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PATENT WATCH: Jul 5, 2002

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Sandia Corporation of Albuquerque, NM, has received US Patent Number 6,415,233, “Classical least squares multivariate spectral analysis.” The patent covers an algorithm, the PACLS, which is designed to improve on the classical least squares multivariate spectral analysis method by adding spectral shapes to describe non-calibrated components and system effects. This new algorithm can be applied to scanning of gene expression microarrays, according to the patent. It can handle analysis of multi- or hyperspectral imaging of fluorescence signals on a microarray, thus allowing increases in sensitivity, speed, accuracy, reliability, and volume of fluorescent labels that the scanner can monitor. “The hybrid algorithm is ideally suited to perform this analysis and can be used to minimize or even eliminate the detrimental influences of stray light and contaminant and substrate fluorescence on the quantitative analyses,” the patent says.

PE Corporation (now Applera), has been awarded US Patent Number 6,413,586, “Apparatus and method for spotting a substrate.” The patent describes a method and device for dispensing small volumes of liquids onto a substrate. A tube containing an elongated fiber holds and dispenses the liquid. Shifting the fiber between upper and lower positions enables the deposition of a spot onto a substrate, especially onto a microarray with a number of spots.

Incyte Genomics has received US Patent Number 6,413,722, “Polymer coated surfaces for microarray applications.” The patent covers a method of making a stable microarray support by silylating a glass slide with an agent H2N(CH2)n — SiX3, where n is between one and 10, and X is either OMe, OEt, Cl, Br, or I. This coating is then activated with a crosslinking reagent, then reacted with an amine-containing polymer, and potentially reacted with a crosslinking reagent once more. The support can optionally be reacted with a cross linking reagent again.