University of Maryland (College Park, MD)

A system that automatizes simultaneous measurement of several parameters (mechanical electrical, thermal, or mechanical) of living tissues includes a base platform supporting an holder for biochips that includes a biochip integrated therein as well as an indenter that allows for nano- and micro-scale indentation of a tissue. A biochip is constructed with a variety of micro-sensors. A temperature sensor could also be formed, for example, on the top of the indenter to measure the thermal properties of the tissue sample that is heated by the micro-heater built on the biochip.

The advancement of surgical procedures and surgical tools, and the need for miniaturization of diagnostic and therapeutic devices has resulted in tremendous growth in R & D on Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) devices. MEMS devices can be made in small quantities and thus are less expensive as compared to other types of devices. MEMS devices are used in surgical instruments to assist in the surgical process by giving real-time feedback on the density of tissues, temperature, and temperature. They also provide superior precision in cutting tissue and extracting, which is thought to enhance the outcomes of surgery.

There are however fabrication challenges when it comes to integrating MEMS devices with electronic components and signal processing. Incorporation of MEMS devices in surgical and bio-medicalapplications is also challenging from standpoint of packaging design and software development.

Recently, attention has been focused on skin-like, or flexible sensors that have microscale architectures that detect the chemical, mechanical and optical properties of biological material. MEMS sensors are able to analyse and manipulate biological materials at both a micro as well as a nanoscale level and could be integrated into a portable lab on a chip. This makes them a promising candidate for diagnostic capabilities.

Each year in USA alone, a large number of cancer cases are identified. The transformation from benign to cancerous state changes the morphological signatures in the tumor environment (at all length scales, such as nano-scale, micro-scale,meso-scale, and macro-scale). Both electrical and mechanical phenotyping are effective tools for detecting and track the progression of cancer.

There are however no methods that employ a flexible MEMS device that allows for precise simultaneous mechanical and electrical characterization of tissue which could have been being performed in an extremely efficient automated manner at the nano- and micro-Newton scale. If such a method were available, it would allow for new possibilities in diagnosing cancer and other pathologies.

Micro-indentation is a popular technique for mechanically characterization of biological tissues. A device for the micro-indentation should be sensitive to measuring forces in the range of nano-to-micro-Newton.

As an example of a micro-indenter-based system A piezoresistive sensor is proven to be an effective instrument for studying the biomechanical properties of tissues since it is able to be made micro-fabricated in an array form and, unlike Atomic Force Microscopy(AFM), does not require complex electronics. For manufacturing, piezoresistive sensor typically are made of silicon. The sensors made of silicon which is a soft substance which can be broken down easily. This requires high-temperature processing.

Additionally the silicon material has a very high Young’s modulus. Therefore, to achieve massive deflections in mechanical structures, it is necessary to be extremely thin. This reduces the device’s mechanical strength.

Therefore, it is ideal to design an electronic sensor that can detect tissue micro-indentation with a conductive material that is different from silicone, that is more flexible and yet have mechanical strength, and which doesn’t require a high-temperature fabrication procedure.

Overall, it would be highly desirable to provide a pathology diagnostic system which would use a flexible MEMS (biochip) device for simultaneous multi-parameter (electrical-mechanical, as well as thermal, and potentially, chemical and optical)characterization of tissues, and which would be fabricated using highly flexible and conductive polymers capable of achieving large deflections while providing high mechanical strength of the biochip in operation.

Click here to view the patent on USPTO website.


Get Patents with PatentPC

What is a patent?

A patent is granted by the government to protect an invention, patents grant the inventor exclusive rights to create, use to sell, and market the invention?society gains when a new technology is introduced into the marketplace. The benefits may be the direct sense, since it may allow people to accomplish previously unattainable things, or indirectly, through the economic opportunities (business growth and employment) which the invention provides.

Patent protection is demanded by a variety of universities and pharmaceutical companies to protect their research and development. Patents may cover a physical or abstract process or product, or even a method or composition of materials new to the field. Patent protection has to be granted to any invention that is valuable, novel, and not already known by others in the same field.

Patents are a way to honor inventors who have commercially successful inventions. They serve as a motivator for inventors to create. Patents allow entrepreneurs and small companies to know that there’s a good chance they will get a profit for their time, effort and money spent on the development of technology. They can earn a living from their work.

Businesses that have the capacity to:

Protect innovative products and services;

Increase the visibility and value of your products ‘ presence on the market

Stand out and differentiate yourself and your product from the competition.

Get business and technical details.

Avoid the risk of using proprietary third-party content, or losing your valuable information, innovative outputs, or another creative output.

Patents transform inventors’ knowledge into a commercially tradeable asset which opens new opportunities to create jobs and boost expansion of businesses through joint ventures or licensing.

Investors involved in the development and commercialization of technology will find small businesses with patent protection to be more attractive.

Patents can lead to new ideas and new inventions. This information can encourage creativity and could be eligible for patent protection.

Patents can be used as an obstacle to unscrupulous third parties that profit from the efforts of an invention.

Patent-protected technology revenue that is commercially viable can be used to finance technology-related research and development (R&D) which increases the likelihood of better technology in future.

You can use the intellectual property rights of your company to convince investors and lenders that your product has commercial value. Sometimes, one powerful patent could open the door to multiple financing options. Patents as well as other IP assets are able to be used as collateral or security for financing debt. You may also present investors with your patent assets to increase the value of your company. Forbes and other publications have pointed out that each patent can increase the value of your company by as much as $500,000 to $1 Million.

A well-constructed business plan is crucial for new businesses. It should be built on IP and explain the way your product or service stands out. Investors will also be impressed if you show that your IP rights are secured or are in the process of becoming secure and they are in line with your business plan.

It is important to keep your invention secret until you submit to protect it with patents. Pre-filing disclosures of an invention can often ruin its novelty and invalidate it. The filing of disclosures prior to filing, for example, for investors, test-marketing or other business partners should be done only following the signing of a confidentiality agreement.

There are many kinds of patents, and understanding them is essential to protecting your invention. Utility patents cover new processes and machine creations. Design patents cover ornamental designs. Utility patents are the most effective to protect the owner from copies and competitors. They are typically granted to enhance or modify existing inventions. They can also be used to improve or modify existing inventions. For instance, a procedure patent covers acts or methods of performing a specific act, whereas chemical compositions are an assortment of components.

What is the length average of a patent? Patents for utility last for 20 years from the earliest date they were filed, but their expirations may be extended due to delays at the patent office, for example.

Are you interested in patenting your ideas? Patents are only granted to the first applicants to file which is why you must file as quickly as possible. Call PatentPC today to get your patent application submitted!

A patent search is a must when you are preparing an application for patent. This will allow you to see different ideas and give you insights into their work. This can help you restrict the extent of your invention. It is also possible to find out about the state of the art within your area of invention. This will help you to know the extent of your invention and prepare you for the filing of the patent application.

How to Search for Patents

The first step in obtaining your patent is to do the patent search. You can do a google patent search or do a USPTO search. Once the patent application has been filed, the item covered by the application can be called patent-pending, and you can find the patent application online on the public pair. When the patent office is satisfied with your application, you’ll be able do an examination of the patent number to discover the patent granted. Your product will then become patented. In addition to the USPTO search engine, you can use other search engines like espacenet, which is described below. You can get help from a patent lawyer. Patents in the United States are granted by the US trademark and patent office, or the United States patent office. The office also examines trademark applications.

Are you interested in finding similar patents? Here are the steps:

1. Think of terms that describe your invention, based on its purpose, composition, or use.

Write down a concise, but precise explanation of your invention. Be sure to avoid using terms that are generic such as “device,” “process,” and “system.” Instead, look for synonyms for the terms you initially chose. Also, make note of key technical terms and key words.

To help you find keywords and concepts, use the questions below.

  • What’s the purpose of this invention? Is it a utilitarian device or an ornamental design?
  • Is invention a way to create something or perform some function? Is it a product?
  • What is the purpose and composition of the invention? What is the physical makeup of the invention?
  • What is the goal of this invention?
  • What are the technical terms and keywords used to define the nature of an invention? To find the appropriate terms, use a technical dictionary.

2. These terms will allow you to find relevant Cooperative Patent Classifications using the Classification Search Tool. To determine the most suitable classification for your invention, go through the resulting classification’s class Schemes (class schedules). If you do not get results using the Classification Text Search, you might consider substituting your words to describe your invention using synonyms.

3. Examine the CPC Classification Definition for confirmation of the CPC classification you found. If the selected classification title includes a blue square with an “D” on its left, clicking on the link will direct you to the CPC classification definition. CPC classification definitions can be used to identify the specific classification’s scope and therefore you’re sure to choose the most pertinent. The definitions could also contain search tips or other suggestions which could prove useful in further research.

4. Find patent documents that have the CPC classification from the Patents Full-Text and Image Database. You can review and narrow down the relevant patent documents by focusing first on the abstract and the drawings that are representative.

5. Utilize this list of most relevant patent publications to look at each in detail for similarity to your own invention. Be aware of the specification and claims. You may find additional patents through contacting the patent examiner as well as the applicant.

6. Search for patent applications that have been published using the CPC classification you picked in Step 3 in the Applications Full-Text and Image Database. It is also possible to use the same strategy of searching you utilized in Step 4 to narrow your results to just the most relevant patents by reading the abstracts and representative drawings for each page. After that, you must review every patent application that has been published with care, paying special attention to the claims as well as other drawings.

7. You can look up additional US patent publications using keyword searches in AppFT or PatFT databases, as well as classification searching of patents that are not issued by the United States according to below. Also, you can use web search engines to search non-patent documents that describe inventions in the literature. Here are a few examples:

  • Add keywords to your search. Keyword searches may turn up documents that are not well-categorized or have missed classifications during Step 2. For example, US patent examiners often supplement their classification searches with keyword searches. Think about the use of technical engineering terminology rather than everyday words.
  • Search for foreign patents using the CPC classification. Then, re-run the search using international patent office search engines such as Espacenet, the European Patent Office’s worldwide patent publication database of over 130 million patent publications. Other national databases include:
  • Search non-patent literature. Inventions can be made public in many non-patent publications. It is recommended that you search journals, books, websites, technical catalogs, conference proceedings, and other print and electronic publications.

To review your search, you can hire a registered patent attorney to assist. A preliminary search will help one better prepare to talk about their invention and other related inventions with a professional patent attorney. In addition, the attorney will not spend too much time or money on patenting basics.