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IP Update: California Institute of Technology; Fluidigm; Life Technologies; and More

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The California Institute of Technology has received US Patent No. 8,104,497, "Microfabricated elastomeric valve and pump systems." The elastomeric structure is fabricated by forming an elastomeric layer on top of a micromachined mold, where the micromachined mold includes a raised protrusion that forms a recess extending along a bottom surface of the layer. A second elastomeric layer is then formed on top of a second micromachined mold, where the second micromachined mold has a similar protrusion on the bottom surface of the layer. According to the patent, the surfaces of the layers are then bonded to create a control channel and a flow channel forms between the layers and the surface of a planar substrate.


The California Institute of Technology has also received US Patent No. 8,104,515, "Microfabricated elastomeric valve and pump systems." A method of fabricating an elastomeric structure, comprising: forming a first elastomeric layer on top of a first micromachined mold, the first micromachined mold having a first raised protrusion, which forms a first recess extending along a bottom surface of the first elastomeric layer; forming a second elastomeric layer on top of a second micromachined mold, the second micromachined mold having a second raised protrusion, which forms a second recess extending along a bottom surface of the second elastomeric layer; bonding the bottom surface of the second elastomeric layer onto a top surface of the first elastomeric layer such that a control channel forms in the second recess between the first and second elastomeric layers; and positioning the first elastomeric layer on top of a planar substrate such that a flow channel forms in the first recess between the first elastomeric layer and the planar substrate.


Fluidigm of South San Francisco, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,105,550, "Method and system for microfluidic device and imaging thereof." The device consists of a rigid substrate material that has a surface region capable of acting as a handle substrate. The substrate also has a deformable fluid layer coupled to the surface region. Well regions are formed in a portion of the deformable fluid layer and are capable of holding a fluid. The channel regions are formed in a second portion of the layer and are coupled to the well regions. An active region is also formed in the deformable fluid layer and at least three fiducial markings are formed within the non-active region and disposed in a spatial manner associated with at least one of the well regions, according to the patent.


Fluidigm has also received US Patent No. 8,105,824, "Integrated chip carriers with thermocycler interfaces and methods of using the same." Methods are provided for conducting a reaction at a selected temperature or range of temperatures over time. An array device is also provided that contains separate reaction chambers and is formed as an elastomeric block from multiple layers. The device may be contacted with the thermal control device so that a temperature of the reaction in at least one of the reaction chamber is changed as a result of a change in temperature of the thermal control source.


Life Technologies of Carlsbad, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,105,554, "Nanoliter array loading." An interface is provided for storing microfluidic samples in a nanoliter sample chip. A fluid access structure provides a fluid access region to a selected subset of sample wells from an array of sample wells. A fluid introduction mechanism introduces a sample fluid to the fluid access region so that the sample wells in the selected subset are populated with the sample fluid without the unselected sample wells being populated with the sample fluid.


Wako Pure Chemical Industries of Osaka, Japan, has received US Patent No. 8,105,770, "Method of detecting amplification or deletion in genomic DNA fragment." The described method includes labeling a cell-origin test genomic DNA fragment with a specified label, and labeling a control genomic fragment that serves as a standard for detecting a difference from the test genomic DNA fragment with the other label. The labeled test genomic DNA fragment and the labeled control genomic DNA fragment are then hybridized with a specimen nucleic acid containing a nucleic acid sequence for detecting the difference between the test genomic fragment and the control genomic fragment. An amplification or deletion in the test genomic DNA fragment is then detected by using the fluorescent intensities obtained as an indication.


The University of Edinburgh of Edinburgh, UK, has received US Patent No. 8,105,787, "Applications of nucleic acid fragments." A method of isolating fragments of nucleic acid according to the density of CpG dinucleotides and subsequent procedures for producing a microarray of these fragments are claimed. More specifically, the method includes obtaining a sample of nucleic acid from an organism; fragmenting the nucleic acid sample; contacting the fragments with a peptide that is capable of binding CpG dinucleotide pairs; separating unbound fragments from bound nucleic acid fragments; and detaching bound nucleic acid fragments from the peptide.


Affymetrix of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,105,821, "Silane mixtures." Silanation compositions are claimed containing a mixture of two or more silanation reagents, where at least one silanation reagent includes a functional group capable of supporting polymer synthesis, and at least one silanation reagent includes no functional group capable of supporting polymer synthesis, both of which are useful in modulating the active site density and hydrolytic stability of a surface. According to the inventors, these reagents are useful in silanating a surface prior to preparation of a polymer array and provide for increased hybridization results.


Bio-Rad Haifa of Haifa, Israel, has received US Patent No. 8,105,845, "System and method for carrying out multiple binding reactions in an array format." A method for determining kinetic parameters of binding between a first binding member and a second binding member is claimed. It includes adsorbing the first binding member to a surface at a number of microspots. The second binding member is then presented to the first binding member at each of the microspots. Data indicative of a binding reaction between the first of microspots are then obtained and analyzed so as to obtain one or more kinetic parameters of the binding between the first and second binding members.


The University of Texas at Austin has received US Patent No. 8,105,849, "Integration of fluids and reagents into self-contained cartridges containing sensor elements." The portable instrument may include a disposable cartridge, an optical detector, a sample collection device or sample reservoir, reagent delivery systems, fluid delivery systems, one or more channels, and waste reservoirs. The device is capable of obtaining diagnostic information using cellular- and particle-based analyses and may be used in conjunction with membrane- and particle-based analysis cartridges. Analytes, including proteins and cells and microbes may be detected using the membrane- and particle-based analysis system.


The University of Texas at Austin has also received US Patent No. 8,106,428, "Nano-scale bridge biosensors." The patent provides a nanotechnology-based electrical detection device, system, and method of assaying molecular level concentrations of nucleic acid sequences, including genes, and amino acid sequences with no external sample preparation or labeling or other chemical modification of the sample. The inventors believe the described biosensors can be used in forensics, early disease detection, disease progression monitoring, defensive biohazard detection, and legal and immigration issues.


Plexera of Woodinville, Wash., has received US Patent No. 8,107,082, "SPR apparatus with a high performance fluid delivery system." A method for operating a surface plasmon resonance test apparatus is claimed. It includes transmitting a first sequence of valve and pump control signals to a fluid delivery system coupled to a flow cell and a microarray; receiving images of the microarray; analyzing the images to determine if the array has degraded; and, if degradation has occurred, automatically transmitting a second sequence including at least one valve control signal and at least one pump control signal to pump a regeneration fluid through the flow cell and the microarray.


Iris Biotechnologies of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,107,693, "Artificial intelligence system for genetic analysis." A system is provided for the acquisition and analysis of nucleic acid array hybridization information. The system includes a central data processing facility and one or more user facilities, linked by encrypted connections. Each user facility may include an optical scanning system to collect hybridization signals from a nucleic acid array, an image processing system to convert the optical data into a set of hybridization parameters, a connection to a data network, and a user interface to display, manipulate, search, and analyze hybridization information. This system reads data from a nucleic acid microarray, analyzes test results, evaluates patient risk for various ailments, and recommends methods of treatment, according to the patent. The system can be used in conjunction with a clinical analysis system, and with the information obtained in a research and development environment.

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