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Picoliter, Vermont Photonics Technologies, BioArray Solutions, Duke University


Picoliter of Sunnyvale, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,991,917, "Spatially directed ejection of cells from a carrier fluid." The patent claims a method for harnessing focused acoustic energy in the spatially directed ejection of cells suspended in a carrier fluid for providing a pattern of cells on a substrate surface, such as a cellular array. According to the patent, the devices comprise a plurality of cell containers or reservoirs each adapted to contain a fluid capable of carrying cells; an acoustic ejector for generating acoustic radiation and a focusing means for focusing it at a focal point near the fluid surface in each of the reservoirs; and a means for positioning the ejector in acoustic coupling relationship to each of the cell containers or reservoirs.

Vermont Photonics Technologies of Bellow Falls, Vt., has received US Patent No. 6,991,927, "Applying far infrared radiation to biological matter." The patent claims a method for irradiating a biological sample with far infrared irradiation, including providing tunable FIR irradiation, removing X-rays from the irradiation, and irradiating at least one biological sample with the tunable FIR irradiation. According to the patent, the biological samples involved in the experiment may be disposed on a microarray and may include nucleic acid and/or protein. The patent also claims an FIR irradiation device, including an FIR source producing an FIR irradiation having a tunable wavelength, the source being capable of continuous-wave output, and a filter receiving the irradiation from the source.

BioArray Solutions of Warren, NJ, has received US Patent No. 6,991,941, "Light-controlled electrokinetic assembly of particles near surfaces." The patent claims a method and apparatus for the manipulation of colloidal particulates and biomolecules at the interface between an insulating electrode such as silicon oxide and an electrolyte solution. The patent also provides a set of operations enabling interactive control over the creation and placement of planar arrays of several types of particles and biomolecules and the manipulation of array shape and size. The claimed invention enables sample preparation and handling for diagnostic assays and biochemical analysis in an array format, and the functional integration of these operations, the patent states. In addition, the patent provides a procedure for the creation of material surfaces with desired properties and for the fabrication of surface-mounted optical components.

Duke University of Durham, NC, has received US Patent No. 6,993,173, "Methods for estimating probe cell locations in high-density synthetic DNA microarrays." The patent claims methods, systems, and computer program products for estimating the location of a probe cell in an image of a high-density microarray DNA chip interrogate a plurality of different closely spaced estimated locations to identify the most likely estimated location of the probe cell in the image.

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