Incyte has received US Patent Number 6,316,608, “Combined polynucleotide sequence as discrete assay endpoints. This patent, another addition to the microarray content provider’s venerable intellectual property estate, details methods for determining the relative amounts of specific polynucleotides in a mixture of polynucleotides. In this method, two or more polynucleotides are fluorescently labeled and then combined. These combinations of polynucleotides are anchored to discrete places on an array substrate. Nucleic acid probes are hybridized to this array, and the relative fluorescence of each polynucleotide in the pair (or group) on the array element determines the amount present relative to other polynucleotides.
Yale University has received a patent for another of Rolling Circle Amplification (RCA) wizard Paul Lizardi’s related inventions, US Patent Number 6,316,229. The patent, “Single molecule analysis target-mediated ligation of bipartite primers,” covers methods for using RCA to detect single nucleic acid molecules. In one version, bipartite primer rolling circle amplification, a probe and a primer hybridize to adjacent sites on a target nucleic acid sequence, and are ligated in the presence of that sequence. If the probe is attached to a glass slide or bead, the unligated probe/primer is removed after this process, leaving ligated primers. This ligated primer is then used as a base for RCA of the target sequence using an amplification target circle, the spinning nucleic acid wheel from which strands of amplified sequence spool out during the RCA process.
Similarly, an amplification target circle can be designed to form only when a strand of target sequence is incorporated into it. A primer designed to start RCA will respond to the target sequence, only working if it detects the sequence in the amplification target circle . This form of the method is useful for determining which form or forms of a variable sequence are present in a nucleic acid sample, according to the patent.
ViaLogy of Pasadena, Calif., has been awarded US Patent Number 6,245,511, “Method and apparatus for exponentially convergent therapy effectiveness monitoring using DNA microarray-based viral load measurements.” The patent covers a method for using microarrays along with computational biology methods to determine “viral load,” the amount of virus within the bloodstream of someone who has a virus, especially the HIV virus.
Nanogen of San Diego has been awarded US Patent Number 6,315,953, “Devices for molecular biological analysis and diagnostics including waveguides.” The patent covers an electronic microfluidic-based array that includes two substrate layers, between which fluid flows. It also describes an an illumination source, and an illumination layer adjacent to these layer that illuminates the layers from the side. One substrate layer has fluid receptacles, and in some versions of the invention, has an array of electrodes (similar to the way the NanoChip platform is outfitted).