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Washington Technology Center Funding & Services Microfabrication Lab Industries Initiative News Forum
Washington Technology Center Clients

Aegis Biosciences
Spokane

http://www.aegisbiosciences.com

Research Partner: Stephen Warren, PhD, Gonzaga University, Chemistry Department

Project Description:
Treating chronic or slow-healing wounds can be a challenge. It is estimated that over 2 million people suffer from chronic wounds annually in the U.S. alone. The costs to treat these wounds are high, ranging from a few thousand dollars to as much as $80,000 for serious wounds. The costs are high because the treatment times are long and involve multiple therapies at various stages of healing that can include monitoring for, and treating infection(s). Aegis Biosciences is looking to develop a new "smart" interactive wound dressing that can be customized to treat a multitude of injuries including chronic wounds, burns, and surgical wounds at an affordable cost. The dressings utilize a patented hydrogel material in the form of microspheres to create a hydrophilic wound dressing with the ability to prevent infection, modulate noxious biomolecules, and stimulate healing. The dressing is able to deliver multiple therapeutic agents in order to address a variety of complex biochemical issues, while simultaneously protecting the wound, maintaining and controlling moisture, and combating infection.

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Allez PhysiOnix
Seattle

Researchers: Dr. Michel Kliot and Dr. Pierre Mourad, UW Dept. of Neurological Surgery (2002, 2005)

Allez PhysiOnix, in collaboration with Dr. Pierre D. Mourad, Research Associate Professor of the Department of Neurological Surgery and Principal Physicist of the Applied Physics Lab, both at the University of Washington, have developed a methodology to non-invasively determine intracranial pressure (ICP), a critical determinant of brain function. Head trauma is the major cause of death in persons under the age of 45, typically due to increased ICP. Intracranial pressure can also result from tumors, stroke, and other neurological disorders. More than 1 million patents may need their ICP monitored each year. Currently there is no non-invasive method for determining the levels of ICP. It can only be measured through highly invasive procedures requiring the participation of neurosurgeons. ICP monitoring is only conducted for 100,000 patients per year. This limited monitoring hinders the early diagnosis of many brain maladies, and reduces the chance of successful treatment of these maladies. A simple non-invasive method of monitoring ICP would allow early measurement both in and outside of a hospital setting, and should improve the medical outcome for many patients. In an initial project, the team developed an empirical method to determine ICP non-invasively based on transcranial Doppler (TCD) measurements of the brain and supporting physiological data. Currently the device requires the services of a skilled neuro-sonographer to manipulate the transducer. This project will help to evolve the technology to the point that it can be more easily deployed, without special skills, in a user-independent manner.

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American Premix Technologies
Creston

Researcher: Dr. Shulin Chen, Washington State University, Biological Systems Engineering Department

Year Project Began: 2004

This project is focused on converting biodiesel waste into an additive for a new commercial animal feed supplement. During the typical biodiesel production process, glycerin is the primary waste product. The current market for glycerin products can only absorb about 50 percent of the amount produced from biodiesel production. An alternate use for this waste presents strong market potential. APT and WSU are working on technology to optimize a process for converting biodiesel waste to algae biomass that is high in Omega 3 fatty acids. This biomass can then be used as a supplement to an organic animal feed that the company plans to develop and market. The algae act as a nutrient conductor to the animals, whose systems cannot synthesize large carbon fatty acids by themselves. This technology has the potential to create an emerging business opportunity and at the same time, convert an environmental liability into a commercial product for end-use health benefits.

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Amplicon Express
Pullman

http://www.genomex.com

Researcher: Jerry J. Reeves, WSU Dept. of Animal Sciences

Year project began: 2000

One goal of livestock management is to keep heifers in the feedlot from becoming pregnant. Dr. Reeves and Amplicon Express, a marketer of genetic and microbiological products, are collaborating on a project to develop and test a hormone fusion protein for use as a sterilization vaccine in cattle.

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Andgar Corp.
Ferndale

http://www.andgar.com/

Researcher: Dr. Shulin Chen, WSU Dept. of Biological Systems Engineering

Year project began: 2003

Livestock producers are under increasing pressure, including legal action, to manage manure and process water in a way that controls odors and protects environmental quality. Livestock and livestock products are a $1.5 billion industry in Washington. Anaerobic digesters, also known as biogas recovery systems, are one possible solution to better management of manure and process water.

Anaerobic digesters use bacteria to breakdown the manure in a chamber while capturing methane, one of the by-products that can be used to generate heat or electricity. Andgar Corporation, based in Ferndale, has expertise in fabrication of components and construction of digesters. Andgar is collaborating with Dr. Shulin Chen to refine development of an enzymatic pretreatment to enable smaller, more efficient reaction chambers that put anaerobic digestion within financial reach of more livestock producers.

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Applied Precision, Inc.
Issaquah (Company was located in Mercer Island for a previous WTC affiliation)

http://www.appliedprecision.com/

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Development of a fixed imaging platform and microfluidic devices for live-cell imaging"

Research Partner: Research Associate Professor Charles W. Frevert, DVM, ScD, School of Medicine, University of Washington

Phase Began: 2009

Applied Precision, Inc., an Issaquah-based manufacturer of biomedical imaging systems, is collaborating with the University of Washington's School of Medicine to commercialize a microfluidic imaging technology for biomedical applications.

UW will receive $95,215 in Phase I research and technology development funding from Washington Technology Center and $22,500 from Applied Precision for the project titled "Development of a fixed imaging platform and microfluidic devices for live-cell imaging."

Microfluidics technology has considerable potential for cell biology, but it has not yet been widely used outside of academic laboratories specializing in microfluidics.

With this project, the collaborative team of Applied Precision and UW Research Associate Professor Charles W. Frevert, DVM, ScD, plans to develop a live-cell imaging microscope that seamlessly integrates with application-specific microfluidic devices to make microfluidics readily available to scientists in the commercial life sciences industries.

"The WTC R&D; grant enables us to combine the system design and manufacturing expertise of API with world class research at the University of Washington. By joining forces we will be able to deliver on the promise of microfluidic systems. These systems will enable research into new drugs, disease mechanisms, and stem cell biology. This knowledge will benefit the citizens of Washington state with new tools for the treatment and cure of diseases while bringing new high technology jobs into the region."

Paul Goodwin, lead scientist for the project at Applied Precision.

"Applied Precision is enthusiastic for this opportunity to work with key scientists at the University of Washington to bring the promise of microfluidics towards commercial viability."

Joseph Victor, president at Applied Precision.

"The WTC R&D; grant is important to us because it will enable new technology and strengthen a number of collaborations within the University of Washington. With this project, my laboratory and those of doctors Albert Folch and Charles Murry will be able to work together to solve important biological questions about cells of the immune system and how they fight off lung infections and also about the potential for adult and embryonic stem cells to regenerate cardiac muscle. The knowledge gained with these new tools will better our understanding of a number of important human diseases. This grant also strengthens our partnership with Applied Precision as we work together to commercialize a live-cell imaging microscope that seamlessly integrates with application specific microfluidic devices. Commercialization of this integrated turn-key imaging system will move microfluidics out of academic laboratories specializing in microfluidics and make this promising technology readily available to scientists in academic, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology research laboratories."

Charles W. Frevert, DVM, ScD, School of Medicine, University of Washington

"Applied Precision has a cutting-edge imaging technology that promises to unlock new doors in cellular biology, one of today's hottest areas of medical innovation because of the great potential for preventing and curing disease. Let's face it, the demand for health care discoveries will continue to be huge worldwide."

State Sen. Cheryl Pflug (R-Maple Valley)

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Arcadia Biosciences, Inc.
Seattle

http://www.arcadiabio.com

RTD Award: Phase II

Research Partner: Diter von Wettstein, Ph.D., Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State University

Project Began: 2007

Arcadia Biosciences, Seattle, has teamed with Dr. Diter von Wettstein from Washington State University to accelerate the development of new wheat cultivars for Washington crops. The partners are working to create new strains of wheat that reduce the allergens linked to Celiac disease. This gluten sensitivity affects approximately 3 million Americans. This phase two project is a continuation of research to develop and commercialize wheat which lacks the gliadin epitopes that cause Celiac disease. New technologies for developing wheat are needed since the dietary quality of grain protein cannot be improved by conventional breeding. Washington is the third highest wheat producing state in the U.S. and its wheat industry is a $450 million business. However, the state faces increasing competition from foreign markets. Finding ways to quickly grow and harvest higher-quality wheat will close this gap, reduce costs to farmers, open up new revenue for the state's wheat industry, and improve the lives of those affected by Celiac disease.

"Investment in the technologies and industries of the future is critical to the economic vitality of our state. Companies such as Arcadia Biosciences are not only commercializing technologies that protect our health, they are providing the residents of our state with living-wage jobs."

State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, (D-Seattle)


RTD Award: Phase I

Research Partner: Diter von Wettstein, Ph.D., Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State University

Project Began: 2006

Arcadia Biosciences, Seattle, has teamed with Dr. Diter von Wettstein from Washington State University to accelerate the development of new wheat cultivars for Washington crops. Incorporating Arcadia's Nitrogen Use Efficiency gene into the wheat may result in reduced fertilizer costs for farmers, improved wheat quality and limit environmental damage of excess nitrogen leaching into groundwater. The partners are also working to create new strains of wheat that reduce the allergens linked to celiac disease. This gluten sensitivity affects approximately 3 million Americans. Washington is the third highest wheat producing state in the U.S. and its wheat industry is a $450 million business. However, the state faces increasing competition from foreign markets. Finding ways to quickly grow and harvest higher-quality wheat will close this gap, reduce costs to farmers, and open up new revenue for the state's wheat industry.

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ARI Technologies, Inc.
Kent

http://www.aritechnologies.com/

Researcher: Robert Holtz, UW Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Year project began: 2000

Founded in 1990, ARI Technologies has developed thermochemical treatment technology that converts hazardous wastes to a nonhazardous and benign end product. This project will evaluate the engineering properties, environmental characteristics and stability of this end product to assess its suitability for landfill and other commercial civil engineering applications.

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Artemisia BioMedical, Inc.
Newcastle

http://www.artbiomedical.com/

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Preclinical Development of Artemisinin Trioxane Dimer-Peptide Conjugates as Targeted Cancer Therapeutics"

Research Partner: Tomikazu Sasaki, Ph.D., Department of Chemistry, University of Washington

Project Began: 2007

Artemisia BioMedical, a privately-held biotechnology company based in Newcastle, Washington, has teamed with University of Washington researchers Tomikazu Sasaki, Narendra Singh and Henry Lai to develop improved therapeutic treatment options for cancer and other serious diseases. The company-researcher team received $100,000 in Research and Technology Development funding from Washington State to further develop their project titled "Preclinical Development of Artemisinin Trioxane Dimer-Peptide Conjugates as Targeted Cancer Therapeutics". Cancer is a leading cause of death around the world. Although important progress is being made in all areas of clinical cancer treatments with extending survival rates, there remain limitations on current chemotherapeutic agents. Many cancer chemotherapies indiscriminately kill cancer cells and normal cells due to poor cellular selectivity. Artemisinin, a compound isolated from sweet wormwood, is an established and potent antimalarial agent, which has been found to selectively kill cancer cells without harming normal cells. Artemisinin has also been shown to be even more effective at killing cancer cells when co-delivered with iron that serves as a catalyst to activate the artemisinin molecule to generate cytotoxic free radicals. In their research and technology development project, Artemisia BioMedical and the University of Washington research team will develop and study new synthetic therapeutic agents that deliver artemisinin and iron as one package selectively into cancer cells. The end result of their work will be the creation of more highly selective, effective and safer therapeutics for people suffering from cancer with minimal side-effects. This WTC-supported technology holds promise as a breakthrough for the treatment of many types of human cancer.

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ATL Ultrasound (now Philips)
Bothell

Researcher: Amit Bandyopadhyay, WSU School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Year project began: 2000

ATL is a worldwide leader in the manufacturing, distribution, and service of diagnostic medical ultrasound systems. The project will design and develop high element count, high frequency micro-machined medical ultrasound transducers for skin, eye, and heart imaging.

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B&G; Farms
Royal City

Researcher: Dr. Steven Verhey, Central Washington University and Dr. Lynne Carpenter-Boggs, Washington State University

Year Project Began: 2004

This project is aimed at studing the commercial potential of mint-based compost. B&G; Farms is a diversified agricultural company that produces both organic and conventionally-grown produce. It is the largest organic producer in Washington and sells most of its product to Pacific Rim companies. Washington state mint crop is worth $50 million annually. Disposal of mint waste is costly to growers and a source of ongoing environmental challenge. In a previous Phase 1 study, the research team developed a patented process for converting mint waste into high-quality compost. The compost has value as a fertilizer, soil-enhancer and disease suppression and can be used in conventional and organic agriculture and landscaping, viticulture, turf, and horticulture. In this Phase 2 grant, the company and researchers will continue to evolve the process and carry out field trials on several target crops in summer 2005 using the compost produced from the 2004 mint crop.

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Barlean's Organic Oils
Ferndale

http://barleans.com/

Researcher: Norman Lewis, WSU Institute of Biological Chemistry

Year project began: 2000

Numerous scientific studies suggest that there is a connection between cultures that ingest a diet high in plant lignans (phyto-estrogens) and a lower incidence of estrogen-related cancers, including breast, colon, and prostate cancers. Flaxseed and flaxseed meal contain high levels of plant lignans, and have been marketed as health food products for many years.

Barlean's Organic Oils, a leading U.S. manufacturer of health food supplements, has teamed with WSU's Institute of Biological Chemistry to commercialize a proprietary method of extracting plant lignans from flaxseed with a consistent high level of potency. The company intends to market the resulting product as a nutriceutical.

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Bio-OriGyn, LLC
Valleyford

http://www.bioorigyn.com/

Researcher: C. Harold Mielke, WSU Health Research and Education Center

Year project began: 2001

To meet medical blood transfusion demands, there is a critical need for a continuous supply of fresh human blood platelets. However, because of inferior storage methods, much of the nation's supply of platelets is discarded every year -- at a loss to the industry of nearly $300 million. Since 1994, OriGyn Technologies has specialized in cell storage and in vitro handling systems, discovering a proprietary plant sugar currently used in their infertility products. These sugars, by reducing cellular oxidative stress during handling, can be used to improve the storage of blood products. In the FTI project funded by WTC, Bio-OriGyn is working with Dr. Mielke to develop a novel liquid storage system for banking fresh human platelets that not only prolongs platelet viability, but also improves functional capacity following collection and storage. Dr. Mielke is an expert on blood platelets and is the founder and editor emeritus of the Journal of Clinical Apheresis, a journal specializing in blood banking, blood cell separations, and blood cell storage.

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Cadwell Laboratories, Inc.
Kennewick

RTD Award: Phase I

Research Partner: James Wise, Ph.D., Washington State University - Tri-Cities

Project Phase Began: 2006

Psychiatric medications are among the most frequently prescribed substances in the U.S. Until recently, prescription methodology relied heavily on trial-and-error due to lack of clinical tools to match medications to patients' physiology. Two Tri-Cities companies, Cadwell Laboratories and CNS Response, co-developed a patented referenced electroencephalography (rEEG) analysis tool for the treatment of neuropsychiatric illnesses. The rEEG combines Cadwell's state-of-the-art hardware with CNS Response's data analysis software to predict which agent or combination of agents are the most therapeutically beneficial. Studies have shown this method to be 70 to 80 percent effective in treating ADD/ADHD, depression, head injury, eating disorders and substance abuse problems. However, currently no analytic tool exists to help with drug diagnosis and treatment of psychotic illnesses, such as schizophrenia. For this grant project, Cadwell and CNS have teamed with Dr. James Wise, expert research analyst and psychology professor at Washington State University in Tri-Cities, to develop an rEEG analysis database for antipsychotic medications and test its effectiveness in clinical trials. Dr. Wise will also work with Dr. Robert Drury of CNS Response Advanced Data Analysis Laboratory of Richland, Washington to apply state-of-the-art nonlinear data analysis techniques to enhancing rEEG's efficacy.

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Carbon Nanoprobes
Malvern, Pa. (formerly Seattle)

http://cnprobes.com

Carbon Nanoprobes in the WTC news forum

RTD Award: Phase I

Research Partner: William R. Schief Jr, Ph.D., Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington

Project Began: 2007

Carbon Nanoprobes, a startup company developing high-resolution probes for atomic force microscopy, has teamed with University of Washington's William Schief, Senior Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry, to develop a scanning probe tip useful in drug discovery. The project team will evaluate the feasibility of reliably producing small-diameter single-walled nanotube probes for the atomic force microscope. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a versatile tool used to create 3D molecular images and to pinpoint electrostatic, magnetic, and physical moduli on a surface. While AFM has been a popular choice among physical scientists, it has not reached the same level of usage among the life sciences community, due particularly to the current lack of resolution. The resolution of AFM, which is achieved by dragging a sharp stylus over a surface, is limited by the diameter of the stylus probe tip. The use of carbon nanotubes as probe tips should allow for single digit angstrom resolution, a 10x or greater increase in resolution over current commercial capabilities. Using HIV vaccine design as a case study, the UW research team will demonstrate that carbon nanotube probe tips will be useful in biological applications - positioning AFM as an emerging tool in modern drug discovery.

"I am thrilled to see the state of Washington positioning itself as a leader in the new economy. By helping companies such as Carbon Nanoprobes to succeed, we have the potential not only to make dramatic advances in health care, but also to provide jobs for the next generation."

State Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D-Seattle)

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Cascade Quality Molding, Inc.
Yakima

http://www.cascadequalitymolding.com

Research Partner: Jinwen Zhang, PhD, Washington State University, Wood Materials & Engineering

Project Description:
The disposal of plastic food packaging is become a major environmental concern. Billions of cups, utensils and plates are used in the U.S. each year; more than half of these are made of petrochemical plastics, which make them a waste hazard. Biodegradable plastic food service and packaging products present a more environment-friendly alternative. However, performance and price continue to be a challenge, keeping them from being widely introduced into the commercial market. The challenges lie in materials that are water-resistant and can withstand high heat. Cascade Quality Molding is partnering with Dr. Zhang at Washington State University to develop a technology for manufacturing biodegradable and compostable disposal food service cutlery. The product will utilize wood fiber and PHA composites (thermoplastics derived from corn starch or sugar). This combination provides a highly heat-resistant, strong product with readily available base products for low production costs. Cascade's goal is to produce the cutlery at 50 percent less cost than similar products on the market and scale production to meet commercial demand.

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CellVitro Technologies, Inc.
Seattle

Researcher: Dr. Albert Folch, University of Washington, Bioengineering Department

Year project began: 2004

The team is working to create a unique nanoscale "lab-on-a-chip" device to assist with drug discovery process. Cystic fibrosis, epilepsy, migraine, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other debilitating conditions have been linked to malfunctioning ion channels - specialized proteins present in human cells that regulate the flow of ions including sodium, potassium, calcium and chloride in and out of the cell. Currently, screening new drug candidates for ion-channel-targeting properties is challenging. Development of a high-throughput screening technology with better data quality is needed to accelerate drug discovery processes. The proposed CellChip screening system combines automated, parallel analysis of drug compounds on living cells with high-throughput screening capabilities at earlier stages of drug discovery. This advanced screening technology will allow pharmaceutical companies to develop safer, more effective drugs and potentially shorten their to-market delivery cycle.

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Columbia PhytoTechnology, LLC

Carson

http://www.columbiaphytotechnology.com

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Radiant Zone Drying: Energy Efficient, Economical, and High Quality Liquid Drying Technology for Nutraceutical and Food Ingredients"

Research Partner: Kerry Ringer, Ph.D., Assistant Food Scientist, Washington State University

Project Began: 2008

Columbia PhytoTechnology, an innovator in the field of nutritional ingredients located in Carson, Wash., is working with researcher Dr. Kerry Ringer of the Washington State University, Prosser Irrigated Agricultural Research and Extension Center to develop an innovative dehydration technology for nutraceutical and food ingredients.

WSU received $45,334 in Phase I Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center for the project titled "Radiant Zone Drying: Energy Efficient, Economical, and High Quality Liquid Drying Technology for Nutraceutical and Food Ingredients."

Powders made from fruits, vegetables and plant extracts are a rapidly growing market as consumers become more health conscious and focused on the actual nutrients they ingest. However, the food and nutrition industries and, hence, consumers, have very few choices in either high-quality, economical powders or dehydration technologies. In order to provide these types of products to the industry, an advance in drying technology is required.

In this Phase I project, Columbia PhytoTechnology and Dr. Ringer will optimize the use of Columbia's Radiant Zone Drying technology for commercial production. This patented technology uses radiant heat, modulated through various heat zones to remove water from fruit, vegetable and plant juices, purees and extracts. The ability to control temperature through the various zones ensures the retention of product nutrients. This innovation seeks to provide affordable, nutrient rich products through an efficient and economical commercial scale process.

"The Radiant Zone Drying Technology is just one of the many innovations developed by Columbia PhytoTechnology since it was founded in 2000. I am proud to see such cutting-edge research and development taking place in the 15th Legislative District."

State Sen. Jim Honeyford, (R-Sunnyside)

"This is an exciting example of the growing economic potential of the Columbia Gorge. It's applied research that's actually going to help meet a rapidly emerging consumer demand. I'm glad the state can play a part in making this technology successful."

State Rep. Bruce Chandler, (R-Granger)

"It's great to see a local business benefit through this opportunity. It allows Columbia PhytoTechnology to grow as a company, which will contribute to our local and state economy. This will provide economic benefit to our region's agricultural industry. The grant will also provide options for health-conscious consumers seeking quality food ingredients."

State Rep. Dan Newhouse, (R-Sunnyside)

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D & A Instrument Company

Port Townsend

http://www.d-a-instruments.com/

Researcher: Thanos Papanicolaou, WSU Dept. of Civil Engineering

Year project began: 2000

D & A Instrument is currently developing an instrument that can monitor the movement of gravel in streambeds. That's good news for salmon, which require gravel for spawning, and for state and local governments, which are largely responsible for preserving or restoring salmon habitat under the Endangered Species Act.

The technology, called the Gravel Transport Sensor (GTS), is an acoustic device that detects and counts gravel particles moving downstream as they impact a steel pipe (recorded as number of "pings"). Thanos Papanicolaou, of WSU's Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is working with D & A to develop and test algorithms to calculate the rate of flow of gravel based on the collected data. These algorithms will serve as the basis for embedded software in the product. Currently the monitoring of gravel movement is highly labor-intensive, requiring individuals to go physically into the streams and collect samples of gravel. Decision-makers in several government agencies have already expressed an interest in the product, according to John Downing, president of D & A. These include the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington State Department of Ecology, and state and federal highway departments. GTS can also be used to monitor the movement of gravel as a result of logging and increased urbanization, and to determine the effect of scour on bridge supports in gravel bed streams.

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Decagon Devices

Pullman


http://www.decagon.com

Research Partner: Dr. Markus Flury, WSU Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences

Project Began: 1999

Food processors are interested in water activity, an important property that can be used to predict stability and safety of foods. The water activity of a food describes the energy status of water in a food, and hence its availability to act as a solvent and participate in chemical or biochemical reactions. Water activity, not water content, determines the lower limit of available water for microbial growth. Water activity also plays a role in the appearance, texture, and smell of a food.
Currently, the instruments used to measure water activity, differential scanning calorimeters and dynamic mechanical thermal analysis, are expensive and require technical expertise to operate. Decagon Devices, located in Pullman and known for their high-quality biophysical instruments for food quality testing and environmental research, has developed a prototype instrument that will be easier to use and produce results more quickly at lower cost. Dr. Markus Flury of WSU's Department of Crop and Soil Sciences was awarded funding for a two-year project, beginning in July 1999, to further develop and test Decagon's thermodielectric analyzer prototype, which will measure the freezing characteristics (the relationship between unfrozen water content and temperature) of hydrated foods, soils and other materials, and will relate the freezing characteristic to the moisture characteristic (relationship between water content and water potential) for these materials.

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dTEC Systems, LLC

Seattle

http://dtecsystems.us/

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Multi-analyte Chemical Sensor Platform"

Research Partner: Samson A. Jenekhe, Ph.D., Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2007

Seattle-based dTEC Systems, a developer of environmental monitoring systems, has teamed with University of Washington Chemical Engineering researcher Samson A. Jenekhe to develop a novel low-cost chemical sensor technology for on-site environmental applications. The company-researcher team has received $100,000 in Research and Technology Development funding from Washington state for their project titled "Multi-analyte Chemical Sensor Platform." Many agricultural operations and wastewater treatment facilities are required to perform hundreds of chemical measurements each year - a time-consuming and expensive process involving collecting samples and sending them for analysis at specialized laboratories. Existing on-site measurement tools and kits are labor intensive. The proposed on-site sensor technology being developed by dTEC Systems will result in time and money savings for agricultural operations. The technology is based on the development of a chemoresponsive-material and micromachined-device platform that enables customizable miniature sensors for multiple analytes. The handheld chemical analyzer that will be developed as part of this project will allow customers to optimize agricultural practices and better control the environmental impact of their businesses.

"Congratulations to dTEC for its ingenuity in helping agricultural businesses save time and money with a new chemical sensing technology. These innovations will be all the stronger for having been developed in partnership with the University of Washington."

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, (D-Seattle)

"Congratulations and thanks to these Washington firms for their creativity and leading-edge research."

Rep. Helen Sommers, (D-Seattle)

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EKOS Corporation

Bothell

http://www.ekoscorp.com

About EKOS Corporation
EKOS® Corporation pioneered the development and clinical application of microsonic technologies in medicine, introducing its first system for the treatment of vascular thrombosis in 2005. Today, interventional radiologists, cardiologists and vascular surgeons at leading institutions across the nation use EKOS MicroSonic Accelerated Thrombolysis to provide faster, safer and more complete dissolution of thrombus. In 2008, the company introduced its next generation EkoSonic Endovascular System with Rapid Pulse Modulation. The EkoSonic system is FDA cleared for controlled and selective infusion of physician-specified fluids, including thrombolytics, into the peripheral vasculature. It is currently used to treat patients with peripheral arterial occlusions (PAO) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and additional applications are being investigated. For more information visit www.EKOScorp.com.

Research & Technology Development (RTD) Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Development of an algorithm to accurately predict 'end of therapy' in ultrasound-facilitated Thrombolysis"

Research Partner: Hong Shen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2008

EKOS Corporation, a Bothell-based medical device company, is teamed with the University of Washington Department of Chemical Engineering to improve the company's proprietary catheter-based drug-delivery system.

UW will receive $30,000 in Phase I Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center and $6,000 from EKOS for the project titled "Development of an algorithm to accurately predict 'end of therapy' in ultrasound-facilitated Thrombolysis."

Catheter-directed thrombolysis (CDT) is a therapy for patients with vascular diseases such as deep vein thrombosis. However, current use of CDT is associated with high costs. These costs are due to technology limitations that result in doctors prescribing larger than necessary drug dosages and longer durations of therapy.

In this Phase I project, the collaborative team of EKOS and UW Assistant Professor Hong Shen plan to analyze patient data to develop an algorithm that will better predict the end of CDT therapy. Follow-on projects will involve the development and launch of the resulting software upgrade. EKOS plans to add this new technology to its current product line, potentially making CDT a more attractive and economical treatment option for doctors and patients.

"Investing in our communities and businesses through economic development really does enhance people's lives and our business climate. This research and development funding to EKOS is geared to develop ways to lower costs of essential medical treatment for those with vascular problems. To these people and their families, this work quite possibly can make a world of difference. These continued funding grants are targeted investments that help a lot of people."

State Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe (D-Bothell).

"This is great news for the research industry in the Bothell area. I'm very happy to hear about the partnership, and I hope that there are many more like it."

State Rep. Al O'Brien (D-Mountlake Terrace)

Focused Technology Initiative (FTI) Award

Research Partner: Fatih Dogan, UW Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering

Project began: 2001

Founded in 1995, EKOS is focused on developing proprietary ultrasound-based systems and devices for local drug delivery. Highly reliable piezoelectric ceramic transducers are crucial to the success of the devices developed by EKOS. This project works towards the development of such transducers by identifying the failure mechanisms of the ceramic material and developing improved material strength.
Labels: Bothell, District_1, King_County, Life_Sciences, Puget_Sound, RTD_Grant_Program, UW

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Farrson Chemicals

Kennewick

RTD Award: Entrepreneur's Access Program

Research Partner: Roger Krug, Columbia Basin College

Project Began: 2001

Project Description: Reveal by comparison under field conditions, the various levels of bioactivity of selected chitosans to improve potato tuber quality and enhance potato yields.

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Flat Spin Media, LLC

Spokane

Researcher: Michael Hendryx, WSU-Spokane, Health Policy and Administration

Year project began: 2001

Flat Spin Media, an information-technology-based hardware and software development company, is developing an electronic touchscreen notebook device for data collection. The company is collaborating with Dr. Hendryx to design a mental health survey application for their device. This technology can help health care system providers survey clients rapidly, efficiently, and confidentially, thus enhancing their clinical management and accountability.

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FungusAmongUs

Snohomish

http://www.fungusamongus.com

RTD Award: Phase I

Research Partner: Dr. Juming Tang and researchers in Biological Systems Engineering, Washington State University

Project Began: 2007

FungusAmongUs, a Snohomish-based supplier of non-perishable mushroom-based products, has teamed with Dr. Juming Tang from Washington State University to develop processes for producing shelf-stable ready-to-serve soup in flexible, heat-sealable containers called retortable pouches. The WSU research team will conduct the design and development of thermal sterilization processes and products. FungusAmongUs will provide the guidelines and raw materials for soup formulation. FungusAmongUs has an established presence in the gourmet and natural market as a producer of organic mushroom-based soups with products sold through national and local outlets such as Whole Foods, QFC and Fred Meyer. Washington state is the fourth largest producer of mushrooms in the U.S. with a $15 million share of the $889 million annual U.S. mushroom market. Over the past 10 years as consumers have become familiar with more exotic varieties, demand for medicinal and culinary uses of mushrooms has steadily increased. High in nutrition, mushrooms are now regarded as a beneficial food in modern diets. As eating habits have changed, today's consumers expect quick but healthy foods. Recent consumer surveys indicate strong interest in ready-made soup, with the organic soup category showing 40% growth in 2005. Development of process protocols for shelf-stable ready-to-serve mushroom soups will widen the product range available to FungusAmongUs and, in turn, lead to higher sales volumes and generation of more employment opportunities.

"This program helps to create more high-tech, high wage jobs in Snohomish County. The ripple effect from these jobs will benefit the entire region."

State Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-Lake Stevens)

"This is the perfect kind of targeted help from the state that builds jobs. New jobs are in new markets and this is a perfect example."

State Rep. Hans Dunshee, (D-Snohomish)

"Our economy used to be based on horsepower - and now it runs on brainpower. The research we're doing, and the scientific barriers we're breaking, will make our economy strong here in Washington state and improve the health and lives of people around the world.

State Rep. John Lovick (D-Mill Creek)

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Genespan Corp.

(Business Closed)

Bothell

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GenPrime, Inc.

Spokane

http://www.genprime.com/

Researcher: Jim Fleming, EWU Dept. of Biology

Year project began: 2001

GenPrime, a biotech company, has developed and is selling test kits for determining microbe concentrations in the cultured dairy and brewing industries. Funds will support generating a new rapid test for raw milk, which will alert farmers to contaminated milk within minutes - rather than after the milk has gone to the dairy processor.

Researcher: Dong-Hyun Kang, WSU Dept. of Food Sciences and Human Nutrition

Year project began: 2002

Dong-Hyun Kang of WSU is also collaborating with GenPrime to develop a method to test for coliforms, or bacteria that make humans sick, in half the time of current methods for a fraction of the cost. Dr. Kang is a food safety specialist with expertise in detection of food-borne pathogens.

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Healionics Corporation

Redmond

http://www.healionics.com

Healionics in the WTC news forum

About Healionics Corporation
Healionics is a privately held biomaterials company founded on technology developed by Dr. Buddy Ratner and Dr. Andrew Marshall at the University of Washington Engineered Biomaterials center and licensed from UW. Our mission is to be the leading provider of tissue regeneration and device bio-integration solutions to healthcare manufacturers. The flagship STAR - Sphere Templated Angiogenic Regeneration - biomaterial scaffold is a paradigm shift in biocompatibility. Healionics Corporation is headquartered in Redmond, Washington. For more information, please visit http://www.healionics.com.

Research & Technology Development (RTD) Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Spherically Templated Angiogenic Regenerative (STAR) Materials for Reduced Infection and Improved Function of Percutaneous Devices"

Research Partner: Dr. Philip Fleckman, Professor of Medicine (Dermatology), Department of Medicine, University of Washington

Project Began: 2008

Healionics Corporation, a start-up biomaterials company in Redmond, is partnered with the University of Washington Department of Medicine to commercialize technology that will reduce infection from skin-breaching devices such as catheters.

UW will receive $82,500 in Phase I Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center and $16,500 from Healionics for the project titled "Spherically Templated Angiogenic Regenerative (STAR) Materials for Reduced Infection and Improved Function of Percutaneous Devices."

Medical devices that breach the skin play an essential role in patient care. They deliver drugs and fluids to the body and have a variety of other uses. However, because the body's natural barrier to disease is broken by these devices, patients are predisposed to bacterial infection. For example, infections from central venous catheters are attributed to more than 30,000 deaths per year in the U.S. alone. Despite the risks, the medical use of these devices is expected to grow.

In this Phase I project, UW Professor of Medicine Philip Fleckman plans to evaluate healing responses and bacterial reduction attained with a prototype catheter technology developed by Healionics. The prototype's use of precisely-engineered biomaterials could help to maximize skin healing and thus reduce the risk of infection. Additional studies should help Healionics bring this promising medical technology to market.

"We are very pleased WTC recognized the potential of our next generation STAR biomaterial scaffold technology to advance patient care and improve quality of life. We look forward to expanding our strong relationship with Dr. Fleckman and his team at the UW."

Max Maginness, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer, Healionics

"We are excited about the opportunity to extend our studies of the biology of the interface of the skin with STAR materials and continue our collaboration with Healionics. The possibility of evolving this technology to a product that will help people by reducing morbidity while building the Washington state economy makes this a win-win project."

Dr. Philip Fleckman, Professor of Medicine, University of Washington

"I am so pleased with the quality of these research and development partnerships. The funds are clearly encouraging work with enormous potential to provide good jobs. Hospital-based infections are a growing problem, so this grant could have wide public benefit, too."

State Rep. Deb Eddy (D-Kirkland)

"I congratulate Healionics Corporation and the University of Washington research team for their technology to improve patient care. This kind of innovation not only helps Washington lead in global health, it helps to keep our local economy diversified and strong."

State Rep. Ross Hunter (D-Medina)

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Hummingbird Scientific

Lacey

http://www.hummingbirdscientific.com

Research & Technology Development (RTD) Award: Phase III

Project Title: "Development of an integrated microfluidics chamber for the transmission electron microscope"

Research Partner: Karl F. Böhringer, Ph.D., Professor, Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2008

Hummingbird Scientific, a developer of microscopy products located in Lacey, Washington, is partnered with the University of Washington Department of Electrical Engineering to develop a system for nanoscale imaging of materials in fluid environments.

UW will receive $100,000 in Phase III Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center and $20,000 from Hummingbird Scientific for the project titled "Development of an integrated microfluidics chamber for the transmission electron microscope."

Research into the internal structure of evolving materials is leading to important advances in the fields of nanoscience, bioscience and materials chemistry. While current imaging technology enables nanoscale research of materials evolving under controlled temperatures, no imagery technique exists for materials evolving in fluid environments. A method for observing material changes in liquids could prove to be a core technology for a range of scientific advances, from developing efficient solar cells to targeting cancer cells.

Hummingbird Scientific and UW Professor Karl Böhringer will continue a working collaboration in this Phase III project. Using the resources of University of Washington and Washington Technology Center, the team plans to develop an imaging system for materials in liquid or gaseous environments evolving under precise temperature controls. This work should extend the team's previous developments for imaging technology that Hummingbird Scientific expects to bring to market in 2008.

"Congratulations to Hummingbird Scientific on their worthy project and on receiving this grant. The Legislature is always looking to invest in increasing Washington's commercialization capacity. Hummingbird Scientific's microscopy project represents great scientific innovation and great economic potential. It's a perfect example of research and industry working together in the Puget Sound to generate new high-tech ideas, get those ideas to market, and create 21st century jobs."

State Sen. Karen Fraser (D-Thurston County)

"The Washington Technology Center's recognition of Hummingbird Scientific's pioneering nanoscience is a wonderful example of a great partnership. This is the partnership of our private and public sectors cooperating toward advances in a wide range of scientific realms."

State Rep. Sam Hunt (D-Olympia), Chair of the House State Government & Tribal Affairs Committee

"I'm delighted to see the state and Hummingbird Scientific partner in shaping our state's economy of the future."

State Rep. Brendan Williams (D-Olympia).

RTD Award: Phase II

Project Title: "Development of a MEMS based Ultra High Temperature Heating Element for the TEM"

Research Partner: Karl Böhringer, Ph.D., Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2007

Hummingbird Scientific, a Lacey, Washington-based developer of microscopy solutions, has teamed with University of Washington electrical engineering researcher Karl Böhringer to develop an improved high temperature heating element for use in the transmission electron microscope - a development that will lead to scientific advancements across a range of scientific fields. The company-researcher team has received $100,000 in Research and Technology Development funding from Washington state for their project titled "Development of a MEMS-based Ultra-high Temperature Heating Element for the TEM." The most common dynamic microscopy experiments revolve around the relatively simple act of heating a sample, as temperature is often the primary thermodynamic driving force for microstructural change in materials processing. The current state of the art in heating and cooling holder design for transmission electron microscopy relies on substantially out-dated technologies, yielding significant problems in temperature control and expensive and time consuming maintenance. The development of a compact, efficient, low cost, ultra high temperature heating element is core to the advancement of high temperature materials science. Hummingbird Scientific and Karl Böhringer will take advantage of the unique resources at the University of Washington to develop an advanced heating holder technology - a technology that will add important research and development tools to the material science, bioscience and nanotechnology fields.

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Development of a MEMS based Ultra High Temperature Heating Element for the TEM"

Research Partner: Karl Böhringer, Ph.D., Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2006

Transmission electron microscopes (TEM) are one of the primary experimental tools used in nanotechnology and materials sciences. In order to effectively evaluate the performance of materials at the nano-scale in high temperature environments, it is necessary to observe samples at in-use temperatures. This project will be critical to achieving unprecedented high temperatures with superior resolution in the TEM. Hummingbird Scientific, a south Puget Sound company that supplies custom, cutting-edge equipment and services for electron and ion microscope applications, is working with Dr. Karl Böhringer, research professor in the University of Washington's electrical engineering department, to develop a high performance heating element for TEM experimentation. The development of new designs and manufacturing processes will strive to achieve a combination of competitive advantages including the ability to withstand ultra-high temperatures and a more efficient design conducive to cost-effective replacement and repair.

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Impulse Accelerated Technologies

Kirkland

http://www.ImpulseAccelerated.com

About Impulse Accelerated Technologies, Inc.
Impulse Accelerated Technologies specializes in software-to-hardware compilation and verification tools. The Impulse CoDeveloper tools include C-to-FPGA optimization and hardware generation capabilities that are fully compatible with standard C development environments, and with widely-used FPGA design tools. Impulse products are used worldwide for applications that include embedded systems, video and image processing, digital signal processing, security, communications and high performance, FPGA-accelerated computing. For more information about Impulse and its products and services, visit www.ImpulseAccelerated.com or call 425-605-9543.

Research & Technology Development (RTD) Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Application and Benchmarking of Impulse C Technology to Medical Imaging Tasks"

Research Partner: Scott Hauck, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2008

Impulse Accelerated Technologies, Inc., a Kirkland-based developer of software-to-hardware tools, is working with the University of Washington Department of Electrical Engineering to create a research and development tool for the medical image processing community.

UW will receive $100,000 in Phase I Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center and $20,000 from Impulse for the project titled "Application and Benchmarking of Impulse C Technology to Medical Imaging Tasks."

Medical image processing is an important part of modern healthcare for analyzing internal anatomy and physiology. Imaging technology can help doctors diagnose diseases, optimize therapies and reduce the need for surgeries. Because it requires a great deal of computing resources to generate three-dimensional images from multiple scanning sources, medical imaging represents a significant computing challenge.

In this Phase I project, UW Associate Professor Scott Hauck and Impulse plan to extend and customize the company's CoDeveloper C-to-FPGA technology in support of medical imaging applications. The resulting software-to-hardware development system could make it easier for scientists and engineers to deploy high-performance medical image processing systems. These technical advancements to the Impulse tools could ultimately make medical imaging a faster and more accurate technology.

"We are excited to be working with Professor Hauck and his team to improve future healthcare. Hardware acceleration is a proven way to increase the processing throughput for medical imaging, and our combined research efforts will allow researchers to more quickly develop and deploy hardware-accelerated imaging systems."

David Pellerin, Co-founder and CEO, Impulse

"I am pleased with the quality of these research and development partnerships. These funds are clearly encouraging work with enormous potential to provide good jobs. Long-term, medical imaging could result in much better patient outcomes, substituting for expensive and risky surgery."

State Rep. Deb Eddy (D-Kirkland)

"Congratulations to Impulse Accelerated Technologies on winning a competitive grant with the University of Washington. Their joint technology development maximizes the state's investment in our research institutions and has potential for significant impact and job creation in Washington."

State Rep. Ross Hunter (D-Medina)

Research & Technology Development (RTD) Award: Phase I

Research Partner: Carl Ebeling, Ph.D., Department of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2004

This project will focus on developing key applications and creating additional hardware and software interfaces for a new set of design tools, specifically compilers, optimizers, and debuggers that allow software applications expressed in high-level languages to be compiled to Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA). The commercial availability of these tools will benefit applications used in imaging, biomedical research, data communication, geophysics, data encryption, and signal processing.

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Infometrix, Inc.

Bothell

http://www.infometrix.com

RTD Award: Phase II

Project Title: "Robust Process Gas Chromatography"

Research Partners: Professor James B. Callis, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington; Mel Koch, Director, Center for Process Analytical Chemistry, University of Washington

Project Began: 2008

Infometrix, a Bothell-based developer of scientific software, is teamed with Professor James Callis of the University of Washington Department of Chemistry to develop software for improved process monitoring technology.

UW received $100,000 in Phase II Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center for the project titled "Robust Process Gas Chromatography."

Current use of Gas Chromatography (GC) as a process monitoring technology suffers from problems of cost, maintenance and deployment. By taking advantage of recent developments in instrumentation, data treatments and sampling systems, the utility of GC could be extended across a diverse cross section of industries.

In this Phase II project, Infometrix and Dr. Callis will extend their development of the base technologies by focusing on both practical deployment issues and implementation of real-time processing of GC data. By making gas chromatographers easier to deploy and maintain, Infometrix's work will lead to increased applications in sectors such as petroleum and biofuels, agriculture, biotechnology and the life sciences.

"I congratulate Infometrix on their project. It has seemingly limitless applications for areas in public policy and its work will lead to increased applications in sectors like petroleum and biofuels, agriculture, and biotechnology. State funding enables partnerships between companies and non-profit research institutions on technology projects with potential for commercializing and creating new jobs. It's also a great illustration of the public and private sectors teaming together for the next big breakthrough."

State Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, (D-Bothell)

"Congratulations. I am very happy that state funding has been awarded to Infometrix, a Bothell company. Combined with the biotech cluster of businesses and institutions located in Seattle, Bothell has helped to make Washington State one of the top 5 or 6 biotech centers in the nation."

State Rep. Al O'Brien (D-Mountlake Terrace)

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Robust Process Gas Chromatography"

Research Partners: Jaromir Ruzicka, Ph.D. and Mel Koch, Ph.D., Center for Process Analytical Chemistry, University of Washington

Project Began: 2006

Process analytical instrumentation is a major business, generating $5 billion in corporate revenue annually. The chemical industry is clamoring for better performance for process analyzers - asking for smaller, modular, more technically-advanced components that can handle high volumes of data. Infometrix, a Bothell-based company, has teamed with Drs. Jaromir Ruzicka and Mel Koch with the University of Washington's Center for Process Analytical Chemistry (CPAC), to advance and improve the handling of data for sensors and other multivariate instrument systems. Gas chromatographs (GC) are the most common instruments used in monitoring and control. Infometrix and CPAC are looking to develop a robust GC that can be more easily integrated into the analysis process. This type of instrument is highly in demand in both laboratory analysis and for the commercial monitoring and control market. Infometrix has already received endorsement for this technology from several industry leaders including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Dow Chemical and Honeywell. Grant funding will be used to develop and build a prototype for commercial use by chemical and petroleum companies.

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Insilicos

Seattle

http://www.insilicos.com

Insilicos in the WTC news forum

RTD Award: Phase II

Project Title: "Novel Diagnostic Test for Heart Disease (Phase II)"

Research Partner: Research Assistant Professor Tomas Vaisar, Department of Medicine, University of Washington

Project Began: 2008

Insilicos, a Seattle-based developer of life science software, is working with Dr. Tomas Vaisar, Research Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington, to develop a novel diagnostic test for heart disease. UW received $100,000 in Phase II Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center for the project.

An accurate way to predict cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk is urgently needed. CVD is the leading cause of death in the United States. However, current tests for heart disease identify only one third of individuals at risk and thus myocardial infarction or sudden death are often the first indicators of the disease.

Insilicos has used mass spectrometry in conjunction with their proprietary pattern recognition software to analyze high density lipoprotein (HDL) and distinguish healthy subjects and subjects with CVD with high sensitivity and specificity.

In this Phase II project, Insilicos and Dr. Vaisar will extend their observations to large cohorts of subjects. The overall aim of these studies is to provide definitive evidence that analysis of HDL using mass spectrometry and pattern recognition analysis can identify subjects at risk for CVD. If successful, this discovery could lead to the development of a cost-effective, better-predictive diagnostic test for heart disease.

RTD Award: Phase I

Research Partner: Tomas Vaisar, Ph.D., University of Washington, School of Medicine

Project Began: 2006

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States. Nearly one-quarter of all Americans has some form of CVD and six million patients are admitted to the hospital for treatment annually. High cholesterol is one of the well-known risk factors. Current diagnostic tests measure the ratio of different forms of cholesterol to determine individuals at risk for heart disease. However, these tests incorrectly diagnose about 70% of people at risk for the disease. Insilicos has developed software to more accurately analyze data obtained from analysis of plasma. The company is partnering with Dr. Vaisar at the University of Washington to develop a faster, more affordable diagnostic test using the company's software. Through this grant, the new tool will be tested in the clinical setting. Insilicos is also exploring the application of this novel diagnostic tool for use by physicians to diagnose and treat other medical issues, including diabetes.

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Intelligent Ion, Inc.

Seattle

http://www.intelligention.com/

Researcher: Dr. R. Bruce Darling, UW Dept. of Electrical Engineering

Year project began: 2003

Intelligent Ion, Inc. develops products that improve the speed and usability of biological and chemical information. The company is building a new miniature mass spectrometer that will be 75 percent smaller (to fit on a large PC card) and significantly less expensive than existing systems. Under the direction of Professor Darling at the University of Washington, this project will research, design, and build the spectrometer's precise, ultra-small focusing system (electronic and physical optics). This new small, low-priced portable instrument will be usable across a broad range of applications that require immediate, accurate compositional analyses--including national security, law enforcement, and environmental monitoring.

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IsoRay, Inc.

Richland

http://www.isoray.com

IsoRay in the WTC news forum

Researcher: Dr. Leroy Korb, UW Radiation Oncology Department

Year project began: 2004

This project will document the anticipated clinical and economic benefits of the company's new brachytherapy seed isotope, the Cs131seed, for the treatment of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in men, and IsoRay has the only FDA-approved Cesium-131 brachytherapy seed that conforms to the AAPM Task Force 43 guidelines for clinical use. The results of the research will allow the company to gain a stronger foothold in the worldwide brachytherapy seed treatment market.

Researcher: Dr. Mark Phillips, UW Medical Center's Cancer Center

Year project began: 2002

IsoRay was formed to develop radioactive "seeds" used to treat confined prostate cancer and other solid tumors. IsoRay is using a new radioisotrope with a shorter half-life and higher dose rate than isotopes currently being used. The goal is to provide a seed that is better able to kill all cancer cells while minimizing side effects. The company has partnered with Dr. Phillips to evaluate the radiological properties and radiobiological characteristics of IsoRay's seeds, as well as prepare a treatment-planning computer program.

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Isotron Corp.

Redmond

http://www.isotron.net/

Researcher: Dr. Buddy Ratner, UW Engineered Biomaterials Center

Year project began: 2002

This team is developing a technology to provide semi-permeable reactive fabric coatings that can protect field troops, industrial workers, and healthcare workers in case of exposure to hazardous biological agents. This technology can also be applied to decontaminate drinking water systems. These industrial coatings are based on nanoparticle technology. Specifically, the company is working with Dr. Ratner to develop a new nanoparticle species that is capable of capturing and holding oxidant reactive species in a bioavailable state.

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La Haye Laboratories, Inc.

Redmond

Researcher: Boon P. Chew, WSU Dept. of Animal Sciences

Year project began: 2001

La Haye Labs is a developer, manufacturer, and marketer of natural pharmaceutical, nutritional, or dietary supplement products intended primarily for humans. Their latest product is astaZANTHIN, an all-natural antioxidant that has shown promise in many areas, including cardiovascular diseases, dermatology, and cancer. Antioxidants are thought to prevent certain types of cell damage associated with artery disease and aging, but their usefulness has not been proved. Project funds will help support studies of the product's possible immune-enhancing activity, a step that is necessary for the product to be accepted as a nutritional or dietary supplement.

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Leak Indicator Paint Systems (LIPS), Inc.

Tacoma

Researcher: Dr. Gamal Khalil, UW Dept. of Chemistry

Year project began: 2002

LIPS, Inc. is developing a microporous material that can remove arsenic in drinking water. The company believes this low-cost product will help small drinking water systems meet the new federal arsenic standard. This research collaboration is gathering data on surface areas, micropore structure, and loading capacity of a new microporous absorbent.

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MesoSystems Technology, Inc.

Richland

http://www.mesosystems.com/

Researcher: Buddy Ratner, UW Bioengineered Materials Program

Year project began: 1999

A Richland biotechnology company has teamed with Buddy Ratner of the UW Bioengineered Materials Program to develop thermally responsive "smart" coatings for an air sampler that collects airborne pathogens, such as anthrax, for rapid detection. WTC established the research partnership and is funding the project through its MEMS Initiative.

MesoSystems, Inc. released the device, Realtime BioCapture, on the market a few months ago. When used with Mesosystems' companion product, RealTime BioSensor, the system is capable of detecting the presence of disease-causing microbes in minutes.

Originally created for the military, BioCapture equips emergency responders such as police, firefighters, and medical personnel to respond to biological terrorist attacks. "Current methods for detecting airborne pathogens take at least 24 hours because the air samples need to be incubated," says Chuck Call, president of MesoSystems. "BioCapture is an important new product for emergency responders because it reduces the amount of time personnel spend inside the hot zone." The device is currently being field-tested by fire departments in major metropolitan areas, including the City of Seattle. Other uses for the product include monitoring for airborne infections in hospitals and microbiological hazards in meatpacking facilities.

New coatings being developed will enhance the air sampler's efficiency in collecting, concentrating, and isolating pathogens. At room temperature, pathogens stick to the coatings, like flies to fly paper. When heated, the pathogens separate from the coating for analysis. Established in 1998, Mesosystems has grown from two to 24 people, and predicts 100 percent revenue growth this year. Their primary markets are military and civilian defense, medical and public health markets.

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Micronics, Inc.

Redmond

http://www.micronics.net/

Researcher: Albert Folch, UW Dept. of Bioengineering

Year project began: 2001

Micronics has become a leading developer of microfluidics-based solutions for application in life science (genomics), in vitro medical diagnostics, and analytical chemistry markets. Their proprietary technologies enable companies to perform chemical analyses faster, less expensively, and with less complexity. Dr. Albert Folch collaborated with Micronics to develop a unique microfluidic device that generates a large number of different mixtures by combining a few input compounds.

Researcher: Paul Yager, UW Dept. of Bioengineering

Year project began: 2000

Paul Yager assisted Micronics in the development of an inexpensive, disposable microfluidic cartridge. The cartridge, about the size of a credit card, is used to perform blood tests and other diagnostics requiring body fluids. The microfluidic system provides results at the "point of care," such as in the doctor's office, instead of being sent to a laboratory. Just one of these "lab-on-chip" devices can potentially perform up to 20 different medical diagnostic tests using the same sample. The microfluidic technologies behind these advances were originally developed at the University of Washington, using the same microfabrication techniques established in the semiconductor manufacturing industry. The research team is using WTC's Microfabrication Lab to create the prototype and optimize MEMS-based manufacturing methods.

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Mimic Technologies

Seattle

http://www.mimic.ws/

Researcher: George M. Turkiyyah, UW Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Year project began: 2002

Mimic Technologies is developing computer simulation hardware and software that will allow medical personnel to practice their surgical skills before trying them on people. This new technology provides feedback on internal stress and strain as simulated tissue is manipulated, which allows surgical tasks to be performed and evaluated in real time. Mimic has teamed with George Turkiyyah of the UW and the UW Human Interface Technology (HIT) Laboratory to develop a realistic, real-time suturing simulator. A central feature of this technology is its ability to allow the doctor-in-training to feel the procedure and see surgical tools interacting with simulated tissue via a new breed of human-computer interaction hardware that brings the sense of touch to the desktop experience. Dr. Turkiyyah is an expert in finite element modeling, scientific computing, and geometric modeling.

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Molecular Kinetics, Inc.

Pullman

http://www.molecularkinetics.com/
Researcher: A. Keith Dunker, WSU School of Molecular Biosciences

Year project began: 2001

Molecular Kinetics is a biotech company that markets equipment used for experiments aimed at understanding protein structure and function. With the recent completion of the DNA sequencing of the Human Genome Project, researchers are now looking to ascertain functions for the 35,000+ proteins in the human genome -- opening avenues to improve all areas of human life. This project will focus on developing software tools for prediction and identification of regions of order and disorder in proteins.

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Multiform Harvest, Inc

Seattle

Researcher: Dr. Joseph Harrison, Department of Animal Sciences, WSU Puyallup

Year project began: 2004

The effectiveness of a fluidized-bed crystallizer to remove phosphorus from dairy waste to prevent environmental degradation of surface water will be trialed at a dairy farm in Snohomish. Dairy production is one of the top-ranked agricultural industries in Washington. An estimated one-third of all dairy farms in Washington use flush/irrigation systems to create liquid fertilizer from the cattle waste. EPA regulations are calling for a reduction in build-up of phosphorus in soil. Solutions currently available are costly and cumbersome for dairy farmers to implement.

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Northstar Neuroscience

(Business Closed)

Seattle

http://www.northstarneuro.com

About Northstar Neuroscience, Inc.
Northstar Neuroscience (NASDAQ:NSTR) is a medical device company focused on developing neuromodulation therapies to treat neurological injury, disorder and disease. Northstar's proprietary Renova Cortical Stimulation System* is an investigational device that delivers targeted electrical stimulation to the outer surface of the brain - the cerebral cortex. The Renova system is currently under investigation for several indications. For more information, visit www.northstarneuro.com.

*CAUTION: Investigational Device. Limited by Federal Law (U.S.) to investigational use.

Research & Technology Development (RTD) Award: Phase I (* project canceled)

Project Title: "Implantable recurrent brain-computer interface for activity-dependent brain stimulation"

Research Partner: Eberhard Fetz, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Physiology & Biophysics, University of Washington

Project Began: 2008

In partnership with Northstar Neuroscience, the UW Department of Physiology & Biophysics plans to further research and develop cortical stimulation as a form of therapy for stroke survivors. Cortical stimulation refers to the process of stimulating the cerebral cortex, or the outermost layer of the brain with low levels of electricity to promote neuroplasticity, which may lead to an improvement of motor function.

UW will receive $79,992 in Phase I Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center and $16,000 from Northstar Neuroscience for the project titled "Implantable recurrent brain-computer interface for activity-dependent brain stimulation." In this Phase I project, UW Professor Eberhard Fetz and Northstar Neuroscience will leverage the resources of the University of Washington and Washington Technology Center to develop technology that will use neural and muscular activity to control electrical brain stimulation during stroke rehabilitation. The technology may ultimately be integrated with Northstar's Renova Cortical Stimulation System with the goal of improving the lives of stroke patients.

Each year, more than 700,000 people in the U.S. suffer a stroke. Physical therapy is the most frequently prescribed post-acute treatment for stroke survivors; however, this therapy is often offered for only a brief time post-stroke and is rarely continued long-term due to the misconception that brain function is beyond repair a certain period after the initial stroke. Recent studies have shown that repetitive, targeted cortical stimulation of the brain during physical therapy may increase recovery of speech and motor function in stroke patients.

"With the ground-breaking research taking place in Seattle, this grant helps ensure that Washington state will remain at the forefront of the biotechnology industry."

State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle).

"The partnership between the University of Washington and Northstar Neuroscience Inc. holds great promise for jobs and even more importantly for stroke victims. This is exactly the kind of collaboration that can keep Seattle at the forefront of high tech job creation."

State Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (D-Seattle)

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Northwest Marine Technology

Anacortes

http://www.nmt.us

Research Partner: Gael Kurath, PhD, U.S. Geological Survey and University of Washington, Pathobiology

Project Description:
Disease in fish can devastate hatchery and aquaculture production causing billions of dollars in financial losses annually. Scientific studies show that the ability to vaccinate fish against disease makes a monumental difference in protecting against these financial losses. Oral vaccines, which are less invasive and require little handling, have exhibited weak results. New DNA-based vaccines have proven highly effective in protecting fish against viral pathogens, especially those delivered by intramuscular injection. However, fisheries resources managers don't have a way to deliver these vaccines in a large-scale, economically-viable manner. Currently, the worldwide aquaculture industry hand vaccinates approximately 1 billion fish per year. This hands-on process is expensive, estimated to cost $300 million a year. It is also labor intensive and requires human handling and anesthetizing the fish. Northwest Marine Technology is working with Dr. Kurath of the U.S.G.S. Western Fisheries Research Center and University of Washington to develop an experimental vaccine delivery device to inoculate fish with DNA-based vaccines that is fully-automated, safe, cost-efficient and effective in preventing disease. The project will involve development and testing of the innovative vaccine delivery device on a laboratory population of rainbow trout at the Western Fisheries Research Center.

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Northwest Quality Products

Aberdeen

Researcher: John Gerdes, Central Washington University

Year project began: 1999

The timber products industry in Western Washington has generated massive amounts of waste cedar wood that are too hazardous for landfill disposal. Currently over 100,000 tons of the highly flammable by-product are sitting in waste piles in Grays Harbor County alone. Northwest Quality Products, Aberdeen, has a plan and a process for extracting two viable products from this waste: a wood oil preservative and aromatic oils that impart the cedar scent to consumer products such as candles and soap.

Ron Lunnum, founder of the company, wanted to optimize the distillation method for production on a larger scale. The WTC introduced him to John Gerdes, a researcher with expertise in organic chemistry at Central Washington University in Ellensburg. The two are collaborating on an Entrepreneur's Access project to further develop the refining process. Upon completion, Northwest Quality Products plans to operate a processing plant in Grays Harbor County and employ up to 50 workers in this economically depressed region.

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Omeros Corporation

Seattle

http://www.omeros.com

Omeros in the WTC news forum

RTD Award: Phase II

Project Title: "Polymeric Micelles for Noninvasive Molecular Imaging of Cancer and Delivery of Therapeutic Anticancer Agents"

Research Partners: Assistant Professor Suzie H. Pun, Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington; Associate Professor Xingde Li, Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington.

Phase Began: 2009

Omeros Corporation, a Seattle-based biopharmaceutical company, is working with the University of Washington's Department of Bioengineering to develop a new drug delivery platform for applications in medical imaging and cancer therapy.

UW will receive $99,274 in Phase II research and technology development funding from Washington Technology Center and $34,746 from Omeros Corporation for the project titled "Polymeric Micelles for Noninvasive Molecular Imaging of Cancer and Delivery of Therapeutic Anticancer Agents."

The pharmaceutical industry is facing several difficulties in bringing new drugs to market. These include escalating R&D; costs, increasing regulatory commitments and increasing consumer demand for better, more convenient and lower-cost medicines. To overcome these difficulties, the industry is launching older molecules in new delivery platforms. Polymeric micelles have gained attention recently as a versatile nanotechnology platform that can significantly improve drug efficacy.

Omeros and UW researchers Drs. Suzie Pun and Xingde Li will continue a working collaboration in this Phase II project. The team plans to expand on the in vivo imaging studies of the polymeric micelles. In addition the team plans to formulate and evaluate polymeric micelles containing anticancer therapeutics. The ultimate results of their work could provide many benefits to patients including convenience, safety, lower cost, and improved targeting to specific sites such as tumors.

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Near-infrared Fluorescent Polymeric Micelles for Noninvasive Molecular Imaging of Cancer"

Research Partners: Assistant Professor Suzie H. Pun, Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington; Associate Professor Xingde Li, Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington.

Phase Began: 2008

Omeros Corporation, a Seattle-based biopharmaceutical company, is working with Drs. Suzie Pun and Xingde Li, researchers in the University of Washington's Department of Bioengineering, to develop a new drug delivery platform for applications in cancer imaging.

The UW received $100,000 in Phase I Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center for the project titled "Near-infrared Fluorescent Polymeric Micelles for Noninvasive Molecular Imaging of Cancer."

The pharmaceutical industry is facing several difficulties in bringing new drugs to market. These include escalating R&D; costs, increasing regulatory commitments and increasing consumer demand for better, more convenient and lower-cost medicines. To overcome these difficulties, the industry is launching older molecules in new delivery platforms. Polymeric micelles have gained attention recently as a versatile nanotechnology platform that can significantly improve drug efficacy.

In this Phase I project, Omeros and Drs. Pun and Li will develop Omeros' micellar delivery vehicle, believed to offer enhanced stability, for applications in cancer imaging using the UW's imaging technology and, potentially, in cancer therapy. The results of their work could provide many benefits to patients including convenience, safety, lower cost, and improved targeting to specific sites such as tumors.

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Pacific Research Laboratories, Inc.

Vashon

Researcher: Susmita Bose, WSU School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Year project began: 2000

Pacific Research Laboratories, Inc. is a leading producer of artificial bones, Sawbones®, designed to simulate the bone architecture as well as the bone's physical properties. These training models allow demonstration and practice of different procedures that can enhance medical research and treatment. Therefore, having true-to-life models is crucial.

In July 2000, WTC funded a project teaming Pacific Research with Dr. Susmita Bose of Washington State University's School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, to develop the first artificial open-celled cancellous bone model. WTC's participation helped Pacific Research speed up development and lower the company's financial risk in ultimately bringing a beneficial new product to market.

Using Sawbones provided by Pacific Research, Dr. Bose and her colleagues have been experimenting with various materials and processes, trying to achieve the natural strength and architecture of cancellous bone. Materials used to make these bone models are polyurethane-based polymers, ceramic powders, and organic solvents. In the last year and a half, the team of researchers has developed some models attaining the proper architecture and is working to perfect the strength properties of real bone.

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Plant Care Technologies Corporation

Pullman

Research & Technology Development (RTD) Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Smart Bark Technology, a value-added opportunity for bark as a specialty plant care product"

Research Partners: Assistant Professor Vikram Yadama, Ph.D., and Associate Professor Rita Hummel, Ph.D., Wood Materials and Engineering Laboratory, Washington State University, Pullman

Project Began: 2008

Plant Care Technologies Corporation, a start-up nursery bioproducts company located in Pullman, is partnered with the Wood Materials and Engineering Laboratory at Washington State University to study the commercial feasibility of using heat-treated waste-wood products as an alternative to traditional plant-growing media.

WSU will receive $99,778 in Phase I Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center and $19,956 from Plant Care Technologies Corporation for the project titled "Smart Bark Technology, a value-added opportunity for bark as a specialty plant care product."

Washington's sawmill industry produces 1.3 million tons of bark residues annually. Some of this forest industry byproduct is either converted to a lesser-value material or used as fuel to produce steam or heat. Most is discarded as waste, creating both disposal costs and potential environmental issues.

In this Phase I project, WSU's Assistant Professor Vikram Yadama and Associate Professor Rita Hummel plan to help Plant Care Technologies Corporation determine the feasibility of turning this bark waste material into a nutrient-supplying horticultural growing media. The team plans to conduct a thorough analysis of the effects of thermal treatment on bark's absorption, retention and controlled release of nutrients, herbicides and pesticides. This project is a first step in turning wood waste into a valuable commercial product for the plant materials and horticultural industries.

"This award from the Washington Technology Center underscores the pride we have in WSU and its well-earned reputation for innovative research. The concepts and discoveries emerging from the partnership between the Wood Materials and Engineering Lab and Plant Care Technologies have great potential for economic development and environmental benefit."

State Rep. Joe Schmick (R-Colfax)

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PriTest, Inc.

Redmond

http://www.pritest.com/

Researcher: Dr. William Davis, WSU Dept. of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology

Year project began: 2004

Bovine tuberculosis is a serious disease of cattle that can also affect humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. Millions of cattle today are tested regularly for Mycobacterium bovis (Mbv) to reduce the risk of disease spread to other cattle and other types of animals, and protect public health.

Control of Mbv has been impeded by the lack of diagnostic analyses for early diagnosis of diseased animals and the lack of effective vaccines. Although progress is being made, it will be some time before vaccines are developed and commercially available. Therefore, diagnosing and separating infected animals from herds are the main methods of controlling the spread of disease.

PriTest provides products such as easy-to-use pathogen and bioanalytical detection systems for the food-safety-screening and life-science markets. The company is working with Professor Davis to complete the development of a new rapid diagnostic test kit, using the PriTest biodetection platform to significantly improve the diagnosis of Mbv in cattle. The test market for this product is Washington State's $100+ million cattle industry.

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Pro-Tech Services, Inc.

Mukilteo

http://www.pro-techservices.com/

Researcher: Dr. Vishesh Kapur, Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine Specialist, University of Washington Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center

Year project began: 2004

This collaborative team is working to develop a new device that measures changes in autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity during sleep as a means to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is a disorder present in 3 percent of middle-age adults that causes disruption of sleep and changes in ANS activity during sleep. OSA can lead to fatigue, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. The sleep diagnostic sensor market is roughly $13 million a year. Pro-Tech is the market leader in the worldwide sleep sensor market. In this project, the team is working to create a sensor that measures ANS activity more accurately, easily and economically than is currently available. Commercial systems on the market now have a number of drawbacks including the inability to normalize for patient body and hand movements, high equipment and labor costs, and limited availability. The initial project involves developing prototype software for integration with existing systems. A second phase is planned to develop a wireless wrist-worn device with features for data transfer for post-test analysis as well as real-time analysis over the Internet.

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Quincy Farm Chemicals, Inc.

Quincy

Researcher: Dr. Steven Verhey, Central Washington University Dept. of Biological Sciences

Year project began: 2004

Compost is an increasingly important source of macronutrients, micronutrients and organic matter to improve soil characteristics in production agriculture, and is an alternative to chemical fertilizers. Bagged or bulk compost is also much sought-after by gardeners and landscapers, and high-quality compost is hard to find.

A key component of Washington's substantial agricultural industry is the production of spearmint and peppermint oils. The state produces close to 25 percent of U.S. mint oils, the processing of which produces large quantities of waste plant material, or mint slugs. Mint slugs are a potentially rich source of the carbon required for effective composting. However, Central Washington's mint slug resource currently is completely unused and represents a significant waste disposal problem. Proper disposal of agricultural waste materials is mandated and enforced by state and federal agencies.

Turning waste material feedstocks into a valuable and sellable product, compost, is one of the goals of Quincy Farm Chemicals. The company is working with Professor Verhey to, (1) analyze the local mint feedstocks for composting potential, (2) develop "recipes" likely to produce high-quality compost, and (3) produce and test the compost for fertilizer use. Quincy Farm Chemical's "recycling" process of this previously unused mint straw provides the company with a new product to sell, while also solving a waste disposal problem.

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RationalDiagnostics, LLC

Seattle

Researcher: Daniel E. Sabath, University of Washington Dept. of Laboratory Medicine

Year project began: 2001

RationalDiagnostics is a start-up clinical genomics company whose goal is to develop novel diagnostic tools based on the discovery of disease-specific genes. The company is currently focusing on identifying genes whose patterns of expression distinguish different types of B-cell lymphomas, and developing a highly sensitive lymphoma diagnostic tool. Better diagnostic tools are expected to improve the management of lymphoma patients and may yield molecular targets useful for developing new drug treatments.

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RS Medical

Vancouver

http://www.rsmedical.com

Researcher: Steven A. Martinez, Washington State University Dept. of Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Year project began: 2001

In the U.S., approximately 250,000 lumbar spinal fusions are performed every year. Of these procedures, many require additional treatment due to unsuccessful fusion. Bone growth stimulation (BGS) devices are widely accepted in the orthopedic market to promote healing following spinal surgeries, increasing the success of the fusion. However, most of the existing devices are unable to focus on an exact area. This project will analyze the effect of two of RS Medical's bone growth stimulation devices that can target a specific bone area, as well as provide stimulation to larger areas.

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SoilSoup, Inc.

Seattle

Researcher: Dr. Lynne Carpenter-Boggs, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State University

Year project began: 2004

The team is working on biotechnology solutions for increasing the life of liquid compost (Compost Tea). SoilSoup currently has patented aerobic compost tea brewing equipment that makes a fresh liquid compost tea and is selling in the market today under the brand name of SoilSoup. In this project, the company hopes to develop other versions of its existing products which will increase market share. In 2003, U.S. consumers spent $69 billion on do-it-yourself law and garden activities and professional services. In the past year, 110 million U.S. households purchased outdoor fertilizers or soil amendments. SoilSoup's products are gaining brand awareness as a leading chemical-free solution for lawn and garden care. The company currently sells it brewing kits direct to consumers, retailers, garden centers, schools, and commercial farmers. Liquid compost helps to decrease fertilizer use and restore natural balance to the soil ecosystem. SoilSoup's customers can now buy a home brewing unit or purchase the product by the gallon in select locations across the country. By adding new biological products, the company will increase its distribution and workforce within Washington State.

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Söliv

Seattle

http://www.soliv.com/

Consulting can be key to helping small companies gain competitive edge

Söliv is a small Seattle skin care company with a breakthrough product line founded on marine biotechnology. Armed with a patented proprietary material and R&D; to back it up, the company was ready to hit the ground running. But an economic downturn threatened to cripple the company's progress. The slowdown in the financial markets motivated the company to turn its attention inward, to fine-tune its market strategy and hold tight until investment opportunities looked more promising. A consulting contract with WTC's Small Business Counseling proved to be a smart move for Söliv and provided the company with an action plan for moving forward.

Company Profile

Söliv develops, processes, and markets bio-active, anti-aging skin and body care products. It is the first company in the Northwest to develop marine-based biotechnology products. In 2001, the company completed its initial research phase through WTC's Research Grant Program, in partnership with the University of Washington's Department of Botany, to develop an advanced aquaculture system for cultivating a specific seaweed strain used in Söliv's proprietary skin and body care products. The goal was to develop a technologically feasible method for assuring that large-scale supplies of this raw material would be available for product development and sales.

The Research Project

The WTC grant, in combination with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), allowed Söliv to develop a successful platform for refining its aquaculture methods along with natural selection and propagation of new strains, each with different properties for skin care products. The result was a raw material base to support an $80 million to $100 million retail business with 25 products.

Business Situation

With its product line well established, Söliv turned its attention toward financing, marketing, sales, and manufacturing. The economic slowdown experienced over the past three years had made access to capital difficult, if not seemingly impossible, for small start-up businesses. Without a strong climate for going after investors, Söliv decided to focus on its internal operations and use the downtime from seeking funding to evaluate its positioning strategy for entering the market.

"This time proved valuable for us," notes Diane Boratyn, president and CEO of Söliv. "We got extremely efficient at doing what we do. We were ready to enter the market yet needed a game plan for transitioning the findings and test market maneuvers into a marketing and investment strategy. We had the elements in place, but saw the benefits of having a seasoned professional help shape our strategy for getting the 'edge' on securing funding."

Enter WTC's Manager of Small Business Counseling, Elaine Kong. In late 2003, WTC launched a new branch of its regional and technical services line, specifically targeted to assist small- and medium-sized technology companies with financing and strategic planning.

Having worked with WTC through its R&D; grant program, Söliv was familiar with WTC's services and was introduced to Kong as a resource to assist them with their business strategy.

Kong has a great deal of experience nationally and internationally in developing business and investment strategies for companies in the growth stages. Her background includes venture capital, start-up consulting, and strategic business planning.

For Söliv, the team focused on strategic planning, capitalization planning, due diligence package preparation, stock option research and compensation planning, investor advisory and sales strategies implementation.

"One of our primary objectives for Söliv was to develop a solid marketing and sales strategy," Kong explains. "For a company in their stage of growth, this is key to attracting investors. They are acutely interested in knowing how the company is preparing to move the product to market and generate revenue."

The Future

Since completing their consulting contract with WTC, Söliv has a solid sales and marketing plan in place, complete with short- and long-term goals for broadening their customer base, penetrating their target markets, and increasing sales of their product. To date, this includes adding four new full-time staff and five independent sales representatives. The sales force throughout Washington is projected to increase threefold by May 2004. The company plans to use recent capital raised to roll out its sales plan, expand its production facility, and increase manufacturing operations.

"To put it simply, WTC's Small Business Counseling services helped us overcome the 'financial paralysis' stage that a company may face when funding is tight," Boratyn says. "Elaine helped position the company to capture its strengths and accomplishments in financial terms and develop the tools needed to attract the most sophisticated groups of investors. Now we're prepared to deliver a high-quality, attractive presentation to investors, supported by a solid growth plan."

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Sonotech, Inc.

Bellingham

http://www.sonotech-inc.com/

Researcher: Buddy Ratner, University of Washington Dept. of Engineered Biomaterials

Year project began: 2001

Founded in 1986, Sonotech is a major supplier of medical and industrial ultrasound couplants in the U.S. The project will develop acoustic couplant materials in gel or thickened liquid form, for use with medical ultrasound imaging probes in surgical and transcutaneous puncture procedures where in vivo biocompatibility and biodegradability are essential to patient health and safety.

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Sonus Pharmaceuticals

Bothell

http://www.sonuspharma.com/

Researchers: Marc Fariss and Jin-Gang Zhang, Washington State University Dept. of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Year project began: 2002

Sonus Pharmaceuticals develops therapeutic drugs using its drug delivery technology platform, which features a vitamin-E-based oil-in-water emulsion to promote the solubility of lipophilic (fat-soluble, non-water soluble) drugs that require novel drug delivery formulations for effective delivery into the body. Encapsulating injectable cancer-killing drugs in a vitamin E emulsion may lower the toxicity of the formulation, which could lead to a product that can be administered more easily to patients with fewer side effects and better efficacy. Dr. Marc Fariss of WSU has discovered a class of vitamin E derivatives that have the ability to selectively kill human tumor cells while protecting normal tissue. This project teams Drs. Fariss and Zhang of WSU with Sonus to investigate the ability of Sonus' platform, as well as its vitamin E components, to selectively enhance the antitumor activity of chemotherapeutic agents. Dr. Zhang has expertise in the mechanisms of vitamin-E-derivative-mediated cytoprotection and antitumor activity.

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SpringStar Inc.

Woodinville

http://www.springstar.net

RTD Award: Phase I

Research Partner: R. Bruce Darling, Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Phase Began: 2006

Demand for pest control methods which do not rely on toxic or persistent chemicals is increasing as human and environmental concerns continue to grow. One such environmentally-friendly technology relies on natural chemicals, such as pheromones, instead of conventional toxic pesticides to control pests through mating disruption or trapping. However, the effectiveness of this method has been limited by the ability to capture and mimic the entire repertoire of communication patterns insects during courtship and mating. New research indicates that insect communication is more complex that previously believed. It has been discovered that some insects use a combination of message-bearing compounds and acoustic (vibration) signals to communicate. Integration of audio attractants with pheromone attractants into a comprehensive pest control system could greatly enhance the effectiveness of this biotechnology to control pests without toxicants. However, field-ready electronic equipment for researchers to capture and reproduce these faint and complex signals is scarce and costly. SpringStar Inc., a manufacturer of pheromone-based pest control products for homes and gardens, has teamed with Dr. R. Bruce Darling with the University of Washington's Electrical Engineering department to develop a system that can reproduce and integrate leading-edge entomology "song" data into an affordable, portable device for field analysis. This device will be integral to the development of new audio/chemical pest control methods for residential and commercial use with a goal of effectively and economically controlling key pests without pesticides.

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Steadfast Equipment
Mukilteo

RTD Award: Entrepreneur's Access Program

Research Partner: Nicole Hoekstra, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Plastics Engineering Technology, Western Washington University

Project Phase Began: 2000

Description: Testing of a disposable rotary drum filter used to separate solids from liquids in high value products.

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Sterling International

Veradale

http://www.rescue.com

Researcher: Donald S. Matteson, Washington State University Dept. of Chemistry

Year project began: 2000

Museum collections -- plants, animals, books, mummies, etc. -- are susceptible to attack from Stegobium paniceum and Lasioderma serricorne, two species of beetles. Sterling International, manufacturer of non-toxic pest control products, is teaming up with Dr. Donald Matteson to develop pilot-scale synthesis of pheromones that will attract these beetles into traps.

Researcher: Dr. Prashanta Dutta, Washington State University School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Year project began: 2003

Sterling International manufactures RESCUE® pest control products, which use pheromones to attract the insects. This WTC project teams the company with Dr. Prashanta Dutta to develop a precision micro-pump capable of controlling the dispensing rate of pheromones in insect traps, which eventually will be capable of responding to environmental conditions, such as turning on or off at night. This system will be both inexpensive and use little power. With no moving parts, it is an ideal solution for battery-operated traps with a long operating life.

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Syntrix Biosystems

Redmond

http://www.syntrixbio.com/

Researcher: William M. Atkins, University of Washington Dept. of Medicinal Chemistry

Year project began: 2002

Syntrix Biosystems has developed a microchip platform for drug discovery that avoids the coding and decoding constraints of other chips. Syntrix is collaborating with William Atkins of UW to validate the ability of Syntrix's Combi-Chip to screen and identify drug candidates. The project aims to use the microchip platform to identify promising cancer therapeutics by allowing large combinatorial libraries to be synthesized and screened. Dr. Atkins is an expert in the enzymology of glutathione-S-transferases, the promising cancer therapeutic targets that are the focus of the project.

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Theo Chocolate, Inc.

Seattle

http://www.theochocolate.com

Theo Chocolate in the WTC news forum
RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "'Magic Bean' - A point detection analysis system for predicting the quality of Cocoa beans in finished product"

Research Partner: Professor Robert Synovec, Department of Chemistry, University of Washington

Phase Began: 2009

Theo Chocolate, Inc., a Seattle-based manufacturer of artisan chocolates and confections, is collaborating with the University of Washington's Department of Chemistry to develop food-safety and quality-analysis technology. UW will receive $30,000 in Phase I research and technology development funding from Washington Technology Center and $6,000 from Theo Chocolate for the project.

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Therus Corporation

Seattle

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Tree Top, Inc.

Selah

http://www.treetop.com/

Research Partner: Dr. Carter Clary, WSU Dept. of Biological Systems Engineering

Year project began: 2004

Project Description
The domestic and international market for ready-to-eat cereal is a large and rapidly-growing market estimated in the billions of dollars. Adding dried fruit to cereals has become a widely accepted practice. To dry fruit without degradation of shape, color and flavor, the trend has been to use vacuum- or freeze-drying equipment. These methods are labor intensive, expensive and produce small quantities of useable product. Microwave vacuum drying is an attractive alternative, producing high-quality, well-preserved fruit at a lower cost. Tree Top, a Central Washington-based grower-owned cooperative that produces apple products, partnered with Dr. Clary from Washington State University to prototype various fruits and berries using microwave vacuum drying that met standards for inclusion in RTE cereals. In a follow-on study, the company concentrated on exclusively drying apples infused with high fructose corn syrup. The partners are continuing their partnership in this third phase project with studies to test various sugar additives to achieve maximum product taste and texture. The project will also look at the feasibility of producing the drying equipment for commercial sale to fruit processors.

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Ultreo (formerly Second Act Partners, Inc.)
(Business Closed)

Redmond (located in Sammamish at the time of the WTC grant)

Researcher: Dr. Pierre Mourad, UW Applied Physics Laboratory

Year project began: 2003

Power toothbrushes have proven to offer clear clinical advantages over manual brushing. Some models have bristles that move at a sonic speed--i.e., a frequency that can be heard. Dr. Mourad and his investigators are working to develop a power brush using a technology that they believe will improve the ability to clean the teeth and gums. Their research will test a prototype using various combinations of bristle motions. Second Act Partners, a start-up company, will draw upon their considerable experience to define the technical requirements of the product for market success.

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UNIBEST International Corporation

Pasco

http://www.unibestinc.com/

Researcher: Joan R. Davenport, WSU Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences

Year project began: 2000

Farmers use soil testing and, in recent years, plant tissue testing to determine if and how much fertilizer to apply to crops. Applying too much fertilizer can cost farmers both in the cost of the fertilizer and in reduced yield. UNIBEST has developed an ion exchange resin pellet that measures only those nutrients that are bioavailable to the plant and at a lower cost. Dr. Davenport is doing commercial field studies as well as research plot studies to develop protocols for the placement and use of the pellets.

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Vanson

Redmond

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VentriPoint, Inc.

Seattle

http://www.ventripoint.com

RTD Award: Phase I

Research Partner: Florence Sheehan, M.D., University of Washington Medical Center

Project Phase Began: 2006

Surgical advancements have greatly increased survival rates for babies born with congenital heart disease (CHD). However, anomalies in the heart persist that can cause complications years or even decades following surgery. Most patients require continued monitoring and imaging of the right ventricle to see if it is enlarging and developing heart failure. However measuring the right ventricle's function is difficult and costly due to its complex shape. The difficulty is amplified for CHD patients with abnormally shaped hearts. Current imaging systems on the market have serious limitations: echo techniques are inaccurate, MRIs are expensive, and CTs expose the patient to high doses of radiation. The best technique available is Knowledge-based Reconstruction (KBR), which generates a three-dimensional reconstruction of the patient's right ventricle to assist cardiologists in evaluating its volume, function, and shape. However this tool has yet to be fully developed and tested for CHD. VentriPoint is working with Dr. Florence Sheehan, director of the UW Medical Center's Cardiovascular Research and Training Center, to develop a KBR model for the right ventricle that will enable volume measurement over the full range of congenital anomalies, and to test the new model's accuracy and reproducibility for wide-spread clinical use.

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VisionGate

Gig Harbor

http://www.visiongate3d.com

VisionGate in the WTC news forum

RTD Award: Phase II

Research Partner: Eric J. Seibel, Ph.D., Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington

Research Phase Began: 2007

VisionGate, a Gig Harbor headquartered company working in the field of cancer diagnostics, is collaborating with University of Washington's Eric J. Seibel, Research Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering, Adjunct in Bioengineering and Assistant Director for Technology Development in the Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HIT Lab), to co-develop a 3D cell nucleus diffraction analysis instrument for pharmaceutical drug discovery and cell biology research. This phase two project is a continuation of work to develop high-throughput 3D diffraction analysis of cells. The instrument being developed will provide accurate, detailed information about a cell's macromolecular structure, as might result from changes in gene or protein expression due to mutation, disease processes or drug activity. The ability to analyze cell nuclei in 3D has the potential to advance cell biology research and make drug discovery more cost-effective. One area where this technology has high potential is rare event detection, where large numbers of cells are examined to discover the few that may contain genetic alterations, making them good candidates for use in drug discovery. Another promising field is drug therapy research where cellular and nuclear textures are often good indicators of basic cell response to active compounds. VisionGate's commercial instrument is expected to break new ground with its patented 3D diffraction analysis and, as such, will provide a uniquely powerful capability in the search for new drug opportunities.

"I am thrilled to see VisonGate receive this prestigious research grant. Alan Nelson and his staff are to be commended for their efforts and I am looking forward to the fruits of his, and Mr. Seibel's, research."

State Rep. Patricia Lantz, (D- Gig Harbor).

Research Partner: Eric J. Seibel, Research Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering and Adjunct in Bioengineering and Assistant Director for Technology Development in the Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HIT Lab)

Project Years: 2002, 2005

VisionGate, a Gig Harbor headquartered company working in the field of cancer diagnostics, is collaborating with Dr. Seibel to co-develop a 3D cell nucleus diffraction analysis instrument for pharmaceutical drug discovery and cell biology research. This instrument will provide accurate, detailed information about a cell's macromolecular structure, as might result from changes in gene or protein expression due to mutation, disease processes or drug activity. The ability to analyze cell nuclei in 3D has the potential to advance cell biology research and make drug discovery more cost-effective. One area where this technology has high potential is rare event detection, where large numbers of cells are examined to discover the few that may contain genetic alterations, making them good candidates for use in drug discovery. Another promising field is drug therapy research where cellular and nuclear textures are often good indicators of basic cell response to active compounds. VisionGate's commercial instrument is expected to break new ground with its patented 3D diffraction analysis, and as such, will provide a uniquely powerful capability in the search for new drug opportunities.

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VizX Labs

Seattle

http://www.vizxlabs.com/

Researcher: Dr. Daniel Sabath, UW Dept. of Laboratory Medicine

Year project began: 2003

VizX Labs is a life science technology company delivering knowledge discovery systems that enhance researchers' understanding of genetic mechanisms of disease. The diagnosis, treatment, and prediction of outcome from treatment of diseases such as cancer would substantially improve if tests were available to characterize various forms of the disease more precisely. VizX and Dr. Sabath are developing laboratory and software methodology to simultaneously measure the expression of multiple genes using DNA microarrays, to determine which genes are active in a blood or tissue sample. DNA microarrays will allow doctors to provide customized therapies by understanding the basis of disease at a molecular level.

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Washington Farms

Tacoma

Researchers: Barry Swanson and Dong-Hyun Kang, WSU Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition

Year project began: 2003

Washington Farms produces 100-percent fruit pies sold in the Seattle area. The company's ability to market their products outside the state will be made possible by using ultra-high-pressure technology that pasteurizes fruit products to extend shelf life and maintain a desirable "fresh-like" flavor. In this project, the company will work with Drs. Barry Swanson and Dong-Hyun Kang at WSU's Dept of Food Science and Human Nutrition to develop fruit processing that will inactivate harmful bacteria such as E. coli, inactivate enzymes that "brown" fruit, and maintain "fresh-like" appearance, flavor and texture.

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Zymogenetics, Inc.

Seattle

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