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Nestec, California Institute of Technology, and Caden Biosciences Awarded US Patents

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Nestec has been awardedUS Patent 7,294,509, “Pre-adipose cell lines.”
 
The inventors listed on the patent are Christian Darimont, Katherine Mace, and Andrea Pfeifer.
 
As stated in the abstract, the patent relates to new immortalized human pre-adipose cell lines capable of differentiating into adipose cells and methods of obtaining the immortalized cells. In particular, it discusses immortalized pre-adipocyte cell lines derived from white adipose tissue and methods of producing the cell lines. The immortalized pre-adipocyte cells are capable of maturing into immortalized white adipose cells useful in developing drugs, food ingredients, and supplements against obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
 

 
The California Institute of Technology has been awarded US Patent 7,294,503, “Microfabricated crossflow devices and methods.”
 
The inventors listed on the patent are Stephen Quake and Todd Thorsen.
 
The patent provides a microfluidic device for analyzing and/or sorting biological materials (for example, molecules such as polynucleotides and polypeptides, including proteins and enzymes; viruses; and cells) and discusses methods for its use.
 
The device and methods of the invention are useful for sorting particles, such as virions, the abstract said. The invention is also useful for high-throughput screening, such as combinatorial screening. As described in the abstract, the microfluidic device comprises a main channel and an inlet region in communication with the main channel at a droplet extrusion region. Droplets of solution containing the biological material are deposited into the main channel through the droplet extrusion region.
 
A fluid different from and incompatible with the solution containing the biological material flows through the main channel to ensure that the droplets containing the biological material do not diffuse or mix. Biological material within the droplets can be analyzed and/or sorted by detecting a predetermined characteristic of the biological sample in each droplet and sorting the droplet accordingly.
 

 
Caden Biosciences has been awarded US Patent 7,294,472, “Method for identifying modulators of G protein-coupled receptor signaling.”
 
The inventors listed on the patent are Annette Gilchrist and Heidi Hamm.
 
According to its abstract, the patent describes methods for identifying peptides and other compounds that block or enhance G protein-coupled receptor-mediated signaling with high affinity and specificity and/or which stabilize a particular conformer of a G protein coupled receptor. Assays, methods of treatment, and other methods developed in conjunction with these methods are also described.

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