Patents by Inventor George M. Whitesides

George M. Whitesides has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 10843336
    Abstract: Reconfigurable soft robotic actuators with hard components are described. Magnetic attraction is used to couple flexible molded bodies capable of actuation upon pressurization with other flexible molded bodies and/or with hard components (e.g., frames and connectors) to form a seal for fluidic communication and cooperative actuation. Pneumatic de-coupling chambers built into the hard components to de-couple the hard components from the magnetically-coupled soft molded bodies are described. The use of magnetic self-alignment coupling and pneumatic de-coupling allows for the remote assembly and disassembly of complex structures involving hard and soft components. The magnetic coupling allows for rapid, reversible reconfiguration of hybrid soft-hard robots for repair, testing new designs, and carrying out new tasks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2020
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Sen Wai Kwok, Stephen A. Morin, Bobak Mosadegh, Ju-Hee So, Robert F. Shepherd, George M. Whitesides
  • Publication number: 20200363367
    Abstract: Fabrication of a low-cost and miniaturized solid-contact thread-based ion sensing electrode (ISE) that is suitable for point-of-care applications is described. The fabrication process is simple and scalable. Different types of threads and a variety of different conductive ion-to-electron transducer inks can be used to fabricate the thread-based ISEs with Nernstian responses. Multiple thread-based sensors can be easily bundled with the reference electrode to fabricate a customized sensor for multiplexed ion-sensing in small sample volumes. The thread-based electrodes can be used in both single-use and reusable fashion. The thread-based multiplexed ion-sensor is used for detection of a wide array of ions in many different types of aqueous solutions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 13, 2018
    Publication date: November 19, 2020
    Inventors: Seyedeh Moloud MOUSAVI, George M. WHITESIDES
  • Patent number: 10828788
    Abstract: A soft robot is described, including: a flexible and/or stretchable body; a common fluid pressurization unit; and a plurality of fluid chambers each embedded in the flexible and/or stretchable body and capable of fluidic connection with the common fluid pressurization unit through a pressurizing valve; wherein the pressurizing valve is capable of being activated to allow the pressurized fluid to flow from the common fluid pressurization unit into the fluid chamber to result in actuation. Methods of using the soft robot are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2020
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Joshua Aaron Lessing, George M. Whitesides
  • Publication number: 20200340974
    Abstract: A method of and system for detecting a gas or vapor includes providing a sensor comprising an electrode pair in electrical contact with a layer of porous material, the porous material layer having water adsorbed on its surface; contacting the sensor with a gas or vapor sample to be analysed; applying a voltage across the electrode pair of the sensor; and measuring a response, the response correlating to the presence of a target gas or vapor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 10, 2020
    Publication date: October 29, 2020
    Inventors: Firat Güder, Bobak Mosadegh, Alar Ainla, George M. Whitesides
  • Patent number: 10792807
    Abstract: A soft robot having an integrated electrical component includes an expandable or collapsible body, the body comprising an inlet that is configured to communicate with a fluid source and a flexible strain limited layer secured to a portion of the expandable or collapsible body, wherein the strain limited layer includes at least one electrical component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2020
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Joshua Aaron Lessing, Ramses V. Martinez, Alok Suryavamsee Tayi, Jason Ming Ting, George M. Whitesides
  • Patent number: 10732167
    Abstract: A multi-phase system includes a phase-separated solution comprising at least two phases, each phase having a phase component selected from the group consisting of a polymer, a surfactant and combinations thereof, wherein at least one phase comprises a polymer, wherein the phases, taken together, represent a density gradient. Novel two-phase, three-phase, four-phase, five-phase, or six-phase systems are disclosed. Using the disclosed multi-phase polymer systems, particles, or other analyte of interest can be separated based on their different densities or affinities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2020
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Charles R. Mace, Ozge Akbulut Halatci, Ashok A. Kumar, Nathan D. Shapiro, George M. Whitesides
  • Publication number: 20200238509
    Abstract: A shear force actuator is described, including: two substantially parallel first structural components disposed along a first axis; a plurality of substantially parallel second structural components disposed between and bridging the two first structural components; a plurality of joint sections each joining the second structural component with the first structural components at an oblique angle of between 0 and 90 degrees to define a plurality of cells, each capable of being connected with a fluid inflation or deflation source; an elastic surface covering the remaining surfaces of the cells in a fluid-tight manner, wherein at least one of the joint section, the first structural components, and the second structural components is elastic so that cell collapses upon removal of fluid from the cell to generate a linear force along the first axis.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 9, 2016
    Publication date: July 30, 2020
    Inventors: Dian YANG, George M. WHITESIDES
  • Patent number: 10712337
    Abstract: A method of and system for detecting a gas or vapor includes providing a sensor comprising an electrode pair in electrical contact with a layer of porous material, the porous material layer having water adsorbed on its surface; contacting the sensor with a gas or vapor sample to be analysed; applying a voltage across the electrode pair of the sensor; and measuring a response, the response correlating to the presence of a target gas or vapor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2020
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Firat Güder, Bobak Mosadegh, Alar Ainla, George M. Whitesides
  • Patent number: 10704537
    Abstract: A soft robot device includes at least a first thermoplastic layer and a second thermoplastic layer, wherein at least one layer is comprised of an extensible thermoplastic material; at least one layer is an inextensible layer; and at least one layer comprises a pneumatic network, wherein the pneumatic network is configured to be in fluidic contact with a pressurizing source, wherein the first and second thermoplastic layers are thermally bonded to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2020
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Jason Ming Ting, Alok Suryavamsee Tayi, Bobak Mosadegh, George M. Whitesides
  • Patent number: 10689044
    Abstract: A pneumatically powered, fully untethered mobile soft robot is described. Composites consisting of silicone elastomer, polyaramid fabric, and hollow glass microspheres were used to fabricate a sufficiently large soft robot to carry the miniature air compressors, battery, valves, and controller needed for autonomous operation. Fabrication techniques were developed to mold a 0.65 meter long soft body with modified Pneumatic network actuators capable of operating at the elevated pressures (up to 138 kPa) required to actuate the legs of the robot and hold payloads of up to 8 kg. The soft robot is safe to handle, and its silicone body is innately resilient to a variety of adverse environmental conditions including snow, puddles of water, direct (albeit limited) exposure to flames, and the crushing force of being run over by an automobile.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2020
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Michael T. Tolley, Robert F. Shepherd, Bobak Mosadegh, Robert J. Wood, George M. Whitesides
  • Patent number: 10639801
    Abstract: An actuator includes a plurality of chambers comprised of an extensible material, the chambers having interior side walls and exterior walls, wherein at least a portion of the interior side wall is separated from an interior side wall of an adjacent chamber; and a strain limiting base; and a channel that fluidically interconnects the plurality of chambers, wherein the interior walls are configured to be more compliant than the exterior walls.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2020
    Assignee: PRESIDENT AND FELLOWS OF HARVARD COLLEGE
    Inventors: Bobak Mosadegh, Robert F. Shepherd, George M. Whitesides
  • Patent number: 10584724
    Abstract: A soft actuator is described, including: a rotation center having a center of mass; a plurality of bucklable, elastic structural components each comprising a wall defining an axis along its longest dimension, the wall connected to the rotation center in a way that the axis is offset from the center of mass in a predetermined direction; and a plurality of cells each disposed between two adjacent bucklable, elastic structural components and configured for connection with a fluid inflation or deflation source; wherein upon the deflation of the cell, the bucklable, elastic structural components are configured to buckle in the predetermined direction. A soft actuating device including a plurality of the soft actuators and methods of actuation using the soft actuator or soft actuating device disclosed herein are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2020
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Dian Yang, George M. Whitesides
  • Patent number: 10576643
    Abstract: A soft robotic device with one or more sensors is described. The sensor may be embedded in the soft body of the soft robotic device, attached to the soft body of the soft robotic device, or otherwise linked to the soft body of the soft robotic device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2020
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Joshua Aaron Lessing, George M. Whitesides, Ramses V. Martinez, Dian Yang, Bobak Mosadegh, Kevin C. Galloway, Firat Güder, Alok Suryavamsee Tayi
  • Patent number: 10548745
    Abstract: A finger actuator, includes a plurality of fluidically interconnected inflatable chambers, wherein each chamber comprises outer walls having an embedded extensible layer selected to constrain radial expansion and freestanding inner walls; and an inextensible layer connected to the chambers at a base of the chambers, the inextensible layer comprising a flexible polymer and having an embedded inextensible layer that extends along the length of the finger actuator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2020
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Bobak Mosadegh, Brandon Grant Gerberich, George M. Whitesides
  • Patent number: 10465723
    Abstract: A soft robotic device includes a flexible body having a width, a length and a thickness, wherein the thickness is at least 1 mm, the flexible body having at least one channel disposed within the flexible body, the channel defined by upper, lower and side walls, wherein at least one wall is strain limiting; and a pressurizing inlet in fluid communication with the at least one channel, the at least one channel positioned and arranged such that the wall opposite the strain limiting wall preferentially expands when the soft robotic device is pressurized through the inlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2019
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Filip Ilievski, Xin Chen, Aaron D. Mazzeo, George M. Whitesides, Robert F. Shepherd, Ramses V. Martinez, Won Jae Choi, Sen Wai Kwok, Stephen A. Morin, Adam Stokes, Zhihong Nie
  • Patent number: 10436768
    Abstract: The disclosed methods use a multi-phase system to separate samples according to the density of an analyte of interest. The method uses a multi-phase system that comprises two or more phase-separated solutions and a phase component such as a surfactant or polymer. The density of the analyte of interest differs from the densities of the rest of the sample. The density of the analyte of interest is substantially the same as one or more phases. Thus, when the sample is introduced to the multi-phase system, the analyte of interest migrates to the phase having the same density as the analyte of interest, passing through one or more phases sequentially.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2019
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Charles R. Mace, Ashok A. Kumar, Dyann F. Wirth, George M. Whitesides
  • Patent number: 10418145
    Abstract: An elastically-deformable, conductive composite using elastomers and conductive fibers and simple fabrication procedures is provided. Conductive elastomeric composites offer low resistance to electrical current and are elastic over large (>25%) extensional strains. They can be easily interfaced/built into structures fabricated from elastomeric polymers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2019
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Joshua Aaron Lessing, Stephen A. Morin, George M. Whitesides
  • Patent number: 10406698
    Abstract: Apparatus, systems, and methods for providing modular soft robots are disclosed. In particular, the disclosed modular soft robot can include a flexible actuator having a plurality of molded flexible units. Each molded flexible unit can include a mechanical connector configured to provide a physical coupling to another molded flexible unit, and the plurality of molded flexible units are arranged to form an embedded fluidic channel. The modular soft robot can also include an inlet coupled to the embedded fluidic channel, where the inlet is configured to receive pressurized or depressurized fluid to inflate or deflate a portion of the flexible actuator, thereby causing an actuation of the flexible actuator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2019
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Stephen A. Morin, Sen Wai Kwok, Robert F. Shepherd, George M. Whitesides
  • Patent number: 10385886
    Abstract: A soft buckling linear actuator is described, including: a plurality of substantially parallel bucklable, elastic structural components each having its longest dimension along a first axis; and a plurality of secondary structural components each disposed between and bridging two adjacent bucklable, elastic structural components; wherein every two adjacent bucklable, elastic structural components and the secondary structural components in-between define a layer comprising a plurality of cells each capable of being connected with a fluid inflation or deflation source; the secondary structural components from two adjacent layers are not aligned along a second axis perpendicular to the first axis; and the secondary structural components are configured not to buckle, the bucklable, elastic structural components are configured to buckle along the second axis to generate a linear force, upon the inflation or deflation of the cells. Methods of actuation using the same are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2019
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Dian Yang, George M. Whitesides
  • Patent number: 10299779
    Abstract: A surgical device for displacement of organs within a body cavity for providing at least visual access to a selected site includes an expandable bladder, wherein the elasticity of the bladder varies across the surface of the bladder, said variation in elasticity selected to provide a predetermined, non-spherical shape when expanded; and a valve on the proximal end on the inflatable bladder for introduction of a pressurizing gas into the soft bladder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Robert F. Shepherd, George M. Whitesides, Bobak Mosadegh