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March 25, 2015

March 2015 Patents: Compositions and methods for labeling and imaging phospholipids, all-optical logic gates, and more

Eric Mazur
All-optical logic gates and methods for their fabrication (U.S. Patent 8,989,544; March 24, 2015)
The present invention provides optical devices that employ nonlinear optical effects for processing optical signals. For example, such an optical device can include a nano-sized interferometric component that provides an optical output signal via interference of two input signals subsequent to their asymmetric nonlinear phase accumulation. The interferometric element can have a variety of configurations, such as Sagnac, Mach-Zehnder or Michelson configurations.

Adrian Salic
Compositions and methods for labeling and imaging phospholipids (U.S. Patent 8,987,514, March 24, 2015)
The present invention provides a method to label phospholipids in vivo based on the metabolic incorporation of an alkynyl- or azido-labeled metabolic precursor into phospholipids. The resulting phospholipids have alkynyl or azido moieties, which, upon reaction with a labeled azide or alkyne, respectively, form labeled compounds that can be visualized using optical or electron microscopy with high sensitivity and spatial resolution in cells or tissue. The present method provides a valuable tool for imaging phospholipid synthesis, turnover and subcellular localization in cultured cells as well as in animals.

David Weitz
Virus/nanowire encapsulation within polymer microgels for 2D and 3D devices for energy and electronics  (U.S. Patent 8,986,999, March 24, 2015)
Methods and apparatuses for encapsulating inorganic micro- or nanostructures within polymeric microgels are described. In various embodiments, viruses are encapsulated with microgels during microgel formation. The viruses can provide a template for in situ synthesis of the inorganic structures within the microgel. The inorganic structures can be distributed substantially homogeneously throughout the microgel, or can be distributed non-uniformly within the microgel. The inventive microgel compositions can be used for a variety of applications including electronic devices, biotechnological devices, fuel cells, display devices and optical devices.

Howard Stone, Shelly Anna, David Weitz, George Whitesides
Method and apparatus for fluid dispersion (U.S. Patent 8,986,628, March 24, 2015)
A microfluidic method and device for focusing and/or forming discontinuous sections of similar or dissimilar size in a fluid is provided. The device can be fabricated simply from readily-available, inexpensive material using simple techniques.

Jene Golovchenko, Eric Brandin, Daniel Branton
Characterization of individual polymer molecules based on monomer-interface interactions (U.S. Patent 8,986,528, March 24, 2015)
The invention relates to a method for characterizing a target polynucleic acid by providing a surface containing a channel of a dimension sufficient to allow sequential monomer-by-monomer passage of a single-stranded polynucleic acid, but not of a double-stranded polynucleic acid; providing a source of hybridized target polynucleic acid at the surface; inducing passage of the target polynucleic acid through the channel, whereby the target polynucleic acid undergoes base pair separation (melts) prior to its passage; and making one or more measurements over time as the target polynucleic acid moves relative to the channel yielding data suitable to determine a monomer-dependent characteristic of the target polynucleic acid.

George Whitesides
Valves and reservoirs for microfluidic systems (U.S. Patent 8,985,547, March 24, 2015)
A microfluidic valve assembly includes a structure defining a microfluidic fluid path and an actuator that can be moved between different positions controlling flow through the channel. In one embodiment, the actuator can be threaded into at least a portion of the structure, and can be moved rotationally between a first position, causing relatively greater constriction of a microfluidic fluid path, and a second position causing relatively lesser constriction of the fluid path. Actuating the actuator, e.g., by rotation, can deform material between the valve and the fluid path, thereby constricting at least a portion of the underlying fluid path and regulating the flow of a fluid in the fluid path. In another aspect, the invention provides a reservoir into which fluid can be placed and from which fluid can be introduced into a microfluidic system. In one embodiment, the reservoir is expandable and thereby able to store fluid under pressure for delivery to a microfluidic system.

Jon Clardy, Dyann Wirth, Roger Wiegand, Mary Lynn Baniecki, Cassandra Celatka
2-aminoindole compounds and methods for the treatment of malaria (U.S. Patent 8,980,926, March 17, 2015)
The invention provides methods of screening a compound that can increase spine/excitatory synapse formation and/or numbers. The compound is identified by contacting Ephexin5 with a test compound and selecting the compounds that inhibit Rho GEF activity of Ephexin5. Additionally, the invention also provides methods for increasing spine/excitatory synapse formation and/or numbers by contacting a neuron with an Ephexin5 inhibitor.

David Liu
Macrocyclic kinase inhibitors and uses thereof (U.S. Patent 8,975,232, March 10, 2015)
The present invention provides macrocyclic compounds of Formula (I): pharmaceutically acceptable salts thereof; and pharmaceutical compositions thereof, wherein R.sub.1, R.sub.2, R.sub.3, R.sub.4, R.sup.E, R.sup.F, R.sup.G, R.sup.H, R.sup.I, f, g, h, n, and m are as defined herein. The present invention further provides methods of synthesizing these macrocyclic compounds, and methods of their use and treatment. Certain aspects of the present invention relate to modulation of kinase activity, and in the treatment of kinase-associated diseases or disorders.

Michael  Chorev, Jose Halperin, Gerhard Wagner
Compounds for the inhibition of cellular proliferation (U.S. Patent 8,969,573, March 3, 2015)
Compositions and methods for inhibiting translation are provided. Compositions, methods and kits for treating (1) cellular proliferative disorders, (2) non-proliferative, degenerative disorders, (3) viral infections, (4) disorders associated with viral infections, and/or (5) non-proliferative metabolic disorders such as type II diabetes where inhibition of translation initiation is beneficial using the compounds disclosed herein.

Jene Golovchenko
Study of polymer molecules and conformations with a nanopore (U.S. Patent 8,969,091, March 3, 2015)
The invention features methods for evaluating the conformation of a polymer, for example, for determining the conformational distribution of a plurality of polymers and to detect binding or denaturation events. The methods employ a nanopore which the polymer, e.g., a nucleic acid, traverses. As the polymer traverses the nanopore, measurements of transport properties of the nanopore yield data on the conformation of the polymer.

Press Contact

Caroline Perry, (617) 495-4157

Press Contact

Caroline Perry
(617) 495-4157