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IP Roundup: Jan 25, 2011


Yale University has received US Patent No. 7,873,480, "Systems and methods for automated analysis of cells and tissues." The patent claims a method for identifying a location for each of a number of histospots in an image of a stained tissue microarray. The method includes obtaining an image using an optical imaging device; and using a programmable computer to remove histospots that are debris or are fused histospots. A virtual mask is then applied that has a size and shape characteristic of a histospot to cover an area of the image having a pixel intensity area that is higher than the pixel intensity area anywhere else in the image. The intensity of the image in the area under the mask is temporarily set to zero; and the process is repeated until no area is identified having a sufficient intensity to qualify as a histospot. A reference point within each of the histospots is then identified, and by connecting the reference point within each of the spots to either a nearest neighboring histospot or to the edge of the image, the location for each of the number of histospots in the image is determined.

The University of South Florida of Tampa and Alabama State University of Montgomery have received US Patent No. 7,875,426, "DNA biochip and methods of use." The patent describes a silicon-based biochip hosting immobilized nucleic acids in microcavities. Methods for detecting a target nucleic acid using the chip are also claimed.

Stanford University has received US Patent No. 7,875,428, "Multiplexed assay and probes for identification of HPV types." The patent claims a microarray, preferably in the form of a chip, containing probes that hybridize to generate primers capable of amplifying approximately 89 human papillomavirus types. These probes target the E1 region of the gene, and the design of the chip allows for the detection of any known HPV type, based on a unique probe sequence derived from the HPV E1 region, according to the patent.

SRU Biosystems of Woburn, Mass., has received US Patent No. 7,875,434, "Label-free methods for performing assays using a colorimetric resonant reflectance optical biosensor." The patent claims a method of detecting binding of cells to specific binding substances. The method includes applying the cells to an internal surface of a vessel, where the vessel includes a colorimetric resonant reflectance optical biosensor. After the vessel is illuminated with light, peak wavelength values for each distinct location are detected. According to the patent, if the cells are bound to the binding substances, then the PWV is shifted at the distinct location to which the cells are bound.

Eppendorf Array Technology of Namur, Belgium, has received US Patent No. 7,875,442, "Identification and quantification of a plurality of biological (micro)organisms or their components." The patent claims a method conducting real-time PCR. According to the patent, unlabeled capture molecules of a specific design are immobilized on a solid support, and contacted with amplicons produced in one or more PCR cycles. Detection of amplicons may take place during or between the PCR cycles while the solid support is in fluidic contact with the PCR solution. In an alternate embodiment, detection of the amplicons takes place when the solid support is not in fluidic contact with the PCR solution.

Agilent Technologies has received US Patent No. 7,875,463, "Generalized pulse jet ejection head control model." The patent describes a printhead control model. According to the patent, the model is used for configuring printhead control software that will operate any selected printhead or group of printheads. The control model also covers a hierarchy of classes for the attributes of software that controls the printheads in a system, such as for producing a biopolymer microarray.

Agilent has also received US Patent No. 7,876,962, "Multi-gain photodetection system for array analysis." The patent claims methods for evaluating a pixel signal produced during scanning of a chemical array. The methods involve producing analog signals for a pixel using a multi-gain signal detection system, integrating the signals, and outputting data representing the pixel. Also provided are systems and computer program products for performing the methods, and an array scanner containing these systems and program products.

Agilent has also received US Patent No. 7,877,212, "Methods and compositions for assessing partially saturated pixel signals." The patent claims methods for producing data for a partially saturated pixel produced during scanning of a chemical array. According to the patent, an analog signal for a partially saturated pixel is sampled to obtain a set of non-saturated digital signals and a set of saturated digital signals. The saturated digital signals are then processed to produce data for the pixel.

Agilent has also received United States Patent No. 7,877,213, "System and methods for automated processing of multiple chemical arrays." The patent claims a method of operating a data processing system to provide feature extraction from an image obtained from chemical arrays. The method includes bifurcating processing of the image by performing image processing and post-processing. The image processing includes processing parts of the image, each part corresponding to a different one of the arrays, in an automated batch process, to produce image-processed outputs that are different from the image and contain information extracted from the image. The post-processing includes processing the image-processed outputs according to different post-processing protocols with respect to different ones of those parts of the image corresponding to at least two of the arrays, to produce post-processed outputs. The method includes outputting the image-processed outputs and the post-processed outputs.

Acea Biosciences of San Diego has received US patent No. 7,876,108, "Real time electronic cell sensing system and applications for cytotoxicity profiling and compound assays." The patent claims methods for assaying cells using cell-substrate impedance monitoring. Cell-substrate impedance monitoring devices are provided that include electrode arrays on a nonconducting substrate, where each of the arrays has an approximately uniform electrode resistance across the entire array. Cellular assays that use impedance monitoring to detect changes in cell behavior or state are also described. According to the patent, the methods can be used to test the effects of compounds on cells, such as in cytotoxicity assays.