2019 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit

iMatSci Innovator Profiles

Actuation Lab Ltd

Innovation:  CallimorphTM Composite Actuator

actuation labActuators are engineered devices that make machines move. The Callimorph is a revolutionary fluid powered actuator technology, designed from the ground up to fully exploit the unique properties of modern composite materials. The result is a light-weight, maintenance free actuator, able to survive in the world’s harshest environments. These features are of great interest to the offshore oil & gas and renewable energy industries. Each Callimorph has the potential to realize lifetime savings in excess of $350k for the operator through reductions in maintenance and handling costs, when used as a replacement for a traditional piston based actuator.

See a Video Demonstration»

Team: Michael Dicker, Tom Llewellyn-Jones, Simon Bates
Contact:  dicker@actuationlab.com | +44 7544.465526  | actuationlab.com

Biomimetix Sciences LLC

Innovation:  Holistic Natural Oral Care

Biomimetix Sciences LLCFollowing Mother Nature’s footsteps through molecular biomimetics, BMX uses peptide-guided remineralization technologies for dental repair, including dental lesions, cavities, sensitivity, and gum disease. Amalogenin-derived peptide is a key ingredient in a wide variety of dental formulations; antibacterial mouth wash, whitening lozenges, antihypersensity gels, daily varnishes and toothpastes. The main cause of all dental diseases is the demineralization, loss of mineral content in enamel, the crown of teeth. If untreated, demineralization can lead to tooth loss. Worldwide patented biomimetic oral care platform technology facilitates primary remineralization coupled with whitening of the teeth, thereby has the high potential of substantially changing the temporary solutions offered by the current $50B+ oral care industry by leading to a wide range of OTC and clinical preventive, restorative, therapeutic, cosmetic products. Partnering with several Global 100 companies, BMX is already currently refining dental demonstrations and third-party tests along with regulatory procedures, and is seeking to further partnerships in new formulations towards craniofacial novel prototype products and treatments.

Team: Mehmet Sarikaya, Deniz Yucesoy, Hanson Fong, Sami Dogan
Contact:  msarikaya101@gmail.com | +1 206.543.0724 


BioMedical Sustainable Elastic Electronic Devices (BMSEED)

Innovation:  The Only Physiologically Relevant In Vitro Research Tool

bmseedIn vitro research, e.g. in pre-clinical drug development and tissue engineering, has many advantages over in vivo research: tight environmental control, lower cost, and higher throughput. However, a substantial weakness of in vitro experiments is that they fail to replicate the conditions of cells in an organism causing cultivated cells to differ from the corresponding cell type in an organism, thus limiting the value of in vitro data to predict in vivo behavior. BMSEED is commercializing stretchable electrode technology that addresses this weakness by reproducing the mechanical and electrical environment of cells in vivo in a controlled environment in vitro.

See a Video Demonstration»

Team: Oliver Graudejus
Contact:  oliver@bmseed.com | 609.532.9744 | bmseed.com

DNP123 Company

Innovation:  Easy-to-Use Nanotech for Fast Product Innovation

dnp123DNP123’s mission is to widely deploy nanotechnologies that benefit society. We make designing and manufacturing nanotech devices affordable and easy, so that groups who might benefit have a low barrier to entry. Products and services include:  
- Nanotech designs – DNP123 provides affordable consulting services to design nanotech solutions for industry problems.
- Research-as-a-service – In addition to designing nanotech solutions, DNP123 builds prototypes that demonstrate proof-of-concept and works with customers to commercialize the resulting product.  
- DNP Nanoassembly Kit (available soon) – An affordable education and research tool that enables users to easily design and manufacture simple nanotech devices.

See a Video Demonstration»

Team: Aaron Santos, Derek Lyons
Contact:  aaron@dnp123nano.com | dnp123nano.com

Ecolectro, Inc.

Innovation:  Alkaline Exchange Materials for Electrochemical Applications

ecolectroEcolectro is developing a family of Alkaline Exchange Materials (patents licensed exclusively from Cornell University) that replace perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSAs, e.g. Nafion®) currently a $750M market. Ecolectro's mission is to use chemistry to decarbonize the energy, transportation and manufacturing industries. In electrochemical and hydrogen-based technologies (e.g. Fuel Cells, Electrolyzers, CO2 Reduction, etc.) these alkaline exchange materials enable OEMs to replace expensive components, such as platinum for cheap alternatives like nickel. These cost reductions in electrochemical technologies are >40% CAPEX, and in the case of hydrogen production that with the added durability that Ecolectro’s materials offer, translates to an estimated cost of $2.42 / Kg H2 of renewable H2 (for context that's the same cost as the >$100B market for merchant hydrogen produced today with fossil fuels).

Team: Gabriel G. Rodriguez-Calero
Contact:  ggr@ecolectro.com | 607.592.5683 | ecolectro.com

Ecovia Renewables Inc.

Innovation:  Next Generation Ecovia Biopolymers™

ecoviaBased in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Ecovia Renewables is an R&D-stage biotechnology company developing a proprietary bioprocess and chemistry platform for producing high-performing, eco-friendly ingredients and materials called Ecovia Biopolymers. Biobased and biodegradable, Ecovia Biopolymers are being developed as alternatives to conventional acrylate and acrylamide polymers. They can be used as super-absorbents for hygiene products and as excipients for cosmetic formulations, among many other water-soluble and water-swellable applications.

See a Video Demonstration»

Team: Jeremy Minty, Drew Hertig
Contact:  734.926.3041 | ecoviarenewables.com

eFiber Innovations, LLC

Innovation:  Manufacturing High-Performance Membranes and Electrodes

efibereFiber has partnered with eSpin Technologies, Inc. to manufacture and sell anion and cation-exchange membranes, bipolar membranes, particle/polymer based electrodes, and membrane-electrode-assemblies for electrodialysis water treatment and separations, fuel cells, redox flow batteries, electrolyzers and electrochemical reactors. eFiber uses multi-scale design and innovative nanofiber electrospinning techniques to fabricate next-generation materials and devices with unique properties, breakthrough performance characteristics, and outstanding durability.  eSpin manufactures products according to eFiber specs, using their commercial electrospinning equipment, with product costs that are competitive with current materials in the marketplace. 

Team: Peter N. Pintauro
Contact:  615.708.6407

Folia Materials

Innovation:  Better Living Through Green Chemistry

folia materialsFolia Materials has invented a patented green chemistry process to use large-scale paper machinery to manufacture low-cost nano-metal functionalized materials that create new mass-market consumer products. Folia is paid by enterprise corporates to develop these use cases for licensing or sale of the resulting IP/product line. We are focused on our first 2 commercial use cases - a 20 cent CPG antimicrobial water purifier for S Asia ($400k Unilever) and a food packaging application ($200k, Fortune 100 FoodCo) and have a full sales pipeline of other applications for Series A development. 

Team: Jonathan Levine
Contact:  jonathan.levine@foliamaterials.com | http://www.foliamaterials.com/

Glacigen Materials, Inc.

Innovation:  Microstructurally Tailored Lithium Ion Electrodes

glacigenEven state-of-the-art lithium ion battery manufacturing is rooted in coating processes more than 40 years old. Glacigen’s technology simultaneously increases energy density, enhances rate capability and reduces costs in these batteries by innovating in the space of electrode manufacturing. Freeze tape casting is a hybrid of traditional coating processes with ice templating to create highly ordered microstructures, which enable these performance gains. Glacigen is uniquely enabling this technique at high production rates in a cost-effective manner. With successful benchtop demonstrations complete, Glacigen is on track to deliver a pilot rate manufacturing demonstration of high-performance electrodes within 36 months.

Team: David Driscoll, John Bognar, Kurt Salloux
Contact:  406.570.0686 | glacigen.com

Guardion, Inc.

Innovation:  Enabling the Next Generation of Analytical Instruments Using Nanotechnology

guardionGuardion is revolutionizing the core analytical process that enables mass spectrometers, ion mobility spectrometers, vacuum sensors, X-ray imaging, and radiation detectors for Homeland Security. Ion sensors are critical for these instruments to work but detectors have not changed in decades. They are bulky, require high-voltage, and have operational limitations. Guardion's 2D material ion detectors operate in air and ultra-high vacuum, are ultra-low power, semiconductor processable, and offer orders of magnitude of improvement in sensitivity. Guardion's first product focus is a single vacuum gauge to cover from atmosphere to UHV - replacing 3 gauges with a single device in this $100M market.

See a Video Demonstration»

Team: Dan Esposito, Swastik Kar, Yung Joon Jung
Contact: dan@guardiontech.com | 603.769.7265

Halomine, Inc.

Innovation:  Re-chargeable, Re-applicable Antimicrobial Surface Coating

halomineHalomine Inc. is developing anti-microbial products for a wide variety of applications from food safety to hospital/healthcare settings to industrial and commercial applications. With licensed patents from Cornell and Auburn University and funding from the USDA, Halomine, Inc. is launching their first product, HaloFilm.  HaloFilm can turn any surface into an antimicrobial surface.  HaloFilm is a spray that dries to leave a thin film on surfaces that acts like a chlorine battery.  The thin film contains N-halamine which stabilizes chlorine.  Chlorinated sanitizers applied to the surface will charge the film with chlorine providing continuous protection from pathogens and biofilm formation.  

Team: Ted Eveleth
Contact: ted.eveleth@halomine.com | halomine.com

InSpek

Innovation:  On-chip Raman Spectroscopic Sensors

InSpek is developing a chemical monitoring system based on integrated photonic sensors. Their system provides fast and precise chemical composition for real-time, in-line monitoring of chemical reactions in flow-chemistry lines. Our technology leverages mature, industry-standard integrated photonics capabilities to miniaturize and improve Raman spectroscopy, a gold-standard technique for selectively identifying and quantifying biological and chemical species in complex environments. The better characterization and understanding of reactions enabled by InSpek’s product results in accelerated chemical process development while also easing the transition process from R&D to industrial-scale production. 

Team: Jérôme Michon, Derek Kita, Juejun Hu
Contact: jmichon@mit.edu | 857-999-1453

Matregenix Inc.

Innovation:  Next Generation Barrier Membrane for Periodontal Diseases 

matregenixBiomedical textiles in the US alone are an $8 billion market with a key industry trend of increasing demand for nanofiber technologies. Matregenix is a MedTech startup specializing in this space. Matregenix Inc. utilizes a platform technology, combined with exclusive materials and patented in-house processes to develop synthetic materials for the dental and medical fields. InteGraft, the first application of their platform technology will set the foundation for future products. InteGraft is a dental barrier membrane with superior characteristics for use in periodontal surgeries. This novel membrane features predictable resorption time and ease of handling that will make surgery easier and more effective.

Team: Sherif Soliman
Contact: soliman@matregenix.com

MFNS Tech, Inc.

Innovation:  OHM Sponge

MFNS Tech has developed a revolutionary oil remediation solution that is significantly more efficient, economic, and ecofriendly compared to currently available solutions. By coating commercially available sponges (such as polyurethane) with an MFNS Tech composite material, the company has developed a reusable sponge that can recover oil in its original form from oil/water mixture. The OHM sponge is fabricated via roll-to-roll compatible one step dip coating using earth abundant materials that can be scaled to any size. The coatings can also be engineered to remove other contaminants from water such as heavy metals, organic pollutants, and excess nutrients.

See a Video Demonstration»

Team: Vikas Nandwana, Vinayak Dravid
Contact: vikasnandwana@gmail.com | 224.714.8035

Michigan State University

Innovation:  Scalable Option for Renewable Energy Storage (STORES)

michigan stateSTORES provides 100 hours of utility-scale electricity storage for integration of intermittent renewable power generation into the power grid. STORES uses shipping container sized modules each providing the equivalent of 10 MWh of stored electricity.  STORES only relies on cheap, abundant and readily available materials using a unique Magnesium-Manganese oxide redox material for high temperature thermochemical storage in conjunction with gas turbine power blocks.



Team:
Joerg Petrasch
Contact: petrasc1@msu.edu | 517.515.2952

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)

Innovation:  Safe Impact Resistant Electrolytes (SAFIRE)

oak ridge national labThe traditional electrolyte in a lithium-ion battery is made from highly flammable organic solvents that presents a dangerous fire hazard. The SAFIRE transformative design results in the electrolyte functioning as a safety feature of the battery and eliminating the risk of thermal runaway. Applications for this technology include applications within batteries for electric vehicle and military armor. The Li-Ion battery materials market is estimated worth $11.3 Billion in 2018 [Markets and Markets web page]. This technology is available as a licensing or start-up opportunity. It has won an R&D 100 Award and has several patents filed, including US9,590,274.

See a Video Demonstration»

Team:
Gabriel M. Veith, Sergiy Kalnaus, Eugene R. Cochran
Contact: cochraner@ornl.gov | 865.576.2830

Obsidian Advanced Manufacturing

Innovation:  Fine Structure Printing

obsidianObsidian has developed a process for fine structure printing from microns to millimeters. The company has identified two key early markets: smart sensors and radio frequency devices operating in the millimeter wave. Analysts forecast the smart sensor market will exceed $80B in 2024 and millimeter wave technology market will exceed $10B in 2026.

The Company’s patented plasma-based Atomic-BeamTM process directly prints structures with high precision. Conventional fabrication techniques used to fabricate lower frequency RF devices do not scale to millimeter wave. Moreover, conventional manufacturing cannot print conformal devices on curved surfaces. Unlike photolithography Obsidian’s process avoids custom tooling and masks, allowing for considerable design flexibility.

The company has already booked orders. Initial customers include industrial, aerospace and national laboratories.

See a Video Demonstration»

Team:
Chris Lamb, Shomeek Mukhopadhyay, Peter Amos
Contact: chris@obsidianam.net | 339.206.8012 | obsidianam.net

Omniply Technologies

Innovation:  Manufacturing Flexible Electronics

omniplyOmniply licenses a unique technology that enables the manufacture of high performance, high resolution electronics, such as sensors, displays, ICs, in flexible form factor. The company’s proprietary delamination method, which is necessary to remove the flexible electronics from their rigid carriers, is 100x cheaper and provides higher yield than current solutions. It is also 100% compatible with existing manufacturing infrastructure, making it simple for any thin film device manufacturer to produce their products in flexible form factor. The flexible electronics market is expected to reach close to $30BN in 2022, with flexible displays accounting for $15BN.

See a Video Demonstration»

Team:
Humaira Taz, Karim Somani, Francis Zaato
Contact: humaira.taz@omniplytech.com | 780 Ave. Brewster, Suite RC-016, Montreal, QC H4C 2K1 | omniplytech.com

Phytoption LLC

Innovation:  Natural and Naturally Derived Nanomaterial for Sustainable Health and Wellness

phytoptionPhytoption LLC is a spin-off from Purdue University. It has developed a plant-based phytoglycogen technology platform, which comprises corn-based nano-biomaterials to meet the market and consumer needs for green, sustainable, and high-performing materials for health care, personal care, food & nutrition, and agricultural applications. As a new generation of biomaterials, phytoglycogen and derivatives are highly effective surfactants, solubilizers, texturants, and/or film-forming agents that may serve an over $30 billion/yr market. The technology platform is built on a solid IP portfolio, with application trials completed or planned with a number of pharmaceutical, personal care, specialty chemical, and food companies.

Team: Joanne Zhang, Yuan Yao
Contact: joanne.zhang@phytoption.com | 765.490.7738 | phytoption.com

Ras Labs, Inc.

Innovation:  Sensing and Shape-Morphing Synthetic Muscle™

Ras LabsRas Labs makes Synthetic Muscle™, which is a class of electroactive polymers (EAPs) that controllably contracts and expands at low voltage (battery levels), senses pressure (gentle touch to high impact), and attenuates force. These EAPs are soft and compliant, yet also tough and robust. Recent work integrated Ras Labs’ EAP shape-morphing system into a traditional marketplace gripper. To provide for human-like tactile touch and feedback, these EAP based sensors are being integrated into traditional robotic grippers, where we have business traction, and into the fingertip regions of novel biomimetic hand-like grippers under development. Human grasp is gentle yet firm, with tactile touch feedback. Ras Labs has the power to replicate human touch and grasp.

See a Video Demonstration»

Team: Peter Vicars, Lenore Rasmussen
Contact: pvicars@raslabs | 617.834.5556 | raslabs.com

Reactwell, LLC

Innovation:  Voltanol: Electrochemical Conversion of Carbon Dioxide to Ethanol, Electric Ethanol

reactwellReactwell’s mission is to develop a premium-branded green-conscious spirit and establish a new category of “carbon negative” products that give back and do good. Their brand will be the FIRST and UNIQUE brand in the world offering spirituous beverages made out of the CO2 in the air. The company will launch a line of premium spirits with an initial focus on vodka, gin, and flavored vodka. The packaging (bottle & labels) will tightly fit with the brand positioning.

See a Video Demonstration»

Team: Brandon Iglesias, Yang Song, Patrick Brunet, Jonathan Hunt, John Novak
Contact: brandon.iglesias@reactwell.com | 504.598.5229 | 1441 Canal Street Lab 301
New Orleans, LA 70112-2714 USA | reactwell.com


SAPHTx, Inc.

Innovation:  Dentregen: Injectable Gel for Soft Tissue Regeneration in the Dental Pulp

SAPHTx_logo.001Every year, over 15 million patients in the US undergo root canal procedures, which involve the removal of soft pulp tissue and refilling the cavity with rubber-like materials. The devitalized teeth after the procedure do not have support from the internal soft tissue and is prone to severe pain, reinfection, and brittleness. SAPHTx aims to commercialize an injectable material (Dentregen) that promotes in vivo regeneration of vascularized pulp-like soft tissue within a month after injection into the pulpal cavity (efficacy shown in canine model). Target market: endodontic materials used in the ~$5B (annual) root-canal market.

See a Video Demonstration»

Team: Biplab Sarkar, Vivek A. Kumar
Contact: sarkar@biplab-sarkar.com | 281.794.6312


SiPure Membranes

Innovation:  Silicon Filtration Membranes for Harsh Environment Industrial Separations

SiPure_logoFiltration membranes today can be divided into two technology classes: polymeric and ceramic. Polymer membranes are low-cost, but are highly susceptible to fouling, and cannot be easily regenerated due to their chemical and physical fragility. Ceramic membranes offer superior durability, but are prohibitively expensive, and currently ineffective in the tight nanofiltration (sub-1 nm) regime. SiPure Membranes bridges this gap with a new silicon nanofiltration membrane technology capable of sub-1 nm rejection while withstanding a wide range of pH, organic solvents, and high temperatures. Importantly, the SiPure membrane is produced at a cost over 5X lower than the closest ceramic competitor.

Team: Brendan Smith, Jeffrey Grossman
Contact: b_smith@mit.edu | 857.234.7033


Stratagen Bio Inc.

Innovation:  Personalizing Patient Care with Quantitative Tissue Oxygen Sensors

StratagenBio_logo onlyStratagen Bio is developing a novel class of sensors that provide quantitative and direct measurements of tissue oxygen, which are not possible with alternative sensors. The company’s sensor will enable more personalized and effective treatments for patients in a wide range of applications including oncology, wound healing, and tissue transplantation. It is currently being evaluated in a pilot clinical trial at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for patients undergoing radiation therapy for cervical cancer. Identifying a low oxygen tumor can help clinicians choose the best treatment and improve outcomes for each patient.

Team: Gregory Ekchian, Michael Cima
Contact: greg@StratagenBio.com | 617.945.8744 | StratagenBio.com | @StratagenBio


SurfEllent

Innovation:  Durable Anti-Icing Coatings for Aerospace, Transportation, and Energy

SE-mainlogoSurfEllent develops advanced anti-icing coatings that prevent the buildup of ice on a variety of surfaces. Utilizing unique materials properties and proprietary technology, SurfEllent’s coatings provide dramatically reduced ice adhesion strength, outperforming other advanced coatings technologies while maintaining durability and chemical and UV stability. SurfEllent’s coatings are highly customizable and can function on a variety of surfaces, leading to applications in aerospace, automotive, trucking, power transmission and generation, and the consumer space – anywhere ice buildup is a significant issue. Formulations are available for sale on the SurfEllent website now, and we have ongoing pilots with a number of B2B customers.

See a Video Demonstration»

Team: Brian Huskinson, Hadi Ghasemi
Contact: Brian.huskinson@surfellent.com | 832.303.702 | surfellent.com


Texas Tech University

Innovation:  Solid-State Neutron Detectors Based on Boron Nitride Wide Bandgap Semiconductors

TTU logoTexas Tech University has developed a boron nitride (BN) neutron detector with a record efficiency of 59% for thermal neutrons. In comparison to He-3 gas detectors, BN neutron detectors possess all the intrinsic advantages of semiconductor devices:  light weight, compact size, fast response speed, ease of mass production via utilization of existing semiconductor manufacturing infrastructures, low cost for operation and maintenance, flexible form factors, and durable. These detectors have applications in special nuclear material detection, life (water) searching in space, geothermal and well logging, neutron scattering experiments for materials research and neutron imaging and boron neutron capture therapy for cancer treatment.

Team: Hongxing Jiang, Jingyu Lin, Jing Li, Avisek Maity, Sam Grenadier
Contact: hx.jiang@ttu.edu | jingyu.lin@ttu.edu | 806.834.5739 | 806.834.5383


UbiQD, Inc.

Innovation:  Quantum Dot-Enabled Spectrum Control for Greenhouses

ubiqd logoUbiQD, Inc.has developed a safe, low-cost, and reliable nanotechnology, and is first applying it in greenhouses to optimize the sun’s spectrum for improved crop yield. The company is a spin-off from Los Alamos National Laboratory and manufactures the enabling nanomaterials, called quantum dots (QDs) and polymer composites, at its facility in Los Alamos, New Mexico. QDs are known for their near-perfect ability to convert one color of light into another. This platform technology has many applications beyond spectrum-optimized building façades, and the company’s vision is to become the leader of the growing multi-billion-dollar QD industry by focusing on large-area applications.

See a Video Demonstration»

Team: Hunter McDaniel
Contact: Hunter@UbiQD.com | 505.310.6767 | UbiQD.com


University of Maryland

Innovation:  Super Batteries

UMaryland LogoUnder support of DOE ARPA-E, the University of Maryland team invented water-in-salt (WIS) electrolytes in 2015 (Science), which enables Zn-air batteries (Nature Materials, 2018) and transition metal-free LiBr0.5Cl0.5-Graphite cathodes (Nature, 2019) to achieve high energy density and long cycle life. Water-in-salt electrolytes can transform the current Li-ion batteries by extending operation temperature range from -80oC to +100oC with certain chemistries, is abuse tolerant; normally operating after cutting in the air and water, and is intrinsically safe. Developed as part of ARPA-E’s RANGE program, the UMD team is fabricating 500 Wh Li-ion battery pack. During this demo, the team will show a flexible aqueous Li-ion battery that continuously drives a fan during cutting in air and in water. The team will also demonstrate an aqueous battery that can drive a fan when temperature drops from 25oC and -80oC. This ARPAE-supported water-in-salt electrolyte batteries have the capability to transform Li-ion battery technologies.

See a Video Demonstration»

Team: Chunsheng Wang
Contact: cswang@umd.edu | 301.405.0352 | www.cswang.umd.edu


Washington University in St. Louis

Innovation:  Entice Electrode-Decoupled Redox Flow Battery

Wash Univ LogoThe Entice electrode-decoupled redox flow battery will be a modular, containerized (i.e. single enclosure with the battery, controls and ancillary components) system, combining proprietary membrane technology and a proprietary chemistry utilizing earth-abundant elemental actives (no vanadium). Entice RFBs scale sub-linearly in cost and are ~4 times cheaper than lithium-ion at the grid scale. Further, they incorporate an in-built chemical safety switch that turns off the battery if the voltage spikes, rendering it very safe. Entice cells are projected to cost less than natural gas peaker plants and are aimed at the grid-scale storage, energy arbitrage, and distributed storage markets.

See a Video Demonstration»

Team: Shrihari Sankarasubramanian, Vijay Ramani
Contact: ramani@wustl.edu | shrihari.sankar@wustl.edu

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