Zyomyx, of Hayward, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,576,478, “Microdevices for high-throughput screening of biomolecules.” The patent covers microfabricated, miniaturized devices that screen biomolecular activity in parallel. The biomolecules are immobilized on the device’s surface. These biomolecules include proteins, polypeptides, nucleic acids, polysaccharides, phospholipids, as well as biologically relevant unnatural polymers. The device is to be used for clinical diagnostics and high-throughput screening, especially for parallel screening of families of related proteins.
The University of California has received US Patent No. 6,576,459, “Sample preparation and detection device for infectious agents.” The device, invented by Robin Miles and others, is a compact microchip that is portable in the field, and incorporates PCR assays and immunoassays. It can be built as a fluidic chip with no moving parts, and incorporates magnetohydrodynamic pumps to move fluid through the system, acoustic mixing and fractionation, dielectropheretic sample concentration and purification, as well as on-chip optical detection. It can operate in a continuous mode.
BioForce Nanosciences received US patent No. 6,573,369, “Method and Apparatus for Solid State Molecular Analysis.” The patent covers a method for the formation and analysis of novel miniature deposition domains that are placed on a surface to form a molecular array. The molecular array is scanned with an AFM to analyze molecular recognition events and the effect of introduced agents on defined molecular interactions. The patent claims that this approach can be carried out in a high-throughput format, allowing rapid screening of thousands of molecular species in a solid state array. The invention does not require the labeling of the deposition material or the target sample and may also be used to deposit large size molecules without harming the same.