Nanogen, of San Diego, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,867,048, "Multiplexed active biologic array." The patent covers a method of addressing and driving an electrode array that includes the step of addressing one or more electrodes within the array using a plurality of row and column lines. The patent also covers a method where a value corresponding to a voltage is stored in a local memory associated with each electrode. The addressed electrodes are then driven at the voltages corresponding to the stored values. In another aspect of the method, a driving element associated with each addressed electrode is selectively coupled with a voltage line so as to charge the electrode with the voltage on the voltage line. The device and methods may be used in the synthesis of biopolymers such as oligonucleotides and peptides.
Genexpress Informatics of Austin, Texas, has received US Patent No. 6,861,219, "Preferential display." The invention utilizes a combination of biomolecular chemistry methods to eliminate or degrade redundant sequences and a fluorescence dye assay to identify these unique sequences from two cell or tissue populations. cDNA from normal or diseased cells or tissues is hybridized with the RNA of the complement normal or diseased cells or tissues. The hybridized cDNA-RNA is incubated with exonucleases, resulting in degradation of all but the single stranded RNA and DNA. RNAs are then eliminated using RNase, and the remaining DNA that are unique to the sample is amplified. This technique may be used to isolate differentially expressed genes or gene fragments and will provide a means to isolate and identify medium to low gene expressions that may otherwise be buried under gene "noise," according to the patent.
The trustees of Tufts College at Tufts University of Medford, Mass., have received US Patent No. 6,859,570, "Target analyte sensors utilizing microspheres." The patent covers microspheres or particles carrying bioactive agents that may be combined randomly or in ordered fashion and dispersed on a substrate to form an array while maintaining the ability to identify the location of bioactive agents and particles within the array using an optically interrogatable, optical signature encoding scheme. In a preferred embodiment, a modified fiber optic bundle or array is employed as a substrate to produce a high-density array. The system and method have utility for detecting target analytes and screening large libraries of bioactive agents.
Baylor College of Medicine of Houston, Texas, has received US Patent No. 6,858,713, "Chemically modified biological molecules and methods for coupling biological molecules to solid support." The patent protects chemically modified biological molecules, for example nucleic acids, with enhanced lability towards solid supports, such as glass. These modified molecules can be readily affixed to solid supports, for instance, a glass surface, without first derivatizing the glass surface. High-density microarrays based on these modified molecules as well as methods for preparing these microarrays are also useful.