Affymetrix has been awarded US Patent Number 6,403,957, “Nucleic acid reading and analysis system.” The invention disclosed involves a method and device for building sequences on a substrate by attaching “photoremovable” groups of amino acids and then selectively exposing them to light. A monomer is also added to bind at the selected areas on the substrate. In essence, this patent describes a form of the photolithography that the company uses to build its microarrays.
Incyte has received US Patent Number 6,403,778, “Toxicological response markers.” The invention describes polynucleotide targets that can be used as probes on a microarray testing for toxicological response. The invention also describes methods for screening compounds and therapeutic treatments for toxicological responses.
The Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan has received two US Patents, Number 6,403,368, “On-spot hydrophilic enhanced slide and preparation thereof,” and Number 6,403,970, “Matrix biochip sensing system.” The first patent discloses a microarray that consists of a hydrophobic copolymer made of a hydrophobic material and a compound with functional groups such as anhydride, imide, cyclic amide, and cyclic ester. The copolymer is applied to a substrate, and the resulting slide can perform on-spot hydrophilic/hydrophobic dynamic conversion, as well as hydrophilic enhancement, to be used as a high-density, high-efficiency microarray. The second patent describes a biochip sensing system that uses a light emitting diode matrix as the light source, and also includes a biochip clamp, a filter, an optical lens array, and optical sensor, and a module for processing and controlling signal. The light spots of the LED module are turned on in sequence in order to activate the fluorescent spots of the biochip being detected in sequence. These spots are then focused through an optical lens and actuated one at a time to obtain a reading of the signals produced by the chip.
Nanogen has received US Patent Number 6,403,367, “Integrated portable biological detection system.” The patent describes an invention that separates bacterial and cancer cells from human blood using dielectrophoretic methods on microfabricated electronic chips. The DNA and RNA can then be released, and specific sequences can be detected through DNA amplification and electronic hybridization to capture probes.