U.S. Patent 5,891,686, U.S. Patent 5,518,907, U.S. Patent 5,371,002, U.S. Patent 5,334,520, U.S. Patent 6,117,658
With no dependency on fossil fuels, this alternative method of making biodegradable plastics uses inexpensive feed stocks, like sucrose, to feed the bacteria that grow polymers. The resulting plastics are fully biodegradable within a short period of time. The technology portfolio consists of five patents.
Methods of making biodegradable plastic with polyhydroxyalkanoates comprising 4-hydroxybutyrate monomer units
D. Dennis et al
U.S. Patent 6,117,658
The technology portfolio is a collection of technologies related to the production of biopolymer polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA). The portfolio includes processes to produce PHAs using recombinant organisms, including one method to obtain high levels of PHAs comprising 4-hydroxybutyrate (4HB) monomer units in a cost-efficient manner. PHAs with 4HB monomer units are useful in biodegradable thermoplastic applications requiring greater flexibility than PLAs.
For more information, see the market brief.
Method of production of poly-beta-hydroxyalkanoate copolymers
D. Dennis et al
U.S. Patent 5,891,686
The present invention relates generally to the production of polymers in prokaryotic host cells, and more specifically, to the production of poly-.beta.-hydroxyalkanoates.
Cloning and expression in Escherichia coli of the Alcaligenes eutrophus H16 poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate biosynthetic pathway
D. Dennis et al
U.S. Patent 5,518,907
Genes coding for poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate were removed from Alcaligenes eutrophus H16 and cloned into Escherichia coli. Some of the clones produced PHB to 90% of the cell weight.
Method for the improved production and recovery of poly-.beta.-hydroxybutyrate from transformed Escherichia coli
D. Dennis et al
U.S. patent 5,512,456
The present invention is generally related to the production of poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) using Escherichia coli (E. coli) which has been genetically transformed by a vector carrying the genes coding for the PHB biosynthetic pathway and, more particularly, to the more efficient production and recovery of PHB from transformed E. coli.
Novel Therapeutic for Wound Healing and the Treatment of Ocular Diseases (Dry Eye)Patent #60/844,353
Lacritin is a human tear protein preferentially secreted by acinar cells in the adult lacrimal gland where it is transported and deposited onto the rapidly renewing epithelia on the surface of the eye. Dry eye is the most common eye disease that affects the quality of life of over 25 million Americans and is a major feature of ocular diseases such as Sjogren’s syndrome and blepharitis. The cell proliferation property of Lacritin may offer new treatments to promote wound healing variants offer a new line of defense for the prevention and treatment of bacterial keratitis that addresses the problem of human pathogens resistant to established antibiotic drugs. In collaboration with the University of Virginia, Eastern Virginia Medical School, EyeRx Research, Inc., and Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington DC, we are developing the first clinical immunoassay for human tear Lacritin and recombinant Lacritin as a novel anti-microbial therapeutic for wound healing and the treatment of ocular diseases.
An antifungal bacterium that when applied to an amphibian’s skin helps to reduce morbidity and mortality rates caused by a lethal disease which in turn could have possible future applications to humans to combat similar skin diseases and fungi.
The probiotic could be used in multiple medical applications to fight the spread and damage of several fungal, parasitic and bacterial infections in a single application. Current treatments continue to leave lasting effects of the diseases including scars and imbalances in skin bacteria while also requiring repeat applications. Furthermore, no new prescriptions have been introduced to fight tinea pedis (Athlete’s foot) in over five years.
Improved Method for Fabrication of Microfluidic Devices Allowing Functional TuningLanders, Augustine, Hughes, Ferrance, Polefrone
The invention is directed to improve silica-based microchip devices and methods of manufacturing such devices and focuses on the further development of polymethyl-methacrylate (PMMA) as a new substrate material for microfluidics. The resulting devices will be easy and inexpensive to manufacture using standard mass production techniques. The device should also be as effective as current glass microchip technology at separating a variety of biomolecules. In order to meet this requirement, the surface of the microfluidic channel must be nonbiofouling, and therefore must be extremely smooth and well passivated.
This technology enables volume production of high quality plastic devices because the necessary smooth surface is created first on a silicon "master" using crystallographic etching, and then transferred to the PMMA device using hot embossing. The bonding procedure using this polymer requires a substantially reduced annealing temperature (a few hundred degrees centigrade) and can be used to bond to a variety of substrates including glass, plastic, silicon, fused silica, or quartz. Furthermore, this bonding procedure could allow for hybrid devices to be created yielding microchips with different properties. For example, glass/silicon or glass/plastic devices become feasible and even glass/glass microchips, where one type of glass might be more amenable to etching while another type of glass might be better suited as a coverplate due to better optical properties.
Miniaturization of analytical methods and instrumentation for clinical applications is an area of growing interest. Microchips have been developed for many applications in order to minimize both the time and space required to perform processes such as drug delivery and clinical diagnostic procedures. Microchips have thus been developed for a number of different applications including solid phase extraction, PCR amplification of purified DNA, and electrophoretic separations. However, the range of uses of the microchips has been inhibited by the properties of the glass or plastic substrates for the microchips. The disadvantages inherent using a glass substrate includes limited control of electroosmotic flow (EOF) and the need for high bonding temperatures. Using a plastic substrate, in many cases, also results in low EOF and poor optical characteristics, including intrinsic fluorescence.
The current invention is an improved method for developing microfluidic devices coated with a novel polymeric material. This UV transparent coating solves many of the problems associated with the fabrication of microchips. This method allows the user to f ine-tune the EOF generated in the microchip for the specific sample analyzed. In addition, this coating could provide improved fluid dynamics and reduce the absorption of analytes and buffer components to the surface.
Previous to this invention, such glass/glass hybrids were difficult, if not impossible, to fabricate. By adding this novel polymer coating to uncharged plastic substrates, an EOF can be generated allowing the production of cheaper, disposable microchips. This novel method has the potential to play a large role in the future exploitation of microchips for both clinical and research diagnostics.