Maryland's Defense Patent Database

The defense community in Maryland is an R&D powerhouse. Use this database to see the innovative patents that are poised for commercialization.

Data is provided by DoD Naval labs in Southern Maryland. Database funding supported by the DoD Office of Economic Adjustment through a Defense Industry Adjustment grant program.

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Method of fabricating a dry electro-active polymeric synthetic muscle

Patent Number: 7,276,090

AbstractNew polymeric materials and their fabrication methods that are electrically active in terms of sensing and actuation are invented. These materials are comprised of solid-state ion-conducting materials such as polyethylene oxide (PEO) and its derivatives or imbedded in a family of mixed polymer systems such as polydivinylbenzene (DVB) and polystyrene polymers. Such materials suitably electroded with conductive materials such as gold, platinum and silver exhibit large deformation (both two and three dimensionally) under low electric fields of 10's V/mm. Conversely, if these materials are deformed, they produce 10's of mV/mm electric fields that can be used as means of sensing or electromechanical powering devices for batteries. The method of fabricating the new polymeric materials comprises the steps of providing a polyelectrolyte material, mixing the polyelectrolyte material with a conductive material and affixing at least two electrodes to the mixed polyelectrolyte material and conductive material.
Patent Number7,276,090 Issue Date2007-10-02 Link USPTO website

Primary Category

Biographical Information


  • Mohsen Shahinpoor,
  • Kwang J. Kim,


  • Environmental Robots, Inc.

Executive Summary

This patent was granted in 6 years, 90 days, which is a much slower than average speed.

It has 12 claims, which is far fewer than average for this category.

Its proximity to basic research is much less than others in this category, and it displays a much slower than average technology cycle time.

This patent received far fewer citations from other patents, and references far fewer other patents, as compared to other patents in this category.

Grant Time

6 years, 90 days



Patent Grant Time

This patent had a much slower than average grant time compared to others in this category.

Patent grant time can be influenced by many factors. Activities within the USPTO that are beyond the control of patent attornies can influence grant time, but short grant times can also indicate well-written patents and dedicated efforts to respond rapidly to USPTO office actions with strong arguments. Shorter grant times are preferable, and the scores for this section are inverse measures — higher scores are better.

Patent Claims

This patent has far fewer claims compared to others in this category.

The number of claims in a patent is correlated with its strength. Because greater claim counts increase the cost of a patent, more claims can indicate the importance an applicant assigns to a patent. Importantly, some may elect to file claims across multiple patents. A higher score in this metric indicates more claims, relative to others in this category.

Citations From Other Patents

This patent has received far fewer citations from other patents, than others in this category.

Citations from other patents are an important measure of the significance of a patent. More citations indicate that other technologies build on a patent. Higher scores in this metric are better, and indicate more citations from other patents.

Citations to Other Patents

This patent referenced many more citations to other patents, than others in this category.

A lower number of citations to other patents can be a sign of diminished patent strength. More citations indicate dependence on more other technologies. Higher scores in this category are better, and indicate fewer citations to other patents.

Research and Innovation Indicators
These are percentile ranks — they indicate the percentage of peers with lower scores.

Proximity to Basic Research



This patent has much less proximity to basic research compared to others in this category.

Proximity to basic research is measured by comparing the number of citations to non-patent literature among a cohort of patents. Because most non-patent citations are primary research papers, a higher count indicates greater proximity to basic research.