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IP Roundup: Affymetrix, Peter Rogan, U of Utah Research Foundation, Wasatch Microfluidics, and More


Affymetrix of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,208,710, "System, method, and product for scanning of biological materials." A scanning system is described that includes optical elements that direct an excitation beam at a probe array; detectors that receive reflected intensity data responsive to the excitation beam, where the reflected intensity data is responsive to a focusing distance between an optical element and the array; a transport frame that adjusts the focusing distance in a direction with respect to the array; an auto-focuser that determines a best plane of focus based upon characteristics of the reflected intensity data of at least two focusing distances, where the detectors receive pixel intensity values based upon detected emissions from probe features disposed on the array; and an image generator that associates each of the pixel intensity values with the image pixel position of an array based upon position correction values.

Peter Rogan of London, Canada, has received US Patent No. 8,209,129, "Ab initio generation of single copy genomic probes." A method is provided for identifying single copy sequences for use as probes. It includes dividing a target reference sequence into a series of shorter contiguous sequence windows and comparing these sequences with the reference genome sequence. Probes can then be designed and produced from these single copy intervals. Additionally, these same probes can be fixed on a surface or matrix and hybridized with genomic DNA or cDNA from patients or control specimens that have been labeled by chemical, fluorescent, or radioactive modification.

The University of Utah Research Foundation of Salt Lake City has received US Patent No. 8,210,119, "Spotting device and method for high concentration spot deposition on microarrays and other microscale devices." The claimed spotter may be used to deposit highly concentrated spots of protein or other materials on a microarray slide, wafer, or other substrate. The spotter uses microfluidic conduits and orifices to deposit proteins, other biomolecules, or chemicals on a spot on a substrate. Each orifice is part of a fluid pathway that includes an inlet and outlet conduit. When the spotter contacts a substrate a seal is formed between the orifices and the substrate.

Wasatch Microfluidics of Salt Lake City has received US Patent No. 8,211,382, "Microassay with internal referencing." The method relies on microfluidic networks to deposit substances on sensor surfaces. In particular, a flow-based microfluidic printhead is used as an interface to deliver multiple analytes to a sensor for simultaneous analysis. Additionally, internal referencing is incorporated into sensor regions for improved sensitivity.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute of Boston and the University of Arkansas of Little Rock have received US Patent No. 8,211,634, "Compositions, kits, and methods for identification, assessment, prevention, and therapy of cancer." A number of of chromosomal regions and markers are provided. Alterations in the copy number of one or more of the regions and alterations in the amount, structure, and activity of one or more of the markers is correlated with the presence of cancer. According to the patent, copy number is assessed by comparative genomic hybridization performed on an array.

Adelaide Research & Innovation of Adelaide, Australia, has received US Patent No. 8,211,642, "Comparative genomic hybridization." The method claimed consists of: amplifying DNA from an isolated chromosome or part of an isolated chromosome; attaching the amplified DNA to a solid substrate; amplifying DNA from cells with a first karyotype and amplifying DNA from cells with a second karyotype; labeling the amplified DNA from the cells with a first karyotype with a first label, and labeling the amplified DNA from the cells with a second karyotype with a second label; hybridizing the amplified and labeled DNA from the cells with a first karyotype to the amplified DNA attached to the solid substrate, and hybridizing the amplified and labeled DNA from the cells with a second karyotype to the amplified DNA attached to the solid substrate; and comparing the relative amount of first and second labels hybridized to the amplified DNA attached to the solid substrate.

Agilent Technologies of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,213,069, "Compensating for voice coil thermal expansion in a microarray scanner." A lens stage for use in a scanning system is provided. It includes a support that consists of a first rail and a second rail, where the first rail and the second rail are mounted to the support in parallel; and a linearly moveable lens. According to the patent, this lens includes a voice coil consisting of a moving coil that moves in a direction parallel to the rails; a lens; a bracket that is attached to the moving coil and the lens, and moveably engaged with the rails via a set of bearing cars; and a means to reduce force exerted on the set of bearing cars due to thermal expansion of the moving coil.

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