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Affymetrix, Agilent Technologies, Beckman Coulter, The United States of America

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Affymetrix of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,985,655, "Compositions and methods involving direct write optical lithography." The patent claims fiber optic arrays or bundles that are used as a light guide to transmit ultraviolet light to the substrate surface for photo-directed polymer synthesis. digital micromirror array is used as a switching device to reflect light onto the entry side of the fiber optic array. The patent also described a method where polymer array synthesis is performed using a system with a transmissive spatial light modulator and without a lens and photomask. In addition, a method is claimed where a direct write system projects light patterns generated from the image patterns onto a surface of the substrate for light-directed polymer synthesis. The light patterns are generated by a spatial light modulator controlled by a computer, and each pixel is illuminated with an optical beam of suitable intensity and the imaging of an individual feature on a substrate is determined by computer control, the patent states.


Agilent Technologies of Palo Alto, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,985,834, "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, where the platforms are measuring the same specific property for the same series of samples. The patent states that the method can be used to provide comparisons of sensitivity and precision among the platforms as well as to provide conversion formulas among the platforms to ensure equivalent quantitation.


Beckman Coulter of Fullerton, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,984,485, "Polymer-coated substrates for immobilization of biomolecules and cells." The patent describes methods for preparing a substrate for the arraying and immobilizing of biomolecules or cells. The claimed methods include providing a solid support and depositing by a chemical plasma-mediated polymerization process a polymeric coating on the surface. A substrate for the immobilization of biomolecules and cells is also described. The substrate comprises a solid support made of a polymeric material and further comprises a polymeric coating deposited on the surface of the substrate. The polymeric coating increases the attachment of the first biomolecule or the first cell to the first functional group, the patent states.


The United States of America of Washington, DC, has received US Patent No. 6,982,028, "Surface charge modification within preformed polymer microchannels with multiple applications including modulating electro-osmotic flow and creating microarrays." The patent describes a method for modifying performed channels fabricated in a variety of substrate materials including PMMA. The method involves exposing a portion of a fluid flow channel to light at a fluence and wavelength which modifies the surface charge of the substrate at the exposure site, according to the patent's abstract. The method can be used to modulate electro-osmotic flow in channels or to immobilize chemical compounds or biological species in the fluid flow channels at the modified surfaces. It can be used to fabricate or modify microfluidic systems, the patent states.

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