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Caliper, Cellomics, Odyssey Thera, Molecular Devices Among Recent US Patent Winners

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Caliper Life Sciences, of Mountain View, Calif., has been awarded US Patent No. 7,160,423, “Mixed mode microfluidic systems.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Ring-Ling Chien, Wallace Parce, and Michael Spaid.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects methods and systems that employ hybrid fluid flow profiles for optimized movement of materials through channel networks. These systems employ hybrid pressure-based and electrokinetic-based flow systems for moving materials through interconnected channel networks while maintaining interconnection among the various channel segments. In particular, the invention is generally directed to channel networks where flow in a first channel segment is driven by pressure flow with its consequent parabolic flow profile; while flow in an interconnected channel segment is dominated by electrokinetic flow with its consequent plug flow profile. The invention also provides channel networks wherein fluid flow in channel segments is driven by both pressure and electric field, and the multiple species contained in a fluid plug are separated by altering the applied pressure and electric fields in the various channel segments of the channel networks.
 

 
Cellomics (Fisher Biosciences), of Pittsburgh, Penn., has been awarded US Patent No. 7,160,687, “Miniaturized cell array methods and apparatus for cell-based screening.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Ravi Kapur and Kenneth Giuliano.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects methods and cassettes for cell-based toxin detection and organ localization. The cassettes include an array containing cells and a matrix of openings or depressions, wherein each region of the substrate enclosed by the opening or depression in the matrix forms a domain individually addressable by microfluidic channels in the device.
 

 
Odyssey Thera, of San Ramon, Calif., has been awarded US Patent No. 7,160,691, “Protein fragment complementation assays for the detection of biological or drug interactions.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Stephen Michinick, Joelle Pelletier, and Ingrid Remy.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects a method for detecting biomolecular interactions. The method comprises (a) selecting an appropriate reporter molecule selected from a group consisting of a protein, a fluorescent protein, a luminescent protein, and a phosphorescent protein; (b) effecting fragmentation of said reporter molecule such that it results in reversible loss of reporter function; (c) fusing or attaching fragments of the reporter molecule separately to other molecules; followed by (d) reassociation of the reporter fragments through interactions of the molecules that are fused to the fragments; and (e) detecting biomolecular interactions by reconstitution of activity of the reporter molecule.
 

 
The University of Florida in Gainesville and the University of Sydney have been awarded US Patent No. 7,160,698, “Fluorescent and colored proteins, and polynucleotides that encode these proteins.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Mikhail Matz, Ilya Kelmanson, Ella Meleshkevitch, and Anya Salih.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects new fluorescent and/or colored proteins, and polynucleotide sequences that encode these proteins. The patent further describes materials and methods useful for expressing these detectable proteins in biological systems.
 

 
Molecular Devices has been awarded US Patent No. 7,163,800, “Methods of screening compositions for G protein-coupled receptor desensitization inhibitory activity.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Robert Oakley, Lawrence Barak, Stephane Laporte, and Marc Caron.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects methods that allow the screening of a test composition for non-receptor-specific GPCR desensitization inhibitory activity. The methods involve screening a test composition for an indication of GPCR desensitization inhibitory activity against two or more GPCRs that are different from each other. When there is an indication that a particular test composition has GPCR desensitization inhibitory activity with respect to each of the two or more different GPCRs, then, according to the present invention, there is an indication that the test composition has non-receptor-specific GPCR desensitization inhibitory activity.

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