The US Patent and Trademark Office has awarded US Patent No. 6,426,190 to Carnegie Mellon University for a method of detecting differences between two or more protein samples, including post-translationally modified proteins. The patent, entitled “Difference detection methods using matched multiple dyes,“ specifically describes a technique for mixing two protein samples, each labeled with a distinct luminescent dye, and then separating the proteins using electrophoresis or chromatography. Proteins unique to one sample or in greater excess in one sample than the other will fluoresce according to their unique dye. The proteins common to both samples migrate together, causing the observed fluorescence to overlap.
Large Scale Biology has been awarded US Patent No. 6,438,259 covering aspects of an automated sytem for analyzing and handling the components of a 2D gel electrophoresis experiment. The patent, entitled “Computer-assisted methods and apparatus for identification and characterization of biomolecules,“ specifically covers a system for integrating gel-making machines, gel-processing machines, gel-handling procedures, sample preparation procedures, gel compositions and geometries, and software and methods.