Abstracts

University of Missouri

Air Pulse Device for Laryngeal Adductor Reflex Evaluation

This invention developed at MU presents a unique technology to objectively measure the laryngeal adductor reflex (LAR). The technology may be used to quantify and evaluate the LAR in all types of mammals ranging from laboratory rodents to horses to humans. This system uses air pulses, which may be delivered to the vocal cords at varying pressures and durations, and has many advantages. The integrated control system allows numerous LAR responses to be obtained with minimal operator input and is designed to interface with commercially available endoscopes. This technology will improve the diagnosis and treatment of mammals affected with maladies that exhibit LAR abnormalities such as dysphagia and neurological disorders. Current systems only measure the threshold pressure that elicited the LAR, whereas this technology is capable of measuring the response in its entirety, allowing more accurate diagnosis and treatment.

The LAR is a brief, bilateral and involuntary closure of the vocal folds that prevents foreign material from entering the airway. One of the most clinically significant applications of the LAR is its use in laryngopharyngeal sensory discrimination testing.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Diagnosis of dysphagia in mammals
  • Early screening for such neurological disorders as ALS and Parkinson’s disease
  • Prediction of vocal cord dysfunction and pediatric apneas
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Teresa Lever and Cameron Hinkel

Contact Info

Samuel E. Bish, bishs@missouri.edu or 573-882-5016; Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu or 573-884-3553

Crop Nitrogen Decisions From Aerial Images

This invention developed by MU researchers is a technology that will predict crop yield loss due to nitrogen deficiency at mid-season, and the amount and placement of fertilizer to meet crop needs. 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. This aerial imagery can also be used to create fertilizer-control files, automating the process of putting the right fertilizer rate in the right place.

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. Farmers need sound information on the severity of this problem to guide decisions on whether to invest in more fertilizer. Nitrogen loss is patchy and imagery can guide producers to apply higher fertilizer rates in the areas of the field where more was lost.

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

Patents issued

Inventor(s)

Peter C Scharf and Vicky C. Hubbard

Contact Info

Samuel E. Bish, bishs@missouri.edu or 573-882-5016; Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu or 573-884-3553

Crop Resistance to Nematodes

Parasitic nematodes that attack plant roots are estimated to cause an annual worldwide crop damage of over $100 billion. For soybeans, the most important pathogen is the nematode Heterodera glycines, which causes an annual loss in the U.S. of more than 120 million bushels 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 percent reduction in potato yield. Crops resistant to nematodes are, therefore, of great economic interest.

The current invention developed by MU researchers is a genetic approach to make plants resistant to infestation from cyst nematodes attacking soybeans, corn and potatoes. The nematodes secrete effector proteins connect with the plant’s root cells, and plants lacking the receptors that 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 used to develop a novel management tactic to reduce cyst nematode parasitism of crop plants.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Nematode-resistant corn, soybean and potato crops
Patent Status

Patents pending

Inventor(s)

Melissa Goellner Mitchum, Amy Replogle, Jianying Wang, Xiaohong Wang, Shiyan Chen, Ping Lang, Eric L. Davis, Thomas J. Baum and Richard Hussey

Contact Info

Samuel E. Bish, bishs@missouri.edu or 573-882-5016; Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu or 573-884-3553

Diagnostic Test Kit for Swallowing Disorders in Animals

The current invention, developed at the University of Missouri, presents a unique technology for the diagnosis and treatment of dysphagia in companion animals. This technology consists of specially formulated recipes that mask the aversive taste and odor of oral contrast agents required to conduct effective videofluoroscopic swallowing studies. These ready-to-use kits contain savory recipes with an oral contrast agent, but are readily consumed by companion animals in a low-stress, self-feeding environment. The animals perform normal, not forced, swallowing with simultaneous and effective visualization of their digestive tracts. These kits will improve the diagnosis and treatment of animals suffering from dysphagia and other swallowing abnormalities that affect their quality of life.

Dysphagia diagnosis and treatment in humans and companion animals is difficult because of how the contrast media and observation influences natural swallowing functions. Swallowing function is markedly different during voluntary swallowing compared with restraint and force-feeding conditions. Higher stress force feeding is often required, especially with animals, because of the repulsive taste, texture and odor of the oral contrast media. The current technology is ready-to-use, pre-packaged savory recipes containing oral-contrast media that allow for natural and objective diagnosis and treatment of dysphagia in dogs.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Videofluoroscopic swallowing studies in dogs and other companion animals
  • Radiographic studies involving the digestive tract of companion animals, including quantifying the effect of new drug candidates on swallowing function
  • Diagnosis and treatment of dysphagia
Patent Status

Under evaluation

Inventor(s)

Teresa E. Lever

Contact Info

Samuel E. Bish, bishs@missouri.edu or 573-882-5016; Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu or 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 MU researchers allows 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 Status

Patents issued and pending

Inventor(s)

James A. Birchler and Weichang Yu

Contact Info

Samuel E. Bish, bishs@missouri.edu or 573-882-5016; Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu or 573-884-3553

Field Management Tool for Agrochemical Application

With increasing costs of inputs and rising concerns over off-target contamination, effective management tools are required for the application of fertilizers and other agrochemicals to maximize efficiency and reduce nutrient runoff. 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 the field based on those identified areas would help to increase profits and lower environmental losses.

The current invention developed by MU researchers 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, increasing 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 Status

Patents issued and pending

Inventor(s)

Peter P. Motavalli and Kelly A. Nelson

Contact Info

Samuel E. Bish, bishs@missouri.edu or 573-882-5016; Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu or 573-884-3553

Increased Tocochromanol (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 cardiovascular diseases.

The global vitamin market is forecasted to reach $3.2 billion by the year 2017. Vitamin E represents the largest segment.

MU researchers have increased the level of tocochromanols 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 the 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
  • 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 and Minviluz (Bing) Stacey

Contact Info

Samuel E. Bish, bishs@missouri.edu or 573-882-5016; Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu or 573-884-3553

Increasing Plant Oil Content by Altering Negative Regulators of Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase

The current invention provides a means to increase the fatty acid, and ultimately the triacylglycerol production, in plants and algae. Such an approach involves altering the activity levels of the committed step for de novo fatty acid biosynthesis involving acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase). A newly discovered gene family of negative regulators, called BADC proteins, bind to the heteromeric ACCase found in algae and most plants and reduces activity biochemically. By down-regulating these genes through biotechnology approaches, the activity of ACCase is enhanced, resulting in greater flux through de novo fatty acid biosynthesis, thereby leading to increased oil content in plant cells.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Increase the leaf or seed oil content in major row crops
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Jay Thelen and Matthew Salie

Contact Info

Samuel E. Bish, bishs@missouri.edu or 573-882-5016; Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu or 573-884-3553

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 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 prevents testing of typical animal behaviors and results in anxiety in the animal and an accurate diagnosis. In addition, the use of restraint methods results in increased radiation exposure to technicians.

MU’s invention 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 require radiographic and behavioral tests
  • Animal researchers who use radiographic and behavioral tests
  • Veterinary schools for the purpose of teaching
  • Pharmaceutical companies completing animal trials
Patent Status

Patent issued

Inventor(s)

Teresa E. Lever, Joan R. Coates, Mitchell Allen and Laila Al-Khashti

Contact Info

Samuel E. Bish, bishs@missouri.edu or 573-882-5016; Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu or 573-884-3553

Medium Supplement to Increase the Efficiency of Oocyte Maturation and Embryo Culture in Vitro

This MU invention is a chemically defined medium supplement that consists of a synergistic combination of growth factors. The supplement provides a greater number of high-quality in vitro matured (IVM) oocytes and in vitro cultured (IVC) embryos than other protocols currently on the market and eliminates drawbacks of using undefined conditions.

Oocyte IVM and embryo IVC have wide applications in basic research, human medicine and agricultural production. However, in many species the success and the quality of in vitro produced oocytes and embryos is often very low when compared to in vivo counterparts. Studies indicated that certain important components are still missing in the current culture system, which results in compromised oocyte and embryo quality. This invention provides a defined oocyte maturation and embryo culture environment that can improve oocyte maturation and subsequent in vitro production of embryos.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Produce more competent IVM oocytes from livestock that can be used to produce a greater number of competent embryos for transfer
  • Improve the efficiency of human oocyte IVM and help broaden the use of IVM for fertility preservation
  • Improve the efficiency of IVM of oocytes from rare and endangered species for wildlife conservation
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Ye Yuan, Lee D. Spate, Randall S. Prather and R. Michael Roberts

Contact Info

Samuel E. Bish, bishs@missouri.edu or 573-882-5016; Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu or 573-884-3553

Nanostructured Carbon Biocatalyst with a Variety of Applications

The current invention developed by MU researchers 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.

This 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

Inventor(s)

Chung-Ho Lin and Brian M. Thompson

Contact Info

Samuel E. Bish, bishs@missouri.edu or 573-882-5016; Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu or 573-884-3553

Novel Assay for Detecting Multiple Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia Coli and Salmonella for New USDA Standards

The current invention from MU is a novel assay to detect seven Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia Coli (STEC) serogroups, seven Shiga toxin genes and salmonella in non-intact beef. Specifically, the assay involves only two multiplex, melt-curve, real-time PCR reactions for detecting 15 target genes. This assay includes a specifically designed internal amplification control (IAC) for each reaction that ensures robustness and minimizes false negative results. Specific primers were designed and uniquely optimized to detect each individual STEC serogroup without any cross-reactivity to other STEC serogroups, or salmonella strains. Unlike commercially available methods, this assay does not rely on fluorescent labelled probes or magnetic beads to detect and discriminate among targeted STEC serogroups. Instead, it relies on unique melting temperatures of the specific DNA sequences from each serogroup, which will reduce assay costs and extend test reagent shelf life. The assay has been tested on a variety of food products such as ground beef, beef trimmings, juices, produce and poultry products, has a shortened enrichment period (10-12 hours or less) and obtains a highly sensitive detection level while being simple to perform.

There is a current lack of rapid, accurate and sensitive methods for detecting STEC strains that cause serious illnesses, including a fatal hemolytic uremic syndrome (kidney failure). Moreover, commercially available assays for the detection of STEC serogroups use fluorescent probes or antibody-based approaches, which are more expensive and have shorter storage lives. This method has modest requirements and can be compatible with other real-time PCR, or automated diagnostics platform, making it a convenient and most cost effective method for the detection of STEC and Salmonella.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Potential to become a standard assay for STEC detection in the food industry and food regulatory agencies, such as meat, produce and juice testing
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Azlin Mustapha and Prashant Singh

Contact Info

Samuel E. Bish, bishs@missouri.edu or 573-882-5016; Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu or 573-884-3553

PCR-Based Assay to Identify Bacteria Resistant to Last-Resort Antibiotics

The current invention is a multiplex, real-time PCR assay that detects some of the most common genes that confer resistance to extended-spectrum β-lactam and carbapenem antibiotics, which are classified as last-resort antibiotics used when no other drugs are found effective. The assay involves two multiplex melt-curve, real-time PCR reactions for detecting ten β-lactamase and carbapenemase gene families and their gene variants. Each multiplex reaction includes an internal amplification control (IAC) that is specifically designed to ensure robustness and minimize false negative results. Specific primers were designed and uniquely optimized to detect individual antibiotic resistance genes without any cross-reactivity to other similar genes.

Gram-negative pathogens resistant to antibiotics of last resort, such as extended spectrum β-lactams and carbapenem, may lead to serious, difficult-to-treat human infections, including urinary tract or bloodstream infections. There are only a limited number of molecular-based methods available to detect antibiotic resistance genes. Commercially available RT-PCR-based methods target a minimal number of genes and rely on fluorescent labelled probes. The present invention, on the other hand, detects a higher number of genes and uses unique melting temperatures of specifically amplified DNA sequences in the PCR reaction, enabling lower cost per sample and extended shelf life for the kit. The assay also takes less than two hours to complete making it a simple, low-cost approach for clinics and hospitals. In addition, the method is found to be compatible with multiple real-time PCR or automated diagnostic platforms.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Replaces time-consuming, culture-based methods of detecting last-resort antibiotic resistance
  • Meets U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations that health care facilities use more rapid molecular methods for antibiotic resistance detection
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Azlin Mustapha and Prashant Singh

Contact Info

Samuel E. Bish, bishs@missouri.edu or 573-882-5016; Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu or 573-884-3553

Q Fever Peptide Mimetic Vaccine

The current invention developed by MU researchers 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 significant public health concern worldwide. This zoonotic infection is caused by Coxiella burnetii. C. burnetii, 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, headache, and in chronic cases, can include endocarditis. Infected pregnant women may be a 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

Patents issued and pending

Inventor(s)

Guoquan Zhang

Contact Info

Samuel E. Bish, bishs@missouri.edu or 573-882-5016; Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu or 573-884-3553

Semen Extender Additive for Artificial Insemination, In Vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer

The current invention developed by MU researchers is a simple and inexpensive additive for semen extenders and fertilization media that improves fertilization rates after artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization. In addition, mammalian oocytes fertilized in vitro in a medium with the additive have superior developmental potential, benefiting commercial embryo transfer in livestock species and infertility treatment in humans.

Artificial insemination is a technology that has aided both human and animal reproduction. However, artificial insemination does not always result in pregnancy. In the food animal production industry, an animal that does not conceive after artificial insemination results in inefficiencies and potential economic loss for the producer. In humans, the emotional toll and financial costs for couples unsuccessful in conceiving can be substantial. Both the human- and animal-assisted reproductive industries are billion dollar industries, and inventions that improve fertilization rates are highly sought after.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Semen extender with improved sperm viability and motility
  • Media increasing the pregnancy rates after in vitro fertilization
  • Media for embryo transfer in farm animals
Patent Status

Patents issued and pending

Inventor(s)

Peter Sutovsky and Young-Joo Yi

Contact Info

Samuel E. Bish, bishs@missouri.edu or 573-882-5016; Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu or 573-884-3553

Superior Method to Artificially Activate Pig Embryos to Generate Cloned Pigs

MU researchers have developed 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 current industry methods.

This novel method activates reconstructed pig embryos. Unlike other available methods, this new approach does not fully rely on a 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:
    • Provide human-compatible cells, tissues and organs for the treatment of human diseases,
    • Produce tissues for human transplant surgeries, and
    • Use in medical and veterinary research
  • Increased production of porcine-derived food products
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Kiho Lee and Randall S. Prather

Contact Info

Samuel E. Bish, bishs@missouri.edu or 573-882-5016; Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu or 573-884-3553

Tissue-Specific Soybean Promoters

The current invention developed at the University of Missouri relates to seven promoters which provide tissue-specific expression of any gene in soybean roots and nodules. Under the control of these promoters, transgenes can be tissue-specifically expressed in xylem, phloem, cortex and epidermis of soybean root as well as cortex, infected cell and vascular bundle in soybean root nodule after inoculation with Bradyrhizobium japonicum, respectively. Our invention could be used to create transgenic soybean expressing useful traits in the appropriate tissues, eliminating any detrimental or regulatory issues that might arise from non-targeted gene expression in other tissues.

A promoter is a region of DNA that initiates transcription of a particular gene. Promoters are located upstream of the transcription start sites of genes and control the expression of genes. Specificity is a key feature of a promoter which determines at which time point, in which types of tissues, and at what intensity a gene is expressed. The ability to more precisely control the expression of a transgene can be very beneficial, such as reducing toxicity or insuring that the transgene is not expressed in plant tissue that is ultimately consumed, while maintaining the overall benefits of the transgene function. Despite the obvious importance, there are very limited tissue-type specific promoters reported in soybean or any major crop species.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Transgenic soybean
  • Tissue specific gene delivery
Patent Status

Under evaluation

Inventor(s)

Gary Stacey and Yaya Cui

Contact Info

Samuel E. Bish, bishs@missouri.edu or 573-882-5016; Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu or 573-884-3553

Ultra-Rapid Cooling Method for Cell Cryopreservation

The current invention developed by MU researchers 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 at MU 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 biotechnology companies using cell products
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Hongbin (Bill) Ma, Xu Han, Fengmin Su and Hsiu-hung Chen

Contact Info

Samuel E. Bish, bishs@missouri.edu or 573-882-5016; Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu or 573-884-3553

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

The current invention developed at MU presents a unique technology for the detection of lameness and the gait analysis of any four-legged animal. This technology is a system that uses specialized force-measuring sensors and electronic components for the 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 animal’s feet. This system will improve the diagnosis and treatment of animals with gait issues.

Lameness detection in animals is a skill that trained experts struggle to master and that causes much disagreement, even among 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. Current technology 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 and Rod Schlotzhauer

Contact Info

Samuel E. Bish, bishs@missouri.edu or 573-882-5016; Nancy Parker, parkern@missouri.edu or 573-884-3553

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Single Cell Fiber Optic Microprobes

Cellular-level research and treatments may be the way of the future for health care and medical diagnostics. Single-cell analysis technologies may ultimately prove useful in enhancing diagnostic and treatment for cellular-heterogeneous diseases such as cancer. To this end, S&T researchers invented and fabricated probes used in detecting biologically meaningful parameters, pH and temperature, in single cells, for their crucial functions in mediating a variety of cell responses to external stimuli.

Researchers developed the tapered-fiber microprobes and associated instrumentation for in situ measurement of intracellular pH and temperature. Because the micro-probe gradually tapers to the bulb-shaped tip, it has improved sensitivity and accuracy and may enable the micro-probe to be inserted into and removed from a biological micro-structure with minimal damage to the micro-structure. The micro-probe’s robustness for pH and temperature sensing on cells, such as stem cells, is enabled by a unique combination of covalent bond design, dyes with higher quantum yield, photo-stability and chemical endurance, as well as inventiveness of forming ion-pair conjugates before an organic modified silica (OrMoSil) layer formation.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Healthcare diagnostics
  • Drug development
  • Disease detection
Patent Status

Patents pending

Inventor(s)

Yinfa Ma, Honglan Shi, Qingbo Yang and Hai Xiao

Contact Info

Keith Strassner, kstrass@mst.edu or 573-341-6725; John Woodson jwoodson@mst.edu or 573-341-7544

MRI/MNR Calibration Device

Monitoring pH or temperature during a reaction while using MRI/NMR can be inefficient, inconvenient, and troublesome because conventional devices and techniques require the removal and or insertion of the NMR tube, thermocouple, temperature probe, etc.

S&T researchers have invented in situ measuring devices, methods of making the same, and methods of using the same. The in situ measuring devices can include a capillary tube with a reference material sealed inside the tube; the capillary tube is positioned inside of a solid state or magic angle spin (MAS) rotor. A target sample can also be positioned in the interior of the solid state or MAS rotor but is sequestered from the reference material by a capillary tube wall. The in situ measuring devices can be used in solid state NMR spectroscopy to quantify one or more parameters of a target sample, such as the quantity of a sample, chemical identity of a sample or temperature of a sample. The in situ pH measuring device can measure pH of a sample, or sample environment, in a continuous fashion while observing and/or measuring the NMR spectrum of that sample. The in situ pH measuring device is capable of measuring the pH of an NMR sample in situ that is simple to implement and that encodes and affixes an imprimatur of the measured value of the pH in the NMR spectrum, affording inseparability of the pH and the NMR data and incipient integrity of same.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance calibration
  • Magnetic resonance imaging diagnostic improvement
Patent Status

Patents pending

Inventor(s)

Klaus Woelk, Rex E. Gerald, Ming Huang and Lingyu Chi

Contact Info

Keith Strassner, kstrass@mst.edu or 573-341-6725; John Woodson jwoodson@mst.edu or 573-341-7544

University of Missouri - St. Louis

Immobilized Chelators for Removal of Metals at Varying pH

Metal ions cause problems in water treatment, agriculture, cleaning products, pharmaceutical applications and other areas. There currently are several commercially available chelators used to remove metal ions in various industry processes. However, current chelators only work at a specific pH or a specific pH range and are limited by the number of reactive binding sites.

UMSL researchers have discovered that immobilized dithiol and citrate chelators remove soft and trivalent metals at varying pH. The chelators, immobilized on polystyrene-based resin, are superior to common ion exchange resins. They have higher binding affinities and concentrate the metal contaminants into a smaller volume for efficient recycling and disposal, providing a particularly significant advantage for large-scale processes such as paper/textiles production and water-line cleaning in thermal power plants.

These chelators are useful for removing lead, cadmium, mercury, iron, aluminum, and more, across a wide range of industries from environmental remediation and water treatment to clinical settings.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Environmental remediation
  • Water treatment
  • Clinical settings
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Christopher Spilling, Wesley Harris, Surendra Dawadi and Bruce Hamper

Contact Info

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

University of Missouri - Kansas City

Enhancing Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase Activity

Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is a key regulator of bioactive lipid signaling. There are several known inhibitors of FAAH. This discovery is the first to show enhancement of the FAAH activity. These newly synthesized compounds stimulate the turnover of bioactive lipids in cells and organisms. These compounds are novel, highly useful tools for manipulating cell growth and biological functions in plants and animals.

Potential Areas of Application
  • Enhanced plant germination
  • Control of feeding behavior of pests
Patent Status

Patent pending

Inventor(s)

Peter Koulen, Kent Chapman and George John

Contact Info

Eric Anderson, ericwa@umkc.edu or 816-235-5091