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PNNL recognized for commercializing technology

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February 15, 2006 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. — The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has been recognized for transferring technologies that treat and cure cancer, uniquely analyze massive sets of data, neutralize toxic chemicals from the environment and increase surgical implant success rates.

The Federal Laboratory Consortium announced today that it is honoring PNNL with four 2006 Excellence in Technology Transfer Awards for the laboratory’s development and commercialization of bioactive thin-film coatings for surgical implants, a brachytherapy seed cancer treatment process, Starlight information visualization system software, and SAMMS, a process for removing mercury and other toxic chemicals from the environment.

Bioactive thin-film coatings for surgical implants

A water-based thin-film calcium-phosphate technology developed by PNNL will soon enhance bone bonding and reduce the body’s chance for post-surgical infection and implant rejection. The technology was licensed in 2004 to Bacterin, of Belgrade, Mont., and is ready for commercial application. Bacterin is a medical device testing facility for medical implant manufacturers and has FDA approval for applying the thin-film coating to medical devices for orthopedic and medical implants.

Brachytherapy cancer treatment seed

The brachytherapy seed cancer treatment process uses cesium-131, a radioactive isotope, to effectively and quickly provide a cancer-killing dose to a tumor. Through collaboration with PNNL researchers and access to the laboratory’s facilities, IsoRay Medical, Inc., of Richland, Wash., expanded its cancer therapy technology for treating prostate and other cancers. The cesium-131 brachytherapy technology was patented in 2000 and therapy is currently available at more than 17 implant centers across the United States.

Starlight visualization software solves super-sized data analysis challenges

Starlight is being used by nearly 40 organizations, including some Fortune 500 companies. Businesses and other organizations can use the information visualization tool to save millions of dollars by uniquely accessing and interpreting large amounts of information. Starlight can integrate many different data types and formats, perform high-speed, high-efficiency analysis, and display the results graphically so that the relationships among the data and their implications can be quickly and easily understood. This flexibility enables Starlight to address a wide range of problems that used to be difficult or impossible to interpret. Starlight was originally developed by PNNL for the U.S. intelligence community.

SAMMS, removing mercury and other toxic substances

SAMMS, which stands for self-assembled monolayers on mesoporous support, is a technology which can be tailored to selectively remove metal contaminants without creating hazardous waste or by-products. The technology offers huge savings to users faced with costly disposal requirements. SAMMS can be easily adapted to target toxic metals such as lead, chromium and radionuclides. Tests conducted at PNNL revealed 99.9 percent of mercury in waste water was captured after three successive treatments, reducing levels to well below the Environmental Protection Agency’s discharge limits. A licensing agreement has been established with Steward Advanced Materials of Chattanooga, Tenn., for use in stack emission coal fired power plants, municipal incinerators, and other similar plants.

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Business inquiries on the award-winning technologies or other PNNL innovations can be directed to 1-888-375-PNNL or

PNNL is a DOE Office of Science laboratory that solves complex problems in energy, national security, the environment and life sciences by advancing the understanding of physics, chemistry, biology and computation. PNNL employs 4,000 staff, has a $700 million annual budget, and has been managed by Ohio-based Battelle since the lab's inception in 1965.

Tags: Energy, Environment, Fundamental Science, National Security, Operations, Chemistry, Biology, Facilities

PNNL LogoPacific Northwest National Laboratory draws on signature capabilities in chemistry, earth sciences, and data analytics to advance scientific discovery and create solutions to the nation's toughest challenges in energy resiliency and national security. Founded in 1965, PNNL is operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit PNNL's News Center. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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