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IP Watch: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Nucleic Acid Amplification, and Sample Prep: May 17, 2011

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Applied Biosystems (Life Technologies) has been awarded US Patent No. 7,943,752, "Modified oligonucleotides and applications thereof."

Khairuzzaman Mullah, Zhaochun Ma, and Wanli Bi are named as inventors on the patent.

The patent discloses, among other things, primers containing certain modified nucleobases in their 3' terminal region that provide reduced formation of primer-dimers during amplification reactions, and various methods of use thereof.


Samsung Electronics has been awarded US Patent No. 7,943,348, "Method and apparatus for amplifying nucleic acids."

Yoon-kyoung Cho, Joon-ho Kim, Kak Namkoong, Geun-bae Lim, and Jun-hing Min are named as inventors on the patent.

The method described in the patent includes introducing into a reaction vessel via different inlet channels an aqueous solution containing reactants for nucleic acid amplification and a fluid that is phase-separated from the reactant aqueous solution and does not participate in the amplification reaction. Contacting the reactant aqueous solution with the fluid in the reaction vessel creates a plurality of reactant aqueous solution droplets surrounded by the fluid for amplifying the nucleic acids. The apparatus described in the patent includes a substrate; a reaction vessel formed inside of the substrate; at least one first inlet channel that is formed inside the substrate, connected to an end of the reaction vessel, and allows introduction of the reactant aqueous solution into the reaction vessel; a second inlet channel that is formed inside the substrate, connected to the end of the reaction vessel, and allows introduction of fluid that is phase-separated from the reactant aqueous solution; and a heating unit installed on the substrate in such a way to thermally contact and heat the substrate.


Hitachi High Technologies has been awarded US Patent No. 7,943,347, "Nucleic acid amplification method."

Chihiro Uematsu, Yukie Nakashima, and Toshiyuki Hatano are named as inventors on the patent.

Provides a simple and highly sensitive nucleic acid amplification method that involves hybridizing two types of oligonucleotide probes with a target gene; ligating the oligonucleotide probes with DNA ligase; and amplifying the resultant single-stranded oligonucleotide in accordance with loop-mediated isothermal amplification.


GeneOhm Sciences Canada (Becton Dickinson) has been awarded US Patent No. 7,943,346, "Probe and primers for detection of bacterial pathogens and antibiotic resistance genes."

Michel Bergeron, Marc Ouellette, and Paul Roy are named as inventors on the patent.

Relates to methods for universal bacterial detection, for specific detection of common bacterial pathogens, and for specific detection of commonly encountered and clinically relevant bacterial antibiotic resistance genes directly from clinical specimens or, alternatively, from a bacterial colony. The core of the invention consists primarily of the DNA sequences from all species-specific genomic DNA fragments selected by hybridization from genomic libraries or, alternatively, selected from data banks; as well as any oligonucleotide sequences derived from these sequences that can be used as probes or amplification primers for PCR or any other nucleic acid amplification methods. The invention also includes DNA sequences from the selected clinically relevant antibiotic resistance genes. The patent also describes diagnostic kits comprising such primers and probes.


Canon US Life Sciences has been awarded US Patent No. 7,943,320, "Unsymmetrical cyanine dyes for high-resolution nucleic acid melting analysis."

Weidong Cao is named as inventor on the patent.

Relates to novel unsymmetrical cyanine dyes and to methods of performing nucleic acid analysis in the presence of such dyes. More specifically, the dyes have high affinity to double-stranded nucleic acids and do not inhibit amplification reactions, particularly the polymerase chain reaction.


Gen-Probe has been awarded US Patent No. 7,941,904, "Method and apparatus for stripping a contact-limiting element from a pipette probe."

Robert Smith is named as inventor on the patent.

Describes an automated analyzer for performing multiple diagnostic assays simultaneously. The analyzer includes multiple stations, or modules, in which discrete aspects of the assay are performed on fluid samples contained in reaction receptacles. The patent also discloses a method for performing an automated diagnostic assay, which includes an automated process for isolating and amplifying a target analyte. The process is performed by automatically moving each of a plurality of reaction receptacles containing a solid support material and a fluid sample between stations for incubating the contents of the reaction receptacle and for separating the target analyte bound to the solid support from the fluid sample. An amplification reagent is added to the separated analyte after the analyte-separation step and before a final incubation step.

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