TEC Edmonton’s Technology Management team offers expert advice on intellectual property matters which often lead to new patents, licensing agreements and company spin-offs.
Biological Skeletal System Monitoring
US Patent 9,161,709 (Biological Skeletal System Monitoring) issued October 20th, 2015 covers a new method and system to assess injuries, pathologies and fitness of the back and spine. The patent has been licensed by TEC Edmonton to University of Alberta spinoff VibeDx Diagnostic Corp., founded by VibeDx inventor Dr. Greg Kawchuk and local entrepreneur/former TEC Edmonton Executive in Residence Cameron Schuler. VibeDx, located in the TEC Centre at Enterprise Square, is currently conducting clinical trials.
Geckos stick, even when it’s wet. University of Alberta researchers have developed a technique to more efficiently and cost effectively manufacture a dry, reusable adhesive that leaves no residue. The microstructures created have been inspired by the fibrillar structures found on the feet of geckos and certain spiders. The fibres’ customizable shape and configuration allows optimization of adhesion direction or strength to suit the application.
An interesting side benefit of this manufacturing technique? Microfluidic channels can be integrated directly into the adhesive surface. This opens additional possibilities for companies that want to develop lab-on-a-chip applications.
Predicting Muscle Fatigue
University of Alberta researchers have developed a real-time software system to predict muscle fatigue and potential injury under working situations. Initially designed as a predictive feedback device for wheelchair users, the system may be used to help workers avoid unnecessary muscle strain and optimize movement patterns. And while the system can benefit rehabilitation, occupational health and safety / fitness training, it also has potential applications in the manufacturing environment.
This technology provides long-term forecasts of when muscles will fatigue from repetitive or semi-repetitive data, whether pre-recorded or real-time force, direct metabolic or in vivo biofeedback data.