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IP Roundup: Apr 27, 2010


The California Institute of Technology has received US Patent No. 7,704,322, "Microfluidic free interface diffusion techniques." The patent claims a method where a static fluid and a second fluid are placed into contact along a microfluidic interface and allowed to mix by diffusion without convective flow across the interface. More specifically, the fluids are static and positioned on either side of a closed valve structure in a microfluidic channel. The valve is then opened, and no-slip layers at the sides of the microfluidic channel suppress convective mixing between the two fluids along the resulting interface. According to the inventors, applications for microfluidic-free interfaces include protein crystallization studies, protein solubility studies, determination of properties of fluidics systems, diffusive immunoassays, substrate turnover assays, and competitive binding assays.

MesoScale Technologies of Gaithersburg, Md., has received US Patent No. 7,704,730, "Multiplexed assay methods." The patent claims a method for measuring analytes in a sample by: a) contacting a first dilution of the sample with one or more binding surfaces in a measurement chamber; b) immobilizing an amount of a first analyte on the binding surfaces; c) binding a detection reagent to the analyte immobilized on the surfaces; d) contacting a second dilution of the sample, repeating the same steps; and e) measuring the amounts of the first detection reagent and the second detection reagent bound to the binding surfaces.

Fluidigm of South San Francisco, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,704,735, "Integrated chip carriers with thermocycler interfaces and methods of using the same." Methods and systems are provided for conducting a reaction at a selected temperature or range of temperatures over time. An array device is provided. The array device contains separate reaction chambers and is formed as an elastomeric block from multiple layers. At least one layer has at least one recess with at least one deflectable membrane integral to the layer with the recess. The array device has a thermal transfer device proximal to at least one of the reaction chambers. The thermal transfer device is formed to contact a thermal control source. Reagents for carrying out a desired reaction are introduced into the array device. The array device is contacted with a thermal control device such that the thermal control device is in thermal communication with the thermal control source so that a temperature of the reaction in at least one of the reaction chamber is changed as a result of a change in temperature of the thermal control source.

The University of Chicago has received US Patent No. 7,705,136, "Synthesis of 3'-, or 5'-, or internal methacrylamido-modified oligonucleotides." The patent claims a method of modifying compounds containing free hydroxyl and amino functions for solid-phase synthesis as well as synthesis in solutions. Specifically, new modifiers were synthesized for incorporation of a methacrylic function in 3'-, 5'- and internal positions of oligonucleotides during solid phase synthesis. A modifier was also used for synthesis of 5'-methacrylated oligonucleotides for preparation of microarrays by a co-polymerization method.

CapitalBio of Beijing, China, has received US Patent No. 7,706,419, "Optical systems for microarray scanning." The patent claims an optical system for use in a microarray scanner. It includes an aperture-containing reflecting mirror composed of an aperture and a reflecting surface. The aperture in the mirror allows an excitation light to pass through, and the reflecting surface of the mirror allows emission light from a microarray to be reflected, according to the patent. The optical system may also include other components such as laser generators, a beam splitter, reflecting mirrors, excitation and emission light filters, an excitation and emission objective lens, a pinhole, and a detector, the patent states.

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.