Tech Transfer

The BYU Technology Transfer creates and licenses transformative technologies with hopes of bettering mankind. Learn more at their website http://techtransfer.byu.edu.
 
Below are some sample innovative transformative technologies created at BYU.  
 

Biycycle Sharing System

Who: Chris Mattson 
What: A bike sharing lock hub that will increase the transfportation available in densely populated areas. 
 
This invention includes three parts: bike tether (u-lock), hub, and application. The tether portion acts as the security mechanism that locks the bike to the hub, both working in tandem to secure the bike to the bike rack. The hub includes software and hardware to lock the tether to the hub through a wiereless device. This is accomplished via Bluetooth and an approved connection to a local mobile phone. An approved mobile phone is either; a device belonging to the owner of the invention, or a person’s device that has been approved by the owner to unlock the invention. An “owner” is defined by the purchaser of the invention or simply the one who has initially connected their phone using the proper validation code provided in the inventions instructions, or one who has been granted ownership right by the previous owner. A single decive could have multiple owners at any given time. 
 
Potential renters will have to use the application to locate and purchase renting rights from the owner of the device, as well as recieve proper authority to unlock the bike. The app will communicate with the device via Bluetooth to either grant or deny access. 
 
When proper protocols are recieved, a motor engages or disengages the locking mechanism depending on the desired command. 
 
The GPS is used to track the current location of the device and the RFID is used to recognize bike availability. This information can be viewed from the application. The SMS feature is used to message the owner or renter updates from any location and to communicate the lock who has permission to open it. 
 
For more information, contact Spencer Rogers (801-422-3676) 
 
Links and Resources: 
 

Drug Eluting Device for Treatment of Eye Diseases

Who: William Pitt

What: A contact lens loaded in a unique manner with a therapeutic drug 

This method is useful for loading a hydrophobic hydrogel contact lens, such as a “silicone hydrogel” contact lens, with a hydrophobic drug. Current methods are non-existent or very laborious and time consuming to load hydrophobic drugs into a hydrophobic lens. This method loads the hydrophobic drug in minutes instead of hours or days. While the loading method is not novel (BYU published it several years ago), its use to load a hydrophobic drug into a silicone hydrogel contact lens produces a novel device that is useful for sustained drug delivery. 

This technology could be applied to load drugs into contact lenses during or after manufacturing. It could be used to load hydrophobic durgs into other hrdrophobic hydrogel materials for other applications of drug delivery.  

The purpose of the invention is to provide a constant release of drug to the eye. Current methods of applying drug to the eye include eye drops and ey ointments. In both of these methods a large amount of drug is applied to the eye at initial application, and then the excess drug is washed away in the tears as the eye drops are flushed from the eye by normal tear flow. Applying an ointment prolongs the delivery, but the gel is often difficult to self-apply by older people and is eventually washed from the eye also. An ocular insert provides a reservoir from which sustained delivery can occur, but the insert is irritating to the eye, and difficult to self-insert by older people. 

The most important advantage is that the drug elutes slowly and constantly over many days from a contact lens, so that the eye is continually bathed in a low and therapeutically correct concentration of the needed drug. Some silicone hydrogel contact lenses can be worn during sleep, so drug delivery occurs continually, even during sleep. The lens can be replaced on a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule. 

Many people wear contact lenses, or have worn them. These people may be more comfortable using a sustained release device that is a comfortable contact lens, rather than inserting a solid drug depot, or inserting a gel. Furthermore, the contact lens can provide refractice correction if needed. The invention is to be used by people with eye diseases that can be treated by hydrophobic or amphipathic drugs. 

For more information, contact Mike Alder (801-422-3049)

Links and Resources: 

https://chemicalengineering.byu.edu/WilliamPitt.php

https://chemicalengineering.byu.edu/biomedical_engineering.php

Frigelato

Who: Michael Dunn

What: A super premium frozen dairy-dessert. Offering versatility to the frozen treat industry. 

Gelato desserts have increased in popularity in recent years due to their rich and creamy nature. Frigelato expands the scope of uses by allowing it to be served/purchased as frozen gelato, or served/purchased from refrigerated temperatures while still preserving the eating properties of a traditional gelato. The fact that this delicious product can be served as either a frozen or refrigerated dessert dramatically increases its’ versatility and opens up a variety of usage occasions appealing to an expanded target market. Initial taste tests have resulted in positive feedback from the direct consumer, both in texture and taste qualities, as well as in the versatility of the product. 

Althought the formulation is unique, the product can easily be manufactured using standard equipment available in any dairy plant having ice cream process capabilities. This product even has the capability oto be run through commercial pasteurizers and homogenizers. 

This product is for those who enjoy indulging in deliciously rich dairy desserts. However, the super-premium nature of this product would dictate that the primary focus of advertising and marketing efforts would be directed at adults. This product has huge marketing potential. A recent Mintel report indicates that the ice cream industry is being affected by the slumping econcomy. This has affected the dairy industry as a whole. The growth in the market is from sales of frozen yogurt, sherbet, sorbets, ices, and frozen novelties. The vast amount of this growth comes directly from the frozen novelty sector. Frigelato would be recognized as an innovative novelty and assist in the continued growth of this section of the market. 

For more information, contact Mile Alder (801-422-3049)

Links and Resources: 

http://lifesciences.byu.edu/~mld86

Minimally Invasive Surgical Retractor 

Who: Larry Howell 

What: A simpler, safer, and more cost efficient means of handling organs during laparoscopic surgery. 

Current laparoscopic surgery technologies utilize expanding mechanisms that, once inside the body, expand and hold a certain organ during the surgery. Compared to current options the retractor offers an improved ability to grip organs, as well as be able to apply the necessary force to the organ without deforming or bending it. It also reduces the number of sharp edges. 

This retractor provides improved grip, rigidity and safety utilizing compliant techniques developed by BYU’s compliant mechanism lab. It can fit into spaces as small as 5-12mm, and once inside expands safer than current options. As well as having these benefits, it is also easier to manufacture thus reducing manufacturing costs. This may open doors to disposable options as well. It is also easier to clean than current options with less moving parts and sharp edges. 

Potential customers for this product include companies involved in MIS (Minimally Invasive Surgery) and associated medical devices. 

For more information, contact Spencer Rogers (801-422-3676) 

Links and Resources: 

http://compliantmechanisms.byu.edu/commercialization/overview