(Blacksburg, Va., May 8, 2002) -- Virginia Tech faculty members, students, and staff received 15 patents, including one plant patent, plus eight plant variety protection patents during 2001. They will be honored by the university and Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties Inc. (VTIP) at a reception on May 8.
"It is a pleasure to recognize the individuals whose discoveries have contributed to a successful 17 year technology transfer program," says Mike Martin, executive vice president of VTIP.
Fiscal year 2001 was also a success in terms of returns from intellectual properties. Royalties topped $2 million for the first time -- a 33 percent increase over 2000.
"The creativity, contributions to knowledge, and technology transfer that patents signify are an important form of scholarship," says Len Peters, vice provost for research at Virginia Tech.
The 2001 patents are evenly split between technology and life sciences.
Chemistry professor Harry Dorn and former postdoctoral associate Steven Stevenson, who is now with Luna Innovations, received a patent for a new family of molecules -- metal filled fullerenes -- that have the potential to be the backbone of many nanotechnology applications. Since the hollow carbon atom also known as a buckeyball was discovered in 1985, scientists have been trying to put materials inside. "It has many potential applications, depending upon the metals and metal mixtures inserted," says Dorn. Insert magnetic material and there are semiconductor and, perhaps, superconductor applications. Insert other metals for fluorescent and other optical properties and to amplify fiber optic applications. Insert radioactive material and use the molecule as a tracer in medical applications, with the carbon cage protecting the radioactive center. Fluorescent and optical tags can also be used as tracers and contrast agents for medical and other applications. Quantum computing devices can be
Contact: Mike Martin