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IP Roundup: Panasonic, Asuragen, Illumina, US CDC, Canon, Aviva Bio, MIT, and More


Panasonic of Osaka, Japan, has received US Patent No. 8,568,579, "Biosensor, biosensor chip and biosensor device." According to the patent, the biosensor includes a working electrode, a counter electrode opposing the working electrode, a working electrode terminal, a working electrode reference terminal connected to the working electrode by wires, and a counter electrode terminal connected to the counter electrode by a wire. By employing a structure with at least three electrodes, the inventors claim it is possible to assay a target substance without being influenced by the line resistance on the working electrode side.

Asuragen of Austin, Texas, has received US Patent No. 8,568,971, "Methods and compositions involving microRNA." Methods are claimed for isolating, enriching, and labeling miRNA molecules and for preparing and using arrays or other detection techniques for miRNA analysis. Using such methods, one can characterize miRNAs for diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic applications, according to the inventors.

Illumina of San Diego has received US Patent No. 8,568,979, "Compositions and methods for representational selection of nucleic acids from complex mixtures using hybridization." The patent provides a method of selecting a representational sample of nucleic acid sequences from a complex mixture. It includes contacting a complex mixture of nucleic acids under conditions sufficient for hybridization, and removing unhybridized nucleic acids to select a representational sample of nucleic acids having a complexity of less than 10 percent but more than 0.001 percent of the complex mixture.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has received US Patent No. 8,568,981, "Probe and method for detection and discrimination of types and subtypes of influenza viruses." According to the claimed method, a sample suspected of containing a nucleic acid of an influenza virus is screened for the presence or absence of that nucleic acid. The presence of the influenza virus nucleic acid indicates the presence of influenza virus. Determining whether the influenza virus nucleic acid is present in the sample can be accomplished by detecting hybridization between an influenza specific probe, influenza type specific probe, and subtype specific probe and an influenza nucleic acid. Probes and primers for the detection, typing, and subtyping of influenza virus are also disclosed, as are kits and arrays that contain the disclosed probes and primers.

Canon of Tokyo has received US Patent No. 8,568,983, "Probe, probe set, probe carrier, and testing method." The patent claims a method of specifically detecting the internal transcribed spacer region in the DNA of Candida tropicalis, a pathogenic fungus. It includes reacting a sample with a probe carrier containing three probes, and detecting the reaction intensity of each probe on the carrier. According to the patent, the ITS region of the fungus' DNA should react with all probes on the carrier.

Aviva Biosciences of San Diego has received US Patent No. 8,569,009, "Methods and compositions for detecting rare cells from a biological sample." The patent claims a method for detecting rare cells from a biological sample containing other types of cells. The method relies on a microfabricated filter for filtering samples. According to the inventors, the enriched rare cells can be used in a downstream process such as identification, characterization, or growth in culture, or in other ways. Also included is a method of determining tumor aggressiveness or the number or proportion of cancer cells in the enriched sample by detecting telomerase activity, nucleic acid, or expression after enrichment of rare cells.

Alcatel Lucent of Paris has received US Patent No. 8,569,042, "DNA structures on ferroelectrics and semiconductors." The patent provides methods for producing hybrid devices in which a DNA structure decorated by an electrical or optical element is combined with a non-DNA based structure. Within such hybrid devices, feature sizes may be very small, because features of the DNA structure are made via DNA technology rather than by conventional lithography, according to the inventors. In one aspect, the device includes a substrate and DNA oligomers in contact with a top surface of the substrate. In this embodiment, the substrate is a polar ferroelectric or a polar compound semiconductor.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology of Cambridge, Mass., has received US Patent No. 8,569,046, "Microarray with microchannels." The patent describes a microarray formed in the planar surface of a moldable slab. According to the patent, the microarray consists of microwells formed in the slab. Each of these microwells is sized to contain at least a single cell. Also, each of the microchannels formed in the slab is configured to permit liquid from a first region of the microarray to transit to a second region of the microarray.

ASMAG-Holdings of Linz, Austria, has received US Patent No. 8,569,716, "Optoelectronic sensor system." The described system includes a first glass substrate for applying microarray spots on its surface; a second glass substrate as a substrate for the sensor; a third glass substrate as encapulation for the sensor; a photosensitive optoelectronic layer lying between the second and the third glass substrates including one or more semiconductor layers between two electrode layers, of which the electrode layer facing the specimen is designed to be at least partly light-permeable; a polydimethylsiloxane, or PDMS, intermediate layer between the first and the third glass substrate; and a prism arranged on the surface of the first glass substrate, which introduces the light beam emitted from a light source at a specified angle into the first glass substrate, where it is guided under total reflection to the PDMS intermediate layer.

Fujitsu of Kawasaki, Japan, has received US Patent No. 8,568,966, "Method and apparatus for producing a molecular film with an adjusted density." The patent provides a technique that can adjust a molecular density of the film of functional molecules. A molecular film composed of molecules is formed on a conductive substrate, where the molecule includes a region capable of binding to the conductive substrate. The molecular density of the molecular film is then adjusted by desorbing a part of the molecules that make up the molecular film from the conductive substrate.