NEW YORK, Dec. 11 (GenomeWeb News) - Cepheid has won a US patent that provides the ability to heat and cool components of real time PCR, the company said today.
US Patent No. 6,660,228, called "Apparatus for performing heat-exchanging, chemical reactions," covers the design of the reaction chambers used in Cepheid's disposable test cartridges and tubes. It is the sixth patent related to the firm's disposable cartridge technology, which is used in the company's GeneXpert products, Cepheid said.
Cepheid hopes the technology will enable researchers to complete DNA analysis for diseases such as Group B strep in expectant mothers and cancer detection in sentinel nodes, as well as for "biothreat detection."
Specifically, the technology enables thermal transfer for quickly heating or cooling reaction mixtures in the reaction chamber. In addition, the vessel includes "a piston or plunger for pressurization of the reaction chamber; pressurization is important for forcing the major walls to contact and conform to the surface of heating elements for optimal thermal transfer," Cepheid said.