Fluidigm of South San Francisco, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,440,093, "Methods and devices for electronic and magnetic sensing of the contents of microfluidic flow channels." The patent describes a "microfabricated elastomeric structure" through which a change in the electrical or magnetic environment is sensed. More specifically, an electric field is applied to volume in the structure, and a change in impedance, current, or combined impedance and current is measured. According to the patent, change in resistance of a magnetoresistive element may also reveal the passage of a magnetized detectable entity.
The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute of Daejeon, South Korea, has received US Patent No. 8,440,148, "Microfluidic device and microfluidic analysis equipment." The described microfluidic device includes guides disposed along both edges, a lower plate including a flow path defined between the guides, and a movable upper plate moved along the guides on the lower plate that is shorter than that the flow path. The flow of fluids can be controlled by adjusting a position of the movable upper plate, resulting in sufficient reaction in the detection part and the reaction part. According to the patent, the device enables "effective reaction and detection can be realized using only a small amount of fluid … improving sensitivity."
Callida Genomics of Sunnyvale, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,440,397, "High throughput genome sequencing on DNA arrays." Methods are claimed for acquiring nucleotide sequence information of target sequences using adaptors interspersed in target polynucleotides. Such adaptors may serve as platforms for interrogating adjacent sequences using various sequencing chemistries, such as those that identify nucleotides by primer extension and probe ligation. By sequencing "both upstream and downstream" of the adaptors, identification of entire target sequences may be accomplished, according to the patent. Also provided are methods for preparing random arrays of engineered nucleic acid molecules able to support billions of molecules, including molecules at submicron sizes and distances. The inventors claim that their approach "addresses the problems associated with short sequence read-lengths produced by many approaches to large-scale DNA sequencing."
Genewave, now Mobidiag, of Evry, France, has received US Patent No. 8,440,985, "Method and a device for detecting the fluorescence of a biochip." The method relies on a substrate that is at least partially transparent at the emission wavelength of the chromophores, and contains biological probes configured to be put into contact with certain biological targets. A "fluid flow device" capable of brining targeted analytes into contact with these probes is placed on the substrate, and the substrate is illuminated at the excitation wavelength of the chromophores using a sensor to detect the emitted light signals.