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Genoptix, Cellomics, University of California are Awarded US Patents

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Genoptix has been awarded US Patent No. 6,784,420, “Method of separating particles using an optical gradient.”

Inventors listed on the patent are: Mark Wang, Eugene Tu, James O’Connell, Kristie Lykstad, and William Butler.

According to its abstract, the patent describes an apparatus and methods for interacting light with particles, including but not limited to biological matter such as cells, in unique and highly useful ways. The patent is based on optophoresis, which consists of subjecting particles to various optical forces, especially optical gradient forces, and more particularly moving optical gradient forces, to obtain useful results. In biology, this represents a practical approach to probing the inner workings of a living cell, preferably without any dyes, labels or other markers, the abstract states. In one aspect, a method is provided for interacting an optical gradient field in three dimensions with a particle by interfering two beams to generate a plurality of planar fronts, providing a plurality of particles in a medium, and moving the planar fronts relative to the particles, whereby the particles are separated at least in part based upon their dielectric constants.


Cellomics has been awarded US Patent No. 6,780,974, “Synthetic DNA encoding an orange seapen-derived green fluorescent protein with codon preference of mammalian expression systems and biosensors.”

Inventors listed on the patent are: Yih-Tai Chen and Longguang Cao.

According to its abstract, the patent discloses synthetic versions of a full-length and termini-truncated humanized green fluorescent protein based on Ptilosarcus gurneyi, which have been modified to the favored or most favored codons for mammalian expression systems. The disclosed encoded protein has 239 amino acid residues compared with the wild type P. gurneyi which has 238 amino acids, the abstract states. In the present invention, a valine residue has been added at the second position from the amino terminus and codon preference bias has been changed in a majority of the wild type codons of P. gurneyi fluorescent protein, teh abstract states. The humanized P. gurneyi green fluorescent protein is useful as a fluorescent tag for monitoring the activities of its fusion partners using imaging based approaches, the abstract states.


The University of California has been awarded US Patent No. 6,778,724, “Optical switching and sorting of biological samples and microparticles transported in a micro-fluidic device, including integrated bio-chip devices.”

Inventors listed on the patent are: Mark Wang, Erhan Polakton, and Sadik Esener.

According to its abstract, the patent describes a method in which “small particles, for example … microspheres or cells, within, and moving with, a fluid, normally water, that is flowing within microfluidic channels within a radiation-transparent substrate … are selectively manipulated, normally by being pushed with optical pressure forces (laser light) … at branching junctions in the microfluidic channels so as to enter into selected downstream branches, thereby realizing particle switching and sorting, including in parallel. Transport of the small particles thus transpires by microfluidics while manipulation in the manner of optical tweezers arises either from pushing due to optical scattering force, or from pulling due to an attractive optical gradient force,” the abstract states. Whether pushed or pulled, the particles within the flowing fluid may be optically sensed, and highly-parallel, low-cost, cell- and particle-analysis devices efficiently realized, including as integrated on bio-chips.

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