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Bio-Rad, Pfizer, Advanced Analytical Technologies, Invitrogen Win Cell-Based Assay-Related Patents

Bio-Rad Laboratories of Hercules, Calif., has been awarded US Patent 7,205,160, “Multiplex flow assays preferably with magnetic particles as solid phase.”
Inventors listed on the patent are Michael Watkins and Richard Edwards.
The patent covers heterogeneous assays for different analytes in a single biological sample that are performed simultaneously in a multiplexed assay. The assay combines flow cytometry with the use of magnetic particles as the solid phase and yields an individual result for each analyte. “The particles are distinguishable from each other by characteristics that permit them to be differentiated into groups, each group carrying an assay reagent bonded to the particle surface that is distinct from the assay reagents of particles in other groups,” according to the patent abstract. “The magnetic particles facilitate separation of the solid and liquid phases, permitting the assays to be performed by automated equipment.”

Pharmacia & Upjohn (now Pfizer) of Kalamazoo, Mich., has been awarded US Patent 7,205,120, “Substrates and assays for beta-secretase activity.”
Inventors listed on the patent are Riqiang Yan, Alfredo Tomasselli, Mark Gurney, Thomas Emmons, Michael Jerome Bienkowski, and Robert Heinrikson.
The patent covers novel substrates for Hu-Asp. “More particularly, the invention provides peptide substrates and fusion polypeptide substrates comprising a beta-secretase cleavage site,” according to the patent abstract.

Advanced Analytical Technologies of Ames, Iowa, has been awarded US Patent 7,205,100, “Methods for reducing background fluorescence.”
Inventors listed on the patent are Daniel Buttry, Angie Oppedahl, Steven Lasky, and Edward Orr.
The patent describes methods for reducing background fluorescence in cell detection and measurement systems. In one aspect of the invention, cell-impermeant chemical agents are used to modify the fluorescent probes that reside outside the cells to be detected. The chemical agents can chemically modify one or more functional groups in the probes, thereby reducing or eliminating the fluorescence of the probes. In another aspect of the invention, Acid Black 48 is used to reduce background fluorescence produced by fluorescent probes such as SYTO 62.

Invitrogen of Carlsbad, Calif., has been awarded US Patent 7,205,048, “Functionalized fluorescent nanocrystal compositions and methods of making.”
The inventor listed on the patent is Imad Naasani.
The invention covers functionalized fluorescent nanocrystal compositions and methods for making these compositions. The compositions are fluorescent nanocrystals coated with at least one material that has chemical compounds or ligands with functional groups or moieties with conjugated electrons and moieties for imparting solubility to coated fluorescent nanocrystals in aqueous solutions. The coating material “provides for functionalized fluorescent nanocrystal compositions which are water soluble, chemically stable, and emit light with a high quantum yield and/or luminescence efficiency when excited with light,” according to the patent abstract.

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