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Affymetrix, Agilent Technologies, Agilent, Beckman Coulter, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

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Affymetrix has received US Patent No. 7,068,830, "Method and system for providing a probe array chip design database." The patent claims systems and methods for organizing information relating to the design of polymer probe array chips, including oligonucleotide array chips. A database model is described that organizes information interrelating probes on a chip, genomic items investigated by the chip, and sequence information relating to the design of the chip. The model is translatable into database languages such as SQL, according to the patent. The database model also scales to permit storage of information about large numbers of chips having complex designs.


Agilent Technologies has received US Patent No. 7,072,806, "Methods and system for comparing data values across multiple platforms." The patent claims methods, systems, and computer-readable media for imposing monotonic consistency among results of multiple platforms measuring the same specific property for the same series of samples, to provide viable comparisons of sensitivity and precision among the platforms as well as provide useful conversion formulas among the platforms to ensure equivalent quantitation.


Agilent has also received US Patent No. 7,070,932, "Methods and devices for detecting printhead misalignment of an in situ polymeric array synthesis device." The patent claims methods and devices for detecting deposition unit misalignment, like printhead misalignment of an array synthesis device. According to the patent, at least one test probe feature is synthesized on a substrate using an in situ polymeric array synthesis device. At least one test probe feature is then contacted with at least two different distinguishably labeled targets. The binding of the targets to the at least one test probe feature is then evaluated to detect any misalignment of the synthesis device.


Beckman Coulter of Fullerton, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,070,740, "Method and apparatus for processing biomolecule arrays." The patent claims a microarray assay system using an array-of-arrays plate mounted on the top surface of a vacuum fixture, and an automatic handling system that handles the plate and fixture assembly. The plate includes a tray formed of a flexible material and a rigid frame for mounting on the fixture. The fixture has a plurality of orifices opening at the top surface and connected to a vacuum source to create a negative pressure to hold the flexible plate against the top surface of the fixture, according to the patent. The automatic handling systems that can be used with the plate and fixture assembly include a microarray printing machine, liquid handling robot, hybridization and incubation devices, and microarray imaging devices.


Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation of Madison, Wis., has received US Patent No. 7,072,500, "Image locking system for DNA microarray synthesis." The patent claims an image-locking system for DNA microarray synthesis that provides a feedback system to stabilize or lock the image with respect to an image capture device, such as a camera or microscope. The image locking system includes the use of detection or reference marks. When a shift in image position is detected, a correction signal is sent to one of two mirrors, moving the image to correct for the shift in image position. The system comprises a first light beam directed towards a micromirror device that forms an alignment pattern on a reaction cell and a second light beam directed towards the micromirror device that forms a microarray image on an active surface of the reaction cell. A camera captures the alignment pattern and an alignment mark. A computer calculates a correction signal to realign the alignment pattern with the alignment mark when movement is detected.

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