The California Institute of Technology has received US Patent No. 8,252,539, "Microfabricated crossflow devices and methods." The patent describes a microfluidic device for analyzing or sorting biological materials, including polynucleotides and polypeptides, viruses, and cells. The device comprises a main channel and an inlet region "in communication with the main channel at a droplet extrusion region," according to the patent abstract. Droplets of solution containing biological material are deposited into the main channel through the droplet extrusion region and a different fluid then flows through the main channel so that the droplets containing the biological material do not diffuse or mix. "Biological material within the droplets can be analyzed and/or sorted by detecting a predetermined characteristic of the biological sample in each droplet and sorting the droplet accordingly."
Kazufumi Ogawa of Tokushima, Japan, has received US Patent No. 8,252,249, "Biochemical chip and production method thereof." The claimed biochemical chip has a flow path with an inner surface covered with a chemisorption monomolecular film having arbitrary surface energy. The method includes a step for pre-forming the chemisorption monomolecular film on the inner surface of the flow path.
Eppendorf Array Technologies of Namur, Belgium, has been awarded US Patent No. 8,247,196, "Real-time PCR of targets on a micro-array." The patent covers a method and apparatus for using a microarray to monitor PCR amplification of a nucleotide molecule in a solution.
Samsung Electronics of Yeongtong-gu, Korea, has received US Patent No. 8,246,912, "Optical detecting apparatus for a bio-chip." The optical detecting apparatus includes a light source system for illuminating a biochip with an excitation light; a system for detecting a fluorescent light emitted by the biochip; and a light path-altering unit for directing the excitation light emitted by the light source system to the biochip and then directing the fluorescent light emitted by the chip to the fluorescent light-detecting system.