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IP Update: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Amplification, and Sample Prep: Apr 14, 2010

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Samsung Electronics has been awarded US Patent No. 7,695,678, "Method of isolating nucleic acid using material positively charged at first pH and containing amino group and carboxyl group."

Kyu-youn Hwang, Joon-ho Kim, Chang-eun Yoo, Hun-joo Lee, Hee-kyun Lim, Sung-yung Jeong, and Jeo-young Shim are listed as inventors on the patent.

The patent describes a method of isolating nucleic acid from a sample. The method includes contacting the sample with a bifunctional material that contains an amino group and a carboxyl group and is positively charged at a first pH to allow binding of the nucleic acid to the bifunctional material; and extracting the nucleic acid from the complex at a second pH higher than the first pH.


Samsung Electronics has also been awarded US Patent No. 7,698,072, "Method for quantifying initial concentration of nucleic acid from real-time nucleic acid amplification data."

Kak Namkoong, Jin-tae Kim, Young-sun Lee, and Young-a Kim are listed as inventors on the patent.

The patent provides a method for quantifying an initial concentration of a nucleic acid from real-time nucleic acid amplification data. Nucleic acid extracted from an organism or virus is amplified using an enzyme. Then, the initial concentration of the nucleic acid is found by calculating the characteristic amplification cycle number or the characteristic amplification time at which the fluorescence intensity of the nucleic acid subtracted by the background fluorescence intensity of the nucleic acid has half of its maximum value; or, the characteristic amplification cycle number or the characteristic amplification time at which the amplification efficiency has the maximum or the minimum value; or, the prior-to-amplification fluorescence intensity of the nucleic acid subtracted by the background fluorescence intensity of the nucleic acid. Accordingly, the initial concentration of the nucleic acid can be calculated without differentiation or integration.


The University of Utah has been awarded US Patent No. 7,695,904, "Reducing non-target nucleic acid dependent amplifications: amplifying repetitive nucleic acid sequences."

Richard Cawthon is the sole inventor listed on the patent.

The patent provides compositions and methods for amplifying target nucleic acids using nucleic acid primers designed to limit non-target nucleic acid-dependent priming events. The invention permits amplifying and quantitating the number of repetitive units in a repetitive region, such as the number of telomere repetitive units.


The United States Navy has been awarded US Patent No. 7,695,941, "Multiplexed polymerase chain reaction for genetic sequence analysis."

Baochuan Lin, Kate Blaney, Anthony Malanoski, Joel Schnur, and David Stenger are listed as inventors on the patent.

The patent describes a PCR method involving: providing a biological sample suspected of containing one or more pathogen nucleic acids; adding a plurality of PCR primers corresponding to genes found in the pathogens; and performing a polymerase chain reaction on the sample to amplify a subset of the nucleic acids that correspond to the genes. The primers include at least one primer pair for each pathogen, and the primers contain a tail sequence that is not homologous to any pathogen DNA or to any background DNA in the sample. The concentration of at least one primer in the polymerase chain reaction is no more than about 100 nM.


Nanosphere has been awarded US Patent No. 7,695,592, "Disposable sample processing module for detecting nucleic acids."

Tim Patno and Tome Westberg are listed as inventors on the patent.

The patent describes a disposable module for processing DNA or RNA samples. The module includes a hybridization chamber adapted to receive an oligonucleotide covalently bonded to an internal surface of the chamber, and a sample well adapted to hold a DNA or RNA sample, with the sample well being coupled to the hybridization chamber.

The module also includes a moveable valve plate disposed between the sample well and hybridization chamber, with the moveable valve plate having a first position that allows transfer of the DNA or RNA sample from the well to the chamber; a second position that blocks transfer to the chamber; and a manifold adapted to exchange fluids with the hybridization chamber to hybridize the DNA or RNA sample with the oligonucleotide, and to wash and amplify the hybridized sample.


Gen-Probe has been awarded US Patent No. 7,696,337, "Composition kits and methods for performing amplification reactions."

Michael Becker, Steven Brentano, Daniel Kolk, Wai-Chung Lam, Kristin Livezey, Norman Nelson, Astrid Schroder, and Gary Schroth are listed as inventors on the patent.

According to its abstract, the patent is directed to methods of synthesizing multiple copies of a target nucleic acid sequence that are autocatalytic (i.e., able to cycle automatically without the need to modify reaction conditions such as temperature, pH, or ionic strength, and using the product of one cycle in the next one).

In particular, the patent discloses a method of amplifying nucleic acids that is robust and efficient, and reduces the appearance of side products, the appearance of which can complicate the analysis of the amplification reaction by various molecular detection techniques. Specifically, this method uses only one primer, the priming oligonucleotide; a 3' blocked promoter oligonucleotide; and, optionally, a means for terminating a primer extension reaction to amplify RNA or DNA molecules in vitro while reducing or eliminating the formation of side products, thereby providing an enhanced level of sensitivity.


Hitachi Software Engineering has been awarded US Patent No. 7,698,069, "Method for designing primer for real-time PCR."

Takamune Yamamoto is the sole inventor listed on the patent.

The patent describes a method for designing a primer for real-time PCR. The method comprises retrieving a primer set using a known primer search algorithm and, based on primer design conditions, visually displaying the retrieved primer set together with its splicing information and base sequence; narrowing the primer set using narrowing conditions; and visually displaying a narrowed primer set together with its splicing information and base sequence.

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