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Applera, Caliper, Promega, and Molecular Devices Among Recent Patent Winners

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Applera has been awarded US Patent No. 6,979,530, "Peptide conjugates and fluorescence detection methods for intracellular caspase assay."

Inventors listed on the patent are Xiongwei Yan, Sheri Miraglia, and Pau Miau Yuan.

According to its abstract, the patent protects polypeptides labelled with a donor and acceptor pair of dyes selected from a dibenzorhodamine dye and a diamino-benzophenoxazine dye. The polypeptides are peptide conjugates which are useful for intracellular and bead-based assays with fluorescence detection. Peptide conjugates with a caspase-recognition site undergo cleavage into peptide fragments which may be detected, located, and quantitated by the changes in fluorescence. Intracellular cleavage of peptide conjugates is correlated with apoptosis, the abstract states.


Caliper Life Sciences has been awarded US Patent No. 6,979,553, "Use of Nernstein voltage sensitive dyes in measuring transmembrane voltage."

Inventors listed on the patent are Javier Farinas and Garrett Wada.

According to its abstract, the patent protects transmembrane potential measurement methods using cationic dyes and anionic dyes. Compositions of the cationic and anionic dyes and microfluidic systems which include the dyes and membranes are provided in conjunction with processing elements for transmembrane potential measurements, the abstract states.


PPD Biomarker Discovery Sciences has been awarded US Patent No. 6,979,830, "Optical architectures for microvolume laser-scanning cytometers."

Inventors listed on the patent are Louis Dietz, Ian Walton, and Scott Norton

.According to its abstract, the patent protects methods and instrumentation for performing CCD-based confocal spectroscopy with a laser spot array. The methods and instruments of the invention are useful in any spectroscopic application, including, but not limited to, microscopy and microvolume laser scanning cytometry.


Promega has been awarded US Patent No. 6,982,152, "Cytotoxicity assay."

Inventors listed on the patent are Terry Riss and Richard Moravec.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a method and a corresponding kit for determining the cytotoxicity of a test agent. The method includes the steps of adding a pre-determined amount of the test agent to a vessel containing living cells in culture medium. The cells are then incubated for a pre-determined amount of time. A reagent mixture that is non-toxic to the living cells is then added to the cells and culture medium. In the preferred embodiment, the reagent mixture contains a solvent; a dye; an electron transfer agent; a substrate for a cytoplasmic enzyme having a half-life greater than two hours; and NAD+. The contents of the vessel are then measured for production of the reduced state of the dye, the production of the reduced state of the dye being caused by a cytoplasmic enzyme specific for the substrate in the reagent mixture. In the preferred embodiment, the production of the reduced state of the dye is caused by lactate dehydrogenase released from dead and dying cells within the vessel. The kits contain components necessary for performing the method, the abstract states.


Surface Logix has been awarded US Patent No. 6,982,171, "Cell motility and chemotaxis test device and methods of using same."

Inventors listed on the patent are Enoch Kim, Gregory Kirk, Matthew Brown, and Emanuele Ostuni.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a device for monitoring chemotaxis or chemoinvasion including a housing comprising a support member and a top member, the top member mounted to the support member by being placed in substantially fluid-tight conformal contact with it. The support member and the top member are configured such that they together define a discrete chamber adapted to allow a monitoring of chemotaxis or chemoinvasion therein. The discrete chamber includes a first-well region including at least one first well, which is configured to received a test agent therein; a second well region including at least one second well, which is configured to receive a sample comprising cells therein; and a channel region including at least one channel connecting the first well region and the second well region with one another. The second well region is preferably horizontally offset with respect to the first well region in a test orientation of the device, the abstract states.


Molecular Devices has been awarded US Patent No. 6,982,431, "Sample analysis systems."

Inventors listed on the patent are Douglas Modlin, Glenn Edwards, John Owicki, Michael Taylor, and Samuel Marquiss.

According to its abstract, the patent protects systems, and components thereof, for analyzing samples. These systems include apparatus and methods for generating, transmitting, detecting, and/or analyzing light, including without limitation high-throughput optical screening devices for analyzing samples at one or more assay sites. These systems also include apparatus and methods for supporting samples for analysis, including without limitation multiwell sample holders such as microplates, the abstract states.

The Scan

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September Plans

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration is aiming for early September for full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on Targeting DNA Damage Response, TSMiner, VarSAn

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: genetic changes affecting DNA damage response inhibitor response, "time-series miner" approach, and more.