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USPTO Publishes Several Cell-Based Assay-Related Patent Applications

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No new cell-based assay related patents have been published by the US Patent and Trademark Office in the past week. However, in the past month the USPTO has published several cell-based assay-related patent applications of note:

Title: Device and method for controlled electroporation and molecular delivery into cells and tissue

Number: 20050170510

Filed: Dec. 7, 2004

Inventors: Yong Huang, James Borninski, and Laura Mazzola (Excellin Life Sciences)

According to its abstract, the patent application is for a "device and system … which allow precise monitoring and controlling electroporation of cells and cell layers, with examples shown using adherent cells grown on porous membranes."


Title: Microelectronic arrays for cell-based functional genomics/ high-throughput phenotyping by electrokinetic assembly

Number: 20050173249

Inventors: Carrolee Barlow (BrainCells), Sangeeta Bhatia and Sadik Esener (University of California, San Diego); and Mihrimah Ozkan (University of California, Riverside)

According to its abstract, the patent application is for an electrochemical apparatus that permits electric-field-assisted fluidic assembly of objects on a patterned silicon substrate by means of electrical addressing. Charged objects such as beads and live cells are moved electrokinetically, as in electrophoresis, through a solution, typically water, towards a micro-patterned charged semiconductor electrode, such as a silicon electrode patterned with silicon dioxide, silicon nitride, or agarose gel, the abstract states. The charged objects are thus localized to and assembled, most typically into arrays of multiple or single particles, in accordance with the patterning of the electrode. Correlating with theoretical predictions, negatively charged polystyrene beads of 20-um diameter, or live mammalian cells of 20- to 30-um diameter, can be assembled and disassembled on 100-um feature size micro-patterned substrates by means of electrical addressing. The apparatus has applications in creation of active cellular arrays for cell biology research, drug discovery, and tissue engineering, the abstract states.


Title: Microscale sorting cytometer

Number: 20050175981

Filed: Jan. 31, 2005

Inventors: Joel Voldman and Brian Taff (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

According to its abstract, the patent application is for a device and methods of use in microscale cell sorting. This invention provides sorting cytometers, which trap individual cells within vessels following exposure to dielectrophoresis, and allow for the assaying of trapped cells, such that a population is identified whose isolation is desired, the abstract states.


Title: Microbead-based test plates and test methods for fluorescence imaging systems

Number: 20050176056

Filed: March 11, 2005

Inventors: Paul Sammak, Lawrence Zana, Kim Ippolito, Jason Bush, Alex Friedman, Sarah Tencza, and Ravi Kapur (Cellomics); and Gustavo Rosania (University of Michigan)

According to its abstract, the patent application is for a test plate and methods for adjusting fluorescence imaging systems involving using a plate with fluorescent microbeads bound to a surface.


Title: Fragment complementation assays for G-protein-coupled receptors and their signaling pathways

Number: 20050181452

Filed: Sept. 23, 2004

Inventors: John Westwick, Brigitte Keon, and Marnie MacDonald (Odyssey Thera)

According to its abstract, the patent application is for a large number of novel assays for G-protein-coupled receptors and their signaling pathways. Methods are described for constructing such assays for one or more steps in a GPCR pathway. The invention can be used for functional characterization of GPCRs, target validation, de-orphanization of receptors, high-throughput screening, high-content screening, pharmacological profiling, and other drug discovery applications, the abstract states. The assays can be used directly to assess whether a compound library or a biological extract contains an agonist or antagonist of a receptor. Assay compositions are also provided. The development of such assays is shown to be straightforward, providing for a broad, flexible and biologically relevant platform for the discovery of novel drugs and natural ligands that act on GPCRs or their cognate pathways, according to the abstract.


Title: Image analysis and assay system

Number: 20050186554

Filed: Jan. 18, 2005

Inventors: Vladimir Temov and Ilya Ravkin (Vitra Bioscience)

According to its abstract, the patent application is for systems for determining and/or analyzing the distribution and dynamics of cellular components.

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