The complete list of the patents issued in 2007 is available at


Memory House


This inexpensive, modular system fuses the power of the Internet with monitoring and communication devices to provide persons suffering from acute memory loss with independence while ensuring their safety. New functions are added to familiar devices to provide crucial reminders and to allow family and caregivers remote access. The Video Remembrance Phone, the first prototyped module of this system, automatically presents a content-specific digital picture slide show on an existing television set with incoming and outgoing telephone calls.

2544 Redirected Electrospray Sorting of Aerosolized Biological Particles

Incoming aerosol particles are identified as biological or non-biological based on their intrinsic ultraviolet light−induced fluorescence. Particles are charged in an electrospray. When voltages are switched on capture electrodes, the biological and non-biological particles are separated, based on the fluorescence information.

2555 High-Speed Variable Gain Free-Space Optical Receiver

This optical receiver increases the reliability and throughput of free-space optical communications systems by substantially reducing the received power variations common to these links. This enables the use of proven methods and components used in fiber optic communications systems, which decreases system costs while enabling increased communications bandwidth.

Invention of the Year nominee

2557 Nanotube Battery

The nanotube battery is composed of individual nanotubes that provide the battery with high capacity and longevity and are designed to be thinner than a human hair. The nanotubes are embedded in a polymer film that is thinner than paper and filled with energy-storing chemicals such as metal oxides, hydroxides, and hydrides. Still in early testing, the nanotube battery could find uses in multifunctional structures, power source-integrated sensors, sensor networks, communications devices, remote-controlled toys, vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles, microprocessors, and controllers.

Invention of the Year winnerInvention of the Year winner logo

Nanotube Battery Graphic


2446 Passive Forensic Identification of Networked TCP/IP Communication Endpoints

Passive Forensic Identification of Networked TCP/IP Communication Endpoints GraphicIn response to threats from compromised computer networks, an APL researcher uniquely applied a technique to identify and passively interrogate each computer on a private network, despite their identical public IP addresses. Exploiting the physical uniqueness of machines, network packets from a particular machine can be remotely assessed, allowing that machine to be distinguished from a general network flow to determine its role in an event, thus determining the source and scope of an intrusion, a virus, or malicious software.Invention of the Year winner logo

Invention of the Year winner

2468 Improved Traffic Analysis Protection for Mix Router Anonymity Systems

This security technique reduces a router’s vulnerability to intersection attacks by increasing the anonymity of available information. Intersection attacks match anonymous online behavior patterns with separately collected, anonymous personal information (cookies, ID numbers, or data of any kind used more than once) to eventually pair a user with his or her key private information.

2474 A Flexible, Computational Framework for System Optimization

This novel system-optimization framework allows researchers and modelers to define and solve modeling-based or simulation-based engineering optimization problems without requiring specialists to create custom, highly interdependent computer codes.

Invention of the Year nominee

2485 Off-Nadir Radar Clutter Suppression Using Polarimetric Selectivity

Under development for NASA, a new technique for down-looking radars is based on radio-wave polarization properties. Much like Polaroid dark glasses, this new method helps to reject unwanted reflections, which are a major problem with radar sounders. This technology will help to measure the thickness of the Earth’s ice sheets and is ideally suited to future planetary missions.

Invention of the Year nominee

2509 Bayesian Biosurveillance Data Fusion Networks

Timely, accurate detection of disease outbreaks in a population is crucial for efficient, potentially life-saving public health responses. Current techniques for detecting outbreaks have high levels of false positive alerts. Thus, there is an ever-pressing need to reduce false alarm rates. This novel, probabilistic model can reduce false alarm rates by differentiating epidemiologically significant public health events from statistical anomalies in the multiple data sources.

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Bayesian Biosurveillance Data Fusion Networks Graphic

2532 Review Software for Electronic References Based on Subject Matter

Currently, technology is not available to automate the review process of controlled vocabularies, i.e., taxonomies and thesauri. This software allows subject matter experts to review proposed vocabulary terms in their area of expertise and submit recommendations to the controlled vocabulary administrator.

Invention of the Year nominee

2539 A Fast Protocol for Computationally Private Information Retrieval

This protocol allows users to quickly search a database without revealing the topics or data for which they were searching. This protocol is much more efficient than previous protocols in this area.

Invention of the Year nominee

2568 Dye-Labeled Displacement Assay Quantitation Using MIP-Coated Capillary Tubes

Thin molecularly imprinted polymer-lined “capillary” tubes could easily and quickly detect biological agents—including drugs and hormones—in saliva or other biological fluids through release of a colored dye.

Invention of the Year nominee

Patent Notes
7,197,143 Digital Video Authenticator (March 07)

Law enforcement agencies commonly use digital video recording devices at crime scenes. Unfortunately, digital video evidence can be subject to tampering and is often deemed inadmissible during judicial proceedings. In response to this problem, APL scientists have developed a Digital Video Authenticator (DVA). The DVA is a peripheral device that applies a unique digital signature to every frame of digital video as it is originally captured so that the authenticity of the digital video can later be verified using software tools.

7,198,490 Apparatus and Method for Training Using a Human Interaction Simulator (April 07)

Law enforcement agents use verbal and nonverbal clues to detect deception; however, the skills required to detect deception are difficult to acquire. APL researchers have developed a computer-based training tool that emulates human behavior using a computer-simulated person in a realistic scenario. This patented tool provides an interactive experience in detecting deception during interviews and interpersonal conversations. The simulated person provides verbal responses in combination with an animated video display reflecting the body language of the simulated person in response to questions asked. Finally, the system provides a critique and numerical score for each training session. This technology has been licensed to APL start-up Simmersion, LLC.


Apparatus and Method for Automated Parcel Screening (April 07)


The U.S. mail has been used to propagate bioterrorist attacks. Automated high-speed mail-handling machines use pinch rollers to squeeze parcels, which may actually facilitate the disbursement of threat agents. APL researchers have designed a high-speed mail-sorting apparatus that protects personnel from contaminated aerosol expelled by pinch rollers. The apparatus also provides real-time screening of parcels, a puff detector that records and compares digital images taken in the predetermined direction in which contaminant particles are ejected, and a dwell chamber for reducing the velocity of the air flow extracted from overcompressed, opened parcels.


Assessment of Tooth Structure Using Laser-Based Ultrasonics (October 07)


APL researchers developed a unique tooth assessment approach that combines laser-generated ultrasound and optical interferometric detection in order to provide structural tooth images that are undetectable by conventional X-ray techniques. Specifically, APL’s patented method allows various tooth structure interfaces to be assessed, including the enamel/dentin, dentin/pulp, and dentin/cementum interfaces. In addition, the method allows internal tooth structures to be assessed, including dead tracts within the dentin. Clinical applications for images generated according to APL’s unique tooth assessment approach include the identification and evaluation of early-stage tooth decay, poor bonding between the restorative material and dentin, periodontal defects, intraosseous lesions, and osseointegration between dental implants and the surrounding bone.



© 2006 The Johns Hopkins University