Colorado's reputation as a leading promoter of university technology transfer programs was one of several reasons the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office incorporated Denver into its expansion plans last year. The latest success story comes from the University of Colorado - Boulder campus where a team of engineering students have patented a medical device that could soon play a leading role in cancer research.
The innovation centers on the isolation of cancer cells to help clinicians observe and target the disease more precisely, according to the university website.
"Believe it or not, there's not a good way to do this," explained faculty sponsor Wilbur Franklin. "Existing techniques are either technical and expensive, or low-tech like using a manual pipette to transfer cells."
To design the ideal instrument, students had to factor in clinical design principles as well as complex ergonomics. Their newly awarded patent is expected to be a key acquisition as the team works to bring its invention into what is expected to be an eager marketplace.
The students impressive command of intellectual property management is no coincidence, however, as the school runs an incubator program that solicits feedback from large businesses and independent entrepreneurs in the area. According to the university website, notable past participants have include the likes of Boeing and several locally stationed biomedical firms.