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College of Science and Mathematics

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Website Update

COSAM Faculty Earn Patents for Splints, Optical Systems

May 4, 2011

Professor Jones
Professor Jones and mobile splint prototype

Professor Sharpe
Professor Sharpe in his lab

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Two Cal Poly College of Science and Mathematics professors have been granted U.S. patents for devices developed through the university's Research and Graduate Programs Office: Chemistry Professor and Associate Dean Dane Jones and Physics Professor John Sharpe.

Professor Jones collaborated with Biomedical Engineering Professor Lanny Griffin on research resulting in a patent for a “Polymeric Splint and Rapid-Setting Polyurethane” (U.S. Patent #7,901,370). Their invention is a completely self-contained, rapid-setting splinting system for injuries. The device uses advanced composite materials to create an easily applied splint that provides superior stability and flexibility in field environments, by using a two-part polyurethane combined with a high-performance fiber fabric. The product is an off-shoot of their respective research interests in bone mechanics and polymer chemistry. The new splint provides an alternative for immediate treatment of broken bones in remote areas, for example during military field operations or wilderness backpacking.

Sharpe received patent protection for a “System Method and Apparatus for Optical Directional Determination” (U.S. Patent #7,812,950).  This is a novel, low-cost, optical technique - with no moving parts and small power requirements - for measurement of velocity.  The technology has industrial applications in the measurement of fluid flow, for example in manufacturing, as well as in personal computer components, such as optical mice, making these processes and devices more cost-effective. The invention was developed as part of a research project funded through a grant from the Office of Naval Research to Cal Poly’s California Central Coast Research Partnership (C3RP).

A third patent issued to the university for faculty research dealt with electricity. This is a record number of patents issued in a single year to the Cal Poly.


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