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OSU technologies funded for development

Stillwater, Okla.OSUs Technology Business Assessment Group will fund four faculty research projects for spring 2008. The group identified these one-year projects from a number of excellent proposals submitted in response to a solicitation earlier this spring. Funding for the program is administered by the OSU Office of Intellectual Property Management, and is generated by royalties from OSU-licensed technologies. These funded projects show a significant probability of having commercial success.

We are pleased that the OIPM royalty stream allowed us to hold yet another competition for the spring of 2008, Steve Price, director of OIPM, said. Its exciting to be able to continue the trend of developing OSU research into viable commercial products.

Created in 2005, TBAG funds projects in need of feasibility demonstration and/or prototype development for commercialization purposes. The group is comprised of private sector partners experienced in new product identification and new technology evaluation, representation from i2E, early-stage capital investors, bankers, representation from Meridian Technology Center for Business Development, the OSU Center for Innovation and Economic Development, the OSU Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer, the OSU Associate Vice President for Technology Development and OSU-Okmulgee.

The OSU research projects selected to receive more than $102,000 from TBAG this year include:

  • Heather Gappa-Fahlenkamp, Development of a 3D Human Tissue Model for Screening Potential Diabetic Macular Edema Therapeutics, School of Chemical Engineering. With a current 3D human tissue model made up of endothelial cells, the cells that line blood vessels, and collagen, the most abundant protein in tissue, Fahlenkamp has been able to mimic the interface between a blood vessel wall and the surrounding tissue to study the migration and differentiation of immune cells associated with diabetes. By using human retinal capillary endothelial cells within the tissue model, Fahlenkamp plans to develop a retinal angiogenesis model, which will be used to screen potential diabetic macular edema therapeutics. Charlesson LLC, an Oklahoma-based company already engaged in the development and preclinical testing of therapeutics for macular degeneration, is a collaborator on the project, and if the project is successful, would be a licensee.

  • Prabhakar R. Pagilla, A Fiber Optic Sensor for Measurement of Web Lateral Position and Flutter, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Web is a term used to describe materials manufactured and processed in a continuous, flexible strip form. Examples include: plastics, paper, textiles, metals and films. Guiding of the web on rollers through processing machinery is essential for successful manufacturing of all web materials. In this project, Pagilla plans to develop and commercialize a fiber optic sensing device to measure the lateral position of a web. Current sensing devices use either infrared or ultrasonic technology, which Pagilla says give an indirect measurement of the web lateral position. The fiber optic sensor is based on light scattering from the web and the directional sensitivity of the optical fibers, which according to Pagilla will provide a true measurement of the web lateral position. Pagilla also intends to start a company based on this technology.

  • Rathindra Sarathy, Developing Data Protection Software Based on Data Shuffling, Spears School of Business. Data shuffling is a method developed by Sarathy that rearranges confidential information from data sets in a complex, coordinated fashion so that it maintains confidentiality. In this project, Sarathy will work with his research collaborator at the University of Kentucky to develop the data shuffling method into a marketable software program. The need for data masking methods has increased with the advent of technologies like the Internet and data mining tools that pose substantial threats to privacy, Sarathy said. Commercial organizations, government agencies and healthcare institutions need ways to analyze and/or disseminate confidential information in a safe way. Unlike adding noise, another method for masking, the shuffled data looks natural making it appear more reasonable to users. After development is complete, Sarathy plans to create a spin-off company housed in Stillwater to manufacture the software program.

  • Raman P. Singh and Ranji Vaidyanathan, Recycled Rubber Composites for Aerospace, Defense, and Infrastructure Applications, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Singh and Vaidyanathan will utilize rubber from discarded tires to create sandwich-core composite laminates. The lightweight, load bearing composites will be able to absorb acoustic noise and vibration and provide protection from blast loading. Currently, used tires are employed in basic applications like burning fuel for cement kilns and crumb rubber for molded products. The researchers assert this proposed application would greatly extend the use of crumb rubber by enabling its use in advanced engineering structures. In this project, they plan to conduct feasibility tests, prepare demonstration panels and generate basis data on the mechanical and acoustic properties.


Contact: Kelly Green
Oklahoma State University

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