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IP Roundup: Feb 17, 2009


IBM has received US Patent No. 7,491,272, "Confinement of liquids on surfaces." The patent describes a microfluidic device for applying a liquid to a surface. The device includes a chamber for carrying the liquid, as well as an aperture in the chamber for communicating liquid from the chamber to the surface via a conduit having outer sides of limited wetability to the liquid. This device also provides a solution for confining liquids to defined areas of a surface without involving physical seals and additionally permits moving the device and confined liquid on the surface. According to the patent, the device can be used to pattern proteins, DNA, cells, or other biological entities on a surface; make assays; and stain cells.

The University of Texas of Austin has received US Patent No. 7,491,552, "Fluid based analysis of multiple analytes by a sensor array." The patent claims a system for the rapid characterization of multi-analyte fluids. The system includes a light source, a sensor array, and a detector. According to the patent, the sensor array is formed from a supporting surface on which a number of cavities may be formed. A series of chemically sensitive particles are then positioned within the cavities, and the particles may be configured to produce a signal when a receptor coupled to the particle interacts with the analyte. Using pattern recognition techniques, the analytes within a multi-analyte fluid may therefore be characterized.

The University of Michigan of Ann Arbor and the University of Houston have received US Patent No. 7,491,680, "Device for chemical and biochemical reactions using photo-generated reagents." The patent claims a method and an apparatus for performing chemical and biochemical reactions in solution using in situ generated photo-products as reagent or co-reagent. More specifically, the patent provides methods and devices for generating one or more selected multimers at specific reaction sites on a substrate by contacting the substrate with a liquid solution comprising photo-reagent precursors, isolating the reaction sites, selectively irradiating the reaction sites with a digital micromirror device, and contacting the substrate with monomers. The described method has applications in parallel synthesis of molecular-sequence arrays on solid surfaces, the patent states.

Affymetrix has received US Patent No. 7,491,818, "Nucleic acid labeling compounds." The patent claims nucleic acid labeling compounds containing heterocyclic derivatives. The claimed heterocyclic derivative-containing compounds are synthesized by condensing a heterocyclic derivative with a cyclic group, such as a ribofuranose derivative. The labeling compounds are suitable for enzymatic attachment to a nucleic acid, either terminally or internally, to provide a mechanism of nucleic acid detection, the patent states.