Available technologies

Licensing Cambridge innovation

Cambridge Enterprise works in collaboration with University of Cambridge researchers to market and license available technologies ranging from the biosciences to engineering.

We have completed more than 1,000 commercial agreements.

We welcome contact from companies interested in licensing available technologies from the University of Cambridge, and work with companies on an individual basis to identify specific areas of interest.

Image: The chromosome screening technology developed by University of Cambridge spin-out BlueGnome has shown to increase in vitro fertilisation (IVF) success rates by 65% over the current methods.

Sharp graphite tips for nanotechnology applications

Physical Sciences Ref No: Fer-3435-17; OM-0406
Read more

Sharp graphite tips have been developed in the lab of Dr Amalio Fernandez-Pacheco at the University of Cambridge using a three-step polishing method. The final diameter of the tips is less than 5 microns, and can be shaped to sub-100 nm sizes and special geometries if the application requires it. These sharp tips have potential uses in various nanotechnology applications such as:

1) Tomographic holders

2) Probes for micromanipulation

3) Semiconducting probes for electrical measurements

4) Probes in organic systems to study their elastic properties

Please contact us if you would like to discuss further.

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Sharp graphite tips for nanotechnology applications

Available Technologies Enquiry

Highly tough and stretchable conducting polymer networks

Physical Sciences Ref No: Sch-3259-16
Read more

Professor Oren A. Scherman and his team in the Melville Laboratory for Polymer Synthesis, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, have developed a new highly tough and stretchable polymer hydrogel material capable of self healing and exhibiting ionic conductivity, with unique flexibility in its molecular design. This could potentially enable a new generation of flexible electronics and innovative materials for biomedical applications.

 

In such a new and growing area, the possible applications are extremely varied, but may include:

·         Smart materials for wearable technology

·         New generations of medical devices such as insulin pumps

·         Wearable biosensors for recreational and medical applications

·         Biomedical implants such as artificial cartilage and skin

The team is now keen to discuss the potential for this material with interested commercial parties.

 

Download more information

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Highly tough and stretchable conducting polymer networks

Available Technologies Enquiry

Energy-efficient butanol fermentation separation method

Physical Sciences Ref No: Hod-3387-16
Read more

Butanol is commercially interesting as a direct gasoline replacement and substitute because it overcomes many of the limitations of the current gasoline substitutes, such as ethanol, due to its immiscibility with water and similar energy density to gasoline. Like ethanol, there is much commercial interest in producing butanol from fermentation of biomass, either directly or via crude syngas production. However, the recovery of butanol from the fermentation broth using classical techniques such as distillation is very energy intensive.

Researchers in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology have devised a method of separating butanol from fermentation broths that provides an energy reduction of over 90% compared to conventional distillation technologies. Based on the research to date, it looks like this energy-efficient method has the potential to be implemented as part of the retrofitting process to modify existing ethanol fermentation plants for butanol production.

The technology is protected by a UK priority patent application and we’re now looking for partners to help us develop the technology. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss further.

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Energy-efficient butanol fermentation separation method

Available Technologies Enquiry

Structurally coloured cellulose microparticles

Physical Sciences Ref No: Vig-3336-16
Read more

Structural colouration is responsible for many brilliant iridescent colours found in plants.  Dr Silvia Vignolini and her team in the Department of Chemistry have developed a process for producing nanocrystalline cellulose microparticles with structural colour. This is expected to enable a new generation of pigment-free, biodegradable, natural coloured products.

Download more information

 

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Structurally coloured cellulose microparticles

Available Technologies Enquiry

Conductive binder for supercapacitors

Physical Sciences Ref No: Gal-3100-14
Read more

Researchers in the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, have developed a new material for supercapacitor electrodes using activated carbon and reduced graphene oxide. This is expected to enable a new generation of supercapacitors. The team is now keen to license the technology to a suitable partner for development. Possible applications include supercapacitors for new electric vehicles.

Key benefits include

  • 25-30% improvement in specific capacitance
  • Up to 400% improvement in power density and discharge rate
  • Low cost, standard production processes and solvents

Download more information

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Conductive binder for supercapacitors

Available Technologies Enquiry

Solid state organic materials for barocaloric cooling

Physical Sciences Ref No: Moy-3305-16
Read more

Typical commercially available cooling equipment such as refrigerators or air conditioning systems use liquid-vapour-phase (LVP) cycles to achieve the temperature reduction. However such devices are known to suffer from environmental issues including noise and the risk of leakage of volatile hydrocarbons.

Solid state refrigerants have been explored for many years but have not managed to achieve comparable performance to the currently available systems. Researchers at the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge, together with colleagues at the Universitat de Barcelona and the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, have now identified a new class of solid state compounds which can provide similar cooling under equivalent pressure changes to those used in conventional LVP cycles, while operating around room temperature and using inexpensive raw materials.

The technology is protected by a UK priority patent application and we’re now looking for partners to help us explore the different areas where this might be useful. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss further.

Download more information

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Solid state organic materials for barocaloric cooling

Available Technologies Enquiry

A universal formulation strategy for functional inks

Physical Sciences Ref No: Has-3167-15
Read more

A new method for formulating functional inks incorporating a wide range of commercially available nano platelets or nano particles has been demonstrated.

This enables the production of low cost, environmentally friendly, room temperature processable inks, ink additives and composites based on materials such as graphene, MoS2 or h-BN, which in turn can be tailored to achieve enhanced electrical, thermal or physical properties according to the material and application.

Potential applications include:

  • Conductive inks, plastics and adhesives
  • High strength coatings
  • Dielectric or semiconducting inks
  • Thermally conductive composites

Download more information

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for A universal formulation strategy for functional inks

Available Technologies Enquiry

Enabling smart textiles with fabric-friendly graphene-based inks

Physical Sciences Ref No: Tor-3208-15
Read more

The use of graphene-based inks has been suggested as a way to improve the existing limited approaches to wearable electronics. Poor adhesion of graphene ink to fabric substrates has so far restricted the performance and durability that could be achieved.

Researchers in the Department of Engineering have developed techniques to modify and prepare the substrates, enabling better quality deposition of inks made from graphene and related materials, and resulting in better connectivity and higher performance of the final component.

In such a new and growing area, the possible applications are extremely varied, but may include

  • fashion
  • functional garments
  • high performance sportswear
  • personal health technology
  • wearable technology / computing

Download more information

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Enabling smart textiles with fabric-friendly graphene-based inks

Available Technologies Enquiry

Coatings and free-standing components from carbon nanomaterials

Physical Sciences Ref No: Koz-3186-15
Read more

Carbon nanomaterials have shown great promise for applications requiring high performance in terms of electrical, thermal, mechanical and optical properties. However, the inability to form macroscopic assemblies with the desired properties has always been a major impediment to achieving their full potential in real-life applications. Now researchers from the University of Cambridge have developed a method of manufacturing free-standing films of carbon nanotubes of highly-defined structure. Using this method, carbon nanotubes can be made into sheets or tapes of arbitrary size and shape. Most importantly, full tunability in terms of product composition results in macroscopic properties fulfilling even the most stringent requirements.

This technology is protected by a UK priority patent application, and the researchers have formed a company Cnergytec Ltd (www.cnergytec.com) to take it forward into real applications. An example application using spray-painted carbon nanotubes in novel de-icing systems can be seen in their video: https://youtu.be/9XyjFKEIdvE; we anticipate that this and other applications could benefit from a simply applied film according to this invention.

We are now looking for commercial or academic partners to work with us to develop applications and markets, and to explore options for scaling up both customer interactions and product manufacture.

Free-standing carbon nanotube film

Image of Free-standing carbon nanotube film

 

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Coatings and free-standing components from carbon nanomaterials

Available Technologies Enquiry

GreenSwirl software for calculating Green’s function for swirling flow in an infinite duct

Physical Sciences Ref No: Mat-3234-15
Read more

GreenSwirl is a MATLAB program for calculating Green’s function for swirling flow in an infinite duct. The duct can have either hard walls or an acoustic lining, modeled using the Ingard-Myers boundary condition. The mean flow is a function of only radial position, can have shear and swirling components, and can be input as functions or data points. The programme calculates eigenmodes and the Green’s function of the linearised Euler equations. The programme calculates these either numerically (Basic version) or numerically and analytically assuming the frequency is large (Advanced version). GreenSwirl has applications to the beamforming technique and can be used in the aeroacoustics industry to model aeroengine noise.

Further information can be found at the GreenSwirl website and in the following publications:

Mathews, J., Peake, N. and Bianchi, S. (May 2016). Asymptotic and numerical Green’s function in a lined duct with realistic shear and swirl. 22nd AIAA/CEAS Conference Paper (Lyon).

Mathews, J., and Peake. N., Journal of Sound and Vibration, Journal of Sound and Vibration, 2017, 395, 294-316.

Licences to the software for both academic and commercial users are available for purchase by contacting us at the link below.

Image result for aircraft pictures

 

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for GreenSwirl software for calculating Green’s function for swirling flow in an infinite duct

Available Technologies Enquiry

Automatic estimation of polarity and associated uncertainty of a feature in a noisy time series

Physical Sciences Ref No: Whi-3163-15
Read more

Professor Robert White and his team at the University of Cambridge have developed a new computational approach for the automatic and  probabilistic estimation of the polarity and the associated uncertainty of features in a noisy time series, such as for example seismograms.

The unique capability of this approach allows automatic estimation of the polarity of the first motion of a detected signal, such as a seismic wave, through Bayesian statistical methods with comparable if not better reliability than manual picking. This automatic picking and analysis has the benefit of a more rigorous and objective estimation of the polarity. Together with the polarity, this approach can also provide onset time uncertainties (uncertainty in the pick time) and the polarities for the signal e.g. phases of transverse waves (SH and SV waves).

The more rigorous and objective knowledge of the polarity of a seismic wave can provide increased insight and understanding of the behaviour of soil and rock in geological surveys during site characterisation and monitoring and can help to assess and manage the risk of geologic hazards such as seismic shaking.

We believe this approach may be useful in a range of different fields, so please contact us if you are interested in exploring this with us. The invention is protected by a PCT application.

 

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Automatic estimation of polarity and associated uncertainty of a feature in a noisy time series

Available Technologies Enquiry

Q3PULSE software for predicting unsteady turbocharger turbine performance

Physical Sciences Ref No: Cao-3214-15
Read more

The Q3PULSE software is used for predicting unsteady turbocharger turbine performance, particularly under pulsating flow conditions. It builds a low order model of a turbine which combines a quasi-3D model for a volute and multiple meanline models for a rotor. This model strikes a good balance between accuracy and complexity. It provides a quick, robust and accurate prediction of unsteady turbine performance under pulsating flows. It is therefore a good research and design tool which allows turbine designers to accommodate the pulsating flow effect into the preliminary turbine design.

The software is compatible with Linux and Windows. Academic and commercial licensing is available; please get in contact for more information.

Q3PULSE Fig1          Q3PULSE Fig2

Publications:

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power, 2016, 138(7), 072607.

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Q3PULSE software for predicting unsteady turbocharger turbine performance

Available Technologies Enquiry

Highly Rechargeable and Efficient Lithium-Air Battery

Physical Sciences Ref No: Gre-3148-15
Read more

Professor Clare Grey and her team at the Department of Chemistry have developed a novel technology for aprotic Lithium-Air (Li-Air) batteries. This ground-breaking technology uses a spongy graphene cathode and new chemistry based on the formation of LiOH. The resulting battery exhibits extremely low over-potential (<0.2 V), leading to efficiency greater than 90% and fewer side-reactions. The battery can be charged and recharged for more than 1000 cycles. The battery is also stable with respect to moisture.

Download more information

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Highly Rechargeable and Efficient Lithium-Air Battery

Available Technologies Enquiry

COBRAS Concrete Bridge Assessment Program

Software Ref No: Mid-1022-96
Read more

Concrete Bridge Assessment Program (COBRAS) is a yield-line analysis software program for assessing the ultimate load capacity of concrete structures, and in particular, concrete bridge decks.

A number of UK bridge authorities, consultants and overseas organisations are currently using the program to evaluate the load carrying capacity of concrete bridges that have failed assessment using conventional elastic analysis methods. The program has been developed in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge by Dr Campbell Middleton and colleagues. The team have received support from various bodies including the Highways Agency, Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

A paper by Dr Campbell Middleton presented at the Surveyor Bridge Conference in London, March 1998 gives more information on the program and its use for concrete bridge assessment.

Further information can be found at the COBRAS website.

Licences to the software for both academic and commercial users are available for purchase by contacting us at the link below.

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for COBRAS Concrete Bridge Assessment Program

Available Technologies Enquiry

Computational method for rational antibody design

Life sciences Ref No: Ven-2875-13
Read more
Antibodies can usually be obtained against a wide variety of antigens; however, weakly immunogenic epitopes such as membrane proteins, highly conserved proteins and disordered proteins still pose a challenge.

This has particular relevance when developing antibodies against disordered proteins such as αβ peptide, α-synuclein and islet amyloid polypeptide which are associated with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Type 2 diabetes respectively. Using a computational approach a team of scientists led by Professor Michele Vendruscolo of the University of Cambridge, has developed a method which allows the design of antibodies to target specific epitopes within a protein, particularly disordered epitopes. Using this method, antibodies against αβ peptide, α-synuclein and islet amyloid polypeptide have been generated which bind with good specificity and affinity to the target protein. The method can be used to aid the development of therapeutics or probes directed against protein molecules of biomedical or biotechnological interest.

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Computational method for rational antibody design

Available Technologies Enquiry

Computational method to predict the solubility of proteins

Life sciences Ref No: Ven-2792-12
Read more

Using a computational approach a team of scientists, led by Professor Michele Vendruscolo of the University of Cambridge, has developed a neural network method that can predict the solubility of a protein from the amino acid sequence and propose specific amino acid substitutions and/or insertions which will alter the solubility of the protein, while preserving its structure and functionality. The output is a short list of mutational variants with predicted solubility, or aggregation propensity, better than that of the protein provided as input. This method allows rapid screening of tens of thousands of mutations decreasing the time, cost and risk associated with the selection and development of candidate therapeutics and is of particular relevance for the development of therapeutics for high concentration subcutaneous formulations.

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Computational method to predict the solubility of proteins

Available Technologies Enquiry

Protein microcapsules

Physical Sciences Ref No: Kno-2950-13
Read more

A method of forming nanofibrillar protein microcapsules has been developed at the University of Cambridge. Encapsulation technologies can be used as delivery systems for a variety of applications in beauty, personal care, food and healthcare. Encapsulation provides a means of targeting delivery, protecting unstable actives from degradation, formulating incompatible actives and in controlling release and bioavailability. Using microfluidics emulsification a team of scientists, led by Dr Tuomas Knowles, have developed new protein microcapsules which have several advantages over existing encapsulation techniques:

  • the capsules are resistant to heat, pH, proteases and physical forces
  • the capsule formation does not use cross linking agents or synthetic polymers
  • capsule morphology and release characteristics can be controlled by adjusting production parameters
  • the capsules are biocompatible and biodegradable
  • the capsules can be formed from all types of protein.
Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Protein microcapsules

Available Technologies Enquiry

Antibody-free magnetic cell sorting

Life sciences Ref No: Mat-2811-13
Read more

Cell separation technology plays an important role in the fields of microbiology, biotechnology and bioscience, which have wide applications in the pharmaceuticals and healthcare industries. Existing methods suffer disadvantages of time, cost and scalability and, when antibodies are used to bind exogenous cell surface markers for magnetic selection, typically yield cells coated with antibody-antigen complexes and beads. A team from the University of Cambridge has developed a method for antibody-free magnetic cell sorting of transfected or transduced cells that has several advantages:

  • positive selection of ‘untouched’ cells
  • target gene overexpression or knockdown
  • enrichment following CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing
  • no requirement for antibodies
  • no restriction on cell type or species
  • simple, fast and cost-effective.

Download more information

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Antibody-free magnetic cell sorting

Available Technologies Enquiry

Monitoring embryonic vitality

Life sciences Ref No: Zer-2526-10
Read more

Scientists at Cambridge have developed a new method for determining embryo viability for in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

This is a non-invasive and quantitative way of assessing key processes that affect embryo vitality, which could potentially improve the efficiency of IVF by identifying the best embryos to transfer to the mother.

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Monitoring embryonic vitality

Available Technologies Enquiry

Polymeric heart valve

Life sciences Ref No: Mog-2514-10
Read more

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have designed and manufactured a tri-leaflet heart valve made of polymers and mimicking for the first time the unique anisotropic properties of natural tissue valves. This polymeric heart valve technology combines the durability of mechanical valves and the haemo-compatibility and flexibility of natural tissue valves to offer new, improved heart valves.

Download more information

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Polymeric heart valve

Available Technologies Enquiry

Virtual WDS software

Physical Sciences Ref No: Ree-1001-95
Read more

The Virtual WDS program allows the synthesis of Wavelength-Dispersive Electron Probe Spectra using stored experimental spectra, to facilitate the selection of optimal positions for background measurements and assist in the choice of suitable counting strategies for specific analytical situations.

Further information can be found at the Department of Earth Sciences website and in the following publications:

  • Reed, S. J. B. and Buckley, A. (1996). Virtual WDS. Mikrochim. Acta (Suppl), 13, 479–483
  • Reed, S. J. B. and Buckley, A. (1998). Computer simulation applied to WD analysis. Microscopy and Microanalysis, 4 (Suppl 2), 236–237.

Virtual WDS has been developed to run under Microsoft Windows and will run on either WFW, Windows 95/98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows ME or Windows 7. A 16-bit version is still available for WFW but the latest version is 32-bit only (i.e. W95/98/2000/NT/XP/ME).

Licences to the software for both academic and commercial users are available for purchase by contacting us at the link below.

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Virtual WDS software

Available Technologies Enquiry

Electrolyte for fuel cells

Physical Sciences Ref No: Dri-2985-14
Read more

Professor Judith Driscoll has developed a new electrolyte material that will enhance thin film ionic devices by dramatically increasing the ionic conductivity. This is expected to enable either enhanced efficiency in current high temperature fuel cells, oxygen separation membranes or sensors, or devices that operate at much lower temperatures (e.g. down to 350°C). The team is now keen to collaborate with partners to validate this exciting new material.

This electrolyte has an ionic conductivity up to three orders of magnitude greater than the current standard, while being simple and low cost to manufacture. We are seeking a partner to help us demonstrate this material in a fuel cell.

Download more information

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Electrolyte for fuel cells

Available Technologies Enquiry

Programming towards megakaryocytes

Life sciences Ref No: Ped-2635-11
Read more

Cambridge scientists have developed a method to generate platelets in a test-tube from stem cells or iPS cells. These cells provide opportunities for research and clinical application.

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Programming towards megakaryocytes

Available Technologies Enquiry

Cell cycle regulation and differentiation

Life sciences Ref No: Val-2729-12
Read more

Scientists have developed a novel approach for directing the differentiation of embryonic stem cells by manipulating the cell cycle. Using cell cycle inhibitors in human pluripotent stem cells, this method gives rise to endoderm cells, which can further be differentiated into pancreatic beta cells or liver cells.

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Cell cycle regulation and differentiation

Available Technologies Enquiry