Latest technologies from University of Tennessee Research Foundationhttp://utrf.technologypublisher.comBe the first to know about the latest inventions and technologies available from University of Tennessee Research Foundationen-USSat, 20 Apr 2019 19:40:40 GMTSat, 20 Apr 2019 19:40:40 GMThttps://cyber.harvard.edu/rss/rss.htmlsupport@inteum.comCopyright 2019, University of Tennessee Research FoundationGigahertz Imaging and Measurementshttp://utrf.technologypublisher.com/technology/31792The Problem:

Ultra high-speed cameras are used in research and development in areas such as defense, automotive, materials testing, fluid dynamics, and combustion. The ability to capture an event is limited by the speed, resolution, and cost of cameras currently on the market.

The Solution:

Researchers at the University of Tennessee have developed a cost-effective approach to capture images at gigahertz speeds with greater spatial resolution and an extended field of view. The apparatus leverages multiplexed structured detection, absent the use of lasers. The light from the image is split and offset by a mirror, recombined, and imaged by a camera.  The split modulations can be separated, restored, and stitched together using basic image analysis software. The apparatus can be used as an add-on to existing cameras or integrated with a camera in a single unit.

Benefits:

  • Ultra high-speed, gigahertz
  • Cost effective
  • Greater spatial resolution
  • Extended field of view

The Inventor:

Dr. Zhili Zhang is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering at UT. He received his PhD in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University in 2008, and his research interests include combustion and plasma diagnostics and nanoenergetics.

]]>
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 07:36:22 GMTkjone188@utk.eduhttp://utrf.technologypublisher.com/technology/3179218112-03Wed, 20 Mar 2019 07:38:05 GMTZhiliZhangAssociate ProfessorMABEMarkGragstonGrad Research Asst.MABECarySmithGrad Research Asst.MABEAndreanaLeskovjanLicensing AssistantUTRFaleskovj@utk.edu865.974.1882EngineeringFalse
A Series Self-Resonant Coil for Wireless Charginghttp://utrf.technologypublisher.com/technology/31783The Problem:

Wireless charging of mobile electronics, including cell phones and laptops, has shown growth in the consumer electronics sector in recent years.  Current commercial offerings are based on inductive power transfer (IPT). Resonant wireless power transfer (WPT) expands the capabilities of IPT by allowing spatial freedom, longer distances, and charging of multiple devices simultaneously.  However, commercial adoption of resonant WPT has been limited by low efficiency, difficulty of design, bulky size, and electromagnetic interference. 

The Solution:

Researchers at the University of Tennessee have developed a compact self-resonant coil that has high quality factor, integrates standard matching components, and limits spurious emissions.  The team has developed a design method that optimizes the physical geometry of the coil to achieve maximal efficiency in minimal size.  Combined with electronics previously developed by the team, the coil allows seamless wireless charging with efficiencies comparable to wired chargers.

Benefits:

  • Over 95% coil-to-coil efficiency
  • Demonstrated charging more than three devices without a need for precise alignment
  • Low-cost construction using standard materials
  • Prototyped up to 100W while maintaining safe field magnitudes
  • Patent pending

The Inventors:

Dr. Daniel Costinett is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UT.  He received his PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 2013.  His research interests include resonant and soft switching power converter design, high-efficiency wired and wireless power supplies, on-chip power conversion, medical devices, and electric vehicles.

Jie Li is a graduate student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UT.  His research interests include design, modeling and control of power electronics, passive and coil design, and wireless power transfer system design.

]]>
Mon, 18 Mar 2019 10:34:05 GMTkjone188@utk.eduhttp://utrf.technologypublisher.com/technology/3178317070-03Wed, 20 Mar 2019 07:42:00 GMTJieLiGrad Research AssistantDanielCostinettFaculty-Assistant ProfessorEECSAndreanaLeskovjanLicensing AssistantUTRFaleskovj@utk.edu865.974.1882EngineeringFalse
Core-Shell Nozzle for Direct-Write 3D Printinghttp://utrf.technologypublisher.com/technology/30356The Problem:

Existing co-extrusion nozzles are typically designed for electro-spinning and are not intended to convey highly viscous or fiber-containing feedstocks for additive manufacturing. Recent nozzles that have been developed for AM are monolithic and cannot be disassembled for clean out or to change nozzle geometry, leading to excessive cost and downtime, particularly when printing fiber-reinforced materials that are more prone to frequent clogging. 

The Solution:

Researchers at the University of Tennessee have developed a new co-extrusion nozzle design that allows operators to print multi-material structures with unique core-shell architecture. Unlike other co-extrusion print heads, this new design can be easily disassembled for cleaning, to replace parts, or to change the size of the printed filament without affecting the fidelity of the core-shell motif. This invention allows 3D printers to more easily and efficiently create multifunctional components at lower cost and with less downtime. In addition, the ratio of core and shell materials can be varied during the print to enable spatial tailoring of mechanical and functional properties.

Benefits:

  • Cost efficient: core-shell structure provides all the beneficial properties of the shell while using less material
  • Can be quickly disassembled for cleaning and modification
  • Coextrusion capabilities allow printing of different absolute areas of filament without major change in hardware
  • Small enough to allow attachment to z-axis gantry

 

The Inventor:

Dr. Brett Compton is an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at UT.  He received his Ph.D. in materials science from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2012. Dr. Compton then studied as a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University and worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory before joining UT in 2015. His research interests include mechanical properties of advanced composite materials, developing high-performance materials for additive manufacturing, and understanding the fundamental processing-property-performance relationships in additive manufacturing materials.

He has particular expertise in 3D-printable thermoset-based composite materials.

 

]]>
Wed, 19 Dec 2018 08:10:16 GMTkjone188@utk.eduhttp://utrf.technologypublisher.com/technology/3035618184-03Mon, 04 Mar 2019 11:22:32 GMTBrettComptonAssistant ProfessorMABECodyPackGrad Research Asst.StianRombergGrad Research Asst.MABEAndreanaLeskovjanLicensing AssistantUTRFaleskovj@utk.edu865.974.1882EngineeringFalse
Dynamic Mixer for 3D Printing Fiber-Containing Reactive Polymer Systemshttp://utrf.technologypublisher.com/technology/30355The Problem:

Large-scale additive manufacturing (AM) of thermoset polymer composites requires mixing of fiber-containing components at the point of deposition. Traditional baffle-type passive mixers significantly increase the energy and pressure required to pump material while also limiting the fiber content in the deposited material. Passive-type mixers are also prone to clogging with fiber-containing materials, which can lead to significant down-time. Dynamic mixers that utilize impellers are more compact but may significantly reduce fiber length during the mixing process, which, in turn, reduces performance of the printed composite.

The Solution:

Researchers at the University of Tennessee have developed an inline dynamic mixer that allows 3D printing of fiber-containing polymers without the problems associated with existing passive and dynamic mixers. This new dynamic mixer design efficiently mixes materials without impellers or blades, reducing fiber length attrition during deposition and enabling the utilization of higher fiber loading to achieve printed composite materials with superior mechanical properties.

Benefits:

  • Preserves functionality and integrity of fibers after mixing
  • Design does not rely on impellers or series of baffles
  • Mixer design makes individual components easily replaceable
  • Clogs are significantly less common and easier to clear than in traditional mixers

 

Inventor:

Dr. Brett Compton is an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at UT.  He received his Ph.D. in materials science from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2012. Dr. Compton then studied as a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University and worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory before joining UT in 2015. His research interests include mechanical properties of advanced composite materials, developing high-performance materials for additive manufacturing, and understanding the fundamental processing-property-performance relationships in additive manufacturing materials.

He has particular expertise in 3D-printable thermoset-based composite materials.

 

]]>
Wed, 19 Dec 2018 08:06:35 GMTkjone188@utk.eduhttp://utrf.technologypublisher.com/technology/3035519009-03Tue, 05 Feb 2019 09:28:37 GMTBrettComptonAssistant ProfessorMABELiamPageUndergrad Research Asst.MABEAndreanaLeskovjanLicensing AssistantUTRFaleskovj@utk.edu865.974.1882EngineeringFalse
A Current Source Gate Drive for SiC MOSFETs to Reduce Switching Losseshttp://utrf.technologypublisher.com/technology/30354The Problem:

Compared to other transistors, silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFETs have improved properties due to lower conduction loss and specific capacitance and higher switching speed and maximum junction temperature. However, high switching loss from a lower transconductance remains a problem; thus, it is still difficult to implement SiC MOSFETs to hard switching converters with switching frequency >100 kHz.

The Technology:

Researchers at the University of Tennessee have designed a current source gate (CSG) drive to improve the switching loss of SiC MOSFETs.  This device can guarantee constant gate current during the whole switching transient regardless of the influence by the large gate resistance in the SiC MOSFET.  Compared to conventional voltage source gates, the newly designed CSG exhibits a one-third reduction in switching loss. 

Benefits:

  • Reduced switching time and loss
  • Bi-directional switches: overcome the influence of the large internal gate resistance and guarantees sufficient gate current throughout the switching transient
  • Enables constant current source
  • Tunable, for more flexible and intelligent control strategies
  • Suitable for SiC MOSFETs with large internal gate resistance

 

Inventors:

Dr. Leon Tolbert is the Min H. Kao Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UT. He served as the department head from 2013 to 2018. His research interests include applications of wide bandgap power electronics, reconfigurable grid emulator using power electronics, and microgrid operations. His work is sponsored by the Department of Energy and the NSF.

Handong Gui is a graduate student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UT. His research interests include high power density motor drive, device characterization, and battery management systems.

 

 

 

]]>
Wed, 19 Dec 2018 08:02:02 GMTkjone188@utk.eduhttp://utrf.technologypublisher.com/technology/3035419006-03Tue, 05 Feb 2019 09:28:28 GMTHandongGuiGrad Research Asst.LeonTolbertEECSAndreanaLeskovjanLicensing AssistantUTRFaleskovj@utk.edu865.974.1882EngineeringFalse
Graded Cellular Materials with Improved Propertieshttp://utrf.technologypublisher.com/technology/27529The Problem:

Cellular materials possess unique combinations of strength, stiffness, and low density that traditional engineering materials cannot achieve. Graded cellular materials present superior combinations of static and dynamic properties when lightweight, stiff, and strong structures are needed. However, a simple method for designing and fabricating such complex materials that is also suitable for material extrusion additive manufacturing (AM) has been elusive until now. 

The Solution:

Researchers at the University of Tennessee have developed a method to fabricate graded cellular structures that is tailored for material extrusion AM processes. This method can create cellular structures having gradients in both density and cell shape, enabling an unprecedented range of properties using only one base material. The grading schemes allow the design of advanced materials with spatially varying stiffness and strength, incremental hardening or softening behavior to maximize energy absorption, and programmable collapse paths to protect designated regions in a structure. The novel method couples with existing material extrusion AM technology (i.e., fused deposition modeling and direct ink writing) to access a wider range of material properties and functionality than is currently available and is designed to be implemented within the process flow of existing commercial AM technology. 

Benefits:

  • Suited to existing material extrusion AM methods
  • Couples with existing grading schemes
  • Material properties can be tailored for a wide range of applications
  • Programmable failure behavior for maximized energy absorption
  • Creation of multifunctional parts with new combinations of static, dynamic, transport, and sensing properties
  • Potential to incorporate sub-cell functionality with macro-scale design

Inventor:

Dr. Brett Compton is an assistant professor in the mechanical engineering department at UTK.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2012. His research interests include mechanical properties of advanced composite materials, developing high-performance materials for additive manufacturing, and understanding the fundamental processing-property-performance relationships in additive manufacturing materials. He has particular expertise in 3D-printable thermoset-based composite materials.

 

]]>
Thu, 12 Apr 2018 06:26:19 GMTkjone188@utk.eduhttp://utrf.technologypublisher.com/technology/2752917104-03Thu, 12 Apr 2018 06:28:12 GMTBrettComptonAssistant ProfessorMABEOlegShyloAssistant ProfessorMichaelGoinUT Student AssistantMABEHesamShamsGrad Research AssistantAndreanaLeskovjanLicensing AssistantUTRFaleskovj@utk.edu865.974.1882EngineeringFalse
Silicone based denture adhesivehttp://utrf.technologypublisher.com/technology/27206The Problem:

 

Getting dentures to stay in place can be quite frustrating.  Most denture adhesives currently on the market are not completely effective at retaining dentures in place. Another frequent complaint with dentures is that over time, denture wearers are required have their dentures refitted in order to reestablish a tight seal between the wearer’s oral cavity and the dentures due to the natural changes in the gums and underlying boney structures that occur over time.  Dentures also generally require frequent cleaning, which involves not only removal of food particles and any adherent microorganisms, but can also involve removal of the adhesive that is employed to fix the dentures in the wearer’s mouth. 

Accordingly, it would be desirable to provide a new denture adhesive that provides strong hold, easy cleaning, and an ability to mitigate some of the physical changes to the underlying gums and/or bone that require dentures to be refitted.

 

The Technology:

Researchers in the College of Dentistry at the University of Tennessee have developed a silicone denture adhesive, Dentasil, which creates a substantially airtight gasket for a better hold.  The adhesive comprises a formulation that contains two separate silicone gels that are mixed together (See Figure 1.)

The adhesive gel is made with implant grade silicone, and is safe for use in the body for up to 30 days.  In addition to the silicone, each gel comprises a mixture of pigments, in amounts that provide a color desired by the denture wearer.  When the 2 gels are combined, the resulting mixture has a work time of 1 minute, a set time of 2 minutes, and a cure time of 3 minutes at room temperature.  The composition of the adhesive is designed such that the adhesiveness can be increased or decreased based on the preference of the user.  Another feature of the Dentasil is that, unlike most commercially available adhesives, it does not require cleaning to remove it because it peels off easily and cleanly.   

This adhesive formulation also acts a reliner. Often times, denture wearers will have their dentures refitted when they can no longer get a tight seal with denture adhesives.  The daily use of Dentasil provides daily relining of the dentures.

The researchers have compared Dentasil to commercially available denture adhesives. Initial testing shows that the adhesiveness is at least comparable to commercially available adhesives, but the gel removes more easily than the commercially available adhesives.  They will conduct additional studies to further elucidate the properties and characteristics of this novel adhesive.

 

 

Benefits and Features:

Provides strong hold

Adhesive and reliner all in one.

No cleaning required to remove adhesive.

 

 

 

]]>
Fri, 23 Feb 2018 09:33:29 GMTkjone188@utk.eduhttp://utrf.technologypublisher.com/technology/2720617162-05Fri, 23 Feb 2018 09:33:29 GMTMaddieSingerDirector of AnaplastologyProsthondonticsLiangHongAssociate ProfessorTimothyHottelProfessorProsthondonticsFranklinGarcia-GodoyExecutive Dean of ResearchBioscience ResearchRussellWicksProfessor and ChairProsthodonticsDavidCagnaProsthodonticsDental product, Dentistry, LakitaCavinLicensing Associatelcavin@uthsc.edu901.44837825Human HealthFalse
Novel GPRC6A Agonists to Treat T2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndromehttp://utrf.technologypublisher.com/technology/27112The Problem:

A critical barrier in preventing and treating T2D is the lack of a druggable target that simultaneously treats the multiple abnormalities associated with T2D that include impaired insulin secretion and chronic β-cell decompensation, owing to impaired glucose-sensing and insufficient increases in β-cell mass, and peripheral insulin resistance, due to alterations in muscle and liver metabolism. None of the currently prescribed drugs simultaneously target the multiple abnormalities, and they consequently have limited effectiveness, requiring multiple drug combinations.

 

The Technology Solution:

GPRC6A is a nutrient sensing receptor that regulates energy metabolism. The inventors found that activating GPRC6A yields a strong therapeutic effect for diabetes by directly stimulating insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells and maintaining β-cell mass. That directly impacts peripheral tissue metabolic functions to increase insulin sensitivity in liver, muscle and adipose tissues. It drives hepatocytes to increase glucose and fatty acid uptake and stimulates the release of FGF-21 to enhance glucose uptake.

For the activation of GPRC6A we designed and synthesized novel GPRC6A agonists, starting from virtual high throughput screening hits. Functional analysis of these compounds in vitro confirmed their effect on GPRC6A activation. 

Going from hit to early discovery lead, SAR analysis identified the most active compounds that increased the insulin stimulation index ex-vivo in wild-type isolated pancreatic islets to a level similar to Osteocalcin, a benchmark ligand of GPRC6A (Fig 1 A).

In-vivo studies with the current lead reduced the blood glucose levels by 43.6% after 60 min at a dose of 10 mg/kg in wild-type mice (Fig. 1 B). Metformin, the first-line medication for T2D, resulted in similar reductions in blood glucose, but only at a much higher dose of 300 mg/kg, not 10 mg/kg as with our lead (Fig 1 D).

The project currently aims to de-risk leads with ADME/toxicity screens and find the compound with the best PK properties.