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Illumina, Genetix, Agilent Technologies

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Illumina of San Diego, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,942,968, "Array compositions for improved signal detection." The patented invention is used for methods of improving signal detection from an array and methods for background subtraction in an array. The invention provides for array compositions including arrays with wells with different shapes, or surfaces coated with reflective or selectively absorptive coatings. In addition, the patented array includes a signal transducer element.


Genetix of Dorset, UK, has received US Patent No. 6,943, 035, "Liquid dispensing apparatus and method." The patent describes a multi-well plate for microarraying comprising a self-sealing lower membrane and, optionally, a self-sealing upper membrane. The spotting is performed by pushing a pin down through the liquid and into self-sealing lower membrane. A slide having an upper spotting surface is arranged under the well plate. The liquid sample forced through the lower membrane by the pin tip can then be deposited directly onto the spotting surface. According to the patent's abstract, the pin is then withdrawn upwards through the lower membrane, which automatically reseals preventing further loss of liquid. The optional resealable upper membrane also prevents loss of sample liquid by evaporation and spillage, the patent claims.


Agilent Technologies of Palo Alto, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6.943,036, "Error detection in chemical array fabrication." The patent describes a method, apparatus, and computer program, for forming an addressable array of chemical moieties on a substrate. The method may include, for each of multiple locations on the substrate, depositing a reagent drop set during a cycle in order to attach a corresponding moiety for that location. This may be repeated as required, until the addressable array is formed, the patent's abstract states. Test locations are also formed by depositing drops from dispensers in a manner that can facilitate detection of dispenser errors.

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