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U to Tout Technology to Investors

June 15, 2005 — A “LouseBuster” to kill head lice, a method of finding faulty wires on aircraft and a new way to help surgeons remove tumors completely are among University of Utah inventions that will be presented to potential investors on June 24.

The Technology Connections event will be held at 4 p.m. at the university’s Technology Commercialization Office at 615 Arapeen Drive, Suite 310, in University of Utah Research Park.

The university has invited entrepreneurial minded investors and venture capitalists to the event, which is closed to the public but open to coverage by the news media.

“Economic development in Utah can be enhanced by commercialization – through existing and startup Utah companies – of technology invented and matured at the university,” says Brent Edington, a licensing manager for the Technology Commercialization Office. “The Technology Connection event will aid companies and investors by facilitating the dissemination of information regarding technologies developed at Utah’s premier research university.”

Eight technologies will be featured through short presentations, and potential investors will be able to engage in informal discussion with the inventors. The eight technologies are:

  • The LouseBuster, a device that uses a comb and hot air to kill head lice and their eggs without chemicals. It was invented by Dale Clayton, an associate professor of biology.
  • LIVEwire fault location, which can be used to find intermittent faults on live electrical wires in aircraft, ships, submarines, tanks, trains, mining equipment and other large vehicles, homes and other buildings, power distribution systems and consumer electronics. The device was invented by Cynthia Furse, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering.
  • Point of care cell counting, a new low-cost, handheld diagnostic device to count the kind of white blood cells that are destroyed by the AIDS virus, and also to conduct CBC or “complete blood count” tests. The method was invented by Richard Rabbit, professor and chair of bioengineering, and his colleagues.
  • CobalaFluor tumor imaging, which uses a fluorescent form of vitamin B12 to make better images of breast, colon and other tumors, reducing the need for repeat surgeries that are now necessary when existing imaging methods fail to detect all of a tumor. The method was invented by chemistry Professor Charles Grissom and surgery Professor James M. McGreevy.
  • Titanium boride technology, developed by metallurgical engineering Professor Ravi Chandran, provides a coating to make titanium components – such as military armor, aerospace gears and bearings, and implanted hips – adequately hard and resistant to wear.
  • VisAlert, which is computer software that makes it quick and easy for computer network security experts to detect intrusions by hackers. It was invented by a team led by James Agutter, a research assistant professor of architecture and planning.
  • Aculus software, developed by business Professor Olivia Sheng, provides specific, concise suggestions for improving websites based on the behavior of website visitors.
  • Microarrays, which have been used to identify active genes, have been improved so they also can be used to identify specific proteins and other components of cells. Bruce Gale, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering leads the group that invented the new method.

In line with the State of Utah’s recent emphasis on developing Utah’s economy, the university recently renewed its efforts to commercialize technology developed by faculty members.