over the lifetime of a solar cell. Patent Information
    • PCT filed About the inventors
    Dr. Gregory Parsons is Alcoa Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. He received a PhD in Physics from North Carolina State University in 1990 in the area of amorphous silicon and related materials for thin film photovoltaics. He joined NC State Chemical Engineering as Assistant Professor in 1992 and became professor in 2002. In 2006 he launched NC State University's Nanotechnology Initiative to address fundamental understanding of nanomaterials and nanoscale processing, and he currently serves as the Initiative Director. Professor Parsons' research focuses on surface chemistry and chemical processing of thin film materials by atomic and molecular layer deposition, including nanoscale surface chemistry on polymers and fibrous media, and applications in renewable energy generation and storage. Professor Parsons was elected Fellow of the American Vacuum Society in 2005, and in 2009 he was named to NC State's Academy of Outstanding Teachers. Dr. Mark Losego is a research assistant professor in the department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. He received a PhD from the materials science and engineering department at North Carolina State University in 2008 after receiving a masters of science in materials science and engineering in 2005. Mark's research interests include understanding transport (electrical, thermal, mass, etc.) at organic-inorganic interfaces and using meso-/nano-structuring as a tool for enhancing functionality of materials. Berc Kalanyan is a PhD student in the department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. He obtained his bachelors of science at Lehigh University. Do Han Kim is a PhD student in the department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. He obtained his bachelors of science from Chang Ang University in Korea. Dr. Kenneth Hanson is a post-doctoral research associate at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in the chemistry department. Dr. Hanson is a member of Dr. Thomas Meyer's research group. Dr. Thomas Meyer is Arey distinguished professor of chemistry at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He received a PhD from Stanford University and a bachelors of science from Ohio University. Dr. Meyer has been the direct of UNC Energy Frontier Research center since 2009. Dr. Meyer's research interests include energy conversion, solar fuels, and Proton Coupled Electron Transfer (PCET) with applications in chemistry.

    Self-Folding Polymer Sheets Using A Microwave

    13237 - NCSU has invented a 2D to 3D self-folding polymer thin film which is induced by microwave local heating.
    Summary
    Researchers in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University have demonstrated for the first time the ability to use microwaves to induce polymer sheets to self-fold. The invention allows for the conversion of 2D sheets into 3D shapes using 2D patterns that are easy to define. The conversion from 2D to 3D occurs by simply placing the sheets in a commercial microwave. The exposure to microwave radiation induces folding of the polymer sheet in less than a minute. This invention provides an unprecedented capability to remotely induce shrink folding, which is not currently available in self-folding techniques that rely on a light source. The invention is also particularly interesting because the folding time is between a few seconds to a few minutes based upon the conditions. This exciting technology uses commercially available materials and could even be done at home. Application/Advantages
    • The technique is simple and reproducible. • Materials are inexpensive and readily available to consumers. • Controlled folding would allow for use in biomedical devices, packaging, shipping and decorations. About the inventors
    Mr. Duncan Davis is pursuing his PhD in chemical and biomolecular engineering at North Carolina State University. He joined Dr. Dickey's and Dr. Genzer's research groups after graduating from Case Western. His research interests include self-folding polymer sheets. Dr. Jan Genzer is associate department head and Celanese professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at North Carolina State University. He received his PhD in materials science and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Genzer received his bachelors of science in materials science and chemical engineering from the Prague Institute of Chemical Technology in the Czech Republic. The Genzer group research interests include materials self-assembly and directed assembly, polymer thermodynamics, and the behavior of polymers at surfaces, interfaces and in confined geometries. Dr. Michael Dickey is assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at North Carolina State University. He received a PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin where he also received a master's of science in chemical engineering. He was a post-doctoral fellow in the chemistry department at Harvard University. Professor Dickey's research focuses on developing alternative micro- and nano-fabrication techniques and studying the fundamental properties of the materials that are used or produced by these processes.

    Javelin®: A New Hybrid Ornamental Pear Tree

    13174 -

    U.S. Plant Patent PP26,539 has been issued for this cultivar.

    Javelin® is a new hybrid flowering pear tree cultivar with the tightest and most columnar shape on the market. Emerging and young leaves of Javelin® start as purple in the Spring and mature to bronze green in the Summer. Several years of field tests and observations demonstrate that Javelin® has a fastigiate and columnar stature, prolific flowering, hardiness to wintry weather and easy maintenance.

    Javelin® adapts well to USDA hardiness Zone 5 and requires well-drained soil, full sun and moderate moisture. No serious pest or disease problems are known to affect this cultivar, and it is resistant to fire blight. Attractive pink and red flower buds opening to white flowers combined with semi-evergreen foliage make Javelin® a beautiful addition to any home or landscape.

    Characteristics

    Exclusively Licensed

    Javelin® is exclusively licensed by the J. Frank Schmidt & Sons Company.

    Inventor

    Dr. Thomas Ranney is a professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He also serves as the Program Leader of the Mountain Crop Improvement Lab. He received his Ph.D. in Horticulture and Plant Protection from Cornell University. Dr. Ranney’s research focuses on breeding and improvement of nursery and bioenergy crops, and he has introduced more than thirty different plant cultivars.

    Genetically Encoded Biosensor for Metabolic Engineering of Biosynthetic Pathways

    16054 -

    A novel genetically-encoded biological sensor that can recognize clinically relevant polyketides and their analogs in vivo.

    Abstract

    Polyketides are organic compounds with clinically important antiviral, antibiotic and anticancer properties. Access to large quantities of polyketides and their analogs is critical for the discovery of new biological activities, optimization of pharmacological properties and probe discovery and development. However, synthesis of sufficient polyketides via microbial fermentation and other biosynthetic approaches has largely been impeded by several factors such as genetic complexity, slow growth behavior, lack of knowledge of gene cluster regulatory mechanisms, complications with heterologous expression and poor understanding of how specificity and catalysis are controlled by polyketide synthases. Moreover, high-throughput approaches for screening the productivity of most polyketide biosynthetic pathways are not available due to the structural diversity and breadth of biological activities of polyketide scaffolds.

    Researchers at NC State have discovered a way to address these challenges by developing a platform for the construction of genetically encoded biosensors that recognize the in vivo concentration of clinically relevant polyketides and their analogs. This highly innovative method may provide new strategies for polyketide biosynthesis and diversification, leading to vertical advances in natural product biosynthesis, synthetic biology and drug discovery. Furthermore, the overall high-throughput approach using biosensors to target polyketides can be applied to engineering the biosynthesis of a broad range of polyketides in potentially any microbial host.

    Advantages

    • Biosynthesis of polyketides in potentially any microbial host
    • High-throughput screening of polyketide biosynthetic pathways
    • Accelerate application of synthetic biology and directed evolution
    • Increases ability to detect and discover polyketides.

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Gavin Williams is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at North Carolina State University. Dr. Williams has a Ph.D. in Enzyme Engineering from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. His research focuses on the creation of artificial cell factories for the synthesis of non-natural drug-like molecules and using the power of organic chemistry to probe, interrogate and manipulate biological processes.

    Christian Kasey is a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry at North Carolina State University. His research interests include the creation of biosensors for polyketide detection and developing in vivo platforms for polyketide diversification..

    Bioreactor Gas Sparging and in-situ Hold-Up Monitoring System

    13229 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize its bioreactor gas sparging and in-situ hold-up monitoring system

    State-Of-Development:Initial testing has been completed, further optimization and scale-up is required.

    Abstract

    Background
    Gas sparging is a process by which gas is bubbled through a liquid medium. Typically, gas sparging is performed by transporting the gas through a tube comprising a plurality of nozzles; upon exiting the nozzles, the gas forms bubbles, which are subsequently transported through the liquid medium in which the tube is positioned. Gas sparging is a commonly used strategy for the submerged culture of microorganisms, including aerobic microorganisms. In some such cases, gas sparging may be used to maintain desirable liquid levels of dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, and/or other gases required by the microorganisms that are being grown. While transporting such gases to microorganisms may be essential for growth, bubble formation, movement, and rupture can exert significant stress, potentially damaging the microorganisms. This can be especially problematic for sensitive species such as animal cells, microalgae, or certain bacteria.
    Innovation
    Researchers from NC State and Biogen, Inc. have designed an improved multi-nozzle sparger that allows for: (i) more homogeneous gas flow rate and bubble size distributions; (ii) decreased weeping; and/or (iii) in-situ monitoring of gas hold-up at the near-sparger region. This ultimately results in reduced cell death in bioreactors, while allowing for better monitoring.


    Advantages

  • Reduced cell death in bioreactor
  • Decreased weeping (reduced pressure drop and increased separation efficiency)
  • Allows for in-situ monitoring

  • Application Areas

  • Bioreactors
  • Other systems that require controlled gas flow into living liquids.
  • Patent Information



    About the NCSU Inventor

    Prof. Fanxing Li holds a PhD. in Chemical Engineering from The Ohio State University. Dr. Li’s research interests include energy and environmental engineering and particle technology. His research focuses on the design, synthesis, and characterization of nano catalyst and reagent particles for biomass and fossil energy conversions, green liquid fuel synthesis, CO2 capture, and pollutant control.

    Key Terms

    Bioreactor, Gas Sparging

    Self-Pollinating and Transgenic Artemisia annua Plants with Increased Artemisinin Content

    14032 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to commercialize Artemisia annua plants with enhanced artemisinin content.
    Abstract
    Malaria is one of the most deadly parasitic diseases worldwide. Artemisinin and its derivatives are among the most effective antimalarial medicine available. Artemisinin is extracted from Artemisia annua. However, Artemisia annua plants favor cross-hybridization, which leads to dramatic variation in artemisinin production. Currently the yields of artemisinin from Artemisia annua are not meeting the increasing demand for artemisinin worldwide. Reducing variation and enhancing production of artemisinin can help overcome this problem. Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a self-pollinated population of Artemisia annua plants characterized by higher and more consistent levels of artemisinin. Additionally, they have enhanced the production of artemisinin through genetic manipulation of the plant’s biosynthetic pathway. The transgenic and/or self-pollinated population of Artemisia annua plants is characterized by enhanced and more consistent levels of artemisinin. Advantages

    • Plants can self-pollinate to produce seeds in both growth chamber and greenhouse.
    • Stable production with low variation in homozygous plants.
    • Increased content of artemisinin by 3.5 folds.
    • Plants can grow up to 2-3 meters tall when grown in greenhouse, increasing artemisinin yield.
    About The Lead Inventor
    Dr. De-Yu Xie is an Associate Professor of Phytochemistry, Metabolomics and Metabolic Engineering in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University. His research interests include understanding the structure and biosynthesis of natural plant products.

    ISOBAR Hybrid Compression-I/O Software Library

    13244 - A new lossless compression process for improving throughput of bandwidth sensitive subsystems within computing systems.

    Abstract

    Modern applications that analyze and manage large of volumes of data suffer from a significant performance bottleneck due to an imbalance between their computing power and relatively low I/O (disk, network, etc.) bandwidth. Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a software library which implements a new lossless compression process for improving throughput of bandwidth sensitive subsystems (disk access, network communication, etc.) within computing systems and reducing data sizes. In comparison to modern compression technologies, it results in significant performance benefits on read/write/transfer operations during data movement from one subsystem to another. This software introduces significant I/O performance improvements over existing state-of-the-art compression technologies. It addresses the pressing issue of the disk access bottleneck in present day computing technology. It differs from the legacy technologies in the way that it handles the data and manages the data layout during data movement in order to achieve full resource utilization. It takes into consideration read/write efficiency of I/O and significantly reduces overhead of external compression operations.

    This is achieved by the high-throughput process of first analyzing and identifying subsets of data with high entropy, X, within a given input dataset, Z. The identified subset X is immediately transmitted to a receiving subsystem and is never compressed during this operation. Concurrently, the remaining subset of data, Y=Z-X, is compressed by a compressor during the data movement of X. Once the data movement operations of X and compression of Y is complete, the data movement operation is performed on the compressed subset of Y. By overlapping the compression of Y and immediate I/O operations of X, where X is incompressible, this software library provides a mechanism to reduce, or even eliminate, the compression overhead required by compressors to reduce data size. In comparison especially for data with high entropic content (scientific datasets, databases, etc.), the typical compression approach requires extra time compressing due to not overlapping this time with I/O operations. By not overlapping the compression operation with I/O, the compression time required upfront can overshadow the I/O performance gains provided by using compression.

    The library itself has been functionally tested and integrates the never released code (by contributors) initially used during experimentally testing of performance. During experimentation, it was shown that the software provides significant I/O throughput performance gains up to 46% on real-world scientific datasets.

    Advantages

    • The software library is currently buildable and usable on UNIX based systems.
    • The library framework is very extensible since it has been designed to utilize any general third party compression algorithm.
    • Many possible uses of this technology in areas like high performance computing, cloud computing, databases as well as in networking, mobile computing and consumer electronics.


    About the Lead Innovator Dr. Nagiza Samatova
    Dr. Nagiza Samatova is Associate Professor of Computer Science at NC State University and Senior Research Scientist with the Computer Science and Mathematics division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Her research areas are Algorithms and Theory of Computation, Information and Knowledge Management, Parallel and Distributed Systems, Scientific and High Performance Computing and Data Analytics. Dr. Samatova received her PhD in Applied Mathematics from the Computational Center of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.

    Hollow Nanostructures for Controlled Material Delivery

    13247 -Conventional drug-delivering transdermal patches release medicine through the skin with very little control over release rate and release location, since the medicines are typically applied on the patch as a paste that is in full contact with the skin. The rate of drug release is a critical metric for device performance, as dosage level must maintain the delivery window between minimally effective and toxic concentrations. Researchers at NC State have developed a nanostructured patch platform that allows for the controlled delivery of materials, such as drugs, nanomaterials, or polymers with precise dose, release, and location selection. The surface is formed of hollow nanostructures created from novel synthesis methods, which can be loaded with material and released actively as desired. The hollow structure can be patterned in a periodic array, which yields precise position control of the material delivery mechanism. The technology can replace existing patches that rely on time-dependent drug release with on-demand drug delivery. The novel fabrication process for these hollow nanostructures utilizes light scattering from isolated nanoparticles which focus and scatter normal-incident light into multiple intensity lobes. The intensity pattern can then be recorded by underlying photosensitive materials, resulting in 3D hollow shell-like structures. These structures can be controlled by the light characteristics and particle parameters. Materials can be loaded into these structures and then released upon agitation, e.g. input of light, sound, or vibrational energy, allowing for more control over drug delivery. Advantages:

    • Offers transdermal drug (or other material) delivery with precise dose, release, and location control
    • Manufacturing process is scalable and can be tailored to obtain desired structures
    Patent Information:
    • This technology is protected by a US provisional patent application
    Publication Information:
    • This technology was published in ACS Nano on June 5, 2013 and is entitled, "Three-Dimensional Nanolithography Using Light Scattering from Colloidal Particles."
    About the Inventors: Dr. Chih-Hao Chang is an Assistant Professor at the NCSU Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. His research group explores nanoscale material properties that are not found in the macroscale. Their goal is to better understand the fundamental principles that drive these unique behaviors, so they can be better engineered. The group's research focus is the design, optimization, and fabrication of multifunctional nanostructured materials which can be divided into three main areas: the development of scalable nanomanufacturing processes, the design of structures with multi-physical functionality, and the integration of nanomaterials into micro and macroscale systems. Mr. Xu Zhang is a Ph.D. student in Dr. Chang's research group. He has a B.S. degree from the Precision Machinery and Precision Instrumentation Department of the University of Science and Technology of China. His research interests are 3D nanolithography, colloidal self-assembly, optical simulation and design, and multifunctional 3D nanostructures.

    Innovative Polarimeter with improved accuracy for biomedical imaging, remote sensing, food safety, 3D Imaging, and atmospheric monitoring.

    13258 -Organic Photovoltaics have attracted significant interest due to several advantageous characteristics. They can be economically processed onto flexible substrates, can be tuned through material synthesis, and are often composed of earth abundant materials. An additional unique application comes by aligning the polymer backbone, which creates polarization-sensitive photovoltaic cells beneficial for a number of applications. These Polarimeters are used as polarized light detectors for remote detection, and polarized light harvesters in LCD displays for power generation.

    Polarimeters have proven to be the optimal and most reliable tool in food businesses and pharmaceutical corporations where quality is a paramount concern. The global market offers a plethora of polarimeters utilizing a myriad of techniques to improve their resolution and accuracy. There exists a constant pursuit for an improved and economical technique to develop these polarimeters. However, current state-of-the-art polarimeters rely on 2x2 matrices of sensors that both limit their spacial resolution and inhibit their temporal response accuracy.

    NC State University has recently developed technology that employs a novel strain alignment method to fabricate polarization sensitive OPV cells. The salient feature of this technique is the detection of the full polarization state of light from a single spatial location, as opposed to the traditional 2x2 matrix to measure each of the four polarization states of light. This feature translates into higher spatial resolution useful in remote sensing, biomedical imaging, and in situ process or quality control monitoring. Additionally, it can enable detection of multiple polarization parameters in a single integration time, yielding significantly greater temporal resolution and increased operational robustness against vibration and wear.

    Advantages

    • Enables the detection of multiple polarization-dependent photocurrents within a single spatial location. This is useful for increasing the spatial resolution of a detection system when compared to the current state of the art.
    • Provides higher temporal resolution (snapshot and/or real time detection), as opposed to temporal scanning.
    • Compact and mechanically robust.


    A published peer-reviewed journal article is available here

    NC State University has filed for a patent protection for this novel technique to empower exclusive rights in the industry and is seeking interested industry partners to explore this invention. We look forward to discussing the details and licensing options about this technology.


    Inventors

    Dr. Michael Kudenov is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in North Carolina State University. His research is focused on developing novel imaging systems, interferometers, detectors, and anisotropic materials related to polarization and spectral sensing.

    Dr. Brendan T. O’Connor is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in North Carolina State University. Dr. O'Connor is interested in fabrication, characterization, and device modeling of organic electronic devices including flexible solar cells, transistors, and light emitting devices.

    Omer Awartani is a Research Assistant to Dr. Brendan T. O’Connor at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in North Carolina State University.

    Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip Jr.' Buddleja

    14015 -

    U.S. Plant Patent Application 13/999,798 has been filed for this cultivar.

    Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip Jr.' is a Buddleja shrub ideal for gardens, containers or landscaping. Part of the Chip series of Buddleja shrubs, the cultivar has fragrant violet-blue flowers and blooms from early Summer until early Fall. Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip Jr.' is a deciduous perennial that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and is drought tolerant. Compared to other Buddleja cultivars, Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip Jr.' is non-invasive and compact.

    Key features of Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip Jr.' include a reduced stature, semi-upright growth, prolific flowering, petite panicles, excellent winter cold hardiness, sterility (seedless) and easy maintenance, making it an excellent addition to any residential garden or commercial landscape.

    Characteristics

    Exclusive Licensee

    Lo & Behold® 'Blue Chip Jr.' is exclusively licensed to Spring Meadow Nursery.

    Lead Inventor

    Dr. Dennis James Werner is an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus of Horticultural Science at NC State. He received his Ph.D. in Horticulture from Michigan State. In his more than twenty-five years at NC State, he has developed numerous Buddleja cultivars, including the successful Chip and Miss series that are exclusively licensed to Spring Meadow Nursery. Dr. Werner has also focused his breeding efforts on peaches, ornamental peaches and redbuds.

    Lo & Behold® 'Pink Micro Chip' Buddleja

    14017 -

    U.S. Plant Patent Application 13/999,799 has been filed for this cultivar.

    Lo & Behold® 'Pink Micro Chip' is a Buddleja shrub ideal for gardens, containers or landscaping. Part of the Chip series of Buddleja shrubs, the cultivar has fragrant pink flowers and blooms from early Summer until early Fall. Lo & Behold® 'Pink Micro Chip' is a deciduous perennial that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and is drought tolerant. Compared to other Buddleja cultivars, Lo & Behold® 'Pink Micro Chip' is non-invasive and compact.

    Three years of field tests and observations demonstrate that Lo & Behold® 'Pink Micro Chip' has a reduced stature, semi-upright growth, prolific flowering, petite panicles, excellent winter cold hardiness, reduced fertility and easy maintenance, making it an excellent addition to any residential garden or commercial landscape.

    Characteristics

    Exclusive Licensee

    Lo & Behold® 'Pink Micro Chip' is exclusively licensed to Spring Meadow Nursery.

    Lead Inventor

    Dr. Dennis James Werner is an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus of Horticultural Science at NC State. He received his Ph.D. in Horticulture from Michigan State. In his more than twenty-five years at NC State, he has developed numerous Buddleja cultivars, including the successful Chip and Miss series that are exclusively licensed to Spring Meadow Nursery. Dr. Werner has also focused his breeding efforts on peaches, ornamental peaches and redbuds.

    ATP- Triggered Drug Delivery System

    14036 -Abstract

    Stimuli-triggered drug delivery systems have been increasingly used to promote physiological specificity and on-demand therapeutic efficacy of anticancer drugs. Researchers at NC State University have developed an ATP based trigger for controlled release of anti-cancer drugs.

    An all-biopolymer nanocarrier has been designed which is comprised of DNA, Protein and Polysaccharide. Three distinct functional constituents include an ATP-responsive DNA motif with the drug component, protamine and an hyaluronic acid cross-linked shell. The DNA scaffold consists of the ATP aptamer and its complementary single stranded DNA, the structure of which has been previously used to detect ATP. The GC pairs of the DNA provide loading sites for drugs. Structural changes from duplex to tertiary aptamer structure results in liberation of the drug.

    The targeted in vitro cytotoxicity and apoptotic activity of drugs is significantly enhanced by the intracellular ATP-triggered drug release. Equipped with a specific tumor-targeting ligand, the ATP-responsive nanocarriers presented remarkable improvement in the chemotherapeutic inhibition of tumor growth using xenograft tumor-bearing mice.

    After intravenous injection, the nanocarrier is expected to accumulate at tumor sites as a result of passive and active targeting effects. The protamine component promotes endosomal escape of the complex, allowing the efficient transport of the drug into the cytosol of the targeted cell. This ATP-triggered drug release system integrates tumor metabolism for highly selective controlled release of anticancer drugs. The polymeric nanocarriers functionalized with an ATP-responsive motif can selectively release the encapsulated anticancer drugs when in an ATP rich environment.

    Advantages

    • Broad Applicability - Uses ATP, the most abundant nucleotide in cells for transportation
    • Programmable Design - The carrier is elegant, faithful and avoids drug release during preparation.
    • The carriers have several applications, including cancer treatment, diabetes treatment and treatment for other metabolic diseases.


    About the Researchers

    Dr. Zhen Gu, Ph.D.
    Prof. Zhen Gu obtained his PhD degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2010. He was a Postdoctoral Associate at MIT and Harvard Medical School during 2010-2012. He also holds BS degree in Chemistry and MS degree in Polymer Science and Engineering from Nanjing University in China.

    Dr. Ran Mo
    Dr. Mo is a postdoctoral fellow at NC State Joint department of Biomedical Engineering. He currently works as a Professor at China Pharmaceutical University.

    Wearable Multifunctional Sensors

    14064 -NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize a novel, wearable dry bioelectrode applicable to strain, pressure and touch sensing as well as stretchable antenna applications.

    Abstract:

    The most common electrode used in clinical applications is the silver/silver chloride (Ag/AgCl) pre-gelled electrode. While these electrodes are reliable and cost effective, the required use of an electrolytic gel limits the long term use. The gel dries out over time causing skin irritation and a degradation in signal quality.

    Dry electrodes, which do not require the use of an electrolytic layer, have been investigated as an alternative to the Ag/AgCl electrode for long-term use. Without the electrolytic gel, dry electrodes can be worn for longer-periods of time without irritating the skin. However, eliminating the electrolytic gel requires that the dry electrodes maintain skin contact to receive a signal. Creating flexible dry electrodes that can contour to the skin is an ideal way to secure skin-electrode contact. Flexible dry electrodes, however, are limited by high skin-electrode impedance, poor signal quality, durability, and complex fabrication processes which can lead to a high cost of manufacturing.

    Researchers at North Carolina State University have designed a dry electrode using silver nanowires (AgNW) which are embedded in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) to create a highly conductive stretchable and flexible network. These dry silver nanowire-based electrodes are ideal for use in both clinical applications and long-term health monitoring applications based upon their ability to be worn for long periods of time without irritating the skin. The elimination of the electrolytic gel allows for higher quality collected data over traditional silver/silver chloride (Ag/AgCl) pre-gelled electrodes, because the skin-electrode impedance is lower reducing motion artifacts caused by movement during monitoring.

    With the recent advancement of robotic systems, prosthetics and wearable medical devices, highly sensitive and skin-mountable sensors with various sensing capabilities are in demand. However most of the sensors are too rigid to be attached onto non-planar and biological surfaces, which limits their applications in wearable devices and artificial skin for robots and prosthetics. Progress has been made to develop flexible sensors, but for applications mentioned above, stretchability of the sensors is generally required in addition to flexibility.

    Stretchable sensors, which can conform to the curvilinear and even dynamic surfaces and maintain good performance under bending and stretching, render prosthetics and robot systems with human like sensory abilities and offer new opportunities for real-time health/wellness monitoring. The commonly used resistive strain and pressure sensors usually suffer from hysteresis and slow response. So far, very few multifunctional wearable sensors with good sensitivities and stretchability have been developed. Capacitive wearable sensors were fabricated by using highly conductive and stretchable AgNW/PDMS conductors as top and bottom electrodes and a highly stretchable insulator in between as the dielectric, which enables the detection of the strain (up to 50%), pressure (up to ~1.2 MPa) and finger touch on a simple platform. The capacitive strain sensor shows excellent linearity under a very large strain range (0-50%), well beyond the sensing capabilities of traditional strain sensors. The pressure sensor shows large sensitivity, fast response (~40 ms) and pressure mapping functions. The platform can also sense the finger touch, both in proximity mode and pressing mode. The sensors can be mounted onto non-planer surfaces to be used as the conformal intelligent surfaces to interact with humans and the environment in robotic systems, prosthetics, wearable health monitoring devices or flexible touch pads. Moreover, the fabrication process is simple and easy to be extended for fabricating complex, large area sensors.

    Remote health monitoring is emerging as a way to improve quality of patient life by allowing them to leave the hospital while still being monitored by health professionals. A spectrum of wearable sensors have been developed and all these sensors would need to connect to antennas to transmit the signals, therefore an antenna that patients can wear is a critical component to realize remote health monitoring. Antennas are conventionally fabricated by printing or etching metal patterns on rigid substrates, which can easily crease and even fail to function properly when subjected to mechanical deformation (e.g., stretching, folding, or twisting).

    A 3-GHz microstrip patch antenna and a 6-GHz 2-element patch array were fabricated, where the radiating element consisted of a highly conductive and stretchable AgNW/PDMS conductor. The antennas maintain the spectral properties after severe bending, twisting, and rolling. The antennas can detect large tensile strain (up to 15%) based on the increased resonant frequency with increasing tensile strain. Thus, they are well suited for applications like wearable wireless strain sensing.

    Advantages for bioelectrodes:

    • Eliminates the need for an electrolytic gel.
    • Allows for the use of bioelectrodes for long-term wear.
    • Increased stretchability and wearability over pre-gelled electrodes.
    • Ability to maintain high conductivity even when stretched.
    • Can be used in long-term monitoring of electrocardiogram (EKG), electromyogram (EMG) and electroencephalogram (EEG).

    Advantages for wearable multifunctional sensors:

    • Ability to mount sensors onto curvilinear surfaces such as human skin, robotic systems and prosthetics.
    • Ability to maintain good performance under bending and stretching.
    • Excellent linearity under a very large strain range (0-50%).
    • Fast response to strain, pressure and touch.
    • Simple and scalable fabrication process.

    Advantages for stretchable antenna:

    • Large stretchability (up to 15%).
    • Mechanical tunability: the resonant frequency increased with increasing tensile strain.
    • Can be used as wireless strain sensors and integrated into wearable systems for detecting human motions and monitoring human health.

    Related Patent Application:

    • Provisional patent application filed in April 2014.

    About the inventors:

    Dr. Yong Zhu is an associate professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. Zhu received his B.S. in Mechanics & Mechanical Engineering from the University of Science and Technology of China and both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University. Dr. Zhu's research interests include: MEMS/NEMS design, fabrication and characterization; mechanics and materials issues in nanostructures and thin films; mechanics of soft materials (including polymers and biological cells) and interfaces.

    Amanda Myers is a graduate student pursing her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. Ms. Myers received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Mississippi State University. Ms. Myers is a member of Dr. Zhu's research group and her current research focus in on flexible/wearable nanowire electrodes and sensors.

    Shanshan Yao is a graduate student pursuing her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. Ms. Yao received both her B.S. in Microelectronics and M.S. in Microelectronics and Solid-State Electronics from Xi'an Jiaotong University. Ms. Yao is a member of Dr. Zhu's research group and her research interests include growth, nanomechanics and device applications of nanowires and two-dimensional materials.

    Lingnan Song is an undergraduate student at Zhejiang University. She contributed to this project while at NC State during an exchange program.

    Method of fabricating ultra low-power room temperature operated p-type metal oxide gas sensor

    15287 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize the low-power sensitive ozone detector working at room temperature with extended battery life.

    Abstract

    Chronic diseases such as cancers, asthma, and cardiovascular health have linked pollutants in the environment leading to early aging and chronic disease. However, today’s health-environment link is primarily based on self-reporting by patients and data from stationary environmental sensor stations. Therefore, there is a need for portable, seamless and unobtrusive technologies to continuously monitor environment pollutants over long periods time periods to establish cumulative exposures and enable direct connections to health. For instance, exposure to ozone can result in premature death, asthma, bronchitis, heart attack, and other cardiovascular problems. Very low levels of ozone affect people with heart and lung problems quite adversely, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The public health standard set by the EPA for ozone levels are 75 parts per billion (ppb) for a period of 8 hours. Therefore, sensors used for ozone detection must have the right sensitivity as well as the appropriate selectivity against other gases, low total power consumption, stability, accuracy, reliability, and low cost.

    Solid-state based thin film sensors based on metal oxides are favorable for real-time long-term environmental monitoring but typically require a high operation temperature (>300 oC) to activate the sensing layer via the metallic meanders heater. This comes at the cost of large power consumption (in the milliwatts range) that is not desirable for continuous monitoring in a portable or wearable platform.

    A team of electrical engineers at NC State’s ASSIST Research Center have developed a novel low-power (µW range) ozone sensor that can be operated at room temperature. This technology enables highly sensitive and selective gas sensors that does not require any heating elements and hence the total power requirement for our sensor is at least 1000 times less compared to the current commercial metal oxide based gas sensors. For environmental monitors who are tired of being limited by the high-temperature, short-battery-life of current ozone sensing tools, this device can enhance selectivity and extend analysis times between recalibration, recharging, and warm-up.

    Advantages

    • Very low power operation (µW range) for long term monitoring of air pollutants
    • Room temperature operated sensor with high sensitivity and selectivity ideal for portable and wearable device applications


    About The Lead Inventor

    Dr. Veena Misra is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at NC State University and is the Director of the NSF ASSIST Center. Her research interests focus on metal oxide sensors, III-V semiconductor devices, and nanotechnology.
    Dr. Bongmook Lee is a Research Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at NC State University and focuses his research on design and fabrication of high performance sensors, memory devices, and power devices.

    Method to Correct Thermal Drift in STEM Imaging

    14062 -

    Abstract:

    Researchers at NCSU have developed a new invention that enables drift free scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). The invention is applicable at both high and low drift rates, and works independently of the size of the area of interest. Crucially, even large image areas can be acquired without the fear of drift distorting the available crystallographic information. Because the invention does not require a priori structural information of the materials to calculate drift rate, analysis of unknown phases, defects, and interfaces becomes readily achievable in all directions, not just along the fast scan direction.

    This invention can be adapted to any scan imaging system that suffers from thermal drift (or any other kind). Moreover, the invention has the potential to breathe new life into previous generation STEM instruments, which have inherently less stable stages and thermal management systems. Because images resulting from the invention are free of distortion and exhibit a high signal-to-noise ratio, they can readily be used to understand the atomic structure of the materials with unprecedented accuracy and precision for a scanning microscope.

    Drift distortion has been regarded as a built-in factor that cannot be removed for STEM images. Thus, currently significant microscope time is typically wasted waiting for the sample to sufficiently stabilize, lowering the efficiency of imaging facilities. Other techniques that involve averaging also waste significant time and resources. This invention holds the potential to usher in a new era in quantitative crystallographic analysis in scanning imaging microscopy, particularly at atomic-scale resolution.

    (a) The first frame of the Si <110> RevSTEM image series and (b) the final RevSTEM average after correcting distortion in each frame. (c, d) Three dimensional surface plot of the first frame and the final average respectively. (Sang, LeBeau 2014 (link below))

    Advantages:

    • Distortion-free scan imaging microscopy is achieved regardless of thermal stability in the sample.
    • This method is applicable to both high and low drift rates and is independent of the size of the area of interest.
    • A priori structural information is not required to calculate drift rate, allowing for the analysis of unknown phases, defects, and interfaces to be readily available in all directions, not just along the scan direction.
    • This method can be adapted to any scan imaging system that suffers from drift.
    • Offers significant savings in time (~seconds), compared to industry standard drift correction techniques, which may take upwards of 10 minutes per sample, allowing for higher throughput and resulting in significant cost savings for the STEM operator.

    Publication

    News Release

    Patent Information

    • A US Provisional Patent has been filed.

    About the Inventors:

    Dr. James LeBeau is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at NC State. LeBeau's research group focuses on applying and developing transmission electron microscopy techniques to determine the atomic structure of material defects, thus providing insight into observed properties. His own research interests include scanning transmission electron microscopy; atomic configuration at defects; interfaces between heterogeneous materials; quantitative imaging and diffraction in electron microscopy.

    Dr. Xiahan Sang recently joined NCSU as a postdoctoral research scholar in the Analytical Instrumentation Facility (AIF) and Prof. LeBeau's group in the MSE Department. His responsibilities for AIF will include training new users, providing service, and routine maintenance for the S/TEM Titan Lab.


    Cyclic redox substrate for hydrogen/syngas production and carbon dioxide capture

    14088 - NCSU is licensing a novel metal oxides substrate for use in chemical looping combustion with superior activity and attrition.

    Applications

    Chemical looping combustion, syngas production, hydrogen production, methane conversion, electricity and other chemicals or fuels.

    Background

    Recent strategies to trap CO2 include chemical looping combustion or gasification (CLC or CLG). These processes utilize transition metal oxides to transfer oxygen from air or water to the combusting fuel, thus converting into useful fuel resources. However, for commercial scale applications, it is imperative that these metal oxides be cost-effective with low attrition, and possess high redox reactivity and structural/chemical stability.

    Technology Summary

    NCSU has developed a novel technology comprising of enhanced transition metals and metal oxides as highly efficient oxygen carriers in the CLC or CLG systems. The mixed-conductor enhanced metal oxides are tailored to possess excellent structural and chemical stability, tunable thermodynamic properties, superior redox activity, and product selectivity. The technology features low-cost metal oxide with clever lattice design to enable enhanced oxygen transfer. In addition, the structure enables large oxygen cycling without pulverization. The technology can generally be used for cyclic redox conversion of commodity fuels such as natural gas, coal, biomass, etc. into value added, environmentally friendly products such as hydrogen, synthesis gas, electricity, and other chemicals or fuels.

    Advantages

    • Shows high stability at very high temperatures (1100 oC) and has excellent oxygen carrying capacity (~20 w.t.%).
    • Redox catalyst will be highly resistant towards sintering.
    • Coke formation, a major contributor to tar removal catalyst deactivation, is not thermodynamically favored.
    • Inhibits carbon formation and sulfur poisoning, thus preventing catalyst deactivation.
    • Syngas produced is suitable for Fischer-Tropsch process.
    • Can completely oxidize fuel to CO2 /H2 O, and split H2 O to generate H2.
    • Made with common materials, hence highly cost-effective.

    About the Lead Inventor

    Dr. Li is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. Li’s research interests include energy and environmental engineering and particle technology. His research focuses on the design, synthesis, and characterization of nano catalyst and reagent particles for biomass and fossil energy conversions, green liquid fuel synthesis, CO2 capture, and pollutant control. In addition, his research encompasses chemical reaction engineering and process synthesis and optimization. Density Functional Theory (DFT) based methods are also used to elucidate the particle reaction mechanisms and to identify potential ways to improve particle performance.

    Phase Calibration Circuit and Methodology for Multi-Channel Radar Receivers in Vehicle Collision Avoidance Systems

    14198 -Advanced collision avoidance solutions with multi-channel radar receiver

    Abstract
    Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) Radar are known to provide trustworthy measurement values in applications where high accuracy, repeatability, and reliability are necessary. Additionally, the non-contact nature of the system makes it an excellent candidate for applications in harsh outdoor conditions. In an FMCW Multi-Receiver Radar System, each receiver element must have a well-controlled phase response which can be calibrated over process, voltage, and temperature. Managing the relation between individual elements is critical for enhancing accuracy and maintaining reliability of the radar system. However, challenges remain in improving the phase offsets and robustness to handle stress variations in temperature, process and voltage.

    Electrical engineers at North Carolina State University have developed a novel technology which enables phase calibration across multiple radar chips present in an FMCW. This calibration allows the receiver chips to be adjusted to permit very low phase offset between them, thereby minimizing erroneous receiver measurements. Additionally, this phase calibration allows the radar receiver chip to perform with greater accuracy compared to the conventional FMCW solutions. The unique technology used in the FMCW radar can find a plethora of applications in collision-avoidance systems, parking sensors, traffic sensors, concealed weapon detection, tank level gauging, and adaptive cruise control systems in automobiles.

    Advantages

    • Enables phase calibration across multiple chips, thereby reducing phase offsets.
    • Enhances angle-of-arrival measurement.
    • Improved accuracy compared to the traditional FMCW Radars.
    • Ideal for collision avoidance radars in vehicles.


    Patent Information A US patent application has been filed for this technology.

    About the Inventor
    Dr. Brian A. Floyd is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. Floyd received his B.S., M.Eng. and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Florida, Gainesville. Prior to NCSU, Dr. Floyd worked at IBM Research in Yorktown Heights, NY as a research staff member (2001-2007) and as the manager of the RF and wireless circuits and systems group (2007-2009). His work at IBM included the demonstration of some of the world's first 60-GHz transceivers in silicon and the development of 60-GHz phased-array transceivers, antennas, and packages. His research interests include RF and millimeter-wave circuits and systems for wireless communications, imaging, and radar applications.

    Dr. Takeji Fujibayashi is a Visiting Scientist at North Carolina State University.

    Web Accessibility Scan/Game Application

    14103 - Tool for evaluating the accessibility of Web sites.

    Abstract

    The Web is an increasingly important resource in many aspects of life: education, employment, government, commerce, health care, recreation, and more. Millions of people have disabilities that affect their use of the Web. Currently most Web sites and Web software have accessibility barriers that make it difficult or impossible for many people with disabilities to use the Web. It is essential that the Web be accessible in order to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with disabilities. An accessible Web can also help people with disabilities and older people with changing abilities more actively participate in society. However, when Websites, Web technologies, or Web tools are badly designed, they can create barriers that exclude people from using the Web. Web accessibility means that people with disabilities and changing abilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web.

    When developing or redesigning a Web site, evaluating accessibility early and throughout the development process can identify accessibility problems early when it is easier to address them. Simple techniques such as changing settings in a browser can determine if a Web page meets some accessibility guidelines. A comprehensive evaluation to required to determine if a site meets all accessibility guidelines. The Accessibility Scan/Game is a campus software system designed and implemented at NC State University where campus Web site owners can have their Web sites scanned and comprehensively evaluated for accessibility (and other technical problems), see in a competitive way how their Web sites compare to others on campus, and learn how to correct problems on their site. The accessibility scan encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the Web, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological disabilities.

    Advantages

    • The accessibility error reports generated by the software system are designed in a way that help users prioritize what errors actually need fixing first.
    • The system could be set up in a way to test for any number of Web site problems beyond accessibility.


    About the Innovators Mr. Greg Kraus
    Greg Kraus was University IT Accessibility Coordinator with the Office of Information Technology at NC State University. At NC State University, Greg worked with developers, faculty, content creators, and administrators to consult on the accessibility of campus projects, provide training, and help set policy to ensure a barrier-free IT environment for all people. Greg has worked with organizations to make their IT products and services accessible, including higher education institutions, Fortune 500 companies, startups, and open source projects. In the past, Greg also founded a software development company, LecShare, Inc., which developed innovative software for creating accessible narrated online presentations.

    High Voltage Si/SiC Hybrid Power Switch: An Ideal Next Step for SiC

    14120 -Abstract

    In recent years, wide-bandgap semiconductors such as Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) have gained importance in the semiconductor industry. This development is due in part to their ability to operate with reduced losses at higher voltages, frequencies, and temperatures than conventional Silicon (Si)-based devices. However, a challenge currently faced in the industry is to manufacture these energy efficient power switches at lower cost so they can be used in energy efficient but cost sensitive applications such as solar converters, medical equipment, and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS).

    Researchers at NC State University have engineered a novel solution for this problem by combining the merits of two kinds of semiconductor devices, unipolar and bipolar devices. Unipolar devices such as SiC-based MOSFET can work at high frequencies and bipolar devices such as Si-based IGBT provide higher energy efficiency at higher currents. This hybrid Si/SiC switch has been observed to achieve a significant 70% reduction in energy loss during switching operation. The hybrid Si/SiC switch costs only 71% as compared to the cost of manufacturing pure SiC-based devices.

    Advantages

    • Lower cost and energy efficient through reduced switching losses.
    • Can work well from 600V to 6500V range.
    • Important for voltage source converter and inverter applications such as motor drives, solar, energy storage, wind, flexible AC transmission systems (FACTS)and HVDC systems.


    About the lead inventor

    Dr. Alex Q. Huang is the Progress Energy Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He established and directed the NSF Engineering Research Center, the FREEDM Systems Center, and NCSU Advanced Transportation Energy Center (ATEC) from 2008 to 2014. He is also a fellow of IEEE. He has won many awards and honors in his career including the prestigious 2003 R&D 100 award. Dr. Huang's research activities and interests include Power Management Integrated Circuit, Power Semiconductor Devices, Advanced Power Electronics, Renewable Energy Integration and Smart Grid.

    Related Publication

    Conversion of organic acids into alcohols by hyperthermophiles

    14124 -

    NC State is seeking industry partners to commercialize a method of producing high energy alcohol biofuels from organic acids at high temperatures using hyperthermophilic microorganisms.

    Abstract

    Decreasing fossil fuel reserves have accelerated efforts to produce bioalcohol fuels from renewable sources using fermentative microorganisms as whole cell catalysts. Currently the most common bioalcohol utilized for fuel is ethanol, which is used as an additive to fuel in many countries around the world. Ethanol production is well established in yeast where the end product of glycolysis, pyruvate, is decarboxylated to acetaldehyde and reduced to ethanol by an alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). Another common pathway to production utilizes anaerobic bacteria which oxidize pyruvate to aetyl-coenzyme A, which is subsequently reduced to ethanol by a bifunctional aldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenase (AdhE). All of the microorganisms capable of carrying out these two reactions to produce ethanol must be grown at moderate temperatures which can result in the growth of contaminating microorganisms. Additionally ethanol is a less efficient energy source than alcohols with longer-carbon chains such as butanol. Longer chain alcohols can be mixed with gasoline at higher concentrations and help to reduce emissions without compromising performance.

    To improve yield and reduce the cost of bioalcohol production, NCSU researchers have developed a technology that utilizes a hyperthermophilic archaeon, Pyrococcus furiosus. The organism is genetically modified to express a primary alcohol dehydrogenase (AdhA) from a thermophilic Thermoanaerobacter strain. This enzyme, in combination with the native P. furiosus enzyme, aldehyde-ferredoxin oxidoreductase, allows the mutant strain to use aliphatic, branched-chain and aromatic carboxylic acids as electron acceptors to produce the corresponding alcohol without the involvement of the activated CoA ester. The recombinant P. furiosus strain produces up to 40 mM alcohol from the corresponding acid (in non-optimized batch setting) at temperatures near 75° C. A variety of alcohols can be produced using this method including Ethanol, Butanol, Propanol, Isobutanol, 1-Pentanol, Isoamylalcohol, 1-Hexanol, Phenylethanol.

    The use of a hyperthermophilic organism to produce alcohol at temperatures near 75oC maintain the anaerobic conditions required for alcohol production. This production method also reduces costs associated with preventing microbial contamination which can occur at more moderate temperatures. Additionally, the enzymes described in this technology have increased structural stability reducing potential production issues due to fluctuations in temperature and pH.

    Advantages

    • Efficient production of a variety of bioalcohol fuels at high temperatures which maintain the anaerobic conditions required for alcohol production.
    • High reaction temperatures reduce the potential for microbial contamination.
    • Stable enzymes are resistant to fluctuations in pH and temperatures.

    Related Patent Information

    • A U.S Patent application has been published on this technology.

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Robert M. Kelly is the Alcoa Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University and the Director of NC State Biotechnology Program. Dr. Kelly’s research areas include genomics, physiology, enzymology, and biotechnological potential of microorganisms that thrive in extreme environments. His recent interests are in biomolecular engineering, biocatalysis at extremely high temperatures, microbial physiology, functional genomics, bioenergy, and biofuels.

    Dr. Michael Adams is a Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the University of Georgia. His research interests are in Physiology, metabolism, enzymology, bioinorganic chemistry, and functional and structural genomics of anaerobic microorganisms, particularly in hyperthermophiles.

    Folding Graft Copolymer with Pedant Drug Segment for Co-Delivery of Anticancer Drugs

    14131 -Facile approach for nanoparticle fabrication via macromolecular polymer folding as nanocarrier drug delivery system.

    Abstract

    Nanocarriers are useful in the drug delivery process in many medical applications. For combinational therapy, they can be designed to provide the capacity to load multiple drugs and unify their pharmacokinetic profiles, leading to the simultaneous delivery of multiple anticancer drugs. It is still difficult to develop a multiagent nanocarrier for combinational therapy. The present strategies for combinational chemotherapy are simply noncovalent encapsulation of multiple agents in a single nanoparticle, which always leads to untunable drug composition and uncontrollable premature release.

    Researchers at NC State University have proposed a smart graft copolymer with pendant drug segment, which can fold into polymeric nanomicelle in a protein refolding-like process. This smart nanoparticle enables a temporal release of two drugs with different speeds with high drug loading capacity and tunable drug loading ratio to ensure precise dosing schedule. Equipped with stealth property, the co-delivery system demonstrates effective cellular uptake, optimal intracellular accumulation, enhanced cytotoxicity against a panel of tumor cells, and profound antitumor activity in vivo.

    Advantages

    • Highly biocompatible and biodegradable
    • Large capacity and high loading amount of drugs
    • Mechanical stable
    • Guaranteed drug conjugation
    • Capability of large-area manufacturing
    • Simple, convenient and suitable for large-scale manufacturing


    About the Inventors

    Dr. Zhen Gu is an Assistant Professor in the joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Additionally, his work supports the Molecular Pharmaceutics Division at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Department of Medicine. His research interests include nanomedicine applications for anti-cancer and anti-diabetes as well as novel drug delivery formulations. Previously, Dr. Gu was a postdoctoral research scientist working with Dr. Robert Langer at the Massachusetts Institutes of Technology.

    Dr. Wanyi Tai used to be a senior postdoctoral in the department of Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University. He received his PhD in the major of Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2012. He is specialized in small molecular and macromolecular drug delivery, bioconjugate chemistry, organic synthesis, formulation, polymer synthesis, nanoparticles, in vitro/in vivo, DMPK, siRNA.

    NC706 Tomato Breeding Line

    15156 -

    NC706 is a large-fruited, fresh -market tomato breeding line featuring a deep globe fruit shape and high temperature fruit set ability. NC706 has a determinate growth habit and produces large firm fruit with jointless pedicels and dense foliage to protect fruit from the sun. Immature fruit of NC706 are uniform green (u gene) while mature fruit are bright red.

    NC706 has genetic resistances to verticillium wilt (Ve gene) and fusarium wilt races 1 and 2 (I and I-2 genes). NC706 is useful as a parental line to develop superior F1 hybrids with large fruit sizes and high temperature fruit set ability.

    Characteristics

    Lead Inventors

    Dr. Randy Gardner is Professor Emeritus of horticultural science at NC State. He received his PhD in pomology from Cornell University and has released 27 named tomato varieties and 40 tomato breeding lines. He has bred tomatoes at the University for 40 years and is widely recognized for his contributions to tomato breeding.

    Dr. Dilip Panthee is an Associate Professor of horticultural science at NC State. He received his PhD in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and has co-released five named tomato varieties and six tomato breeding lines. Dr. Panthee assumed leadership of NC State's tomato breeding program following Dr. Gardner's retirement in 2008.

    Additional information on NC State's tomato breeding program can be found at https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/fletcher/programs/tomato/.

    Pink Cascade®: A New Hybrid Ornamental Cherry Tree

    14150 -

    U.S. Plant Patent Application 14/544,707 has been filed for this cultivar.

    Pink Cascade® is a new hybrid flowering cherry tree cultivar with the tightest and most columnar shape on the market. Emerging and young leaves of Pink Cascade® start as yellow green in the Spring and mature to dark green in the Summer. Several years of field tests and observations demonstrate that Pink Cascade® has a small weeping stature, prolific flowering, hardiness to wintry weather and easy maintenance.

    Pink Cascade® adapts well to USDA hardiness Zone 5 and requires well-drained soil, full sun and moderate moisture. No serious pest or disease problems are known to affect this cultivar. Attractive bright pink flowers combined with dark green foliage make Pink Cascade® a beautiful addition to any home or landscape.

    Characteristics

    Exclusively Licensed

    Pink Cascade® is exclusively licensed by the J. Frank Schmidt & Sons Company.

    Inventor

    Dr. Thomas Ranney is a professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He also serves as the Program Leader of the Mountain Crop Improvement Lab. He received his Ph.D. in Horticulture and Plant Protection from Cornell University. Dr. Ranney’s research focuses on breeding and improvement of nursery and bioenergy crops, and he has introduced more than thirty different plant cultivars.

    Microemulsion Systems for Nanocellulose Production

    14157 -NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize a novel microemulsion system for enhanced cellulose production

    Abstract:

    Over the recent years, interest in cellulose nanofibrils (CNF or NFC) has increased remarkably because of their high strength, biodegradability, surface area and functional value. These properties of NFC makes it an interesting material for applications in a plethora of industries such as Papermaking, Paints and Coatings, Food, Oil and Gas, Cosmetic and Pharmaceutical. However, NFC production still suffers from a major drawback of high energy consumption to attain fibrillation. Despite the extensive use of aqueous dispersion processing, challenges remain in decreasing the energy consumption.

    Recently, researchers at NC State have proposed a novel alternative to the conventional pretreatments. An innovative microemulsion processing provides upto 55% decrease in energy consumption compared with the conventional systems and also produces CNF films with reduced film thickness and less bundling. The microemulsion treatment allows for the same quality material to be produced using less energy or a finer CNF with better properties to be produced using the same energy consumption.

    Advantages:

    • Decreases energy consumption.
    • Produces NFC with reduced film thickness and less bundling.

    About the Inventors:

    Dr. Orlando Rojas is a Professor of Forest Biomaterials and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in the College of Natural Sciences at NC State University. Dr. Rojas was a Finland Distinguish Professor in Aalto University and Past-Chair of the Division of Cellulose and Renewable Materials of the American Chemical Society (2009-2011). He is member of NC State University Research Council, Associate editor of several scientific journals and consultant for several companies. Prior to joining NC State, he was faculty in the Department of Chemical Engineering in Universidad de Los Andes (Venezuela) and Senior Scientist in the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH, Stockholm) and the Institute for Surface Chemistry (YKI, Stockholm). Dr. Rojas' current research focuses on adhesion forces in model cellulose surfaces; adsorption of synthetic and natural polymers in lignocellulosic systems; boundary layer lubrication and enzyme activity and surface phenomena.

    Carlos Carrillo is a PhD candidate in Dr. Rojas' research group. Mr. Carrillo received both his B.S. and MSc. in Chemical Engineering from Universidad de Los Andes, Venezuela. His research involves complex fluids and microemulsions for biomass pretreatment, surface energies and diffusion in capillary networks. Mr. Carrillo also has experience in subjects related to Interfacial Phenomena, Fluids Mechanics, rheology and Atmospheric Chemistry.

    AssignAssist - GIS-Based Student Assignment Tool

    14163 - A new streamlined process for school district planning with broad potential for redistricting applications.

    Abstract

    Typically school district planning or the redrawing of district lines involves a technically complex, branching process that makes it difficult for planners and policy-makers to track progress and maintain focus on the real goals of redistricting. Innovators at NC State University have developed AssignAssist which will significantly streamline the technical processes involved in redistricting. AssignAssist is being developed as an extension to ESRI GIS software targeted to school district planners. The application will allow users "real-time" exploration of student assignment plan options.

    The software requires a geo-dataset of planning units (polygons) which may not exist for all school districts. This dataset can be constructed if necessary by the district or any GIS expert. It is designed to use a geo-dataset of geographic planning units which may contain a variety of student and school data including forecast student totals. Users will be able to reassign specific planning units to a school of their choice and receive immediate data feedback on the impact of the reassignment.

    Advantages

    • Developed as an extension to ESRI GIS software ArcGIS.
    • Has application for other agencies that wish to explore impacts related to changing geographic boundaries.


    About the Innovators Mr. Michael Miller and Mr. Thomas Dudley
    Mr. Michael Miller and Mr. Thomas Dudley both work with the Geovisual Analytics and Decision Management Group at NC State University’s Institute for Transport Research and Education (ITRE).

    A Method for Designing Non-insecticidal Bite-proof Textile Materials

    14168 -Innovative method for designing comfortable and non-toxic insect-resistant textile materials.

    Abstract

    Mosquitoes and other insect vectors are omnipresent in the environment worldwide and have long been associated with significant human illness and death. They are able to transmit infectious diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, and plague. Malaria, alone, causes over five million infections and one million deaths per year.

    One widely-adopted method to limit the spread of insect vector-borne diseases is to use textile materials, such as bed nets and special clothing, as a barrier preventing direct contact between insects and the human skin. Historically, implementing this method involves the employment of either thick and stiff materials or insecticide-treated textiles. The first approach's use is significantly limited by the hot and humid climate in areas most heavily affected by diseases like malaria. The application of the second approach, insecticide-treated textiles, is also limited. First, the insecticides used for treatment continuously lose effectiveness as insects rapidly develop biological resistance. Second, the textile-treating chemicals create various risks to humans through exposure during storage and transportation, material treatment, and use.

    Researchers at NC State University have developed a method for designing comfortable and non-toxic textile materials capable of controlling insect vector-borne diseases. This method takes advantage of an optimized combination of high fabric pore tortuosity, high yarn spacing, and high fabric thickness with air circulation to physically prevent human contact with insect vectors. A textile material designed with this method consists of a top layer, a bottom layer, and a highly porous middle layer. A prediction model has been developed to relate the pore size and thickness of the material to the probability of mosquito penetration, which has been validated by in vitro mosquito bioassay. A textile material designed based on this prediction model can achieve up to 100% prevention of mosquito contact with a thickness of no more than 3.0 mm.

    Advantages

    • Avoid using toxic insecticides.
    • Maintain appropriate thermophysiological, sensory, and ergonomic properties and keep the user comfortable.
    • Flexibly applicable to achieve diverse applications such as soldier clothing and sportswear.


    About the Inventors

    Dr. Marian G. McCord is the Associate Dean for Research of the College of Natural Resources at NC State University. Before accepting her current position, Dr. McCord was a Professor of the Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science at NC State University. Her research interests include the use of atmospheric plasmas to modify textiles and polymers, non-toxic insecticidal textiles, and bioactivity of textile fibers.

    Dr. Richard Michael Roe is the William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of the Department of Entomology at NC State University. His laboratory focuses on understanding how insect and acarine systems function at the molecular level, the use of synthetic organic chemistry to understand structure-activity, and applications of bioassay, chemistry, molecular biology, and physics to solve practical pest problems in the context of integrated pest management.

    Dr. Charles S. Apperson is the William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the Department of Entomology at NC State University. His research areas are vector biology, biology and ecology of the container-inhabiting mosquitoes, ecoepidemiology of mosquito-transmitted diseases, etc.

    Dr. Florian Neumann is a Project Manager at Delcotex in Bielefeld, Germany. Prior to that, he was a Research Associate at Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) der RWTH Aachen University.

    Novel Biological Agents for Controlling Disease and Increasing Yield of Commercial Crops

    14240 - NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize specific combinations of bio-control agents to enhance agronomically important traits such as growth and disease resistance in commercial crops

    Abstract

    The question of how to feed the worlds growing population is becoming increasingly important and features highly on the agenda of many countries. By 2050, the population of the world is set to rise to 9 billion people and current food production rates will need to double in order to fulfill the increased demand. One way to deal with this issue is through finding and developing novel approaches to manage pests, invasive plant species and disease. It is estimated that between 10-16% of the global harvest is lost due to plant diseases, costing an estimated US$220 billion each year. Historically, plant diseases have been controlled by chemical formulations but in more recent years it has become clear that the use of these chemicals may have a detrimental and long lasting effect on the environment. Pesticides and fungicides have been linked to a wide range of human health hazards, ranging from short-term impacts such as headaches and nausea to chronic impacts like cancer, reproductive harm, and endocrine disruption. As a result, obtaining environmental protection agency (EPA) approval is increasingly more difficult and there is a drive towards more organic methods of farming. Organic farming relies on techniques such as crop rotation and biological control agents (BCAs) such as biofungicides and biofertilizers comprising microbial and fungal preparations. However, a very limited number of organisms have been developed for this purpose and there is a critical need to identify more species which are specific to certain crops.

    Researchers at NCSU have identified Trichoderma and Bacillus species which act as biological control agents (BCAs) against Rhizoctonia spp. and Pythium irregulare, two of the key organisms which cause strawberry black root rot (SBRR). Use of these BCAs can result in up to 90% reduction in disease incidence. Additionally research has identified that certain combinations of these isolates can both control disease and promote growth of strawberries and other commercially relevant crops, in particular those which suffer from black root rot and other soil borne diseases.

    Advantages:

    • Fungal and bacterial species, which can be used solely or in combination, to promote growth of plants and inhibit the infection of soil borne pathogens
    • Biofertilizer/fungicides reduce the requirement for chemical fertilizer/fungicide treatments which can have harmful effects on the environment.
    • Fungal isolates produce chlamydospores which makes them impervious to environmental challenges producing a product with a longer shelf life.

    About the Inventors

    Andrea Torres-Barragan achieved her PhD from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), Mexico City, and is a post-doctoral scholar in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NCSU.

    Frank Louws is Professor of plant pathology at North Carolina State University. He joined the NCSU faculty in 1996. Dr. Louws develops extension and research programs emphasizing integrated pest management and sustainable agricultural principles and practices for growers of small fruits and vegetables. His work addresses production agriculture questions combined with fundamental biological questions. His extension programs address key industry disease problems in strawberry, pepper, tomato, greenhouse vegetable production and organic production. Dr. Louws is Director of the National Science Foundation Center for Integrated Pest Management. The Center manages International, National, Regional and Local IPM projects. See http://www.cipm.info/.

    Multi-Frequency Ultrasound Transducers and Arrays for Ultra-Broadband Ultrasound Imaging

    14187 - Novel harmonic imaging transducer with built-in transmitter and receiver.

    Abstract

    Ultrasound sensing is an ultrasound-based diagnostic imaging technique used for visualizing internal body structures. It is widely used in biomedical diagnosis, non-destructive examination (NDE) and other medical applications. Traditional B-mode imaging is the most common approach in medical ultrasonography. However, the current transducers can hardly cover the whole imaging range. So B-mode imaging fails in many cases where the target almost homogenous and its impedance match well with its ambient medium. For example, it can hardly detect blood vessels because of their low scattering, although the detection of them is critical in cardiovascular diseases and cancer evaluations.

    Researchers at NC State University have proposed a harmonic imaging transducer with built-in transmitter and receiver imaging. It solves the problems by adapting broadband transducer, which transmits fundamental frequency and receives at second harmonic or subharmonic. Such imaging method utilizes the second and subharmonic of the target and takes the advantage of the nonlinearity differences between the imaging target and the medium. In this technology, the dual frequency design enables the frequency coverage for low frequency transmission and high frequency sensitive receiving. It is the first design of this kind and enables easy super harmonic imaging. It can provide unprecedented capability of contrast enhanced super harmonic ultrasound imaging and close the gap for commercialization.

    Advantages

    • Broader bandwidth
    • Capable of detecting low scattering targets
    • Higher compliance of target
    • Higher resolution images
    • Easy super harmonic imaging


    About the Inventors

    Dr. Xiaoning Jiang is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. Jiang’s research interests include the use of smart materials, smart structures, micro/nanofabrications and devices, and their applications in biomedical, mechanical, and aerospace engineering.

    Dr. Jianguo Ma is a postdoctoral researcher in University of California, Los Angeles. He received his PhD in 2014 under the guidance of Dr. Xiaoning Jiang in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University. His research interests include Acoustic transducer design and fabrication with smart materials, ultrasound for biomedical diagnosis and therapy, and ultrasound for NDE/NDT applications.

    Compressive Imaging via Approximate Message Passing with Image Denoising.

    14214 -An efficient and novel compressive imaging algorithm

    Abstract

    Compressed sensing is a signal acquisition and reconstruction technique. It recovers a sparse signal from very few non-adaptive, linear measurements by convex optimization. Compressed sensing is widely applicable in many high tech and quickly growing fields including medicine, radar, seismology (for gathering geophysics), biology, and image processing. The existing image compression algorithms compromise reconstruction quality or compression speed, reducing efficiency and broader adoption.

    Researchers at NC State University have developed fast compressed imaging algorithms with improved quality of signal reconstruction. To accomplish this, wavelet-based image denoisers (within the Approximate Message Passing (AMP) framework) are employed to obtain a fast implementation. Experimental results have shown significant reduction in reconstruction error and runtime compared to the current state-of-the-art technologies when appropriate denoisers are used in this algorithm. This invention realizes the possibility to construct medical images with better quality and using fewer measurements, resulting in minimizing the patient’s exposure to radiation.

    Advantages

    • Faster than existing algorithms.
    • Better quality of reconstruction of images with lesser information.
    • Allows for reduced signal collection times.


    Patent Information

    This technology is protected by US Patent 9,607,362.

    About the lead inventor

    Dr. Dror Baron is an assistant professor at NC State University. His primary research interests are communications and signal processing which includes digital communications, digital signal processing, image analysis, and computer vision.

    Related publications

    • D. Baron, S. Sarvotham, and R. G. Baraniuk, "Bayesian Compressive Sensing via Belief Propagation," IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing vol. 58, no. 1, pp. 269-280, January 2010.
    • D. Baron, M. B. Wakin, M. F. Duarte, S. Sarvotham, and R. G. Baraniuk, "Distributed Compressed Sensing," Technical Report ECE-0612, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Rice University, December 2006.
    • D. Guo, D. Baron, and S. Shamai, "A Single-letter Characterization of Optimal Noisy Compressed Sensing," Proceedings of the 47th Allerton Conference on Communication, Control, and Computing, Monticello, IL, September 2009.
    • D. Takhar, J. N. Laska, M. B. Wakin, M. F. Duarte, D. Baron, S. Sarvotham, K. F. Kelly, and R. G. Baraniuk, "A New Compressive Imaging Camera Architecture using Optical-Domain Compression," SPIE Electronic Imaging, San Jose, CA, pp. 43-52, January 2006.

    Carolina Sweetheart®: A Unique Multi-Colored Eastern Redbud

    14239 -

    U.S. Plant Patent Application 14/544,063 has been filed for this cultivar.

    Carolina Sweetheart® is a new cultivar of Eastern Redbud with unique, multi-colored foliage. Emerging and young leaves of Carolina Sweetheart® express a range and combination of colors starting with pink flowers and purple leaves in the Spring followed by various shades of white, green and pink leaves. Nine years of field tests and observations demonstrate that Carolina Sweetheart® has an upright stature, prolific flowering, hardiness to wintry weather, low fertility and easy maintenance.

    Carolina Sweetheart® adapts well to USDA hardiness Zone 6 and higher and requires well-drained soil, full sun to partial shade and moderate moisture. No serious pest or disease problems are known to affect this cultivar. Attractive pink flowers combined with multi-colored foliage make Carolina Sweetheart® a beautiful addition to any home or landscape.

    Characteristics

    Exclusively Licensed

    Carolina Sweetheart® is exclusively licensed by the North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association, Inc.

    Inventor

    Dr. Thomas Ranney is a professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He also serves as the Program Leader of the Mountain Crop Improvement Lab. He received his Ph.D. in Horticulture and Plant Protection from Cornell University. Dr. Ranney’s research focuses on breeding and improvement of nursery and bioenergy crops, and he has introduced more than thirty different plant cultivars.

    Android Security Modules (ASM)

    14270 -New BYOD friendly Android security framework.

    Abstract

    Android as an operating system is designed for all types of mobile devices, but it does not offer many separate features for consumers, government and enterprises. Researchers from North Carolina State University and Technische Universitat Darmstadt have jointly developed a modification to the core Android operating system called the Android Security Modules (ASM) framework. The ASM framework makes it easier to add the kinds of security needed for enterprise and government users, but is not necessary for consumers. The framework aims to eliminate the bottleneck that can prevent developers and users from taking advantage of new security tools, and make it easier for third parties to integrate the latest cybersecurity programs on offer. ASM as extensible generic framework is a programmable interface for extending Android’s security. While similar reference monitor interfaces have been proposed for Linux and TrustedBSD, ASM is novel in how it addresses the semantically rich OS APIs provided by new operating systems such as Android.

    ASM has been designed by studying the authorization hook requirements of recent security enhancement proposals and identifying that new OSs such as Android require new types of authorization hooks (e.g., replacing data). ASM promotes the creation of novel security enhancements to Android without restricting OS consumers (e.g., consumers, enterprise, government) to specific policy languages (e.g., type enforcement). ASM currently provides developers the ability to recompile Android to rapidly prototype novel reference monitors without needing to consider authorization hook placement. It provides a modular interface to define callbacks for a set of authorization hooks that provide mediation of important protection events. As the Android OS changes, only the ASM hook placements need to change, eliminating the need to port each research project to new versions. If ASM is adopted into the Android Open Source Project source code, it potentially allows security professionals and enterprise IT to add new reference monitors to production Android devices without requiring root access, a significant limitation of existing bring your-own-device solutions.

    Advantages

    • The ASM framework allows users to implement the new security extensions without overhauling their firmware.
    • ASM framework can be used in various personal and enterprise scenarios.
    • Security modules in ASM can also enhance consumer privacy.
    • ASM aims to make Android friendlier to corporate bring-your-own-device schemes.


    Patent Informaton

    An US patent application has been filed under application number US 14/823,262 "Programmable Interface for Extending Security of Application-Based Operating System, Such as Android".

    About the Inventor,br> Dr. William Enck
    Dr. William Enck is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at NC State University. He earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 2011 and 2006, respectively, and B.S. in Computer Engineering from Penn State in 2004. His research focuses on the design, optimization, and measurement of security for operating systems, specifically on mobile phones, and the complex environments in which they operate. Through the design and evaluation of practical enhancements to existing architectures, his research seeks to improve security guarantees in commodity computer systems.

    Electrical Impedance Tomography Based Sensing Skin for Damage Detection in concrete structures, pressure vessels and pipelines

    14288 -Crack detection in electrically conductive and non-conductive structures using Electrical Impedance Tomography Based Sensing Skin.

    Abstract

    Cracking is a major concern in a wide range of structures and systems including oil drill platforms, bridges, dams, power plants, pressure vessels, and pipelines due to service condition stresses. Rapid detection of crack and damage is crucial for uninterrupted operation, serviceability, and life safety. The localized nature of the cracks makes detecting them rather difficult and many of the traditional methods of health monitoring in structures have limitations in their accuracy of crack detection.

    Researchers at NC State University (NCSU) and University of Eastern Finland (UEF) have developed a method of detecting damages to large structures and structural systems. This method involves depositing a thin layer of electrically conductive material, referred to as sensing skin, on the surface of the structure. The sensing skin is typically a few micrometers thick and can be applied directly to non-conductive substrates such as concrete and fiber reinforced polymers (FRPs) and with the help of insulating layer to conductive substrates such as steel or aluminum. Cracking in the substrate structure results in the rupture of the skin, locally decreasing the conductivity of the skin. The spatial distribution of electrical conductivity is imaged using Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT). State-of-the-art application-specific computational methods developed in this research for imaging sensing skin allow for a total reconstruction of the images to show damage, reliably depicting length and shape of cracks.
    The NCSU-UEF approach utilizes quantitative methods to reconstruct images, allowing for areas of at least 50 cm x 50 cm to be analyzed. The traditional approaches utilize qualitative results and the analysis is generally limited to very small geometries (2 cm - 3 cm). Current trials run up to the lengths of 50 cm in one direction, and large scale applications could potentially run several feet.

    Links to Invention in the News



    Advantages
    • Ability to detect cracks and anomalies in larger surface area of structures.
    • Ease in adaptability for almost any substrate structure.
    • Accuracy of crack detection.


    About the Inventors

    Dr. Mohammad Pour-Ghaz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at NC State University. Dr. Pour-Ghaz studies the durability of reinforced concrete materials and structures with the goal of better understanding the deterioration mechanisms and distress factors affecting the concrete infrastructure as well as application of electrical imaging techniques for structural health monitoring and non-destructive testing.

    Dr. Aku Seppänen is an Academy Research Fellow in the Department of Applied Physics in the University of Eastern Finland. He is an expert in inverse problems research, and has developed computational methods for various applications, e.g. medical and industrial imaging, nondestructive testing and remote sensing. In the NCSU-UEF collaboration, he has further developed computational methods in the EIT image reconstruction specifically for the sensing skin application, yielding a remarkable improvement in the accuracy of crack detection.

    Milad Hallaji is a PhD student in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at NC State University.

    Speech Recognition Research Tool

    15016 -

    NCSU is currently seeking a partner to commercialize an automatic speech recogninition method.

    Abstract

    Commercially available automatic speech recognition (ASR) software for the transcription of spoken language is primarily limited to individual speaker input. The current ASR market leader requires that each user first create a unique speaker profile (i.e., train the software) in order to render the most accurate textual rendition of that person’s speech. This training process is time consuming and still does not result in complete transcription accuracy. Further, significantly reduced precision levels are expected when the software attempts to recognize and transcribe the output of a speaker with no established speaker profile or when multiple speakers are present (e.g., during group interactions). There are many academic and industrial uses for transcription of spoken language in communication settings that challenge currently available ASR (e.g., research conducted during group interactions, court reporting, government councils, healthcare teams, etc.).

    Researchers at North Carolina State University have worked on an approach to address the deficiencies of current ASR tools which would allow for multi-speaker transcription as well as reduction or elimination of the training time currently required for ASR software. One component of this strategy is the establishment of an inventory of different speaker profiles that are used to recognize the speech of individuals who have not trained the software. Another aspect of the approach is the acoustic manipulation of recorded speech to enhance the transcription accuracy. While this method currently requires recorded speech samples for subsequent analysis and thus, does not provide real time transcription, it has the potential to reduce transcription expenses significantly and eliminate any confidentiality concerns associated with an intermediary.

    Advantages

    • Transcription of multi-user conversations
    • Nearly complete accuracy
    • Reduced training time

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Joann Keyton is Professor of Communication at North Carolina State University. In addition to publications in scholarly journals and edited collections, she has published three textbooks for courses in group communication, research methods, and organizational culture in addition to co-editing an organizational communication case book. Keyton was editor of the Journal of Applied Communication Research, Volumes 31-33, and the founding editor of Communication Currents, Volumes 1-5. Currently, she is Editor of Small Group Research. She is a founder of the Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research.

    Dr. Daniel A. DeJoy is Associate Professor of Communication at North Carolina State University and teaches courses in communication sciences and disorders. He was named a university Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor in 1998. His research has focused on fluency in speech, acoustic analysis of speech production and articulation rate, and the linguistic formulation process.

    Device for Gas Control in Multiwell Cell Culture Plates

    15089 -North Carolina State University Is currently seeking an industry partner to commercialize a device for gas control in multiwell cell culture plates.

    Abstract:

    Cell cultures in a multiwell plate must be grown with identical atmospheres in each well. While it is often beneficial to grow a large number of identical cell cultures under identical conditions, researchers may also be interested in screening a range of oxygen levels within a single plate. The ability to dynamically control oxygen content within cell culture plates may be beneficial for cancer research, wound healing studies, stem cell research, tissue engineering and immunology.

    Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed an accessory that can deliver a pre-determined gas atmosphere to each row of multiwell cell culture plates and is compatible with commercially available gas permeable plates, standard multiwell pipetting systems and plate readers. The accessory allows rapid atmosphere changes and short equilibration times to allow cell culture under physiologically-relevant dynamically changing conditions. As a result, the effects of different oxygen mixtures on cell growth and response can be studied in a high-throughput screening format.

    Advantages:

    • Variation of atmosphere across multiple wells
    • High-throughput screening
    • Low profile accessory
    • Little to no modification of current plates required


    About the Inventors:

    Dr. Michael Gamcsik is a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. Gamcsik received his PhD in chemistry/biochemistry from the University of Edinburgh (UK) for research into low temperature studies of enzyme kinetics and transition-state stabilization using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. His current research investigates metabolism, magnetic resonance imaging, spectroscopy, cancer, drug resistance, high density cell culture, neurodegeneration, aging, and oxidative stress.

    Dr. Glenn Walker is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University. He received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI. His research focuses on development of adjustable stiffness catheters for stent delivery, development of microfluidic devices for capture and analysis of sub-visible particles, and development of microfluidic calorimeters.

    Thomas Pulliam is an undergraduate student majoring in Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University.

    Android Security Modules (ASM)

    15020 -New BYOD friendly Android security framework.

    Abstract

    Android as an operating system is designed for all types of mobile devices, but it does not offer many separate features for consumers, government and enterprises. Researchers from North Carolina State University and Technische Universitat Darmstadt have jointly developed a modification to the core Android operating system called the Android Security Modules (ASM) framework. The ASM framework makes it easier to add the kinds of security needed for enterprise and government users, but is not necessary for consumers. The framework aims to eliminate the bottleneck that can prevent developers and users from taking advantage of new security tools, and make it easier for third parties to integrate the latest cybersecurity programs on offer. ASM as extensible generic framework is a programmable interface for extending Android’s security. While similar reference monitor interfaces have been proposed for Linux and TrustedBSD, ASM is novel in how it addresses the semantically rich OS APIs provided by new operating systems such as Android.

    ASM has been designed by studying the authorization hook requirements of recent security enhancement proposals and identifying that new OSs such as Android require new types of authorization hooks (e.g., replacing data). ASM promotes the creation of novel security enhancements to Android without restricting OS consumers (e.g., consumers, enterprise, government) to specific policy languages (e.g., type enforcement). ASM currently provides developers the ability to recompile Android to rapidly prototype novel reference monitors without needing to consider authorization hook placement. It provides a modular interface to define callbacks for a set of authorization hooks that provide mediation of important protection events. As the Android OS changes, only the ASM hook placements need to change, eliminating the need to port each research project to new versions. If ASM is adopted into the Android Open Source Project source code, it potentially allows security professionals and enterprise IT to add new reference monitors to production Android devices without requiring root access, a significant limitation of existing bring your-own-device solutions.

    Advantages

    • The ASM framework allows users to implement the new security extensions without overhauling their firmware.
    • ASM framework can be used in various personal and enterprise scenarios.
    • Security modules in ASM can also enhance consumer privacy.
    • ASM aims to make Android friendlier to corporate bring-your-own-device schemes.


    Patent Informaton

    An US patent application has been filed under application number US 14/823,262 "Programmable Interface for Extending Security of Application-Based Operating System, Such as Android".

    About the Inventor,br> Dr. William Enck
    Dr. William Enck is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at NC State University. He earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 2011 and 2006, respectively, and B.S. in Computer Engineering from Penn State in 2004. His research focuses on the design, optimization, and measurement of security for operating systems, specifically on mobile phones, and the complex environments in which they operate. Through the design and evaluation of practical enhancements to existing architectures, his research seeks to improve security guarantees in commodity computer systems.

    'Miss Violet' Buddleja

    15031 -

    U.S. Plant Patent Application 14/545,797 has been filed for this cultivar.

    'Miss Violet' is a Buddleja shrub ideal for gardens, containers or landscaping. Part of the Miss series of Buddleja shrubs, the cultivar has fragrant reddish/purple (violet) flowers and blooms from early Summer until early Fall. 'Miss Violet' is a deciduous perennial that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and is deer resistant. Compared to other Buddleja cultivars, 'Miss Violet' is non-invasive and compact.

    Three years of field tests and observations demonstrate that 'Miss Violet' has a reduced stature, semi-upright growth, prolific flowering, excellent winter cold hardiness, male sterility, reduced female fertility and easy maintenance, making it an excellent addition to any residential garden or commercial landscape.

    Characteristics

    Exclusive Licensee

    'Miss Violet' is exclusively licensed to Spring Meadow Nursery.

    Lead Inventor

    Dr. Dennis James Werner is an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus of Horticultural Science at NC State. He received his Ph.D. in Horticulture from Michigan State. In his more than twenty-five years at NC State, he has developed numerous Buddleja cultivars, including the successful Chip and Miss series that are exclusively licensed to Spring Meadow Nursery. Dr. Werner has also focused his breeding efforts on peaches, ornamental peaches and redbuds.

    Dendrimeric polymer particles for coatings, nonwovens and rheology modifiers.

    15281 -Chancellor’s Innovation Fund Winner

    NCSU is currently seeking an industry partner to commercialize a new, simple and inexpensive process of producing high surface area fractal-like particles.

    Abstract

    There are thousands of industrial products that use various polymer particles however current commercially available particles are usually spherical or “chunky”. The surface to volume ratio of a particle has a profound effect on the product function and stability, ultimately influencing performance characteristics. There are potential applications in a myriad of products which require particles of high surface to volume ratio, such as gels, pastes, paints, coatings, agricultural applications, textiles and nonwovens.

    NCSU researchers have developed a novel, simple and efficient polymer processing method to produce “dendrimeric” polymer particles (DDP). These particles are hierarchically branched nanofibers with a highly developed surface area. Polymers processed in this way may exhibit a dramatic increase in quality and value. For example hydrophobic polymers can be synthesized as DPPs to form a multi-scale porous film upon drying and will immediately make a superhydrophobic surface.

    These particles could be integrated in diverse industries from cosmetics to agriculture, nonwovens to adhesives, paints and special coatings.

    Advantages

    • Fabrication process is continuous flow based, simple, scalable and inexpensive
    • Particles can be made from most polymers
    • Particles form a multi-scale porous film upon drying, immediately making a superhydrophobic surfaces if made of hydrophobic polymer
    • Massive scale liquid-based fabrication of staple polymer nanofibers, rods and sheet-like particles
    • From nonwovens of very high surface area, while potentially highly cohesive
    • Lead to drastic increase of dispersion viscosity and gelation at 1-2% vol
    • Likely to replace staple (short-cut) nanofibers in many applications while both improving performance and deeply decreasing cost

    About the Inventor

    Dr. Orlin Velev is the INVISTA Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. Velev has established a record of creative and innovative research in the area of innovative colloidal materials, nanostructures with electrical and photonic functionality, and microfluidic devices. He has been the first to synthesize “inverse opals”, one of the most widely studied types of photonic materials today. He also pioneered principles for making of microscopic biosensors and biologically active nanostructures, discovered techniques for electric field assembly of nanoparticle microwires and biosensors and investigated novel types of self-assembling nanoparticles, nanocapsules, rod-like particles and nanofibers. Inventions from Velev’s group are presently being commercialized by two Triangle Area startup companies, Xanofi and Benanova. Velev has been recognized by numerous awards, including NCSU Innovator of the Year 2011.

    Piezoelectric Omni-directional Shear-horizontal Wave Transducer

    15163 -

    NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize a novel method for nondestructive inspection using piezoelectric transducers arranged in an annular configuration to generate and receive shear horizontal wave omni-directionally.

    Abstract

    Nondestructive testing allows for the evaluation of large metal and composite structures without any damage occurring to the object being examined. This technique is applicable particularly in the industrial and manufacturing markets where high equipment and infrastructure costs necessitate enduring, long-lasting construction and strong government regulations require high quality assurance and control. A major difficulty in performing such assessment is discovering small imperfections or flaws in great structures, such as airplanes, ships, and other transportation crafts produced in the mechanical and aerospace industries. This is exacerbated by the fact that most of the piezoelectric transducers currently used to generate or receive shear horizontal wave do so only in specific directions.

    NC State researchers have developed an annular array of piezoelectric transducers capable of generating and receiving shear horizontal wave omni-directionally. The technology is capable of propagating and sensing the wave signal in all directions surrounding the annular array. As a result, detection of defects in large plate-like structures composed of either metal or composite materials is practicable. In comparison to existing magnetostrictive-based transducers, this invention has a simpler configuration, higher flexibility, and a smaller footprint. Additionally, the specific piezoelectric transducers used have a higher piezoelectric strain constant as compared to other piezoelectric materials and it is possible to tune the excitation frequency to obtain large amplitude in the shear horizontal wave. Potential applications include, but are not limited to, nondestructive inspection of high-rise buildings, significant statues and monuments, and other sizeable transportation vehicles.

    Advantages

    • Omni-directional generation or reception of shear horizontal wave
    • Simpler configuration, higher flexibility, and a smaller footprint compared to other transducers
    • Higher piezoelectric strain constant compared to other piezoelectric materials
    • Large shear horizontal wave amplitude achievable by tuning the excitation frequency

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Fuh-Gwo Yuan is a Samuel P. Langley Professor with the North Carolina State University Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Dr. Yuan is interested in structural health monitoring, damage tolerance of composite structures and smart materials, and fracture and life prediction of advanced materials and structures. His long-term goal is to create new and unique innovations in the area of smart structures. He obtained his PhD and Master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics. He received his B.S. in Engineering Science from the National Chen-Kung University in Taiwan.

    Dr. Wensong Zhou is a visiting scholar with the North Carolina State University Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and an Associate Professor with the Harbin Institute of Technology in China. Dr. Wensong’s research interests are in intelligent structures and structural health monitoring, specifically damage identification, Finite Element Model (FEM) updating, and system integration techniques for intelligent SHM systems. He is interested smart materials and structures, namely the self-sensing properties of carbon fibre sheets when used as structural materials as well. He has several different papers published in journals in the United States and China.

    A simultaneously light, strong, and sound-proofing material for aerospace applications

    15161 -

    NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize a novel design for achieving sound-proofing structures that are both strong and light.

    Abstract

    Sandwiched honeycomb panels have been widely used for construction and manufacture in the aerospace industry because of their high strength-to-weight ratio. However, being almost transparent to noise, these structures are notorious for their poor acoustical performance. Simultaneously optimizing the mechanical and acoustical performance for aerospace structures without adding significant weight has been a longstanding issue.

    However, NC State University researchers have recently developed a novel solution that integrates the honeycomb structure with membrane-type acoustic metamaterials (AMMs) in a way that maintains the superior mechanical performance of the honeycomb panels. The introduced AMMs dramatically improve the sound transmission loss (STL) to > 20 dB. This is particularly true at low frequencies (<500 Hz), which typically are the more difficult range for achieving high STL. Furthermore, the membrane-type AMMs increase the weight of the honeycomb structure by only 20 - 30%. Overall, the resulting structure is manageable, durable, and offers substantial protection against loud noises. Potential applications include, but are not limited to, sound-proofing in airplanes, ships, trains, and other crafts used for transportation and shipping.

    Advantages

    • Minimal increase in weight
    • Dramatic boost in sound transmission loss
    • High strength-to-weight ratio maintained in honeycomb panel
    • Underlying honeycomb structure already in use in the aerospace industry

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Yun Jing is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NC State. He achieved his B.S. in Acoustics at the Nanjing University in China and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Architectural Acoustics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is also an adjunct professor with the UNC/NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering. His primary research interests include biomedical ultrasound imaging and therapy, acoustic metamaterials, noise control, and architectural acoustics.

    Dr. Fuh-Gwo Yuan is a Samuel P. Langley Professor with the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NC State. He received his B.S. in Engineering Science from the National Chen-Kung University in Taiwan and obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests include structural health monitoring and damage tolerance of composite structures and smart materials.

    Ni Sui is a Ph.D. student in the Smart Structures and Materials Lab in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NC State. Her research interests include structural acoustics and acoustic metamaterials.

    A Novel Biomass Pretreatment Approach Using Phosphoric Acid

    16175 -North Carolina State University is seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize a pretreatment process that enables highly efficient bioenergy production from biomass.

    Abstract

    Lignocellulosic biomass is an abundant source for production of biofuels such as ethanol. The global production of cellulosic ethanol in 2015 was ~2.6 billion gallons, and is expected to be ~37 billion gallons in 2030; 40% of this cellulose is from woody biomass resources. To separate cellulose from hemicellulose and lignin, and to access the depolymerized (saccharified) corresponding components, pretreatment of the biomass is necessary. An economical approach to pretreat lignocellulosic materials is the current bottleneck in the production of biomass-based energy. Inefficient pretreatment sequence leads to lower sugar recovery yields (saccharification efficiency) and more expensive processes (higher consumption of enzymes). Different preliminary and core treatment processes have been studied; however, there is no systematic investigation about the efficient combination of these. Due to the large market size, even incremental improvements in the pretreatment process translate to huge environmental and financial opportunities.

    Researchers in the College of Natural Resources and the College of Sciences at NC State University, have developed a pretreatment sequence for enzymatic saccharification of loblolly pine wood that has a glucan recovery yield of 93%. This sequence is economically and environmentally sound since it allows for lower loadings of enzymes, and it can be done at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. Combinations of different preliminary and core pretreatments are systematically examined, and efficient sequences are established. The pretreatment is efficient for both cellulose crystallinity degradation and enzymatic hydrolysis. This process offers a promising approach to mass production of bioenergy, and can saccharify high lignin contents and condensed lignin structures in softwood species. In addition, the proposed pretreatment options are advantageous from energy-saving standpoint (24 hour at room temperature), and from time-saving standpoint (1 hour at 50°C).

    For the growing bioenergy and biofuels industries who are dissatisfied with the efficiency of their process, this pretreatment approach offers a glucan recovery yield of 93% at minimal enzyme loadings. Unlike the current pretreatment sequences, the systematic design of this method allows for an economical enzymatic hydrolysis of condensed lignin structures, even at high lignin contents.

    Advantages

    • Highly efficient pretreatment process
    • Efficient cellulose crystallinity degradation
    • Low cost process at room temperature and atmospheric pressure
    • Minimal use of enzymes for a high-yield enzymatic saccharification
    • Applicable to high lignin contents and condensed lignin structures


    About the Inventors

    Dr. Lucian Lucia is an Associate Professor in the Department of Forest Biomaterials (Wood & Paper Science) and Chemistry at North Carolina State University. Dr. Lucia has research interests in Green chemistry of renewable polymers, Chemical modification of cellulosics for biomedical applications, and Mechanism of singlet oxygen’s chemistry with lignin & cellulose.

    Dr. Reza Ghiladi is an Associate Professor of Chemistry in the College of Sciences at North Carolina State University. The work of his group focuses on cellulose-porphyrin conjugates and protein chemistry with an emphasis on catalysis and enzymology.

    Dr. Xueyu Du is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the College of Natural Resources, Department of Forest Biomaterials, at North Carolina State University. He has research interests in the fields of Investigation of microemulsions for biomass flooding, Pretreatments, and Enzymatic hydrolysis and delignification of lignocellulosic materials.

    A Method for Maximizing Performance and Minimizing Power Consumption in Embedded Peripherals

    15066 -Optimization of power consumption by embedded peripherals

    Abstract

    The overall cost of an embedded system can be reduced significantly by minimizing its power requirements and maximizing its performance. Typically peripheral power control is static which does not cater to fine –grained intra-operation performance details. Dynamic Voltage Frequency Scaling (DVFS) is implemented in systems where performance is of paramount concern. However, this approach often does not cater to the optimum power management of peripheral devices. DVFS also presents issues in operating voltage, frequency scaling latencies, and reliability during voltage or frequency transitions.

    Researchers at NC State University address this issue by proposing a novel method for maximizing performance and minimizing the power consumption in embedded peripherals. Their invention focuses on reducing the power consumption of peripheral devices by dynamically modulating supply voltage as they perform specified operations. This method is designed to have minimal impact on CPU utilization through the use of Peripheral Power Profiles (PPP) which assign an ideal voltage on a per- state basis. Low cost systems would benefit from this technology as the average load on the system would decrease, allowing power-failure circuits to use decreased charge-storage devices in order to recover from power failures.

    Advantages

    • This method has demonstrated up to 40% energy savings on common peripherals.
    • Increase in battery life in battery operated systems.
    • Decrease in overall heating of the system.
    • Decrease in bulk-energy storage capacity requirements.
    • Decrease in worst-case loading characteristics.


    About the inventors

    Dr. Alexander G. Dean is an Associate Professor at NC State University. His primary research interests include Computer Architecture and Systems (Including Embedded Computer Systems, Microprocessor Architecture, Software and Optimizing Compilers).

    Daniel R. Moore is pursuing his PhD under the guidance of Dr. Alexander Dean at NC State University.

    Candle soot nanoparticles-PDMS composites for novel photoacoustic transducers

    15278 -

    A non-expensive and simple but reliable fabrication process for developing advanced laser ultrasound transducers using composite of candle soot nanoparticles and polydimethylsiloxane (PMDS).

    Abstract

    Ultrasound has a broad ranging of applications. Biomedical applications may include ultrasound thrombolysis, ultrasound-triggered drug delivery, localized tissue ablation, lithotripsy and cell level sonoporation. Industrial applications may include non-destructive testing and structural health monitoring of structures, ultrasonic cleaning and processing. Underwater ultrasound applications have also been well known. There are demands for simple and efficient photo acoustic transducer which are not met with current technologies using carbon nanofibers or nanotubes due to limited nano-composite fabrication processes which leads to high manufacturing costs.

    Laser generated ultrasound is an efficient and easy way to transform laser energy into acoustic waves using a laser pulse, an absorbing layer and a thermal expansion layer. Generation of high power laser ultrasound strongly demands advanced materials with efficient laser energy absorption, fast thermal diffusion, and large thermoeleastic expansion properties.

    NC State researchers have developed a novel low-cost photoacoustic transducer using candle soot and PDMS composites. Candle soot consists of carbon nano-particles, 30-40 nm in diameter, which consist of a hierarchical nanostructure which has benefits such as light transmission absorption efficiency. Candle soot nanoparticles (CSNP) are generated as a byproduct of incomplete combustion and can be deposited on substrates with any size and shape. CSNP can penetrate into procured polydimethylsilozane (PMDS), which has a high thermal expansion coefficient to achieve high acoustic pressure.

    Advantages

    • Simple and low-cost fabrication
    • Enhanced photoacoustic efficiency
    • Broad frequency range (Fractional bandwidth > 100 %)
    • High pressure shock wave amplitude (> 1 MPa-> 20 MPa)

    About the Inventor

    Dr. Xiaoning Jiang is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NCSU. The long-term research goal of Dr. Jiang is to contribute to the advancement of micro/nano-electro-mechanical devices for biomedical, mechanical and aerospace applications. Dr. Jiang has 9 years of industrial experience before he joined NC State in 2009. Presently, he is 1) conducting research in small aperture, high-frequency and broadband ultrasound transducers for biomedical imaging, therapy and NDE, 2) developing electromechanical devices for extreme environments, and 3) studying new smart materials and micro/nanostructures for energy conversion (harvesting, sensing, and actuation).

    Ultrabright, water soluble BODIPY fluorophores as tunable fluorescent biomarkers

    15073 -Ultrabright, Water Soluble BODIPY Fluorophores as Tunable Fluorescent Biomarkers

    Abstract

    BODIPY based fluorophores are important tools in a variety of bio-imaging application due to their superior spectral characteristics. They exhibit extraordinary optical properties, such as high molar extinction coefficients, high fluorescent quantum yields, sharp excitation and emission peaks, and small Stokes shifts. The main obstacle of utilizing BODIPY based fluorophores is complexity of the fabrication processes and the requirement of different catalysts and chemical regents during synthesis as the intermediates are highly unstable.

    Researchers at NC State University have proposed a simple fabrication of BODIPY fluorophores which requires only two steps. The simplified synthesis greatly lowers the cost of producing BODIPY fluorophores. Moreover, the fluorophore demonstrates better properties than commercial available products. It exhibits better water solubility and brightness, providing higher efficiencies for the applications.

    Advantages

    • Simple fabrication
    • Easy modification to include biomolecular tags
    • "Brighter" fluorescent probe than the state-of-the-art
    • Better water solubility


    About the Inventors

    Dr. Walter W. Weare is an assistant professor in the department of chemistry at North Carolina State University. He received his Ph.D. in Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006. His research interest lies in inorganic chemistry related to solar energy capture and storage, molecular metal-to-metal charge transfer by synthesis and spectroscopy, with the ultimate goal of integrating such a chromophore into solar-to-fuel systems.

    Mr. Aaron J. Francis is a graduate student in the department of chemistry at North Carolina State University. He is a member of Dr. Weare’s research group. His research interest lies in new inorganic catalysts for reduction chemistry, inorganic metal oxo and heterobimetallic complexes, etc.

    Photovoltaic Training Curriculum

    15071 -Abstract

    Rapid growth in the solar power industry has created an increase in demand for qualified and certified professionals. As a result, a curriculum is needed to equip these professionals with a comprehensive knowledge of photovoltaics. Most of the current programs are limited and only present a general overview or are limited to specific topics.

    The NC Clean Energy Technology Center at NC State has developed, with two content experts, a 40 hour continuing education curriculum to provide complete and thorough information about photovoltaics technology. This course is one of eight courses housed under the award-winning Renewable Energy Technologies Diploma Series. In addition, this course (REPV: Renewable Energy Generation with Photovoltaic Systems) is an IREC ISPQ accredited entry level PV course offering the NABCEP Entry Level Exam and based on NABCEP's Job Task Analysis for PV installers. The curriculum is dedicated to the technical aspect of photovoltaics, including system types, components, applications, design and best practices for installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting. The program provides coherent and meticulously chosen content aligned with ever-challenging academic and on-field standards. This material includes technical skill proficiencies and competency-based learning that contribute to academic knowledge, reasoning, and problem-solving skills. It covers the topics listed in the NABCEP's (North American Board of Energy Practitioners) PV Entry Level Learning Objectives.

    Curriculum Developers

    NC Clean Energy Technology Center - The NC Clean Energy Technology Center is a UNC System-chartered Public Service Center administered by the College of Engineering at NC State. Its mission is to advance a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices, and policies.

    Transparent and soft elastomeric composites and oil/water biphasic systems with high internal content of "invisible" liquid.

    15285 -

    NCSU is currently seeking an industry partner to commercialize a new class of polymer composite.

    Abstract

    Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is a useful elastomeric material which is flexible, hydrophobic and optically transparent. It has many diverse applications areas which include, electronic products, construction and mechanical devices and biomedical devices. Composites of PDMS can be synthesized for additional functionality, at the cost of optical transparency. However a heterogeneous transparent material may meet the needs that current opaque materials do not.

    NCSU researcher have developed a new class of elastomeric polymer based transparent composites and a mineral oil based emulsion. A soft polymer matrix of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and a water/glycerol liquid phase domain has been manufactured. These composites are transparent, nontoxic and exhibited pressure sensitive properties. The manufacture process for these materials is simple and would be easy to scale up. A colorless emulsion which behaves like a gel, has also been synthesized. It has optically clear properties, however when diluted, applied to the skin or mixed with various liquids becomes opaque. There are many potential applications including new types of cosmetics or drug delivery systems.

    These newly developed composites exhibit unique properties and have commercial potential in many applications including smart windows, impact indicators and impact adsorbing materials.

    Advantages

    • High volume fraction of internal liquid
    • Optically transparent
    • Soft
    • Flexible
    • Hydrophobic
    • Sensitive to mechanical stress i.e. pressure sensitive
    • Manufacturing process is simple, inexpensive and scalable

    About the Inventor

    Dr. Orlin Velev is the INVISTA Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. Velev has established a record of creative and innovative research in the area of innovative colloidal materials, nanostructures with electrical and photonic functionality, and microfluidic devices. He has been the first to synthesize “inverse opals”, one of the most widely studied types of photonic materials today. He also pioneered principles for making of microscopic biosensors and biologically active nanostructures, discovered techniques for electric field assembly of nanoparticle microwires and biosensors and investigated novel types of self-assembling nanoparticles, nanocapsules, rod-like particles and nanofibers. Inventions from Velev’s group are presently being commercialized by two Triangle Area startup companies, Xanofi and Benanova. Velev has been recognized by numerous awards, including NCSU Innovator of the Year 2011.

    Heintooga Pentaploid Blueberry

    15083 -

    Heintooga is characterized by its late mid-season to late season ripening, and medium to large fruit size that produces an average of less than 1 seed per berry. This striking characteristic makes Heintooga a berry cultivar of great commercial interest, due to its seedless nature. Heintooga's fully ripe fruit is firm, sweet in flavor, highly aromatic, and shows fruit cracking and fruit with stems in less than 1% of yield. It also displays very good picking scars and has an excellent post-harvest shelf-life after 7 days storage at 4.5° C. Heintooga plants are highly versatile and have been shown to adapt well in habitats containing a broad range of soils from organic to light sandy and red clay mineral.

    Due to its semi-upright habit, Heintooga can be planted at higher densities than other highbush varieties, requiring only 1.0 m separation. Lastly, Heintooga's chilling requirement between 800 and 1000 hours below 4.5° C makes this variety an excellent candidate for adaptation along North America's highbush blueberry growing regions from North Carolina northward.

    Characteristics

    Lead Inventor

    Dr. James Ballington is a Professor Emeritus of Horticultural Science at NC State University, teaching at the University for more than thirty years. He earned his Ph.D. in Horticulture from NC State University. He has released numerous varieties during his career, including 7 peach, 32 blueberry, and 7 strawberry varieties. In 2002, he was named a fellow of the American Society of Horticultural Science.

    Real-time tangible geospatial modeling system

    15121 - TanGeoMS: Interaction with geospatial simulations by manipulating linked physical models.

    Abstract

    The dichotomy of the physical and virtual has limited the role of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in 3D design and modeling as interacting with digital 3D space often requires special skills and training. Tangible user interfaces make human-machine interaction more intuitive, making direct use of our kinesthetic intelligence. The tangible geospatial modeling system (TanGeoMS) enables users to interact with digital models by manipulating linked physical models. TanGeoMS links a physical landscape model with a virtual landscape in a GIS through an automated feedback cycle of real-time 3D scanning, geospatial modeling, and projection, enabling haptic human computer interaction and an intuitive grasp of 3-dimensional change. As users modify the physical model - sculpting the terrain by hand for example - the changes are scanned into the GIS, geospatial simulations are run, and the results are projected back onto the physical model in real-time. Through this cycle of haptic interaction, digitization, simulation, and projection, users can intuitively experiment, test hypotheses or designs, and learn from simulations.

    Rapid prototyping is used to generate a precise physical model to which a layer of polymer-enriched sand is then added to create a malleable surface. A Kinect for Windows scanner is used to digitize changes to the model in real-time. The software allows real-time scanning of the physical model with Kinect for Windows SDK, automatic processing of the scan (removing irrelevant parts of the scan, georeferencing), converting into raster representation and running various geospatial analyses or simlations in GRASS GIS. In this way, the physical changes of the model can be seamlessly transferred into the digital representation and the effects of the changes on geospatial phenomena can be explored in an intuitive way. With this technology scientists, planners, and designers can easily and rapidly test ideas in geographic space while being guided by scientific feedback. Thus they can explore a much larger solution space and make more creative and informed decisions about the natural and built environment. Applications include computer aided modeling, hazard and disaster management (such as fire or flood management), ecosystem restoration, forestry, geological and geomorphological research, urban planning and design, construction and engineering, landscape architecture, remediation, natural resource exploration, military logistics and deployment, and education.

    Advantages

    • The software is unique in that it couples real-time scanning with a fully featured Geographic Information System.
    • Only software that georeferences the 3D scanned data and imports it into a GIS.
    • Using the software, geospatial data can be modeled and analyzed to help solve real-world planning problems or advanced scientific research.


    Dr. Helena Mitasova
    Dr. Helena Mitasova is Center of Geospatial Analytics Faculty Fellow, a Professor in the Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and a member of the Geospatial Science and Technology Faculty at NC State University. As Associate Director of Geovisualization at the Center of Geospatial Analytics, Dr. Mitasova plays a strategic leadership role in the Center's overall research agenda as well as geovisualization specific research using Tangible Landscape. Her research uses tangible geospatial modeling environments, dynamic simulations of landscape processes, and analysis of LiDAR time series data to investigate coastal evolution, soil erosion control, and sustainable land management. Dr. Mitasova is a member of the Board of Directors of the OSGeo Foundation and she serves on the Open Source GRASS GIS Project Steering Committee. Dr. Mitasova has developed graduate courses based on Free and Open Source Geospatial Software, including the Geospatial Modeling and Analysis course and an advanced special topics course on UAV/LIDAR Data Analytics.

    Smart Socket for Lower Limb Amputees

    15099 -North Carolina State University is currently seeing an industry partner to commercialize a real-time-adaptable prosthetic socket to enhance comfort and gait.

    Abstract

    About 1.7 million amputees live in the U.S. today, the majority of which are lower limb amputees. For these Americans, complaints about uncomfortable prosthetic sockets are common, partly due to the fact that conventional sockets cannot accommodate residual limb fluid volume changes. The change of residual limb volume can lead to high interface pressure at pressure sensitive areas on the residual limb, which further cause serious skin issues and poor gait performance.

    The Biomedical Engineering Department at NC State University has developed a new smart socket for lower-limb prosthetics that includes three major components: 1) an effective volume change evaluation tool, which can quantify residual limb volume change based on dynamical measurement of interface pressure; 2) a smart socket, whose geometric properties could be adjusted during locomotion; and 3) a novel control strategy to adjust the smart socket based on volume of the residual limb and gait events. Compared with existed approaches to manage residual limb volume change, this innovation can monitor the volume change and readjust the socket automatically. At the same time, the approach does not cause significant increase of interface pressure even at pressure tolerant areas, which prevents acceleration of the volume change caused by high interface pressure.

    Advantages

    • Automatically adjusts the geometric properties of the socket
    • No significant increase of interface pressure even at pressure-tolerant areas




    About the Inventor

    Dr. Helen Huang is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at NC State. She earned her Ph.D. from Arizona State University and focuses her research interests on neural-machine interfaces, prosthetics and orthotics, and control of wearable robotics.

    DNA Nanoclew for Anticancer Drug Delivery

    15092 -

    NC State is seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize a novel anticancer drug delivery nanoclew

    Abstract

    Self-assembled DNA nanostructures have been developed with precisely controlled size and architecture. Upon DNA's intrinsic biocompatibility and degradability, DNA nanostructures hold tremendous promise for drug delivery. Numerous cargos including small molecule drugs, small interfering RNA (siRNA), immuno-stimulatory oligonucleotide CpG, photosensitizer and protein were successfully delivered intracellularly by DNA nanocarriers. Moreover, DNA-based carriers can be readily functionalized either by hybridizing a targeting moiety onto the nanostructure or programming a targeting aptamer into the DNA chain for targeted drug delivery. Despite these, strategies utilizing DNA scaffolds for on-demand drug delivery in a stimuli-responsive fashioninstead of passive release still remain elusive.

    Researchers at NC State have developed a Herein, we describe a bio-inspired drug delivery carrier by integrating a cocoon-like DNA nano-composite with "caged worm"-deoxyribonuclease (DNAse) to achieve self-degradation for promoting drug release inside cells. The DNA structure is based on a "nanoclew" (designated as NCl), "weaved" by the rolling circle amplification, the product of which is often applied in biodetection. Multiple GC-pair sequences were integrated in the NCl for enhancing loading capacity of DOX. To facilitate self-assembly, a palindromic sequence is incorporated into the template. To enable degradation of NCl, DNAse I is encapsulated into a single-protein based nanocapsule (designated as NCa) with a positively charged thin polymeric shell, cross-linked by acid-degradable linkers using interfacial polymerization. Furthermore, to achieve a tumor-targeting delivery of DOX folic acid (FA) is conjugated to an NCl complementary DNA oligo followed by hybridization into the DNA NCl. The positively charged NCa can be embedded into the NCl via electrostatic interaction to form the DOX-loaded self-degradable NA scaffold (designated as DOX/FA-NCl/NCa). The polymeric capsule cages the activity of DNAse I under the physiological pH, which retains DOX in the NCl. When DOX/FA-NCl/NCa is internalized by the cancer cells and enters the acidic endo-lysosome, the polymeric shell of NCa degrades and sheds from DNAse I. This results in the immediate rejuvenation of DNAse I, thereby rapidly degrading NCl and subsequently releasing the encapsulated DOX for enhanced anticancer efficacy. This formulation represents a novel stimuli-responsive drug delivery sys-tem, the trigger of which is preloaded with the delivery vehicle and can be activated by cellular environment.

    Advantages

    • Highly biocompatible
    • Very high drug loading capacity
    • Assembly of DNAse and DNA via electrostatic interaction
    • Caged DNAse was used as a trigger
    • Targets anticancer drug to cancer cells nucleus in a rapid fashion
    • Easy functionalization of DNA nanoclew with targeting ligand lead

    Related Patent Information

    • Patent Application Filed

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Zhen Gu is an Assistant Professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He received a B.S. in Chemistry and a M.S. in Polymer Chemistry and Physics from Nanjing University, China, and a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from UCLA. His research focuses on exploiting novel strategies that apply stimuli-responsive systems for precisely delivering therapeutics in dose-, spatial-, and temporal-controlled fashions for therapeutics and diagnostics.

    Multiplexed diagnostic to recognize absolute concentrations of related proteins for improved diagnosis of endocrine disorders

    15104 -

    NC State is seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize a novel multiplexed assay for the diagnosis and treatment of endocrine disorders.

    Abstract

    More than 30 million people in the United States are afflicted with various types of endocrine disorders, including diabetes, thyroid disorders, erectile dysfunction, polycystic ovary syndrome, osteoporosis and pancreatitis. An estimated $300 billion is spent each year on the diagnosis and treatment of endocrine disorders. Early and accurate diagnosis is essential in treatment of endocrine disorders and can make a significant difference in management and quality of life for those suffering with them.

    Researchers at NC State have developed a multiplexed diagnostic assay for the diagnosis and treatment of endocrine disorders that can recognize the absolute concentrations of proteins and metabolic fragments, eliminating the need for multiple tests. Current methods of diagnosis require doctors to make choices about which proteins or protein fragments to test, resulting in varied outcomes and multiple assays since hormone secretion and metabolism cannot be accurately determined by evaluating only a single form of a protein. The multiplexed diagnostic assay, however, is capable of detecting original proteins and major fragments of the original protein, providing a comprehensive analysis in one easy to use test.

    Advantages

    • Provides data using one multiplexed test instead of multiple tests
    • Avoids use of expensive and complex laboratory equipment such as GC-MS
    • Determines absolute concentrations of proteins and related protein fragments
    • Requires minimal training for easier, faster and more cost-effective diagnosis
    • Utilizes a small portable device, allowing for mobility and use in various locations
    • Delivers a more accurate diagnosis, reducing incidence of resubmission and reducing costs .

    Related Patent Information

    • Patent Applications: Multiplexed diagnostics to recognize concentrations of related proteins and peptides” Cummins, B.M., F.S. Ligler, and G. M. Walker. Patent application serial no. 14/979,946, filed December 28, 2015. PCT/US2015/67575, filed December 28, 2015.

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Brian Cummins is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at NC State and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research areas include biomedical microdevices, point-of-care diagnostics, optical biosensing, microfluidics, glucose monitoring and fluorescence.

    Dr. Frances Ligler is the Lampe Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at NC State and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research areas include biomedical microdevices, regenerative medicine, microfluidics, tissue-on-chip technology, optical analytical devices, biosensors and nanotechnology.

    Dr. Glenn Walker is an Associate Professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at NC State and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research areas include biomedical microdevices, bio-microelectromechanical systems (bioMEMs), microfluidics and lab-on-a-chip systems.

    Interferometric Millimeter-Wave Imaging with Phased Arrays

    15106 -Cost efficient Interferometric Imaging for Diagnostics and Remote Sensing Applications.

    Abstract

    Millimeter-wave imagers operating at 30-300 GHz are able to see through dust storms, clouds, fog, clothing, and bandages, and are useful for aircraft navigation, remote sensing, concealed object detection, and biomedical imaging. Current application of phased arrays in millimeter-wave based imaging require scanning which either reduces frame rate or leads to degraded sensitivity. Additionally, a large number of receiver elements are required to encompass the field of view with sufficient angular resolution. This increases the overall cost of current techniques.

    Researchers at NC State University have designed a novel technique for passive millimeter wave imaging using existing commercially-available millimeter wave phased arrays. By building a passive imaging system and implementing an interferrometric technique, the resulting demodulated signals are used to create high quality image data. This system does not require external lens and is inexpensive compared to current techniques.

    Advantages

    • Does not require external lens, resulting in a lighter and more compact "camera".
    • The approach is low cost and makes use of inexpensive existing millimeter-wave phased arrays.


    About the Lead Inventor

    Dr. Brian Floyd is a professor at NC State University in the department of ECE. His research interests include RF and millimeter-wave circuits and systems for wireless communications, imaging, and radar applications. Specific research topics include multi-Gb/s wireless transceivers, mm Wave passive and active imagers, vehicular radar systems, silicon phased-array transceivers, digitally assisted/digitally-replaced RF systems, and manufacturable antenna-in-package approaches.

    Related Work

    A. Natarajan, S. Reynolds, M.-D. Tsai, S. Nicolson, J.-H. C. Zhan, D. Kam, D. Liu, O. Huang, A. Valdes-Garcia, and B. A. Floyd, "A fully-integrated 16-element phased-array receiver in SiGe BiCMOS for 60-GHz communications", IEEE J. Solid-State Circuits, vol. 46, no.5, pp. 1059-1075, May 2011.

    Automatic extraction of dye molecules from fabric for mass spectrometer identification

    15111 -

    NCSU is seeking an industry partner to commercialize a novel method for extracting dye molecules from a small fiber sample automatically and sending them through a series of chemical separation processes for classification.

    Abstract

    During the commission of a crime, there is a high probability of fiber transfer given the large quantify of textile materials in the environment. To perform analysis beyond initial microscope techniques, it becomes necessary to extract dye from the fiber; however, the process of separating the dye molecules destroys the sample. Examples of these more sensitive methods include high performance liquid chromatography, UV-visible spectrometry, capillary electrophoresis, and time-of-flight mass spectrometry. While these procedures can be performed sequentially, preparing a fiber sample for analytical evaluation involves a series of independent steps using 200 μL of fluid. This requires a large fiber sample, such as hair, drug or other solid evidence, to obtain a detectable dye concentration and little effort has been made to provide technology that allows the forensic examiner to automatically extract the dyes and direct them into the analytic instruments mentioned previously.

    NC State University researchers have recently developed a working microfluidic system that automatically extracts the dye from a minute fiber sample just one millimeter (1 mm) in length using only 10 μL of solvent and then prepares it for analysis with minimal handling in less than 10 minutes. Thus, thus minimizing labor and the quantity of sample destroyed. What sets this device apart from current microfluidic systems is the ability to introduce a solid fiber (or other solid sample) into a fluidic process. The forensic examiner places the fiber sample in a shallow extraction chamber of the microfluidic chip and inserts it into the system. After selecting extraction parameters from the graphical user interface on a PC, the process becomes fully automated. This system allows identification from smaller samples, minimizes the risk of contamination, and improves fiber analysis repeatability by offering a standard methodology with minimal operator input. Applications beyond forensic investigation include, but are not limited to, food and beverage safety, environmental and agricultural evaluation, drug testing, fermentation monitoring, and biothreat sensing.

    Advantages

    • Automatic molecular information of dyes or other trace chemicals provided when connected to a mass spectrometer
    • Minimal mass of fibers (ng) and volumes of solvent (10 μL) necessary to reach a detectable dye concentration
    • Shorter analysis times, with less contamination, in a highly repeatable standard method for trace fiber examination

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Thomas A. Dow is the director of the Precision Engineering Center, a Dean F. Duncan Distinguish University Professor in Mechanical Engineering, and a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University. He achieved his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Polytechnical Institute in 1966, his M.S. in Engineering Design at the Case Institute of Technology in 1968, and his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University in 1972. His current research interests include the design of precision machining systems, real-time control, and metrology.

    Kenneth P. Gerrard is a full-time researcher at the Precision Engineering Center. He received his B.S. in Computer Science and his M.S. in Computer Studies from NCSU and his research interests include development of high performance control systems for ultra-precision machines and software for custom, multiprocessor computer systems. Also, he has published twelve articles in eight different journals, and has participated in almost four dozen talks and poster presentations.

    Stephen J. Furst is a Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical Engineering at NC State, where he also obtained his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. His interests are in robotics and automation, instrument design, and space systems. He is working on automatic handling technology for hemispherical shells presently.

    Sean Gunning earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University in 2011 and his M.S. in the same at the Precision Engineering Center at NC State in 2014. His research focused on microfluidics, heat and mass transfer, and automated systems design.

    Aqueous Photovoltaic Elastomeric Gels Using Pentablock Copolymer

    15119 -Aqueous Photovoltaic Elastomeric Gels Using Pentablock Copolymer

    Abstract

    Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) have been widely studied and developed due to several advantages, such as low cost-to-performance ratio, low cost of fabrication, functionality at wide angles and low intensities of incident light, and low weight. For the practical application of DSSCs, it is important to replace the conventional organic solvents based electrolyte with environmentally friendly and stable ones, due to the toxicity and leakage problems. This has promoted the development of aqueous (water-based) gels in the industry. Moreover, the conventional electrolytic gels are too fragile to be used in solar cells.

    Researchers at NC State University have developed a novel aqueous photosensitive gel using pentablock copolymer. The pentablock polymer contains photosensitive ions having variable ion-exchange capacities (IEC). The polymer used here is a sulfonated block copolymer which imparts greatly enhanced strength and toughness to the DSSCs produced from it. Owing to its ionic conductivity, this copolymer possesses the ability to produce materials with comparable solar cell properties to those existing in the industry.

    Advantages

    • Better ionic conductivity
    • Increased strength and toughness than conventional solar cells
    • Stable and environmentally friendly gel for use in quasi-solid DSSCs


    About the Lead Inventor

    Dr. Richard Spontak is a Professor in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department at NC State University. Dr. Spontak was a research scientist with Procter & Gamble before he joined the NCSU faculty in 1992. Spontak has over 104 publications in peer-reviewed journals, and his work has been featured on the cover of Microsc. Res. Tech. and Langmuir. He has received numerous awards including 2015 Society of Plastics Engineers International award, 2012 Alcoa Foundation Distinguished Engineering Research award, 2006 International Network for Engineering Education & Research Recognition (iNEER) Award. His research interests include effects of homo/copolymer blending, molecular architecture, monomer sequencing, and solvation on the phase behavior of microstructural polymer systems.

    A Software Method of Improving Learning Outcomes for Each Student in a Course in an Affordable Manner - Utilizing Economies of Scale

    15125 -Abstract

    Learning systems have been successfully employed to plan, implement, and assess specific learning processes in both academia and corporate environments. Typically, these systems provide instructors with ways to create and deliver content, monitor student participation, and assess student performance. The leading learning management systems only look at log data in the LMS and other behavioral data, failing to provide individualized feedback to students in context with specific course sub-topics and pedagogical goals. Adaptive learning systems, which can provide such feedback, require substantial time and resources to produce new course content, such as textbook, videos, quizzes and exercises, from scratch within the delivery system.

    Unlike the current incomplete solutions we offer a learning system that 1) analyzes individual student performance with respect to the concepts in the course and the relationships between the concepts, as well as giving the student coaching on the cognitive level of performance difficulties, and 2) works as an add-on to any course, with any textbook or other course material. Our system allows for personal/individual coaching which scales economically for classes without a limit on class size and so helps make up for the loss of individual contact, all while using your existing textbook and portfolio of course content.

    Advantages

    • Analyzes student performance with respect to the course
    • Analyzes student performance with respect to relationships between the course concepts
    • Gives the student coaching on the cognitive level of performance difficulties
    • System is scalable


    Potential Applications

    • Learning management systems


    About the Inventor

    Henry Schaffer is a Professor Emeritus of Genetics & Biomathematics and the Coordinator of Special IT Projects and Faculty Collaboration in the Office of Information Technology, NC State University.

    'Miss Pearl' Buddleja

    15262 -

    'Miss Pearl' is a Buddleja shrub ideal for gardens, containers or landscaping. Part of the Miss series of Buddleja shrubs, the cultivar has fragrant white flowers and blooms from early Summer until early Fall. 'Miss Pearl' is a deciduous perennial that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and is deer resistant. Compared to other Buddleja cultivars, 'Miss Pearl' is non-invasive and compact.

    Three years of field tests and observations demonstrate that 'Miss Pearl' has a reduced stature, semi-upright growth, prolific flowering, excellent winter cold hardiness, high degree of female sterility and easy maintenance, making it an excellent addition to any residential garden or commercial landscape.

    Characteristics

    Exclusive Licensee

    'Miss Pearl' is exclusively licensed to Spring Meadow Nursery.

    Lead Inventor

    Dr. Dennis James Werner is an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus of Horticultural Science at NC State. He received his Ph.D. in Horticulture from Michigan State. In his more than twenty-five years at NC State, he has developed numerous Buddleja cultivars, including the successful Chip and Miss series that are exclusively licensed to Spring Meadow Nursery. Dr. Werner has also focused his breeding efforts on peaches, ornamental peaches and redbuds.

    Novel Conductive Biocomposites

    15172 - North Carolina State University is seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize an engineered biocomposite that provides an effective solution for compact renewable electricity generation.

    Abstract

    The demand for low cost renewable electricity sources is constantly growing. An example of such renewable resources are microbial fuel cells (MFC), which convert waste organic materials and light energy into electrical energy. Although microbes and organic wastes are abundant, the following limitations hinder the commercial application of MFCs: (a) internal resistance of the fuel cell, (b) the effectiveness of the microbes to convert substrate into electrons, (c) the convective transport of materials in the substrate, (d) the volumetric loading of the microbes, and (e) the low electro-chemical potential across the bacteria membrane (1.1 v). To achieve sufficiently high voltage and current, the microbial fuel cells must be connected in series and have sufficient high density of bacteria to adequately transport current flow. None of the existing technologies can effectively solve these limitations. Therefore, there is a great commercial opportunity for an inexpensive technology that significantly enhances the cellular and current density of MFCs, while using minimal amounts of water and not compromising the porosity of the biocomposite.

    Researchers at NC State University have developed a cellulose-based microbial paper biocomposite that could dramatically enhance the cellular density of microbial fuel cells. Engineering a mixture of nanofiber cellulose and wood fiber produces a synergistic effect that will allow for the creation of compact MFCs. The wet-lay process that produces this biocomposite is scalable, and it provides controlled drying conditions to entrap microbes within the paper in their living state. This technology enables layered MFCs that create 110 volts in a 2-cm stack, using inexpensive paper-based biocomposites. Furthermore, the production technique allows for addition of carbon fibers or other materials to make conductive biocomposites. A significant fraction of carbon fiber can be incorporated into these cellulose + cell paste composites, further enhancing their properties for fuel cell applications. This creates an entirely new intensified approach to create useful electrical energy from waste materials. In addition, these MFCs can be used as reactive biofilters, as current generating biosolar energy harvesting devices, and act as power generators in wastewater treatment facilities.

    For the biotechnology, wastewater treatment, and energy industries who are looking for renewable and sustainable resources to generate electricity, this technology offers a scalable process to fabricate cellulose-based microbial fuel cells. Unlike the current MFCs that generate a limited amount of voltage, these biocomposites provide high living cell densities to provide significant electro-chemical potential, and have micropores that enable the transport of nutrients and gases.

    Advantages

    • Cellulose-based microbial paper biocomposite
    • Renewable source of energy with tailored embedded microbe and conductive properties
    • Significantly increased cell density at the anode generating useful current density
    • Synergistic effect of constituent materials for engineered microbial fuel cells
    • Valuable applications in different industries such as power generation, biosolar energy harvesting, wastewater treatment, and MSW/food waste/biomass to electricity
    • Scalable and established wet lay production process with controlled process parameters


    About the Inventors

    Dr. Joel J. Pawlak is an Associate Professor in the College of Natural Resources, Department of Forest Biomaterials, at North Carolina State University. His research interests focus on the material science and material engineering of multiphase materials. Current research interests include porous fibrous web structures, foams made from natural materials, natural super-absorbents, enzymatic manipulation of material structure, natural nano-scale fiber composites, and novel application of rheological phenomenon.

    Dr. Michael C. Flickinger is a Professor in the Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department, and the Associate Director of Academic Programs Golden LEAF Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC) at North Carolina State University. His research interests focus on biocatalytic coatings, nanostructured bioreactive materials, bioprocess intensification and miniaturization (BIM), coating/photo, microchannel and thin film bioreactor design, combined with microbial metabolic engineering.

    Fabrication of Vacuum-Sealed Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducers (CMUTs) Using Anodic Bonding

    15153 -Novel fabrication method for vacuum-sealed capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer (CMUT) arrays.

    Abstract

    Capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers (CMUTs) have demonstrated great promise for next-generation ultrasound technology. They have promising applications for various uses such as medical imaging, ultrasound therapy, and chemical gas sensors. However, conventional CMUTs experience low breakdown voltage and fail to demonstrate vacuum-sealed cavities, which leads to unstable operating point, long loading time and low transduction efficiency. Lack of vacuum-sealing not only reduces their effectiveness and responsiveness, but also makes them susceptible to liquid environments.

    Researchers at NC State University have developed a novel fabrication method for vacuum-sealed CMUT arrays using anodic bonding. This new approach combines the advantages of wafer bonding with a dielectric substrate. Additionally, the fabrication process is simplified compared to that of conventional ultrasonic transducers. This approach produces bonded posts with very narrow widths, which is difficult to achieve with other bonding methods. Additionally, fabrication of CMUTs on an optically transparent glass substrate reduces the parasitic capacitance and process complexity significantly and allows introduction laser excitation behind the array for photoacoustic imaging.

    Advantages

    • Stable
    • High efficiency
    • Reduced process complexity
    • Reduced parasitic capacitance
    • Low process temperature
    • High surface roughness tolerance
    • Low cost


    About the inventors

    Dr. Omer Oralkan is an associate professor in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, CA in 2004. His current research focuses on developing devices and systems for ultrasound imaging, photoacoustic imaging, image-guided therapy, biological and chemical sensing, and ultrasound neural stimulation.

    Dr. Feysel Yalcin Yamaner used to be a post-doctoral research associate in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Program, Turkey in 2001. His research specialties are Microfabrication, MEMS, Chemical/Biological Sensors, Ultrasound, Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducers (CMUTs), Ultrasonic Imaging and Therapy.

    Mr. Xiao Zhang is a graduate student in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University. He works as a research assistant in Dr. Oralkan’s group. His research interests lie in CMUTs and monitoring system.

    Wearable Multifunctional Sensors and Hydration Monitor.

    15191 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize the wearable skin hydration monitor.

    Abstract

    The recent boom in inexpensive wearable sensors has resulted in the production of a great amount of biometric data. Small, lightweight, and unobtrusive sensors have the ability to constantly measure a wearer’s biometric information and communicate readily with smartphones or other connected base stations. A user’s personal hydration level is a critically important and easily measured metric of health. Dehydration can have dramatic and life-threatening consequences such as low blood pressure, elevated heart and breath rate, and in extreme cases delirium and unconsciousness.

    A team of biomedical and electrical engineers at NC State University have developed a wearable skin hydration monitor that uses dry electrodes to monitor skin moisture content. By using a conductive additive to a common, biocompatible, rubber-like polymer, the device harmlessly measures the electrical impedance of the skin’s surface to infer the hydration level of the user.

    For people who are dissatisfied with guessing if they drink enough water during the day, NC State’s technology could deliver an inexpensive and quantifiable answer. Unlike alternative sweat-rate monitors, this technology is cheap, easily produced, and could easily interface with a smartphone or at-home base station.

    Advantages

    • Inexpensive components, with easily scalable material demands
    • Low-power electrical subsystems and commercial off-the-shelf parts
    • Can be connected to Bluetooth and automatically communicate with smartphones – potentially leading to low adoption costs for users


    Patent Information

    This technology is included in US Patent Application Publication US 2016/0338639 A1.

    About The Lead Inventor

    Dr. John F. Muth is an Associate Professor with the NCSU Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr. Muth’s primary research interests include nanoelectronics and photonics including optical materials and photonic devices.
    Dr. Yong Zhu is an associate professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. Zhu’s research interests include mechanics and materials issues in nanostructures and thin films as well as the mechanics of soft materials and interfaces.
    Amanda Myers is a graduate student pursing her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. Ms. Myers is a member of Dr. Jesse Jur’s research group in the College of Textiles and her current research focus in on energy harvesting.
    Abhishek Malhotra is a graduate student pursuing his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Mr. Malhotra is a member of Dr. John Muth’s research group and his current research focus is on flexible/wearable nanowire electrodes and sensors.

    Composition, Preparation, and Use of Depyrogenated Chitosan Powder for Biomedical Applications

    15166 -This technology is protected by WIPO patent publication numbers 2011066471 A1, 2015021303 A1, and 2015160719 A3 North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize Chitosan Decontamination method for Internal Use

    Abstract

    Chitosan is a starch derived from the shells of crustaceans, with numerous commercial and medical applications. It is biocompatible and biodegradable, offering many uses including antimicrobial, control of bleeding, and drug delivery. Due to its animal shell origin, a long standing complication to the widespread use of chitosan is its contamination with bacterial endotoxins. Unlike microbes, endotoxins are not removed by sterilization but can be degraded under harsh treatments. Unfortunately, harsh treatments also degrade the beneficial properties of the chitosan itself, rendering it useless as a medical material.

    Researchers at Loma Linda University and North Carolina State University have developed a novel method to destroy endotoxins in chitosan without damaging the chitosan itself by using a low temperature nitrogen plasma method, called depyrogenation. This approach not only sterilizes the chitosan, but also reduces the endotoxin load to levels such that the chitosan can be implanted and left in the body. Chitosan powder can be spun into fibers and textiles, and chitosan fabrics made from this material can be depyrogenated for use in wounds and surgical sites. Such materials will revolutionize the treatment of internal, non-compressible blood loss.

    In addition to its hemostatic properties, chitosan is an excellent material for delivering drugs and other therapeutic compounds. The same researchers used the depyrogenated chitosan to deliver chemotherapy drugs at the site of a cancer without risking any of the toxic or inflammatory side effects of delivering drugs using chitosan containing endotoxin. Pending further studies, collaborators at the NIH are prepared to use the depyrogenated chitosan and launch a clinical trial for the treatment of bladder cancer.

    Advantages

    • Destroys endotoxins in chitosan without damaging the chitosan itself
    • Implanted chitosan can be left in the body
    • Can be use d to deliver drugs and other therapeutic compounds


    Related Patents Information

    • Crofton, A. et. al., "Effect of Plasma Sterilization on the Hemostatic Efficacy of a Chitosan Hemostatic Agent in a Rat Model" Advances in Therapy. pp 1-14 (Epub 30 Jan 2016).
    • Patent application PCT/US2010/058118 "Chitosan-based hemostatic textile" (publication WO2011066471 A1).
    • Patent application PCT/US2014/050188 "Systems and methods for the treatment of bladder cancer" (publication WO2015021303 A1).
    • Patent application PCT/US2015/025605 "Chitosan shards for biomedical applications" (publication WO2015160719 A3).


    About The Lead Inventor

    Dr. Sam Hudson is a Professor in NC State University's College of Textiles. His research interests include the conversion of biopolymeric materials, such as chitin, chitosan, amylose and silk like proteins, into useful fibers and films.

    E-textile legos - Versatile integration of electronics on textiles

    15180 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize the custom e-textiles made with Lego-like interlocking conductive strips.

    Abstract

    E-textiles and conductive fabrics can create wearable circuits to convey biometric data, connect wearable sensors, or transmit information across or upon garments. However, many conductive textiles either require complex synthetic fabrics or are made simply by weaving metal wires into the fabric itself. Unfortunately, these design and engineering strategies significantly limit the options for “electrifying” an already-sewn garment. The ability to design, redesign, functionalize, and empower designers and engineers to create wearable textiles garments could open new avenues for data collection, transmission, and processing on clothing and fabrics.

    A team of inventors from the NC State College of Textiles and NC State’s National Science Foundation-funded Center for Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST) has developed and prototyped a solution which can create just such a system. Their design creates scalable conductive strips which are linked end-to-end to produce custom circuits on the surface of a sewn garment. In this way, the circuits can be designed and laid out with different geometries forming different functional aspects of a worn circuit. Designers can assemble these circuits with pre-fabricated strip lengths to connect sensors and collect and transmit data. The design could enable diverse applications including rapid wearable prototyping, concept testing and verification, and as educational materials or as toys.

    For designers and engineers who are dissatisfied with integrated e-textiles for prototyping circuits, this solution offers reconfigureability and maximum customization. Unlike integrated woven conductive elements, these strips can be placed anywhere on an already-sewn garment to maximize design and engineering application.

    Advantages

    • Flexible and stretchable conductive strips
    • Can be linked together and easily scaled
    • Maximum design freedom for circuit layout on already-sewn garments


    About The Lead Inventor

    Dr. Jesse Jur is an Assistant Professor in Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science at North Carolina State University. His research focuses on surface modification of textiles and applications to electronic textiles for wearable electronics and energy harvesting. Dr. Jur has a prior record of technology development including transitioning technology from the university to a startup.

    Tobacco-Derived Cellulose Material for Packaging

    15189 - North Carolina State University is seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize a process that yields quality packaging paper from non-woody tobacco root.

    Abstract

    Tobacco leaves are the main component making up smoking articles, such as cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, and E-vapor products. However, the tobacco root remains underutilized, and is not harvested in the manufacturing process. Tobacco root is a very unlikely source of pulp for any paper product, much less for the very demanding grade of paperboard used in cardboard and specialized packaging products. This is due to a lot of extraneous materials (pith, parenchyma, dirt, debris) that must be removed from the root prior to papermaking. Large amounts of sand, shives, and gravel in brownstock, break the paper sheets and demand high levels of processing energy to remove, in the paper making process. Removal of such contaminants is not cost-effective, and thus, a viable technology that can process and make an acceptable paper product from tobacco-derived pulp does not exist.

    Researchers in the College of Natural Resources at NC State University, have developed a novel technology to process tobacco root, and make paperboard products from the resulting pulp. This scalable process removes the contaminants optimally, to enable the manufacture of paperboard sheets from non-woody tobacco root materials. The sheets are free of contaminants and light-colored, and have better quality compared to sheets from other short-fibered materials. This technology addresses the challenges in processing of non-woody raw materials such as ammonia release, sheet breaks, high amounts of drying energy, and uneven distribution of fine and sticky materials. Not only does this process enable the manufacture of pure tobacco-derived packaging product, but it also enables the application of blends of woody and non-woody raw materials. This pulp and paperboard sheet from tobacco root makes economically-sound specialized packaging products.

    For the huge tobacco industries (and also packaging industries) who deem the tobacco root to be an agricultural residue, and are looking to efficiently take advantage of all parts of the tobacco plant, this technology offers a reliable and scalable process to make specialized packaging product from non-woody tobacco root materials. Unlike the challenging steps in making paper from non-woody raw materials, this process allows for the manufacture of high quality paperboard product that is free of contaminants, and is economically viable for specialty packaging products.

    Advantages

    • Specialized packaging product from tobacco root
    • Light-colored paperboard product, and free of contaminants
    • Scalable process for the optimal removal of extraneous materials
    • Superior properties as compared to sheets from other short-fibered materials
    • Capable of processing pure tobacco-derived and/or blends of woody and non-woody pulps


    Patent Information

    A US application has published (Pub. No. 2016/0208440 A1), under the title "Tobacco-Derived Cellulose Material and Products Formed Thereof".

    About the Inventor

    Dr. Med Byrd is an Associate Professor and Undergraduate Coordinator for the Paper Science and Engineering program in the College of Natural Resources, Department of Forest Biomaterials, at North Carolina State University. His research interests are mechanical pulping, chemical pulping and bleaching, and non-wood pulping. Other areas of his research and technical service are agricultured fibers and biomass. Dr. Byrd is a member of the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry.

    Intraconazole-loaded microneedles for transdermal treatment of basal cell carcinoma

    15193 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to commercialize a novel technology for the treatment of Basal Cell Carcinoma.

    Abstract

    Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a frequently occurring form of skin cancer among Caucasians and Hispanics. BCC causes lesions which appear as sores, growths, red patches, bumps and or scars. The size depth and location of a tumor can be identified based on the physical appearance. Local treatment of BCC is preferred over more extensive treatment options. However, current local techniques for treatment of BCC have significant side effects.

    Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed novel approaches for the local treatment of BCC with minimal side effects. The technique for the treatment of BCC includes the production of microneedle patches and loading the needles with drugs for the topical treatment of BCC. The microneedle patches provide transdermal delivery of the drugs, specifically at the site of the cancer. By utilizing the NCSU technology, efficient, patient specific treatment can be delivered.

    Advantages

    • Local treatment of BCC
    • Reduced side effects
    • Limited damage to surrounding tissues


    Relevant Patent Information

    A patent application has been filed for this invention.

    About the Inventor

    Dr. Narayan is a Professor at the University of North Carolina-North Carolina State University Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering. He is the author of over one hundred publications and several book chapters on microscale and nanoscale processing of biological and biomedical materials. Dr. Narayan has received several honors for his research activities, including the North Carolina State University Sigma Xi Faculty Research Award, the University of North Carolina Jefferson-Pilot Fellowship in Academic Medicine, the National Science Faculty Early Career Development Award, and the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award. He has been elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science as well as Fellow of ASM International.

    NC EBR-1 Tomato Breeding Line

    15211 -

    NC EBR-1 has been registered with the U.S. PVP Office.

    NC EBR-1 is a fresh market plum tomato breeding line featuring crisp firm fruit with good external and internal color and high yields. Four years of field tests and observations demonstrate that NC EBR-1 has a determinate habit with jointed fruit pedicels and uniform shoulder color (u gene). Foliage is dark and heavy, providing good fruit protection. Fruit are symmetrical and deep oblate to globe in shape with excellent crack resistance.

    NC EBR-1 also has genetic resistance to early blight, fusarium wilt (I and I-2 genes), verticillium wilt (Ve gene) and foliar blight. NC EBR-1 is useful as a parental line to develop superior F1 hybrids with multiple-disease resistance, high yields and smooth firm fruit.

    Characteristics

    Inventor

    Dr. Randy Gardner is a Professor Emeritus of horticultural science at NC State and taught at the University for more than 30 years. He received his PhD in Pomology from Cornell University and has released more than 34 varieties of tomatoes. Dr. Gardner runs NC State’s tomato breeding program, which has provided growers with 16 fresh market tomato varieties. He has been awarded by the NC Tomato Growers Association, NC Vegetable Growers Association, NC Agricultural Extension Service and the Honor Society of Agriculture for his work.

    Additional Information on NC State's Tomato Breeding Program.

    NC EBR-2 Tomato Breeding Line

    15212 -

    NC EBR-2 has been registered with the U.S. PVP Office.

    NC EBR-2 is a fresh market plum tomato breeding line featuring crisp firm fruit with good external and internal color and normal yields. Four years of field tests and observations demonstrate that NC EBR-2 has a strong determinate habit with jointless fruit pedicels (j-2 gene) and uniform shoulder color (u gene). Foliage is dark and heavy, providing good fruit protection. Fruit are large and deep oblate to globe in shape with excellent resistance to cracking and rain check.

    NC EBR-2 also has genetic resistance to early blight, fusarium wilt (I and I-2 genes), verticillium wilt (Ve gene), stem lesions and foliar blight. NC EBR-2 is useful as a parental line to develop superior F1 hybrids with multiple-disease resistance and smooth firm fruit.

    Characteristics

    Inventor

    Dr. Randy Gardner is a Professor Emeritus of horticultural science at NC State and taught at the University for more than 30 years. He received his PhD in Pomology from Cornell University and has released more than 34 varieties of tomatoes. Dr. Gardner runs NC State’s tomato breeding program, which has provided growers with 16 fresh market tomato varieties. He has been awarded by the NC Tomato Growers Association, NC Vegetable Growers Association, NC Agricultural Extension Service and the Honor Society of Agriculture for his work.

    Additional Information on NC State's Tomato Breeding Program.

    NC EBR-3 Tomato Breeding Line

    15213 -

    U.S. PVP Certificate #9300159 has been issued for NC EBR-3.

    NC EBR-3 is a fresh market plum tomato breeding line featuring crisp firm fruit with good external and internal color and normal yields. Years of field tests and observations demonstrate that NC EBR-3 has a determinate habit with jointless fruit pedicels (j-2 gene) and uniform shoulder color (u gene). Foliage is dark and heavy, providing good fruit protection. Fruit are symmetrical and deep oblate to flattened globe in shape with excellent resistance to radial and concentric cracking and weather check.

    NC EBR-3 also has genetic resistance to early blight, fusarium wilt (I and I-2 genes), verticillium wilt (Ve gene), stem lesions, and foliar blight. NC EBR-3 is useful as a parental line to develop superior F1 hybrids with multiple-disease resistance and smooth firm fruit.

    Characteristics

    Inventor

    Dr. Randy Gardner is a Professor Emeritus of horticultural science at NC State and taught at the University for more than 30 years. He received his PhD in Pomology from Cornell University and has released more than 34 varieties of tomatoes. Dr. Gardner runs NC State’s tomato breeding program, which has provided growers with 16 fresh market tomato varieties. He has been awarded by the NC Tomato Growers Association, NC Vegetable Growers Association, NC Agricultural Extension Service and the Honor Society of Agriculture for his work.

    Additional Information on NC State's Tomato Breeding Program.

    NC HS-1 Tomato Breeding Line

    15214 -

    NC HS-1 is a fresh market tomato breeding line featuring crisp firm fruit with good external and internal color and high yields. Years of field tests and observations demonstrate that NC HS-1 has a vigorous determinate habit with jointed fruit pedicels and uniform shoulder color (u gene). Foliage is non-curled and heavy, providing good fruit protection. Fruit are symmetrical and deep oblate to flattened globe in shape with excellent resistance to radial and concentric cracking and weather check. NC HS-1 is highly desired for its ability to produce heat tolerant hybrids and can grow in temperatures as hot as 90 to 100 °F.

    NC HS-1 also has genetic resistance to fusarium wilt (I and I-2 genes) and verticillium wilt (Ve gene). NC HS-1 is useful as a parental line to develop superior F1 hybrids with multiple-disease resistance and smooth firm fruit.

    Characteristics

    Inventor

    Dr. Randy Gardner is a Professor Emeritus of horticultural science at NC State and taught at the University for more than 30 years. He received his PhD in Pomology from Cornell University and has released more than 34 varieties of tomatoes. Dr. Gardner runs NC State’s tomato breeding program, which has provided growers with 16 fresh market tomato varieties. He has been awarded by the NC Tomato Growers Association, NC Vegetable Growers Association, NC Agricultural Extension Service and the Honor Society of Agriculture for his work.

    Additional Information on NC State's Tomato Breeding Program.

    Mercury: A New Hybrid Magnolia Tree

    15218 -

    U.S. Plant Patent Application 14/999,119 has been filed for this cultivar.

    MercuryTM is a new hybrid magnolia tree with large flowers, an oval upright shape and late bloom time. Emerging and young leaves of MercuryTM start as yellow green in the Spring and mature to dark green in the Summer. Several years of field tests and observations demonstrate that MercuryTM has an upright and excurrent stature, prolific flowering, hardiness to wintry weather and easy maintenance.

    MercuryTM adapts well to USDA hardiness Zone 5 and requires well-drained soil, full sun and moderate moisture. No serious pest or disease problems are known to affect this cultivar. Attractive and fragrant bright lavender pink flowers combined with dark green foliage make MercuryTM a beautiful addition to any home or landscape.

    Characteristics

    Exclusively Licensed

    MercuryTM® is exclusively licensed by the J. Frank Schmidt & Sons Company.

    Inventor

    Dr. Thomas Ranney is a professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He also serves as the Program Leader of the Mountain Crop Improvement Lab. He received his Ph.D. in Horticulture and Plant Protection from Cornell University. Dr. Ranney’s research focuses on breeding and improvement of nursery and bioenergy crops, and he has introduced more than thirty different plant cultivars.

    'NCCE1': A New Evergreen Dogwood

    15252 -

    U.S. Plant Patent Application 14/999,639 has been filed for this cultivar.

    'NCCE1' is a new cultivar of Evergreen Dogwood with large, ivory-colored bracts and leaves that transition from green to purple in the Winter. Emerging and young leaves of 'NCCE1' start as yellow-green in the Spring and mature to green in the Summer. Six years of field tests and observations demonstrate that 'NCCE1' has a narrow, upright and pyramidal stature, prolific flowering, hardiness to wintry weather and easy maintenance.

    'NCCE1' adapts well to USDA hardiness Zone 6 and higher and requires well-drained soil, full sun to partial shade and moderate moisture. No serious pest or disease problems are known to affect this cultivar. Attractive white flowers combined with evergreen foliage make 'NCCE1' a beautiful addition to any home or landscape.

    Characteristics

    Exclusively Licensed

    'NCCE1' is exclusively licensed by the North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association, Inc.

    Inventor

    Dr. Thomas Ranney is a professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He also serves as the Program Leader of the Mountain Crop Improvement Lab. He received his Ph.D. in Horticulture and Plant Protection from Cornell University. Dr. Ranney’s research focuses on breeding and improvement of nursery and bioenergy crops, and he has introduced more than thirty different plant cultivars.

    Auto Tuning of Powered Lower Limb Prosthesis

    15245 -Auto Tuning of Powered Lower Limb Prosthesis

    Abstract

    Powered lower limb prostheses provide self-powered actuation capabilities comparable to biological systems, however, amputees could not take full advantages of the powered lower limb prostheses unless control parameters of the prostheses are fine-tuned for each individual. Currently, these control parameters are manually tuned by prosthetists, which leads to two major issues:

    • These manual tuning procedures are costly, burdensome, and time consuming;
    • The fine-tuned parameters are fixed after tuning procedures and could not adapt with physical changes and needs of amputees over time.


    As a result, amputees are forced to tolerate these non-optimal control parameters, which generate abnormal and inefficient gait patterns. Long term exposure to the abnormal gait patterns may even lead to secondary injuries.

    Researchers at NC State University have developed a system, which attempts to overcome these problems. They have developed a cyber-expert system, which is able to configure the prosthetic control parameters by mimicking the tuning decisions of a clinical expert. This system can efficiently configure the prosthetic joints automatically without involving human errors. This system helps reduce configuration time for prostheses and enable efficient gait in lower limb amputees, adapting to their physical changes and environment changes. This approach may help translate powered prostheses into a viable clinical option where amputees can more quickly appreciate the benefits such devices can provide.

    Advantages

    • Automatic configuration of parameters to better mimic biological systems
    • Reduction in human efforts and errors
    • Permit amputees to manage their prosthesis themselves


    About The Lead Inventor

    Dr. He (Helen) Huang is an Associate Professor in the Biomedical Engineering department at the NC State University. She is also the director of the Joint UNC-NCSU Rehabilitation Engineering Core that evaluates, designs, develops, and promotes improved care and function for individuals with short and long term rehabilitation needs. Her research interests are prosthetics and orthotics, control of wearable robotics, and neural-machine interface. She has received numerous honors till date, including 2012 NSF Faculty Early CAREER award, and 2012 Outstanding Intellectual Property Development award.

    Atmospheric plasma source utilizing liquid precursor delivery through a powered electrode surface

    15288 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize the novel liquid-precursor plasma source for surface coating.

    Abstract

    Plasmas are often used for functionalizing or modifying surfaces. Most plasma sources for surface modification have planar geometries and generate an RF frequency inductively or capacitively to energize a gas precursor to the super-excited state of plasma. This plasma then produces complex reactions on the surfaces with which the plasma interacts to remove or engineer surface properties. While plasma sources are familiar and frequently-used tools in many material engineering fields, their restriction to certain types of gasses and certain chamber geometries could be limiting their applications.

    A team of plasma engineers at NC State University have recently developed a completely novel liquid-electrode plasma generator which is capable of energizing a liquid precursor to the point of becoming a plasma. Due to the unique geometries and frequencies employed, this new generator can create plasmas from polar or nonpolar liquids and can deposit at room temperature. The geometry even allows for threads to be pulled through the liquid precursor at high speed and to become coated upon exit from the liquid electrode.

    With potential applications ranging from thread coating and wire functionalization to rapid chemical deposition of liquids all at room temperature and pressure, this new plasma generator could have many applications. Contact NC State’s Office of Technology Transfer today to discuss your unique needs and applications.

    Advantages

    • Source operates with liquid precursor at atmospheric pressure
    • New geometry and operating frequency enables polar or nonpolar liquids


    About The Lead Inventor

    Dr. Steve Shannon received his Ph.D. (1999) from the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences at the University of Michigan and later joined the technical staff at Applied Materials Inc. At NC State, Dr. Shannon’s research interests include industrial applications of plasma discharges and plasma applications of next generation materials and devices.

    Shape memory alloy actuated biliary stent

    15295 - North Carolina State University is seeking a partner to commercialize a novel thermally-actuated biliary stent.

    Abstract

    Benign biliary strictures (BBS) are non-cancerous obstructions of the biliary duct, usually associated with post-surgical injuries or chronic inflammatory disorders. This life-threatening condition can lead to liver damage, cardiovascular instability, kidney failure and septic shock. Stenting of the obstructed bile duct using Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is the surgical standard of care. While endoscopic stenting is highly effective in achieving bile duct patency, this procedure carries its own surgical risks: complications include pancreatitis, hemorrhage, and cholangitis. The plastic and metallic stents commonly used for ERCP-based treatment of BBS require endoscopic procedures for removal.

    Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a novel thermally-actuated metallic biliary stent that can remain in place long enough to achieve adequate remodeling and recanalization of the bile duct, and yet be easily removed via inductive heating to limit surgical complications. Preliminary tests using a shape memory alloy prototype confirm that large reductions in stent diameter (in excess of 50%) can be achieved via this approach.

    Further potential applications of this technology include venous malformations which currently require multiple interventional radiographic procedures to achieve vascular occlusion.

    Advantages

    • No surgery required for removal
    • Removal tailored to individual patient’s needs/LI>
    • Biocompatible construction
    • Further applications


    About the Inventors

    Dr. Gregory Buckner’’s research is interesting to students because it focuses on the development of technologies that address human health needs, because it balances mechanical and electrical systems design, and because of its "hands-on" nature. His students are engaged in research and development using theoretical, computational and experimental tools with a focus on technology transfer and commercialization.

    Dr. Kyles Mathews' research foducses on Investigational and minimally invasive treatment modalities (surgical techniques, drug delivery methods and biomedical implants); evaluation of the influence of muscle transection on swallowing dysfunction and aspiration in dogs following a lateral surgical approach to the larynx; and evaluation of swallowing function in dogs undergoing surgery for the treatment of laryngeal paralysis, hyperparathyroidism or thyroid neoplasi..

    Gigapixel image mosaicking algorithm (has invention counterpart 16083)

    15301 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to commercialize the novel patent-pending algorithm for High-speed Gigapixel Photo Stitching

    Abstract

    The ease and availability of digital photography has enabled a boon in high quality small sensors and optics. The resulting commercial competition has created a race for sensors with the highest resolution. While many devices use sensors over 10 megapixels, resolutions as high as 40 megapixels are available in form factors small enough for a smartphone. To extend this resolution race even further, it is possible to combine multiple megapixel images into a single super-image of gigapixel resolution. However, currently combining megapixel images into gigapixel images is accomplished by arraying and comparing tessellated photos. This method takes a long time to accomplish and often requires comparing each tile to all others to coordinate the image stitching, adding to the time and computing power requirements.

    A team of electrical and computer engineers at NC State University has instead developed a novel method of comparing and combining megapixel photos by focusing on nearest neighbors’ borders. This new method is significantly faster and requires so little processing power that it could potentially be housed on the microcontroller of a camera itself. Similar to building a puzzle, this software works by comparing only the edges of tiles known to be in close proximity to one another to determine how they should align.

    For photographers who are dissatisfied with compromising quality on wide-field panoramas or the long run-time required for stitching together megapixel images, NC State’s algorithm provides a lightweight and high speed solution. Unlike most mosaicking software, this solution is easily implemented and readily scaled.

    Advantages

    • Low processing power requirements enable possible installation in microprocessors
    • High speed operation through comparison of nearest neighbors edges rather than full tile content
    • Can be generalized to many different camera geometries and needs


    About The Inventors

    Dr. Hamid Krim is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State University. His primary research interests include Communications and Signal Processing (including Digital Communications, Digital Signal Processing, Image Analysis and Computer Vision).
    Hamilton Scott Clouse was a graduate student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State University. He is now a researcher engineer in the Air Force Research Laboratories in Dayton, OH. His primary research interests include pattern theory and machine learning with applications in computer vision and big data analysis.
    Dr. Xiao Bian was a graduate student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State University. He is now Computer Vision Scientist at GE Global Research in Niskayuna, NY.
    Dr. Athanasios Gentimis was a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State University. He is now Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Florida Polytechnic College in Lakeland, FL.

    MAGIC: Multi-sample Analysis, Growth and Imaging Chamber

    17022 -

    A U.S. Provisional Patent Application has been filed for this technology.

    MAGIC: Multi-sample Analysis, Growth and Imaging Chamber, a novel device for simultaneously imaging the growth and development of multiple specimens under physiological conditions.

    Abstract

    Light sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) offers a significant advantage for in vivo analysis of growth and development in microbes, plants and animals. However, LSFM is expensive and limiting as researchers are only able to image a single specimen at a time, using significant time and money while reducing viability of specimens due to fluorophore bleaching and phototoxicity. In addition, the equipment need to maintain physiological conditions required for observing growth and development are costly, adding to the already expensive process.

    Researchers at NC State developed a novel and versatile multi-sample analysis, growth and imaging chamber called MAGIC, which can be designed to fit the geometry for various types of microscopy, especially light sheet microscopy, and can be used to image and study specimens from a variety of different organisms under physiological conditions. MAGIC can hold a plurality of specimens and increases imaging viability from hours to several days. Imaging multiple samples simultaneously increases typical throughput in proportion to the number of MAGIC wells. MAGIC is compatible with the software programs and equipment components of a microscope, allowing the researcher to maintain original imaging functions while improving the breadth of their research capabilities. In addition to giving the researcher control of physiological conditions, MAGIC also contains a reservoir that can be used for chemical treatments, allowing the research to specifically influence growth and development at desired stages. MAGIC provides a cost-effective and time-saving solution for in vivo analysis of growth and development.

    Advantages

    • Analysis and imaging of the growth and development of multiple samples
    • Increases imaging viability from hours to several days
    • Significantly increases throughput by allowing the researcher to image multiple samples at once instead of one by one
    • Maintain physiological conditions while using equipment software and mechanisms
    • Reservoir to allow for chemical treatment for growth and development

    Publications

    Multi-sample Arabidopsis Growth and Imaging Chamber (MAGIC) for Long Term Imaging in the ZEISS Lightsheet Z.1

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Rosangela Sozzani is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology at NC State. She earned her Ph.D. in Genetic and Biomolecular Sciences from the University of Pavia, Italy. Her research interests include studying molecular mechanisms that regulate stem cell fate specification, understanding stem cell maintenance and discovering the molecular pathways that stem cells employ.

    Dr. Timothy Horn is a Research Assistant Professor in the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at NC State. He earned his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from NC State. His research interests include advanced manufacturing and 3D-printing.

    Platelet-Mimicking Drug Delivery System

    15298 -Combinational drug nanodelivery system using biomimicry

    Abstract

    Biomimetic drug delivery systems offer new opportunities to mimic biological particulates including cells, vesicles, and viruses for enhancing biocompatibility and promoting therapeutic efficacy. As a simple and effective biomimetic approach, delivery vehicles coated with cell membranes are currently being intensely pursued to achieve a variety of merits such as prolonging circulation time, alleviating immunogenicity, and achieving active targeting ability. Versatile biomimetic drug delivery systems with high specificity are expected to develop given the complexity of biological entities with different types of membranes integrated with distinct bioactive components.

    Platelets are an indispensable component of the blood stream with the ability of targeting injury sites to impede clot formation and maintaining the integrity of blood circulation. Recently, the recognition of interaction between platelets and circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in blood has aroused considerable attention because of its crucial contribution to tumor metastasis. The aggregation of platelets surrounding CTCs helps CTCs survive in the blood stream and spread to new tissues.

    Researchers at NC State University’s Biomedical Engineering Department have recently developed a platelet-membrane (PM)-coated core-shell nanovehicle for the combinational delivery of two anti-cancer drugs: the extracellularly-active protein TRAIL, and the intracellularly-functional small molecule doxorubicin. Enabled by the high affinity between platelets and CTCs, this drug delivery platform successfully delivered TRAIL to cancer cell death receptors and resulted in endocytosis. Acidity in the lyso-endosome degrades the PM-coating, resulting in delivery of the encapsulated doxorubicin to the nuclei of the cells. This resulted in synergetic cytotoxicity.

    Advantages

    • Biomimicry utilizes existing affinity between platelets and circulating tumor cells to enhance endocytosis.
    • Combinational delivery of TRAIL and doxorubicin enables synergetic cytotoxicity.
    • This powerful platform could be adapted for metastasis diagnosis.


    About the Inventor

    Dr. Zhen Gu is an Assistant Professor in the joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His work also supports the Molecular Pharmaceutics Division at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Department of Medicine. His research interests include nanomedicine applications for anti-cancer and anti-diabetes as well as novel drug delivery formulations. Previously, Dr. Gu was a postdoctoral research scientist working with Dr. Robert Langer at the Massachusetts Institutes of Technology.

    Tumor microenvironment-mediated construction and deconstruction of extracellular drug-delivery depots

    15299 -NC State is seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize a novel drug delivery system to treat cancer.

    Abstract

    The use of protein therapy to treat cancer requires a reliable and effective delivery system. Current methods of drug delivery invoke intracellular pathways, which function in the cytosol of the cell and result in compromised efficiency due to cell membrane barriers and endosome escape. Extracellular pathways offer a promising alternative to induce cancer cell death by activating appropriate receptors at the plasma membrane.

    Researchers at NC State have developed a novel drug delivery system to treat cancer that utilizes the extrinsic pathway. The technology involves the construction and deconstruction of extracellular drug delivery depots, which carry the necessary proteins to the surface of the cell, triggering signaling cascades and targeting the tumor for sustained release at its active sites. The release of the drug is dependent on the microenvironment of the tumor, and transformation occurs specifically to induce apoptosis in tumor cells while exhibiting insignificant toxicity to normal cells. The novel drug delivery system is highly efficient at signaling activation of cell death in cancer cells and may be adapted for other non-cancer therapeutic uses as an extrinsic drug delivery system.

    Advantages

    • Specific induction of cell death
    • Highly efficient signaling activation
    • Release of anticancer drugs to most active destination
    • Increased retention time at the tumor site
    • Inhibition of cellular internalization
    • Extrinsic apoptosis activation
    • Biodegradable
    • Transformable behavior of delivery system based on tumor environment


    About the Inventor

    Dr. Zhen Gu is an Assistant Professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at NC State and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Gu earned a Ph.D. in chemical and biomolecular engineering/nanobiotechnology from the University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests include health and nanobiotechnology, nano-characterization and nano-materials and engineering.

    Quanyin Hu is a graduate student in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at NC State and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Hu earned a M.S. in molecular pharmaceuticals from Fudan University in China. His research interests include biomacromolecules for drug delivery and biomolecular engineering.

    A Knitted Cardiac Patch

    15300 -

    NC State is seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize a novel, weft-knitted cardiac patch.

    Abstract

    Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally. An estimated 17.5 million people die from cardiovascular disease each year, which represents 31% of all global deaths. Even if an individual survives a heart attack, he or she still experiences severe decreases in cardiac function due to muscle cell damage and death. Cardiac regeneration is a promising method to restore cardiac function and rebuild muscle cells. Regeneration assists in the recovery of heart cells, prevents future infarctions and avoids heart failure. Cardiac patches are commonly used to regenerate heart tissue and cells, but current patches do not ideally mimic cardiac tissue. Many patches are too stiff to provide the necessary mechanical stability, stretch, recovery and elasticity that exists in native tissue.

    Researchers at NC State have developed cardiac patches made of polylactic acids and woven in three unique patterns. Each patch has demonstrated the elasticity, mechanical properties and porosity of heart tissues and can act as a protective structure as well as deliver important cells, proteins and other biological materials for heart restoration. In addition, the patches are biodegradable and flexible, requiring minimal invasiveness to apply.

    Advantages

    • Flexible and highly porous
    • Supports the growth of cardiac cells and offers superior biocompatibility
    • Carry stem cells and other biomolecules for regeneration
    • Protects and preserves cardiac function
    • Provides a supporting structure to withstand pressure and strain
    • Biaxial mechanical strength (longitudinal and circumferential)
    • Biodegradable and requires no post-surgery removal
    • Delivery and application to target site with minimal invasiveness

    About The Inventors

    Dr. Martin King is a Professor of Biotextiles in the Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science at NC State. His research areas include biotextiles, biomaterial science and implantable devices. Dr. King focuses on degradation processes of fibers, polymers and textiles as well as issues related to their structure, property and potential uses.

    Jiyang Chen is a Graduate Research Assistant in the Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science at NC State. Mr. Chen is working toward his doctorate in fiber and polymer science and focused his Master’s Thesis on the development of the knitted cardiac patch.

    Dr. Andre J. West is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Textile and Apparel Technology and Management at NC State. His research areas include 3-D body scanning, digital printing, computerized whole garment knitwear and infused garments for health and well-being.

    A Semiconductor Topology and Device for Soft Starting and Active Fault Protection of AC-DC Converters

    18011 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize a semiconductor topology and device for soft starting and active fault protection of AC-DC converters.

    Patent Information:A provisional US patent has been filed for this invention.

    State-Of-Development:Technology has been simulated and prototype is in-development

    Abstract

    Background
    The power converter market is anticipated to grow at an accelerated rate due to the proliferation and wide use of the technology in applications from consumer electronic gadgets to smart-grids. Power converters help control and process the flow of electrical energy by supplying current and voltage in DC form, which is optimal for loads such as LED, laptops, appliances, EV chargers, etc. As the switching device technology has progressed from thyristors to bipolar transistors to power MOSFETs, the circuit topologies for power converters have also progressed to take advantage of unique device characteristics. Even after many advancements, power converters oftentimes encounter large inrush current, overshoot of output voltage, and parasitic losses during the switching process, especially in high frequency applications such as hybrid and electric vehicles, lighting, solar inverters, power supplies, charging circuits, and grid control, etc.

    Innovation
    NC State University researchers have developed a new circuit topology and device for soft starting and active fault protection of AC-DC converters to mitigate the above-mentioned problems and risk of device failure, while also improving performance. In contrast to existing topologies, this novel topology provides better mitigation during the fault in the DC bus by turning-off thyristor commutation, i.e., reversing current direction to prevent power flow through the remaining diodes. This halts current within the 1st half cycle of the AC wave and causes a collapse of the DC bus and subsequent decay of DC current feeding the fault. This invention is highly suitable for SiC IGBT or wide-band gap semiconductor based converters, but can also be implemented in several other converter types and topologies. Another benefit of this topology is that it will replace the traditional freewheeling diodes in IGBT.


    Advantages

  • Provide DC fault protection inside the power converter without an additional DC or AC circuit breaker
  • Enable grid disconnection of DC bus by power converter without the need of an AC circuit breaker
  • Enable the function of a controlled diode in a power converter
  • Protect SiC diodes from over-current scenarios
  • Replace auxiliary charge circuits necessary in SiC power converters


  • Application Areas

  • AC-DC converters and Wide-band gap based converters
  • Solid-state transformer
  • Energy storage systems, electric vehicles, smart grids


  • Sponsorship Details

  • The proposed invention is developed under sponsorship of the Department of Energy (DOE).


  • About The Inventors

    Richard B. Beddingfield is currently pursuing his PhD. at the NC State University focusing on power electronics and high power, medium frequency magnetics. He is actively engaged in research with the NCSU FREEDM Center (Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management) on projects related to Medium Voltage DC Amplifier Testbed, Low Voltage Solid State transformer, and High Power Magnetic Materials Characterization. Dr. Subhashish Bhattacharya has earned PhD. in Electrical Engineering from University of Wisconsin-Madison and currently works under NC State University. His research work focuses on power electronics and power systems including electric vehicle systems, and electronic energy systems packaging.

    Other Available Technologies

  • Technology #17207, entitled “Fault-tolerant controller for modular multi-level converter”
  • Technology #17265, entitled “VHF Self-Oscillating Cascaded Power Circuit Topology with Coupled Parasitic Compensation for High Power”

    Key Terms

    SiC power converters, silicon carbide, wide-band gap semiconductor, thyristor, IGBT (insulated-gate bipolar transistor), MOSFET (metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor)

  • Microfluidic Batteries.

    16015 -

    An inexpensive and compact paper pump for microfluidic transport

    Abstract

    With the desire to move many diagnostic tests from the centralized lab to the patient, microfluidic devices have incredible potential for widespread use in remote healthcare and other applications. Compact and accurate lab-on-a-chip devices enable sensing and measurement in remote locations and for patients who do not have access to centralized lab care. However, a key hurdle to the widespread adoption of lab-on-a-chip devices is their reliance on bulky and expensive components to actively pump, direct, and control the fluids within them.

    In an effort to overcome this hurdle, a group of engineers from NC State University’s Biomedical Engineering Department have recently developed a novel passive pump for microfluidic devices that can be customized for a variety of applications. In contrast to other pumps, this pump requires no external power or tubing and connects directly to the microfluidic device. The pump is disposable and occupies a very small footprint. Spent pumps can be replaced with fresh pumps if desired. The pump provides flow rates from 100 nL/min to 100 uL/min and can be programmed to stop flow after a fixed volume of liquid has been pumped and to increase or decrease the flow at fixed intervals. These programmable pumps are low-cost and could potentially be used as plug-and-play for many microfluidic devices.

    Advantages

    • Design can be customized for a wide range of flow rates and volumes
    • Pump can be attached directly to microdevice, eliminating the need for tubing
    • Low cost, self-powered, and simple to fabricate
    • Capable of pumping a wide range of fluids (e.g. water, buffer, cell culture media, serum, blood)
    • Applications include low-volume pumps for aqueous or organic fluids, characterization of porous materials, and quality control for microfluidic devices

    Related Patent Information

    • Patent Applications: PCT Application has been filed.

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Brian Cummins is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at NC State and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research areas include biomedical microdevices, point-of-care diagnostics, optical biosensing, microfluidics, glucose monitoring and fluorescence.

    Dr. Frances Ligler is the Lampe Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at NC State and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research areas include biomedical microdevices, regenerative medicine, microfluidics, tissue-on-chip technology, optical analytical devices, biosensors and nanotechnology.

    Dr. Glenn Walker is an Associate Professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at NC State and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research areas include biomedical microdevices, bio-microelectromechanical systems (bioMEMs), microfluidics and lab-on-a-chip systems.

    Ventilated Structural Firefighter Turnout Suit

    16025 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize the novel firefighting suit designed for enhanced compfort and user safety.

    Abstract

    Firefighters rely on their personal protective equipment to ensure safety and provide as comfortable a working environment as possible in their high stress, high heat, and intense work zone. Structural turnout, wildland, and EMS equipment must be designed to handle a variety of temperature conditions and human movements and should be readily adaptable to fit each user’s need in the moment. Unfortunately, the challenging environment and difficult design constraints for firefighting gear often results in overly-restrictive equipment which protects users more than it enables them to move in order to save property and lives. Limitations in venting options and flexible fabrics may be reducing the effectiveness of these operators by constricting their movement and exhausting them prematurely.

    Fortunately, a team of engineers and designers from NC State’s world-class College of Textiles has developed a potential solution. Leaders in the Textile Protection and Comfort Center (T-PACC) have designed and are prototyping stretchable and easily vented turnout gear which will enable firefighters to move more freely and better control their internal temperature. By integrating the outer shell, moisture barrier, and thermal liner of this gear, NC State has been able to produce a new working solution to better empower firefighters to meet their mission head-on while staying safe, comfortable, and in control.

    For firefighting teams who are dissatisfied with ventilation and ergonomic limitations of their current turnout gear, these designs empower and protect while simultaneously enhancing comfort. Unlike alternative unvented and inflexible designs, this solution can help and advance rather than hinder and exhaust the user.

    Advantages

    • Flexible fabrics support ergonomic movement and do not exhaust the wearer by fighting the suit
    • Engineered venting integrates and connects the outer shell, moisture barrier, and thermal liner
    • Advanced fabrics and engineering designs create the most up-to-date solution
    • Testing for NFPA 1971 can be performed on site at T-PACC


    About The Lead Inventors

    Dr. Minyoung Suh is an Assistant Professor at NC State’s College of Textiles. Dr. Suh’s research focuses on technical aspects of functional clothing, including smart clothing, sportswear, and foundation garments.
    Dr. Roger Barker is a Professor at NC State’s College of Textiles and Director of T-PACC. He is internationally recognized for his work in the field of thermal protective clothing and comfort and heat stress in clothing systems. He is an active participant in several committees of the National Fire Protection Association, which are involved in the development of standards for the performance of protective clothing.
    Dr. Emiel DenHartog is an Associate Professor at NC State’s College of Textiles. His research interests focus on human performance in protective clothing systems and technical aspects of clothing systems and material performance.
    Meredith McQuerry is a Ph.D. candidate in Textile Technology Management at NC State's College of Textiles. She is a graduate research assistant in T-PACC where her research focuses on functional design modifications, specifically clothing ventilation, for improved heat loss in protective clothing systems.

    NC 2GEM Tomato Breeding Line

    17025 -

    NC 2GEM is a large-fruited fresh market tomato breeding line featuring very large, deep globe shaped fruits. ‘NC 2GEM’ has a short to medium determinate plant. Fruit set is early and concentrated and the fruit is firm and crack resistant, has excellent uniform bright red interior color.

    NC 2GEM has genetic resistance to verticillium wilt (Ve), fusarium wilt races 1 and 2 (I, I-2), tomato spotted wilt virus (Sw-5), and tomato mosaic virus (Tm-2) with a very large deep globe shaped fruit. It is homozygous for the recessive crimson gene (ogc) which increases lycopene content and provides a desirable bright red interior fruit color. It is useful as a parent in crosses with other crimson lines having other disease resistances to create outstanding multiple disease resistant F1 hybrids with crimson fruit color.

    Characteristics

    Inventor

    Dr. Randy Gardner is a Professor Emeritus of horticultural science at NC State. He initiated the fresh-market tomato breeding program at NCSU in 1976 and ran it until his retirement in 2008. He developed the widely grown “mountain” series of tomato hybrids and released numerous other named hybrids and breeding lines that have been used in improvement of fruit quality and disease resistances worldwide. He has been widely recognized for his contributions to tomato breeding. Since his retirement in 2008, Dr. Gardner has concentrated on developing specialty type tomatoes of various sizes, colors, and shapes with improved fruit quality, marketable yield, and multiple disease resistances.

    Additional Information on NC State's Tomato Breeding Program.

    Cellulose and Lignin Biodegradable and Flexible UV Protection Films and Methods to Prepare Them

    16073 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize the novel biodegradable and flexible films made with lignin and cellulose.

    Abstract

    Engineered plastic products are all around us. From clothing to automobiles and home products to toys; plastics are an integral part of our lives. However, the petroleum-based plastics used today require complex and expensive harvesting, significant chemical refining, and are generally not biodegradable. There is therefore significant interest in renewable biodegradable plastics, particularly those made with natural and minimally-processed products. New renewable materials could significantly enhance the sustainability of the plastics industry and improve our quality of life.

    Lignin and cellulose, major components of plant cells, are commonly available and renewable resources which can be engineered into numerous forms. While cellulose is broadly employed in many industries, lignin’s incorporation in commercial products has been less direct. A natural product of plant cells and a common wood and paper waste product, Lignin is commonly simply burned for heat value. However, incorporating these natural and non-harmful waste products into consumer products could reduce feedstock cost and reduce the amount of waste created by the paper producing industry.

    A team of engineers at NC State University has developed a new UV absorptive film that can be tuned from visually transparent to opaque by incorporating varying concentrations of lignin. The film is smooth, flexible, and biodegradable. An established rapid chemistry method can be used for low lignin fractions and results in a UV-resistant film with good tensile strength and persistent UV protection. Alternatively, a less chemically intensive product can be constructed which has slightly less UV resistance. Films are currently cast but could be extruded. Samples are available for analysis.

    For product packaging designers and engineers who are concerned about feedstock costs and whose customers are concerned about renewable materials, this technology is a potential replacement to petroleum-based plastics. Unlike typical plastics, the use of natural products like lignin and cellulose can create a biodegradable and “green” product which can reduce both waste and costs.

    Advantages

    • UV absorptive films which can be tuned from visibly transparenct to opaque
    • Incorporate lignin and cellulose to reduce feedstock costs
    • Renewable and "green"


    About The Lead Inventor

    Dr. Richard Venditti is a Professor in NC State University’s College of Natural Resources. His research interests focus on developing bio-based material systems for the effective utilization of natural resources to solve societal needs. His development of biobased materials is aided by the use of environmental life cycle analysis. He holds two patents, one for carbon fibers from lignin and one for absorbant products from hemicellulose.

    Wynne Peanut

    13257 -

    U.S. PVP Application 201500288 has been filed for this cultivar.

    Wynne is a new high-oleic acid, large-seeded Virginia-type peanut cultivar suitable for production in the Virginia-Carolina region. Wynne features a variety of desirable horticultural traits, making it commercially outstanding as a new Virginia-type variety. Its fatty acid content is characterized by high levels of oleic acid and depressed linoleic acid content, a trait becoming increasingly popular in the peanut industry for extending the shelf-life of the variety. In addition, Wynne demonstrates good agronomic performance and, more importantly, partial resistance to the four most common diseases in the Virginia-Carolina peanut production area: early leaf spot, Cylindrocladium black rot, Sclerotinia blight and tomato spotted wilt virus.

    In more than 20 yield tests spanning a six-year period, Wynne's overall yields have proven to be significantly superior to most existing Virginia-type cultivars. Numerous replicated trials show that Wynne produces approximately 42% extra-large kernels, 68% jumbo pods and 21% fancy pods, while exhibiting greater pod brightness. Wynne's agronomic performance, seed shelf-life and unique partial resistance to the most common diseases in the Virginia-Carolina production area make it an important addition to the current peanut cultivar market.

    Characteristics

    Lead Inventor

    Dr. Thomas Isleib is a Professor of Crop Science at NC State. He received his PhD in Crop Science and Statistics from NC State. He has developed numerous Virginia-type peanut cultivars while at NC State, including the successful 'Bailey' and 'Sugg' varieties. He is involved in the Peanut Quality and Evaluation (PVEQ) program administered jointly by NC State and Virginia Tech.

    Novel Antibiofilm Agents

    16061 -

    A U.S. Provision Patent Application has been filed for this technology

    Novel molecules for inhibition and control of bacterial biofilms and study of bacterial communication

    Abstract

    Biofilms have been responsible for contaminating food and water, degrading pipes and machinery, reducing heat and mass transfer and causing health risks and infections. In medicine, biofilms are associated with nearly 75% of microbial infections, greatly enhancing antibiotic resistance and leading to billions in medical costs. Biofilms also cost billions in damage to ships, machinery, pipes and buildings through biofouling. Current methods to control biofilms primarily focus on preventing biofilms from forming by creating or coating surfaces to make them nonadhesive. However, these methods are temporary and often ineffective at controlling biofilm growth. Once biofilm has formed, it serves as a protective layer, reducing susceptibility to detergents and antibiotics and creating a significant need for alternative anti-biofilm strategies.

    Researchers at NC State have discovered novel and powerful antibiofilm agents. The agents not only inhibit biofilm formation but also control biofilm growth in a nonbactericidal manner by interfering with bacterial communication and signaling, which are essential for biofilm growth and persistence and allow microbes to obtain nutrients, grow and multiply.

    Advantages

    • Inhibits and controls growth of biofilms
    • Interferes with bacterial signaling and communication, preventing microbes from obtaining nutrients, growing and multiplying
    • Modulates biofilms without bactericidal activity

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Joshua Pierce is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at NC State. He earned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh and serves on the Executive Advisory Board of the Comparative Medicine Institute at NC State. His research interests include chemical synthesis, antimicrobial and anticancer compound development and chemical probe development for biological pathways.

    Grant Edwards is a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry at NC State. Mr. Edwards is a member of the Pierce Laboratory. His research focuses on the development of antimicrobial compounds.

    3D printing with silicone elastomer via capillary bridging of PDMS microbeads into thixotropic gel.

    16077 -North Carolina State University is currently seeing an industry partner to commercialize an efficient new technology for 3D printing with silicone elastomers.

    Abstract

    Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is one of the most widely used materials in biomedical devices, electronic and consumer products, construction and mechanical device engineering. 3D printing with PDMS has been a highly desirable process in additive manufacturing, however the capabilities of the present techniques are limited by the need to rapidly cure the liquid precursor. The addition of particles in extruded inks is very problematic, as these particles can often clog the extrusion nozzle. Therefore there is a need for additive manufacturing processes for PDMS and other curable elastomers that are rapid, do not clog the printer and are capable of creating a wide variety of products.

    NCSU researchers have developed a novel means of printing PDMS in three dimensional structures. More specifically, the addition of a liquid precursor to soft PDMS spheres creates a printable ink that is capable of elastic deformation. The small amount of liquid precursor forms liquid capillary bridges between the PDMS spheres, while their elastic deformation prevents jamming during extrusion of the ink. After extrusion, the polymer can be thermally cured and crosslinked. A simple analogy can be drawn to sandcastle building; PDMS spheres can be configured in a desired shape when wet, and after the thermal curing process, similar to drying, retain that shape. A comparison between the existing techniques and the new method is shown in Figure 1.

    Examples of several remarkable structures that can be created by the new “sandcastle” 3D printing ink technique are shown in Figure 2. Controllably porous structures can be created from inks with varying size PDMS spheres. Flexible, robust and very stretchable filaments, useful in a variety of applications, also can be created. In addition, the PDMS ink can be layered in the printing process to create more complex shapes. The resulting materials are stretchable, flexible, hydrophobic, and can be used to create free-standing, three-dimensional structures.

    Advantages

    • Convenient and easy printing with PDMS, one of the most widely used elastomers, of special interest in biomaterials
    • Can find a broad range of applications in 3D printing with other elastomers and polymers
    • Simple and efficient "sandcastle" capillary binding prevents jamming and clogging
    • Material can be designed for high flexibility and controlled porosity
    • The 3D printed PDMS is stretchable and biocompatible




    About the Inventor

    Dr. Orlin Velev is the INVISTA Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. Velev has established a record of creative and innovative research in the area of innovative colloidal materials, nanostructures with electrical and photonic functionality, and microfluidic devices. He has been the first to synthesize "inverse opals", one of the most widely studied types of photonic materials today. He also pioneered principles for making of microscopic biosensors and biologically active nanostructures, discovered techniques for electric field assembly of nanoparticle microwires and biosensors and investigated novel types of self-assembling nanoparticles, nanocapsules, rod-like particles and nanofibers. Inventions from Velev’s group are presently being commercialized by two Triangle Area startup companies, Xanofi and Benanova. Velev has been recognized by numerous awards, including NCSU Innovator of the Year 2011 and Chancellor’s Innovation Funds recipient, 2016.

    NC 3GEM Tomato Breeding Line

    17026 -

    NC 3GEM is a large-fruited, fresh market tomato breeding line featuring deep oblate shaped fruits. Fruit is firm and crack resistant, flavor and texture have been rated as good. The plant Immature fruit of ‘NC 3GEM’ are uniform green (u gene) while mature fruit are bright red (ogc gene).

    NC 3GEM has genetic resistance to late blight (Ph-2 and Ph-3 genes), verticillium wilt (Ve gene) and some races of fusarium wilt (I and I-2 genes), and the crimson (ogc) gene for increased lycopene content and improved red interior color of the fruit. In addition, ‘NC 3GEM’ is useful as a parent in crosses with other parent lines with the crimson gene in developing multiple disease resistant hybrids for vine-ripe, fresh-market production of large, high quality fruit.

    Characteristics

    Inventor

    Dr. Randy Gardner is a Professor Emeritus of horticultural science at NC State. He initiated the fresh-market tomato breeding program at NCSU in 1976 and ran it until his retirement in 2008. He developed the widely grown “mountain” series of tomato hybrids and released numerous other named hybrids and breeding lines that have been used in improvement of fruit quality and disease resistances worldwide. He has been widely recognized for his contributions to tomato breeding. Since his retirement in 2008, Dr. Gardner has concentrated on developing specialty type tomatoes of various sizes, colors, and shapes with improved fruit quality, marketable yield, and multiple disease resistances.

    Additional Information on NC State's Tomato Breeding Program.

    Rapid Room-Temperature Synthesis of Metal-Organic Frameworks Using Layered Hydroxy Double Salts

    16081 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to commercialize a novel room temperature process for making Metal Organic Frameworks.

    Abstract

    Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a class of crystalline porous materials that typically exhibit high surface areas and large pore volumes. MOFs can be designed to have various pore sizes and can be modified to have additional internal functionalities. MOFs are typically synthesized under harsh conditions (high temperature and pressure) which results in a high cost to make them. Industrial adoption of MOFs would be greatly improved by a scalable rapid synthesis method that operated at room temperature.

    Researchers at NCSU have developed a process for the synthesis of MOFs at room temperature. The process of forming HKUST-1 takes less than one minute. Additional MOFs have also been produced very quickly utilizing a similar technique. In addition to being fast and occurring at room temperature, the MOFs are robust.

    Advantages

    • Fast production
    • Synthesis occurs at room temperature
    • MOFs produced are high quality


    About the Inventors

    Dr. Gregory Parsons is Alcoa Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina StateUniversity. He received a PhD in Physics from North Carolina State University in 1990 in the area of amorphous silicon and related materials for thin film photovoltaics. He joined NC State Chemical Engineering as Assistant Professor in 1992 and became professor in 2002. In 2006 he launched NC State University’s Nanotechnology Initiative to support cross-disciplinary research, helping to create new activities including the RTI Research Scholar Program in 2013 and the NSF Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network in 2015. Professor Parsons' research focuses on surface chemistry and chemical processing of thin film materials by atomic and molecular layer deposition, including nanoscale surface chemistry on polymers and fibrous media, thin film metal organic frameworks, and applications in advanced electronics, security, and renewable energy generation and storage. Professor Parsons was elected Fellow of the American Vacuum Society in 2005, named to NC State’s Academy of Outstanding Teachers in 2009 and was the 2014 recipient of NC State’s RJ Reynolds Award for Outstanding Research, Teaching and Outreach.

    Junjie Zhao is a PhD candidate whose research focuses on metal-organic frameworks, especially in MOF thin film growth on fibers and polymer substrates.

    NC 4GEM Tamato Breeding Line

    17027 -

    NC 4GEM is a large-fruited fresh market tomato breeding line featuring large, oblate shaped fruits. ‘NC 4GEM’ has a tall determinate plant. Fruit are oblate to deep oblate in shape and have pinpoint blossom end scars with some nippling expressed on later set fruit. Fruits are very firm in ripe stage and have bright red interior color.

    NC 4GEM has genetic resistance to verticillium wilt (Ve), fusarium wilt races 1 and 2 (I,I-2), tomato spotted wilt virus (Sw-5), and tomato mosaic virus (Tm-2) with a very large deep globe shaped fruit. It is homozygous for the recessive crimson gene (ogc) which increases lycopene content and provides a desirable bright red interior fruit color. It is useful as a parent in crosses with other crimson lines having other disease resistances to create outstanding multiple disease resistant F1 hybrids with crimson fruit color.

    Characteristics

    Inventor

    Dr. Randy Gardner is a Professor Emeritus of horticultural science at NC State. He initiated the fresh-market tomato breeding program at NCSU in 1976 and ran it until his retirement in 2008. He developed the widely grown “mountain” series of tomato hybrids and released numerous other named hybrids and breeding lines that have been used in improvement of fruit quality and disease resistances worldwide. He has been widely recognized for his contributions to tomato breeding. Since his retirement in 2008, Dr. Gardner has concentrated on developing specialty type tomatoes of various sizes, colors, and shapes with improved fruit quality, marketable yield, and multiple disease resistances.

    Additional Information on NC State's Tomato Breeding Program.

    Light-activated Anti-infective Coating

    16097 -

    A U.S. Provision Patent Application has been filed for this technology

    Nanofibrillated cellulose material embedded with photosensitive molecules for use as an antimicrobial and antiviral additive

    Abstract

    Microbial contamination costs billions in damage, resulting in health risks, infections and biofouling. To prevent and kill microbes, antibiotics are added into materials that are susceptible to microbial growth or that come into human contact. Antibiotics, however, can be expensive, toxic to human health or become ineffective due to microbial resistance. Photodynamic inactivation (PDI) has emerged as an alternative treatment for microbial contamination and infections. PDI inactivates microbes without using antibiotics, allowing for non-target specificity without the potential for microbial resistance.

    Researchers at NC State have developed a nanofibrillated photosensitive cellulose additive that uses PDI to prevent bacterial growth and kill microbes in medical devices, clothing, wallpaper, linens, food wrappers and other items. In the presence of visible light, the photosensitive molecules generate singlet oxygen molecules and free radicals that kill microbial cells. The additive is easy to apply as it can be sprayed, brushed or 3D-printed and is effective against bacteria, viruses and fungi. In addition, the technology is renewable, compostable, biocompatible and biodegradable, making it an environmentally friendly and cost-effective antimicrobial additive for consumer and commercial goods.

    Advantages

    • Cellulose-based material that is biocompatible and biodegradable
    • Nanofibrillated for strength, durability, stability and resistance to changes in heat
    • Generates singlet oxygen molecules and free radicals using a non-toxic photosensitizer
    • Effective against a variety of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses and fungi

    Publications

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Reza Ghiladi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at NC State. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from John Hopkins University. His research interests include examining the multiple roles of metal ions in biology and medicine, chemical synthesis as it pertains to photosensitizer development for antimicrobial photodynamic therapy, elucidating enzyme pathways pertinent to disease states and investigating the limits of protein design and engineering.

    Dr. Dimitris Argyropoulos is the Finland Distinguished Professor in the Department of Forest Biomaterials at NC State. He received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from McGill University in Canada. His research interests include developing processes, chemicals and materials to use renewable carbon present in trees, biomimetic and organometallic catalysis in oxidation of aromatic substrates and the creation of novel, smart, stimuli-responsive nano-materials based on cellulose nano crystals.

    Dr. Frank Scholle is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at NC State. He received his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests include development of broad-spectrum anti-infective materials, host-virus interaction, the innate immune system and the development of novel point of care diagnostics for viral infections.

    Stochastic Modeling of Memory Traffic Timing Behavior

    16100 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to commercialize a complete framework and toolset for synthetic proxy/clone application generation that models memory access and traffic framework for memory subsystem design exploration.

    Abstract

    With increased growth in the number of cores and the complexity of cache hierarchy and memory subsystems, the complexities in designing efficient general purpose computer architectures that also incorporate optimizations for various high value applications is difficult. Additionally, with recent hardware advances, the memory subsystem is becoming the bottleneck in computer system performance. Architects are faced with the arduous task of designing the architecture of processor and memory subsystems without a clear understanding of the client’s workload and memory access/timing patterns, making optimization a shot in the dark. Due to security reasons and the proprietary nature of workload, clients hesitate to reveal the true nature of their workload for architecture design optimization. The current solution is to manually create clone applications, relying on an expert’s ability to replicate the original application behavior. The preferred solution to this problem is to automatically generate both synthetic traces and clone applications that recreate the workload’s memory access patterns of the clients.

    Researchers at NC State University recently proposed a novel solution to the problem of cloning of memory access behavior. This methods are referred to as STM and MeToo and are capable of capturing both the temporal and spatial locality behavior of workloads during memory access, as well as accurately modeling memory access/timing patterns at the cache and memory sub-system levels. STM and MeToo use a set of memory access statistics that summarizes the performance behavior of the original applications, including novel methods for mimicking the memory feedback loop, and generates synthetic traces or executables stochastically, allowing applications to remain proprietary while providing highly accurate application clones for computer system architects. The resulting clone applications do not have the code structure of the original applications and do not use input data of the original applications, thereby preserving the secrecy of the original applications.



    Advantages

    • Allows optimizing processor and memory sub-system design for specific software without releasing proprietary information.
    • Generates a synthetic proxy/clone of the original application, which can be used to accurately design the memory sub-system, cache hierarchy, prefetchers, TLB, and picking proper page and block sizes.



    Patents

    • This technology is protected by US Patent 9,846,627.



    About The Lead Inventor

    Dr. Yan Solihin is a professor at NC State University. His primary research interests include Computer Architecture and Systems (Including Embedded Computer Systems, Memory Systems / Memory Management, Microprocessor Architecture, Parallel and Distributed Computer Architecture, Security and Reliable/Fault-Tolerant Computing).

    Programmed Delivery of CpG and Anti-PD1 Antibody for Cancer Immunotherapy

    16103 -

    North Carolina State University is seeking a commercial partner to commercialize a new Anti-PD1 Antibody delivery system.

    Abstract

    It is important to prevent cancer relapse after resection of tumors, as a rapid cancer progression may occur due to a surgically induced inflammatory response. PD-1 is a cell surface receptor that belongs to the immunoglobulin superfamily and is expressed on T cells and pro-B cells. A new class of drugs that block PD-1, the PD-1 inhibitors, activate the immune system to attack tumors and are therefore used with varying success to treat some types of cancer. The delivery of PD-1 Antibodies for cancer treatment has met with varying success.

    Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed an inflammation-triggered combination delivery of anti-PD=1 antibody and CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG ODNs) for post-surgery treatment. The delivery carrier, designated as DNA “nanoclew” (DNC), is weaved through the rolling circle amplification using a CpG ODN-encoded template. After injection into the tumor resection sites, TGMS nanoparticles are disassembled upon the digestion of inflammatory-associated proteases to release the caged enzyme, allowing fragmentation of DNCs into CpG ODNs and releasing aPD-1. Using the mouse melanoma-tumor resection model, we demonstrate that a systemic antitumor immune response is generated, significantly inhibiting tumor relapse and metastasis compared to the conventional delivery modalities.

    About the Inventor

    Dr. Zhen Gu is an Assistant Professor in the joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His work also supports the Molecular Pharmaceutics Division at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Department of Medicine. His research interests include nanomedicine applications for anti-cancer and anti-diabetes as well as novel drug delivery formulations. Previously, Dr. Gu was a postdoctoral research scientist working with Dr. Robert Langer at the Massachusetts Institutes of Technology.

    Three Dimensional Point Pattern Matching Software

    16110 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to commercialize a non-vicinal 3D point-pattern matching program with unprecedented accuracy compared to the Iterative Closest Point (ICP) algorithms.

    Three Dimensional Point Pattern Matching Software

    Abstract

    Computer vision and 3D object tracking are indispensable components of several high-tech industries such as gaming consoles, autonomous vehicles, interactive robotics, and security systems. Iterative Closest Point (ICP) methods are currently the preferred methods in many applications due to their superior performance and significant improvements over earlier pseudo 3D algorithms which rely on a stack of 2D images to construct a 3D image. Despite their efficiency and popularity, ICP algorithms are highly sensitive to scene perturbations (hence referred to as vicinal algorithms) and therefore require several sensor acquisitions to be able to accurately track objects. It is for that reason that electronic devices that rely on ICP methods (for example, in gaming consoles) need to constantly acquire images from the scene up to several frames per second.

    Recently, a team of computer scientists and engineers at NC State University has developed a new object tracking algorithm (3D point pattern matching algorithm) that eliminates the need for multiple acquisitions all together. The new algorithm virtually does not impose any limits on the perturbations of the scene and only requires a single 3D image to track the object of interest from its initial configuration, regardless of the amount of perturbation. In par with its high accuracy, the developed algorithm is also extremely efficient.

    For computer vision engineers who are dissatisfied with the inaccuracy of ICP methods for fast moving objects or the industries that are limited by the number of still frames required to reconstruct and track an object in a scene, this new technology is the solution for fast, accurate and cheap object tracking. We have assembled a robust and readily implementable software system to provide enhanced vision and tracking for many applications. The algorithm is natively written in C++ and is interfaced with both MATLAB and python.


    Advantages

    • Can track target movement in a scene with as few as two images (model and target images).
    • Can track the target without any limit on the amount of perturbations to its original configuration.
    • Written in C++ and interfaced with MATLAB (mex file is available) and Python.



    About The Inventors

    Dr. Arash Dehghan Banadaki is a post-doctoral researcher in NC State's Department of Material Science and Engineering. His research is generally focused on algorithm development for modeling of material systems.

    Dr. Srikanth Patala is an Assistant Professor in NC State's Department of Material Science and Engineering. His research interests include structural characterization and developing inverse design principles for optimizing performance in structural and functional materials.

    Diagnostic Markers for Pseudoperonospora cubensis, the Cucurbit Downy Mildew Pathogen

    16146 -

    A U.S. Provisional Patent Application has been filed for this technology.

    Novel genetic markers for identification, detection and diagnosis of Pseudoperonospora cubensis, the cucurbit downy mildew pathogen

    Abstract

    Each year, outbreaks of cucurbit downy mildew devastate the cucurbit industry, resulting in significant crop loss, abandoned fields and millions of dollars. Caused by the Pseudoperonospora cubensis oomycete, cucurbit downy mildew is a crippling disease that infects the leaves, decimating yields due to misshapen fruit, sun scalding and necrosis. Cucurbit downy mildew can be difficult to identify in the diverse cucurbit crops it can infect, often being mistaken for spray burn, and is difficult to treat, due to development of resistance to fungicides. The resurgence of cucurbit downy mildew combined with its rapid spread, fungicide resistance and destructive effects create a need for new methods and strategies that quickly and reliably identify the pathogen to deploy control measures in a timely manner and prevent future epidemics.

    Researchers at NC State developed novel genetic markers to identify and detect P. cubensis. The markers can be used to diagnose infected tissue or to monitor airborne spores, providing early notification and better treatment strategies. The technology allows for accurate forecasting of outbreaks, ensuring effective use of fungicides and preventing total loss. In addition, the markers prevent overuse of pesticides, reducing costs and saving time.

    Advantages

    • Specific and improved detection and diagnosis of P. cubensis
    • Accurate and timely forecasting of outbreaks, resulting in better treatment options and fungicidal regimens
    • Time efficient and cost-effective while preventing overuse of pesticides

    Publications

    Using Next-Generation Sequencing to Develop Molecular Diagnostics for Pseudoperonospora cubensis, the Cucurbit Downy Mildew Pathogen

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Lina Quesada-Ocampo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at NC State. She earned her Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Michigan State University. Her research interests include studying diseases of vegetable crops, understanding development of fungicide resistance, identifying sources of host resistance, improving disease management strategies and developing molecular diagnostic tools for pathogen detection.

    Dr. Elsa Beatriz Gongora-Castillo was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Plant Pathology at NC State. She earned her Ph.D. in Vegetable Biotechnology from the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico City, Mexico. Dr. Gongora-Castillo was a member of the Quesada-Ocampo Laboratory. Her research interests include analyzing plant transcriptomes, using RNA sequencing to identify genes of interest and developing diagnostic resources for plant pathogens.

    Saunia Withers was a Research Assistant in the Department of Plant Pathology at NC State. Ms. Withers was a member of the Quesada-Ocampo Laboratory. Her research interests include studying plant molecular mechanisms.

    Production of a cotton leaf ideotype with enhanced agronomic traits

    16117 -

    Development of a cotton variety with an ideal leaf structure (ideotype) to improve boll production, yield, boll rot resistance, chemical spray penetration, boll retention and other cotton characteristics.

    Abstract

    The United States cotton industry generates about $27 billion in revenue and contributes more than $100 billion to the overall economy. Cotton is used for apparel, home furnishings and industrial products. In addition to being the largest source of natural fiber, cotton is also a leading oilseed crop. Cotton plants exhibit four types of leaf shapes: normal, sub-okra, okra and super-okra. The type of leaf shape expressed by a cotton plant affects its characteristics, tolerance and resistance.

    Researchers at NC State have identified the key genes which affect leaf shape in cotton and have devised a method to manipulate these genes to create a cotton leaf ideotype. This ideotype produces normal leaves on the bottom canopy for rapid closure, maximum light absorption, increased nutrient supply and boll retention. The ideotype then transitions to okra leaves on the top canopy which allows earlier flowering, increased boll production, increased chemical spray penetration, reduced incidence of boll rot and improved yield.

    Advantages

    • Temporally controlled gene expression allowing for variation in leaf shape formation
    • Normal leaf shape on lower canopy for rapid canopy closure, weed suppression, maximum light capture and improved nutrients
    • Okra leaf shape on top for earlier flowering, decreased boll rot and increased boll production and improved efficiency in chemical spray applications.

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Vasu Kuraparthy is an Associate Professor in the Department of Crop Science at North Carolina State University. Dr. Kuraparthy has a Ph.D. in Genetics from Kansas State University. His research interests include breeding for improved crop yield, quality, disease resistance and insect resistance; molecular cytogenetics; gene mapping and cloning; mutation breeding and utilization of exotic germplasms.

    Dr. Daryl Bowman is a Professor in the Department of Crop Science at North Carolina State University. Dr. Bowman has a Ph.D. in Agronomy from Louisiana State University. Dr. Bowman serves as the manager of the North Carolina Foundation Seed Producers. His research interests cotton breeding efforts for disease resistance, nematode tolerance, seedling vigor and drought tolerance.

    Dr. Ryan Andres was a graduate student in the Department of Crop Science at North Carolina State University where he earned his Ph.D. in Crop Science. His research areas include mapping and cloning developmental and morphological traits in cotton; development of cotton cultivars; and genetic mechanism of leaf shape growth.

    Enhanced Cancer Immunotherapy by Microneedle Patch-Assisted Delivery of Checkpoint Blockade Antibodies

    16124 -

    North Carolina State University is seeking a commercial partner to commercialize a new Anti-PD1 Antibody delivery microneedle patch.

    Abstract

    More than 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with a skin cancer in their lifetime. PD-1 is a cell surface receptor that belongs to the immunoglobulin superfamily and is expressed on T cells and pro-B cells. A new class of drugs that block PD-1, the PD-1 inhibitors, activate the immune system to attack tumors and are therefore used with varying success to treat some types of cancer. The delivery of anti-PD-1 Antibodies (APD1) for cancer treatment has met with varying success.

    Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed an innovative self-degradable microneedle (MN) patch for the sustained delivery of aPD1 in a physiologically controllable manner. The microneedle is composed of biocompatible hyaluronic acid integrated with pH-sensitive dextran nanoparticles (NPs) that encapsulate aPD1 and glucose oxidase (GOx), which converts blood glucose to gluconic acid. The generation of acidic environment promotes the self-dissociation of NPs and subsequently results in the substantial release of aPD1. We find that a single administration of the MN patch induces robust immune responses in the B16F10 mouse melanoma model compared to MN without degradation trigger or intratumoral injection of free aPD1 with the same dose. Moreover, this administration strategy can integrate with other immunomodulators (such as anti-CTLA-4) to achieve combination therapy for enhancing anti-tumor efficacy.

    About the Inventor

    Dr. Zhen Gu is an Assistant Professor in the joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His work also supports the Molecular Pharmaceutics Division at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Department of Medicine. His research interests include nanomedicine applications for anti-cancer and anti-diabetes as well as novel drug delivery formulations. Previously, Dr. Gu was a postdoctoral research scientist working with Dr. Robert Langer at the Massachusetts Institutes of Technology.

    Medical Device to Repair Mitral Valve Regurgitation

    16128 -

    A novel transapical medical device to seal mitral valve leakage and treat mitral regurgitation

    Abstract

    Mitral valve regurgitation (MR) is a serious condition in which the heart's mitral valve does not close tightly and blood flows backward in the heart. This can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness and chest pain. Left untreated, MR can cause arrhythmias and heart failure, resulting in death. In the United States, more than 4 million people suffer from MR, and nearly 100,000 die each year from MR-related conditions. MR also affects canines and it is estimated that 1 in 10 dogs suffer from the disease. MR in humans and canines can be managed with medication such as diuretics to manage fluid retention, ACE inhibitors to treat blood pressure or anti-coagulants to thin the blood. In severe cases, surgery may be required. Currently, the best surgical treatment for MR in humans is delivered through a trans-femoral route requiring a lengthy and difficult procedure. Due to the method of delivery and the cost of the surgery, surgical intervention is not an option in cases of canine MR.

    Researchers at NC State in collaboration with a researcher from UNC Chapel Hill have developed a novel device which can be delivered through a transapical route to secure the mitral valve leaflets and treat MR. The device has been demonstrated to work in excised pig hearts and could be applied to veterinary and human patients. The transapical device provides a unique, cost-effective, minimally invasive and easy-to-operate alternative for MR treatment.

    Advantages

    • Treatment of mitral regurgitation without open heart surgery
    • Transapical device for minimal invasiveness and easy operation
    • Cost-effective approach.

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Ke Cheng is an Associate Professor in the Department Molecular Biomedical Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University. Dr. Cheng has a Ph.D. in Biological Engineering from the University of Georgia. His research interests include regenerative medicine, stem cell migration and extravasation, nano theranostic agents and bioengineering.

    Dr. Thomas Caranasos is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also serves as the Medical Director of the UNC Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Program. Dr. Caranasos has a M.D. from the West Virginia University School of Medicine. His research interests include surgical treatment of the aorta, transcatheter valvular surgery, hybrid coronary revascularization and valvular surgery.

    Adam Vandergriff is a graduate student in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. Mr. Vandergriff has a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of South Carolina. His research interests include using nanoparticles and biomaterials to treat myocardial infarction and cardiomyopathies.

    Metal oxide semiconductor sensor based ammonia monitoring system prototype for use in poultry houses

    16142 -

    NCSU is currently seeking an industry partner to commercialize an ammonia sensor for use in poultry houses.

    Abstract

    Ammonia is produced in poultry houses due to the chemical decomposition of uric acid, which is found in bird droppings. It is important to monitor the ammonia levels in poultry houses for human safety, bird welfare and environmental impact. OSHA and NIOSH recommend a 50 ppm and 25 ppm exposure limit for humans, respectively. An increase over 30 ppm can affect the health condition of the birds, including reduction in weight gain, increased mortality, reduced carcass quality since high ammonia levels can damage the mucous membrane and reduce the bird’s ability to fight off infections. Current management grade technologies that are in place have large upkeep costs and/or poor accuracy, in the critical range of detection; this has prevented large-scale adoption.

    The metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) ammonia sensor could be suitable candidate for ammonia monitoring poultry houses except for one major weakness: its response is affected by humidity levels in the poultry house. Researchers at NC State University have developed and tested an algorithm that allows the MOS ammonia sensor’s response to account for humidity. This novel process and algorithm provides a quick response time, less than a minute, with low relative error. The low cost and accuracy of this system could lead to large scale adoption by poultry producers.

    Advantages

    • Low cost
    • Long lifetime
    • Quick response time < 1 minute
    • Real time display of oxygen concentration, temperature and relative humidity
    • Systems could be modified for data logging and wireless communication
    • Mobility

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Sanjay Shah is a professor at NC State Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. His research interests are focused on animal waste management, agricultural air quality and the use of renewable energy in livestock production.

    Dynamic Bandwidth Analysis Tool (DBAT)

    16160 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further commercialize its dynamic bandwidth analysis tool for signalized roadways.

    State-Of-Development:Software is developed and tested extensively. It is ready for distribution as stand-alone software.

    Abstract

    Background
    Traffic delays are everyone’s daily problem that leads to monetary as well as fuel loss along with elevated driver’s frustration. Unlike freeway facilities where delay results primarily from capacity constrained bottlenecks, delay along signalized arterials are mainly because of deceleration and stops as vehicle interact with signal control. Therefore, improving signal timing across signalized roadways/arterials to mitigate traffic delay is much more cost effective solution as compared to roadway expansion. Offset optimization, which is a process to synchronize the onset of green indication for the intersections along an arterial street is one of the key steps in improving signal timing and coordination. However, these coordinated phase green times have dynamic durations rather than static duration, which leads to dynamic bandwidth. Therefore, signal managers analyze dynamic bandwidth and assess the impact of intersection offsets to manage the signal timing. Coordinated intersection offsets are the decision variables that are typically optimized to maximize bandwidth. There have been multiple bandwidth optimization studies published in literature, but these methods described in these studies does not guarantee finding a near optimal set of offsets because most coordinated arterial signal systems operate in semi-actuated mode. Therefore, signal engineers usually have to conduct field visits to observe the early “return to green” and the initial queue to fine tune the offsets and improve arterial performance based on engineering judgment. Furthermore, signal plan development has to rely on traditional field manual fine-tuning process, which is time consuming, include high degree of subjectivity, and require subject expertise.

    Innovation
    NC State University researcher has developed a dynamic bandwidth analysis tool (DBAT) to address above mentioned problem and mitigate traffic delays at signalized arterials. DBAT reads input data from a dialog box and generates each intersection’s actual coordinated green time as an array. Furthermore, DBAT directly reads the split monitor log file, creates dynamic green duration for each intersection, and then generates a Boolean array of each intersection dynamic green and red. DBAT can also create a virtual vehicle trajectory and identify any secondary bands that may result from a combination of early return green or green extension. Additionally, DBAT has capability to generate multiple outputs including: Inbound (outbound) sum of bandwidths, Inbound (outbound) number of bands, Inbound (outbound) average bandwidth size, Inbound (outbound) standard deviation of bandwidth size, Inbound (outbound) bandwidth efficiency, Bi-directional total sum of bandwidths, Bi-directional weighted total sum of bandwidths and Inbound (outbound) individual bandwidth per cycle (optional).


    Advantages

  • Save time and labor
  • Easily pluggable into other commercial software and signal controller
  • Monitor signalized arterial dynamic bandwidth as well as provide optimum offset solution without field fine-tuning through signal controller log
  • Offest solutions are verified through micro-simulation and field tests, which are better than other commercial tools such as VISTRO
  • DBAT can handle unconventional intersection signal coordination issues
  • Provide cycle-by-cycle real time bandwidth monitoring results to field engineer
  • DBAT is developed in C++ and Java programming language to run on any computer


  • Application Areas

  • Traffic signal monitoring and coordination


  • Publications

    “Dynamic Bandwidth Optimization For Coordinated Arterial”

    Sponsorship Details

    This software is developed under the sponsorship of North Carolina Department of Transportation.

    About The Inventors

    Sangkey Kim has earned his Ph.D. in civil engineering transportation are from the North Carolina State University. His research area includes traffic signal optimization, connected vehicle technologies, travel information and data fusion, highway capacity and transportation related big data platform and data mining.

    Key Terms

    Signalized arterials, transportation, roadways, optimization, congestion and path analysis

    Novel Canine Cancer/Testis Antigen as a target for Cancer Vaccine Development

    16200 -

    A novel protein that acts as a cancer/testis antigen which has potential to be used for the development of a canine cancer vaccine.

    Abstract

    In the United States, cancer is the leading cause of death for canines over the age of two. Around 50% of dogs are diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, and those diagnosed with cancer face a mortality rate of about 25%. Despite the high incidence of canine cancers, there are limited options available to owners for diagnosing, treating and preventing these devastating diseases. Treatments consist largely of generic therapies that were developed for humans and are not specific to canines. One potentially effective method for treating cancer is to produce a vaccine against the tumor cells to elicit an immune response to target and kill the cancer cells. However, cancer vaccines that were developed against human tumor cells are not as effective against canine tumors. To date, only one canine cancer vaccine has been approved, for oral melanoma. There is a need to identify more immunogenic proteins that are expressed by canine tumor cells which can be developed as vaccines or used for adoptive cell therapies.

    A researcher at NC State University has discovered a novel protein that acts as a cancer/testis (CT) antigen in canines. The protein is expressed in various immortalized cell lines and cancer tumors, including histiocytic sarcoma, soft tissue sarcoma and pulmonary carcinoma. In addition, the protein product gives rise to naturally processed peptides that bind to and are presented by the canine classical MHC class I, DLA-88, and are therefore recognizable by cytotoxic T cells. This protein can therefore be used in vaccine formulations to prime therapeutically effective anti-tumor immune responses. Additionally, the protein could be used in other formulations to prime or expand anti-tumor T cells ex vivo for adoptive cellular therapy.

    Advantages

    • Protein expressed only in canine cancer cells and testis, limiting risk of auto-immunity.
    • Protein presents as an antigen, eliciting vigorous immune response from cytotoxic T cells
    • Protein product can be developed as canine cancer vaccine or used for adoptive cell therapy

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Paul Hess is an Associate Professor in the Department of Oncology and Immunology at the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University. Dr. Hess has a Ph.D. in Immunology from North Carolina State University. His research interests include immunotherapy for canine cancer, feline viral infections, harnessing CD8+ T cells and using DNA sequencing to measure and identify relevant genes.

    A Metal-Organic Framework for Broad-Spectrum Protection from Toxic Industrial Chemicals.

    16202 -North Carolina State University is searching for a commercial partner for the commercialization of Novel MOFs.

    Abstract

    Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are compounds consisting of metal ions or clusters coordinated to organic ligands to form one-, two-, or three-dimensional structures. They are a subclass of coordination polymers, with the special feature that they are often porous. MOFs attract attention as materials for adsorptive hydrogen storage and the storage of other gasses because of their exceptionally high specific surface areas and chemically tunable structures. Carbon Storage alone is forecasted to be approximately 200 billion dollars by 2030.

    NCSU researchers have developed a new MOF consisting Cu-Cu paddle wheels and ATA2- bridging ligands. This MOF can be synthesized using two different methods a conventional solvothermal method, and a rapid synthesis technique similar to what the Parsons group reported previously for Cu-BTC and Cu(BDC). They have also found that (Zn, Cu) hydroxy double salt formed from ZnO can generate Cu(ATA) within 2 min.

    Advantages

    • Rapid and traditional synthesis methods
    • Capable of Absorbing a variety of toxic industrial chemicals
    • May be used for gas filters and other applications




    About the Inventors

    Dr. Gregory Parsons is Alcoa Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina StateUniversity. He received a PhD in Physics from North Carolina State University in 1990 in the area of amorphous silicon and related materials for thin film photovoltaics. He joined NC State Chemical Engineering as Assistant Professor in 1992 and became professor in 2002. In 2006 he launched NC State University’s Nanotechnology Initiative to support cross-disciplinary research, helping to create new activities including the RTI Research Scholar Program in 2013 and the NSF Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network in 2015. Professor Parsons' research focuses on surface chemistry and chemical processing of thin film materials by atomic and molecular layer deposition, including nanoscale surface chemistry on polymers and fibrous media, thin film metal organic frameworks, and applications in advanced electronics, security, and renewable energy generation and storage. Professor Parsons was elected Fellow of the American Vacuum Society in 2005, named to NC State’s Academy of Outstanding Teachers in 2009 and was the 2014 recipient of NC State’s RJ Reynolds Award for Outstanding Research, Teaching and Outreach..

    Junjie Zhao is a PhD candidate whose research focuses on metal-organic frameworks, especially in MOF thin film growth on fibers and polymer substrates.

    NC 1GEM Tomato Breeding Line

    17024 -

    NC 1GEM is a large-fruited, fresh market tomato breeding line featuring very large, deep globe (ball) shaped fruits. Fruit is firm and crack resistant, flavor and texture have been rated as good. The plant Immature fruit of ‘NC 1GEM’ are uniform green (u gene) while mature fruit are bright red (ogc gene).

    NC 1GEM has genetic resistance to late blight (Ph-2 and Ph-3 genes), verticillium wilt (Ve gene) and some races of fusarium wilt (I and I-2 genes), and the crimson (ogc) gene for increased lycopene content and improved red interior color of the fruit. In addition, ‘NC 1GEM’ is useful as a parent in crosses with other parent lines with the crimson gene in developing multiple disease resistant hybrids for vine-ripe, fresh-market production of large, high quality fruit.

    Characteristics

    Inventor

    Dr. Randy Gardner is a Professor Emeritus of horticultural science at NC State. He initiated the fresh-market tomato breeding program at NCSU in 1976 and ran it until his retirement in 2008. He developed the widely grown “mountain” series of tomato hybrids and released numerous other named hybrids and breeding lines that have been used in improvement of fruit quality and disease resistances worldwide. He has been widely recognized for his contributions to tomato breeding. Since his retirement in 2008, Dr. Gardner has concentrated on developing specialty type tomatoes of various sizes, colors, and shapes with improved fruit quality, marketable yield, and multiple disease resistances.

    Additional Information on NC State's Tomato Breeding Program.

    Functional Technical Lignin Fractions

    16214 -North Carolina State University is seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize a biodegradable and renewable plasticizer that is based on fractionated lignin.

    Abstract

    The bioplastics industry market is increasing at annual rate of 3.6% to $179.2 million in 2019. 20% of this industry is synthetic-based, and uses renewable sources like lignin as their plasticizer. Lignin is a by-product of the paper making process, and has the potential to add great value (~ $570 million) to the bioplastics industry. However, utilization of technical lignins in value-added applications is limited due to their non-uniform heterogeneous structure and their unique chemical reactivity. Technical lignins cross-link during thermal treatments, and lead to intractable brittle non-thermoplastic products. In addition, blending technical lignin with polyolefins leads to unstable melt viscosities, which hinders their application as a renewable plasticizer. This is due to the nonproductive cooperative action of individual fractions in softwood Kraft lignin.

    Researchers in the College of Natural Resources at NC State University, have developed a novel technology to fractionate softwood Kraft lignin into high and low molecular weight regions. This technology can selectively mask the chemical reactive groups that cause unstable melt properties, while the cooperative chemical groups remain free. The process yields uniform results regardless of the lignin source, and the fractionated lignin offers a great plasticizing action for polyethylene. Melt extrusion of such bioplastics can be done at lower temperatures (less cost and less energy consumption), and the final product is composed of up to 25% (w/w) lignin (environmentally friendly). Not only the mechanical properties of this bioplastic is comparable to the pure plastic, but also the lignin-based bioplastic offers enhanced oxidative, thermal, and UV stability.

    For the plastics and bioplastics industries who are dissatisfied with the environmental impact of their products and are looking to incorporate (more) renewable raw materials, this solution allows for a reliable processing and application of lignin along with comparable mechanical properties to pure plastics. Unlike the current softwood Kraft lignin, this fractionated lignin offers a selective chemical reactivity in blends with polyolefins, yields a stable melt extrusion process, and enhances the oxidative, thermal, and light stability of the final product.

    Advantages

    • Readily available and renewable source
    • Uniform reliable process regardless of the lignin source
    • Stable melt extrusion process, and great plasticizing effects
    • Inexpensive process (low temperature) and less environmental impacts
    • Comparable mechanical properties while better oxidative, thermal, and UV resistance


    Patent Information

    This work is related to NCSU Ref. 11102, which was recently awarded U.S. Patent No. 9,340,426 "High value lignin derivatives, polymers, and copolymers and use thereof in thermoplastic, thermoset, composite, and carbon fiber applications".

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Dimitris Argyropoulos is a Finland Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in the College of Natural Resources, Department of Forest Biomaterials, at North Carolina State University. The work of his group focuses on the organic chemistry of wood components and the development of new chemistry for transforming the carbon present in our trees toward producing valuable chemicals, materials and energy.

    Dr. Hasan Sadeghifar is a Visiting Scientist in the College of Natural Resources, Department of Forest Biomaterials, at North Carolina State University. He has research interests in the fields of natural fibers, biomass, cellulose, lignin, starch chemistry and applications, and development of bio-polymers and starch based hydrogels.

    CBRA

    16220 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize its software to conduct chemical biological read-across (CBRA).

    State-Of-Development:Software is developed and tested.

    Abstract

    Background
    The comparative assessment of potential human health impacts is a critical step in evaluating both chemical alternatives and existing drugs in the market. Traditional chemical assessment approaches typically rely on the chemical similarity principle to predict chemical toxicity or adverse effect. However, the accuracy of such predictions is often inadequate due to the underlying complex mechanisms of toxicity. To improve prediction accuracy, the chemical-biological read across (CBRA) approach is often employed. This approach utilizes chemical descriptors as well as biological descriptors to determine chemical toxicity. Due to the integration of chemical structural and biological screening data, CBRA based approach involve large data sets, prediction models, algorithms and software applications to determine chemical toxicity. This greatly increases the level of complexity for both computation and data visualization. While CBRA based approaches have grown in popularity, end-users often show preference for faster computation and more user-friendly data visualization.

    Innovation
    NCSU researchers have developed a fast and user-friendly software solution to evaluate the bioactivity of chemicals by conducting chemical-biological read across (CBRA). CBRA software takes both computed structural descriptors and experimentally measured bioactivity profile of chemicals as inputs and then generates a graphical output in the form of radical plots. Additionally, CBRA can also produce quantitative prediction output of a new chemical activity (e.g. in vivo toxicity) based on those of the similar chemicals. CBRA software has a user-friendly graphical interface to (i) upload both chemical and biological descriptors and export CBRA outputs, (ii) build, visualize and customize radial plots illustrating the relative similarity of chemical of interest to previously tested compounds, and (iii) help analyze compounds structure-bioactivity landscape.


    Advantages

  • Automatic determination of the presence of activity cliffs (i.e extremely similar compounds with opposite activity) in both chemical and biological spaces
  • User-friendly data visualization for easy and fast identification of structural-activity relationships
  • User can search and export a subgroup of compounds based on their predicted activities
  • Improved reliability and interpretability of chemicals activity
  • Run on multiple platforms e.g. PCs with Windows or Linux/Unix


  • Application Areas

  • Drug discovery and chemical hazard assessment
  • Quantitative prediction of a new chemical activities
  • Analysis of compounds structure-bioactivity landscape


  • About The Inventors

    Dr. Denis Fourches is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at NCSU and a resident member of the Bioinformatics Research Center. Dr. Fourches’ research focuses on analyzing, modeling and forecasting complex interactions between chemical structures and various types of biological targets to design novel compounds with desired activity and safety profiles. His research on computer-aided molecular design has important applications to drug discovery, agrochemical development, green chemistry and biocompatible nano-materials.

    Key Terms

    Chemical toxicity, chemical assessment, chemical-biological read across, read across, software, data visualization

    Thermoelectric device employing vacuum self-sealing and in-plane thin film structure, and method of fabrication

    16300 -"Thin-film TE" generators utilize significantly less material and can be manufactured with standard micro-fabrication techniques, however Thin-film TEs fabricated to date are not yet fully compatible for low power applications, where smaller device size and low power plays a critical role, and can produce low yield and poor metal contacts during batch processing using micro-fabrication. The dimensionless figure-of-merit (zT) for commercial TE modules is about 0.8 that characterize zT≈1.5 as significant technology improvement and zT≈2 as technology breakthrough.

    Innovation
    NC State researchers have developed a thin-film TE generator that can alleviate the need for growing thick films and make electronic devices self-powered without requiring frequent charging or battery replacement. This is achieved through extended planar thin film elements, where hot and cold sides are connected through horizontal length of the thin film elements resulting in a longer path length for heat flux (Q) and generating a much larger ΔT across the TE device. Interestingly, the ΔT for the thin-film TEG increases from about 0.5 °C to about 7 °C assuming similar material properties as before zT=0.8, without any heat sink. Additionally, the disclosed thin film TEG configurations, while having a very small form factor (about 1mm including the headers), has nearly 3000 times higher thermal resistance when compared to a conventional device. This method has also be extended to provide three-dimensional (3D) TEG structures by allowing the stacking of thin film elements to form a 3D construction. It generates a voltage of greater than 4V (1800-4300 times enhancement in predicted voltage) sufficient to charge a super capacitor or rechargeable battery. Proposed 3D TE device shows system power enhancement of 150-430 times, without including thermal spreader when connected to state-of-art PMU (power management unit). It provides the advantage of increased number of TE elements, sealing TE device and reduction in parasitic electrical resistance of metal interconnects. In addition, the TE device can be extended to work as hybrid “photo enhanced thermoelectric generator” (PTEG) that can simultaneously harvest energy from both heat and light energy. It delivers the highest possible output voltage using available light to further boost its performance.


    Advantages

  • Thin film TE device consume less material, lesser in weight, and reduced cost of assembly and installation
  • Batch manufacturing is possible using standard micro-fabrication techniques
  • Large density of TE elements (or legs) per unit area produces higher output voltage
  • TE device can be sealed to prevent heat losses due to convection (air)
  • Include thin film planar elements
  • Power management unit (PMU) does not need a booster
  • Heat flux (Q) path length can be flexibly varied independent from the thickness of film


  • Application Areas

  • Wearable electronics devices for monitoring health, wellness and immediate user environment
  • Remote sensing applications
  • Internet-of-Things (IoT) and wireless sensor networks
  • High temperature application areas


  • Publications

  • Enhanced Thermoelectric Performance in Metal/Semiconductor Nanocomposite of Iron Silicide/Silicon Germanium, Amin Nozariasbmarz, Zahra Zamanipour, Payam Norouzzadeh, Jerzy S. Krasinski and Daryoosh Vashaee, RSC Advances, DOI: 10.1039/C6RA01947A (2016)
  • Designing Thermoelectric Generators for Self-Powered Wearable Electronics, Francisco Suarez, Amin Nozariasbmarz, Daryoosh Vashaee and Mehmet Cevdet Ozturk, Energy & Environmental Science, 9, 2099-2113 (2016)


  • Sponsorship Details

  • The disclosed invention is performed under NSF (National Science Fund) sponsored nano-systems engineering research center for advanced self-powered systems of integrated sensors and technologies (ASSIST- THRUST III- Low Power Wearable Nano-Sensors).


  • About The Inventors

    Dr Daryoosh Vashaee is an expert in super-lattices and nano-structured materials for energy conversion and sensing applications. In the past, he has contributed to the development of several key thermoelectric structures including hetero-structure thermionic devices and bulk nanocomposite materials. He has published more than 150 technical articles, and is the winner of 2015 NSF career award and 2004 Goldsmid Award for research excellence in thermos-electrics from the International Thermoelectric Society.

    Key Terms

    Internet-of-things, IOT, IOT apps, conflicts, inter-app conflict, open IoT platform, P-petri nets, environment relation nets

    Inorganic Carbon Capture to C4 Compounds by High Density Clostridium beijerinckii Cultures

    16256 -

    A U.S. Provisional Patent Application has been filed for this technology.

    Novel method to improve yield and titers of butyrate, butanol and other carbon compounds for biofuel and industrial additives while recycling waste gases using Clostridium beijerinckii cultures.

    Abstract

    Biofuels provide a desirable alternative to petroleum-based energy products, using fermentation and agriculture to produce energy and industrial products. By 2022, GreenTech Media predicts that biofuels will replace almost 9% of global jet fuel, 8.4% of gasoline and 7.4% of diesel, accounting for a market ranging from $200 billion to $567 billion. Biofuels created from bacteria, like butanol, are especially valuable as they offer many advantages over other biofuel sources such as, carbon capture and storage, drop-in fuel production and high yields and production rates without affecting the food supply, biodiversity or arable land. However, high toxicity of butanol to host organism and the production of byproducts limit production efficiency, sparking a demand for new biofuel technologies.

    Researchers at NC State have developed a novel method to increase yields and titers of butyrate and butanol using mixotrophic cultures of Clostridium beijerinckii. The proposed method utilizes synthesis gases such as CO, CO2 and H2 with a bacterial culture that is capable of naturally producing butyrate and butanol to increase production by up to 20%. In addition, the method recycles harmful greenhouse gases, reduces costs and decreases toxicity to bacterial cultures.

    Advantages

    • Improved yields and titers of butanol and butyrate by up to 20%
    • Real-time carbon capture and recirculation of gases for reduction of greenhouse gases
    • Increased production of carbon compounds without increased toxicity to bacterial cultures
    • Production of alternative drop-in ready biofuels

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Jose Bruno-Barcena is an Associate Professor in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology at NC State. He earned his Ph.D. in Biological Science from Tucuman University in Argentina and has more than 20 years of research experience in microbial physiology. His research interests include fermentation and bioprocessing technology, gram-positive bacteria, functional probiosis and bioenergy.

    Dr. Mari Chinn is a Professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at NC State. She earned her Ph.D. in Biosystems Engineering at the University of Kentucky. Her research interests include production of bio-based products, methods of enzymatic conversion and fermentation and solvent extraction processes.

    Dr. Walter Sandoval-Espinola was a graduate student in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology at NC State and a member of the Bruno-Barcena Laboratory. His research focused on bacterial fermentation, solventogenic bacteria and development of second generation biofuel. Dr. Sandoval-Espinola received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from NC State and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University.

    NCSU Advanced Thermal-Hydraulic Subchannel Code CTF

    16294 -Abstract

    In the past few decades, the need of improved nuclear reactor safety analyses has led to a rapid development of advanced methods for multidimensional thermal-hydraulic analyses. These methods have progressively become more complex in order to account for variety of physical phenomena anticipated during steady-state and transient Light Water Reactor (LWR) conditions. The newly developed models must be extensively validated against full-scale high-quality experimental data. Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed an advanced thermal-hydraulic sub-channel code designed for modelling light water reactors. The models have been extensively verified and validated and are ready for current Generation II light water reactors. CTF includes a wide range of thermal-hydraulic models important to LWR safety analysis including flow regime dependent two-phase wall heat transfer, inter-phase heat transfer and drag, droplet breakup, and quench-front tracking. In addition to its fluid-flow modeling capabilities, CTF includes tools for modeling solid objects in the core, including nuclear fuel rods, solid heater rods, guide tubes, and BWR channel boxes. This software provides a robust system for modelling light water reactors. It can be used for teaching, research and commercial applications.


    Advantages

  • Modelling capabilities
  • Robust model that has been extensively verified and validated
  • Modernized and parallelized code
  • Pre- and post-processors
  • Can be run of Linux, Windows or sever
  • This can be used for teaching, research and commercial applications


  • About The Inventors

    Kostadin Ivanov
    Dr. Kostadin Ivanov received a B.S. in nuclear engineering from the Moscow Institute of Power Engineering, Russia. He received his Ph.D. in reactor physics from the Institute of Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy (INRNE), Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Presently he studies the next generation stochastic and deterministic methods in reactor physics analysis and also nuclear cross-section generation and modeling. Ivanov also develops advanced methods for multi-physics coupling for design and safety applications. Another topic is the study of verification and validation methods as well as uncertainty quantification and propagation in modeling and simulations.
    Maria N. Avramova
    Dr. Avramova is currently an Associate Professor and Director of Reactor Dynamics and Fuel Modeling Group (RDFMG) at North Carolina State University. She earned her Ph.D. degree in nuclear engineering from Pennsylvania State University (PSU) in 2007. Dr. Avramova's research areas include reactor thermal-hydraulics; core design; transient and safety analysis; multi-physics and multi-scale simulations; verification and validation; and uncertainty and sensitivity analysis.

    Cell-mimicking Microparticles for Regenerative Therapies

    16280 -

    NC State is seeking commercial partners to commercialize synthetic microparticles which mimic the therapeutic effects of stem cells

    Abstract

    Stem cells are present in most tissues of the body and act as repair cells which are stimulated upon tissue damage to proliferate and differentiate into specialized cell populations to replace damaged cells. More recently it has become clear that these cells also play a role in stimulating other cells to initiate repair and also dampen the local immune response by release of paracrine and autocrine factors. Therefore, harnessing the healing properties of stem cells is one of the most promising areas of regenerative medicine. However, stem-cell based therapies face a number of hurdles in their translation from the lab bench to the clinic. Stem cells are difficult to preserve and transport, as they require very stringent storage conditions and temperatures to maintain viability. In addition, cell transplantation carries risks such as immunogenicity and tumorigenicity. These issues have hindered the release of stem cell therapies into the clinical setting, creating a need for synthetic methods to capitalize on the therapeutic benefits of stem cells while reducing the risks.

    Researchers at NC State have developed novel cell-mimicking microparticles (CMMP) that recapitulate stem cell functions in tissue repair. These microparticles contain protein factors from stem cells and are coated in stem cell membranes to mimic intact stem cells. CMMP have been demonstrated to promote tissue regeneration through the recruitment and stimulation of cells involved in tissue repair. In a mouse model of myocardial infarction, CMMP showed a similar therapeutic efficacy to administering cardiac stem cells by augmenting cardiac function and preserving the myocardium. In addition, in a transplantation model, CMMP did not illicit an immune rejection response. This breakthrough technology holds great promise as a tool for the production of regenerative therapies not only for heart disease, but a variety of other disease states involving tissue damage.

    Advantages

    • Cell-mimicking microparticles (CMMP) have a decreased risk of immune rejection or tumorigenicity compared to stem cells.
    • CMMP have an increased shelf life and can withstand harsher environmental and storage conditions than stem cells.
    • CMMP have demonstrated effectiveness comparable to stem cells.
    • This platform technology can be used in a number of diseases where stem cells are currently being utilized or considered.

    Related Patent Information

    • A provisional patent application has been filed for this technology.
    • Research has been published in Nature Communications (see publications)

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Ke Cheng is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine at NC State, and an Associate Professor in the UNC/NCSU joint Department of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Cheng received his Ph.D. in Biological Engineering from the University of Georgia. Prior to joining NCSU, Dr. Cheng was an Assistant Professor at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the University of California Los Angeles, School of Medicine. Dr. Cheng also served as the director of the stem cell lab for multiple clinical trials including a clinical trial using patient’s own cardiac stem cells to treat heart attack. His research focuses on the utilization of stem cells for the treatment of disease and the generation of biomaterials for regenerative medicine.

    Platelets for Delivery of Cancer Immunotherapeutics

    16287 - North Carolina State University is seeking commercial partners to license and commercialize a novel cancer immunotherapeutic delivery system of anti-PD-L1.

    Abstract

    Cancer immunotherapy research is a rapidly emerging field. Over half of current cancer clinical trials include formats of immunotherapy, the area has seen remarkable results. The first anti-PD-L1 inhibitor has recently and rapidly been approved by the FDA. For a productive immune response a number of immunological checkpoints must be past, to guard against unwanted or harmful self-directed activities, this may act as a barrier to successful immunotherapies. By blocking the inhibitory checkpoints, antitumor activity may be generated, however these checkpoint blockade therapy have limited therapeutic benefits in many patients, with grade 3/4 adverse effects occurring. How to enhance these therapies have become a focus in the field.

    Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a novel delivery system for the promoted delivery of anti-PD-L1 (aPDL1) to eradicate residual tumor cells, using in-situ activation of platelets. Reoccurrence of cancer after a surgical resection remains a significant challenge in cancer management. This is due to residual microtumors in the surgical bed and circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The intrinsic wound and CTCs tropic properties of platelets, can target microtumors at the surgical wound and the CTCs in blood vessels. This has been tested with melanoma and breast-cancer murine models. This successful model overcomes the limitations of anti-PD therapy. The pro-inflammatory environments created by platelets could upregulate PDL1 expression of tumor and boost T cell activity. This new methodology for triggered release of agent, activation by PMP generation, which facilitates aPDL1 binding to tumor and APC cells. This programmed combination delivery strategy may inspire new treatments that involve localized and bio-responsive release of other therapies.

    Advantages

    • Reduces reoccurrence of tumors after sectioning
    • Reduces side effects of treatment
    • Increases treatment effectiveness
    • Mechanism may be used with other treatments


    Related Patent Information

    A patent application related to this invention has been filed.

    About the Lead Inventor

    Dr. Zhen Gu obtained Ph.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles, under the guidance of Prof. Yi Tang in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He was a postdoctoral associate working with Prof. Robert Langer at MIT and Harvard Medical School during 2010 to 2012. He is currently an Associate Professor and founding Director of the Translational Innovation (TraIn) Professional Science Master program in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. He also holds joint positions in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Department of Medicine at UNC. His group studies controlled drug delivery, bio-inspired materials and nanobiotechnology. Prof. Gu is the recipient of the Sloan Research Fellowship (2016), Pathway Award (2015) and Junior Faculty Award (2014) of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), Young Innovator Award in Cellular and Molecular Engineering of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES, 2015) and the Sigma Xi Young Faculty Research Award (2014). MIT Technology Review listed him in 2015 as one of the global top innovators under the age of 35 (TR35). GOOD Magazine listed him in 2016 as one of GOOD 100- "100 individuals who are improving the world through creativity and innovation".

    Novel Antimicrobial Agents

    16304 -

    A U.S. Provisional Patent Application has been filed for this technology.

    A novel class of antimicrobial agents that demonstrate significant and unexpected potency against gram-positive bacteria

    Abstract

    According to the Centers for Disease Control, each year at least 2 million people acquire serious infections with antibiotic resistant bacteria, and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of such infections. Estimated economic costs of antibiotic resistance have been estimated to be as high as $20 billion in healthcare with an additional $35 billion in lost productivity. In addition, development of new antibiotics to combat bacterial infections has declined. In the past three decades, only two new classes of antibiotics appeared in the market, creating a high demand for new compounds. The lack of new antibiotics combined with antibiotic resistance is a serious threat to global health.

    Researchers at NC State have developed a novel class of antimicrobial agents that demonstrate significant and unexpected potency and selectivity, especially against gram-positive bacteria. The antimicrobial agents are analogs of a 4-oxazolidinone natural product with some molecules exhibiting remarkable effectiveness against difficult pathogens such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Features of the technology include function via bactericidal mechanisms, effectiveness against biofilms, low-toxicity to mammalian and red blood cells and a 14-fold improved minimum inhibitory concentration among some analogs. The technology allows for the development of antimicrobial agents with novel scaffolds and may also have other therapeutic applications.

    Advantages

    • Effective against multi-drug resistant gram-positive bacteria, particularly MRSA
    • Exhibits efficacy at eradicating Staphylococcus aureus biofilms
    • Significant and unexpected potency
    • 14-fold improved minimum inhibitory concentration in some analogs
    • Low-toxicity to mammalian and red blood cells

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Joshua Pierce is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at NC State. He earned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh and serves on the Executive Advisory Board of the Comparative Medicine Institute at NC State. His research interests include chemical synthesis, antimicrobial and anticancer compound development and chemical probe development for biological pathways.

    Jonathan Mills is a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry at NC State. Mr. Mills is a member of the Pierce Laboratory. His research focuses on the development of antimicrobial compounds.

    NC-Dilday Soybean

    17008 -

    NC-Dilday is a non-GMO, high yielding, multi-environment, late maturing robust soybean cultivar suitable for production in the Southeastern United States. The cultivar produces higher levels of seed oil, lower protein content, and significantly higher crop yield than check cultivars. NC-Dilday also produces crop that is similar in seed shape and agronomic traits as check soybean cultivars. The introduction of yield enhancing genes has resulted in NC-Dilday being a high yielding Group VI cultivar derived from PI 416937.

    NC-Dilday has been evaluated for five years using the NV Official Variety Test in 9 replicated environments and the USDA Southern Uniform Regional Tests in 42 replicated environments. Results from these trials showed that it averaged 2.6 bushels/acre better than early maturing check cultivar NC-Roy and averaged 3.3 bushels per acre greater than the commercial non-GMO cultivars. NC-Dilday has potential to serve as an additional high yielding, non-GMO cultivar for production and breeding in the Southeast.

    Characteristics

    Links

    Learn more about Dr. Marion Dilday's contributions to the soybean industry

    New Soybean Varieties Named for NC Agricultural Leaders

    Lead Inventors

    Dr. Andrea J. Cardinal is a former Associate Professor in the Department of Crop Science at NC State.

    Sanbao Wang is a former undergraduate researcher in the Department of Crop Science at NC State.

    NC-Dunphy Soybean

    17007 -

    NC-Dunphy is a non-GMO, high yielding, multi-environment, early maturing robust soybean cultivar that is suitable for production in the Southeastern United States. The cultivar has larger seeds, shorter plant stature, greater lodging resistance, and higher seed oil content than check cultivars. NC-Dunphy also produces crop that is similar in seed shape and agronomic traits to check soybean cultivars. The introduction of yield enhancing genes has resulted in NC-Dunphy being perhaps the highest yielding Group VI cultivar derived from PI 416937.

    NC-Dunphy has been evaluated in the USDA Southern Uniform Regional Tests and it showed significantly higher yield than any other released check cultivars over 27 replicated environments. Results from these trials showed that it averaged 6.8 bushels/acre higher than early maturing check cultivar Dillion and averaged 4.5 bushels/acre greater than the commercial NC-Roy cultivars. NC-Dunphy has the potential to serve as an additional high yielding, non-GMO cultivar for production and breeding in the Southeast.

    Characteristics

    Links

    Learn more about Dr. E. James Dunphy's contributions to the soybean industry

    New Soybean Varieties Named for NC Agricultural Leaders

    Lead Inventors

    Dr. Andrea J. Cardinal is a former Associate Professor in the Department of Crop Science at NC State.

    Sanbao Wang is a former undergraduate researcher in the Department of Crop Science at NC State.

    NC-Wilder Soybean

    17006 -

    NC-Wilder is a non-GMO, high yielding, multi-environment robust soybean cultivar that is suitable for production in the Southeastern United States. The cultivar has been shown to produce higher levels of seed oil and comparable seed shape and agronomic traits as check soybean cultivars. The introduction of yield enhancing genes has resulted in NC-Wilder being perhaps the highest yielding Group VII cultivar derived from PI 416937.

    NC-Wilder has been evaluated using the USDA Southern Uniform Regional Tests and showed significantly higher yield than any other released check cultivar over 32 replicated environments. Results from these trials showed that it averaged 2.6 bushels/acre higher than the elite non-GMO check N7003CN and averaged 2.3 bushels/acre greater than the commercial GMO cultivar AGS-738RR. NC-Wilder has the potential to serve as an additional non-GMO cultivar for production and breeding in the Southeast.

    Characteristics

    Links

    Learn more about Dr. Jim Wilder's contributions to the soybean industry

    New Soybean Varieties Named for NC Agricultural Leaders

    Lead Inventors

    Dr. Andrea J. Cardinal is a former Associate Professor in the Department of Crop Science at NC State.

    Sanbao Wang is a former undergraduate researcher in the Department of Crop Science at NC State.

    Redox catalysts for the oxidative cracking of light hydrocarbons

    17013 - North Carolina State University is looking for commercial partners to license and commercialize a novel oxidative cracking process, utilizing novel catalysts, which operates at lower than standard temperatures.

    Abstract

    Ethylene is a major feedstock for the petrochemical industry, in particular in the production of plastics and synthetic rubbers. It is one of the most widely used chemicals in the food industry, used in agriculture for the ripening of fruit. The current method of ‘steam cracking’ light hydrocarbons is highly energy intensive, require large fuel sources and concomitant CO2 and NOx emissions and very limited single-pass conversion. This production process for ethylene is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the chemical industry.

    Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a novel system of catalysts for oxidative cracking, in a chemical looping- oxidative dehydrogenation process. The oxygen is supplied from the lattice of the redox-catalyst. The catalyst can be doped in order to promote the formation of water over CO2 or CO and oxygen replenishment for the catalyst can occur with suitable oxidising gases such as CO2 or steam. Recycling of methane CO and CO2 into the reactor will suppress the formation of undesirable products. The catalyst is designed to promote paraffin conversion reactions at temperatures lower than 800oC and at higher temperatures maintains high selectivity. This novel system allows for production at a lower-temperature, using less energy and reducing undesirable by-products.

    Advantages

    • Significantly higher single pass ethylene yield
    • Oxidative cracking/dehydrogenation without the needs for air separation
    • Highly efficient process with significantly lower emissions
    • Lower temperature than conventional cracking


    Related Patent Information

    A patent application related to this invention has been filed.

    About the Lead Inventor

    Dr. Li is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. Li’s research interests include energy and environmental engineering and particle technology. His research focuses on the design, synthesis, and characterization of nano catalyst and reagent particles for biomass and fossil energy conversions, green liquid fuel synthesis, CO2 capture, and pollutant control. In addition, his research encompasses chemical reaction engineering and process synthesis and optimization. Density Functional Theory (DFT) based methods are also used to elucidate the particle reaction mechanisms and to identify potential ways to improve particle performance.

    Cheminformatics Models For Assessing the CO2 Absorption Properties of Amine Solutions

    17015 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize its cheminformatics models to assess the CO2 absorption properties of amine solutions.

    State-Of-Development:Software is developed and tested.

    Abstract

    Background
    In the wake of rapid development in modern industry, the amount of natural carbon resources consumption is rising, which increased concerns about global warming. It’s estimated that carbon resources accounts for more than 60% of global warming making the reduction of CO2 emissions a top priority. With even stricter environmental regulations, carbon-resource based industries are continuously looking to identify efficient solutions to capture and recycle CO2. In the past decade, chemical process known as “Amine scrubbing”, which absorb CO2 using aqueous solutions of amines became increasingly prevalent. Though amine scrubbing is relatively mature, it still suffers from lack of amines with the capability of low heat of reaction, fast absorption rate and high CO2 absorption capability. Therefore, it is worthwhile to investigate and select new amines with excellent absorption characteristics. A series of investigation methods have been developed in the past to assess absorption characteristics of new amines, but they are costly and time-consuming.

    Innovation
    NCSU researchers have developed an innovative investigation tool to screen novel amines and assess their CO2 absorption properties. Investigation tool includes a series of quantitative structure-property relationships (QSPR) models based on computed chemical descriptors, machine learning techniques and predictive modeling workflow. The QSPR models designed to predict CO2 absorption properties of amine solutions are based on amines’ chemical structure only. Our investigation tool includes heat of absorption, maximum absorption amount and absorption rate QSPR models to forecast CO2 absorption properties of novel amines. Our tool uses cheminformatics to cluster compounds and extract structure-property relationships, which is a key to design amines with enhanced absorption properties.


    Advantages

  • Lowers the experimental cost and save millions of dollars spent in experimental testing to predict CO2 absorption properties. Experimental testing of just 5 amines could cost $1-$3 million and takes weeks of iterative testing.
  • Cost effective method to predict CO2 absorption properties without requiring any experimental tests.
  • Expedite the experimental testing process as our models can test over 1 million amines in just a week time.
  • Software is developed using open source software- R Libraries and Knime.
  • Run on multiple platforms e.g. PCs and Macs.


  • Application Areas

  • Screen and prioritize novel amines for their CO2 absorption properties
  • Design novel amines to capture and recycle CO2
  • Coal-fired power plants, coal-based industry plants


  • About The Inventors

    Dr. Denis Fourches is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at NCSU and a resident member of the Bioinformatics Research Center. Dr. Fourches’ research focuses on analyzing, modeling and forecasting complex interactions between chemical structures and various types of biological targets to design novel compounds with desired activity and safety profiles. His research on computer-aided molecular design has important applications to drug discovery, agrochemical development, green chemistry and biocompatible nano-materials. Melaine A. Kuenemann is currently Postdoctoral Research Associate at the NCSU in the laboratory of Dr. Denis Fourches. She has PhD in Cheminformatics and Master of Science in “In Silico” Drug Design from the Paris Diderot University. Her research interest includes molecular modeling, molecular dynamics and cheminformatics techniques.

    Key Terms

    Cheminformatics, CO2 absorption, Carbon Dioxide absorption, Amine Solutions, Quantitative structure property relationships (QSPR) models

    A powered hip exoskeleton with balance capacities for walking assistance

    17170 - North Carolina State University is looking for commercial partners to license and commercialize a novel hip exoskeleton.

    Abstract

    Exoskeletons are used to improve the wearer’s mobility. Traditionally these assist with walking, requiring the wearer to use aids for stability, such as crutches or a walker. This is due to the exoskeletons only providing balance in the sagittal plane. This hinders the wearer’s freedom to use their arms and may increase the dependency on the use of the exoskeleton, discouraging motor learning.

    Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a novel, high-power, self-balancing hip exoskeleton that is passively and software-controlled actively compliant when interacting with the wearer. Unlike current hip exoskeletons this emphasizes assistance for both walking and stability, with powered actuators in both the sagittal and frontal planes. The hip exoskeleton will real-time adjust the step length and step width as well as provide assistance in lateral weight shift to improve walking stability. The hip exoskeleton driven by modular clutch-able series elastic actuators, it provides mechanical compliance at the interface between the exoskeleton and the wearer to ensure safety and a natural gait in the coupled wearer-exoskeleton system. The clutches can automatic turn off to disconnect the motion between exoskeleton and human to ensure safety. The modular series elastic actuators integrated with torque sensor. The hip exoskeleton can real-time measures the interaction force between exoskeleton joint and human leg. And the hip exoskeleton will real-time adjust the compliance based on the torque sensor feedback to ensure safety and a natural gait in the coupled wearer-exoskeleton system. It is a high powered design allowing use for individuals with weakness in their lower limbs. It adds minimal weight to the user reducing risks of gait change or increasing energy expenditure.

    Advantages

    • Powered actuators for sagittal and frontal planes
    • Assists with balance and stability
    • Reduced weight
    • HAA joints correction strategy prevents imbalances
    • Reduced energy expenditure
    • Electronic failsafe system protects users


    About the Lead Inventor

    Dr. Huang received a BS from Xi’an Jiaotong University in China and MS and PhD degrees from Arizona State University. She was a postdoctoral research associate in the Center for Bionic Medicine at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Prior to joining the NC State faculty, she was an assistant professor from 2008 to 2012 and an associate professor from 2012 to 2013 at the University of Rhode Island, both in biomedical engineering. She has received the Delsys Prize for Innovation in Electromyography, the Mary E. Switzer Fellowship with the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. She is a senior member of IEEE and member of the Society for Neuroscience.

    Engineered Nanoplatelets for Combination Therapy

    17029 -North Carolina State University is seeking a commercial licensee to commercialize a platelet membrane- coated nonparticulate platform for the enhance treatment of multiple myeloma and thrombus.

    Abstract

    Multiple Myeloma is one of the most frequently occurred hematological cancers. Although there has been significant advances radiation therapy chemotherapy and stem cell implantation, the treatment of MM remains a challenge. The non-specific distribution and short circulation time after proteasome inhibitor combination regimens sometimes results in side effects and has limitations in application. In addition, there is very often the emergence of thrombus. Therefore, there is a need for a new delivery mechanism for proteasome inhibitors such as bortezomib.

    Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a platelet membrane coated nanoparticulate platform for the targeted delved of bortezomib at the myeloma site. A core-shell structured nanocarrier with a platelet membrane wrapped in the surface transports the bortezomib and tPA to the desired location. After intravenous injection, the nanoparticles accumulate at the myeloma site through sequential targeting of the bone microenvironment.

    Advantages

    • Targeted delivery of multiple myeloma drugs
    • Reduced side effects from multiple myeloma drugs
    • Minimization of thrombus formation during treatment


    Related Patent Information

    A patent application related to this invention has been filed.

    About the Lead Inventor

    Dr. Zhen Gu obtained Ph.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles, under the guidance of Prof. Yi Tang in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He was a postdoctoral associate working with Prof. Robert Langer at MIT and Harvard Medical School during 2010 to 2012. He is currently an Associate Professor and founding Director of the Translational Innovation (TraIn) Professional Science Master program in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. He also holds joint positions in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Department of Medicine at UNC. His group studies controlled drug delivery, bio-inspired materials and nanobiotechnology. Prof. Gu is the recipient of the Sloan Research Fellowship (2016), Pathway Award (2015) and Junior Faculty Award (2014) of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), Young Innovator Award in Cellular and Molecular Engineering of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES, 2015) and the Sigma Xi Young Faculty Research Award (2014). MIT Technology Review listed him in 2015 as one of the global top innovators under the age of 35 (TR35). GOOD Magazine listed him in 2016 as one of GOOD 100- "100 individuals who are improving the world through creativity and innovation".

    Synergistically Transcutaneous Immunotherapy Enhances Antitumor Immune Responses

    17031 -North Carolina State University is seeking a commercial licensee to commercialize a microneedle patch which enhances immune responses through Blockade of PD1 and IDO.

    Abstract

    There are over one million new cases of skin cancer diagnosed each year, including over 75,000 new cases of invasive melanoma. The clinical benefit of immunoregulation in cancer therapy has been limited by inefficient infiltration of lymphocytes. In addition, the off-target binding of therapeutics to normal tissues has caused immune-related adverse events. Thus, despite significant advances in the treatment of melanoma, targeted treatment is still desired.

    Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a targeted microneedle patch. The patch contains embedded immunotherapeutic nanocapsules assembled from an inhibitor of IDO which are loaded with anti-PD1 antibodies. This provides for a sustained release of the drug as well as enhances the checkpoint inhibitors in the local tumor microenvironment. The patch has been tested in a mouse melanoma model and have demonstrated potent antitumor efficacy.

    Advantages

    • Effective localized delivery of Anti-PD1 antibodies
    • Reduced immunosuppression at the local site
    • Enhanced effective T Cell immunity


    Related Patent Information

    A patent application related to this invention has been filed.

    About the Lead Inventor

    Dr. Zhen Gu obtained Ph.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles, under the guidance of Prof. Yi Tang in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He was a postdoctoral associate working with Prof. Robert Langer at MIT and Harvard Medical School during 2010 to 2012. He is currently an Associate Professor and founding Director of the Translational Innovation (TraIn) Professional Science Master program in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. He also holds joint positions in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Department of Medicine at UNC. His group studies controlled drug delivery, bio-inspired materials and nanobiotechnology. Prof. Gu is the recipient of the Sloan Research Fellowship (2016), Pathway Award (2015) and Junior Faculty Award (2014) of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), Young Innovator Award in Cellular and Molecular Engineering of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES, 2015) and the Sigma Xi Young Faculty Research Award (2014). MIT Technology Review listed him in 2015 as one of the global top innovators under the age of 35 (TR35). GOOD Magazine listed him in 2016 as one of GOOD 100- "100 individuals who are improving the world through creativity and innovation".

    An actuated polymer-based dielectric mirror

    17256 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize its novel actuated polymer-based dielectric mirror and methods to fabricate the same

    State-Of-Development:Dielectric mirror fabricated and tested

    Abstract

    Background
    The electronic display market is expected to reach US$733.7 billion by 2022 as the world progresses more towards "fully paper-less technology" (Source: Yahoo Finance). For several years researchers have attempted to match the comfort level of electronic displays with printed paper. Although there have been significant advances in new products using new technologies such as interference modulation display, light emitting diodes, photonic crystals, electrophoretic, and electro-wetting among others, none as yet has achieved the quality resolution of plain black and white paper. In most display structures one of the challenges relates to the fabrication of the light reflector structure. By designing dielectric mirrors with numerous layers, high reflectance (how much light can be reflected) can be achieved, however there is a tradeoff between high reflectance and the number of layers. Another limitation is that after fabrication the reflectance cannot be changed.

    Innovation
    NC State researchers have designed a polymer-based dielectric mirror and a process to fabricate the same based on freestanding polymer layers. The proposed invention alleviates the abovementioned limitations enabling to vary the reflectance after the fabrication. This is achieved by applying an electrostatic force between the top and bottom layers, which sequentially compresses each layer such that the number of layers is reduced. The proposed invention can also be extended to fabricate an "electrically controllable color pixel" and reflect a particular set of colors that can later be isolated by using color filters. In addition the proposed devices can reflect one particular wavelength without needing color filters and be used as an active tunable reflector


    Advantages

  • Can achieve almost 100% reflectance depending on the number of layers present in the structure (achieve 85% reflectance with only 6 polymer/air layers)
  • Provide actuation speed of less than 1 ms
  • Works better in direct sunlight or brightly lit room as compared to existing technologies such as liquid crystal display (LCD) or light-emitting diodes (LED)
  • Consumes less power and does not require backlight


  • Application Areas

  • Video display applications
  • Optical sensors, screen display applications
  • Lasers, thins film beam splitters, and high quality mirrors in optics
  • Electrically actuated micro membranes for micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) and microfluidics
  • Electrically actuated micro optical lens


  • Publications

  • Pedro P. Vergara and L. Lunardi; “Actuated polymer based dielectric mirror for visual spectral range applications”, SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering Conference, 2017, United States


  • Sponsorship Details

  • The proposed invention is developed with the support from federal government sponsorship granted by the National Science Foundation


  • About The Inventors

    Pedro P. Vergara has earned M.S. in Nuclear engineering and is currently a PhD candidate in electrical and computer engineering at North Carolina State University. His research is in polymer optical devices and photonic crystals with applications in optical micro-electromechanical systems. Prof. Leda Lunardi holds a PhD. in Electrical Engineering from the Cornell University. Her primary research interests are physical electronics, photonic devices, silicon devices and fabrication. She has been awarded by IEEE several times for her work related to optical and photonic devices.

    Key Terms

    Dielectric mirror, distributed Bragg mirror, electronic displays, high reflectance, electronic paper-like display

    NC-26 Inbred Pickling Cucumber

    17053 -

    NC-26 is a dwarf-determinate pickling cucumber inbred line developed at the North Carolina State University. It is resistant to the main diseases of U.S. production areas (anthracnose, powdery mildew, and moderate downy mildew).

    With excellent horticultural characteristics, NC-26 has medium-sized seeds with rapid germination. Vines have dwarf-determinate growth habit, some lateral branching, and very dark-green leaves with crinkled surface. Plants are vigorous, with rapid growth. Flowers and fruit develop early in the vegetative growth stage. Fruit color for NC-26 cucumber is dark-green with speckled color. The high-quality fruits have few, large tubercles (warts), and are white spined. Fruits of NC-26 also had small seedcell size and thin skin, making it unnecessary to peel before eating.

    NC-26 is suitable for use in containers as a patio cucumber or in raised beds for home gardeners in the U.S. This inbred can also be used as a male parent for hybrid development.

    Characteristics

    Inventor

    Dr. Todd C. Wehner is a Professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He also serves as an Instructor for the Plant Breeding Academy at UC Davis. He received his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Over the course of his career he has released 62 cultivars and breeding lines. Dr. Wehner’s research focuses on cucurbit breeding and genetics.

    Additional Information on NC State's Cucurbit Breeding Program.

    Customized low-dimensional computational musculoskeletal model for prosthesis control

    17102 -

    North Carolina State University is seeking a commercial partner to license a novel customized low-dimensional computational musculoskeletal model for prosthesis control.

    Abstract

    There are nearly 20,000 upper limb amputations each year. Less than half of all upper-limb amputees wear a prosthetic arm. Unfortunately, upper-limb prosthetics currently on the market are not widely used by amputees because they are not able to duplicate the elegance of the human hand. One limitation, for example, is limited control over the prosthetic. Because prosthetics are not useful tools, patients do not use them.

    Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a novel customized low-dimensional computational musculoskeletal model for prosthesis control. This model allows a user to control more than one prosthesis joint at a time. This robust control allows the user to approximately match a desired hand position. The resulting movement is more natural and human like. In addition, the controller is more robust overall and is more responsive to muscle signal changes associate with arm movement, fatigue, and socket movement.

    Advantages

    • Simultaneous control of multiple joints
    • Natural human-like movement
    • Reduction of system errors

    About the Lead Inventor

    Dr. Huang received a BS from Xi’an Jiaotong University in China and MS and PhD degrees from Arizona State University. She was a postdoctoral research associate in the Center for Bionic Medicine at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Prior to joining the NC State faculty, she was an assistant professor from 2008 to 2012 and an associate professor from 2012 to 2013 at the University of Rhode Island, both in biomedical engineering. She has received the Delsys Prize for Innovation in Electromyography, the Mary E. Switzer Fellowship with the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. She is a senior member of IEEE and member of the Society for Neuroscience.

    Piezoelectric Floating Element Shear Stress (PeFESS) Sensor for Flow Measurements

    17043 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking a partner to commercialize a novel technology for direct measurement of flow induced sheer stress.

    Abstract

    The ability to measure both temporally and spatially resolved wall shear stress is important for research on basic fluid mechanics, but also from perspective of flow control. Measurements of wall shear stress due to flow past solid surfaces provides important information about flow phenomena, including viscous drag, the transition to turbulence and flow separation. Limitations of indirect methods include several sources of errors due to surrounding temperature and humidity and may cause disturbance with to the flow. Direct methods obtain more accurate results in complex and difficult-to-model flows.

    Researchers and North Carolina State University have developed a novel low cost piezoelectric floating-element-type sensor. This sensor is designed to be resilient against normal stresses, so that pure shear stress can be measured. Using a protective housing, minimizing the lip size and optimizing the gap size, potential errors due to misalignments between the floating elements and test plate can be prevented.

    These sensors have been calibrated and tested in a wind tunnel and shows high shear stress sensitivity and minimal sensitivity to normal stresses.

    Advantages

    • Low cost
    • Small in size
    • Insensitive to normal stresses
    • Sensitive to shear stress


    • About the Lead Inventor

      Dr. Xiaoning Jiang is a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. Jiang’s research interests include the use of smart materials, smart structures, micro/nanofabrications and devices, and their applications in biomedical, mechanical, and aerospace engineering.

    SiC Planar Power MOSFET with superior High Frequency Figure-of-Merit

    17048 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize its novel SiC planar power MOSFET with superior High frequency figure-of-merit and methods of forming such devices.

    Patent Information: A provisional US patent 62/473,761 has been filed for this invention.

    State-Of-Development: Technology has been reduced to practice in a high volume commercial foundry and in-matured stage.

    Abstract

    Background
    The silicon carbide (SiC) market is expected to be worth USD 617.4 Million by 2022 (source: MarketsandMarkets). The key driver for the market growth is proliferation of high frequency applications such as hybrid and electric vehicles, lighting, data servers, AC adapters, solar inverters, power supplies, charging circuits and grid control. SiC power MOSFETs are popular in these applications due to its high switching capability and small on-resistance. During high frequency operations, the reverse transfer capacitance (Cgd) and gate-to-drain charge (Qgd) must be minimized to achieve fast switching speed and low power dissipation. High frequency figure-of-merit (HF-FOM), defined as [Ron * Cgd] and [Ron * Qgd], is commonly used as the high frequency performance indicator. Small HF-FOM value is desired for high frequency applications in order to reduce power dissipation and switching losses. The current state-of-the-art SiC power MOSFETs have high HFFOM [Ron * Qgd] of about 2000, which leads to high power losses and switching losses.

    Innovation
    NC state researchers have developed a novel 4H-SiC Buffered-Gate (BG) MOSFET structure, where the split-gate electrode is buffered from the drain by extended P+ shield region. Unlike conventional SiC MOSFET, our BG-MOSFET contains shorter gate electrode and transition region/layer. It further provides the advantage of electrical shielding from underlying drift region and insulating shortened gate electrode from surrounding regions. As compared to currently available SG-MOSFET, the HF-FOM of our BG-MOSFET has greatly reduced to about 3-4 times due to significant reduction in Cgd, Qgd and on-resistance.


    Advantages

  • Operates at much higher frequencies in comparison to silicon IGBTs
  • Fabricated using standard manufacturing technology available in the PowerAmerica foundry X-Fab
  • Demonstrated 3.6x reduction in High frequency figure-of-merit [Ron * Qgd] compared to the conventional MOSFET and a 2.1x reduction compared to the Split-Gate MOSFET
  • Significant reduction in power loss and improvement in efficiency due to better HFFOM


  • Application Areas

  • Power electronics operating at higher frequencies
  • PV-inverters or solar inverter, or converter and motor drive circuits


  • Sponsorship Details

    The proposed SiC MOSFET is developed under sponsorship of PowerAmerica, which is associated with the Department Of Energy that focuses on advancing silicon carbide and gallium nitride technologies.

    About The Inventors

    Dr. Jayant Baliga is an internationally recognized expert on power semiconductor devices. He is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the IEEE. He spent 15 years at the General Electric Research and Development Center, Schenectady, NY, leading their power device effort and was bestowed the highest scientific rank of Coolidge Fellow. Prof. Baliga has authored/edited 18 books and over 500 scientific articles. He has been granted 120 U.S. Patents. The IEEE has recognized him numerous times - most recently with the 'Lamme Medal' at Whitehall Palace in London. Scientific American magazine included him among the 'Eight Heroes of the Semiconductor Revolution' when commemorating the 50th anniversary of the invention of the transistor.

    Other Available Technologies

  • Technology 17202, entitled “SiC Power AC Switch”
  • Technology #17087, entitled "PowerAmerica Mask design and Foundry process"

  • Key Terms

    Insulated-gate field-effect transistor (IGFET), Insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT), Metal oxide field effect transistor (MOSFET), Buffered-gate MOSFET (BG-MOSFET), High-frequency applications, Silicon Carbide, 4H-SiC, High switching speed, Reduced or Low power loss

    Detecting Conflicts among IoT Apps through IA Nets

    17061 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize its pioneering method to detect inter-app conflicts in IoT (Internet of Things) platforms through AI Nets.

    State-Of-Development:Prototype has been developed.

    Abstract

    Background
    According to Forbes, IoT (Internet of Things) market is expected to be worth $267 Billion by 2020. The key driver for the market growth is proliferation in IoT applications and solutions. These IoT applications/solutions are developed using either closed IoT platforms or open IoT platforms. In closed IoT platforms the whole system, is designed coherently with a central plan for the set of pre-fixed apps. On the other hand, open IoT platforms allows individual developers to create and deploy IoT apps without any cooperation or interaction. Moreover, these apps are often times deployed in IoT environment alongside various unrelated sensors and devices. Closed IoT platform and open IoT platform both face the issue of conflicts among apps, but inter-app conflict is more prevalent in open IoT platform because the apps in open IoT are developed independently without regard for other apps on the platform. These inter-app conflicts result in undesirable consequences such as loss of control over functions or devices, or the disabling of functions by another app. For instance, energy saving app ‘Esave’ wants to turns-off the lights when no motion is detected, whereas home security app ‘SafeHouse’ wants to turn-on the lights when house is empty.

    Innovation
    NC State University researchers have developed a novel and effective method to detect inter-app conflicts in open IoT environments through IA (inter-app) Nets. IA Nets are an extended form of Petri Nets, which are broadly used to specify real-time system specifications based on environment/relation. Our developed method leverages two theorems — strong conflict theorem and weak conflict theorem — along with device models to detect both strong and weak conflicts. Furthermore, our conflict detection method can be extended to provide warnings to users and automatically modify the apps to fix the conflicts based on user feedback.


    Advantages

  • Automatically detect various inter-app conflicts
  • Define and categorize various conflicts in IoT apps
  • Prevent undesirable inter-plays among IoT apps installed in the same system
  • Ability to be integrated with IoT platforms for automatic conflict detection, warning and resolve issues


  • Application Areas

  • Inter-app conflict detection
  • Open IOT platforms such as Samsung SmartThings, IBM Bluemix, GE Predix


  • About The Inventors

    Dr. Xipeng Shen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at NC State University. His research lies in the field of Programming Systems and Machine Learning, with an emphasis on enabling extreme-scale data-intensive computing and intelligent portable computing through innovations in compilers, runtime systems, and Machine Learning algorithms. In addition, he was a Visiting Researcher at M.I.T., Microsoft Research, and Intel Labs. He received many prestigious awards from the U.S. Department of Energy, US National Science Foundation, Google, IBM, and IEEE. Other inventor: Xinyi Li

    Key Terms

    Internet-of-things, IOT, IOT apps, conflicts, inter-app conflict, open IoT platform, P-petri nets, environment relation nets

    NC-302 Inbred, Oriental Crisp-Flesh Melon Breeding Line

    07P019 -

    NC-302 is an oriental, crisp-flesh, Sprite-type melon breeding line produced from an intercross with a Sprite melon and self-pollinated past an S10 generation. This inbred line was selected through field trials for several characteristics including yield, high sugar content, and crisp flesh texture. NC-302 was also selected for growth characteristics such as rapid vine growth and flowering. The fruit produced from this line are small in size with crisp, white flesh and a sweet flavor similar to that of a Sprite melon. The fruit have smooth white skin free from defects.

    NC-302 also features resistance to downy mildew (Pseudoperonospora cubensis) and powdery mildew (Podosphaera xanthii). NC-302 is useful as a parental line for the production of new Sprite-type melon hybrids with desirable growth and fruit characteristics.

    Characteristics

    Inventor

    Dr. Todd C. Wehner is a Professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He also serves as an Instructor for the Plant Breeding Academy at UC Davis. He received his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Over the course of his career he has released 62 cultivars and breeding lines. Dr. Wehner’s research focuses on cucurbit breeding and genetics.

    Tammy L. Ellington is a Research Specialist in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on cucurbit genetics and breeding.

    Wilfred R. Jester is an Extension Associate in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He is also the Horticulturist and NC Specialty Crops Program Coordinator. His program focuses on extension and applied research in vegetable crops.

    Dr. Jonathan R. Schultheis is a Professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He received his Ph.D. in Horticultural Science from the University of Florida. He is a specialist in sweetpotato, cucurbits, and sweet corn. His work focuses management and production research and extension in vegetable crops.

    Additional Information on NC State's Cucurbit Breeding Program.

    NC-303 Inbred, Oriental Crisp-Flesh Melon Breeding Line

    07P020 -

    NC-303 is an oriental, crisp-flesh melon breeding line produced from an intercross with a Sprite melon and self-pollinated past an S10 generation. This line features small fruit size with smooth yellow skin free from defects. This inbred line was selected through field trials for several characteristics including yield, high sugar content, and crisp flesh texture. NC-303 was also selected for growth characteristics such as rapid vine growth and flowering. The fruit produced from this line have crisp, white flesh and a sweet flavor similar to that of a Sprite melon.

    NC-303 also features resistance to downy mildew (Pseudoperonospora cubensis) and powdery mildew (Podosphaera xanthii). NC-303 is useful as a parental line for the production of new oriental crisp-flesh melon hybrids with desirable growth and fruit characteristics.

    Characteristics

    Inventor

    Dr. Todd C. Wehner is a Professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He also serves as an Instructor for the Plant Breeding Academy at UC Davis. He received his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Over the course of his career he has released 62 cultivars and breeding lines. Dr. Wehner’s research focuses on cucurbit breeding and genetics.

    Tammy L. Ellington is a Research Specialist in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on cucurbit genetics and breeding.

    Wilfred R. Jester is an Extension Associate in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He is also the Horticulturist and NC Specialty Crops Program Coordinator. His program focuses on extension and applied research in vegetable crops.

    Dr. Jonathan R. Schultheis is a Professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He received his Ph.D. in Horticultural Science from the University of Florida. He is a specialist in sweetpotato, cucurbits, and sweet corn. His work focuses management and production research and extension in vegetable crops.

    Additional Information on NC State's Cucurbit Breeding Program.

    NC-305 Inbred, Oriental Banana Melon Breeding Line

    07P022 -

    NC-305 is an oriental banana melon breeding line produced from an intercross with a Sprite melon and self-pollinated past an S10 generation. This line features small fruit size with crisp, white flesh and a sweet flavor similar to that of a Sprite melon. This inbred line was selected through field trials for several characteristics including yield, high sugar content, and smooth yellow skin. NC-305 was also selected for growth characteristics such as rapid vine growth and flowering.

    NC-305 also features resistance to downy mildew (Pseudoperonospora cubensis) and powdery mildew (Podosphaera xanthii). NC-305 is useful as a parental line for the production of new oriental banana melon hybrids with desirable growth and fruit characteristics.

    Characteristics

    Inventor

    Dr. Todd C. Wehner is a Professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He also serves as an Instructor for the Plant Breeding Academy at UC Davis. He received his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Over the course of his career he has released 62 cultivars and breeding lines. Dr. Wehner’s research focuses on cucurbit breeding and genetics.

    Tammy L. Ellington is a Research Specialist in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on cucurbit genetics and breeding.

    Wilfred R. Jester is an Extension Associate in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He is also the Horticulturist and NC Specialty Crops Program Coordinator. His program focuses on extension and applied research in vegetable crops.

    Dr. Jonathan R. Schultheis is a Professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. He received his Ph.D. in Horticultural Science from the University of Florida. He is a specialist in sweetpotato, cucurbits, and sweet corn. His work focuses management and production research and extension in vegetable crops.

    Additional Information on NC State's Cucurbit Breeding Program.

    3D motion tracking using sound source localization

    17085 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize its novel 3D motion tracking system using sound source localization techniques in off-the-shelf mobile devices.

    State-Of-Development:Technology has been reduced to practice.

    Abstract

    Background
    Recent advances have begun to shift virtual reality (VR) technologies from “nice-to-have” to “must-have” for today’s consumers. Virtual reality involves the creation of a virtual world that interacts with users in a way that the user becomes immersed in the VR world, making it difficult to differentiate between the real and the virtual. VR software employs motion tracking methods, which digitize user movements for use in computer software to create the illusion of movement through the virtual world. State-of-art 3D motion trackers rely on cameras technology, including RGB and infrared depth-finding cameras. These camera-based 3D motion tracking methods are computation-intensive due to its continuous video recording and processing, thereby leading to high power drain. Furthermore, camera-based motion trackers have limited range of interaction interface due to the narrow field of view of most consumer device camera’s.

    Innovation
    NC State University researchers have developed a 3D tracking system named “3DTrack” that tracks a user’s movement in a 3-dimensional space using “sound source localization” techniques in mobile devices. 3DTrack leverages multi-channel microphone array on mobile device and a speaker on peripherals such as smartwatches or wearables to adopt audio signal as medium for sound localization. As 3DTrack solely relies on “audio-based” scheme, it doesn’t require any other components such as inertial motion sensor, RF transceivers and cameras. Therefore, 3DTrack has ability to operate with low energy consumption on mobile devices, as it doesn’t need extensive power for additional components, screens and computation. Moreover, 3DTrack provides an extended range of interaction space, as its range is defined by the wide range of 3D space near a mobile device. Additionally, our 3DTrack employs time difference of arrival (TDoA) and extended Kalman filter (EKF) to make the system more robust and accurate.


    Advantages

  • Compensate range limitation and accuracy of state-of-art camera based motion trackers
  • Recognize free-form gestures without prior learning
  • High tracking accuracy with an average error of 6.8cm in 3D tracking
  • Enables 3D track system to interact with any sound-emitting peripherals such as smartphones, wearables etc.


  • Application Areas

  • Phone-based virtual reality solutions such as Samsung Gear VR, Google’s Cardboard VR viewer
  • Gaming and entertainment applications
  • Education or training applications
  • Movement Science, Robotics, Animation


  • Publications

  • Seungeun Chung, Injong Rhee, entitled “vTrack: Envisioning a Virtual Trackpad Interface through mm-level Sound Source Localization for Mobile Interaction”, EAI International Conference on Mobile Computing, Applications and Services (MobiCASE), November 30, 2016
  • Seungeun Chung, Injong Rhee, entitled “vTrack: Virtual Trackpad Interface using mm-level Sound Source Localization for Mobile Interaction”, ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp), Poster, September 14, 2016


  • About The Inventors

    Seung Eun Chung earned her PhD. from the Department of Computer Science at NC State University. During her PhD., She has interned with Samsung Research America. Her primary research focuses on distributed mobile and cloud computing, ubiquitous computing, multi-modal mobile sensing, wireless networking, and data analysis using various machine learning techniques.

    Other Available Technologies

    Technology #14214, entitled “Compressive Imaging via Approximate Message Passing with Image Denoising”

    Key Terms

    3D tracking, 3 dimensional tracking, mobile devices, Mobile system, Interaction interface, sound source localization, audio-based 3D tracking

    PowerAmerica Mask design and Foundry process

    17087 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize its PRESiCE TM - mask design and foundry process flow.

    State-Of-Development:Technology is reduced to practice including successful manufacturing of 1.2 kV state-of-the-art devices (power MOSFETs, ACCUFETs, and JBS Rectifiers) in the commercial foundry with high yield.

    Abstract

    Background
    Power devices includes number of diodes and transistors, and are used to regulate the flow of power in electrical devices. For decades, electronics have used silicon-based power devices. In recent years, however, some companies have begun using SiC power devices, which have two key advantages. First, SiC power devices are more efficient, because SiC transistors lose less power as compared to conventional silicon transistors. SiC transistors lose only 7 percent in comparison to conventional silicon transistors that lose 10 percent of their energy in the form of heat. This is not only more efficient, but also means that product designers need to do less to address electrical component heating problem. Second, SiC devices can also switch at a higher frequency. That means electronics incorporating SiC devices can have smaller capacitors and inductors allowing designers to create smaller and lighter electronic products. However, the growth of SiC has been limited so far because companies that have developed manufacturing processes for creating SiC power devices have kept their processes proprietary – making it difficult for other companies to get into the field. This has limited the participation of other companies and kept the cost of SiC devices high.

    Innovation
    Internationally recognized NC State University researcher in the semiconductor space has developed PRESiCETM mask design and foundry process flow to address this bottleneck, with the goal of lowering the barrier of entry to the SiC field for companies and supporting innovation. PRESiCETM has already been implemented as a manufacturing process and successful in showing that it has the high yield and tight statistical distribution of electrical properties for SiC power devices, necessary to make them attractive to industry. The researchers have already licensed the PRESiCETM process and chip design to one company, and are in talks with several others.


    Advantages

  • Size, efficiency, reliability and low production cost
  • High yield and tight statistical distribution of electrical properties for SiC power devices
  • Boost manufacturing of wide bandgap semiconductor-based power electronics
  • Open doors for many companies to enter the SiC field


  • Application Areas

  • SiC power device mass manufacturing
  • Enables commercialization of wide band gap electronics


  • Publications

    “PRESiCETM: PRocess Engineered for manufacturing SiC Electronic-devices”, presented at International Conference on Silicon Carbide and Related Materials, Washington, D.C., September 17-22, 2017

    Sponsorship Details

    The proposed SiC Power AC Switch is developed under sponsorship of PowerAmerica, which is associated with the Department Of Energy that focuses on advancing silicon carbide and gallium nitride technologies.

    About The Inventors

    Dr. Baliga is an internationally renowned scientist, author of 20 books, over 600 publications, and 120 U.S. Patents. His most widely commercialized invention is the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) extensively used for lighting (CFLs), air-conditioning, home appliance controls, robotics, automobile ignition systems, electric-cars, and bullet-trains. The energy efficiency improvements derived from IGBTs have saved world-wide consumers $ 23 Trillion while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 100 Trillion pounds during the last 25 years. In 2016, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame as the sole inventor of the IGBT. He received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, from President Obama in 2011 and the North Carolina Award for Science from Governor Purdue in 2012. He was awarded the highest IEEE recognition, the IEEE Medal of Honor, in 2014. He was awarded the 2015 Global Energy Prize in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation. Woongje Sung received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Korea University in 2000, and 2002 respectively. He received his ph. D. in electrical and computer engineering from North Carolina State University in 2011. He has experience in a number of industrial settings including a startup company, a semiconductor foundry (Dongbu HiTek), and a mature multi-national company (Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology). He is a founding member of DOE funded PowerAmerica Institute, where he has been contributing to establish the baseline process of SiC MOSFETs and diodes. He has fabricated SiC JBS diodes, JFETs, GTOs, and MOSFETs. In 2016, He has joined State University of New York Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly), also known as CNSE (Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering), as an Associate Professor.

    Other Inventions

  • Technology #17048, entitled "SiC Planar Power MOSFET with superior High Frequency Figure-of-Merit"
  • Technology #17202, entitled “SiC Power AC Switch”


  • Ultrasonic Flowmeter for Intravenous Flow Rate Measurement

    17108 -North Carolina State University is seeking a partner in industry to develop an ultrasonic flow meter for intravenous flow rate measurements.

    Abstract

    In order to prevent serious adverse effects on the patient, intravenous (IV) delivery of drugs requires accurate monitoring and precise control of medication injection flow rate. Errors can lead to death or serious harm. IV medication has a significantly higher rate of associated deaths than other routes of medication administration. The two methods of IV administration gravity infusion and syringe pump measure the fluid rate at the source however this may not be the same rate at the injection port.

    Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a transit-time difference flow meter for IV applications. It is non-invasive and can be attached at any position on the outside of the injection tube, due to its strap bandage system. This would allow the fluid flow rate close to the injection port to be monitored, ensuring that patients are receiving the correct dose. A composite transducer has been engineered for clinical dosage rates in the medical field and small diameter tubing. This system could be used with both the gravity infusion method and the syringe pump method.

    This new invention would enable the accurate monitoring of extremely low flow rates to ensure the correct dosage of administered medications.

    Advantages

    • Capable of detecting a low flow rate ( < 0.005 m/s)
    • Optimized for small diameter tube
    • Engineered for clinically relevant dosage rates in the medical field
    • System can be attached at any point along the intravenous tube


    About the Lead Inventor

    Dr. Xiaoning Jiang is a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. Jiang’s research interests include the use of smart materials, smart structures, micro/nanofabrications and devices, and their applications in biomedical, mechanical, and aerospace engineering.

    Wipe with a designated side for holding and a designated side for application that can deliver a composition that decreases frizz and increases shine on hair without soiling the user's hands

    17165 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize frizz-relief deposable wipes for hair. These novel wipes are inexpensive to produce, provide an on-the-go solution to frizz and are mess free. e.

    Abstract

    Frizzy hair can be difficult to control and is one of the most common hair problems. It is stems from dry hair and static electricity; the problem may be exacerbated by rain, humidity and perspiration. There are plethora of available treatments claiming to solve the problem. However treatments tend contain waxes, synthetic polymers or silicon based polymers that contribute to build up, cause an undesirable texture and hair or hands to become sticky. These solutions are also impractical for on the go solutions. Wipes that are currently on the market are very expensive, from $0.50 to $1.20.

    Researchers at NC State University have developed a novel non-woven wipe capable of reducing hair frizz and static. This multilayer wipe features a designated side for wiping the hair and applying the product, with the other side of the wipe for holding and preventing the product being transferred to the user’s hands. These wipes offer several key properties distinguishing them from products that are currently on the market, can be manufactured on commercially available equipment, may be biodegradable and hair friendly oils are used with no prominent smell. The cost to produce is approximately $0.03 per wipe including packaging cost for individual wipes and group packaging.

    These disposable nonwoven wipe for use in oiling hair to conquer frizzy hair ends, easy to transport, convenient to use and keeps hands oil-free during oil application.

    Advantages

    • Relief from frizz and hair static problems
    • An on-the-go, disposable wipe design well suited for the increasingly on-the-go lifestyle of consumers
    • Capable of holding & applying a liquid composition to hair, such as natural & hair friendly oils.
    • Commercially known processing manufacturing equipment required for creation
    • Cheap to produce. ~$0.03 per wipe, but expected to be reducible to at least ~$0.01 per wipe. Pricing estimate includes expected packaging cost for both individual and group packaging.
    • No smell


    About The Lead Inventor

    Dr. Behnam Pourdeyhimi is the Klopman Distinguished Professor of Textile Materials and Associate Dean for Industry Research and Extension. He also serves as the Director of the Nonwovens Cooperative Research Center at the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University. Behnam's research interests are in the area of nonwovens, materials, biomaterials, modeling performance, special textile structures, and image analysis. His expertise is recognized by major corporations and leading research bodies around the world. He acts as consultant to over 30 bodies and major Corporations.
    • Dense and compact nonwoven material

    Novel Molecules to treat Chronic Pain and Itch

    17136 -

    NC State University is seeking commercial partners to commercialize novel molecules which inhibit both TRYPV-1 and Janus Kinase to treat chronic pain and itch .

    Abstract

    Chronic itch and pain can be debilitating for many people worldwide and share many common physiological pathways. Current itch management strategies involve corticosteroid creams, antibacterials or local anesthetics. If these treatments are not successful, medications to treat nerve pain are used such as Lyrica (pregabalin) or Neurontin (gabapentin), together with an antidepressant or nerve block. Chronic pain that is not responsive to over the counter medication can be treated with certain types of antidepressant, muscle relaxants, anti-seizure medication and opioid based drugs. All of these medications have side effects and opioid addiction has become an epidemic in the United States. In fact, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that 91 Americans die a day from opioid dependence, totaling 33,000 deaths in 2015 – more than any year on record. Such drugs now kill more Americans than guns or car accidents. One of the newer therapies designed to target chronic itch and pain by reducing inflammation are Janus Kinase inhibitors (Jakinibs) which exert their effect by have their effect by reduction of signal transduction after binding of cytokines, such as IL-31, to their receptors. These molecules are proposed for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases, such as atopic dermatitis (AD). The JAK inhibitor oclacitinib is currently approved for the treatment of lesions and pruritus in dogs with AD while tofacitinib is approved/under clinical development for human rheumatoid arthritis and inflammation and pruritus associated with atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.

    Researchers at NC State University have identified that there is a much more comprehensive relief of itch by JAK inhibitors, mediated through TRPV1-receptors. In addition to itch inhibition, the reduced response to capsaicin by JAK inhibitors indicates an extension of possible benefit in attenuating pain transduction via TRPV1, as already documented in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Based on this information, the inventors have designed a set of drug candidates that are likely to inhibit both Janus Kinase and TRPV-1 receptor activity with broader and more effective pain relieving properties.

    Advantages

    • Novel inhibitors to reduce both pain, itch and inflammation through inhibition of TRPV1 and Janus Kinase

    Related Patent Information

    • A US Provisional Patent application related to this invention has been filed.

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Wolfgang Baeumer, DVM, Dr.Med.Vet..Habil., Dip. ECVPT is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine at NC State. Dr. Baeumer’s research is primarily focused on the field of immunopharmacology, specifically three pharmacological targets, the histamine H4 receptor, JAK-STAT-inhibitors and the chemokine thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) and their use to treat allergic skin diseases. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Asthma and Allergy.

    Dr. Denis Fourches is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry in the College of Sciences at NC State. He joined North Carolina State University in January 2015 as a Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program cluster hire in Bioinformatics. His central research goal is to analyze, model, and forecast complex interactions between chemical structures and various types of biological targets to design novel compounds with the desired activity and safety profiles.

    Dr. Joshua Pierce is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry in the College of Sciences at NC State. Professor Pierce’s research at NC State explores cutting edge problems in natural products synthesis and organic methods development with a constant goal of high impact contributions to chemistry, biology and materials science. He holds expertise in chemical synthesis (heterocycles, natural products, peptides; chemical structure elucidation (NMR, MS, etc); antimicrobial and anticancer compound development; chemical probe development for various biological pathways.

    Breeding Markers for Development of Cucurbits Resistant to Pseudoperonospora cubensis, the Cucurbit Downy Mildew Pathogen

    16146A -

    A U.S. Provisional Patent Application has been filed for this technology.

    Novel genetic markers for effector screening and resistance breeding of cucurbits against Pseudoperonospora cubensis, the cucurbit downy mildew pathogen

    Abstract

    Cucurbit downy mildew, caused by the oomycete Pseudoperonospora cubensis, is an expanding problem in the cucurbit industry. P. cubensis causes necrosis in the leaves of infected plants, leading to misshapen and damaged fruit, sun scalding and crop loss. While most pathogens have a minimal host range, cucurbit downy mildew is known to infect 40 species across 20 genera and has spread globally. The devastation of this pathogen can be dramatic, leading to heavy financial losses in both outbreak control and yield losses. Current methods for controlling cucurbit downy mildew involve altered cultural practices, disease forecasting, fungicides and semi-resistant varieties. However, virulent and resistant strains of P. cubensis continue to appear, posing new threats, rendering control methods ineffective and creating the need for rapid breeding and development of more resistant cucurbit varieties.

    Researchers at NC State have discovered novel genetic markers that can be used as effectors to quickly identify genes resistant to P. cubensis and to breed resistant cucurbit varieties. The effectors can be utilized in effectoromics screens, providing a high-throughput method for identification of disease-resistant genes and accelerating the development of resistant varieties by streamlining the gene discovery process. Once identified, the resistance genes can be targeted using plant breeding methods to develop cucurbit varieties with inherent resistance to cucurbit downy mildew.

    Advantages

    • Faster identification of genes resistant to P. cubensis
    • Faster development and breeding of cucurbit downy mildew-resistant cucurbits

    Publications

    Using Next-Generation Sequencing to Develop Molecular Diagnostics for Pseudoperonospora cubensis, the Cucurbit Downy Mildew Pathogen

    About the Inventors

    Dr. Lina Quesada-Ocampo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at NC State. She earned her Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Michigan State University. Her research interests include studying diseases of vegetable crops, understanding development of fungicide resistance, identifying sources of host resistance, improving disease management strategies and developing molecular diagnostic tools for pathogen detection.

    Dr. Elsa Beatriz Gongora-Castillo was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Plant Pathology at NC State. She earned her Ph.D. in Vegetable Biotechnology from the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico City, Mexico. Dr. Gongora-Castillo was a member of the Quesada-Ocampo Laboratory. Her research interests include analyzing plant transcriptomes, using RNA sequencing to identify genes of interest and developing diagnostic resources for plant pathogens.

    Saunia Withers was a Research Assistant in the Department of Plant Pathology at NC State. Ms. Withers was a member of the Quesada-Ocampo Laboratory. Her research interests include studying plant molecular mechanisms.

    Inter-element matrix in ultrasound contrast agents populations to measure transport parameters

    17151 -

    North Carolina State University is seeking a commercial partner to license a novel method of measuring the properties of microvascular networks, an indication of the invasiveness of a tumor

    Abstract

    A Tumor biopsy is presently required to determine the invasiveness of a tumor. For certain cancers, this can be in and of itself an invasive procedure, and only provides information on the part of the tumor that is excised. There is a delay for how long the biopsy will take to assess and to return information to the patient. These limitations of our present healthcare system can be addressed.

    Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a new method to determine the properties of microvascular networks, which are an indication of the invasiveness of a tumor. The principle of the technique is to induce multiple scattering of ultrasonic waves by ultrasound contrast agents (microbubbles) in vascular networks. Multiple scattering is undesirable for imaging, but can be taken advantage of to extract wave transport parameters that are characteristic of the microarchitecture of the population of scatterers. We use a conventional ultrasound linear array in an unconventional fashion. Instead of doing beamforming and conventional imaging, we have transmited ultrasound pulses in the MHz range (8 or 10 MHz), by firing the elements of the array one by one, and receive the backscattered signals on each element separately. We are currently experimenting with additional ranges for the ultrasound pulses. Doing so, we acquire an inter-elements matrix, which we use to extract the incoherent contribution to the backscattered signals. The incoherent contribution grows over time as a diffusive halo and its width is determined by the Diffusion constant D of the medium. From the diffusion constant, transport parameters such as the scattering and transport mean free path can be extracted. The novelty is that we do this in a medium populated by a distribution of ultrasound contrast agents (microbubbles) with a very low concentration, which are circulated in the blood flow.

    This allows us to measure micro-architectural properties of microvascular networks, such as the vessel density, which is a very good indicator of the invasiveness of a tumor, because the architecture of angiogenesis is different in healthy and tumor tissues. When the probe is rotated over the vascular network, the transport and scattering mean free paths can be measured in various directions. This enables the assessment of the anisotropy of the vascular network, which is another marker of the tumor invasiveness.

    Applications

    • Detection of microvascular network for tumor invasiveness
    • Detection of microvascular network for atherosclerosis

    About the Lead Inventor

    Dr. Marie Muller received her BS in Physics from the Pierre et Marie Curie University in Paris, France in 2002, and her Ph.D. in Physical Acoustics from the Paris Diderot University in Paris, France in 2006. After a postdoctorate at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, she returned to Paris, as an Assistant Professor with the Institut Langevin. In 2014, she moved to North Carolina and joined the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department at NCSU. She is also an associate Faculty with the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at UNC and NCSU.

    Liquid Metal "Skin"

    17185 -North Carolina State University is seeking an industrial partner to commercialize a new flexible and stretchable electronic.

    Abstract

    Flexible electronics, electronic devices that may be rolled, folded, stretched or bent without losing functionality, is a rapidly growing field. These flexible electronics may be a replacement of traditional printed circuit boards and enable new functionalities that existing technologies do not have. However typically flexible electronics require expensive processing techniques, which limits their applications in devices.

    Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed at 2D “skin” that is conductive, stretchable and thin. The mechanical properties are defined by the polymer casing and the thickness can be varied according to application. Fabrication is straightforward and uses known techniques. It could be used in a variety of applications that require flexible electronics including stretchable electronics, wearable devices and electronic “skins”.

    This is an inexpensive stretchable electronic that has a variety of applications, including: soft robotics, wearable devises, strain sensors and interconnectors.

    Advantages

    • 2D
    • Uses commercially available manufacturing techniques
    • Conductive at high strains
    • Potential application in flexible electronics.


    About the Lead Inventor

    Dr. Michael Dickey is an Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. He received a PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin where he also received a Master’s of Science in Chemical Engineering. He was a post-doctoral fellow in the chemistry department at Harvard University. Professor Dickey’s research focuses on developing alternative micro- and nano-fabrication techniques and studying the fundamental properties of the materials that are used or produced by these processes.

    Fault-tolerant controller for modular multi-level converter

    17207 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize its fault-tolerant distributed multi-level converter.

    State-Of-Development: Prototype produced and tested.

    Abstract

    Background
    The failure of individual devices can pose a critical problem in power conversion systems. These failures can arise due to fatigue, aging or transient physical disturbances, and the timely detection and mitigation of these issues can significantly increase system reliability. As power generation, transmission and distribution systems trend towards the use of diverse energy sources and storages, the need for intelligent controllers to mitigate this problem has increased. In high power applications, popular multi-level converter systems (MC) cascade individual converters together to form a single converter, resulting in a total power rating which is often higher that than the desired rating. In these MC configurations a failed converter, which would typically result in system down time in a traditional series connected configuration, can be bypassed without interrupting system functionality. To achieve this benefit, controllers must have the same capability. Bypassing failed converters is this way is done at the cost of lower voltage ratings. While the traditional MC configuration offers a measure of increased reliability over non-MC applications, it lacks centralized control and 2-level redundancy, resulting in converters systems that are only marginally more reliable, but less and less so as MC applications become more complex and incorporate more and more converter modules. Intelligent power converter fault management through a centralized controller is needed.

    Innovation
    NCSU researchers have developed a distributed controller for modular multi-level converter systems (MMC), in which failure of one controller will not interrupt functionality of the whole system. This is attained by connecting master controllers with slave controllers in an innovative way, by synchronizing all slave controllers, and by enabling slave controllers to assume the master controller role in the event of a master controller failure. The proposed novel “dynamic controller architecture” may be used for different multi-level converter topologies, and is not limited to modular multi-level converter (MMC) and cascaded H-bridge (CHB) converter. Due to its novel architecture design, our MMC offers advantages and unique features discussed below.


    Advantages

  • Fault tolerance with 2 levels of redundancy
  • Increases availability of converter compared to other technologies
  • Distributed control reconfigures control blocks to bypass failed module
  • Proposed controller can also be function for hardware implementation using same control algorithms
  • Flexible architecture that can be used for a variety of multi-level converters that uses multiple modules


  • Application Areas

  • High power applications
  • High voltage conversion from AC to DC and reverse


  • Publications

  • Ali Azidehak, Mark Hwang, Rajat Agarwal, Subhashish Bhattacharya “Fault-tolerant Controller Architecture for Cascaded Multi-level Converters” in APEC 2017 conference


  • About The Inventors

    Ali Azidehak has earned his M. Sc. and PhD. both from the NC State University. He research area includes power electronics and embedded system design. He has also worked in Robert Bosch research center in Charlotte, NC and did research on DC micro-grid systems.

    Dr. Subhashish Bhattacharya has earned PhD. in Electrical Engineering from University of Wisconsin-Madison and currently works under NC State University, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research work focuses on power electronics and power systems including electric vehicle systems, and electronic energy systems packaging.

    Other Available Technologies

  • Technology #18011, entitled “A Semiconductor Topology and Device for Soft Starting and Active Fault Protection of AC-DC Converters”
  • Technology #18028, entitled “Mixed Material Magnetic Core for Shielding of Eddy Current Induced Excess Losses”

  • Key Terms

    Fault-tolerant controller, multi-level converter, reliability assessment, cascaded H-bridge converter

    SiC Power AC Switch

    17202 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize its innovative silicon carbide power AC switch, which could be strategic in opening the market for a whole new class of wide band gap power electronics

    Patent Information: A provisional US patent #62/526,192 has been filed for this invention.

    State-Of-Development: Technology is reduced to practice including manufacturing of chips in a commercial foundry with high yield.

    Abstract

    Background
    The US Department of Energy has acknowledged that silicon (Si) semiconductors employed in power electronics are unable to keep pace with increasing performance demands and that industry is pushing the fundamental limitations of these systems. This has accelerated the R&D efforts related to two major wideband gap (WBG) semiconductor materials- silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN). Just as high frequency IGBTs ushered in the proliferation and wide adoption of silicon based devices, scientists and researchers anticipate that a SiC based power switch can do the same for high performance wide band devices. SiC is advantageous due to its capability to perform at high switching speed, high temperature and high voltage, perfectly meeting the needs of a wide variety of emerging applications areas such as hybrid and electric vehicles, lighting, data servers, AC adapters, solar inverters, power supplies, charging circuits and grid control etc. The key is to produce a SiC power switch that is reliable, simple in design, and manufacturable using standard processes while retaining the inherent advantages of SiC.

    Technical Challenges
    Cyclo-converters or matrix converters require power devices with bi-directional voltage blocking and current conduction capability. It is preferable that power devices exhibit gate-voltage controlled output characteristics with fast switching capability to allow the converters to operate at high frequencies. The matrix converter has several advantages over traditional rectifier-inverter type power frequency converters such as sinusoidal input and output waveforms, minimal higher order harmonics and no subharmonics, inherent bi-directional energy flow capability, fully controlled input power factor, and minimal energy storage requirements enabling the reduction of bulky energy-storing capacitors. However, matrix converter adoption and implementation is hindered by the lack of availability of high performance bi-directional power switches, particularly monolithic high performance bi-directional switches. Prior art matrix converters implementing bi-directional power switches have the problem of either using multiple discrete devices with high on-state voltage and losses or are difficult to scale to higher voltages and current handling capability.

    Innovation
    Internationally recognized NC State University researcher in the semiconductor space has developed a monolithic bidirectional field effect transistor (BiDFET). BiDFET is a single 4-terminal device implemented using high voltage vertical SiC power MOSFET technology. The BiDFET can support high voltage in the first and third quadrant, can conduct current in both quadrants with low on-state voltage drop, has fast switching capability, and exhibits gate voltage controlled output characteristics.
    The previously proposed bi-directional power switches have been implemented using multiple discrete separately packaged devices as shown in Fig. 1. The option (a) utilizes 5 discrete components consisting of an asymmetric-blocking Si IGBT within a 4-diode bridge resulting in a high on-state voltage drop consisting of two diode voltage drops plus the IGBT voltage drop and has high switching losses of the IGBT. The option (b) utilizes 4 discrete components consisting of two asymmetric-blocking Si IGBTs and two diodes resulting in a high on-state voltage drop consisting of one diode voltage drop plus the IGBT voltage drop and has high switching losses of the IGBT. The option (c) utilizes 2 discrete components consisting of back-to-back reverse blocking Si IGBTs resulting in a lower on-state voltage drop but has higher switching losses of the symmetric-blocking IGBT [6]. The option (d) utilizes 4 discrete components consisting of two source-connected SiC power MOSFETs and two SiC JBS diodes resulting in an on-state voltage drop consisting of one diode voltage drop plus the MOSFET voltage drop and has low switching losses of the SiC MOSFETs. The option (e) utilizes 6 discrete components consisting of two back-to-back SiC power MOSFETs with antiparallel and series SiC JBS diodes resulting in an on-state voltage drop consisting of one diode voltage drop plus the MOSFET voltage drop and has low switching losses of the SiC MOSFETs. In conclusion, all the prior approaches to implementing bi-directional power switches in matrix converters have used multiple discrete devices with high on-state voltage drop and losses. The on-state voltage drop for the various bi-directional switch approaches is compared in Table 1 under the assumption that the typical on-state voltage drop for diodes is 1.0 V, the asymmetric-blocking IGBT is 1.5 V, the symmetric-blocking IGBT is 2.0 V, and the SiC power MOSFET/JBSFET is 0.25 V (by scaling its resistance down with larger chip size). An on-state voltage drop of more than 2 volts is observed for the silicon device options. The lowest on-state voltage drop of 1.25 V is obtained with the prior approaches by using SiC power MOSFETs [4], [5]. In comparison, the BiDFET concept allows considerable (2.5x) reduction of the on-state voltage drop when compared with the best prior approaches. It also offers the low switching losses of prior approaches using SiC power MOSFETs together with excellent gate voltage controlled output characteristics and ruggdnss.


    Advantages

  • Size, efficiency, reliability and low production cost
  • Device operates as high power AC switch


  • Application Areas

  • Enables commercialization of wide band gap electronics
  • Matrix converter applications and power electronics applications
  • AC Circuit breaking, AC conversion
  • Home appliances, automobiles, industrial control systems, consumer electronics, smart-grid, connected homes, aerospace and defense, etc.


  • Sponsorship Details

    The proposed SiC Power AC Switch is developed under sponsorship of PowerAmerica, which is associated with the Department Of Energy that focuses on advancing silicon carbide and gallium nitride technologies.

    About The Inventors

    Dr. Jayant Baliga is an internationally recognized expert on power semiconductor devices. He is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the IEEE. He spent 15 years at the General Electric Research and Development Center, Schenectady, NY, leading their power device effort and was bestowed the highest scientific rank of Coolidge Fellow. Prof. Baliga has authored/edited 18 books and over 500 scientific articles. He has been granted 120 U.S. Patents. The IEEE has recognized him numerous times - most recently with the 'Lamme Medal' at Whitehall Palace in London. Scientific American magazine included him among the 'Eight Heroes of the Semiconductor Revolution' when commemorating the 50th anniversary of the invention of the transistor.

    Other Inventions

  • Technology #17048, entitled "SiC Planar Power MOSFET with superior High Frequency Figure-of-Merit"
  • Technology #17087, entitled "PowerAmerica Mask design and Foundry process"

  • Key Terms

    AC switch, SiC switch, Wide band gap electronics, monolithic bidirectional field effect transistor (BiDFET), matrix converters, cyclo-converters

    Stretchable, Energy-Dissipating Materials for Large Tensile Strains

    17187 - North Carolina State University is looking for commercial partners to develope a mechanical metamaterial.

    Abstract

    Metamaterials exhibit properties that are not found in nature. Optical and acoustic metamaterials have been widely studied for their interesting and almost fantasy-like properties. One semi-famous example is a negative refractive index invisibility cloak. Unlike conventional materials, which receive their properties due to the material composition, the structure of metamaterials are engineered in order to obtain the desired unique properties that were previously believed unachievable. Though the possibilities seem far-ranging, this class of materials is emerging.

    Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a mechanical metamaterial fiber that is tougher than its individual parts. These easy to manufacture fibers exhibit greater toughness than expected and can absorb a large amount of energy when in tension. When the fiber is stretched, it undergoes a deformation that can be reversed by heating the fiber. The process of stretching the fiber can then be repeated.

    Advantages

    • Easy to manufacture
    • Materials can be selected for desired properties
    • High Toughness
    • Wide range of potential applications.


    About the Lead Inventor

    Dr. Michael Dickey is an Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. He received a PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin where he also received a Master’s of Science in Chemical Engineering. He was a post-doctoral fellow in the chemistry department at Harvard University. Professor Dickey’s research focuses on developing alternative micro- and nano-fabrication techniques and studying the fundamental properties of the materials that are used or produced by these processes.

    Photonic Band-Gap Resonator for Magnetic Resonance Applications

    17190 -Abstract
    Magnetic resonance methods, such as electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR, also called electron spin resonance or ESR), and dynamic nuclear polarization nuclear magnetic resonance (DNP NMR) spectroscopy are utilized in research and industrial settings to define molecular structure, determine sample purity, identify molecular interactions, diagnose disease, and evaluate therapeutic efficacy among many other applications. The key component for both EPR and DNP NMR systems is the sample probehead that operates as a microwave resonator to enhance sensitivity. Currently available resonator probeheads have a number of limitations, such as dielectric losses leading to heating and potential destruction of aqueous and other liquid biological samples, and severe constraints on the amount of sample required to make relevant measurements. The latter constraint can lead to a dramatic loss in sensitivity.
    Researchers in the Department of Chemistry at NC State University have developed photonic band gap resonator (PBG) probes for magnetic resonance systems to irradiate samples at frequencies greater than 2 GHz using microwave and millimeter wave electromagnetic radiation. This allows for greatly increased sample volume, while keeping the resonator quality factor reasonably high, yielding a substantially increased sensitivity of EPR experiments and also DNP enhancement factors for NMR experiments at relatively low incident powers. For example, the new EPR probehead operating at 95 GHz provides at least a tenfold signal to-noise enhancement for the same concentration of liquid aqueous biological samples. In addition, the use of PBG resonators in DNP NMR probes affords up to an 8-fold gain in the microwave power delivered to the sample.
    Advantages

    • Superior spectroscopic sensitivity and resolution.
    • Reduced sample heating and destruction due to dielectric losses.
    • Ability to use larger sample volumes.
    • Efficient millimeter wave delivery without using high-power sources.
    • Easy probe fabrication and tuning.

    A provisional patent application has been filed for this technology.
    About The Inventors
    Alexander Nevzorov, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at North Carolina State University. His research is focused on solid-state NMR of macroscopically aligned samples, including membrane proteins.
    Alex Smirnov, PhD is a Professor of Physical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at North Carolina State University. His research focus is on lipid nanotube arrays for protein biochips and hybrid nanoscale devices, intermolecular interactions in self-assembly and structure-function relationships of membrane proteins, and coupled spin systems, spin coherence in nanostructures, and information devices that are based on quantum principles.
    Sergey Milikisiyants, PhD is a postdoctoral researcher in the labs of Drs. Nevzorov and Smirnov and his research focus is on the applications of EPR methods to biological systems, instrumentation development for dynamic nuclear polarization and constructing resonators for high-field EPR.

    Secure and Robust Cloud Computing for High-throughput Forensic DNA Sequence Analysis and Databasing

    17192 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize its front-to-end cloud system for next-generation sequencing data and forensic analysis.

    State-Of-Development: Software is developed and tested.

    Abstract

    Background
    Forensic science is the application of science and technologies to the matter of laws, mainly criminal laws to investigate evidences under strict guidelines governed by the legal standards of admissible evidences and criminal procedures. The technologies to provide science-based information and analyze evidence are evolving rapidly. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is one of the trending technology in the field of forensic science, as a solution to conduct genetic analysis due to its power to sequence high density multiplexes of variety of genetic data. However, NGS involve large datasets that require specialized data science approaches to analyze and manage data. The big data in data science is defined by the 5-Vs: volume, variety, velocity, value and veracity (truthfulness). Though NGS applied for forensic DNA analysis satisfies 3Vs of big data variety, volume and velocity, there is a need to further develop investigation tools to meet remaining 2-Vs of veracity and value. This 5V data science approach can help in improving precision and accuracy in forensic analysis. The forensic analysis tools available to-date are mostly based on computer code written in high-level programming languages, which demand expertise or training before use. Furthermore, the current state-of-art tools have the following limitations: (i) inflexibility to analyze data, (ii) no unified work environment, where multiple users can analyze data at the same time, and (iii) inability to share data for casework applications.

    Innovation
    NC State University researchers have developed a front-to-end cloud system named Altius, to manage NGS big data and perform forensic analysis. Altius is built on 4-pillars: user-friendly dashboard, multi-user work environment, on-demand auto-scaling and security. Altius includes a user friendly dashboard to interact with the system and visualize analysis results in multiple formats such as table format or bar charts. Secondly, Altius assign files to individual buckets in AWS and permits numerous end users to work within their own private instance of the cloud environment or within a group with multiple users. Thirdly, Altius has on-demand auto-scaling and load balancing to eliminate the negative affect of big data on processing speeds, and simultaneous analysis of multiple files. Finally, Altius provide strong security as it is based on amazon web service AWS that use a shared security responsibility model as well as allow end user to create their own security framework. Moreover, Altius security policies do not hinder the functionality of the NGS system, but provide numerous layers of security for cloud protection.


    Advantages

  • On-demand scalability, ease-of-use, access controls, and security
  • Results are reported following ISFG guidelines and stored in a relational database
  • Multi-layer secured cloud system without adverse effects on bioinformatics analysis, connectivity, and data storage/retrieval
  • Developed cloud system is extendable to demonstrate capabilities of autosomal, X, and Y-STRs from a variety of NGS instrumentation
  • Software is developed using python and SQL software language
  • Works with Amazon Web Service (AWS) environment


  • Application Areas

  • Platform as a service (Paas)
  • Amazon cloud implemented forensic applications
  • Forensic genetic applications
  • Next-generation sequencing (NGS) massive datasets management


  • Sponsorship Details

    The proposed invention is developed under the federal sponsorship from National Institute of Justice (NIJ).

    About The Inventors

    Dr. Seth A. Faith joined NC State University as a Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program Cluster hire in DNA Forensics. Prior to joining NC State, Dr. Faith served as the technical leader in DNA forensics and genomics at Battelle Memorial Institute. Dr. Faith lab mission is to advance forensic science through applied research using an integrated approach within the University and with external partners in industry and government. The lab is a component of the interdisciplinary NCSU Forensic Sciences Institute (FSI) and the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences (MBS) in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Other inventors: Sarah Frances Bailey and Melissa Scheible

    Other Available Technologies

  • Technology #13095, entitled "IC-Crime”

  • Key Terms

    Cloud Computing, Amazon Cloud, bioinformatics, database, security, Forensic, DNA Sequence, Next-generation sequencing (NGS), massively parallel sequencing (MPS)

    Oxygen carrying materials with surface modification agents for redox-based oxidative cracking of gaseous and liquid hydrocarbons

    17205 - North Carolina State University is looking for commercial partners to license and commercialize a novel oxidative cracking process, utilizing novel catalysts, which operates at lower than standard temperatures.

    Abstract

    Olefins and diolefins are important for the petrochemical industry. Demand for olefins is increasing, driving a desire for efficient production from a broad range of feedstocks, such as naphtha and stranded natural gas liquids. However steam cracking, the current industrial approach, requires temperatures up to 1200 °C to drive the reaction, which consumes large amounts of energy. This makes the process difficult to employ economically on a small scale.

    Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a novel system of catalysts for oxidative cracking, in a chemical looping- oxidative dehydrogenation process. An oxygen- carrying bulk material that is active in the temperature range 500-825 °C with a modified surface. The catalyst is doped, in order for hydrogen to be selectively combusted over low boiling point hydrocarbons. This technology can be converted to other selective oxidations with different surface/bulk modifications.

    Advantages

    • Can be extended to other selective oxidations
    • Regenerates in air or other oxidizing gas
    • Highly efficient process with significantly lower emissions
    • Works at low temperature 500 - 825 °C


    Related Patent Information

    A patent application related to this invention has been filed. About the Lead Inventor

    Dr. Li is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. Li’s research interests include energy and environmental engineering and particle technology. His research focuses on the design, synthesis, and characterization of nano catalyst and reagent particles for biomass and fossil energy conversions, green liquid fuel synthesis, CO2 capture, and pollutant control. In addition, his research encompasses chemical reaction engineering and process synthesis and optimization. Density Functional Theory (DFT) based methods are also used to elucidate the particle reaction mechanisms and to identify potential ways to improve particle performance.

    Open Source Knowledge Enrichment

    18057 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize its open source knowledge enrichment data collection and analysis platform.

    State-Of-Development:Software is developed and in-use internally.

    Abstract

    Background
    The proliferation of textual data over web sources is overwhelming. There are countless web sources that generate textual data such as documents on web, blogs, social media sites, news sites, emails and so on. The analysis, understanding and making sense of data has become more challenging because of the rapid increase in unstructured textual data. A lot of challenges in this space arise from the fact that natural language provides the flexibility to convey exactly the same meaning in different ways, i.e exactly the same statement in a different context may convey completely different meaning. Furthermore, the information in digital space is available in multiple formats such as html, pdf, MS office, archive files and so on, which are incompatible with each other. While a variety of internet web-crawlers exist, they are more suited towards smaller, independent processing jobs rather than a comprehensive environment to collect and make sense of multiple data sources and also being able to effectively manage the data collection process.

    Innovation
    NC State researchers have developed an open source knowledge enrichment (OpenKE) data collection and analysis platform that collect information from wide variety of sources and manage the complexities of capturing, formatting, manipulating and making sense of big data. OpenKE unifies a wide variety of text-processing capabilities such as keyword extraction, summarization, geo-coding, geo-tagging, topic modeling etc. into a single system.


    Advantages

  • Document Indexer to view and navigate through document collection
  • Allow user to summarize documents with TextRank or Open Text summarization
  • Allow user to filter key-phrases and concepts in both positive or negative filtering
  • Domain discovery feature allow user to generate search and analyze the collected documents
  • Allow to setup automatic searches to run periodically and produce notifications when new search results appear
  • Allow input and export of data in various forms html, pdf, word etc.
  • OpenKE runs on Linux based environments


  • Application Areas

  • Text and data mining
  • Data Analytics
  • Big data analytics applications in various industries such as banking, healthcare, energy & utilities etc.


  • Sposorship Details

    The OpenKE is developed under federal sponsorship granted by National Security Agency- Laboratory of Analytic Sciences (LAS).

    About The Inventors

    John B. Slankas is a senior research scholar for the Laboratory for Analytic Sciences at the NC State University. He has earned Ph. D. with research focus on finding access control policies in natural language text and implementing those policies in the technical environment (i.e., database or application). Also, he has many publications in the space of security, database access control, spreadsheets, and natural language processing.

    Other Available Technologies

  • Technology #18078, entitled “Yurika- Unstructured Text Analytics Web Application”

  • Key Terms

    Data Analytics, Search, Indexing, Topic Modelling, Domain discovery, Open Source software

    Promoted Mixed Oxides for "Low-Temperature" Methane Partial Oxidation in Absences of Gaseous Oxidants

    17214 - North Carolina State University is looking for commercial partners to license and commercialize a novel catalyst for the production of syngas from methane.

    Abstract

    Methane is the main component of natural gas. In order to convert methane to value-added products, such as liquid transportation fuels, the first step is the conversion to syngas. This is known as methane reforming, it is capital intensive and inefficient due to coke formation, catalyst deactivation, high endothermicity and steam requirements, and/or the needs for cryogenic air separation units. An alternative route is chemical looping-reforming, eliminating the need of air separation units. However, commercial applications have been hindered due to the high cost and the health and environmental concerns from the widely studied Ni catalysts.

    Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a novel catalyst for chemical looping reforming system for the production of syngas from methane. These platinum group-promoted mixed oxides exhibit superior syngas selectivity chemical and mechanical stability and high redox activities at temperature as low as 500 °C. The platinum group promoters are readily reducible and highly effective for methane activation. The reduction in operating temperature and elimination of oxygen separation units solves existing challenges for commercialization.

    Advantages

    • Lower operating temperature more thant 300°C
    • Reduce energy consumption
    • Reduces barrier to commercializing process
    • Eliminates need for air separation units
    • Shale gas conversion to syngas and liquid fuels.


    Related Patent Information

    A patent application related to this invention has been filed. About the Lead Inventor

    Dr. Li is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. Li’s research interests include energy and environmental engineering and particle technology. His research focuses on the design, synthesis, and characterization of nano catalyst and reagent particles for biomass and fossil energy conversions, green liquid fuel synthesis, CO2 capture, and pollutant control. In addition, his research encompasses chemical reaction engineering and process synthesis and optimization. Density Functional Theory (DFT) based methods are also used to elucidate the particle reaction mechanisms and to identify potential ways to improve particle performance.

    Novel Bioink Formulations

    17233 -Abstract
    Modular tissue engineering with nanogels/bioinks can be used to create biological materials with defined construction, to promote wound healing and repair. These modular building blocks can be combined, which allows for customized 3D scaffolds. However, there are limitations with the current methods and bioink formulations, which include limited control in forming the monolayers, time intensive processes, production of scaffolds with narrowly defined features, and bioinks that lack malleable characteristics. Improved control of the mechanical and bioactive properties of the building blocks are needed to improve the fabrication of the 3D scaffolds.
    Researchers from the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State University have developed novel bioink formulations and techniques, using 3D printing, which can be used to improve wound repair. 3D printing the scaffolds using colloidal nanogels allows for improved customization and control over the 3D scaffold, as well as a formulation that displays pliable characteristics. The bioinks are synthesized using NIPAm, acrylic acid, BIS, and thickening agents, which generates properties suitable for 3D printing. Defined microscale patterns and customizable features in the 3D scaffold are achieved through 3D printing, which is not feasible with current methods. Importantly, these formulations can also be used with other printing methods and formats.
    Advantages

    • Formulations allowing for customization of bioink size, mechanics, and functionality.
    • Defined microscale features and customizable 3D scaffolds.
    • Building blocks with improved mechanical and bioactive properties.

    A provisional patent application has been filed for this technology.
    About The Inventors
    Ashley Brown, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Her research interests focuses on developing novel microgel-based materials for a variety of biomedical applications including augmentation of hemostasis, enhanced wound healing, evaluation and modulation of cellular mechanotransduction and development of biosynthetic constructs for regenerative medicine.
    Michael Daniele, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering. His research interests are in the broad application of soft nanomaterials to engineer devices which monitor, mimic or augment biological function.
    Daniel Chester is a Graduate Research Assistant in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. His research focus is developing biomimetic microgel platforms for investigating cell mechanotranduction mechanisms.
    Terrika Ngobili is a Gradate Student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Her research focuses on 3-D printing nanoparticle biofilms and examining their potential to be used as a tissue engineered scaffolding.
    Jeremy Nortey is an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

    Optimal computation of dynamically updated directed acyclic graphs

    17249 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further commercialize its “just-in-time” optimization algorithm for dynamically updated directed acyclic graphs.

    Patent Information:A provisional US patent #62/460,009 has been filed for this invention.

    State-Of-Development:Technology has been completely reduced to practice.

    Abstract

    Background
    Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAG) are popular tool to analyze real-world problems involving complex interdependencies of nodes. It can be thought of as a flowchart that visualizes a whole analysis network, linking causes and effects. It allows the examination of both coexisting and dynamic causal structures used in many industries such as e-commerce, retail, engineering, airline, pricing, healthcare, data analytics, consulting. In fact, there are several companies whose business model is solely based on the DAGs, working in the backend to provide solution for real-world applications e.g calendar & time management, project management, flight scheduling, supply chain management, inventory management, ancestry or history apps, citation analysis etc. One of the most well-known application of DAG is spreadsheet modeling, which are used in popular programs such as MS Excel, Google Sheets etc. Currently, DAGs are topologically sorted using the “Natural order calculation” method that automatically determines the correct order of evaluation of cell formulas based on nodes connectivity. Despite the popularity of this conventional method, it is highly inefficient for “dynamically updated DAG” with large number of nodes (N) and edges €. In many use cases, the number of compute cycles are high, as the entire DAG needs to be recomputed every time an edit or modification is made, to maintain the consistency across entire DAG. In other words, the number of superfluous calculations are very high in comparison to the number of required calculations. This often leads to high computation complexity, slow calculation response, system hang-up or freeze, and performance degradation. Taking an example of a large spreadsheet populated with many sheets/workbooks and a lot of data, we oftentimes see our computer screen freeze, hang-up, or even worse have work-file crashes due to the superfluous node evaluations and computation complexity. Current fixes for this issue are optimizations that are bolted on to the DAG, or spreadsheet engine, which create an even more complex and bloated code base at serf it is a partial solution.

    Innovation
    NC State University researcher has developed a revolutionary foundational algorithm to completely eliminate the superfluous node evaluations in dynamically update d DAG by adding two state variables to each DAG node. This algorithm can be best described as “just-in-time (JIT)” computation, in which a node’s value is never computed until it is actually needed, either by user or as a prerequisite to another node. JIT computation not only reduces superfluous evaluations, but also distributed the recalculation over time as the user scrolls and tabs around the workbook, or observes different regions of DAG, thereby reduces the magnitude of computational spikes and improves overall user experience. This change in calculation method is made at the DAG engine level and is not a mere optimization.


    Advantages

  • System wide calculation speed increase
  • Eliminate superfluous node evaluations in dynamically updated DAG
  • Dramatically reduce the number of compute cycles in many real-time problems
  • Developed cloud system is extendable to demonstrate capabilities of autosomal, X, and Y-STRs from a variety of NGS instrumentation
  • Reduced calculation time and fast system response
  • Performance enhancement and reduced risk of system freeze


  • Application Areas

  • Data analytics applications such as excel, spreadsheet modelling, kinship computations, patent analytics etc.
  • Global logistics, population studies, airline scheduling, telephone switching, HR software
  • Programming systems such as Mathematica, source code management


  • About The Inventors

    Dr. Thomas K Miller is currently NC State’s Senior Vice Provost for “Academic Outreach and Entrepreneurship”. He received M.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering and Mathematics, and later awarded Ph.D. in 1982, both from UNC-Chapel Hill. Dr. Miller has research interest in digital systems, computer architecture, microprocessor systems design, and C and C++ programming. Also, he is recipient of the Joseph M. Biedenbach Outstanding Engineering Educator award from the IEEE. He also founded and served as president of X Engineering Software Systems Corporation, developer of first native X-Window spreadsheet.

    Other Available Technologies

  • Technology #16078, entitled “Network extensible spreadsheet software (NExS)”

  • Key Terms

    Spreadsheet, directed acyclic graphs, dynamically updated DAG (directed acyclic graphs)

    Pulse Width Modulation with Variable Frequency Carrier for Zero Voltage Switching Active Half Bridge

    17262 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize its revolutionary pulse width modulation (PWM) with variable frequency carrier for zero voltage switching (ZVS) active half bridge.

    State-Of-Development:Technology is reduced to practice.

    Abstract

    Background
    One of the major research trends in power electronics is a focus on increased switching frequency. This frequency elevation is responsible for the growing importance of pulse-width modulation (PWM) in power electronics. PWM is typically implemented in power distribution applications, where the PWM duty cycle is varied to accommodate the required voltage for point of loads. Although PWM circuits have evolved with improved IC integration, MOSFETs, and packaging, their design is still not sufficient to meet the power demands due to switching losses and switching frequency limitations. To overcome this problem, a Zero Voltage Switching (ZVS) topology in combination with PWM techniques is commonly implemented. Although the conventional PWM techniques provide better operation at a higher frequency and higher input voltages, they are still limited in terms of input/output voltage range and load range. Thus, there is a technological need to invent new PWM techniques for ZVS operations to meet wide power demands.

    Innovation
    NCSU researchers have developed a revolutionary PWM with variable frequency carrier for zero voltage switching (ZVS) active half bridge. In contrast to conventional PWM using constant frequency carrier, our revolutionary PWM technique uses a variable frequency carrier. The pulse-width of the carrier frequency can be calculated by required valley current for ZVS, inductance, sensed input voltage, sensed output voltage, and sensed average current. The variable carrier frequency provides new degrees of freedom to enable control of inductor current ripple on an active half bridge. Additionally, our PWM technique can be implemented in both analog and digital systems as well as compatible with existing constant frequency PWM control systems.


    Advantages

  • Compatible with existing constant frequency PWM control systems such as voltage mode, current mode, etc.
  • Not sensitive to noise
  • Reduced cost of sensing as there is no need of high speed current sensing
  • Easy to perform multiphase interleave control because the frequency and phase are predicted and controlled by variable frequency carrier
  • Controls inductor current ripple for ZVS operation of active half bridge


  • Application Areas

  • Digital controller
  • Analog controller with voltage controlled current source
  • Suitable for high frequency and variable frequency ZVS application (PFC, inverter)
  • DC/AC inverter systems, AC/DC PFC system, three phase DC/AC, AC/DC systems, etc.
  • Buck-Boost converter, battery charger


  • About The Inventors

    Dr. Alex Q. Huang is a world renowned expert of power semiconductor devices and power electronics. He has published more than 400 papers in journals and conferences. He is also widely credited for his original contribution in developing the Energy Internet concept and the Solid State Transformer based Energy Router technology. He is an IEEE Fellow and established the NSF Engineering Research Center, the FREEDM Systems Center at the NCSU. Qingyun Huang is a Graduate Student of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the NC State University. She is also member of FREEDM system center at the NCSU. Her research interest includes power electronics and semiconductor devices.

    Key Terms

    Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), Zero-Voltage switching, Active half bridge, Variable frequency, high efficiency, current control

    Hands Free Rodent Restraint System

    17264 -Abstract
    Rodents are commonly used in biomedical research and several products are currently available for restraining rodents. However, these products have significant limitations including, a requirement for the user to maintain grip of the rodent with at least one hand, prolonged anesthesia for the animal if hands free treatment and/or sample collection is needed, and limited access to the certain areas of the animal e.g. the tail and base of the tail.
    Researchers from the Departments of Clinical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering at NC State University have developed a novel rodent restraint system that allows access to the hind limbs and tail, as well as hand free treatment application and sample collection from the tail or hind limbs by the user. The restraint system secures the caudal end of the rodent while the hind legs dangle off a platform to prevent the rodent from pushing off. The design secures the head, which prevents the rodent from advancing forward while also reducing stress from visual stimuli. Additionally, the restraint may be modified with alternative straps and/or fasteners, as well as scaling modifications to allowing for use adaptations in animals of varying sizes.
    Advantages

    • Hands-free treatment application and sample collection.
    • Constant access to limbs without the use of sustained inhalation anesthesia.
    • The animal is unable to turn around or advance forward while in restraint.
    • Adaptable for different aspects of pelvic limb and use in different quadruped species.

    About The Inventors
    David Ruppert, PhD current research is focused on improving mechanical stability and accelerating osseointegration of titanium implants.
    Denis Marcellin-Little, DVM, PhD is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, European College of Veterinary Surgeons, and American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, and a Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine. His research focuses on joint motion, joint disease, limb deformity management, limb sparing, and additive manufacturing.

    VHF Self-Oscillating Cascaded Power Circuit Topology with Coupled Parasitic Compensation for High Power Scalability

    17265 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize its novel VHF self-oscillating power circuit topology, which is coupled with parasitic compensation for high power applications.

    State-Of-Development:Technology has been simulated

    Abstract

    Background
    It is widely accepted that Wide-Band Gap (WBG) semiconductor devices offer the potential of a substantial breakthrough in power electronics. WBG semiconductors such as Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) demonstrate superior material properties, which enable high-switching speed, high-voltage, and high-temperature applications. These applications include hybrid and electric vehicles, energy storage systems, lighting, data servers, AC adapters, solar inverters, power supplies, charging circuits, and grid control. Despite the wide range of WBG applications, the technology faces two major roadblocks for its adoption by industry - cost and power density. The use of passive components, such as capacitors and inductors is a primary factor for cost and power density limitations. Therefore, there is a need for disruptive WBG-based converters, consisting of cost-effective, efficient, scalable, and simplistic power circuits to encourage proliferation of WBG semiconductor technology.

    Innovation
    NC State University researchers have developed a disruptive converter circuit topology that combines VHF (very high frequency) power circuits, self-oscillating control, and inter-coupled package parasitic technology. First, installation has a reduced cost, as fewer system components need to be connected together. In particular, there are fewer complex gate drive and controller boards that require advanced isolation and desaturation schemes at high power. Secondly, power density limitations are overcome by switching at VHF that enabling air-core inductors and smaller capacitors to break the power density barrier. Switching at VHF provides the additional advantages of reduced power loss, as well as higher frequency, temperature, and voltage ratings of WBG devices. Moreover, the proposed converter circuit topology provides automatic equalization of power flow to/from integrated systems by regulating self-oscillating gates based on parasitic impedance changes in resonant networks.


    Advantages

  • WBG devices switching in the Very High Frequency (VHF) range of 30MHz to 300MHz enables power densities beyond 500W/in3
  • No external gate drive circuits for increased efficiency at power levels above 10kW
  • Bi-directional self-oscillating power circuit topology
  • Scalable and modular in high kW range
  • Low power loss enables passive cooling at much higher power levels
  • Higher converter efficiency even after including gate drive loss


  • Application Areas

  • Energy storage systems, electric vehicles, smart grids
  • Wide-band gap based converters
  • Wireless self-balancing power flow


  • About The Inventors

    Adam Morgan is a doctoral student within the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at NCSU. His research interests include design, simulation, fabrication, and testing of power electronics packaging and module topologies related to wide band gap semiconductors and very high frequency scalable power converters. He is a member of the Packaging Research in Electronic Energy Systems (PREES) Laboratory. He has presented multiple technical papers and was awarded APEC 2016 Best Presenter in Technical Track Award, NSF ERC FREEDM Systems Center Graduate Fellowship. Dr. Douglas C. Hopkins has over 20 years of experience in electronic energy systems. His early career was at the R&D centers of the General Electric and Carrier Air-Conditioning Companies in advanced power electronics system. He has published over 100 journal and conference articles, a number recognized with awards.

    Other Available Technologies

  • Technology #18011, entitled “Semiconductor Topology and Device for Soft Starting and Active Fault Protection of AC-DC Converters”
  • Technology #17202, entitled “ SiC Power AC Switch”
  • Technology #17087, entitled “PowerAmerica Mask design and Foundry process”
  • Technology # 17048, entitled “SiC Planar Power MOSFET with superior High Frequency Figure-of-Merit”

    Key Terms

    Self-oscillating, Very high frequency (VHF) power circuits, parasitic compensation, converter circuit, power inverter/converters, wide-band gap (WBG) semiconductor

  • Mixed Material Magnetic Core for Shielding of Eddy Current Induced Excess Losses

    18028 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize its mixed material magnetic code for shielding eddy current induced losses in high frequency applications.

    State-Of-Development: Prototype developed and technology available immediately.

    Abstract

    Background
    According to US Department of Energy technology assessment, wide band-gap (WBG) semiconductors for power electronic is one of 14 most important manufacturing-focused technologies, and forecast sharp increasea in public-private partnerships for the development of wide band-gap (WBG) semiconductors materials. The WBG power semiconductor market is expected to grow at 33% annually to $3.7 Billion USD by 2025 (Source: Semiconductor-today). Magnetic ribbon cores represent a significant advancement when used in wide bandgap based power electronic converters because these core meet the high power density and medium frequency excitation requirements that are desired in modern systems. However, medium to high frequency applications result in undesired leakage flux normal to the surface of tape wound cores. Normal leakage fluxes result in eddy currents, which are induced within the plane of tape-wound ribbon, thereby leading to excessively large losses due to the large lateral dimensions within ribbon plane. This can be mitigated by either preventing or redirecting leakage flux. There are several shielding approaches available for a tape wound core including leakage prevention materials, leakage shielding materials, full core impregnation with leakage shielding materials, and permeability engineered tape wound core materials.

    Innovation
    NC State researchers have developed a novel flux redirection type shield based on ferrite that retain the leakage flux / inductance, but avoid any associated leakage induced eddy current losses. The proposed shielding method follows two geometries, but can also be extended to other geometries (i) bar shields (ii) wing shields. The bar shield provides additional advantage from manufacturability perspective and can be incorporated into a design without major modifications to the overall core design. This technology enables traditional transformer construction techniques to be used for design in medium frequency applications and can open the path for adoption of WBG semiconductors by industry.


    Advantages

    • Helps maintaining adequate leakage inductance in components with intentional leakage flux such as the dual active bridge transformer
    • Enables traditional transformer design and construction techniques to be used for design in medium frequency applications
    • Reduces the losses by 7-10% in magnetic devices such as inductors and transformers based on WDG semiconductor technology



    Application Areas

  • Medium frequency inductor and transformer applications
  • Wideband-gap power converters
  • Industrial and biomedical applications

    Publications

  • Paper abstract submitted to TMS 2018 3/11-3/17 2018

    Sponsorship Details

    The proposed invention is developed with the support from federal government sponsorship granted by the Department of Energy. The invention is co-invented and co-owned by NETL (National Energy Technology Laboratory).


    About The Inventors

    Richard B. Beddingfield is currently pursuing his PhD. at the NC State University focusing on power electronics and high power, medium frequency magnetics. He is actively engaged in research with the NCSU FREEDM Center (Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management) on projects related to Medium Voltage DC Amplifier Testbed, Low Voltage Solid State transformer, and High Power Magnetic Materials Characterization. Dr. Subhashish Bhattacharya has earned PhD. in Electrical Engineering from University of Wisconsin-Madison and currently works under NC State University. His research work focuses on power electronics and power systems including electric vehicle systems, and electronic energy systems packaging. Other inventors: Paul Ohodnicki and Kevin Byerly
    Key Terms

    Flux redirection shield, leakage flux, bar flux shield, wing flux shields, eddy current induced loss, Ferrite shield

  • DeCIFR: A comprehensive suite of biodiversity informatics pipelines and visualization tools

    18125 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize its comprehensive suite of biodiversity informatics pipelines and visualization tools.

    State-Of-Development:Software is developed and available online at http://tbas.hpc.ncsu.edu

    Abstract

    Background
    A phylogenetic tree, also known as a phylogeny, is a diagram that depicts the lines of evolutionary descent of different species, organisms, or genes from a common ancestor. Phylogenies are useful for organizing knowledge of biological diversity, for structuring classifications, and for providing insight into events that occurred during evolution. Tree diagrams have been used in evolutionary biology since the time of Charles Darwin. Therefore, one might assume that, by now, most scientists would be exceedingly comfortable with "tree thinking"--reading and interpreting phylogenies. However, there are two major shortcomings in phylogeny that make it challenging for scientists to interpret phylogenetic trees. First, the integration of datasets generated by fungal biologists into traditional taxonomy frameworks has lagged due to the absence of powerful tools for reliable phylogenetic classifications. Second, systematists lack the bioinformatics tools necessary to integrate and keep track of the stream of new sequence datasets, which range from single-locus (e.g. nuclear ribosomal loci) to multi-locus datasets, genomes, transcriptomes and environmental metagenomics datasets. Therefore, there is a need to develop Bioinformatics tools that centralize diverse streams of sequence data and metadata, and that allow integration of this information within a robust phylogenetic framework.

    Innovation
    NC State researchers have developed a web-based interactive bioinformatics tool for microbial biodiversity studies and visualization to discover, evaluate, and describe new microbial taxa at multiple spatial and phylogenetic scales. The tool facilitates the work and collaborations of systematists and ecologists by (i) linking sequence data with the established phylogenetic information in mycology; and (ii) allowing taxonomists to uncover novelty and describe new taxa in clades as well as obtain the necessary voucher- and metadata needed for species descriptions.


    Advantages

  • Integrates molecular microbial biodiversity data with all types of metadata to accelerate classification of microbes across taxonomic scales from phylum to populations.
  • T-BAS provides users with phylogenetic placement of unknown sequences at the clade level without the uncertainty inherent to using BLAST approaches alone.
  • Customizable visualization tools and customizable, downloadable metadata, and voucher tables.
  • Generate metadata-enriched phylogenies that can be shared online to enhance phylogenetic analyses of known groups with novel taxa and their traits.


  • Application Areas

  • Phylogeny-based placement of unknown microbes (e.g. fungi; bacteria) using multi-locus sequence data across taxonomic scales.
  • Integration of microbial metadata (e.g. voucher information) with published or custom reference phylogenies.


  • Sposorship Details

    The technology is developed under federal sponsorship granted by the National Science Foundation.

    About The Inventors

    Dr. Ignazio Carbone is a population biologist interested in phylogeography, molecular systematics, ecology and evolution. His primary focus is on applying population genetic methods to retrace the natural history of fungal populations and species, to identify the origin of invading pathogens and to elucidate the underlying population processes that impact fungal genome architecture. He has published many papers in his research interest area. He is also actively developing software tools to facilitate evolutionary and population genetic analyses. Other Author: James White’s academic background is in physical science, and he has been a programmer and Linux administrator for over 10 years. His work has involved web programming with projects in geospatial analysis and genetic analysis.

    Key Terms

    Bioinformatics, Bio-content processing and management, Phylogenetics, Microbial, Taxonomy, Open Source software

    Yurika

    18078 -North Carolina State University is currently seeking an industry partner to further develop and commercialize its open source software- “Yurika” for unstructured text analytics web application.

    State-Of-Development:Software is developed and tested.

    Abstract

    Background
    The proliferation of textual data over web sources oftentimes become overwhelming. There are countless web sources that generate unstructured textual data such as documents on web, blogs, social media sites, news sites, emails and so on. According to an IDC survey, unstructured textual data in digital space approximately occupies 80% volume as compared to only 20% by structured data. The rapid increase in the amount of unstructured textual data makes it more challenging for a company or person to make informed decision based on such data. A lot of challenges in this space arise from the fact that natural language provides the flexibility to convey exactly the same meaning in different ways, i.e exactly the same statement in a different context may convey completely different meaning. Therefore, software often will require a user to customize queries for correct information extraction and generation of insights to answer specific questions. The query creation can be tiring and challenging for the users with limited subject and software expertise. Though there are many software products and solutions available in the market to analyze textual data and present insights in an understandable manner, these products are either not user-friendly or customizable.

    Innovation
    NC State researchers have developed an open source software-“Yurika” that allows users to go through unstructured text analytics by: (i) providing a framework that is able to crawl unstructured text (such as webpages), store the raw data; (ii) guide the user through creating rules to extract information from the data; and (iii) output structured data that can be analyzed with conventional methods. Yurika allows user to import a “MindMap file” into editable tree structure and assist in the creation of complex “Elasticsearch queries” to extract specific information from large documents. Yurika is powerful open source unstructured text analytics platform that allows user to answer specific question from structured and unstructured data sources.


    Advantages

  • Easy creation and management of web and file system crawlers from web dashboard
  • Allow users to import a MindMap file created outside of system into editable tree structure
  • Assist in the creation of complex Elasticsearch queries to pull out specific information from large documents
  • Provide a dashboard for users to further analyze their data
  • Create dictionary of words along with their context for textual data analysis
  • Run on an infrastructure-as-a-service platform such as Amazon Web Services (AWS)


  • Application Areas

  • Text and data mining
  • Data Analytics
  • Big data analytics applications in various industries such as banking, healthcare, energy & utilities etc.


  • About The Inventors

    Meaghan E. Johnson graduated from the NC State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science. She started work for ITng (Institute for Next Generation IT Systems) as a student and was hired full-time as a software engineer by ITng. At ITng, she has worked on a variety of projects, including automated installation and management of clustered virtual machines, Django web development, and unstructured text analytics. John Bass (NCSU BSEE/BSCPE '90, MSEE '95) is the technical director of the Institute for Next Generation IT Systems (ITng). While managing staff and professional services projects at ITng, he help found two startups: People-First Tourism, Inc and NExS Software, LLC. John specializes in requirements gathering, technology management and ideation, systems design, and project management. Dr. Michael Kowolenko is a Principal Research Scholar in the Department of Computer Science and an Industry Fellow in the Center of Innovation Management Studies at North Carolina State University. His research and teaching activities focus on models of integrating data analytics in the area of critical thinking and decision-making. Mike has been awarded multiple grants from IBM for his work in developing decision models, and named an “IBM Big Data & Analytics Hero”.

    Other Available Technologies

  • Technology #18057, entitled “OpenKE- Open Source Knowledge Enrichment”

  • Key Terms

    Data Analytics, Unstructured data analysis, Elastic search tool, Mindmap, Dashboard

    NC 8GEM fresh market tomato breeding line

    18140 -

    NC 8GEM is a fresh market tomato breeding line featuring very large, fasciated (f gene) pink fruit with good shelf-life and resistance to skin cracking. NC 8GEM has an indeterminate growth habit. The fruit has a bright red internal color (ogc gene), and uniform shoulder color (u gene). The leaves are flat, medium green, and the leaflets are lightly to moderately serrated. Fruit are oblate and fairly symmetrical. Compared to most fasciated heirloom types, NC 8GEM has a shorter stem core, and smaller stem scars that are not as rough and corky.

    NC 8GEM has shown years of resistance to late blight (Ph-2 and Ph-3 genes), and has genetic resistance to fusarium wilt (I gene) and verticillium wilt (Ve gene). NC 8GEM will be useful as a parent to improve fruit quality and disease resistances in pink-fruited hybrids.

    Characteristics

    Inventor

    Dr. Randy Gardner is Professor Emeritus of horticultural science at NC State. He initiated the fresh-market tomato breeding program at NCSU in 1976 and ran it until his retirement in 2008. He developed the widely grown “mountain” series of tomato hybrids and released numerous other named hybrids and breeding lines that have been used in improvement of fruit quality and disease resistances worldwide. He has been widely recognized for his contributions to tomato breeding. Since his retirement in 2008, Dr. Gardner has concentrated on developing specialty type tomatoes of various sizes, colors, and shapes with improved fruit quality, marketable yield, and multiple disease resistances.

    Additional Information on NC State's Tomato Breeding Program.

    NC 9GEM Tomato Breeding Line

    18141 -

    NC 9GEM is a fresh market tomato breeding line featuring very large, fasciated (f gene) fruit with good flavor and melting texture, with high resistance to skin cracking. NC 9GEM has an indeterminate growth habit. The fruit has a black pineapple type internal fruit color with a red center and red streaks through the green flesh when ripe. The external fruit color is purple at the blossom end and green mixed with purple toward the stem end. Fruit are oblate and fairly symmetrical. Compared to most fasciated heirloom types, NC 9GEM has a shorter stem core, and smaller stem scars that are not as rough and corky. The fruit are not subject to the large rough blossom end scars typical of most fasciated heirloom cultivars. The plant is vigorous and tall growing with good fruit set throughout the plant.

    NC 9GEM has shown a high level of resistance to late blight (Ph-2 gene), and has genetic resistance to fusarium wilt (I gene). NC 9GEM will be useful as a parent to improve fruit quality and disease resistances in fasciated type hybrids.

    Characteristics

    Inventor

    Dr. Randy Gardner is a Professor Emeritus of horticultural science at NC State. He initiated the fresh-market tomato breeding program at NCSU in 1976 and ran it until his retirement in 2008. He developed the widely grown “mountain” series of tomato hybrids and released numerous other named hybrids and breeding lines that have been used in improvement of fruit quality and disease resistances worldwide. He has been widely recognized for his contributions to tomato breeding. Since his retirement in 2008, Dr. Gardner has concentrated on developing specialty type tomatoes of various sizes, colors, and shapes with improved fruit quality, marketable yield, and multiple disease resistances.

    Additional Information on NC State's Tomato Breeding Program.

    NC 10GEM Tomato Breeding Line

    18142 -

    NC 10GEM is a fresh market tomato breeding line featuring very large, fasciated (f gene) fruit with good flavor and melting texture, with high resistance to skin cracking. NC 10GEM has indeterminate growth habit. The external fruit color is uniformly bright purple, with reddish brown internal color. Fruit are oblate and fairly symmetrical. Compared to most fasciated heirloom types, NC 10GEM has a shorter stem core and smaller stem scars that are not as rough and corky. Blossom end scars are pinpoint, unlike the very large rough scars typical of most fasciated heirloom cultivars.

    NC 10GEM has shown a high level of resistance to late blight (Ph-2 and Ph-3 genes) and has genetic resistance to fusarium wilt (I gene) and verticillium wilt (Ve gene). NC 10GEM will be useful as a parent to improve fruit quality and disease resistances in fasciated type hybrids.

    Characteristics

    Inventor

    Dr. Randy Gardner is a Professor Emeritus of horticultural science at NC State. He initiated the fresh-market tomato breeding program at NCSU in 1976 and ran it until his retirement in 2008. He developed the widely grown “mountain” series of tomato hybrids and released numerous other named hybrids and breeding lines that have been used in improvement of fruit quality and disease resistances worldwide. He has been widely recognized for his contributions to tomato breeding. Since his retirement in 2008, Dr. Gardner has concentrated on developing specialty type tomatoes of various sizes, colors, and shapes with improved fruit quality, marketable yield, and multiple disease resistances.

    Additional Information on NC State's Tomato Breeding Program.

    IPEC-J2 Intestinal Cell Line

    18159 -Abstract
    The ability to study intestinal pathogen-host interaction is important to gain insight into the mechanism of pathogenesis for both animals and humans. There are few cell lines available for in vitro studies that mimic the in vivo physiology that is present in the intestinal epithelium. The most widely used cell lines for these studies are not isolated from the intestine and/or are carcinogenic in origin. This highlights the need for a cell line that exhibits characteristics that are relevant to the in vivo physiology and do not contain a large number of mutations that are commonly found in transformed cell lines.
    Researchers from the College of Veterinary Medicine have isolated a cell line, called IPEC-J2, from the jejunum of newborn piglets. IPEC-J2 cells are non-transformed, due to the inclusion of stem cells when culturing, and physiologically-relevant intestinal epithelial cells. When cultured, these cells form a uniform monolayer of polarized cells that act as a barrier and are able to transport ions. Additionally, IPEC-J2 cells can be invaded by intracellular bacterial pathogens, produce inflammatory cytokines, and proliferate in response to bacterial infection. Collectively these characteristics enable IPEC-J2 cells to not only serve as an ideal model for porcine in vitro studies, but also as an ideal model for studies on human physiology, such as epithelial barrier function, bacterial pathogenesis, and the effects of probiotics.
    Advantages

    • Non-transformed cells, which yields characteristics that are physiologically relevant to in vivo intestinal epithelial cells.
    • Suitable for epithelial barrier, immunological, and infectious disease experimentation.
    • Suitable model for studying both human and swine epithelial function.

    About The Inventor
    Anthony Blikslager, DVM, PhD, DACVS, AGAF is a Professor of Equine Surgery and Gastroenterology at the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine. His research is focused on the study of mechanisms responsible for maintenance and restoration of the intestinal barrier. He is a co-investigator in North Carolina Center for Esophageal Pharmacoengineering, which aims to create more effective treatments for esophageal disease in animals and humans.