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PositiveID Wins WIPO Patent Covering Microfluidic Sample Prep Tech

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PositiveID said today that it has been awarded an international patent by the World Intellectual Property Organization covering its microfluidic nucleic acid sample prep technology.

The new patent, WO/2006/029387, entitled "A handheld and portable microfluidic device to automatically prepare nucleic acids for analysis," covers rapid, automated, and portable sample preparation of nucleic acids.

More specifically, it covers a handheld and portable extraction tool comprising a syringe-like device coupled to a nucleic acid purification chip. The purification chip is included within a chip block, which is removable from the remaining portion of the handheld and portable extraction device. The analyte collected within the purification chip can be later removed and analyzed.

The technology can be used to quickly purify a patient or environmental nucleic acid sample for subsequent analysis on commercial PCR instruments to detect pathogens in both the field and clinical environments, PositiveID said.

The IP is assigned to Microfluidic Systems, which applied for the patent in September 2005 and is in the process of being acquired by PositiveID in a deal worth up to $8.2 million (PCR Insider, 5/19/2011).

"This new patent is an important addition to our repertoire of technologies aimed at automating biological sample preparation and analysis, and in particular extending it into field and clinical-based scenarios," Allen Northrup, CEO of Microfluidic Systems, said in a statement. "We expect to see this technology, as well as the many other patents held by the company, integrated into new diagnostic products."

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