The Regents of the University of California earned US Patent No. 6,610,499, “Capillary array and related methods.” The patent covers a method for detecting the presence of one or more target analytes in a sample employing a channel containing binding partners for each target. Assays are achieved by passing the sample through these channels for presentation to each successive binding partner. The sample is then transported beyond the binding sites for detection. Binding efficiency is increased by the use of a segmented transport, where a bubble of an immiscible fluid precedes the sample during transport and a second bubble follows. The preferred configuration for the device includes a substrate with a channel formed in its surface, and a cover element that seals the channel.
Affymetrix received US Patent No. 6,610,482, “Support bound probes and methods of analysis using the same.” The invention provides methods and apparatus for sequencing, fingerprinting, and mapping biological macromolecules. The methods make use of a plurality of sequence-specific recognition reagents that can also be used for classification of biological samples, and to characterize their sources.
Affymetrix also received US Patent No. 6,604,902, “Cartridge loader and methods.” The patent covers a device for transporting cartridges in a temperature- controlled environment and a tool for handling the cartridges and placing them in a scanner.
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation of Madison, Wis., earned US Patent No. 6,607,888, “Method for analyzing nucleic acid reactions.” The patent covers methods for analyzing reactions by utilizing nucleic acids immobilized on a defined substrate and carried out in the presence of labeled reagents.
EI du Pont de Nemours of Wilmington, Del., earned US Patent No. 6,607,885, “Method for high-density microarray-mediated gene expression profiling.” The patent covers a system for creating a microarray containing more than 75 percent of all the ORFs from a prokaryotic organism, which the authors said helps overcome the problems of high concentration of endogenous RNAase and ribosomal RNA; a method for quantitating the amount of each protein specifying RNA contained within a culture; and a method for decreasing the background noise generated within a gene-expression profile through the combination of multiple signal-generating labels.
The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) of Hsinchu, Taiwan, received US Patent No. 6,605,363, “High-density functional slide and preparation method thereof.” The patent covers a method for preparing a high-density functional slide by coating a sol-gel containing amine-group bearing silanes and a solution containing polyaldehyde groups onto an organic or inorganic substrate, respectively. The resulting slide is useful in the preparation of highly homogeneous functional-group slides and the high-density and high-efficiency bio-chip/microarray.
20/20 GeneSystems of Rockville, Md., and the US Department of Health and Human Services received US Patent No. 6,602,661, “Methods and arrays for detecting biomolecules.” The patent covers a system for detecting biomolecules in a tissue section or other two-dimensional sample by creating “carbon copies” of the biomolecules eluted from the sample and visualizing the biomolecules on the copies using antibodies or DNA probes having specific affinity for the biomolecules of interest. Thin membranes in a layered configuration are applied to the sample, and reagents and reaction conditions are provided to elute the biomolecules and transfer them onto the membranes, producing replicas of the content.