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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Man with local ties wins patent involving radioactive containment

Stephen C. Elmore, who was living in Stafford County at the time the research was done, was among a team awarded a patent for a substance that could help first responders contain and collect the radioactive powder from a dirty bomb, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced today. The invention was for George Mason Intellectual Properties Inc. Click here for details of the invention.

Elmore was a student at George Mason University in the mid-2000s while the research that led to the patent was being conducted, said Jennifer Murphy, executive director of GMIP. He worked with Mark Krekeler, who at the time was a professor at GMU but is now a professor at Miami University of Ohio. Fellow former GMU students Danielle Stoll and Cynthia Tselepsis were also involved in the research.

The team created a substance that can be sprayed on the radioactive powder from a dirty bomb, preventing the powder from getting airborne and being ingested by people in the area, Murphy said. The spray creates a solid substance that can be disposed of safely and that can’t be weaponized again.

The nonprofit George Mason Intellectual Properties Inc. was set up to license inventions created at the university, Murphy said. She said many public universities with a research component have similar entities. GMIP plans to license the technology to an entrepreneur or company that can mass produce it for sale to potential customers such as police and fire departments and private security firms.

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