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Cellomics and Vitra Bioscience Are Among Recent US Patent Winners

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Several scientists currently or previously associated with Cellomics have been awarded US Patent No. 6,905,881, "Microbead-based test plates and test methods for fluorescence imaging systems."

Inventors listed on the patent are Paul Sammak, Gustavo Rosania, Lawrence Zana, Kim Ippolito, Jason Bush, Alex Friedman, Sarah Tencza, and Ravi Kapur.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a test plate and methods for adjusting fluorescence imaging systems involving using a plate with fluorescent microbeads bound to a surface. According to the patent, the invention fulfills the need in the art for a tool for diagnostics, calibration, or software validation for fluorescence imaging systems.


Vitra Bioscience has been awarded US Patent No. 6,908,737, "Systems and methods of conducting multiplexed experiments."

Inventors listed on the patent are Ilya Ravkin, Simon Goldbard, William Hyun, and Michael Zarowitz.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a method for multiplexed detection and quantification of analytes by reacting them with probe molecules attached to specific and identifiable carriers. These carriers can be of different size, shape, color, and composition, and different probe molecules are attached to different types of carriers prior to analysis, the abstract states. After the reaction takes place, the carriers can be automatically analyzed. The invention obviates cumbersome instruments used for the deposition of probe molecules in geometrically defined arrays, the abstract states. Analytes are identified by their association with the defined carrier, and not (or not only) by their position. Moreover, the use of carriers provides a more homogenous and reproducible representation for probe molecules and reaction products than two-dimensional imprinted arrays or DNA chips, the abstract states.


The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been awarded US Patent No. 6,906,194, "Fluorescence assay for kinase activity."

Inventors listed on the abstract are Barbara Imperiali and Melissa Shults.

According to its abstract, the patent protects a sensor and methods for determining kinase activity.


Scott Herron, of the Palo Alto Medical Clinic, has been awarded US Patent No. 6,906,237, "[In] vivo assay for anti-angiogenic compounds," on which Herron is listed as the sole inventor.

According to its abstract, the patent protects the use of telomerase-immortalized human microvascular endothelial cells in the formation of functional capillary blood vessels in vivo. According to the abstract, Herron's research group previously showed the superior in vitro survival of human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT)-transduced human endothelial cells.

"The group now shows that retroviral-mediated transduction of hTERT in human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMEC) results in cell lines that form microvascular structures when subcutaneously implanted in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice," the abstract states. "The human origin of xenografted microvaculature was confirmed both by basement membrane immunoreactivity with anti-human type IV collagen staining and visualization of fluorescent vessels containing HDMEC that were co-transduced with hTERT and green fluorescent protein (eGFP).

"The lack of human vascular structures after implantation of HT1080 fibrosarcoma cells, 293 human embryonic kidney cells or human skin fibroblasts demonstrated the specificity of HDMEC at forming capillaries," the abstract states. "Intravascular red fluorescent microspheres injected into the host circulation were found within green 'telomerized' microvessels indicating functional murine-human vessel anastamoses. Whereas primary HDMEC-derived vessel density decreased steadily with time, telomerized HDMEC maintained durable vessels 6 weeks after xenografting. Modulation of implant vessel density by exposure to different angiogenic and angiostatic factors demonstrated the utility of this system for the study of human microvascular remodeling in vivo."

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