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ProteoMonitor s IP Roundup: Recent Patents of Interest in Proteomics: Aug 18, 2003


US Patent No. 6,602,661. Methods and arrays for detecting biomolecules. Inventors: Vladimir Knezevic, Michael Emmert-Buck. Assignee: 20/20 GeneSystems.

Covers a device and method for creating exact copies of biomolecules from a tissue or other two-dimensional sample, and then probing for the biomolecules with antibodies or DNA.

The copies are made by applying thin membranes to the sample, eluting the biomolecules, and then transferring them onto stacking membranes. Each membrane can display a different combination of proteins, such that one layer might contain only proteins for apoptosis and another layer might contain only enzymes involved in cell division. Proteins and nucleic acids can also be used as probes in parallel on different membranes.

The user would also receive a kit of membranes and probes.

US Patent No. 6,596,988. Separation media, multiple electrospray nozzle system and method. Inventors: Thomas Corso, Gary Schultz, Simon Prosser, Xian Huang. Assignee: Advion BioSciences.

Covers a device and system that increases the sensitivity of microchip electrospray. A silicon chip with a separation material such as a polymer monolith is used to conduct 2D chromatographic separation integrated with the generation of multiple electrospray plumes from the same sample.

The method can be performed to generate multiple electrospray plumes of fluid from each spray unit, to generate a single combined electrospray plume of fluid from a plurality of spray units, and to generate multiple electrospray plumes of fluid from a plurality of spray units. The multiple plumes provide a higher ion inten-sity that can then be sent into a mass spectrometer for analyte analysis.

US Patent No. 6,603,118. Acoustic sample introduction for mass spectrometric analysis. Inventors: Richard Ellson, Mitchell Mutz. Assignee: Picoliter.

Covers a method for efficient transport of a small fluid sample containing analytes such as peptides to a device such as a mass spectrometer through nozzleless acoustic ejection. Acoustic radiation is directly focused on a point near the surface of the fluid sample, causing the analyte molecules contained therein to be ejected into an ionization chamber or small capillary. This allows for ease of transfer with high-molecular weight analytes.

US Patent No. 6,600,155. Mass spectrometry from surfaces. Inventors: Bruce Andrien, Michael Sansone, Craig Whitehouse. Assignee: Analytica of Branford.

Covers the configuration of a TOF-MS with a pulsing region and electronic controls that cause the directing of ions to a surface in the TOF pulsing region from which they are then accelerated into the time-of-flight tube. Higher energy ion collisions with the surface can result in surface-induced dissociation fragmentation. Mass analysis can also be performed prior to directing the ions to the surface. Ion-to-surface low energy collisions resulting in little ion fragmentation also allow for the focusing of ions on the surface before acceleration. The invention can be configured with a number of ion sources including electron ionization, MALDI and ESI.

US Patent No. 6,600,154. Ion filling control in ion trap mass spectrometers. Inventors: Jochen Franzen, Andreas Brekenfeld. Assignee: Bruker Daltonics (now Bruker Biosciences).

Covers the control of the filling process of an ion trap in order to avoid the deteriorating effect of too many stored ions on the quality of the spectrum during a mass scan. This improves the previous practice of controlling the process according to the number of ions already inside the trap — a method that does not provide optimum trap filling for different ion compositions. The invention controls the trap through the use of mass-dependent parameters and cluster-dependent target values.

US Patent No. 6,599,877. Biopolymer market indicative of disease state having a molecular weight of 1,020 daltons. Inventors: George Jackowski, Brad Thatcher, John Marshall, Jason Yantha, Tammy Vrees. Assignee: Syn X Pharma.

Covers a combination of preparatory steps in conjunction with SELDI mass spec and time-of-flight detection to maximize the diversity of biopolymers that are verifiable within a particular sample. This group of biopolymers is then examined to detect one or more biopolymers which may act as biomarkers for a particular disease state.

Once the invention determines particular biomarker sequences, risk assessment and diagnostic tests could then later evolve that would predict for the likelihood of occurrence of an irreversible event such as kidney failure or heart failure.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.