Nanogen of San Diego, Calif., has received European Patent No. 0943158B1, "Affinity Based Self-Assembly Systems and Devices for Photonic and Electronic Applications." The patent claims priority from US Patent No. 6,652,808, issued in Dec 2003, and relates to a nanofabrication technology that combines an electric field-assisted manufacturing platform and programmable self-assembling nanostructures for the fabrication of a wide range of higher-order nano- and microscale devices, structures, and materials. The nanofabrication platform and process described in the patent are used for producing nanoscale electronic and photonic devices and structures; assembly of nanostructures and submicron components onto silicon wafers and other materials; integration of nanostructures within preformed microelectronic and optoelectronic structures; production of nanoparticles; and fabrication of selectively addressable DNA nanoarray substrates and materials.
Affymetrix of Santa Clara, Calif. has received US Patent No. 6,887,665, "Methods of array synthesis." The patent covers methods of forming high-density arrays of peptides, polynucleotides, and other polymer sequences using combinatorial solid-phase synthesis. The described method for synthesizing high-density arrays employs radiation-labile protecting groups and photolithographic masks to achieve spatially defined combinatorial polymer synthesis on a substrate surface. In those embodiments, masks are used to control the selective exposure to radiation in specific locations of a surface provided with linker molecules containing radiation-labile or chemically labile protecting groups. In the exposed locations, the radiation-labile or chemical-labile protecting groups are removed. The surface is then contacted with a solution containing a desired monomer. The monomer has at least one site that is reactive with the newly exposed reactive moiety on the linker and at least a second reactive site protected by one or more radiation-labile or chemically labile protecting groups. The desired monomer is then coupled to the unprotected linker molecules. The process can be repeated to synthesize a large number of polymer sequences in specific locations.
Large Scale Proteomics of Vacaville, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,887,701, "Microarrays and their manufacture." The patented invention relates to a method for producing rods or tubules, each one containing a different entrapped biological agent of interest. It covers methods for arranging and keeping the rods or tubules in parallel bundles, for impregnating or embedding the bundles with a sectionable adhesive material, for checking that all elements of the bundle maintain a constant arrangement or pattern throughout the length of the bundle after impregnation, for sectioning the bundle to produce large numbers of identical arrays or chips, and for performing a variety of different quantitative biochemical analyses on individual arrays. The biochemical analyses can also be performed on chips based on enzymatic or immunochemical activities under conditions yielding fluorescence or optical absorbance signals, in order to acquire images of these signals that are electronically processed and compared to produce clinically and experimentally useful data.
Integrated DNA Technologies of Coralville, Ind., has received US Patent No. 6,889,143, "Methods and systems for estimating the melting temperature for polynucleotide molecules." The patent covers methods and systems for predicting or estimating the melting temperature of duplex nucleic acids, particularly duplexes of oligonucleotides that may be used as primers or probes in PCR or hybridization assays. The invention also relates to methods and systems for designing and selecting oligonucleotide probes and primers having a predicted melting temperature which is optimized for such assays. The patent also covers algorithms and methods for predicting the melting temperature of a nucleic acid having a predetermined sequence. These methods and algorithms estimate the melting temperature of a nucleic acid duplex under particular salt conditions. The methods and algorithms use formulas, having terms and coefficients that are functions of the particular nucleotide sequence, to estimate the effect of particular salt conditions on the melting temperature.
Yokogawa Electric of Tokyo, Japan, has received US Patent No. 6,888,630, "Biochip reader." The patent covers a biochip reader for scanning and analyzing the fluorescence image information from genes to which fluorescent substances are affixed and which emit coherent light beams such as laser light, which is then detected by the reader.