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ICAP Ocean Tomo Announces Four Patent Sets From Oxford Instruments - Each Represents an Important Advancement in Technology

CHICAGO, March 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Oxford Instruments patents will be auctioned off at ICAP Ocean Tomo's Spring 2011 Live IP Auction on March 31, 2011 in New York City. Oxford Instruments has determined that these patents are not strategic for its ongoing business. The lots include: a concept for the use of magnetic particles for targeted cancer treatment, advanced sterilization techniques, an advanced imaging system, and an advanced microbolometer. These patents from Oxford Instruments not only address many current limitations, but do so in ways that dramatically increase performance.


Key Features & Benefits

The four patent sets disclose the following:

Advanced Magnetic Therapies

Investigations of magnetic micro- and nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery began over 30 years ago. This is in particular important in cancer therapy where existing chemotherapeutic treatments may not be specific and have unwanted side effects.

  • The patents disclose advanced techniques for the use of magnetic particles for therapeutic applications to disrupt biological materials such as cancer cells and tumors. The particles may be targeted using suitable targeting moieties such as antibodies.
  • The treatment technique uses an anisotropic magnetic material that exhibits different properties in magnetic and non-magnetic states.
  • The material is delivered in a non-magnetic state and then switched to a magnetic state which is repeated multiple times.
  • It is proposed that the induced magnetic gyrations and rotations kill the cancerous cells/tissues without causing excessive damage to unaffected cells/tissues.
  • This lot should be of interest to medical system manufacturers and the entities involved in healthcare, and material science research.

Advanced Sterilization Techniques

The majority of surgical items (e.g., drapes and syringes) are for one-time use only. However, many other instruments used in different medical procedures are too expensive and complex to be disposed after a single-use and hence effective sterilizing techniques to sanitize these instruments are highly sought after.  

  • This lot discloses a method and a system for removing contaminants from medical equipment by treating them with ionized gas plasma.
  • The technique uses plasma treatment technology, targeted at sanitizing medical instruments by removing or destroying various living and non-living contaminants, including prions.
  • The system comprises a monitoring object that provides a visual indication of plasma formation, thereby providing a user-friendly control option.  
  • This lot should be of interest to medical equipment manufacturers and healthcare service providers.

Advanced Imaging System

Object detection systems (e.g., metal detectors and X-ray systems) are widely used at airport terminals and commercial buildings. Conventional systems often raise false alarms against many innocuous articles and yet fail to detect dangerous non-metallic objects, such as explosives and drugs. Detectors based on ionizing electromagnetic radiations (e.g., X-ray) also expose human beings to harmful radiation.

  • The patents disclose a system that reads sub millimeter wavelengths.
  • The system employs multiple detectors, each comprising an antenna coupled with a device (a bolometer) for measuring incident electromagnetic radiation.
  • An optical element collects the sub-millimeter radiations emitted by an object and directs them to the detectors in a focused manner. This enables the creation of clear and high-resolution images of the target objects.
  • The disclosed imaging system can be manufactured on a large scale by using integrated circuit manufacturing techniques, reducing manufacturing cost significantly.
  • Unlike conventional systems that consume a lot of power and employ expensive detectors, this system has low power consumption and can be used to detect objects from a distance without causing any health hazards – making it a safe and convenient alternative for human inspection.
  • The patent in this lot has been cited by many significant industry players, including Honeywell, Agilent, Raytheon, Qinetiq Limited, Northrop Grumman, and Walleye Technologies.
  • This lot should be of interest to entities involved in the industrial sectors of imaging, defense, security, aviation, and companies manufacturing access control systems, security or surveillance systems, and object detection systems.

Advanced Microbolometer

Conventional metal bolometers have low temperature coefficients of resistance and hence low sensitivities, while microbolometers made of superconductor films suffer from noise problems. They are used for detecting electromagnetic radiation.

  • This lot discloses an easy to manufacture, antenna-coupled microbolometer with a low NEP (Noise Equivalent Power) figure.
  • The structure comprises an antenna, a semiconductor substrate, and a thin bridge of superconductor material with a low critical temperature.
  • The coupling of preamplifiers with a microbolometer minimizes the noise and the losses of the imaging arrangements.
  • This lot should be of interest to microbolometer manufacturers and entities involved in semiconductor device fabrication and electromagnetic radiation detection.

To learn more about the assets available for sale in this portfolio:

Contact Dean Becker of ICAP Ocean Tomo at

About ICAP Ocean Tomo LLC

ICAP Ocean Tomo is the intellectual property brokerage division of ICAP and the world's premier patent auction firm.

About Oxford Instruments plc

Oxford Instruments designs, supplies and supports high-technology tools and systems with a focus on research and industrial applications. It provides solutions needed to advance fundamental physics research and its transfer into commercial nanotechnology applications. Innovation has been the driving force behind Oxford Instruments' growth and success for over 50 years, and its strategy is to effect the successful commercialisation of these ideas by bringing them to market in a timely and customer-focused fashion.

The first technology business to be spun out from Oxford University over fifty years ago, Oxford Instruments is now a global company with over 1400 staff worldwide and a listing on the London Stock Exchange (OXIG). Its objective is to be the leading provider of new generation tools and systems for the research and industrial sectors.

This involves the combination of core technologies in areas such as low temperature and high magnetic field environments, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, X-ray electron and optical based metrology, and advanced growth, deposition and etching. Our products, expertise, and ideas address global issues such as energy, environment, security and health. For more information go to

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