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Microosmometer for the Study of a Wide Range of Biological, Macromolecular, Polymeric, Gel, or Other Samples

Summary
Scientists at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) have discovered that changes in the osmotic pressure of tissue or hydroscopic samples having a mass of less than about one microgram and that can exert a high osmotic pressure can be measured by this method. The NICHD seeks research and co-development or licensees for a method of measuring small physical changes in small quantities of materials.
NIH Reference Number
E-280-2002
Product Type
Keywords
  • Diagnostic, Device, Scientific Instrument, Research Material, Tissue Specimen Analysis, Osmotic Pressure, Hydration, Water Uptake, Thin Film, Surface Coating, Adhesive, Paint, Polymer, Gel, Hydrogel, Horkay
Collaboration Opportunity
This invention is available for licensing and co-development.
Contact
Description of Technology

Scientists at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) have discovered a new microosmometer that allows for the quantification of minor changes in the swelling properties of different materials (including tissue specimens) using microgram amounts of sample. Varying the vapor pressure in the environmental chamber of the device induces controlled changes in the osmotic pressure of the specimen on the surface of a flat quartz crystal microbalance. Variation in the swelling degree is measured with high sensitivity and reliability by monitoring the change in resonance frequency of the quartz crystal oscillator. The device requires less than one microgram of sample, and possesses an extremely fast response time. The device is well-suited to the study of a wide range of biological, macromolecular, polymeric, gel, or other samples.

Potential Commercial Applications
  • Measuring hydration characteristics in tissue and other samples
  • Measuring hydration isotherms in micro-gram quantities of samples
  • Wide areas of application in material science, polymer science, processing, food packaging, adhesives, paint manufacture, etc.
Competitive Advantages
  • Requirement of 1 microgram allows probing local osmotic properties of small samples
  • Rapid equilibration permits fast sample analysis
  • Non-destructive evaluation possible 
Inventor(s)

Ferenc Horkay ((NICHD)), Peter Basser ((NICHD)), Adam Berman ((NICHD))

Development Stage
Publications

Horkay F, et al. Osmotic investigations on cartilage biopolymers and tissue engineered cartilage samples using a new tissue microosmometer.   [PMCID PMC1913834]

Horkay F, et al. Measurement of the osmotic properties of thin polymer films and biological tissue samples.   [PMID 15762669]

Patent Status
  • U.S. Patent Issued: U.S. Patent Number , Issued 03 Jun 2008
  • U.S. Patent Filed: U.S. Patent Application Number , Filed 07 Aug 2002
  • U.S. Patent Filed: U.S. Patent Application Number , Filed 07 Aug 2003
Therapeutic Area
Posted
Monday, July 9, 2018