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IP Roundup: Jan 18, 2011

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Joseph Huang of Plainsboro, NJ, Yong Shi of Nutley, NJ, and Yufeng Ma of Harrison, NJ, have received US Patent No. 7,871,570, "Fluidic array devices and systems, and related methods of use and manufacturing." The patent describes a fluidic array that includes an elastomeric body that permits control of the device. According to the patent, the elastomeric body may include intersecting row and column channels, and reactions may occur at the intersection spots formed by the intersecting channels. Pinching applied at suitable locations along the channels enables the channels to be opened or closed, and provides control of the fluids pumped through the device. The surfaces of the channels and intersection spots may be engineered to have certain properties. In particular, the intersection spots may have surface properties differing from those of the channels so that reactions may be selectively controlled to occur in the intersection spots.


Maxwell Sensors of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,871,770, "Light transmitted assay beads." The patent describes a microbead that has a digitally coded structure and is partially transmissive and opaque to light. The coded bead may be structured as a series of alternating light transmissive and opaque sections, with relative positions, widths, and spacing resembling a one-dimensional or two-dimensional barcode image. To decode the image, the alternating transmissive and opaque sections of the body are scanned in analogous fashion to barcode scanning. The coded bead may be coated or immobilized with a capture or probe to create a desired bioassay. The coded bead may also include a paramagnetic material.


Life Technologies has received US Patent No. 7,871,810, "Multiaxis focusing mechanism for microarray analysis." The patent claims methods for positioning a multi-featured biological array relative to a signal acquisition device. According to the patent, detection of the array's positional deviation may be achieved by a calibration beam reflected from the array surface and detected by a position-sensitive detector, or PSD. The PSD-measured positional deviation can be transformed and used in a control loop to correct for positional variations of the array. The calibration beam and PSD may also be used to detect the array or feature boundaries, allowing lateral centering or positioning of the array relative to the signal acquisition device.


Affymetrix has received US Patent No. 7,871,812, "System, method, and product for scanning of biological materials." A scanning system is described that includes optical elements that direct an excitation beam at a probe array. The system also includes detectors that receive reflected intensity data responsive to the excitation beam, where the reflected intensity data is responsive to a focusing distance between an optical element and the probe array. A transport frame adjusts the focusing distance in a direction with respect to the probe array, and an auto-focuser is provided that determines a best plane of focus based upon characteristics of the reflected intensity data. According to the patent, pixel-intensity values are subsequently determined and an image generator associates each of the pixel intensity values with at least one image pixel position of a probe array based upon one or more position correction values.


Illumina has received US Patent No. 7,872,804, "Encoded particle having a grating with variations in the refractive index." The patent describes microparticles, where each particle forms an optical substrate with diffraction gratings. According to the patent, the gratings can form identification digital codes that are detected when illuminated by incident light. The patent adds that the incident light may be directed transversely from the side of the substrate with a narrow band or multiple wavelength source, in which case the code is represented by a spatial distribution of light or a wavelength spectrum, respectively. The resulting code from the microparticles may be digital binary or may be other numerical bases. The microparticles are functionalized by coating them with a material or substance of interest, which is then used to perform multiplexed experiments involving chemical processes, such as DNA testing and combinatorial chemistry.

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