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IP Roundup: Matrix Sensors, Geneasys, Tufts, Affymetrix, LLNL, U of California, Ventana Medical Systems


Matrix Sensors of Pleasanton, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,424,370, "Liquid analysis using capacitative micromachined ultrasound transducers." The method includes applying a liquid to a device hosting a number of sensors, drying the sensors, and electronically detecting an agent bound to each of the sensors. According to the patent, the electrical circuit provides a sensor output responsive to a mechanical resonance frequency of the sensor, where the mechanical resonance frequency of the sensor is responsive to the binding of an agent to the functionalized membrane, and is capable of determining the mass of the agent bound to each of the sensors.

Geneasys of Rozelle, Australia, has received US Patent No. 8,425,845, "Genetic analysis LOC with hybridization array with calibration chamber containing probe that lacks a reporter." The patent describes a microfluidic device that consists of a supporting substrate, an inlet for receiving a biological sample containing target nucleic acid sequences, hybridization chambers containing probes that each have a nucleic acid sequence for hybridization with the target nucleic acid sequences to form probe-target hybrids, a fluorophore, and a quencher. According to the patent, the quencher is configured such that the fluorophore emits a fluorescence signal in response to an excitation light and the quencher quenches the fluorescence signal when the probe is not hybridized, but fails to quench the fluorescence signal from the probe-target hybrid.

Tufts University of Medford, Mass., has received US Patent No. 8,426,217, "Self-encoding sensor with microspheres." The patent describes a planar array consisting of at least 20,000 redundant sensor elements. The array is contacted with an analyte that binds to the redundant sensor elements producing optical and non-optical signals, which are then detected and analyzed together to determine the presence of the analyte.

Affymetrix of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,426,578, "Multiplex branched-chain DNA assays." Methods of detecting two or more nucleic acids in a multiplex branched-chain DNA assay are provided. Different nucleic acids are captured through cooperative hybridization events on different, identifiable subsets of particles or at different selected positions on a spatially addressable solid support. Compositions, kits, and systems related to the methods are also described.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory of Livermore, Calif., and the University of California of Oakland have received US Patent No. 8,428,398, "Hand-held portable microarray reader for biodetection." The hand-held reader includes a high-powered light-emitting diode that emits excitation light, an excitation filter positioned to receive the excitation light, a slide, a slide holder assembly for positioning the slide to receive the excitation light from the excitation filter, an emission filter positioned to receive the excitation light from the slide, a lens positioned to receive the excitation light from the emission filter, and a CCD camera positioned to receive the excitation light from the lens.

Ventana Medical Systems of Tucson, Ariz., now part of Roche, has received US Patent No. 8,428,887, "Method for automated processing of digital images of tissue micro-arrays (TMA)." The provided methods enable users to automatically analyze a digital image of a TMA with multiple TMA cores created using a needle to biopsy or other techniques. The automated analysis allows a medical conclusion such as a medical diagnosis or medical prognosis to be automatically determined. According to the patent, the method provides automatic TMA core gridding and automated TMA core boundary detection, including detection of overlapping or touching TMA cores on a grid.

The Scan

Dropped Charges

The US Justice Department has dropped visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More Kids

The Associated Press says Moderna is expanding its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study to included additional children and may include even younger children.

PNAS Papers on Rat Clues to Human Migration, Thyroid Cancer, PolyG-DS

In PNAS this week: ancient rat genome analysis gives hints to human migrations, WDR77 gene mutations in thyroid cancer, and more.

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.