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KU technologies selected for TechConnect World in Washington

Friday, June 05, 2015

LAWRENCE — Nine technologies invented and developed by 13 researchers at the University of Kansas will be featured June 14-17 at the TechConnect World Conference and Expo in Washington, DC. The event is the world’s largest showcase and accelerator for industry-vetted emerging technologies ready for commercialization.

“This is a great opportunity for representatives of industry and government to learn about breakthrough KU technologies that are ready for licensing, corporate partnering or investment opportunities,” said Rajiv Kulkarni, director of KU Innovation and Collaboration, the university’s bicampus technology commercialization office. “A variety of discoveries will be presented, including medical devices, therapies for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, and aviation sensors.”

Selection for TechConnect World is a competitive, peer-reviewed process. Other participants include several national laboratories, federal agencies, U.S. and international universities, and early-stage start-up companies. 

The goal of the event is to match promising emerging technologies with corporate, government and investment partners.  On June 15, KUIC will present the technologies at an exhibition space staffed by licensing associates Aswini Betha and Shantanu Balkundi.  The KU technologies and inventors:

  • Occlusive Central Venous Catheter Securement Dressing

Stephen Waller, infectious diseases, KU Medical Center. Use of a catheter involves risk of bacterial contamination and infections caused by the spread of bacteria into the bloodstream. The invention’s mechanical barrier and adhesive allows for safe and quick device removal, and it offers superior infection prevention compared with existing practices.

  • Treatment for Alopecia

Peter Rowe, The Kidney Institute, KU Medical Center; Laird Forrest, pharmaceutical chemistry. There are currently no cures for male pattern baldness. This formulation promises to replace the currently ineffective and painful treatments with a safe, painless, effective and easy to apply scalp application. It can also speed the recovery of hair loss resulting from cancer chemotherapy.

  • Microsphere-Based Gradient Plugs for Osteochondral Regeneration

Michael Detamore, chemical and petroleum engineering. An aging population and greater obesity highlight the need for innovative methods of treating cartilage injuries in joints. Microsphere-based plugs form a seamless, integrated surface across damaged cartilage, providing the stability and scaffolding necessary for tissue regeneration.

  • Compounds for the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease

Shirley ShiDu Yan, pharmacology and toxicology. The accumulation of amyloid beta peptides plays a central role in the various pathologies of Alzheimer’s disease. Compounds that inhibit peptide-induced toxicity of mitochondrial DNA offer a promising and novel approach to improving cognitive function and preventing and/or slowing the progression of the disease.

  • Boron-Based Integrin-Linked Kinase Inhibitors for Therapeutic and Diagnostic Uses

Bhaskar Das, hematology/oncology, KU Medical Center. In polycystic kidney disease (PKD), the formation of fluid-filled cysts enlarges the kidneys and causes loss of function. This invention involves novel inhibitors using boron chemistry directed at the cellular defect responsible for PKD. The compounds can also be used to treat other conditions, including cancer.

  • Novel LKB1-AMPK Activator for Therapeutic Use in Polycystic Kidney Disease

Bhaskar Das, hematology/oncology, KU Medical Center. The mTOR pathway is elevated in cyst-lining cells and contributes to the spread of PKD. This invention involves novel compounds that modulate the pathway by stimulating an energy sensor that inhibits mTOR signaling, cell growth and fluid secretion. Instead of directly targeting the sensor, the compounds regulate a tumor suppressor and upstream activator of the sensor.

  • Small Molecule Inhibitors of RNA-Binding Protein Musashi for Cancer Treatment

Liang Xu, molecular biosciences. A specific protein (Musashi) alters signaling in cancer cells and promotes their growth and survival. This invention discloses new compounds that inhibit Musashi activity and specifically kill cancer cells or delay cancer growth, while not affecting normal cells.

  • Air Data Sensor Probe

Saeed Farokhi, Shawn Keshmiri, Ray Taghavi, aerospace engineering. Aircraft airspeed has traditionally been measured using some variation of the Pitot tube. The KU probe has been tested using a wind tunnel and an unmanned aerial system, and the test data shows superiority to the conventional Pitot tube.

  • Low-Altitude Laser Altimeter to Assist UAV Autolanding

Christopher Allen, Rongqing Hui, electrical engineering and computer science; Trenton Shuey, EN Engineering, Overland Park. This device provides real-time altitude and attitude relative to the local terrain for altitudes of about 10 meters or less and attitude angles of about 15 degrees or less. Accuracy of the measurements is sufficient to enable autopilot autolanding of UAVs on any flat landing strip.