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: 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: 10302586
    Abstract: A class of devices enabled by ionic conductors is highly stretchable, fully transparent to light of all colors, biocompatible or biodegradable, and capable of operation at frequencies beyond 10 kilohertz and voltages above 10 kilovolts. These devices enabled by ionic conductors can be used as large strain actuators, full-range loudspeakers, as strain or pressure sensors and as stretchable interconnects. The electromechanical transduction is achieved without electrochemical reaction. When large stretchability and high optical transmittance are required, the ionic conductors have lower sheet resistance than all existing electronic conductors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Jeong Yun Sun, Christoph Matthias Keplinger, Zhigang Suo, 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
  • Patent number: 10260533
    Abstract: A modular pneumatic robotic actuator, including a first elongated hollow structure and a second elongated hollow structure connected to each other at a moveable joint; an inflatable bladder comprised of an elastomeric material disposed at the said joint and immobilized between the first and second hollow structures, wherein the said inflatable bladder inflates preferentially away from the joint; and a restraining membrane comprised of an elastomeric material disposed over the bladder and connecting the first and second hollow structures, wherein the said restraining membrane is relaxed when the bladder is deflated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2019
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Yanina Shevchenko, George M. Whitesides, Adam Stokes, Gabrielle Compton, Alex Nemiroski
  • Patent number: 10261223
    Abstract: Exemplary method and system for providing a diffractive configuration in an optical arrangement are provided. For example, a material can be provided with at least one patterned surface having a very high aspect ratio. The material can be connected with at least one portion of a waveguide arrangement using a pre-polymer adhesive composition. Further, the pre-polymer adhesive composition can be caused to polymerize so as to form the diffractive configuration which at least approximately replicates a structure or at least one feature of the patterned surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2019
    Assignees: Canon USA, Inc., The General Hospital Corporation
    Inventors: Guillermo J Tearney, Dongkyun Kang, Mitsuhiro Ikuta, George M. Whitesides, Ramses V. Martinez
  • Publication number: 20190091858
    Abstract: Systems and methods for providing flexible robotic actuators are disclosed. Some embodiments of the disclosed subject matter include a soft robot capable of providing a radial deflection motions; a soft tentacle actuator capable of providing a variety of motions and providing transportation means for various types of materials; and a hybrid robotic system that retains desirable characteristics of both soft robots and hard robots. Some embodiments of the disclosed subject matter also include methods for operating the disclosed robotic systems.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 25, 2018
    Publication date: March 28, 2019
    Inventors: Stephen A. MORIN, Robert F. SHEPHERD, Adam STOKES, Filip ILIEVSKI, Ramses V. MARTINEZ, Jamie L. BRANCH, Carina R. FISH, Lihua JIN, Rui M.D. NUNES, Zhigang SUO, George M. WHITESIDES
  • Patent number: 10233910
    Abstract: Some embodiments of the disclosed subject matter includes a laminated robotic actuator. The laminated robotic actuator includes a strain-limiting layer comprising a flexible, non-extensible material in the form of a sheet or thin film, a flexible inflatable layer in the form of a thin film or sheet in facing relationship with the strain-limiting layer, wherein the inflatable layer is selectively adhered to the strain-limiting layer, and wherein a portion of an un-adhered region between the strain-limiting layer and the inflatable layer defines a pressurizable channel, and at least one fluid inlet in fluid communication with the pressurizable channel. The first flexible non-extensible material has a stiffness that is greater than the stiffness of the second flexible elastomeric material and the flexible elastomer is non-extensible under actuation conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Aaron D. Mazzeo, Stephen A. Morin, Robert F. Shepherd, George M. Whitesides, William B. Kalb
  • Publication number: 20190072552
    Abstract: An assay device and method are described. The assay may involve immobilizing a binding partner (e.g., an antigen or antibody) for an analyte to be detected (e.g., an antibody or antigen) on a portion of a surface of a microfluidic chamber; passing a fluid sample over the surface and allowing the analyte to bind to the binding partner; allowing a metal colloid, e.g., a gold-conjugated antibody, to associate with the bound analyte; flowing a metal solution, e.g., a silver solution, over the surface such as to form an opaque metallic layer; and detecting the presence of said metallic layer, e.g., by visual inspection or by measuring light transmission through the layer, conductivity or resistance of the layer, or metal concentration in the metal solution after flowing the metal solution over the surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 20, 2018
    Publication date: March 7, 2019
    Applicant: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Samuel K. Sia, Vincent Linder, Babak Parviz, Adam Carlyn Siegel, George M. Whitesides
  • Publication number: 20190030710
    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: Application
    Filed: May 7, 2018
    Publication date: January 31, 2019
    Inventors: Joshua Aaron LESSING, Ramses V. MARTINEZ, Alok Suryavamsee TAYI, Jason Ming TING, George M. WHITESIDES
  • Publication number: 20190024644
    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: Application
    Filed: May 29, 2018
    Publication date: January 24, 2019
    Inventors: Jason Ming TING, Alok Suryavamsee TAYI, Bobak MOSADEGH, George M. WHITESIDES
  • Publication number: 20180363683
    Abstract: Systems and methods for providing a soft robot is provided. In one system, a robotic device includes a flexible body having a fluid chamber, where a portion of the flexible body includes an elastically extensible material and a portion of the flexible body is strain limiting relative to the elastically extensible material. The robotic device can further include a pressurizing inlet in fluid communication with the fluid chamber, and a pressurizing device in fluid communication with the pressurizing inlet, the pressurizing device including a reaction chamber configured to accommodate a gas-producing chemical reaction for providing pressurized gas to the pressurizing inlet.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 13, 2018
    Publication date: December 20, 2018
    Inventors: Robert F. SHEPHERD, Adam STOKES, Stephen A. MORIN, Ludovico CADEMARTIRI, Jacob FREAKE, Rui NUNES, Xin CHEN, George M. WHITESIDES
  • Publication number: 20180326578
    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: Application
    Filed: May 8, 2018
    Publication date: November 15, 2018
    Inventors: Sen Wai KWOK, Stephen A. MORIN, Bobak MOSADEGH, Ju-Hee SO, Robert F. SHEPHERD, George M. WHITESIDES
  • Publication number: 20180297214
    Abstract: A soft robotic device with a variety of sensors and/or imaging areas is described. The sensor and/or imaging area may be embedded in the soft body or the strain limiting layer of the soft robotic device, attached to the soft body or the strain limiting layer of the soft robotic device, or other-wise linked to the soft body or the strain limiting layer of the soft robotic device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 12, 2016
    Publication date: October 18, 2018
    Applicants: President and Fellows of Harvard College, President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Joshua Aaron LESSING, George M. WHITESIDES, Yanina SHEVCHENKO, Bobak MOSADEGH, Kevin C. GALLOWAY, Alok Suryavamsee TAYI
  • Publication number: 20180298925
    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: Application
    Filed: November 17, 2017
    Publication date: October 18, 2018
    Inventors: Dian YANG, George M. WHITESIDES
  • Patent number: 10082507
    Abstract: An assay method is described, which comprises the steps of immobilizing a binding partner (e.g., an antigen or antibody) for an analyte to be detected (e.g., an antibody or antigen) on a portion of a surface of a microfluidic chamber; passing a fluid sample over the surface and allowing the analyte to bind to the binding partner; allowing a metal colloid, e.g., a gold-conjugated antibody, to associate with the bound analyte; flowing a metal solution, e.g., a silver solution, over the surface such as to form an opaque metallic layer; and detecting the presence of said metallic layer, e.g., by visual inspection or by measuring light transmission through the layer, conductivity or resistance of the layer, or metal concentration in the metal solution after flowing the metal solution over the surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2018
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Samuel K. Sia, Vincent Linder, Babak Parviz, Adam Siegel, George M. Whitesides
  • Patent number: 10048252
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for delivering one or more fluids. Fluids may be delivered from a common vessel to a chemical, biological or biochemical process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2018
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Vincent Linder, Samuel K. Sia, George M. Whitesides