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IP Roundup: Aug 16, 2011


Corning of Corning, NY, has received US Patent No. 7,998,414, "System for high throughput GPCR functional assay." A functional assay detection system for membrane-bound proteins is claimed. The system includes an array consisting of a porous substrate containing membranes on two sides; a fluorescent labeling reagent configured to couple to the membrane-bound proteins; a pulsed light assembly configured to excite the fluorescent labeling reagent; and a time-delayed imaging device configured to capture emitted fluorescence of the fluorescent labeling reagent. According to the patent, the pulsed light assembly is configured to excite the fluorescent labeling reagent from both sides of the porous substrate, and the fluorescent labeling reagent includes a fluorophore that has an emission lifetime that is in the range of microseconds.

Corning has also received US Patent No. 7,999,944, "Multi-channel swept wavelength optical interrogation system and method for using same." The method enables the interrogation of biosensors located within the wells of a microplate using an optical interrogation system. According to the patent, the system includes a tunable laser that emits an optical beam that has a predetermined sequence of distinct wavelengths over a predetermined time period; a distribution unit that splits the optical beam into a number of interrogation beams; an array of optical interrogation units that receive and direct the interrogation beams towards an array of biosensors; and a data processing device that receives and processes information associated with the reflected interrogation beams to determine whether biochemical interaction on any one of the biosensors has occurred.

Advanced Liquid Logic of Research Triangle Park, NC, has received US Patent No. 7,998,436, "Multiwell droplet actuator, system and method." A substrate is provided that includes input ports for the introduction of reagents and samples. According to the patent, the substrate also contains an array of processing wells and a network of droplet transport pathways that provide droplet transport from each of the input ports to each of the processing wells.

LGC of Middlesex, UK, has received US Patent No. 7,998,673, "Hybridization beacon and method of rapid sequence detection and discrimination." A method for detecting specific DNA sequences and discriminating SNPs using fluorescently labeled oligonucleotide probes is claimed. According to the patent, oligo probes are first labeled with reporter molecules preferentially attached to an internal nucleotide residue. The fluorescence emission of oligos varies significantly when in single-stranded and double-stranded states despite the absence of quencher moieties, allowing reliable detection of complementary DNA targets, the inventors state. The melting temperature of probe-target duplexes also permits the discrimination of targets that differ by as little as a single nucleotide residue, so that polymorphic targets may be discriminated by fluorescence quantitation and melting temperature.

China Synthetic Rubber of Taipei, Taiwan, has received US Patent No. 7,998,674, "Gene expression profiling for identification of prognostic subclasses in nasopharyngeal carcinomas." According to the patent, mRNA transcript profiling on arrays can be used to formulate molecular predictors of distant metastasis for primary nasopharyngeal carcinomas. The predicted results are highly correlated with short metastasis-free and overall survival, the inventors state in the patent. Predictions are made using 52-gene-based and 12-gene-based predictors.

Intelligent Medical Devices of Cambridge, Mass., has received US Patent No. 7,998,679, "Devices and methods for diagnosis of susceptibility to diseases and disorders." The patent describes a method of manufacturing devices that include various probes used to perform parallel screening of a number of analytes. In this particular embodiment, the probes are clustered on the devices based on known clinical presentations of symptoms associated with specific diseases and disorders.

Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique of Paris have received US Patent No. 7,998,726, "Method for fixing a protein on a pyrrole-based polymer and use thereof for making a sensor." A method for attaching a protein to a conductive polymer is claimed. The method can be used for producing a sensor or a multisensor. It includes coupling the protein to the pyrrole to create a solution of a protein-pyrrole coupling compound. A second solution of pyrrole not containing the protein is then prepared and the two solutions are mixed to generate an electropolymerization solution. Electropolymerization of the pyrrole and of the protein coupled to the pyrrole on a conductive support using the electropolymerization solution is then conducted.

Greenwood Genetic Center of Greenwood, SC, has received US Patent No. 7,998,744, "Methods for determining dysregulation of methylation of brain expressed genes on the X chromosome to diagnose autism spectrum disorders." The inventors claim that alterations in methylation, which can cause one or more genes on the single X chromosome in males to be partially silenced or overexpressed, constitute a predisposition to autism spectrum disorders. These alterations provide the rationale and basis for methods to diagnose autism spectrum disorders, they state. Arrays suitable for use in determining the expression levels of biomarkers for determining predisposition for or diagnosing an individual affected with ASD are also claimed.

Robert Otillar of Los Altos, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,998,746, "Systems and methods for localizing and analyzing samples on a bio-sensor chip." According to the patent, individually addressable magnetic control mechanisms such as electric coils are provided at specific locations on a biochip to create a magnetic field to attract magnetic particles, such as magnetic beads, to those specific locations. Electrostatic control mechanisms such as electrodes are also provided to attract and manipulate electrically charged microparticles. A location may include a crater or well formed in the substrate, or it may include an element on the surface of the substrate.

Bio-Rad Laboratories of Hercules, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,999,942, "Surface plasmon resonance sensor." The patent describes surface plasmon resonance sensors that consist of a thin conducting layer formed on a surface of a transparent substrate, a light source that illuminates an interface between the conducting layer and the substrate, a photosensitive surface that generates signals from light reflected from the interface, a flow cell, and a hollow fluid-providing flow control apparatus.

Amic of Uppsala, Sweden, has received US Patent No. 8,000,001, "Method of forming polymeric microarray support." A polymeric microarray support for an optical assay arrangement is claimed, as well as a means for detecting light emitted from the support. The microarray consists of microfeatures, such as grooves having a selected depth. According to the patent, the depth is selected so that the sum of the depth and of the variations in the thickness of the support substantially corresponds to the depth of focus of the optical means.