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Affymetrix, University of Maryland, Purdue Research Foundation

Affymetrix has received US Patent No. 7,374,927, “Methods of analysis of degraded nucleic acid samples.” The patent describes arrays for the analysis of compromised nucleic acid samples, such as nucleic acids obtained from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples. Methods to analyze these compromised samples are also claimed. According to the patent abstract, the probe-selection region used to select probes for the array is the 300 bases of the target mRNA that are immediately upstream of the start of the poly tail of the mRNA. The probes selected for the array are therefore more biased toward the 3' end of the mRNA than other arrays that are currently available.

Affymetrix has also received US Patent No. 7,375,198, “Modified nucleic acid probes.” The patent describes oligonucleotide analogue arrays attached to solid substrates and methods related to their use. The oligonucleotide analogues hybridize to nucleic acids with either higher or lower specificity than corresponding unmodified oligonucleotides, the patent states. Target nucleic acids that comprise nucleotide analogues are bound to oligonucleotide and oligonucleotide-analogue arrays.

The University of Maryland has received US Patent No. 7,375,404, “Fabrication and integration of polymeric bioMEMS.” The patent claims a microelectromechanical system device, as well as the means for its fabrication and operation for microfluidic and biomicrofluidic applications. The MEMS device includes a substrate, optional electrodes on the substrate, and a patterned structure on the substrate where the patterned structure has a fluidic microchannel aligned with one or more of the optional electrodes. An encapsulation membrane covering the microchannel is also claimed, as well as an optional reactive layer deposited over the electrode in the microchannel. The MEMS device permits a leak-tight seal to be formed around the microchannel and fluidic interconnects established for robust operation of fluidics-based processes, according to the patent.

Purdue Research Foundation of West Lafayette, Ind., has received US Patent No. 7,374,944, “Device and bioanalytical method utilizing asymmetric biofunctionalized membrane.” The patent claims a bioanalytical device that includes a biofunctional component and an optional sensor component. The device includes arrays of addressable, durable, asymmetric biofunctional membranes containing protein transducers capable of unidirectional transport of analytes. Suitable protein transducers include members of the ATP-binding cassette family, such as P-glycoprotein.

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