NANOPARTICLES & MAGNETS

Coming to a Dentist Near You! Patent Applications for Thursday August 19, 2020

Good Afternoon from FedInvent,

Thank you for being a subscriber and for reading FedInvent.  It was an interesting Thursday in the federal innovation ecosphere.  USPTO published 234 patent applications with federal funding.  

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Here is a summary of what we found in this Thursday’s patent applications.


APPLICATIONS THIS WEEK

It was a big week for lithium-ion battery technology funded by the Department of Energy ARPA-E.  The applications included one from Rice University for recycling spent batteries. (20210257685).

Quantum computing made an appearance in patent applications from IBM, Northrup Grumman, and Yale.

The Department of Energy Oak Ridge National Lab is responsible for 20210256103, "HANDHELD MULTI-SENSOR BIOMETRIC IMAGING DEVICE AND PROCESSING PIPELINE."  This is a full-blown biometrics capture and analysis device that incorporates facial recognition, iris scanning, and fingerprint technology in a handheld form factor.  The device enables the extracted face, iris, and fingerprint templates to be used for enrollment and/or comparison against a biometric-template database associated with one or more watchlists.  Small device.  Big capability.

The Navy helped fund Lynntech in the development of a Hypoxia Training device (20210252246).  Hypoxia is a condition where you have low oxygen levels in your blood.  It is a problem for fighter jet pilots flying at high altitudes.  If not recognized and corrected, hypoxia will cause the pilot to lose consciousness and control of the aircraft.

There are several applications for additive manufacturing inventions and materials applications that enable 3D printing.  The University of Florida and Georgia Tech collaborated on 20210252777, "HIGH SPEED 3D PRINTING SYSTEM FOR WOUND AND TISSUE REPLACEMENT."  Printing 3D biomedical material in the shapes needed for wound care funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

One of the materials patent applications is for Aerosol Jet Printing Regenerated Silk Fibroin Solutions Silk fibroin is used in biomedical applications.  In the strange world of patents, this application (20210253881) has typewriter classifications because of its use of aerosol jet printing.  Long live the typewriter. 


NO ROOT CANALS & NO DRILLS — READ THIS PATENT

The root canal is a stress-inducing, sympathy-generating encounter with your dentist.  Or as patent application 20210252263, notes, "Root canal treatment can be painful, morbid, and costly. It necessitates the removal of a significant amount of tooth structure, weakening the tooth, especially in molars.  Unfortunately, available strategies for the treatment… are limited, aggressive, and outdated.   (No kidding.)

The University of Maryland made a serendipitous discovery that magnets can be used to effectively and efficiently deliver nanoparticles to tissues in the tooth.  Without the patent geekery that you can read here, this is how it works.  Your dentist selects a biocompatible magnetic nanoparticle compound with appropriate medications and therapeutics —  steroids, local anesthetics, antibiotics, fluorides, and bonding agents.  The dentist applies the medications or restorative bonding agents compound to the tooth.  The magnets are placed on your face to direct the magnetic nanoparticles into the tooth. The magnet arrays steer the magnetic nanoparticles into the desired location inside the tooth including hard-to-reach locations. This technique can be used to pull bonding agents into a tooth.  Depending on the condition is being treated it can take between five and 60 minutes for the procedure.  No drills. No noise.  

The inventors received funding from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) at NIH.  If this works, it is taxpayer money well spent.


NEXT-GEN SUNSCREEN 

Every year, over one million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the U.S., outnumbering the total number of all other cancer diagnoses combined, imposing an annual economic burden of $8.1 billion for skin cancer treatment. This doesn’t count the number of visits people who have had skin cancer make to have precancerous spots removed.  

The Cleveland Clinic and the Army to the rescue.  The U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) funded 20210251860, "POLYHYDROXY FULLERENE SUNSCREEN ACTIVE AGENTS AND COMPOSITIONS." PHF absorbs both UVB and UVA and is a powerful antioxidant. 

Ephemeral Efficacy 

Here is one of the more elegant patent explanations of the state of the art and the problem with current sunscreens. Current organic sunscreen formulations have multiple active ingredients and suffer from ephemeral efficacy (requiring frequent reapplication), poor stability, and a tendency toward irritation and photo allergies. The non-patent explanation is that current sunscreens have to be put on all the time and can give you a rash. The non-patent explanation.  Current sunscreens have to be put on all the time and can give you an annoying rash.


EBOLA ANTIBODIES | OPERATION WARP SPEED

One of this Thursday’s patent applications, 20210252146, is from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. It is for a stable antibody formulation for treating the Ebola virus. This work is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).  Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) is part of ASPR.  

Regeneron’s work developing Ebola virus antibodies was a precursor to its delivery of therapeutic antibodies for treating the coronavirus, COVID-19.   You can read about the FDA priority review announcement here.

In the process of analyzing the funding for this invention, we found contracts used by Operation Warp Speed to accelerate the production of Regeneron’s novel, proprietary mAb (monoclonal antibody) therapeutics and prophylactics. These antibodies reduce the pathology of COVID-19 disease and/or prevent the development of disease when administered prophylactically. The contract notes, "The Offeror's technical approach is expected to be similar, but not duplicative, to its manufacturing activities under its current agreements with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). 

This link takes you to the July 2020 $450 million contract for Large-Scale Manufacturing of Antibodies Directed to SARS-CoV-2 from the Department of Defense.  It is a good read if you want to understand how  Operation Warp Speed got things done.  The contract is only 28 pages long.  It comes complete with all of the redactions of the proprietary trade secret information.  


FOR THE METAVERSE

This Thursday there are seven additions to the federal metaverse innovation ecosphere.  

Purdue filed an application for "A method for authoring a human-robot collaborative task in which a robot collaborates with a human. It uses augmented reality for getting the spatial context right.  These are tools for the authors of human-robot collaborative tasks (20210252699).  Purdue had a second augmented reality application this Thursday. 20210256765, "SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR SPATIALLY REGISTERING MULTIPLE AUGMENTED REALITY DEVICES."  This one is for synchronizing and locating objects within augmented reality scenes.

NASA also has an application for human-robot interaction, 20210256425, "SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR HUMAN OPERATOR AND MACHINE INTEGRATION."  This one probably needs a little explanation of where NASA is going with this. "…devices, systems, and methods for optimized integration of a human operator with a machine for safe and efficient operation. which evaluate and determine a cognitive state of an operator, and allocate tasks to either the machine and/or operator based on the cognitive state of the operator, among other factors."  The application is focused on vehicles and a move toward autonomy in operation.  If Captain Kirk is having a bad day the robot will dock the Enterprise. 


A METAVERSE FASHION STATEMENT

There is an application for a 20210255464, "COMPACT EYE-TRACKED HEAD-MOUNTED DISPLAY."  This one is considerably smaller than the Microsoft headset we wrote about on Tuesday.  The application notes, "HMDs are one of the enabling technologies for merging virtual views with physical scenes, which may enable a physician to see a 3D rendering of the anatomical structures or CT images of a patient superimposed onto the patient's anatomy.  In the foreseeable future, such mobile displays may appear as elegant as a pair of sunglasses and may become an integral part of many people's daily activities to retrieve information and connect with people instantly."

The other three are:

20210255726, Haptic Device With Indirect Haptic Feedback

20210256314, “METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR OBJECT RECOGNITION IN LOW ILLUMINATION CONDITIONS,” this one includes facial recognition capabilities as well.

20210256345, “SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR IMPLEMENTING AN ARTIFICIALLY INTELLIGENT VIRTUAL ASSISTANT USING MACHINE LEARNING.”  Company for Siri, Alexa, and Hey Google.


INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY

The IC funded six applications this week.  

NSA had two:

20210255674 — "LAYERED SUPER-RETICLE COMPUTING ARCHITECTURES AND METHODS."

20210255910 — "ISOLATING COMMUNICATION STREAMS TO ACHIEVE HIGH-PERFORMANCE MULTI-THREADED COMMUNICATION FOR GLOBAL ADDRESS SPACE PROGRAMS."

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence had two:

20210252510 — "CARTRIDGE SYSTEMS, CAPACITIVE PUMPS, AND MULTI-THROW VALVES AND PUMP-VALVE SYSTEMS AND APPLICATIONS OF SAME."  This work is part of the IARPA program.

20210255032 — "Ultrasonic Fourier Transform Analog Computing Apparatus, Method, and Applications."

The CIA funded a cybersecurity invention by Wickr,  20210258306 — "System and Method for Providing a Configuration File to Client Devices.

National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) also had one, 20210257743 — "LASER CUT CARBON-BASED REFLECTOR AND ANTENNA SYSTEM."

One of this week’s three Bayh-Dole Scofflaws includes Northrup Grumman with a quantum computing invention.  The prognosticators at FedInvent added this one to the NSA list. 

The other two Bayh-Dole scofflaws this week include Raytheon, one of the usual suspects building jet stuff for the military.  The other comes from Texas A and M University.  This one is for a very George Jetson-like hover-capable, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capable passenger aircraft used to transport passengers and cargo without requiring the use of a runway.  This work was probably paid for by NASA.  (20210253232)

Finally, there is a patent application from EnergyXchain, LLC for using blockchain, a distributed ledger, and a smart contract for energy transactions.  The application 20210256635, "CREATING, MONITORING, AND UPDATING ENERGY TRANSACTIONS USING DISTRIBUTED LEDGER TECHNOLOGY AND CONTRACT CODEX" will be interesting to watch because there is a significant portfolio of energy-related blockchain and smart contract intellectual property floating around.  On the other hand, USPTO has a very high allowance rate for distributed ledger patents.  This one is docketed into Art Unit 3628, a business methods group. It’s a tough place for distributed ledger patent applications.

Wayfinder Digital analyzed 800 blockchain patents.  This is the allowance rate for blockchain patents by Tech Center.

On to the numbers.


PATENT APPLICATIONS BY THE NUMBERS

This Thursday, August 19, 2021, 234 published patent applications had federal funding or were the work of federal scientists and technologists. Two hundred twenty-three (223) applications have government interest statements that identify funding entities.  Forty-six (46) applications have the government as an assignee or applicant. These applications cited references to 278 funding sources.

This Thursday’s applications are the work of 868 inventors.  There are 824 from the United States.  These inventors come from 41 states.  There are 44 foreign inventors from 19 countries.

A quick recap of the rest of the numbers:

The HHS Health Complex has 91 applications this week with NIH coming in at 80.  The Military Health Complex — DOD and DVA health-related innovations — came in at 17.  

The HERD (Higher Education R&D) entities are an applicant or assignee on 139 patents.  Many are the work of collaborations between colleges and universities.

There are 234 new applications.  We can only highlight a few here.  Please be sure to check out the FedInvent Application Report that comes with your subscription so you can see the rest.

Have a good weekend. See you Wednesday.

Thanks again for reading the FedInvent Patent Newsletter.

THE FEDINVENT TEAM

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Wayfinder Digital's FedInvent Project follows the federal innovation ecosphere. We follow the taxpayer money and the inventions.