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IP Roundup: Mar 3, 2009


Seiko Epson of Tokyo has received US Patent No. 7,497,544, "Droplet discharging head, droplet discharging device and manufacturing method of microarray." The patent claims a droplet-discharging head, including: a) a nozzle formed on a first principal surface; b) a pressurized room having a pressurization unit that applies pressure on liquid discharged from the nozzle; c) a liquid-retention unit in communication with the pressurized room; and d) a supply port that supplies liquid to the liquid retention unit. The droplet-discharging head is mounted on a droplet-discharging device, and the supply port is provided protrusively from a second principal surface positioned on the opposite side of the first principal surface.

SRU Biosystems of Woburn, Mass., and the University of California of Oakland have received US Patent No. 7,497,992, "Detection of biochemical interactions on a biosensor using tunable filters and tunable lasers." The patent claims an apparatus and method for the detection of peak wavelength values of colorimetric resonant optical biosensors using tunable filters and tunable lasers. According to the patent, biomolecular interactions may be detected on a biosensor by directing collimated white light towards a surface of the biosensor. Molecular binding on the surface of the biosensor is indicated by a shift in the peak wavelength value of reflected or transmitted light from the biosensor, while an increase in the wavelength corresponds to an increase in molecular absorption. A tunable laser light source may generate the collimated white light and a tunable filter may receive the reflected or transmitted light and pass the light to a photodiode sensor. The photodiode sensor then quantifies an amount of the light reflected or transmitted through the tunable filter as a function of the tuning voltage of the tunable filter.

Roche NimbleGen has received US Patent No. 7,498,176, "Microarray with hydrophobic barriers." The patent claims a microarray having a plurality of subarrays with a hydrophobic barrier that defines each subarray of the microarray, and a method for preparing such a microarray. The hydrophobic barrier is prepared using a microarray synthesis instrument, where NPPOC photoprotected and other hydrophobic group-bearing phosphoramidites are coupled to the microarray using light from a digital micromirror to direct formation of the hydrophobic barrier, the patent states. The method uses hydrophobicity, a well-established property, of conventional phosphoramidite protecting groups for the synthesis of hydrophobic barriers on microarrays.

The University of California of Oakland has received US Patent No. 7,499,166, "Wide field imager for quantitative analysis of microarrays." This patent describes an imaging system for high-accuracy quantitative analysis of a microarray. The system includes: a) a broad band excitation light source that provides Kohler illumination of the microarray at an incident angle that ranges from about 30 degrees to about 75 degrees from the normal to the microarray, and that has less than about +-.25 percent variation in intensity over the array at all wavelengths ranging from 400 to 800 nanometers; b) a support for holding a microarray; c) a detection lens system that is chromatically corrected; and d) a detection device for detecting and optionally recording an image produced by the detection lens system.

Illumina has received US Patent No. 7,499,806, "Image processing in microsphere arrays." The patent claims a method of registering an analytical image of a microsphere array by: a) providing a microsphere array, the microsphere array includes a substrate with a surface comprising discrete sites and a population of microspheres containing bioagents; b) decoding the microsphere array so that the location of each bioactive agent is elucidated; c) computing a registration grid based on known locations of the bioactive agents; d) contacting the array with a sample comprising target analytes; e) acquiring a hybridization intensity image of the microsphere array, where the hybridization intensity image comprises a first bright bead type to serve as a fiducial; f) overlaying the registration grid onto the hybridization intensity image; g) determining an average intensity for the first bright bead type; and h) positioning the registration grid such that the average intensity of the first bright bead type is maximal, thereby registering the analytical image of the microsphere array.

The Scan

Study Examines Insights Gained by Adjunct Trio RNA Sequencing in Complex Pediatric Disease Cases

Researchers in AJHG explore the diagnostic utility of adding parent-child RNA-seq to genome sequencing in  dozens of families with complex, undiagnosed genetic disease.

Clinical Genomic Lab Survey Looks at Workforce Needs

Investigators use a survey approach in Genetics in Medicine Open to assess technologist applications, retention, and workforce gaps at molecular genetics and clinical cytogenetics labs in the US.

Study Considers Gene Regulatory Features Available by Sequence-Based Modeling

Investigators in Genome Biology set sequence-based models against observational and perturbation assay data, finding distal enhancer models lag behind promoter predictions.

Genetic Testing Approach Explores Origins of Blastocyst Aneuploidy

Investigators in AJHG distinguish between aneuploidy events related to meiotic missegregation in haploid cells and those involving post-zygotic mitotic errors and mosaicism.