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Caliper, Cytonome, BD, Clontech, and UCSD Among Recent US Patent Winners

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Caliper Life Sciences, of Mountain View, Calif., has been awarded US Patent No. 7,155,344, “Distributed database for analytical instruments.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Wallace Parce and Morten Jensen.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects techniques for controlling analytical instruments. More specifically, the patent protects a sequence of steps to specify wells of a microfluidic device, to apply mobility to fluid in the wells, and to control the duration with which the mobility is applied. For example, fluids can be sequentially run past a main channel to a detection zone of the microfluidic device in order to analyze the fluids. In order to increase the efficiency of the analysis, fluids can be processed in parallel by running one fluid down the main channel while another fluid is loaded to the main channel, the abstract states.
 

 
Caliper has also been awarded US Patent No. 7,156,969, “Microfluidic matrix localization apparatus and methods.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Tammy Mehta and Anne Kopf-Sill.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects a multiphasic microfluidic apparatus for performing product fluid manipulation and separation in a single continuous unit. The patent also describes related methods, kits, and compositions.
 

 
Cytonome, of Watertown, Mass., has been awarded US Patent No. 7,157,274, “Method and apparatus for sorting particles.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Sebastian Bohm, John Gilbert, and Manish Deshpande.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects a method and apparatus for sorting particles, particularly cells, moving through a closed channel system of capillary size. The apparatus comprises a bubble valve for selectively generating a pressure pulse to separate a particle having a predetermined characteristic from a stream of particles. The particle sorting system may further include a buffer for absorbing the pressure pulse, and may include a plurality of closely coupled sorting modules which are combined to further increase the sorting rate. The particle sorting system may also comprise a multi-stage sorting device for serially sorting streams of particles, in order to decrease the error rate, the abstract states.
 

 
Becton Dickinson, of Franklin Lakes, NJ, has been awarded US Patent No. 7,157,275, “Peptides for enhanced cell attachment and growth.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Richard Guarino, Bryce Chaney, Andrea Liebmann-Vinson, and Mohammad Heidaran.
 
According to its abstract, the patent relates to cell adhesion-promoting peptide combinations that promote cell attachment or cell adhesion to culture surfaces that are otherwise cell adhesion resistant (CAR). The invention provides combinations of peptides that, when covalently coupled to a CAR layer such as hyaluronic acid that has been created on a polystyrene surface, promote cell attachment, growth differentiation, and execution of other desired cellular functions in culture, the abstract states.
 

 
Clontech Laboratories (now part of Takara Biosciences) of Mountain View, Calif., has been awarded US Patent No. 7,157,565, “Far red-shifted fluorescent proteins.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Sergey Lukyanov, Konstantin Lukyanov, Arcady Fradkov, and Nadejda Gurskaya.
 
According to its abstract, the patent protects nucleic acid compositions encoding Stichodactylidaen chromoproteins and fluorescent mutants thereof. The proteins of interest are proteins that are colored and/or fluorescent, where this feature arises from the interaction of two or more residues of the protein. Also of interest are proteins that are substantially similar to, or mutants of, the above specific proteins, including non-aggregating mutants and mutants with modulated oligomerization characteristics as compared to wild type. The patent also describes fragments of the nucleic acids and the peptides encoded thereby, as well as antibodies to the subject proteins and transgenic cells and organisms. The protein and nucleic acid compositions find use in a variety of different applications. Finally, the patent describes kits for use in such applications.
 

 
The University of California in San Diego has been awarded US Patent No. 7,157,566, “Monomeric and dimeric fluorescent protein variants and methods for making same.”
 
Inventors listed on the patent are Roger Tsien and Robert Campbell.
 
According to its abstract, the patent relates generally to variant fluorescent proteins, and more specifically to monomeric and dimeric forms of Anthozoan fluorescent proteins. In one aspect, the patent describes variants of fluorescent proteins, where the variants have a reduced propensity to tetramerize, and form dimeric or monomeric structures. The invention also relates to methods of making and using such fluorescent protein monomers and dimers, the abstract states.

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