Packard Instrument, now part of PerkinElmer, has received US Patent No. 6,521,187, “Dispensing liquid drops onto porous brittle substrates.” The patent covers a system of dispensing minuscule volumes of liquid — generally between 10 and 100 microns — onto the porous sites on a wafer, which are 10 to 10,000 times smaller than the drops. The system involves a microdispenser that uses a glass capillary that is attached to a piezoelectric transducer. The microdispenser deposits the drops from a distance greater than 10 times their diameter, in order to avoid contact between the dispenser and the wafer. This system includes, in addition to the microdispenser, a means to prime and aspirate the liquid into this microdispenser and a mechanism to control the pressure of the liquid in this system and wash the microdispenser between liquid transfer rounds; as well as a pressure sensor that measures the system liquid pressure and produces an electrical signal.
Corixa, of Seattle, Wash., received two patents: US Patent No. 6,518,256, “Compounds and methods for therapy and diagnosis of lung cancer,” and US Patent No. 6,518,237 “Compositions for treatment and diagnosis of breast cancer and methods for their use.” The first patent describes the polypeptides that encompass at least part of a lung tumor protein, as well as the DNA molecules that encode the polypeptides. The first patent describes the method for discovering these peptides, in which the inventors used microarrays from Synteni (now part of Incyte). The second patent describes polypeptides that compose a breast tumor protein, as well as the polynucleotides that encode them, and also describes the use of Synteni microarrays to determine mRNA expression levels in breast tumors as a means of selecting the specific polynucleotides and polypeptides.
Agilent Technologies received US Patent No. 6,518,056, “Apparatus, systems and method for assaying biological materials using an annular format.” The patent covers a system for the manufacture and analysis of biological materials. The technology is an array of biological material in an annular region on a substrate. The apparatus includes a spinner assembly for rotating the substrate during synthesis. The hybridized apparatus is optically interrogated with a light source, optics, and a scanning assembly that rotates the apparatus so that the light remains stationary.