Thursday, October 28, 2004

Labcyte's US 6,802,593 on acoustic ejection

from businesswire
SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 27, 2004--Labcyte Inc. announced today that it has been granted US patent 6,802,593 for rapidly transferring fluids from a multi-well plate with acoustic energy. This patent describes the use of focused acoustics for the transfer of liquids at speeds greater than one second per well.

Dr. Elaine J. Heron, Chief Executive Officer of Labcyte Inc., said, "This patent covers our enablement of a process that simultaneously meets the speed, accuracy and low volume needs of life science researchers. It describes liquid transfers at rates that keep pace with the other steps in high throughput screening and other industrialized assay processes in all well-plate formats including 96-, 384-, 1536-well micro-plates and other high-density formats. Four major pharmaceutical companies are now using this process in our award-winning Echo 550 compound reformatter to precisely transfer nanoliter volumes." <--

The priority chain for US '593 is as follows:

This is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/964,212, filed Sep. 25, 2001, which issued on Dec. 23, 2003 as U.S. Pat. No. 6,666,541, which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/727,392, filed Nov. 29, 2000, now abandoned, which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/669,996, filed Sep. 25, 2000, also abandoned. The disclosures of the aforementioned applications are incorporated by reference herein.

The first claim for US '593 recites:

A device for acoustically ejecting a droplet of fluid from each of a plurality of fluid reservoirs, comprising:

a plurality of reservoirs each adapted to contain a fluid, wherein the distance between the centers of any two adjacent reservoirs is less than about 1 centimeter;

an acoustic ejector comprising an acoustic radiation generator for generating acoustic radiation and a focusing means for focusing the acoustic radiation generated; and

a means for positioning the acoustic ejector in acoustic coupling relationship to each of the reservoirs.

** The final element of the claim, including the words
--a means for-- is an example of a means plus function claim (35 USC 112, paragraph 6).


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