Thank you for your interest in the third Memphis Scipreneur Challenge!

Available IPs will be posted after the IP Parade on January 10, 2019. The deadline for submitting preferences is 11:59 PM on January 15, 2019. Below are examples of past IPs.

  1. Metal complex catalysts and uses thereof
    • Scientific Mentor: Dr. Xuan Zhao (University of Memphis); [Coinventor –  Dr. Joel Bumgardner(University of Memphis)]
    • Business Mentor: Chris West, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Memphis Bioworks Foundation and UTRF
    • LifeScience TN Mid-South Academic Alliance Point of Contact: Laura Hamel, PhD; Postdoctoral Research Associate, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
    • Applications: Novel chemical catalysts to generate hydrogen gas from water as clean, renewable fuel.
      The patent describes the development of cobalt catalysts for the generation of hydrogen from water. The production of hydrogen from renewable sources such as water and sunlight offers new approach to generate clean and renewable fuels for the future. The discovery of new catalysts is key to realize clean hydrogen production from light and water. Cobalt complexes coordinated with different types of ligands have been utilized for hydrogen production using light or electricity as source of energy. This invention describes new type of pentadentate ligands and their metal complexes that can catalyze electro- and photolytic hydrogen production in aqueous solutions. Various types of ligand scaffolds and their metal complexes are described and studied using techniques such as X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance, cyclic voltammetry and kinetic analysis. The discovery of well-defined catalysts based on earth-abundant metals for the scalable production of hydrogen can offer other potential applications such as the reduction of carbon dioxide, the oxidation of water, and the functionalization of hydrocarbons.
  2. System Design and Method for Verifying 3D Dosimetric Imaging (SJ-15-0022)
    • Scientific Mentor:  Dr. Vadim Moskvin
    • Business Mentor: Rebecca Bramlett, Program Manager, ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator
    • LifeScience TN Mid-South Academic Alliance Point of Contact: Helene Tournu, PhD; Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Tennessee Health Science Center
    • This invention is an ionizing radiation-induced acoustic computed tomography (RACT) scanner used to guide delivery and verification of the accuracy of delivery of a therapeutic ion beam.
      Charged particle therapy treatments, especially proton therapy, are increasing; however, present day proton beam therapies lack adequate verification of the dose delivered to a patient, and its exact distribution in the human body. While the initial parameters of the beam can be controlled, the exact delivery of the beam remains uncertain due to many factors (tumor shrinking, orphan motion, uncertainty in the patient setup, the specificity of the treatment planning algorithm, and in homogeneities in the human body). The ability to verify the position of the distal edge and lateral displacement of the beam is significant to treatment accuracy and patient wellbeing.
      Current treatment quality assurance methods to monitor these parameters include positron emission tomography (PET) and the detection of prompt gammas (PGs). Weaknesses in these methods include sensitivity, modest spatial resolution, post-treatment assessment (for PET method), and non-linearity and accuracy of the method relative to dose deposited. Thus, the need for a better diagnostic method of delivery and verification of accuracy.
  3. Rapid Cloning of T Cell Receptors (SJ-16-0001)
    • Scientific Mentor: Dr. Paul Thomas
    • Business Mentor: Isaac Rodriguez, PhD. Co Founder, CEO/CSO– SweetBio, Inc
    • LifeScience TN Mid-South Academic Alliance Point of Contact: Yiwei Liu, PhD; Postdoctoral Research Associate, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
    • Transgenic expression of antigen-specific T cell receptor (TCR) genes is a promising approach for immunotherapy against infectious diseases and cancers. A key to the efficient application of this approach is the rapid and specific isolation and cloning of TCRs. Researchers at St. Jude have developed a novel method to rapidly clone, express and characterize the function of paired αβ and γδ TCR chains from single cells. The platform addresses the non-specific, labor-intensive, and time-consuming issues of traditional PCR-based cloning and it provides a relatively high-throughput, accurate, and efficient method of TCR engineering for therapeutic or research applications.
      The researchers demonstrated the capability of cloning influenza-specific TCRs within 10 daysusing single cell PCR and Gibson Assembly techniques. This process can be accelerated to 5 days by generating receptor libraries, requiring only the exchange of the antigen-specific CDR3 region into an existing backbone. The functional activity of these TCRs can be characterized in a novel reporter cell line for screening of TCR specificity and avidity.
      By generating a library of specific TCR constructs reactive against a range of viruses and HLA types, TCR-directed therapies could be used prophylactically or immediately at the earliest signs of viral reactivation or to target conserved or patient-specific tumor antigens.
      In addition to therapeutic applications, the protocol significantly improves the workflow for cloning and expressing TCRs for study in vitro.
  4. Novel Chitosan-Amorphous Calcium Phosphate (ACP) based toothpaste for Pediatric Use
    • Scientific Mentor: Dr. Liang Hong
    • Business Mentor: Chris Przybyszewski, Executive Vice President, US Biologic
    • A composition for improved delivery of calcium and phosphate to the teeth using the natural polymer chitosan. Calcium and phosphate salts are encapsulated separately in chitosan microspheres to generate chitosan-ACP microspheres.  The ions can then be quickly released from these microspheres during use and form ACP in situ on tooth surfaces, which will increase the bioavailability of calcium and phosphate while further improving the efficiency by increasing the retention time of ACP.
  5. Sustained drug delivery formuulations for lowering intraocular pressure and treating glaucoma
    • Scientific Mentor: Dr. Monica Jablonski
    • Business Mentor: James Bell, President and Founder, Medical Device Guru, LLC
    • This technology is a microemulsion formulation for delivery of drugs to the eye for treating glaucoma.  Current data shows that pregabalin alone is able to lower intraocular pressure significantly, but for a short period of time. When pregabalin is formulated in a microemulsion, not only does it significantly lower the IOP, but the lowering is sustained for a much longer period of time, i.e. for more than 24 hours. This formulation provides initial promise as a new and efficient therapeutic for lowering IOP and treating glaucoma.


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