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IP Watch: Qiagen, Bio-Rad, Eppendorf, Enzo, Fluidigm, Life Tech, and More Win US Patents

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Qiagen has been awarded US Patent No. 8,247,545, "Device and a process for the isolation of nucleic acids."

Metin Colpan is named as inventor on the patent.

Describes a process for isolating and purifying nucleic acids such as plasmid or genomic DNA from cells or other sources. The process comprises the following steps: (1) the cells containing nucleic acids are digested and cell debris is removed, or other samples containing nucleic acids are treated with anion exchangers, namely, in buffer solutions of low ionic strength; (2) thereafter, the nucleic acids are desorbed from the anion exchanger using a buffer of high ionic strength, in order to be subsequently (3) treated in said buffer of high ionic strength or in the presence of lower alcohols and/or poly(ethylene glycol) with a mineral support material, with adsorption of the nucleic acid to the surface of the mineral support materials; whereupon (4) desorption of the nucleic acid is effected using water or a buffer solution of low ionic strength. The device for operating the process consists of a hollow body with an inlet opening and an outlet opening, such that within the hollow body, between two securing means, a powdered first material based on silica gel is arranged, and a second material is placed between the first material and the outlet opening, the first and second materials having different adsorption characteristics for nucleic acids.


Bio-Rad Laboratories has been awarded US Patent No. 8,247,217, "Thermal cycler with self-adjusting lid."

Jeffry Ceremony, Daniel Chu, Deepak Doshi, Rhoel Rumbaoa, Dennis Loring, Paul Patt, and Cliff Baldwin are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a thermal cycling instrument for PCR and other reactions performed on multiple samples with temperature changes between sequential stages in the reaction procedure. More specifically describes a thermal block that provides rapid changes and close control over the temperature in each sample vessel; and a pressure plate incorporated into a motorized lid that detects anomalies in the reaction vessels or in their positioning over the thermal block, and automatically adjusts the plate position to achieve an even force distribution over the sample vessels.


Eppendorf Array Technologies has been awarded US Patent No. 8,247,196, "Real-time PCR of targets on a microarray."

Jose Remacle, Isabelle Alexandre, Sylvain Margaine, and Dieter Husar are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to a method and apparatus for monitoring on a microarray a PCR amplification of a nucleotide molecule present in a solution. The method includes the steps of: (1) providing a support having fixed upon its surface a microarray having at least a capture molecule immobilized in specifically localized areas of the support and a reaction chamber; (2) introducing a solution containing the nucleotide molecule into the reaction chamber and reagents for nucleotide molecule amplification and labeling; (3) submitting the solution to at least two thermal cycles having at least two and preferably three different temperature steps in order to obtain labeled target nucleotide molecules by PCR amplification; (4) performing at least a measurement of the labeled target nucleotide molecule in at least one thermal cycle by incubating it under conditions that allow it to specifically bind with its corresponding capture molecule, and measuring the light emission from the bound labeled target nucleotide molecule in response to excitation light with the solution present in the chamber and containing the labeled target nucleotide molecule. The surface of emission for a localized area is between about 0.1 µm2 and about 75 mm 2. The method further includes processing the data obtained in at least one thermal cycle in order to detect and/or quantify the amount of nucleotide molecule present in the solution before the amplification.


Enzo Life Sciences has been awarded US Patent No. 8,247,179, "Processes for quantitative or qualitative detection of single-stranded nucleic acids."

Elazar Rabbani, Jannis Stavrianopoulos, James Donegan, Jack Coleman, and Dakai Liu are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides compositions for use in real-time nucleic acid detection processes. Such real-time nucleic acid detection processes are carried out with energy transfer elements attached to nucleic acid primers, nucleotides, nucleic acid probes, or nucleic acid binding agents. Real-time nucleic acid detection allows for the qualitative or quantitative detection or determination of single-stranded or double-stranded nucleic acids of interest in a sample. The invention also provides processes such as those for removing a portion of a homopolymeric sequence, e.g., poly A sequence or tail, from an analyte or library of analytes. The patent also provides compositions useful for carrying out such removal processes.


Fluidigm has been awarded US Patent No. 8,247,178, "Thermal reaction device and method for using the same."

Lincoln McBride, Geoffrey Facer, Marc Unger, Michael Lucero, and Hany Nassef are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a matrix microfluidic device for performing a matrix of reactions. The device has a plurality of reaction cells in communication with one of either a sample inlet or a reagent inlet through a via formed within an elastomeric block of the device. The patent provides methods including a method for forming vias in parallel in an elastomeric layer of an elastomeric block of a microfluidic device, the method comprising using patterned photoresist masks and etching reagents to etch away regions or portions of an elastomeric layer of the elastomeric block.


The University of Leicester has been awarded US Patent No. 8,247,172, "High multiplex nucleic acid amplification."

Anthony Brookes is named as inventor on the patent.

Relates to the amplification of multiple nucleic acid target sequences. Forward and reverse compound primers comprising a common amplification sequence and a target-specific primer sequence are immobilized at a site on a solid support. Target regions of single-stranded template DNA are primed and copied by the forward primer to produce a first extension product. The template DNA is removed and the first extension product is primed and copied by the reverse primer to produce a second extension product. The second extension product has common amplification sequences at each end and is bulk-amplified in solution by regular PCR employing primers that target the common amplification sequences. These methods allow highly multiplexed amplifications to be performed.


Abacus Diagnostica of Finland has been awarded US Patent No. 8,247,171, "Method for detection of presence of target polynucleotide in samples."

Jussi Nurmi, Anniina Syrjala, Piia Von Lode, and Virve Hagren are named as inventors on the patent.

Describes a method for detecting the presence of a target polynucleotide in a sample. The method includes providing a mixture of the sample and target-binding agent and measuring a signal from the mixture, where the target-binding agent is capable of assuming a first position; where the target-binding agent is not bound to the target polynucleotide and a second position where the target-binding agent is bound to the target polynucleotide; and where the intensity of the signal depends on the proportion of target-binding agent in the first and second positions. The method is suitable for detecting a PCR product using a homogeneous detection method.


Applied Biosystems (Life Technologies) has been awarded US Patent No. 8,247,221, "Sample block apparatus and method for maintaining a microcard on sample block."

Adrian Fawcett is named as inventor on the patent.

Describes a thermal cycling device for thermally cycling samples of biological material contained in a microcard having a top and bottom surface. The device can include a sample block having an upper surface configured for engaging the bottom surface of a microcard, a vacuum device, and a temperature control system operatively connected with the sample block. The upper surface of the sample block may include a plurality of channels, the channels defining spaces between the sample block and the bottom surface of a microcard that may be positioned thereon. The vacuum device may be in fluid communication with the sample block for drawing gas out of the spaces defined by the channels in the sample block. The vacuum device may be configured for substantially maintaining a vacuum between the sample block and microcard so that a retention force is imparted on the microcard to urge it toward the sample block. The patent also provides methods of maintaining a microcard on a sample block of a thermal cycling device.

Applied Biosystems has also been awarded US Patent No. 8,246,243, "Thermal cycler for PCR."

John Atwood, Adrian Fawcett, Keith Ferrara, Paul Hetherington, Richard Noreiks, Douglas Olsen, John Widomski, and Charles Wittmer are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides an instrument for performing highly accurate PCR that employs an assembly, a heated cover, and an internal computer. The assembly is made up of a sample block, a number of Peltier thermal electric devices, and a heat sink, clamped together. A control algorithm manipulates the current supplied to thermoelectric coolers such that the dynamic thermal performance of a block can be controlled and pre-defined thermal profiles of sample temperature can be executed. The sample temperature is calculated instead of measured using a design-specific model and equations. The control software includes calibration diagnostics that permit for the compensation of variation in the performance of thermoelectric coolers from instrument to instrument such that all instruments perform identically. The block/heat sink assembly can be changed to another of the same or different design. The assembly carries the necessary information required to characterize its own performance in an on-board memory device, allowing the assembly to be interchangeable among instruments while retaining its precision operating characteristics.

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