FLC Regional and National Awards
Scientific researchers, technology transfer professionals, entrepreneurs and visionary business professionals create the stories of technology commercialization success. Along the way to success awards are won for technology transfer efforts. Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) awards recognize the work of scientific innovation as well as the work of technology transfer professionals that push the research into the private sector.
For decades, microcapsule research and development has offered the potential of many new markets and applications, and this market need is growing since the discovery of monodisperse capsule fabrication via microfluidics – but commercialization has been hampered by needed improvements in production methods.
Now LLNL scientists and engineers, in collaboration with Purdue University researchers, have developed the In-air Drop Encapsulation Apparatus (IDEA), which creates microcapsules of consistent size and composition at a rate 100 times faster than current microfluidic-based, single dispersal capsule production techniques, and up to 1,000 times faster when incorporated with a multi-nozzle design. Because capsules can be produced in air instead of solely in liquid, the post-process time and material waste can be reduced by up to 99 percent.
The Lab IDEA team is led by materials engineer Congwang Ye and includes materials engineers Kevin Paulsen, Will Smith, Caitlyn Cook, Eric Duoss, Elaine Lee and Ashley Hall; mechanical engineers Julie Mancini and Kenneth Enstrom; materials chemist Sarah Baker; materials scientist Joshua Kuntz; polymer chemist James Oakdale; environmental engineer Joshuah Stolaroff; chemical engineers Andrew Pascall and Marcus Worsley; and Roger Aines, chief scientist of the Energy Program.
Annemarie Meike is the business development executive (BDE) in the Innovation and Partnerships Office (IPO) who handles the IDEA technology.
Researchers from LLNL, Santa Clara-based Shape Memory Medical Inc. and Texas A&M University received an FLC regional award for outstanding commercialization success for their IMPEDE Embolization Plug, a medical device that prevents continued blood flow to diseased vessels.
IMPEDE, which has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the U.S. and has been cleared for use in Europe. IMPEDE reduces the blood flow through diseased or damaged vessels that can occur in abdominal aortic aneurysm endoleaks, gastric and esophageal varices or blunt trauma.
To date, more than 250 patients have been successfully treated worldwide with IMPEDE for conditions such as deformed arteries, tumor resections (where blood flow has been blocked to tumors) and pelvic congestion syndrome, with no reported adverse effects.
LLNL employees who have worked on the project include polymer scientist Tom Wilson, biomedical engineer Jennifer Rodriguez, applied optical physicist Ward Small and computational fluid dynamics engineer Jason Ortega.
As the COVID-19 pandemic surged and concern emerged over a potential nationwide shortage of ventilators, LLNL researchers began designing a durable, portable mechanical ventilator to help fill the gap.
A group of approximately 20 engineers and scientists began prototyping a ventilator that could be made from non-traditional parts, preventing further stress on the already-strained supply chain.
In just over three months, LLNL and industry partner BioMedInnovations, LLC (BMI) of North Carolina designed, produced and tested an easily reproducible design prototype while partnering with manufacturing facilities and gaining Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization for the device’s emergency use.
This collaboration was largely done remotely, with scientists, engineers and medical experts contributing from home offices, in many cases, due to shelter-in-place orders.
This work netted an “outstanding partnership” award for LLNL and BMI.
The LLNL ventilator effort is led by mechanical engineer Jack Kotovsky and includes mechanical engineers, Austin Nye, Patrick Scholl, Matt Pharr, Ken Enstrom, Ian Ladner and Dan Manha; mechanical technologists Aaron Sperry, Greg Norton and Victor Vargas; electrical engineers Doug Modlin, Jack Dean and Brian Wihl; physicists Jacob Trueblood and Phil Paul; biomedical engineers David Soscia, Michael Triplett and Jeremy Gleick; chemical engineer Allison Yorita; precision engineer Steven Guzorek; administrator Shaine Athey; and Patrick Dempsey, the director of strategic partnerships and communications for Engineering.
Genaro Mempin is the IPO BDE who has handled the technology transfer work, including a CRADA, for the ventilator project, with assistance from Alicera Aubel, an IPO agreements specialist.
Researchers from LLNL, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and FoxGuard Solutions, were honored by the FLC for an outstanding partnership.
Their project, the CyberSecure Integration of Networked DER (CINDER), integrates an LLNL-developed cyber-risk analysis toolset with Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) that can generate solar power and are deployed at DoD’s White Sands Missile Range and the VA Medical Center facility in Las Vegas.
While the project has showcased how an integrated patch and network analytics/management solution can mitigate risks to the cyber operations of microgrids, the CINDER partnership has demonstrated how stakeholders can accomplish a larger task together than they could achieve alone.
LLNL employees who worked on CINDER include: Emma Stewart, associate program leader for defense infrastructure; Jovana Helms, associate program leader for civilian cyber; computer scientists Christopher Lawson and Troy Nash; and electrical engineer Jhi-Young Joo. Charity Follett is the team’s Business Development Executive.
The Applied Biosystems'™ Axiom™ Microbiome Array (ABAMA) is the commercialized version of LLNL's microarray innovation, the Lawrence Livermore Microbial Detection Array (LLMDA). In 2016, the LLMDA was licensed to Agilent (acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific) and went on sale the next year. The microarray is the most comprehensive microorganism detection platform built to date and the first high throughput microarray that employs whole genome resolution for identifying all sequenced microbes. When Lawrence Livermore biologists and computer scientists first unveiled the versatile LLMDA in 2010, it could analyze samples for nearly 3,000 bacteria and viruses, all within 24 hours. But it could only analyze four samples a day. With the 96-well ABAMA, the new detection system can analyze 96 samples in three days. Additionally, each of the 96 wells contain about 1.4 million probes, so samples are analyzed by about 132 million probes. The Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Excellence in Technology Transfer Award recognizes the impactful technical work of the research team as well as the dedicated work by IPO technology transfer professionals in transferring the technology for commercialization by industrial partner, Thermo Fisher Scientific.
Spack, an easy-to-use, versatile and scalable software package management tool for high-performance computing (HPC) applications, won an FLC regional award for outstanding technology development.
The LLNL-developed technology simplifies and accelerates building and customizing software by automating the build workflow, thus reducing deployment time for large software stacks from weeks to hours. As open-source software, Spack’s original 100 or so packages have blossomed into a library of more than 4,000 and a large and active community of more than 550 contributors regularly adds features and improvements. Spack is used for software deployment on six of the world’s top 10 supercomputers and it has been adopted by several HPC centers and software development communities.
The Livermore Spack team is led by Todd Gamblin and includes computer scientists Greg Becker, Tamara Dahlgren, Gregory Lee, Matt Legendre and Peter Scheibel. Charity Follett is the team’s IPO Business Development Executive.