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ProteoMonitor s IP Roundup: Recent Patents of Interest in Proteomics: Mar 5, 2004

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US Patent No. 6,691,046. Method and apparatus for identifying unknown compounds in complex chemical mixtures using mass spectrometry and mass differential analysis. Inventor: Andrew Tyler. Assignee: NeoGenesis Drug Discovery.

Covers a method and apparatus for identifying unknown molecular structures that have some relation to known structures, by measuring the masses of the unknown structures and then comparing them with the masses of the known structures. The mass differences are calculated and then correlated with expected values for structural modifications such as post-translational modifications or amino acid mutations of proteins.


US Patent No. 6,685,841. Nanostructure devices for separation and analysis. Inventors: Gabriel Lobez, Steven Brueck, Linnea Ista, Michael O’Brien, Stephen Hersee. Assignee: None.

Covers an array of nanostructures arranged in a gradient determined by physical properties such as size or chemical differentiation, in at least one or two dimensions. Also covers a method for forming the array, and covers a separation method using the array to separate biomolecules from a complex mixture according to the physical properties in the given gradients.


US Patent No. 6,696,248. Protein/(poly)peptide libraries. Inventors: Achim Knappik, Peter Pack, Liming Ge, Simon Moroney, Andreas Pluckthun. Assignee: Morphosys.

Covers synthetic DNA sequences that encode collections of homologous proteins or polypeptides, and methods for generating and applying libraries using these sequences. In particular, the invention covers the preparation of a library of genes encoding for antibodies that covers the structural repertoire of antibodies encoded in the human genome. The invention also relates to the use of a single consensus antibody gene as a universal framework for diverse antibody libraries.


US Patent No. 6,690,006. Method and apparatus for multiple electrospray sample introduction. Inventor: Gary Valaskovic. Assignee: New Objective.

Covers a method for combining the sample streams of several HPLC columns into a single inlet on a mass spectrometer by linking each column to a separate electrospray nozzle and then linking all of the nozzles to a single inlet. Each nozzle has an on/off switch so that when in the ‘off’ state, the nozzle is held at a voltage between the voltage of the mass spectrometer inlet and the electrospray threshold value for that nozzle.


US Patent No. 6,686,592. Mass spectrometer, mass spectrometry, and monitoring system. Inventors: Minoru Sakairi, Yuichiro Hashimoto, Masuyoshi Yamada, Masao Suga, Kyoko Kojima. Assignee: Hitachi.

Covers an ion source that uses a corona discharge for ionizing a sample at high efficiency. A high voltage is applied at the end of a needle electrode, opposing the direction of the sample introduction and the direction in which ions are drawn out of the corona discharge region to improve the efficiency of ionization and maintain stable discharge into a mass spec over time.


US Patent No. 6,685,811. Method for separation of macromolecules. Inventor: Ylva Laurin. Assignee: Amersham Biosciences.

Covers a method and system for the separation of macromolecules such as proteins or peptides. The method involves first subjecting a mixture of macromolecules to isoelectric focusing, then collecting the samples based on isoelectric point differences, transferring each sample to a channel, subjecting the samples contained in the channels to electrophoresis, and conducting the electrophoresis until macromolecules are eluted from the medium, then collecting fractions of the samples containing macromolecules.


US Patent No. 6,696,620. Immunoglobulin-binding protein arrays in eukaryotic cells. Inventors: Andrew Hiatt, Mich Hein. Assignee: Epicyte Pharmaceutical.

Covers arrays of immunoglobulin-binding proteins in plants or plant cells. The arrays comprise plants or plant cells transformed with polynucleotide sequences that encode for different immunoglobulin-binding proteins or polypeptide components. Each transformant in the array can express one or more immunoglobulin-binding proteins.


US Patent No. 6,689,568. Capture arrays using polypeptide capture agents. Inventor: Joel Myerson. Assignee: Agilent Technologies.

Covers an array of capture agents linked to a substrate that can detect the presence of a polypeptide in an analyte. Target molecules in an analyte bind to the capture agents in the array, and the target molecules are then labeled. The invention also covers kits that use the arrays.


US Patent No. 6,699,698. Biosensor arrays and methods. Inventors: Miki Yamazaki, Morrison Ulman, Luat Nguyen, Steven Boxer, John Groves. Assignee: Proteomic Systems.

Covers an array consisting of a surface with distinct bilayer-compatible regions separated by barrier regions. The bilayers contain receptors or biomolecules, covered by an aqueous phase. Also covers multiplexed assays that use the device and automated processes for constructing the device.


US Patent No. 6,699,664. Compositions and methods for the therapy and diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Inventors: Jennifer Mitcham, Gordon King, Paul Algate, Steven Fling, Marc Retter, Gary Fanger, Steven Reed, Thomas Vedvick, Darrick Carter. Assignee: Corixa.

Covers one or more ovarian carcinoma proteins, immunogenic portions, polynucleotides that encode them or antibodies to them; and the use of these for the therapy or diagnosis of cancer. The invention includes methods for identifying tumor antigens secreted from ovarian or other tumors.


US Patent No. 6,700,120. Method for improving signal-to-noise ratios for atmospheric pressure ionization mass spectrometry. Inventor: James Hager. Assignee: MDS.

Covers a method for improving the signal-to-noise ratio of an ion beam in a tandem mass spec by using two mass filters separated by a collision cell. The first filter sends only a narrow mass-to-charge range of stable ions to the collision cell for fragmentation of only the unwanted unstable ions with minimal fragmentation of the desired analyte ions. The second mass filter conducts simultaneous scans of the ions in the first filter and records only those that do not fragment. The result is that the desired ions are preferentially detected over background noise.


US Patent No. 6,700,119. Ion source for mass analyzer. Inventor: Roger Giles. Assignee: Thermo Finnigan (now Thermo Electron).

Covers an ion source for a mass spectrometer that includes an atmospheric pressure ionizer, an ion block with an orifice cone, and an inlet and outlet channel, with the outlet channel opening into an evacuation chamber that is pumped with a rotary vacuum pump. The reduced pressure in the ion block channels draws the droplets through, where they exit through an exit orifice cone into a mass analyzer region. A 90-degree angle that links the inlet and outlet channels causes turbulence that promotes desolution.


US Patent No. 6,700,116. Ion trap mass spectrometer. Inventor: Junichi Taniguchi. Assignee: Shimadzu.

Covers an ion trap mass spectrometer with an entrance gate electrode, an ion storing section, and an exit gate electrode between an ion supply source and an ion trap. When the ions accumulate near the exit side, the gate electrode opens, which releases pulsed ions into the trap. When the maximum number of ions are inside the trap, ring RF voltage is applied, allowing the maximum number of ions into the mass spec.


US Patent No. 6,700,117. Conditioning of an ion beam for injection into a time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Inventor: Jochen Franzen. Assignee: Bruker Daltonik.

Covers a method and device for reducing the phase space volume of ions in an ion beam so that optimum performance of a TOF mass spectrometer is achieved. The ions are decelerated through collisions with a damping gas in an RF ion guide system that guides them to the end of the system by active forward thrust, extracts them, and then forms an ion beam with a low phase space volume.