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IP Update: Recent Patents Awarded to the University of Pennsylvania; Intel; Affymetrix; and More


Shin-Etsu Chemical of Tokyo has received US Patent No. 8,053,179, "Method for manufacturing substrate for making microarray." The method includes the steps of: forming a resist film on a substrate using a chemically amplified, positive resist composition using a copolymer; patterning molecules in the resist film; forming a monomolecular film consisting of a silicon oxide chain on the substrate; and then removing the resist film.

The University of Pennsylvania has received US Patent No. 8,053,182, "Predictors of transplant rejection determined by peripheral blood gene-expression profiling." The method includes using a microarray to determine a first gene-expression profile in a blood sample taken from a human subject, where the first gene-expression profile includes the nucleic acid expression level of the ubiquinol-cytochrome c reductase binding protein, UQCRB, gene. The first gene-expression profile is then compared to a second gene-expression profile, where the second gene-expression profile includes the nucleic acid expression level of the UQCRB gene derived from blood samples collected from a human cardiac transplant population that does not have cardiac transplant tissue rejection. A statistically significant increase in UQCRB gene expression in the first gene-expression profile compared to the second gene-expression profile is indicative of cardiac transplant tissue rejection in the human subject, according to the inventors.

Oncotherapy Science of Kanagawa, Japan, has received US Patent No. 8,053,183, "Method of diagnosing esophageal cancer." The inventors constructed a cDNA microarray consisting of 32,256 genes to analyze the expression profiles of 19 esophageal squamous-cell carcinomas purified by laser-capture microdissection. They claim to have identified genes that are useful in the development of therapeutic drugs, as well as tumor markers associated with lymph-node metastasis and post-surgery recurrence.

Stanford University of Palo Alto, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,053,185, "Apparatus and methods for parallel processing of micro-volume liquid reactions." The patent claims methods for conducting multiple micro-volume chemical and biochemical reactions in an array format. 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.

The University of Michigan of Ann Arbor has received US Patent No. 8,053,187, "Linkers and co-coupling agents for optimization of oligonucleotide synthesis and purification on solid supports." The method relies on linker molecules attached to a solid surface and co-coupling agents that have similar reactivities to the coupling compounds with the surface functional groups. The linker molecules provide an increased density of polymers and more resistance to cleavage from the support surface, according to the inventors. They claim the method is useful for the synthesis of oligonucleotides, oligonucleotides microarrays, peptides, and peptide microarrays.

Kazuo Shinya and Tohru Natsume, both of Tokyo, and Takayuki Doi of Yokohama, Japan, have received US Patent No. 8,053,194, "Labeling substance and chimeric substance and method for preparing the same and method for capturing, structurally analyzing and/or identifying biological substance by means of the labeling substance." The claimed labeling substance is capable of reversibly immobilizing to a solid surface and identifying a target biological substance interacting with a probe substance bound to the labeling substance. In addition, methods for preparing the labeling substance and a method for capturing, structurally analyzing, and identifying the biological substance using the labeling substance are provided.

Intel of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,053,774, "Method and apparatus to fabricate polymer arrays on patterned wafers using electrochemical synthesis." The patent describes a wafer containing arrays, where each array consists of an electrode to generate a deprotecting reagent, a working electrode to electrochemically synthesize a material, a confinement electrode adjacent to the working electrode to confine reactive reagents, and a pad, where the pads on the chip are interconnected to electrochemically synthesize the material in parallel. A method for wafer-scale manufacturing of arrays and a method for electrochemically synthesizing a material in parallel on a wafer are also described.

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute of Daejeon, Korea, has received US Patent No. 8,053,201, "Microfluidic control chip and method of detecting protein using the same." The claimed chip has a filter to which anti-immunoglobulin antibodies, which are bound to endogenous antibodies in blood to remove the endogenous antibodies, are immobilized. It also contains a first reaction section to which detection antibodies immobilized to fluorescent nanoparticles are adsorbed, as well as a second reaction and detection section that includes features that capture the antibodies, bind the proteins that are bound to the detection antibodies introduced from the first reaction section, and detect a concentration of the proteins based on an intensity of fluorescent light.

Affymetrix of Santa Clara, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,055,098, "System, method, and product for imaging probe arrays with small feature sizes." A method for resolving features on a probe array is described. It includes acquiring micro-shifted images of a region of a probe array; reconstructing an image of the probe array using the micro-shifted images; and deriving intensity values for one or more probe features disposed on the probe array from the reconstructed image.

The Scan

Wolf Howl Responses Offer Look at Vocal Behavior-Related Selection in Dogs

In dozens of domestic dogs listening to wolf vocalizations, researchers in Communication Biology see responses varying with age, sex, reproductive status, and a breed's evolutionary distance from wolves.

Facial Imaging-Based Genetic Diagnoses Appears to Get Boost With Three-Dimensional Approach

With data for more than 1,900 individuals affected by a range of genetic conditions, researchers compared facial phenotype-based diagnoses informed by 2D or 3D images in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Survey Suggests Multigene Cancer Panel VUS Reporting May Vary Across Genetic Counselors

Investigators surveyed dozens of genetic counselors working in clinical or laboratory settings, uncovering attitudes around VUS reporting after multigene cancer panel testing in the Journal of Genetic Counseling.

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.