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Startup Opportunities

On this page, you'll find a number of available technologies appropriate for startup companies, grouped by the following categories:

Click on the title of the technology or the case number for more detailed information.

Life Sciences - Therapeutics, etc.

Technology Summary Case #
Mu Opioid Peptidomimetics: Lead compounds for the treatment of pain A system for the production of modified chemical compounds capable of mimicking the structural and/or functional properties of peptides. Using this approach, nonpeptidic ligands have been generated to a key receptor involved in pain relief, the mu opioid receptor (MOR). 1472, 2129
Necroptosis platform to selectively target a novel, regulated form of cell death Necroptosis was identified by the Yuan lab as a regulated, non-apoptotic form of cell death. This platform technology is based on a novel target and biological mechanism, as well as proprietary compounds. 3048
New targeted drug delivery platform Nanoparticles compose a vesicle which expands when encountering a lower pH in order to release its liquid content. Intended as a targeted drug delivery for cancer treatment, as well as for pH-sensitive industrial/commercial applications. 3079
Increasing neural regeneration and an injury biomarker to localize the site of neural injury Novel therapeutic approach that enhances neural regeneration by inhibiting the interaction between CSPGs (chondroitin) and its newly identified receptor, and enhancing neuronal outgrowth by inducing the clustering of the receptor. 3588, 3987, 4030
Nanoparticle targeting to ischemia or Cancer for imaging and therapy Specific nanoparticles which concentrate in areas of leaky vasculature, coupled with angiogenesis-promoting factors. The nanoparticle can ferry factors to the site of ischemia to stimulate the growth of additional blood vessels, thus relieving the ischemic condition. The nanoparticles can also be attached to a fluorescent label, allowing imaging of affected areas. This would allow faster identification of ischemic regions, possibly before they become symptomatic for the patient. 3782
Potent and selective new class of algae growth inhibitors Over a dozen of small molecules compose a new class of Phytotoxins, which are produced naturally, and selectively impair particular species of Algae; an important advantage over some of the currently used chemicals. These Phaeobacticides can be easily incorporated into a variety of materials or industrial products which are in prolonged contact with water. 3836
Inhibition of bacterial biofilm formation- a new class of antibiotics A new class of antibiotics, namely D-amino acids and Polyamines, inhibit biofilm formation by Pseudomonas Aeruginosa and Staphylococcus Aureus, and can also cause the breakdown of pre-existing P. Aeruginosa biofilms. 4090, 4104, 3662
Killing tumor cells with a receptor-targeted bacterial toxin A new approach to the development of next-generation cancer therapeutics. A platform using the Anthrax toxin that is directed selectively to cancer cells via specific markers. 4018, 4357, 4415
Aesthetic medicine- Adipose tissue engineering Incorporation of autologous cells in a delivery vehicle which provides structure, shape, and the proper 3-dimensional matrix for tissue and vascular ingrowths, while the biomaterial degrades to leave a natural tissue. 4151
Novel rodent deterrent: Identification of a single predator-derived chemical A single chemical compound produced by predators, activates a particular mouse olfactory receptor and triggers hard-wired aversion circuits in the rodent. 4176
A cancer vaccine - Controlled delivery of TLR agonists in structural polymeric devices Three different types of pathogens could be incorporated to act as adjuvant in cancer vaccines. Different Toll-like receptor agonists (TLR) within a structural polymeric device provide sustained and strong immune response, consequently diminishing melanoma tumors within mice models. 4316

Research Tools, Diagnostics, Analytic & Medical Instrumentation

Technology Summary Case #
Calorimeter for use in pharmaceutical R & D A calorimeter enables studies of the binding interactions, providing pharmaceutical companies the ability to choose drug candidates for animal studies and clinical trials. This invention comprises a nano-scale calorimeter that reduces the amount of protein required by 1000-fold and increases sensitivity by 100-fold. This will expand the use of calorimetry in pharmaceutical R&D and has the potential to become a high-throughput screening tool. 2639
Tiny living machines (organs-on-a-chip): de novo-generated functional tissue for drug discovery, toxicity, and therapeutics This novel technology has been most extensively studied to engineer cardiac muscle tissue, but can also be used to engineer vascular tissue, skeletal muscle, neurons and more. In the long term, this technology may offer a new approach for multiple therapeutic uses, as well as the development of biosynthetic materials and artificial organs. Short term applications are focused on in-vitro use for drug discovery and toxicity screening. 2663 and 3494
High-throughput single-molecule measurement device This centrifugal force instrument can be used to quantify the affinity and force dependent kinetics of a pair of molecules, as well as exploring the internal states of a single molecule by stretching and relaxing it under force. Applications are in drug discovery and development and other life science research. 3189
Cell sorting technology, replacing existing flourescent and magnetic technologies Cell sorting technology that is dramatically faster, higher performace and less expensive than existing flourscent and magnetic approaches, opening new classes of applications in medical diagnostics, clinical practice, drug discovery and biological research. 3198
Automatic collection: ultramicrotomes This instrument automatically reduces fixed tissue blocks to a tape creating thousands of ultrathin tissue sections resulting in high quality images at nanometer resolution. Working prototype exists; broad market potential. For more information, contact Debra Peattie at (617) 495-3067 or debra_peattie@harvard.edu. 3255
Whole-cell patient sample mapping platform for diagnostics and therapy optimization This platform technology is highly relevant for biomarker discovery, analysis of drug effects, target discovery and validation. Short term commercial applications include diagnostics and prognostics of cancer, autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as personalized medicine applications such as optimization of therapy choice, dose, and regime for individual patients. 3295
Scanning microscopy using the wavefront aberrations of a Fresnel zone plate Analytic instrumentation on a chip: an array of miniaturized confocal microscopes, utilizing a microfabricated lens and Fresnel Zone plates. Intended for analytical instrumentation applications such as flow cytometry. Key benefits include smaller size and higher throughput, through the ability to run in parallel via an array of lenses. 3468 and 3504
Laser induced dentin regeneration The use of low power lasers in a specific proprietary protocol stimulates tissue regeneration via a TGF-ß mediated pathway. Induction of pre-odontoblasts to produce a dentin-like calcified material after laser irradiation. 3510
Motion-compensating catheter for cardiac surgery Motion-compensating catheter, convieved to be used as a surgical device by interventional cardiologists. Eliminates the need for invasive open heart surgery for several key procedures that are viewed as high-potential, such as mitral valve repair. 3719
Easy, inexpensive, portable and robust technique for gradient centrifugation Gradient centrifugation applications include the generation of blood cell counts, detection of pathogens, viruses or circulating tumor cells, separation of tRNA/rRNA and purification of plasmids. 3865
High-speed imaging-on-a-chip Rapid imaging of live cells using an array of lenses optimized for high throughput, high resolution and wide-field imaging. Could reduce the cost of high throughput systems from $500k to $50k. 4281

Applied Sciences, Computer Science, Physical Sciences and Engineering

Technology Summary Case #
Secure on-line auctions protect against fraud in large financial transactions Reduce fraud by keeping bids secret and encourage honest bidding by using advanced auction models. This is of particular interest to procurement professionals at large corporations and financial institutions using sealed bid auctions. 2693
Solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) for distributed, on location electricity generation from natural gas Technology benefits include high energy conversion efficiency, low temperature, solid state, fuel flexibility and contaminant tolerance; good for small to medium-sized applications. 3201
"Gas production on demand", based on a new class of gas separation technology Membrane technology that enables low-cost, efficient oxygen production of oxygen, hydrogen and other gases for industrial, medical and laboratory applications. Opportunity is to replace mature technolgies in $20 billion oxygen production market. For more information, contact Sam Liss at (617) 495-4371 or sam_liss@harvard.edu 3388
Accurate and efficient system for analyzing complex trace gas mixtures at PPB Rapid cooling quenches sample in gas phase is a benefit over existing technologies. Decrease in costs of GC/MS componenets and increased accuracy levels makes for a solid stratup opportunity. 3760
Sensor smart fabrics and wearable electronics Strechable, highly deformable two-dimensional pressure sensor. Intended for applications such as wearable computing, flexible tactile displays and soft orthotics, where stretchable sensors that register the location and intensity of pressure over a broad area are required. 3788, 3943
Computer-assisted, human-driven algorithm for discovery of new and useful information/patterns from unfiltered text Given the spectacular growth in production and availability of unstructured text in the Internet, this technology presents an appropriate startup opportunity as a potent discovery and conceptualization aid. 3819
Chip-based spectrometer fabricated with existing semiconductor fabrication techniques Integrated nanobeam cavity creates a platform for a new class of compact, handheld spectrometers with superior performance, low-cost and a small environmental footprint. 3878
Using ice as a resist in ebeam lithography increases resolution, decreases impurities and avoids damaging of sample There is a clear niche for high quality, high resolution ebeam lithography; demands are pushing the limitations of existing technologies. Instrument can be retrofit to existing lithography setups. For more information, contact Sam Liss at (617) 495-4371 or sam_liss@harvard.edu 3940
On-chip DC/DC converter, optimized for mobile electronics, reduces power consumption in SoCs by 25% or more Mobile electronic devices cycle from "active" to "semi active" to "sleep" mode to perserve battery life. With current DC/DC converter technology, a separate DC/DC converter is required for each state. This technology overcomes these limitations, enabling a new class of more compact, energy efficient, low cost chip design for mobile devices such as mobile phones, iPad-type computing platforms, and other battery-powered devices utilizing SoC technologies. 3950
Bioelectrochemical systems for carbon and sulfur sequestration New approach to remove contaminants from gas existing in wastwater treatment plants, agricultural waste, landfills and oil shales. This technology is 2X more effective than existing approaches at removing hydrogen sulfide from natural gas streams and is the only way to break down organic sulfur compounds. Technology has been the basis of a project in the Harvard Business School “Commercializing Science” class. 3954, 3248
Density measuring instrument utlizing magnetic levitation This inexpensive, fast and portable technology is in a mature state that makes for an easy transition to a marketable product with no competing technologies. 3969
Filtration system for small-medium scale wastewater and water treatment Hybrid approach to filtration systems, providing significant advantages over conventional filtration or electro-chemical approaches to water treatment. Advantages include: Resistant to fouling or clogging; electrochemistry inactivates bacteria/germs; highly energy efficient and produces hydrogen as a biproduct, resulting in lower operating costs; high throughput, making it appropriate for high-throughput or batch applications that can be converted to flow processes. Near-term applications include industrial wastewater treatment and water treatment in hospitals and labs. May eventually be applied to higher-volume, municipal wastewater, drinking water treatment or water safety in developing countries. For more information, contact Sam Liss at (617) 495-4371 or sam_liss@harvard.edu 4012
Fabricating nanopores in mono-atomic layer materials such as graphene Benefits of this technology include atomic control of nanopore formation and size and has potential applications in gas separation. For more information, contact Alan Gordon at (617) 495-3067 or alan_gordon@harvard.edu. 4062
Quantitative method for mobilized and accurate diagnosis of autism Method focused on behavioral characteristics readily measured through video, which enables fast, accurate and global assessment of autism without barriers of clinical environment. No current players in the marketplace who can implement this concept and technology make for a potent startup opportunity. 4308