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IP Roundup: May 10, 2011


Advanced Liquid Logic of Research Triangle Park, NC, and Duke University of Durham, NC, have received US Patent No. 7,939,021, "Droplet actuator analyzer with cartridge." A sample analyzer is provided that includes a sample analyzer, a cartridge, and a means of electrical interface or optical interface between the cartridge and the analyzer, where electrical signals or optical signals may be transmitted from the cartridge to the analyzer. According to the patent, the analyzer can be used in the analysis of blood chemistry, hematology, immuno-diagnostics, DNA-based assays, immunoassays, proteomics, DNA sequencing, and genomics.

NuGen Technologies of San Carlos, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,939,258, "Nucleic acid amplification procedure using RNA and DNA composite primers." Methods are claimed for the amplification of polynucleotide sequences using primers containing single-stranded RNA. The methods rely on an enzyme capable of cleaving single-stranded RNA, such as RNase I, to degrade a first RNA-containing primer prior to addition of a second RNA-containing primer. Kits for practicing the amplification methods, as well as methods that use the amplification products, are also claimed.

Stanford University of Palo Alto, Calif., has received US Patent No. 7,939,338, "Magnetic sensor array having an analog frequency-division multiplexed output." A sensor for sensing a magnetically tagged sample is described. The sensor includes two or more sensor subassemblies, each of which includes a magnetoresistive sensor providing an analog sensor signal responsive to the sample and an analog mixer receiving the signal and providing an analog frequency shifted signal, where each of the analog mixers provides a distinct frequency shift. The sensor also includes an output summing junction that provides a combined output signal proportional to a sum of the analog frequency shifted signals. Samples capable of being analyzed by the analyzer include oligomers, DNA, RNA, proteins, peptides, antibodies, antigens, lipids, and viruses, according to the patent.

Schott of Mainz, Germany, has received US Patent No. 7,939,339, "Arrangement for fluorescence amplification." The arrangement includes a substrate, a fluorescence amplifier coating applied to the substrate, and a thin fluorescent material that lies on the coating and emits light with a specific emission wavelength when it is exposed to excitation light of another specified excitation wavelength. The fluorescence amplifier coating includes an interference layer system of high-index and low-index dielectric layers, which reflects the excitation light. According to the patent, the fluorescent material applied to the coating is arranged on the surface of the coating in the region of the maximum electric field amplitude of the excited wavelengths.

Corning of Corning, NY, has received US Patent No. 7,939,341, "Membrane arrays and methods of manufacture." G protein-coupled receptor microarrays are described for the structural or functional analyses of GPCRs. Methods of preparing porous substrate surfaces for receiving membranes that include GPCRs are also claimed. In one embodiment, a GPCR microarray includes a membrane adhered to an upper surface of a porous substrate, where the membrane spans the pores on the substrate to form cavities having sufficient geometry to permit entry of assay reagents into each cavity, allowing access of assay reagents to both sides of GPCRs in the membrane.

BioArray Solutions of Warren, NJ, now part of Immucor, has received US Patent No. 7,940,968, "Analysis, secure access to, and transmission of array images." Methods for autocentering, autofocusing, acquiring, decoding, aligning, analyzing and exchanging array images are described. According to the patent, the arrays imaged are of signals associated with ligand-receptor interactions, where a multitude of receptors are associated with microparticles or microbeads. The beads are encoded to indicate the identity of the receptor attached, and an assay image and a decoding image are aligned to effect the decoding. The images or data extracted from such images can be exchanged between de-centralized assay locations and a centralized location where the data are analyzed to indicate assay results, according to the patent. Additionally, access to data can be restricted to authorized parties in possession of certain coding information in order to preserve confidentiality.

NanoString Technologies of Seattle, Wash., has received US Patent No. 7,941,279, "Systems and methods for analyzing nanoreporters." A system for detecting the presence of a probe within a sample overlaid on a substrate is provided. According to the patent, the probe includes a number of spatially arranged labels. The system includes a number of modules. A data storage module stores light images, where each light image has light from the sample at a corresponding wavelength range in a number of different wavelength ranges. A label identification module identifies labels in the light images that are proximate to each other on the substrate. A spatial order of the labels determines a string sequence of the labels. A probe identification module determines whether the string sequence of the labels is a valid reporter sequence.