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BioTrove, Yale University, Helicos Bioscience, Agilent Technologies

BioTrove of Woburn, Mass., has received European Patent 1782075, “Method and system for registering dispenser array location.” The patent claims a differentially coated device for conducting a plurality of nano-specified reactions, or dispenser array. The device includes a plate that has at least one of its surfaces modified to a specific physicochemical property, or microfluidic array. Included on the array are nano-volume channels that have at least one interior surface coated with a dissolvable coating agent. Methods for preparing and using the described device are also claimed, as well as method of registering a location of the dispenser array in relation to the microfluidic array. The method works when a first pairing of the dispenser array and the microfluidic array is movable in relation to the frame while another pairing is fixed relative to the frame. Quantities related to a vector displacement from the alignment position to a fixed position on the pairing of the dispenser and microfluidic arrays is then determined and used to guide positioning of the dispenser array relative to the microfluidic array.

Yale University has received US Patent No. 7,219,016, "Systems and methods for automated analysis of cells and tissues." The patent claims systems and methods for rapidly analyzing cell-containing samples to localize and quantitate particular biomarkers within cells. According to the patent, the method is implemented by a computer and superimposes an image of the biomarker against an image of a user-defined area within the cell to determine whether the biomarker is within the user defined area. The method also uses an algorithm that facilitates the optical analysis of an array of biological samples. The patent further claims that analysis of patient samples according to the systems and processes described can be useful diagnostically and prognostically.

Helicos Bioscience of Cambridge, Mass., has received US Patent No. 7,220,549, "Stabilizing a nucleic acid for nucleic acid sequencing." The patent claims methods and surfaces for nucleic acid sequencing by stabilizing primer or target nucleic acid duplexes on a surface. According to the patent, the primer and the template contain a molecule having a binding partner on the substrate. The primer/target is then stabilized on the surface by binding of both the primer and the template to the surface. Stabilizing molecules used may include locked nucleic acid analogs and peptide nucleic acid analogs. The patent also claims that the methods described are suitable for de novo sequencing, re-sequencing, sequence analysis, DNA fingerprinting, and SNP detection. Applied to RNA sequences, the methods can also identify alternate splice sites, enumerate copy number, measure gene expression, identify unknown RNA molecules present in cells at low copy number, annotate genomes by determining which sequences are actually transcribed, determine phylogenic relationships, and elucidate differentiation of cells.

Agilent Technologies has received US Patent No. 7,220,573, “Array assay devices and methods of using the same.” The patent claims array assay devices and methods for using them in array-based assays. The described devices are characterized by having a base dimensioned to hold a substrate having at least one array, a cover dimensioned to cover the substrate, and a snap-fit for holding the cover and the base together to enclose a space between the base and the cover. The patent also describes methods for performing an array assay. In the methods, a device is provided and a substrate having at least one array is positioned on the base. The snap-fit is engaged to hold the cover and the base together to enclose a space between the base and the cover. Next, a sample is contacted with the at least one array and an array assay is performed.

The Scan

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