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IP Roundup: Jan 4, 2011

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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has received US Patent No. 7,862,849, "Nanocontactprinting." The patent claims a method of stamping molecular patterns based on the reversible self-assembly of molecules, particularly organic molecules. The method is suitable for the stamping of almost any nanofabricated device and can be used to transfer a large amount of pattern information from one substrate to another at the same time, according to the patent abstract.


Targeted Molecular Diagnostics of Westmont, Ill., has received US Patent No. 7,862,995, "Methods and materials for predicting responsiveness to treatment with dual tyrosine kinase inhibitor." The patent provides a panel of targeted therapy markers that can be used in assessing a particular subject's sensitivity to various therapeutic agents and cancer treatments. Cellular receptors, ligands to those receptors, and molecules involved in the programmed cell death pathway are examples of targeted therapy markers that might be included in the panel. According to the patent claims, the panel of targeted therapy markers can form a film-based microarray.


Affymetrix has received US Patent No. 7,862,999, "Multiplex targeted amplification using flap nuclease." The patent claims methods for the multiplex amplification of targets of distinct sequence from a complex mixture. In one aspect, the targets are circularized using a single circularization probe that is complementary to two regions in the target that flank a region to be amplified. The targets may hybridize to the circularization probe so that 5' or 3' flaps are generated. Methods for removing flaps and circularizing the resulting product are also described.


The University of Chicago has received US Patent No. 7,863,003, "Apparatus for implementing non-destructive quality control of substrates and printed biological microarrays." A method is provided for implementing quality control of gel-based microarrays prepared by dispensing a gel-forming composition on a solid substrate. The method relies on the difference between the wettability properties of a supporting substrate and a gel, where the gel is hydrophilic. According to the patent, condensation or vapor of a chemically inert water-soluble liquid, such as water or glycerol, on the surface of a substrate under inspection creates a layer of tiny droplets that affect both transmission and scattering of light on the surface. A pattern of condensation, characterized by spatial distribution, average size of the droplets, and spacing between the droplets, reflects variation in wetting properties of the substrate. The pattern of condensation circumscribes printed microarray features to be non-destructively imaged and analyzed.


Wayne State University of Detroit has received US Patent No. 7,863,004, "Neoepitope detection of disease using protein arrays." The patent claims a method of choosing markers for a given disease as well as a method for detecting a combination of markers for diagnosing the presence of a disease state. The method includes selectively biopanning sera obtained from a patient to obtain cDNA clones to array for analysis and to determine whether the markers are present among the cDNA clones present in the disease. Epitopes found using this method are also provided as well as a database incorporating these epitopes. A biochip for detecting the presence of a disease marker in a patient's sera is also provided.


Philips Electronics of Eindhoven, the Netherlands, has received US Patent No. 7,863,022, "Amplification of nucleic acids with magnetic detection." The patent claims a method of amplifying nucleic acids and determining the amount of amplified nucleic acids using magnetic detection. The detection can be performed during the amplification process of the nucleic acid. During the detection, the amplified nucleic acid is bound to a sensor via a biological molecule, according to the patent's abstract.


Maven Technologies has received US Patent No. 7,863,037, "Ligand binding assays on microarrays in closed multiwell plates." In this invention, multiwell plates commonly used for immunoassays have been increased in capacity and adapted for ease and speed of testing by forming solid posts in each well of a plate. According to the patent, the posts and plate material and the dimensions of the posts are chosen to allow the immobilization of ligand patterns on an exterior wall of a post in a well and to permit a collimated beam of light directed to the post in a direction to achieve total internal reflection from a wall. This generates an evanescent field in the plane of the ligands immobilized on the exterior wall of the post. The reflected light carries an image of localized intensity variations due to binding events between the ligand patterns and analytes in a sample introduced into a well. A cover plate seals the wells and provides for through-holes for introducing sample material to the wells, according to the patent claims.


Samsung Electronics of Seoul, Korea, has received US Patent No. 7,863,140, "Methods of making a molecular detection chip having a metal oxide silicon field effect transistor on sidewalls of a micro-fluid channel." The patent claims a molecular detection chip that includes a metal oxide silicon field effect transistor. A method for the immobilization of molecular probes and the binding of a target sample to the molecular probes, using the molecular detection device, and a nucleic acid mutation assay device and method are also provided.


Samsung has also received US Patent No. 7,860,694, "Method of designing probes for detecting target sequence and method of detecting target sequence using the probes." The patent claims a method of designing probes for detecting a target sequence and a method of detecting the target sequence using the probes. The method of designing probes for detecting target sequence includes: selecting an anchoring location in the target sequence; selecting a first probe designing region; selecting a matched probe; and selecting a mismatched probe, according to the patent abstract.


Enzo Life Sciences of Farmingdale, NY, has received US Patent No. 7,863,431, "Label target and labeling reagents comprising rigid group backbones." The patent claims labeling reagents, labeled targets, and processes for preparing labeling reagents. The labeling reagents can take the form of cyanine dyes, xanthene dyes, porphyrin dyes, coumarin dyes, or composite dyes. According to the patent abstract, the labeling reagents are useful for labeling probes or targets, including nucleic acids and proteins, and can be applied to protein and nucleic acid probe based assays.


Canon of Tokyo has received US Patent No. 7,864,230, "Inspection apparatus." The patent describes a device that can be used for inspecting a microarray. According to the patent, the device includes an image sensor for imaging the microarray, a moving means for moving the image sensor relative to the microarray, a memory for memorizing the position of a defective picture element on the image sensor, and a controlling means that determines an overlap state of an imaging area of the defective picture element on reaction areas on the microarray and controls the moving means based on the result of the determination.


Gamida for Life of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, has received US Patent No. 7,857,957, "Integrated portable biological detection system." A laboratory-on-a-chip system is described, including DNA probes, dyes, reagents, and a portable instrument. According to the inventors, the system can be used to separate bacterial and cancer cells from peripheral human blood in microfabricated electronic chips by dielectrophoresis. It can also be used to release DNA and RNA from the isolated cells electronically and detect specific marker sequences by DNA amplification followed by electronic hybridization to immobilized capture probes.


Maxwell Sensors of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,858,307, "Light transmitted assay beads." The patent claims microbeads with digitally coded structures that are partially transmissive and opaque to light. To decode the bead, alternating transmissive and opaque sections of the body are scanned in analogous fashion to barcode scanning. The coded bead may be coated or immobilized with a capture or probe to be used in an assay, according to the patent's abstract.


The University of Michigan of Ann Arbor has received US Patent No. 7,858,323, "Phage microarray profiling of the humoral response to disease." The patent provides methods for phage microarray profiling of cancer, including prostate, lung, or breast cancers. Markers useful for the diagnosis, characterization, and treatment of cancers are also provided.


Vidar Systems of Herndon, Va., has received US Patent No. 7,858,382, "Sensing apparatus having rotating optical assembly." The patent claims a device for the optical sensing of samples that includes an optical source, an optical assembly that is rotatable about an axis, a sample holder, and a detector. According to the patent abstract, the optical assembly rotates, allowing the sensing apparatus to sense results from locations on a sample without moving the sample.


IBM of Armonk, NY, has received US Patent No. 7,860,660, "Characterization of phenotypes by gene expression patterns and classification of samples based thereon." The patent claims a method of converting a probability distribution of gene expression signals in control samples to a uniform distribution. The uniform distribution allows better comparisons between expression levels for genes. The transformation is derived from gene expression signals of control data, and is applied to gene expression signals of phenotype data.

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.