University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Pressure Sensitive Adhesives
Pressure sensitive adhesives bond two materials when physical pressure is applied to marry the adhesive with the adherent. They are widely applied in self-adhesive tapes, labels and marking films, medical plasters and pads, dermal pharmaceutical dosage forms, medical drapes and biomedical electrodes. Curing current adhesives often involves UV irradiation or heat, capital and energy intensive steps which may produce to toxic byproducts.


The invention concerns novel compositions and crosslinking strategies that greatly simplify fabrication of pressure sensitive adhesives.  A soluble and flowable polymer containing latent crosslinking sites is applied to a substrate as a low-viscosity solution or melt.  After application, spontaneous crosslinking occurs at ambient conditions, eliminating the need for post-crosslinking equipment, capital and expense. It also eliminates formation of undesired or toxic residues; allows the formation of crosslinked adhesive layers on temperature-sensitive substrates; enables the use of opaque crosslinkable adhesive formulations; and facilitates the incorporation of adhesives into porous or complex substrates. These strategies may be generalized to broader classes of solvent borne and hot melt pressure adhesives.


Published: 8/14/2017   |   Inventor(s): Shelly Peyton, John Klier, Yen Tran, Todd Emrick
Category(s): Engineering, Healthcare, Material science
Chemically Stable Fibers Electrospun from Polyelectrolytes
The invention is a new platform for fabricating nano- and macro- scale fiber materials and for encapsulation. Complex coacervates are associative complexes of positive and negative polyelectrolytes, which form complexes due to a combination of electrostatic and entropic interactions between the oppositely charged polyions. Due to their aqueous solubility, polyelectrolyte solutions are a good medium for encapsulating small molecules. However, while the concept of polyelectrolyte complexes for a drug delivery system and other applications has seen heightened interest in recent years, significant obstacles and challenges remain both in processing technologies and functionalities of the resulting materials.


Electrospinning is an established, versatile, inexpensive and scalable process for creating continuous, nanofibrous mats of non-woven nano-/micro-scale diameter fibers. Electrospun mats hold great promise in biomedical, environmental, and industrial fields.


The invention provides novel polymer nanofiber or microfiber mats and methods for their preparation via an aqueous, one-step polyelectrolyte complexation and electrospinning of complex coacervates. The process involves an aqueous medium and no organic solvents and/or strongly acidic or basic condition, resulting in chemically and thermally robust fiber mats. Thus, this process and the resulting materials have tremendous potential as a green processing strategy that can serve as the basis for developing a new class environmentally benign fiber scaffolds for use in applications, such as wound healing, water remediation, catalysis, and food packaging.


Published: 8/11/2017   |   Inventor(s): Jessica Schiffman, Sarah Perry, Xiangxi Meng
Category(s): Material science, Healthcare, Engineering
Method of Non-Chromatographic Purification of Monoclonal Antibodies
The potent pharmacodynamics and numerous diagnostics of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have led to their extensive use as therapeutic treatments for various cancers and autoimmune disorders, and for diagnostic assays. However, rapid developments in the foundational cell biology and recombinant technology of mAbs have not been matched by progress in downstream purification, a major determinant of mAb cost. 


mAb purification, largely reliant on chromatography (e.g. Protein A chromatography), is the principal determinant of drug cost. The present invention generally relates to non-chromatographic purification of mAbs, and particularly, to a method of purification of monoclonal antibodies via selective coacervation with hyaluronic acid. The method separates mAb from unwanted proteins and nucleic acids secreted from mAb-producing hybridoma cells, forming a fluid coacervate from which the mAb is purified. This promising technique may be an effective alternative for Protein A chromatography.

Published: 8/10/2017   |   Inventor(s): Paul Dubin, Rachel Wollacott, Daniel Seeman, Alex Malanowski
Category(s): Biotechnology, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Therapeutics & prevention
Prosthetic Fitment System
An ill-fitting prosthesis can result in discomfort and can compromise mobility and performance. Therefore, there is a strong need for innovative diagnostic tools for quantifying the socket-limb interface during the fitment process. Scientists at UMass Amherst have developed a prosthetic socket fitment tool which applies recently-available high-precision line-of-sight ultrasound transceivers and intuitive visualization software to provide a quantifiable internal measurement of the residual limb and bone movement to a prosthetist during the fitment process. This tool will inform the positioning of socket components to ensure a comfortable fit for the patient.
Published: 9/15/2016   |   Inventor(s): Frank Sup, Andrew LaPre, Michael White
Category(s): Devices, Diagnostic technology, Healthcare, Engineering
Silver Nanoparticles Detection and Analysis in Complex Matrices
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are the most commonly used nanoparticles in many consumer products and related matrices. Given the wide application and formation of AgNPs, the environmental and biological fate and toxicity of the AgNPs needs to investigated comprehensively, including if AgNPs transfer through different trophic levels and impact food chains. This invention was developed by combining hydrophobization-mediated extraction with unique capability of Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS).
Published: 9/13/2016   |   Inventor(s): Lili He, Baoshan Xing, Huiyuan Guo
Category(s): Devices, Diagnostic technology, Environmental, Healthcare, Engineering, Nanotechnology
Baterial Detection Platform
This invention invention is a bacterial detection platform integrating sensitive surface-enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) capabilities and advanced mapping technique that generates detailed chemical images based on a sample’s Raman spectrum. The identification is based on the fingerprint of the bacterial SERS spectra.  The quantification of the cells will be based on the mapping technique
Published: 9/13/2016   |   Inventor(s): Lili He
Category(s): Diagnostic technology, Food technology & plant science, Environmental, Healthcare, Nanotechnology
Eye Tracker System for Diagnostics (CIDER)
This invention relates generally to a highly optimized low power wearable eye tracker system for detecting eye parameters including eye movement, pupil center, pupil diameter (i.e., dilation), blink duration, and blink frequency.  The system operates at a ten-fold reduction in power usage as compared to current eye tracker systems and methods. The invention does not require active calibration by the user. The eye parameters may then be used to determine a variety of physiological and psychological conditions in humans.  The eye tracker device includes an imaging component, an illuminator component, a photodiode component and a controller, or special-purpose processor.  The controller may be integrated with the eye tracking device or reside remotely such as within another device such as a mobile device including a tablet or smart phone. The system incorporates a neural network enabling trade-offs between power consumption and robustness to illumination conditions, as well as between sensing and computational modes. The system can operate at very high frame rates (exceeding 100 fps) during typical operation.
Published: 9/13/2016   |   Inventor(s): Deepak Ganesan, Christopher Salthouse, Addison Mayberry, Benjamin Marlin
Category(s): Devices, Electronics, Healthcare, Software & information technology
Reduced-Pain Syringe Needle Injection Systems
This invention provides cost-effective and user-friendly syringe needle injection systems that ease patients' discomfort during the injection operations.
Published: 9/8/2016   |   Inventor(s): Alfred Crosby, Shruti Rattan
Category(s): Healthcare, Devices
Inhibiting Proteases to Accelerate Wound Repair
This invention relates to the use of a protein therapeutic to block the activated and over-expressed proteases that lead to chronic wounds and thinning of the dermis in aging.
Published: 9/8/2016   |   Inventor(s): Annette Wysocki, Margaret Riley
Category(s): Healthcare, Life Sciences, Therapeutics & prevention
Displaying Physical Activity and Exercise Information
It is well appreciated that physical activity is beneficial for health and that long periods of sitting can be detrimental. Individuals use wearable activity trackers to inform themselves of salient data necessary for completion of activity goals (e.g. 10,000 steps per day). However, to date, devices do not provide movement information in context of overall activity patterns, rather they focus on only one metric of behavior. Thus, a user may not fully appreciate how much time they engaged in sedentary behaviors vs. active behaviors during a day or how much overall effort they used.


To address this problem, Dr. Tudor-Locke and her team have devised a simple, dynamic goal driven triangle graphic that display movement and non-movement data in an integrated fashion that can be displayed on wearable devices. Specifically, the arms of the triangle represent step number, effort, and sedentary time. As this information changes throughout the day based on behavior, the triangle will shift in both shape and size. This simple representation will allow the user to visualize their physical activity and exercise in the context of overall activity behavior. The use of simple, intuitive figures that provide individuals with integrated metrics of movement behavior may encourage individuals to make small tweaks in daily behavioral patterns, namely increasing the amount and intensity of physical activity and decreasing sedentary behavior, which could lead to significant health benefits.

Published: 2/25/2016   |   Inventor(s): Catrine Tudor-Locke, Michael Busa
Category(s): Electronics, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Software & information technology
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