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lunes, 18 de noviembre 2019
18/11/2019
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UdeA ranks second nationwide in obtaining patents

Universidad de Antioquia has been awarded five new patents by the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (Colombia’s Patent and Trademark Office). The patents were issued for inventions of the various research groups from across the University. 

UdeA was awarded a total of nine patents in 2015. With a total of 32 patents, UdeA ranks first among Colombian universities in number of patents awarded and 2nd among institutions nationwide after Ecopetrol, Colombia's largest petroleum company. 

Below is a list of five patents issued to UdeA inventors in 2015.

Production of Ganodema lucidum substances with antifungal activity against Mycosphaerella fijensis using electromagnetic radiation

This patent is part of the doctoral dissertation of Paola Zapata, a PhD candidate at Universidad de Antioquia, which involves the use of patent-pending LED-based technology for the differential, qualitative and quantitative expression of proteins.

Dr. Lucía Atehortúa, coordinator of the UdeA Biotechnology Group, says the project is aimed for use in a wide range of industrial applications. “This type of proteins has numerous properties including the ability to control certain pathogens associated with diseases of banana plantations as well as a range of viruses, bacteria and fungi. Additionally, they have anti-inflammatory, hypotensive, immunomodulatory and bone-protective properties, among others,” she said.  One of the overwhelming advantages of the device lies in its ability to produce protein both qualitatively and quantitatively.

So far, the UdeA Biotechnology Group has been awarded five patents, four of them registered with the U.S.Trademark and Patent Office, and two more have patent pending status.

Physical optical device for noise-free data encryption and recovery

This device is a highly reliable alternative source for conventional data protection methods.  According to professor John Barrera-Ramírez, coordinator of the UdeA Optics and Photonics Group, existing security systems are intended to protect computers’ software and hardware. “We have managed to develop an optics-based data protection system. The device is equipped with lenses and mirrors as well as a mechanism that projects the information to be protected. A laser beam passing through the optical system allows encoding of information. The device is designed to help protect information in the banking, government and security sectors.

This groundbreaking device was created by a team of UdeA researchers including John Fredy Barrera Ramírez, Alejandro Mira Agudelo and Roberto Torroba.

Companies from Spain, Colombia and Panama have expressed interest in the work of the researchers, which encouraged the inventors to file patent application. This is the first patent granted to the UdeA Institute of Physics.

Nitro duplex vault

Professor Gilberto Bejarano, a researcher in the Center for Research and Development of Materials (CIDEMAT) at the UdeA Department of Materials Engineering came up with the idea of creating a Physical Vapor Deposition (PVP) laboratory for production of coatings using PVD-based sputtering. To that end, professor Bejarano partnered with CIDEMAT colleagues Francisco Bolívar, Maryory Gómez and Jaime Osorio.

With funding from the National Apprenticeship Service (SENA), the Administrative Department of Science, Technology and Innovation (Colciencias), and Universidad de Antioquia, the team of researchers developed what they called a Nitro duplex Vault, a device that allows performing specific sequential processes such as pulsed plasma nitriding of tool steels, and deposition of nano-microstructured wear resistant coatings.     

The combination of both technologies in a single vault is known as duplex coating, which is usually carried out separately, thus making the process more expensive in addition to requiring a much greater expenditure of resources and time, and therefore causing greater environmental impact.

Ionic gelation on solids

The development of this process began in 2003 from research conducted by a UdeA undergraduate student, which resulted in issuance of the patent for microencapsulation of volatile liquids. Additional graduate-level research was conducted in order to improve knowledge in this field and find new techniques for microencapsulation of solids. A patent application was filed in 2013, and it was granted in 2015.

“The patent will allow us to develop intellectual property protection strategies,” said UdeA Colloids Group coordinator Harley Casanova. 

Although this technology is intended primarily for use in the food industry, researchers are working to bring this breakthrough to pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industry.

Production of a novel multi-purpose cellulosic excipient

Alvin López and John Rojas, two researchers at the Drugs and Cosmetics Research Group wanted to develop a multipurpose excipient for use in a wide range of processes including wet and dry granulation as well as direct compression procedures, that can also dissolve rapidly in the stomach. 

While working in the project, researchers were inclined towards producing cellulosic excipients with reduced particle sizes so that they could dissolve faster in water. Thus, researchers managed to produce a new crystalline form of cellulose by adding binders to formulation in order to provide pharmaceutical and cosmetic properties.

“As the name suggests, this multipurpose excipient can be used in multiple industrial applications. For example, for use in direct compression processes of the pharmaceutical industry, the active compound is mixed with the excipient so that tablets can be manufactured without underlying drying process or the use of a wide variety of equipment. As for the cosmetic industry, the reduced particle size makes it a useful input for the production of pressed makeup free of binders,” researcher John Rojas said.

To date, Universidad de Antioquia has 38 patents pending, 27 registered trademarks, 4 pending trademark applications, and 24 software patents.

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