BioArray Solutions, of Piscataway, NJ, received US Patent Number 6,251,691 for a method of assembling biomolecules on a flat surface using light-controlled electrokinetic forces. The patent, "Light-controlled electrokinetic assembly of particles near surfaces," describes technology for manipulating beads and bead arrays on a planar surface in real-time for biochemical analysis. The molecules being analyzed can include DNA, proteins, cells, whole chromosomes, and colloidal polymer lattices. The patent envisions the analysis as taking place on a silicon wafer or some similar platform. The patent also describes mechanisms for sorting and separating different particles.
Vysis, of Downers Grove, Ill., was granted US Patent Number 6,251,601, which covers a method for using microarrays to detect both gene expression and chromosomal abnormalities using a single assay. The patent, "Simultaneous measurement of gene expression and genomic abnormalities using nucleic acid microarrays," describes an invention wherein a tissue mRNA or cDNA sample and genomic DNA sample are each labeled with a detectable marker, preferably a fluorescent marker. The method involves labeling a reference nucleic acid with a third marker, then performing the hybridization and computing the intensity of each marker at each element, along with the ratio of intensities. Analysis of the ratios between markers reveals both gene expression levels and chromosomal abnormalities. The invention is designed for applications in disease management and diagnosis.
Nugen Technologies, of San Carlos, Calif., has received US Patent Number 6,251,639 for a novel nucleic acid amplification method. The patent, "Methods and compositions for linear isothermal amplification of polynucleotide sequences, using a RNA-DNA composite primer," describes an amplification technique that uses a composite primer, primer extention, strand displacement, and an optional termination sequence for amplifying complementary DNA and sense RNA; as well as methods that involve template switching, transcription and a propromoter oligonucleotide. The patent also describes kits and methods that use the amplification products.