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Inventions Catalouge

Below is a listing of ODU technologies that are available for licensing. invention arranged by topic and then by invention title. The technologies are organized by subject and then by title.

For more information about Old Dominion University technologies, contact Reis Alsberry, Licensing Associate, at (757) 683-4027 or ralsberr@odu.edu.

Biotechnology

  • Intracellular Manipulation - Bioelectrics
  • Unconventional Drug

Chemistry

Electrical/Computer Science

  • Excimer Lamps
  • Monochromatic Vacuum Ultraviolet Light Source for Photolithography
  • Field Controlled Plasma Discharge Devices
  • UV Purification using Excimer Lamps
  • Microwave Curing
  • Fetal Heart Rate Monitor
  • Lasers and Plasmas for Advanced Manufacturing

Miscellaneous

  • Dental Hygiene Instrument, The ODU 11/12

Biotechnology

Technology

Intracellular Manipulation - Bioelectrics

Associated Faculty Member

Schoenbach, Karl

Summary Description

Teamed with Dr. Stephen Beebe of the Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS), Professor Schoenbach sought to define the mechanisms that result in the manipulation of subcellular structures. They have determined that electric pulses may be used to safely kill tumor cells, reduce fat cell numbers and remodel bone and cartilage for medical and cosmetic purposes. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted a patent to this technology.

Their research is geared toward determining the electric pulse parameters that promote cell growth and/or prevent the degeneration of diseased or injured cells, tissues and organs. In addition, they hope to enhance gene therapy by defining the electric pulse parameters that maximize electroporation by providing specific or selective delivery of molecules to the cell nucleus.

Status

Co-owned with EVMS

Related Patent(s)

U.S. patent 6,326,177

Tech No.

Technology

Unconventional Drug

Associated Faculty Member

Xu, Nancy

Summary Description

Professor Nancy Xu, and her graduate assistants, Sophia Kyriacou and Robert Jeffers, have discovered that a commercially available cell label may be capable of inhibiting the cell growth of the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This bacterium causes disease and is resistant to antibiotics. This bacterium often causes the respiratory tract infection of cystic fibrosis patients and causes cancer and burn patients to suffer from serious infections. Since the bacterium is very resistant to antibiotics, it is widely studied by scientists and is the major interest of pharmaceutical companies, not only because of its ability to cause disease and to resist antibiotics, but also its metabolic capability and environmental versatility.

Status

Work supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Related Patent(s)

Pending

Tech No.

Chemistry

Electrical/Computer Science

Technology

Excimer Lamps

Associated Faculty Member

Schoenbach, Karl

Summary Description

Excimer lamps are light sources that can be operated over a wide range of wavelengths in the ultraviolet. Different excimer gases correspond to different wavelengths for the emission of light. Xenon and argon are excimer gases that are environmentally friendly and have strong emission in the vacuum ultraviolet region of the spectrum. At high operating pressures, excimer lamps are very efficient. Further, excimer lamps produce no infrared radiation.

Professor Karl Schoenbach, teamed with Wojciech Byszewski, Frank Peterkin, and Amin Dharamsi, have been granted three patents to their micro hollow array discharge device that can be used as a fluorescent lamp, excimer lamp, flat fluorescent light source or a miniature gas laser. Ultraviolet radiation has a frequency greater than that of visible light. Visible light has wavelengths in the range of 350 nanometers (nm) to 800nm. Schoenbach's excimer lamp emits radiation in a wavelength of about 80-200 nm.

The device includes an anode and a cathode that has micro holes. Each small hole has dimensions that are specially selected to produce a micro hollow discharge at a prescribed pressure. The cross-sectional dimension of each hole is on the order of the mean free path of electrons in the gas. Electrical energy is coupled to the cathode and the anode at a voltage and current that produces micro hollow discharges.

Current limitations on discharge devices may restrict light output. Prior to Schoenbach's discovery, hollow cathode configurations were not suitable for use in subminiature fluorescent lamps because of their relatively large sizes and because of the relatively high pressures utilized in subminiature fluorescent lamps. The buffer gas pressure in subminiature fluorescent lamps is often on the order of 100 torr in order to limit electron loss to the lamp wall. By contrast, conventional fluorescent lamps typically utilize pressures on the order of 0.5-2.0 torr.

Two trends have produced a need for improved cathode configurations. First, environmental concerns have necessitated the investigation of lamp fill materials other than mercury. In mercury-free fluorescent lamps, radiation is often produced by excimers of inert gases, such as neon, argon, and xenon. Different fluorescent lamps operate under very different discharge conditions. In order to form excimers, a gas pressure of approximately 100 torr is required. Secondly, the small size of subminiature fluorescent lamps may not allow for hot cathode operation. Therefore, efficient cold cathode emitters must be used. In subminiature fluorescent lamps utilizing cold cathodes, the operating life may be limited by sputtering.

Status

Osram Sylvania, Inc. has a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to Lighting Products producing visual, infrared or UV spectral outputs used in industrial processes, such as product heating, chemical curing, fluid or mash sterilization, and semiconductor photolithography produced during the course of a joint research program between Osram and Old Dominion University.

Related Patent(s)

U.S. Patent 5,686,789

U.S. Patent 5,939,829

U.S. Patent 6,072,273

Tech No.

Technology

Monochromatic Vacuum Ultraviolet Light Source for Photolithography

Associated Faculty Member

Schoenbach, Karl

Summary Description

Professor Karl Schoenbach co-invented a micro hollow array discharge, excimer laser device to be used by the semiconductor industry for photolithography.

Status

Co-owned with the Stevens Institute of Technology; work supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Related Patent(s)

Pending

Tech No.

Technology

Field Controlled Plasma Discharge Devices

Associated Faculty Member

Schoenbach, Karl

Summary Description

Teamed with Professor William Nunnally, currently at the University of Missouri, Professor Karl Schoenbach has been granted two patents to their field controlled plasma discharge device. U.S. Pat. No. 5,561,348 describes a device that includes an anode and a cathode that define a discharge cell. A low-pressure mix of an ionizable, inert, noble gas is maintained between the electrodes. When a sufficient potential is applied between these electrodes, current flows between them forming a plasma discharge in the cell that has energized electrons. These electrons collide with and ionize the gas. The ionized gas emits a wide spectrum of radiation in the form of photons of light.

In addition to the anode and cathode, there is a field control electrode that generates a control electric field for distorting the shape of the discharge electric field and affecting the intensity of the plasma discharge. Varying the strength of the control electric field effectuates proportionate changes in the intensity of the plasma discharge current.

These professors were also granted U.S. Pat. No. 5,765,073 that describes a printing device that modulated the plasma discharge device in accordance with an image to be printed. The modulated output is scanned across a photoconductive surface to produce a latent image on the photoconductive surface.

Status

Laser Light Technologies has an exclusive license to this technology.

Related Patent(s)

U.S. Patent 5,561,348

U.S. Patent 5,765,073

Tech No.

Technology

UV Purification using Excimer Lamps

Associated Faculty Member

Laroussi, Mounir

Summary Description

Excimers are excited molecules with no stable ground state. They are unstable and decay within a few nanoseconds, yielding incoherent radiation in the ultra-violet (UV) and vacuum-UV range. Rare gas such as Argon, Kr, and Xe is put in a tubular chamber under high pressure. The high molecular collision rates form excimer lamps. Various combinations of these rare gases achieve different UV wavelengths. A discharge is generated between two electrodes insulated by a dielectric material and powered by a resonant frequency source. The outer electrode is typically a perforated metal or metallic mesh. Unfortunately, this mesh blocks a substantial portion of the UV light, preventing the light from propagating outside the lamp's walls.

While at the University of Tennessee, Dr. Mounir Laroussi co-invented a high pressure plasma discharge that is electrode-less internally. Instead, ring electrodes are placed outside of a gas chamber. His research has focused on the potential for UV light to kill bacteria in liquids. Since joining Old Dominion University, Dr. Laroussi has focused on studying the various combinations of these rare gases and how they achieve different UV wavelengths. To this end, Dr. Laroussi has devised a new excimer lamp.

Status

Work supported by the Air Force (AFOSR).

Related Patent(s)

Pending

Tech No.

Technology

Microwave Curing

Associated Faculty Member

Vuskovic, Leposava

Summary Description

A microwave is an electromagnetic wave having a frequency range from 1,000 megahertz (MHz) to 300,000 MHz, corresponding to a wavelength range of 300 mm (about 12 in.) to 1 mm (about 0.04 in.). Like light waves, microwaves travel essentially in straight lines. In microwave ovens a magnetron is used to produce microwaves. The microwaves cause water molecules in food to vibrate, producing heat, which is distributed through the food by induction and diffusion.

In microwave ovens, the magnetron converts electrical power input to microwave power output. The magnetron is a vacuum tube oscillator that generates high-power electromagnetic signals in the microwave frequency range. Its operation is based on the combined action of a magnetic field applied externally and the electric field between its electrodes. The external magnetic field forces the cathode-emitted electrons to assume a curved path and thus creates a rotating electron cloud about the tube axis.

Professor Vuskovic's team has developed a method for curing the curved surfaces of polymers using a pulsed microwave discharge. In the manufacture of curved surfaces, the low thermal conductivity of most polymers and the exothermic nature of the curing process combine to create complex temperature distributions within the section. These thermal gradients result in non-uniform curing and high residual stresses.

Microwaves deliver energy to materials through the interaction of electromagnetic fields with surrounding gas at a molecular level. The gas becomes ionized and radiates uniformly at the polymer surface. The result is volumetric heating that can reduce thermal gradients, decrease processing times and save energy due to the more efficient transfer of energy. Thus, microwave processing using the surface discharge is a desirable technique for the curing of curved polymer sections.

Status

Related Patent(s)

Pending

Tech No.

Technology

Fetal Heart Rate Monitor

Associated Faculty Member

Zahorian, Stephen

Summary Description

Professor Stephen Zahorian co-invented a passive fetal heart rate monitoring sensor for acquiring and outputting acoustic signals emitted from a fetus. The fetal monitor has a signal-processing device with receivers, amplifiers and filters for outputting a plurality of processed signals in response to the sensor signals. The monitor also has a means for detecting fetal heart beats for determining and outputting a fetal heart rate. This fetal heart rate monitor can determine fetal heart rates within a noise-contaminated signal.

Status

Work supported by NASA.

Related Patent(s)

U.S. Patent 5,524,631

Tech No.

Technology

Summary Description

Status

Related Patent(s)

Tech No.

Miscellaneous

Technology

The ODU 11/12, Dental Hygiene Instrument - (Not available for licensing)

Associated Faculty Member

Shuman, Deanne

Summary Description

Dr. Deanne Shuman of the School of Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting designed the ODU 11/12, a dental instrument used for exploration. This tool has earned a reputation as an ideal tool for exploring the entire mouth, and is especially useful for detecting deposits in deep pockets. The ODU 11/12 is used widely throughout the field of dentistry. Many dental hygiene programs throughout the United States have mandated inclusion of the ODU 11/12 in the instrument packets that students are required to own and use.

Status

Marketed by the Hu-Friedy Manufacturing Company.

Related Patent(s)

Tech No.