Researchers at the Ohio State University have discovered a novel way of making electrochemical detector electrodes with an amperometric glassy carbon electrode system. As opposed to traditional pH detector electrodes, these glassy carbon electrodes are made to withstand chemical attacks and remain stable across a large range of pressure, temperature, and pH conditions. Traditional detector electrodes can also be difficult to miniaturize, must be read by expensive meters, not mechanically robust, and can be potentially dangerous when used for food testing in the human body. The glassy carbon electrode system overcomes all the above limitations. Potential uses of these electrodes include industrial process control, analytical chemistry, biomedical monitoring including blood glucose testing, and medical diagnosis.
Industrial process control
Can withstand large range of pressure, temperature, and pH conditions
Micrometer-sized polymeric particles such as spheres, beads, and capsules are widely used for drug delivery, biological analysis, and clinical diagnosis. However, their applications are significantly limited by their spherical shape and the simple structures of the micro-particles produced by conventional methods. Researchers at The Ohio State University have invented a method that can produce polymeric micro-particles with novel three-dimensional structures through self-folding of thin-film micro-particles. This invention applies to different polymers and self-folding mechanisms, and can be used to create novel medical micro-devices.
Microspheres have vast potential for site specific drug delivery as well as delivery of diagnostic imaging agents. Specific biological molecular groups that are recognized by the target cells can be attached to the microsopheres, and the microspheres can then be injected directly in the target treatment area of the body. By doing so, drugs can be delivered directly to the targeted cells. Targeted delivery minimizes side effects, since the amount of traveling and therefore interaction with other parts of the body is greatly reduced. However, this potential has not yet been realized because current microsphere processing damages the desired characteristics of bioactive molecules. Researchers at The Ohio State University have discovered a new method that now allows attachment of bioactive molecules in a manner that avoids exposure to these harsh conditions. The new process is based on a formulation that incorporates conjugatable groups on the microsphere surface. These conjugatable groups can subsequently be used to attach bioactive molecules using mild chemical reactions that will not damage desired characteristics. In addition, conjugation of groups can be done in a convenient manner, as the surface conjugatable microspheres can be stored for several weeks before final reaction with bioactive molecules. Currently, conjugation to primary amine groups is possible and ultimately one should have the option of several different chemical moieties on a single microsphere. Thus, it may be possible to compose a conglomerate microsphere having specific polypeptides in a fixed ratio such as a combination of cytokines (IL-2) as well as tumor antigens resulting in potent cancer vaccines. Furthermore, because microspheres can be implanted directly in tissue, this formulation could prove useful for initiating a site- specific immune response that would be invaluable in the treatment of melanomas and other sarcomas that might benefit from such localized treatment.
Site-specific drug delivery
Bulk property of polymer to be recognized is preserved
Enhanced site recognition of the biopolymer, leading to a more targeted delivery
Researchers at The Ohio State University have developed a method to monitor the viability of the heart muscle continuously in both the acute and chronic setting. The method measures myocardial electrical impedance, a parameter that varies predictably with many pathophysiologic changes in the heart muscle. Myocardial electrical impedance is directly correlated with myocardial ischemia (reduced blood flow in the heart muscle). Ischemia is a major factor in many common heart diseases, such as coronary artery, ischemic heart disease, heart valve disorders and heart transplant rejection.
Ischemic heart or coronary artery disease patients
Heart Transplant patients
In patients where myocardial ischemia is a major factor in their disease factor
The technology monitors the heart muscle continuously. In the acute setting, the technology can immediately assess the efficacy of cardiac procedures such as coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgeries, while the patient is still in the operating room. In the chronic long-term setting, the technology can assess the development of various heart diseases, so that the doctor can treat the patient earlier, thereby postponing or eliminating the need for major surgery. This technology could be implemented in at least three forms. In the acute setting, the technology could be a standalone monitor in the operating room during cardiac surgery. In the chronic long-term setting, the technology could be incorporated as a value-added improvement to existing implantable devices, such as pacemakers or defibrillators. Alternatively, the technology could be implemented as a stand-alone implantable device. In this chronic implantable implementation, myocardial electrical impedance would be read transdermally in the doctor’s office with a simple, safe, non-sterile procedure.
There is great commercial interest for antennas that can operate over large frequency bands. This is especially true for electrically small antennas (small in terms of wavelength). Designing effective, wide bandwidth, electrically small antennas is one of the most challenging problems in antenna engineering. Researchers at the Ohio State University have invented a method for appropriately loading the antenna at various locations along the structure with reactive elements (capacitors and inductors) which can have negative values (non-Foster elements) and can greatly increase the bandwidth of the antenna by controlling its currents. This concept is more general than previously reported methods based on the design of matching networks, which are based on the current and voltage behavior at the antenna terminals only. In contrast, this invention deals with currents throughout the entire antenna structure and results in an antenna with a simple and small form factor, ideal for miniature or portable electronics that require a small footprint.
OSU researchers have developed high precision nano-engineered devices and methods of their manufacture for in vivo therapeutic applications. These devices have potential to improve therapeutic efficacy, diminish potentially life threatening side effects, improve patient compliance, minimize the intervention of healthcare personnel and reduce the duration of hospital stays. The OSU implantable nano-engineered devices take advantage of constrained diffusion and controllable electro-kinetic transport. The nanochannel delivery platform is based on the bulk and surface processing of single crystal silicon wafers, and thin layers of polysilicon, silicon oxide, and silicon nitride. Novel formulations are not required to deliver needed kinetics. The team has also integrated electrodes that allow for further manipulation of drug release.
Implantable drug delivery device sales were $1.4 billion in 2003, with an expected growth rate of 12% through 2007.
No build up of pressure during their use
Manipulation of drug release profile via integrated electrode
In microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), microelectronic fabrication techniques have led to mostly planar parts having dimensions in the vertical direction of only a few micrometers. Multi-scale 3-D devices, whose components range in size from several millimeters down to nanometers, are believed by many researchers and practitioners to potentially have a much greater range of applications than MEMS in a wide range of industries including medicine, communications, defense, aerospace, and consumer products. Metrology, manipulation, and testing of these devices have proven to be a significant barrier to their further development. To overcome this barrier, researchers at The Ohio State University have developed a visual sensing method and system that provides the full pose of multiple 3-D micro objects with under 10 nanometer precision in x-y-z. Furthermore, the system can automatically perform positioning and alignment of micro objects in real time using measurements derived from a single image, so that no scanning is necessary to obtain ‘out-of-plane’ motion parameters. Applications include dynamic alignment of micro parts, assembly of micro-optical and micro-mechanical components, and assembly of micro sensors, among others.
Micro-assembly and manipulation station developers
Sensor and measurement system manufacturers
R&D workstation developers
Provides the full pose of multiple 3-D objects with under 10nm precision in x-y-z
The six-degree-of-freedom motion of each micro object is measured from a single image so that no scanning is necessary to obtain ‘out-of-plane’ motion parameters
Allows automatic real-time positioning and alignment of micro-objects
Can serve as a compact motion sensor and can be employed to achieve direct metrology and direct visual servo control in the object space with nanometer resolution
Because of the harsh environment of the stomach and other parts of the digestive system, many drugs cannot be administered orally but must be delivered through alternative means. One alternative delivery method is through an inhaler that delivers the drugs into the lungs, which then transfer the drugs into the bloodstream. However, because the body’s air pathways trap particles before they enter the lungs, it is difficult to ensure the delivery of these drugs into the lungs, let alone the bloodstream. However, changing the shape of the drug delivery microparticles can minimize how many particles are trapped by the hairs in the airways. Therefore, the ability to mold microparticles into particular shapes and sizes is extremely desirable in these applications.
Researchers at the Ohio State University have discovered a novel micro transfer molding process for producing microparticles with different shapes and sizes. Microparticles can also be control the arrangement, shape, and size of micro- and nano-pores in a substrate. This aspect of the invention has the application for filtering devices: the invention can be implemented to control the size of particles that can enter or leave a device. Such filtering devices can be useful for biomedical devices such those that protect insulin-producing cells from the immune system in patients with autoimmune diseases. Tubes that control the flow into and out of the device can be made so that large particles such as insulin cells cannot escape and undesired large particles such as bacteria, viruses, and antibody molecules cannot enter while small particles such as sugar, water, and insulin are allowed to flow into and out of the container.
Devices to protect cells from a defective immune system
Achieve bonding and surface modification on microfluidic devices
OSU researchers have developed a method to improve the formation of vascular tissue surrounding an implant, allowing for a better drug delivery device. Our method could radically change the way the implanted biomedical devices are designed, and exploited with greater benefit in terms of efficiency, sensitivity and duration of functioning. Unlike existing means of improving vascularization near an implant requiring extra steps, many cells and/or laborious procedures, the OSU method takes advantage of the opportunities produced by the very nature of the implant and of the process of implantation. The functioning of all implants can be disturbed over time by foreign body reaction and formation of an avascular fibrous capsule. The OSU approach, based on cellular tissue engineering, targets improved vascularity and mitigates the interference of the fibrous capsule.
In 2003 sales of implantable drug delivery devices were $1.4 billion with a projected annual growth rate of 12.4%.