2014 Abstracts

University of Missouri

Field Management Tool for Agrochemical Application

With increasing costs of inputs and rising concerns over environmental contamination, effective management tools are required for the application of fertilizers and other agrochemicals to maximize efficiency and reduce environmental losses. For example, enhanced efficiency fertilizer, such as slow-release fertilizers, can reduce the risks of nutrient loss compared to conventional fertilizers, but at a higher cost. One strategy to overcome in-field differences in potential nutrient loss is to apply the enhanced efficiency fertilizer to the high risk nutrient loss areas of a field while applying conventional fertilizer to the low risk areas. An invention that would assist farmers to identify and map the low and high risk areas of a field and then facilitate the application of multiple agrochemicals in a field based on those identified areas would help to increase profits and lower environmental losses.

The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri is a software tool and algorithm to determine and apply different types and amounts of agrochemical sources to predetermined zones within a field. The tool takes into account spatial differences in intrinsic soil properties that affect agrochemical efficiency including soil drainage and water content. It allows for storage of historical data so that better management practices can be achieved and thus increase productivity while reducing negative environmental impact.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Maps zones vulnerable to agrochemical loss or reduced efficiency based on spatial differences in soil and environmental properties
  • Field management and control of variable source agrochemical application
  • Establishes geographically-referenced application history
Patent StatusPatent Pending
Inventor(s)
  • Peter P. Motavalli
  • Kelly A. Nelson
Contact Info

Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu, 573-884-3553

Crop Yield Prediction from Aerial Images

Crop production is increasingly becoming dependent on technology to maximize crop yield at minimum cost and labor. Crop yield loss can occur for various reasons, one of which is nitrogen deficiency caused by wet weather. Nitrogen loss is often patchy and many crop producers do not apply rescue nitrogen when nitrogen loss has occurred, due to expense and logistical difficulties.

The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri is a technology that will predict crop yield loss at mid-season. This revolutionary technology allows corn, wheat, rice, and potato producers to assess economic loss due to nitrogen deficiency and make sound business decisions about the profitability of mid-season fertilizer application. The color measured aerial imagery produced can be used to target rescue nitrogen applications to areas where profitable yield responses will be obtained, thereby maximizing the crop’s yield potential at minimum amount of labor and fertilizer.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Predict yields of crops including corn, wheat, rice, and potato
  • Detect areas for mid-season fertilizer application
  • Analyze economic outcome of mid-season fertilizer application
Patent Status

Patents Issued and Pending

Inventor(s)
  • Peter C. Scharf
  • Vicky Hubbard
Contact Info

Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu, (573) 884-3553

Crop Resistance to Nematodes

Parasitic nematodes that attack the roots of plants are estimated to cause an annual worldwide crop damage of over $100 billion. For soybean, the most important pathogen is the nematode Heterodera glycines, which in the US causes an annual loss of more than 120 million bushel valued at over $1.2 billion. Other Heterodera species can cause significant damage to corn, while potato nematodes of the Globodera genus can result in up to 60% reduction in potato yield. Crops resistant to nematodes are, therefore, of great economic interest.

The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri is a genetic approach to make plants resistant to infestation from cyst nematodes attacking soybean, corn, and potato. The nematodes secrete effector proteins in order to connect with the plant’s root cells, and plants lacking the receptors these effector proteins interact with have increased nematode resistance. Disruption of the plant receptors did not result in obvious changes to root growth in the plant and can be employed to develop a novel management tactic to reduce cyst nematode parasitism of crop plants.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Nematode resistant crops of soybean, corn, and potato
Patent StatusPatent Applications Pending
Inventor(s)
  • Melissa Goellner Mitchum
  • Amy Replogle
  • Jianying Want
  • Xiaohong Want
  • Shiyan Chen
  • Ping Davis
  • Eric L. Davis
  • Thomas J. Baum
  • Richard Hussey
Contact Info

Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu, 573-884-3553

Engineered Minichromosomes in Plants

The use of genetically modified crops is constantly finding new areas of application, including the production of compounds with therapeutic value. Current technology for producing transgenic crops relies on random integrations that can have variable expression and could potentially disrupt the endogenous genes. Also, combining multiple transgenes requires a lengthy crossing scheme and can bring along linked genes from one variety into another.

The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri is a technology that will allow continued addition of transgenes as the need arises using engineered plant minichromosomes. Artificial chromosome platforms were produced by telomere-mediated truncation while simultaneously adding DNA sequences that will permit amendments to the chromosome indefinitely. These minichromosomes can be used as a vector for efficient stacking of multiple genes for insect, bacterial, and fungal resistances together with herbicide tolerance and crop quality traits unlinked to endogenous genes in a circumstance that would foster faithful expression.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Genetically engineered crops
Patent StatusPatents Issued and Pending
Inventor(s)
  • James A. Birchler
  • Weichang Yu
Contact Info

Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu, (573) 884-3553

Bucks Unlimited Oak

Swamp white oak is one of the most common tree types in the United States. The white oak grows predominantly in the Eastern and Midwestern regions of the U.S. and has adapted to a multitude of environments. With a significant presence in such diverse conditions, many animals rely on the white oak as a source of food. In particular, their acorns are considered the most favorable food source for many wildlife species, including white tail deer and wild turkey. However, normal white oak seedlings begin producing acorns at a minimum of 20-30 years with the greatest production between 75-100 years.

The current invention from researchers at the University of Missouri is a seedling-origin tree derived from grafted, select white oak clones that can produce acorns at a very young age. Over 50 percent of swamp white oaks grown at the Center for Agroforestry Research Farm in central Missouri produced acorns in as early as 5 years. This could prove to be very advantageous for individuals and organizations interested in habitat enhancement and environment conservation.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Private landowners interested in wildlife conservation
  • State and federal government agencies associated with forestry conservation
  • Research institutes specializing in forestry and wildlife
Patent StatusTrademark Pending
Inventor(s)
  • Mark V. Coggeshall
Contact Info

Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu, 573-884-3553

Microencapsulated Probiotic for Animal Feed

Food safety is a worldwide concern. For example, there are more than 75 million cases of foodborne illnesses in the U.S. each year leading to more than 300,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths. Manure from farm animals has been shown to be a source of the pathogens contaminating processed food products. In addition, pathogens from manure on farm land may run off into water and has been shown to cause disease outbreaks. An invention that increases effective pathogen reduction while reducing the need for antibiotics would therefore be very beneficial and highly sought after.

The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri is a technology that delivers microencapsulated probiotics to animals through their feed. The probiotics inhibit pathogens from growing in the gut of the animal and the novel encapsulation technology will prevent the probiotic from being killed during the digestion process before they reach the hindgut. The result is reduced fecal shedding of pathogenic microbes in animals, substantially improved food safety, and increased human and animal health.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Agriculture and food animal production
  • Companion animals
  • Petting zoos
  • Laboratory animals
  • Reduction of food-borne pathogens on animal food products 
Patent StatusPatent Pending
Inventor(s)
  • Azlin Mustapha
  • Monty S. Kerley
  • Juhee Ahn 
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

ThermalAid- A Smartphone Application to Aid in the Detection of Heat Stress in Livestock

The National Climatic Data Center stated that the 2011 summer was the hottest in over 75 years, with 2012 surpassing that level. Livestock are especially vulnerable to heat stress that could result in reduced productivity and death. Livestock loss from this stress can cost dairy, beef, and swine industries hundreds of millions of dollars. The present method to reduce heat stress uses a heat index that requires elaborate analysis and, as a result, is underutilized.

The current invention, from researchers at the University of Missouri, is a smart phone application called ThermalAid that combines weather and animal information to identify heat stress in livestock and make decisions to animal welfare during the summer months. This application can be utilized at three levels depending on the specific needs. Weather information from a locality can be used to project a general level of heat stress. At the next level, the producer can enter herd information and a new index will be produced. Finally, the user can enter thermal stress information for specific animals. Additionally, the information gathered can be sent to a university web site, where it is logged to provide additional help and suggestions.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Global livestock farmers in developed and third-world countries
  • Geographical areas with animals susceptible to heat stress
Patent Status

Trademark Registered

Inventor(s)
  • Donald E. Spiers
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

K9 Observation Kennel

Radiographic examinations are one of the most common diagnostic tools in veterinary practices and animal research labs. The problem with many of these examinations is that an animal has to remain relatively still in order to obtain quality radiographic images. Likewise, if a videofluoroscopic test is required, the animal has to be restrained to complete the test. There are various methods employed to control an animal, including manual restraints, sedation, short-acting anesthesia, and human intervention.  However, each of these methods prevent testing of typical animal behaviors and result in anxiety in the animal, which prevents accurate diagnosis. In addition, the use of restraint methods results in increased radiation exposure to technicians.

The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri is a translucent and radiolucent kennel designed for a safe and efficient means for conducting behavioral and radiographic examinations on animals. The kennel is designed to permit a variety of assessments in several anatomical planes while providing a comfortable testing environment for animals and technicians. Radiographic examinations can be conducted without restraints while permitting quality spot images as well as accurate videofluoroscopic tests.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Veterinary practices that conduct radiographic and behavioral tests
  • Animal researchers that utilize radiographic and behavioral tests
  • Veterinary schools for the purpose of teaching
  • Pharmaceutical companies completing animal trials
Patent Status

Patent Pending

Inventor(s)
  • Teresa E. Lever
  • Joan R. Coates
  • Mitchell Allen
  • Laila Al-Khashti
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

Osteoarthritis Biomarker Panel

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis in humans and affects almost 10% of the population in the U.S. and Europe. Currently, there is no commercially available assay(s) for diagnosis, staging, or monitoring of the disease. The most common clinical approach uses physical examination and radiographic (X-ray) findings for evaluation of subjects that are exhibiting symptoms. This approach results in osteoarthritis being definitively diagnosed after it has significantly impaired function and quality of life. At this point, therapeutic options may be less efficacious.

The current invention developed by researchers at University of Missouri is a human biomarker panel that may be useful for determining presence, severity, and extent of OA. The panel uses readily available fluid samples, which are analyzed for specific biomarkers associated with OA. By comparing the levels of biomarkers in the fluid samples to normal values, the panels will allow for diagnosis, screening, staging, and judging of the effectiveness of treatments with high certainty.

Potential Areas of Application
  • In-clinic tests for diagnosis, screening, staging, treatment monitoring, and prognostication of OA
Patent StatusPatent Applications Pending
Inventor(s)
  • James L. Cook
  • Aaron M. Stoker
  • Keiichi Kuroki
  • Bridget Garner
  • Cristi Reeves Cook
  • Richard Evans
  • Brandon Roller
  • Prakash Jayabalan
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

Hybrid Synthetic-Biologic Joint Arthroplasty Systems

More than one million joint replacement surgeries were performed in 2005, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. The demand for such procedures is expected to rise exponentially in coming years, based on rising elderly populations and an increase in sedentary lifestyle in the United States. However, existing methods of implanting joint replacements are not capable of measuring forces from a variety of real-life impact situations and cannot be tailored to an individual patient's needs.

The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri comprises a group of related implants, instruments, and techniques that provide a variety of options for performing joint replacement and resurfacing surgeries. The implants will all be composed of a synthetic component and a biologic component combined together. The hybrid implants are designed to optimize long term success in joint replacement and resurfacing surgery of all major joints by combining the advantages of synthetic and biologic arthroplasty techniques while minimizing the disadvantages of each.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Treatment for focal cartilage defects of the knee, ankle, elbow, and shoulder
  • Partial and complete hemi-arthroplasties for trauma or arthritis
  • Total joint arthroplasty of the knee, shoulder, hip, ankle, elbow, wrist, TMJ, fingers, and toes for trauma or arthritis 
Patent StatusPatnets Issued and Pending
Inventor(s)
  • James L. Cook
  • Clark T. Hung
  • Gerard Ateshian
  • Eric Lima
  • Li Ming Bian
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

Rotator Cuff Bone-Tendon Allograft

Rotator cuff problems occur when one or more tendons that connect shoulder muscles to bone become torn, leading to pain and dysfunction of the arm. The tears may occur as the result of acute trauma to the shoulder, particularly in athletes, or from chronic wear and tear, especially in the elderly. Rotator cuff problems are commonly associated with activities that require repetitive overhead motions or forceful pulling motions. In the U.S. alone, there are more than 50,000 rotator cuff surgeries per year. While smaller, single-tendon tears can often be managed successfully non-operatively or by direct arthroscopic repair, the majority of tears involve larger defects, multiple tendons, and/or a degenerative component that leaves the muscle-tendon unit severely dysfunctional and predisposes the shoulder to arthritis. For these more severe tears, surgical reconstruction is typically required to restore function to the arm. Current surgical repairs entail the use of suture and bone anchors or soft tissue scaffolds to address the tissue defects and associated dysfunction. However, these techniques are not designed to be "spanning" or "structural" grafts and therefore are not able to replace irreparable tendon tissue, re-establish the critical bone-tendon and tendon-muscle junctions, and restore full shoulder function.

The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri provides a FDA-approved biomaterial for use in rotator cuff repair as well as a method that when used in rotator cuff repair, could result in the overall function of a repaired rotator cuff that is similar to a healthy, uninjured rotator cuff.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Rotator cuff surgical repair
  • Rotator cuff surgical reconstruction
  • Glenoid bone reconstruction
Patent Status

Patent Pending

Inventor(s)
  • James L. Cook
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

Tool and Process Alignment and Site Preparation of Novel Rotator Cuff Grafts

Rotator cuff tears are one of the most common shoulder joint injuries. This injury occurs when one or more tendons that connect shoulder muscles to bone become torn, leading to pain and dysfunction of the arm. Between 1998 and 2004, over 5 million physician visits were associated with rotator cuff problems.  There are multiple options to help repair a rotator cuff injury depending on the severity. Smaller tears can be managed non-operatively; however, larger injuries require surgical reconstruction to restore arm function.  In the U.S. alone, there are more than 50,000 surgeries completed every year. Tissue allografts are a common surgical technique utilized to repair tendon damage and fully restore function to the shoulder. However, without proper site preparation for the allograft site, failure rates of surgery can range from 20% to 70%, leading to increased discomfort and additional surgeries later in life. 

The current invention from researchers at the University of Missouri is an FDA-approved biomaterial used for rotator cuff repair/allograft site design as well as an improved surgery method that could increase surgery success rates.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Rotator cuff surgical repair
  • Rotator cuff reconstruction
Patent StatusPatent Pending
Inventor(s)
  • Ferris Pfeiffer
  • Matthew J. Smith
  • James L. Cook
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

Pupillary Light Reflex Detection Device for Early Childhood Neurodevelopment Screening

Autism spectrum disorder has been recognized as a national public health concern with an increasingly higher prevalence rate, which is estimated at 1 in 88 births and is increasing at a rate of 10-17% per year. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can usually be reliably diagnosed by 24 months, though research suggests that some screening tests can be helpful at 18 months or even younger. Studies have shown that early intervention is very effective in improving language, behavior, and even IQ levels in children with autism.

The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri is a novel device used to measure papillary light reflex (PLR) in infants and young children. PLR is significantly different between children with ASD and normally developing children. The device can remotely and effectively measure PLR in children in seconds.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Screening for neuro-developmental disorders
  • Neuro-opthalmology of pupil functions 
Patent StatusPatent Applications Pending
Inventor(s)
  • Gang Yao
  • Judith H. Miles 
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

Nanotechnology-Based Electrochemical DNA Sensing

DNA is the code that contains the building instructions for all organisms and is the ultimate identification card. For example, the DNA code of a particular bacterium can tell if that particular strain of the bacterium is harmful or not. DNA sensing and recognition devices are therefore essential for accurate detection of bacteria and other microbes, as well as for the detection and identification of viruses. Furthermore, there is a critical need to develop better methods and devices for DNA detection.

The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri is a new technology that will increase the DNA sensor sensitivity, specificity, and sensing speed over current methods. This novel invention consists of an electrolyte cell, an electrochemical measurement device, and a nanostructured ceramic base electrode. The device is so sensitive that it does not require amplification of the DNA by PCR. Additionally, this device is advantageous because of its reusability, increased detection speed, and specificity.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Recognition of pathogens of medical and public health importance
  • Environmental analysis such as water quality monitoring
  • Biological attack and prevention
  • Food safety
  • Genetic research and application
  • Pathology and criminology
Patent Status

Patent Issued

Inventor(s)
  • Charles A. Carson
  • Qingsong Yu
  • Hao Li
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

Anti-SARS Drug Using Helicase Inhibitors

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), a life-threatening form of pneumonia, was identified in 2003 as a never before seen disease. Currently, no approved therapeutics for the treatment of SARS infection exists. In 2002, SARS emerged from Southern China and spread to other parts of the world, including North America, South America, and Europe. The World Health Organization estimated that SARS killed ~1,000 people and had a mortality rate of ~15%. Moreover, SARS had an immense impact in the global economy, costing >15 billion dollars and devastating Asian economies. While SARS is currently not a public threat, the possibility of future outbreaks of both SARS and related viruses warrants continuous research for the discovery of antiviral therapies.

The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri is a novel compound for the treatment of SARS and possibly other coronaviruses. This compound works by inhibiting the SARS helicase nsp13. This novel compound inhibits the nucleic acid unwinding activity of nsp13, but it does not interfere with the ATPase enzymatic activity or nucleic acid binding function of nsp13. Preliminary results also show that the compound inhibits Mouse Hepatitis Virus. Given the strong sequence similarities among coronaviruses, this inhibitor has the potential to be a valuable tool for understanding the replication mechanism of coronaviruses in addition to SARS CoV.

Potential Areas of Application
  • SARS & Coronavirus therapy
  • Broad spectrum antiviral against other coronaviruses such as porcine coronavirus, transmissible gastroenteritis coronavirus (TGE), bovine coronavirus, canine coronavirus, and Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus (which can be lethal to cats) 
Patent StatusPatent Applications Pending
Inventor(s)
  • Stefan G. Sarafianos
  • Adeyemi O. Adedeji
  • Kamlendra Singh
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

DNA Test for Canine Degenerative Myelopathy

Degenerative myelopathy is a neurological disease that is estimated to affect more than 150,000 dogs in the U.S.  The disease has been confirmed in many breeds with the highest prevalence in Boxers and Pembroke Welsh Corgis. Onset of clinical signs usually occurs after 9 years of age. It is chronic and progressive and also causes paralysis that begins in the hind legs and progresses to flaccid paralysis in all limbs and brainstem signs. Recently, a mutation was found in the canine superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene of affected dogs. This supports the idea that canine degenerative myelopathy has similarities to some forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), an adult-onset fatal paralytic neurodegenerative disease.

The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri is a simple DNA test that will identify animals that have mutations in the superoxide dismutase gene associated with canine degenerative myelopathy. The test is based off DNA harvested by a simple mouth swab and is of high value to dog breeders.  Additionally, dog owners who want to know if their dog is at risk for this disease will have great interest for developing biomarkers for early diagnosis and for treatment strategies.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Assist with diagnosis of dogs with degenerative myelopathy
  • Dog breeders that want to develop their breeding pool
  • Dog owners that want to test their pets
Patent StatusPatents Issued and Pending
Inventor(s)
  • Gary S. Johnson
  • Joan R. Coates
  • Kerstin Linblad-Toh
  • Claire Wade
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

Nanostructured Carbon Biocatalyst with a Variety of Applications

The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri is a nanostructured carbon-based biocatalyst for remediation of unwanted organic substances such as pesticides and other environmental pollutants.  Enzymes capable of detoxifying organic chemicals are tethered to functionalized carbon-particles, which serve as delivery vehicles, stabilizers, and chemo-attractants. The system is easy to produce and modify and can be tailored to the detoxification of a variety of chemicals.

The present invention provides a new and improved series of amide-functionalized ordered mesoporous carbon (AFOMC) as a vehicle and system to deliver enzymes that degrade pollutants, toxins, or other unwanted organic substances. Additionally, this conjugation of bioactive enzymes onto the amide-functionalized ordered mesoporous carbon has a wide range of other commercial applications, ranging from the development of biocatalysts, biofilters, fuel cells, biofuel production, drug delivery systems other medical therapeutics, and biosensors.  The variety of potential applications makes this technology highly attractive.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Soil and water cleanup
  • Drug delivery systems
  • Biodefense applications
  • Fuel cell development
  • Biofuel production
Patent Status

Patents Issued and Pending

Inventor(s)
  • Chung-Ho Lin
  • Brian M. Thompson
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

Increased Tocohromanol (Vitamin E) Content in Leaves and Seeds of Soybeans

Tocochromanols, or Vitamin E, is a group of plant-derived, lipid soluble compounds with beneficial antioxidant activities. Since humans and animals cannot product Vitamin E, it has to be supplied in the daily cited. Green leafy vegetables contain some of the highest levels of Vitamin E. There is also a growing body of evidence that Vitamin E may counteract the onset and progression of human diseases such as cancer and cardio-vascular diseases. The global vitamin market is forecasted to reach $3.2 billion by the year 2017. Vitamin E represents the largest segment.

Researchers at the University of Missouri have increased the level of tocochronmanols (Vitamin E) by 27-fold in soybean seed, mainly in the form of γ and β-tocopherols. This, coupled with the benefits from soybean isoflavones in men and women, make this addition of natural Vitamin E to soybeans a unique combination. Although not yet field tested, these high vitamin E lines also showed increased tolerance to the class of HPPD herbicides.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Use of soybeans as a source of natural Vitamin E
  • Source of soybean seeds as an edible snack with enhanced Vitamin E
  • Source of natural Vitamin E in soybean based cosmeceuticals
  • Source for the animal feeds market and pet foods
  • Non-GMO source of herbicide resistance
Patent Status

Patent Pending

Inventor(s)
  • Gary Stacey
  • Minviluz G. Stacey
Contact Info

Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu, 573-884-3553

Ultra-Rapid Cooling Method for Cell Cryopreservation

The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri is an ultra-cooling method for cell cryopreservation. This novel method uses ultra-high heat transfer coefficient of thin film evaporation and vacuum regulation to create an ultra-rapid cooling method. In this method, liquid evaporates sharply using thin film evaporation and absorbs a large quantity of heat.

Cryopreservation is a process where cells or whole tissues are preserved by cooling to low sub-zero temperatures. At these temperatures biological activity, including cell death, is stopped. This method of preservation is often used in semen, blood, embryo, and other tissue storage, such as corneal tissues. The ultra-cooling method created by researchers at the University of Missouri demonstrates cell cryopreservation through vitrification using relatively low concentrations of cryoprotectants.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Cryopreservation method for animal resource centers
  • Cryopreservation method for biological labs sending cell samples
  • Cryopreservation method for bio-tech companies using cell products
Patent Status

Patent Pending

Inventor(s)
  • Hongbin Bill Ma
  • Xu Han
  • Fengmin Su
  • Hsiu-hung Chen
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

Tool and Method for Creating a Tapered Osteochondral Allograft Implant and/or Socket

Degenerative joint diseases, like osteoarthritis, are the leading cause of chronic disability in the U.S., affecting approximately 20% of the population. These types of disabilities stem from repetitive exposure of articular cartilage to stress. Eventually, the cartilage will lose the ability to adapt and, ultimately, the ability to function. Currently, there are multiple options available to help repair the damaged joint. One widely used option is an osteochondral allografts (OCAs) used to treat osteoarthritic joint defects. This process involves harvesting donor tissue and transplanting it into a prepared socket of a recipient. However, once placed in the recipient socket, it requires significant force using a press fit. This has been shown to reduce viability of the graft and can compromise the success rate of the procedure.

The current invention from researchers at the University of Missouri is an improved tooling and method to create a tapered osteochondral allograft. By matching this tapered allograft design to a tapered recipient joint, the force required to seat the graft is greatly reduced. This can lead to improved longevity of the graft and increased success rates for the procedure.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Osteochondral allograft suppliers
  • Surgical instrument companies
Patent StatusPatent Applications Pending
Inventor(s)
  • Ferris Pfeiffer
  • Aaron M. Stoker
  • James L. Cook
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

New Surgical Tools and Techniques to Make Patient Anatomy Specific Osteochondral Grafts Possible

The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) includes the surgical instrumentation and method for creating custom anatomic osteochondral allografts (OCA), or autografts to treat damaged areas of joints. The revolutionary instrumentation allows for contouring of grafts to the patient’s anatomy and precise preparation of the recipient site for an OCA or autograft of complex geometry, rather than simple cylindrical grafts as currently performed.

Between 600,000 and 900,000 patients in the U.S. undergo surgical treatment for articular defects resulting from osteochondritis dessicans, injury, trauma, and osteoarthritis. Currently, surgeries using OCA or autograft comprise a small portion of the total number of procedures performed to treat these conditions due to their limitations. Though current allografts/autograft techniques are relatively easy to perform, they are not optimal for treating large articular defects in joints with complex geometries. The use of cylindrical grafts for these types of joint damage results in sub-optimal use of donor tissues, inability for anatomic reconstruction of defects, comprised graft stability, and removal of significant amounts of healthy cartilage in order to replace all damaged tissue. All of these downfalls can lead to unsuccessful outcomes for patients, such as graft failures and progression of disease, mainly due to the function of the non-patient-specific geometry of a standard cylindrical OCA or autograft. MU’s technology is predicted to overcome each of the pitfalls of current OCA and autograft procedures to improve outcomes and increase the number of patients that can be effectively treated with OCA and autografts.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Human or veterinary orthopaedic surgery Treating focal cartilage defects in joints
Patent Status

Patent Pending

Inventor(s)
  • Ferris Pfeiffer
  • James L. Cook
  • James P. Stannard
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

Use of N-trans-Cinnamoyltyramine from Rice (Oryza Sativa) for Weed Control

This invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri is a unique allelochemical isolated from rice tissue for controlling certain invasive plants that are threatening crop production worldwide. This particular class of allelochemical has proven to be very safe and is very selective for biological weed control. This technology also has the potential to be used to create bio-based personal care products.

Intensive application of agrochemicals for weed control in agricultural production can result in the contamination of drinking water sources and the development of resistance to modern herbicides. Bio-based allelochemical compounds with novel modes of actions have potential to replace or complement chemical-based herbicides currently in the market. Rice (Oryza sativa) is an important source of allelochemicals. This invention describes the discovery of a novel and potent allelochemical N-trans-cinnamoyltyramine first isolated from rice. This invention will not only help the development of a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly weed-control strategy, but also provide the opportunities to turn abundant, low-value, renewable materials from the rice plants into a lucrative, high technology industry.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Use as bio-herbicide for co-treatment or prevention of invasive plants
  • Bio-based products such as organic anti-fungal personal care products
Patent Status

Patent Pending

Inventor(s)
  • Felix B. Fritschi
  • Thi Le Ho
  • Chung-Ho Lin
  • Reid J. Smeda
  • Le Van Banh
Contact Info

Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu, 573-884-3553

Q Fever Peptide Mimic Vaccine

The current invention developed by the researchers at the University of Missouri is a Phase 1 Lipopolysaccharide (PI-LPS) targeted mimetic peptide vaccine against human Q fever. Testing has been successful in the mouse model.

Q fever is a worldwide zoonotic infection caused by Coxiella burnetii that is of significant public health concern. C. burnetii is an obligate intracellular Gram-negative bacterium. It is a highly infectious and hardy bacterium that can be used in biological weapons. It is also a significant occupational hazard among veterinarians, meat processing plant workers, sheep and dairy farmers, and researchers at facilities that house livestock. Q fever can present as an acute or chronic illness in human beings. Human symptoms vary but include nonspecific febrile illness, pneumonia, myocarditis, hepatitis, and headache, and can include endocarditis in chronic cases. Infected pregnant women may be at risk for pre-term delivery or miscarriage.

Humans typically contract Q fever by aerosol inhalation of the bacteria from excreta of infected animals or contaminated soil. Q fever is a nationally notifiable disease in the United States, and there is no FDA approved vaccine. There is a vaccine used in Australia, however, it can cause adverse reactions. Thus, people must be tested and screened before vaccination, which makes it costly, time consuming, and unavailable for a mass vaccination program. In the case of a bioterrorism event, a mass vaccine would be highly beneficial.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Safe Q fever vaccine
  • Immunotherapeutic strategies to control C. burnetii infections
  • Potential development of vaccines against other Gram-Negative bacteria
Patent Status

Patent Pendiing

Inventor(s)
  • Guoquan Zhang
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

Superior Method to Artificially Activate Pig Embryos to Generate Cloned Pigs

The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri is an improved method for increasing the efficiency of cloning pigs. This method improves the efficiency of oocyte activation with unfertilized mammalian oocyte and is less time consuming than the current method used in the industry.

This is a novel method to activate reconstructed pig embryos. Unlike other methods available, this new approach does not fully rely on calcium signal to activate reconstructed embryos. By chemically stimulating the downstream pathway of calcium signaling, reconstructed pig embryos can be successfully activated. In addition, the procedure is simple and user friendly. This method may benefit the genetically-engineered pig industry by increasing the efficiency and success in generating genetically modified pigs at reduced costs.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Genetically-engineered pigs:
    • to provide human compatible cells, tissues, and organs for the treatment of human disease
    • to produce tissues for human transplant surgeries
    • for medical and veterinary research
  • Increased production of porcine-derived food products
Patent StatusPatent Pending
Inventor(s)
  • Kiho Lee
  • Randall S. Prather
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

Using a Zinc Chelator to Clone Pig Embryos

The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri is a novel way of cloning porcine (pig) embryos using specific concentrations of a zinc chelator to induce intercellular Ca2+ fluctuation. The inventors have successfully produced higher quality embryos compared to previous embryo cloning approaches, e.g. the average total cell number in the blastocysts was higher than embryos generated by conventional methods. Currently, conventional methods include electroporation or chemical means (thimerosal/dithiothreitol) to stimulate a calcium signal to artificially activate pig oocytes. When compared to the zinc chelator approach, the conventional method produces a lower percentage of viable cloned embryos. This new approach may become the new standard to produce cloned pig embryos as their demand continues to rise.

In the U.S., there are over 122,000 active candidates waiting on the organ donation list. The organ donor matching process is arduous when complying with federal regulations and involves a complicated matching process. Many consider pig organs to be well suited for human transplantation, but rejection of these organs in humans is common. Organs from genetically modified pigs could be more acceptable in humans, but a lack of experimental pig embryos is becoming a hurdle in investigating this approach. Therefore, a method to more reliably produce viable pig embryos is necessary to continue to explore pig organ transplantation.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Genetically-engineered pigs:
    • to produce tissues for human transplant surgeries
    • for medical and veterinary research
    • increased production of porcine-derived food products
Patent StatusPatent pending
Inventor(s)
  • Randall S. Prather
  • Kiho Lee
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

Device and Technique for Tibial Plateau Allografting with or without Attached Meniscus

This invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri is a unique surgical instrumentation system that allows for standardized preparation of a tibial allograft from donor tissue with precisely matched preparation of the patient’s proximal tibia to receive a meniscal-tibial plateau allograft. This technology has the potential to revolutionize knee surgery by allowing for biological joint replacement of this difficult-to-treat region of the knee, increasing the use of organ donor tissue, and improving outcomes for patients with this common knee problem.

Currently, patients with extensive damage to their tibial articular cartilage and/or meniscus in the knee have few treatment options that allow them to return to highly functional activities. Current standard-of-care allograft cartilage and meniscus transplantation techniques do not address these types of extensive injuries due to limitations in surgical site access, effective instrumentation, and stabilization of viable and functional tissues. Complications arising from graft functionality, placement, and fixation to the tibia as well as functionality of the underlying tibial cartilage also inhibit success of current methods. Total and partial joint replacements using synthetic materials also do not allow return to these activities and have a limited functional lifespan. Younger, active patients want better options as surgeons search for biological treatments that consistently provide these patients with more optimal outcomes. This University of Missouri technological advancement has the potential to address all of these limitations.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Human orthopaedic surgery
  • Veterinary medicine – orthopaedic surgery
Patent Status

Patent Pending

Inventor(s)
  • Ferris Pfeiffer
  • James L. Cook
  • James P. Stannard
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

J Peptides for Diagnosis and Targeting of Ovarian Cancer

The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri involves a novel series of peptides that targets ovarian cancer cells as a screening, imaging, or therapeutic agent. These “J” peptides exhibit elevated affinity for cancer cells versus normal cells. Research studies have shown that these peptides successfully bind ovarian cancer cells in vitro and localize and image human ovarian tumors in mouse models. These novel J peptides may be utilized as screening agents, optical and radio-imaging agents, surgical fluorescent image guides, radio- and chemotherapeutics, and probes to develop antibodies for cancer vaccinations and immunotherapies. Use of these peptides as diagnostic, imaging, or therapeutic agents will allow detection of ovarian cancer at an earlier stage, greatly improving patient survival rates.

Ovarian cancer is the most lethal of gynecological malignancies and is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in women. The disease has been termed the silent killer due to asymptomatic development and quick dissemination of aggressive metastatic cells. Late manifestations of the disease result in late diagnosis and in poor five-year survival rates of merely 30-45%. To the contrary, five-year survival rates for women diagnosed at early stages of ovarian cancer are optimistic (>90%), emphasizing the importance of detection and diagnosis at early onset. Unfortunately, current standard detection methods, which include measurement of CA-125 (Mucin 16) serum levels and ultrasonography, are primarily adequate for late-stage ovarian cancer and often cause false positive results where surgery may also be necessary to obtain final diagnosis. A diagnostic peptide that may substitute for or complement current tests and provide a means for early detection of ovarian cancer would be highly valuable.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Early detection and screening agent for ovarian cancer
  • Optical and radio-imaging agent for ovarian cancer tumors
  • Surgical fluorescent image-guide
  • May be used as a radio and chemotherapeutic
  • A probe for the development of cancer vaccinations and immunotherapy
Patent Status

Patent Pending

Inventor(s)
  • Susan L. Deutscher
  • Jessica Rose Newton-Northup
  • Mette Soendergaard
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

Wireless Force-Measuring System for Detecting Lameness and Analyzing Gaits in Animals

The current invention developed at the University of Missouri presents a unique technology for the detection of lameness and the analysis of the gait of any four-legged animal. This technology is a system that utilizes specialized force-measuring sensors and electronic components for acquisition and wireless transmission of data. This data can be transmitted to many types of storage systems where it can then be analyzed for detection and quantification of abnormal loads or force distributions on the feet of the animal. This system will improve the diagnosis and treatment of animals that have gait issues.

Lameness detection in animals is a skill that trained experts struggle to master and that causes much disagreement even between these experts. The human eye limits what can be observed visually, and small changes in the movement of a body part due to lameness can be missed or misinterpreted. Further, humans subjectively express how the lameness appears to them and can be biased. The current technology is a method that allows for the objective quantification of lameness and gait issues and removes subjective observations from the equation.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Lameness detection in quadrupeds
  • Gait analysis in quadrupeds
  • Identification of superior animals through complete analysis of stride
Patent Status

Patent Pending

Inventor(s)
  • Marco Lopes
  • Kevin G. Keegan
  • Yoshiharu Yonezawa
  • Hiromitchi Maki
  • Perngjin Frank Pai
  • Rod Schlotzhauer
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

Transgenic Plants with Increased Seed Yield

In an increasingly competitive agricultural market, the development of crops with increased seed yield is of great economic interest. The current invention pertains to the Brassicaceae family, also called the crucifers, the mustard family, and the cabbage family. An economically important member of this family is the rapeseed (canola). Rapeseed is used for the production of vegetable oil for human and animal consumption as well as for biodiesel. Rapeseed produces more oil per unit of land than crops like soy bean and it is therefore is the preferred source of biodiesel in Europe. World production passed 50 million metric tons in 2007 and is expected to keep growing rapidly.

The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri is a method to make transgenic plants of Arabidopsis thaliana with a 33% increase in the number of seeds per fruit. The plants have three carpels instead of two, but are otherwise normal, including seeds of a normal size. We believe that the method can be used to increase the seed yield of commercially valuable crops of the Brassicaceae family, particularly rapeseed/canola.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Make rapeseed/canola with increased seed yield for oil production
  • Make other Brassicaceae with increased seed yields
  • Potential to apply the technology to other crops
Patent StatusPatent Issued
Inventor(s)
  • John C. Walker
  • Jiangqi Wen
  • Jia Li
Contact Info

Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu, 573-884-3553

Protein Marker for Male Infertility and Testicular Cancer

The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri detects a novel protein present in human and mammalian testis that accumulates in abnormal sperm. The presence of this protein in sperm is a marker for abnormal and incorrect maturation of the sperm. Therefore, it can be used as a fertility marker and as a diagnostic tool for male infertility. Additionally, the accumulation of this protein marker could be used as an indication of testicular cancer, autoimmune infertility, and obstruction of the seminal ducts.

One in six couples is affected by infertility, and half those cases are ascribed to the male partner. The diagnosis may be low sperm count or non-functional sperm, but in approximately 1 out of every 5 cases where couples seek infertility treatment, the reason for the male infertility is unknown. Inability to conceive often causes hardship for couples, and they desire to understand the cause of their infertility as early as possible so that they can make appropriate decisions. There are limited diagnostic options to evaluate both visible and cryptic abnormalities sperm. A simple, fast, and inexpensive diagnostic test for semen analysis that may substitute for or complement current tests and which would provide such information would be highly valuable.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Fertility marker and diagnostic tool for male infertility
  • Detection of autoimmune infertility and testicular cancer
  • Over-the-counter home fertility test
Patent StatusPatent Issued
Inventor(s)
  • Peter Sutovsky
  • Antonio Miranda-Vizuete
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

Engineering Animal Meat

The global market for meat has increased as the economies of developing countries advance. By 2050, it is estimated that there will be more than 9 billion people in the world to feed. With the increase in population and the decrease in natural resources and less arable land, alternate methods of food production must be found in order to increase the worldwide food supply and sustain the global population. The current invention is potentially an economically attractive method to address this increasing market. Additionally, an invention that can provide sustainable high quality protein for the growing population while decreasing the need for additional land and animals is likely to be highly marketable and commercially attractive.

The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri is a method which uses bioprinting as its core technology. Bioprinting allows the rapid construction of living three dimensional structures of desired topology. The type of cells used to prepare the multicellular rods, which serve as bioink in this technology, determines the cellular composition of the construct. Using appropriate animal cells allows the fabrication of constructs with meat-like texture. For this method, cells obtained from animals by biopsy are subsequently grown to the needed numbers in vitro. The meat produced by this method has the potential to have the same or higher nutritional value and texture taste as well as a richer variety than conventional meat.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Global Food Industry
Patent Status

Patents Issued and Pending

Inventor(s)
  • Gabor Forgacs
  • Francoise Marga
  • Karoly Jakab
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

A Process for Making High Quality, Fibrous Meat Analogs

As the population has become increasingly over-weight, there is also a growing interest in eating healthier food from sustainable sources. People are increasingly aware of the negative health consequences of a diet too high in meat. Almost half the population therefore desires a more balanced eating plan with several meatless meals per week, but at the same time crave the texture, mouthfeel, and taste of real meat.

The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri describes a process for making high quality, fibrous meat analogs similar to chicken breast, beef or other animal meats. The meat analogs have the appearance, texture, and mouthfeel of whole muscle meat and retain more flavor than traditional meat analogs. The products can further be processed into ready-to-eat, refrigerated, frozen, canned, dehydrated, and fried protein foods.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Chicken-, turkey-, beef-, pork-, veal-, fish-, and crab-analogs
  • Ready-to-eat, refrigerated, frozen, canned, dehydrated, or fried
Patent Status

Patent Pending

Inventor(s)
  • Fu-Hung Hsieh
  • Harold E. Huff
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

Multiplex Assay for Detection of 8 Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli

The current invention developed at the University of Missouri presents a unique technology for the detection of eight of the most common strains of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STECs). This technology is a sensitive, selective, rapid, and simple to perform test that can positively identify the presence of common E. coli strains in food and products. The test includes internal controls to ensure robustness and avoid false negative results. This test will speed the required inspection processes by the food industry and regulatory agencies while giving more reliable results.

STECs are strains of E. coli that cause serious illnesses, including kidney failure. The U.S. has a zero tolerance policy for STEC O157:H7, and six additional non-O157 STECs (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145) have been similarly declared as adulterants since June 2012. This test has the ability to identify the presence of these STECs, plus an additional adulterant (O104) implicated in the major 2010 European outbreak linked to sprouts. The current technology has been tested with success on multiple food products, including, but not limited to, ground beef, beef trimmings, juice, produce, and poultry products.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Rapid and reliable testing of food and food products for presence of E. Coli adulterants
Patent StatusPatent Pending
Inventor(s)
  • Azlin Mustapha
Contact Info

Samuel Bish, bishs@missouri.edu, 573-882-5016

Novel Extracellular ATP Receptor and its Application to Develop Plants More Stress Resistant to Bacterial Disease and Wound Damage

The current invention developed at the University of Missouri presents a unique technology to make plants more resistant to stress and bacterial disease as well as more tolerant of physical damage. This technology utilizes a specific receptor which mediates the plant response to a variety of nucleotides. Engineering plants using this unique protein may lead to more hardy plants that are resistant to diseases and pests which will result in improved yields and less loss to these factors.

Extracellular adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP) is a signaling molecule which controls plant growth, development, and stress response. The current technology uses a receptor that was identified as a major receptor of extracellular ATP. Expression of this receptor in transgenic plants resulted in the desired increased resistances to bacterial pathogen infection and insect herbivory, as well as a stronger response to physical damage.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Creating more stress resistant plants
  • Engineering plants with increased resistance to diesease and pests
Patent StatusPatent Pending
Inventor(s)
  • Gary Stacey
  • Kiwamu Tanaka
  • Jeongmin Choi
Contact Info

Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu, 573-884-3553

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Recrosslinked Preformed Particle Gels

Water production is a major problem for most mature oilfields. Excess water production results in increased levels of corrosion and scale, an increased load on fluid-handling facilities, and increased environmental concerns, and can eventually shut down the well. Controlling water production has been a major objective of the oil industry. A recrosslinked preformed particle gel (RPPG) has recently been developed and can provide a solution to controlling water production. When the RPPG is injected into formation through injection wells or production wells, the multiple compositions are transported as a single particle and are not released until the particle reaches the target area. The size of the particles can be tailored to millimeters, micrometers, or nanometers, depending on the specific need.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Applications in the oil industry
  • A solution for conformance control problems
  • A solution for fluid loss control problems
  • A solution for underground leakage blocking problems
Patent Status

Patent Pending

Inventor(s)
  • Baojun Bai
  • Jingyang Pu
Contact Info

Vera Anderson, vera@mst.edu, 573-341-7263

University of Missouri - St. Louis

Removing Hazardous Metals from Aqueous Solutions

There are numerous applications for resins capable of removing hazardous metal ions from water, including treatment of run off and wastewater as well as purification of drinking water. An effective resin would allow one to produce large volumes of purified water while concentrating the metals into a small volume for recycling or disposal. Researchers at UMSL have discovered immobilized chelating agents that achieve both higher binding affinities and greater selectivity among different metal ions than simple ion exchange resins.

These novel chelators have been shown to effectively remove Lead (Pb) from aqueous solution and would most likely also work on Cadmium (Cd) and Mercury (Hg) along with other trivalent metals as well. Lead ranks second most hazardous on the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act’s (CERCLA) list of substances that pose the most significant potential threat to human health. Children’s chronic exposure to even low levels of lead has been associated with subtle reductions in cognitive abilities. Even as the U.S. has reduced the exposure to environmental lead over the last several decades, the perceived “safe” level for blood lead has also dropped. There remains a need to provide new and improved immobilized ligands and methods designed to target specific metal ions (or groups of metals) to improve their removal.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Products, services, and processes that remove metals from solutions
  • Environmental remidiation
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Clinical settings

Patent Status

Patent Pending

Inventor(s)
  • Christopher Spilling
  • Surendra Dawadi
  • Wesley R. Harris
  • Bruce Hamper
Contact Info

Craig Weilbaecher, weilbaecherc@umsl.edu, 314-516-4248