Science and Technology

Projects with Técnico’s brand on World Intellectual Property Day

On April 26 we celebrate the World Intellectual Property Day, by sharing five innovative projects of young inventors who passed through Técnico.

The way young people will be able to use Intellectual Property to give life to their projects and inventions was the theme established by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), celebrated on April 26.

Técnico presents five projects of young talents, former students of the School, which represent the diversity and quality of these inventions born in Portugal. These stories can also be discovered in the campaign published on Técnico social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin).

Diogo Caetano (35 years): Method to detect cancer cells and multidrug-resistant bacteria

Diogo Caetano began his academic career in Técnico with the investment in the Master’s degree and in the Electrotechnical and Computer Engineering PhD. He worked as a researcher at the Institute of Systems and Computer Engineering – Research and Development (INESC ID) in the area of microelectronics and sensor interface systems.

But the young investigator’s ambition didn’t stop there. He published a patent, two magazine articles, 9 conference articles, 1 chapter and 1 section of a book. He was also present in the Lab2Market program held at IST in 2016. He attended more than 400 hours of training in the area of technology transfer and entrepreneurship in the PROGRAMS COHiTEC, HiSeedTech and HiEngine, where he prepared a business plan and the application for EIC Accelerator financing of the European Innovation Council for start-ups.

The invention was based on the creation of a hardware platform with a method that allows to detect and classify non-periodic signals. This means that this invention is able to detect signals and patterns of electromagnetic noise when we are analyzing a set of cells, such as blood, for example. This invention is significant as it contributes to the detection of cancer cells and multidrug-resistant bacteria. Diogo Caetano’s goal, with this invention, is to be able to detect 95% of the cells, compared to the techniques currently used and that reach up to 10%, to detect cancer four years in advance.

Other inventors of this patent application:  Taimur Rabuske, João Silva, Jorge Fernandes and Gonçalo Tavares. The invention is being developed together with the researchers Ruben Afonso and Rita Soares.

Raquel Santos Henriques (25 years) and Ziga Glavan (28 years): Improving the day-to-day of wheelchair users

Raquel Santos Henriques graduated as a Materials Engineering at Técnico. Later, she crossed paths with Ziga Glavan, who also was an Erasmus student at Técnico, for one semester. Together, they developed a patent for a high-impact invention for society.

Being able to have a device that can be attached to a wheelchair and allows its user to have a day-to-day without the constant difficulties when climbing a walk, entering a building, or entering a subway carriage, among other applications, can change the way wheelchair users move and make them more independent. This is precisely the invention that these young people have registered at this audacious research process.

Francisco Maria Calisto (32 years): Technology for the identification of carcinogenic lesions

Enthusiast of Human-Computer Interaction and Informatics in Health, Francisco Maria Calisto holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Técnico. Motivated to explore new interactive ideas, technologies and business models to solve urgent problems, especially in the area of health, Francisco Calisto has been collaborating with several Technical Research Units since 2015. He currently works at the Institute of Systems and Robotics (ISR) in collaboration with the Technical Innovation Institute (ITI), both associated with the Laboratory of Robotics and Engineering Systems (LARSyS).

The invention of Francisco Maria Calisto implies obtaining digital images of a breast cut with at least two digital images obtained by different imaging technologies, and their consequent segmentation and correlations, which allows to identify one or more cancerous lesions. In this way, it’s possible to create an improved automation of the identification of mamuary lesions, a current challenge in the area of medical imaging.

Other inventors of this patent application: Jacinto Nascimento

Rita Pires (29 years): Solving the problem of antibiotic multiresistance at a hospital environment

Rita Pires graduated in Applied Chemistry and made a Master’s degree in Bioorganic Chemistry at the Faculty of Science and Technology (FCT). In 2015, she joined Técnico, in the Doctoral Program of MIT Portugal, completing her PhD in Bioengineering in 2019.

Her invention aims to solve the growing problem of multidrug resistance to antibiotics, especially in a hospital environment. It writes the synthesis of polyconionic polymers, which are macromolecules with conductive properties based on dendrimers (branched synthetic macromolecules formed with a nucleus), which mimic an antimicrobial organic compound. These polymers have antibacterial and antifungal activity against multidrug-resistant strains, and also have anticancer activity.

Other inventors of this patent application: Vasco Bonifácio, Arsénio Fialho, Dalila Mil-homens, Nuno Bernardes, Ana Aguiar-Ricardo and Sandra Pinto.

Manuel Amaral (25 years) and Miguel Ferreira (24 years): Braille learning system

Challenged by Professor Marco Leite, in the second year of Master’s degree in Materials Engineering, Manuel Amaral and Miguel Ferreira developed a project that explores the additive manufacturing techniques (3d printing) present at Técnico.
Motivated, the young inventors wanted to meet expectations, but also create something that could have some social impact. The choice was to create a new braille learning system that facilitates the learning process, not requiring those who teach to know braille.

Currently, Manuel Amaral and Miguel Ferreira work in different locations, but they continue together looking for a way to get this innovation out of the paper and make it go to the real world.

Other inventors of this patent application: Marco Leite

The intellectual property covers both industrial property rights, as well as copyright and other related rights. For those who wish to register their inventions, they can find detailed information about the procedures to be adopted at the intellectual property regulations of Técnico through the Technology Transfer Office (TT).