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IP Update: Recent Patents Related to PCR, Sample Prep, and Nucleic Acid Amplification: Jan 21, 2010

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US Patent 7,648,838. Cell lysis method by immobilized metal-ligand complex. Inventors: Chang-eun Yoo; Joon-ho Kim; Kyu-youn Hwang; Hun-joo Lee; Hee-kyun Lim; Soo-min Ma; Nam Huh; Soo-suk Lee. Assignee: Samsung Electronics.

Describes a lysis method for cells or viruses that includes first immobilizing a metal-ligand complex on a solid support and then mixing the complex immobilized on the support with a cell or virus solution. By immobilizing a chemical on a solid support to perform cell lysis, "the dilution problem according to the addition of a cell lysis solution can be resolved and a separate process of removing the chemical is not required so as to reduce the steps upon [lab-on-chip] implementation," the patent abstract states. The cell lysis method described "can maintain the volume of a cell solution by dilution upon cell lysis and perform directly PCR without a removal process of a cell lysis substance after cell lysis," the abstract states.


US Patent 7,648,835. System and method for heating, cooling and heat cycling on microfluidic device. Inventors: Wayne Breidford; Christy Lancaster; Jon Hayenga; Ronald Bardell; Jeffrey Tonn; Bernhard Weigl. Assignee: Micronics.

Protects an integrated heat-exchange system on a microfluidic card. The portable microfluidic card has a heating, cooling, and heat cycling system on board so that it can be used in a portable device, according to the patent abstract. The microfluidic card includes one or more reservoirs containing exothermic or endothermic material. Once the chemical process of the reservoir material is activated, the reservoir provides heat or cooling to specific locations of the microfluidic card. Multiple reservoirs may be included on a single card to provide varying temperatures. "The assay chemicals can be moved to the various reservoirs to create a thermal cycle useful in many biological reactions, for example, PCR or rtPCR," the abstract states.


US Patent 7,648,708. Streptococcus pneumoniae proteins and nucleic acid molecules. Inventors: Christophe Francois Guy Gilbert; Philip Michael Hansbro. Assignee: Sanofi Pasteur Limited.

Covers protein antigens from Streptococcus pneumoniae, together with nucleic acid sequences encoding them. The patent notes that the sequence data provided "can be used to design two primers for use in PCR so that a desired sequence, including whole genes or fragments thereof, can be targeted and then amplified to a high degree."


US Patent 7,648,680. Method for accessing the contents of a closed vessel containing a specimen retrieval device. Inventors: Bruce Anderson; Nick Carter; Mordi Iheme; Daniel Kacian; Assignee: Gen-Probe.

Protects a method for obtaining a fluid sample from a collection device that includes an assembling cap a fluid-holding vessel that are used to contain and isolate a specimen retrieval device. "The position of the specimen retrieval device within the collection device is such that the specimen retrieval device does not substantially interfere with the movement of a fluid transfer device into or out of the assembled collection device," the abstract states. The fluid transfer device is used to draw and remove a fluid substance from the collection device for analysis. According to the patent claims, the vessel contains a nucleic acid analyte that is amplified via PCR.

The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.