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IP Roundup: Nov 16, 2010


Panasonic of Osaka, Japan, has received US Patent No. 7,833,701, "Biomolecule substrate, and test and diagnosis methods and apparatuses using the same." The patent claims a method for fabricating a biomolecule substrate, where biomolecule microcapsules are prepared by producing from a main solution an emulsion containing medium and micro-emulsion particles. A polymer thin film is then produced by interfacial polycondensation at an interface between the micro-emulsion particles and the medium so that the micro-emulsion particles become covered with the polymer thin film. The biomolecule microcapsules are then dispersed into a sub-solution and sprayed onto the substrate in a process where the temperature of the sub-solution containing the biomolecule microcapsules is higher than the melting point of the polymer thin film.

The California Institute of Technology of Pasadena has received US Patent No. 7,833,708, "Nucleic acid amplification using microfluidic devices." The patent describes devices that include a rotary microfluidic channel along which the temperature is regulated. According to the patent, solution can be passed through the channel so that it is exposed to different temperatures. An array of reaction chambers formed by intersecting vertical and horizontal flow channels with the ability to regulate temperature at the reaction chambers is also described. According to the patent, the microfluidic devices can be used to conduct a number of different analyses, including various primer extension reactions and nucleic acid amplification reactions.

Samsung Electronics of Seoul, Korea, has received US Patent No. 7,833,710, "Polynucleotide associated with breast cancer comprising single nucleotide polymorphism, microarray and diagnostic kit comprising the same and method for diagnosing breast cancer using the same." The patent claims a method of determining an increased risk of developing breast cancer in an individual aged 55 years or older. The method includes obtaining nucleic acid from the individual, detecting the nucleotide base at a specified polymorphic site, and determining the risk of developing breast cancer in the individual. According to the patent, the process of determining the base of the polymorphic site includes hybridizing the nucleic acid sample onto a microarray, and detecting the hybridization result.

The Children's Mercy Hospital of Kansas City, Mo., has received US Patent No. 7,833,713, "Mitigation of Cot-1 DNA distortion in nucleic acid hybridization." The patent claims a method of suppressing non-specific cross-hybridization between repetitive elements present in nucleic acid probes and corresponding repetitive elements in the target nucleic acid, where the method relies on the use of DNA synthesized to contain repetitive elements while avoiding low- and single-copy sequences. According to the patent, the suppressive nucleic acid can be used to block repetitive sequences in microarray hybridization assays, fluorescence in situ hybridization assays, and microsphere hybridization assays.

Affymetrix has received US Patent No. 7,833,714, "Combinatorial affinity selection." Methods are provided for analyzing nucleic acid sample, where nucleic acids are selected using affinity matrices prior to hybridization with a microarray. In a preferred embodiment, oligonucleotides specific for splicing sites are immobilized on beads and used to select sequences representing splice sites. The nucleic acid sample representing the splicing sites may be selected using the beads, and the selected target nucleic acids may then be hybridized with an array designed to interrogate the splicing sites to detect the forms of transcripts. According to the patent, this selection step may reduce cross hybridization.

Nanogen Recognomics of Frankfurt, Germany, has received US Patent No. 7,833,715, "Biomolecules having multiple attachment moieties for binding to a substrate surface." The patent claims methods of binding biomolecules to a substrate that include contacting the biomolecule with a branched-linking moiety to form a branched-linking structure. The branched-linking structure is then contacted with a binding moiety on the substrate to form a coupled substrate-binding structure, binding the biomolecule to the substrate. According to the patent, the biomolecule may contain a Lewis base or a nucleophile to react with a Lewis acid or electrophile in the branched-linking moiety. Alternatively, the biomolecule may contain a Lewis acid or electrophile that can react with a Lewis base or nucleophile in the branched linking moiety. Additionally, the biomolecule can be bound to the substrate through a covalent or non-covalent bond.

Stanford University has received US Patent No. 7,833,719, "Apparatus and methods for parallel processing of micro-volume liquid reactions." The patent claims a method for conducting multiple simultaneous micro-volume chemical and biochemical reactions in an array format. In one embodiment, the format includes an array of microholes in a substrate. Besides serving as an ordered array of sample chambers allowing the performance of multiple parallel reactions, the arrays can be used for reagent storage and transfer, library display, reagent synthesis, assembly of multiple identical reactions, dilution, and desalting, according to the patent. According to the patent, the use of the arrays enables the optical analysis of reactions in real time.