Labcyte Receives 19th and 20th Patents for Acoustic Droplet Ejection Applications

Use focused energy to make cellular arraysMaintain droplet size for biomolecular arrays

June 01, 2005
Sunnyvale, CA
Sunnyvale, CA, June 1, 2005 – Labcyte Inc. has received its 19th patent and 20th patents. U.S. Patent 6,893,115 discloses the use of frequency and acoustic pulse time adjustments to maintain consistent droplet size when solvent composition varies. This technology is one of the factors contributing to the high reproducibility of the Echo™ 550 compound reformatter, which transfers low nL amounts of library compound solutions. The Echo 550 is now being used by six major pharmaceutical companies to eliminate the need for intermediate dilutions, disposable tips and washing steps involved in preparation of assay plates.

U.S. Patent 6,893, 836 describes the use of focused acoustic energy to eject live cells suspended in a fluid to make patterns of cells on surfaces. Labcyte anticipates using cell dispensing technology to facilitate efficient use of cells for drug discovery, epitope mapping and selection of transformed bacteria, as well as other applications.  Cell arrays may be placed the bottom of microwell plates to facilitate screening with multiple cells lines simultaneously and to create engineered tissues.

Dr. Elaine J. Heron, Chief Executive Officer of Labcyte Inc., said, “These two patents extend the utility of acoustic droplet ejection and position Labcyte firmly as a provider of a wide range of biological users. The ‘115 patent is important for highly reproducible nanoliter dispensing, an important feature of the Echo 550 compound reformatter.”

“The ‘836 patent opens up the field of live cells transfers for the fabrication of live cell arrays. These arrays will revolutionize cell-based assays much the same as DNA arrays have changed the field of gene analysis. We see great potential for a future system designed specifically to take advantage of the technology covered in this patent.

“The Labcyte team has created a commercial system, which is becoming the standard for nanoliter liquid handing, and we continue to discover new applications for for our basic acoustic technology.”

The Labcyte® Echo™ 550 compound reformatter uses the technologies described in these U.S. patents as well as others in the company’s portfolio of 20 U.S. patents. The Echo 550 received an R&D 100 award for technical innovation and was the subject of scientific presentations on its use at pharmaceutical companies for high-throughput screening.

To view these patents, please visit

To see a poster showing the use of acoustic droplet ejection moving cells, please visit 

To see a video of acoustic droplet formation, please visit

For more information on focused acoustic technology and the Echo 550 compound reformatter, please visit

Labcyte Inc. is a privately held company that was formed by the merger of Picoliter Inc. and Labcyte, LLC in October 2003. The company, headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, provides plastic laboratory supplies, as well as the Echo 550 compound dispenser. The Labcyte acoustic liquid handling technology has broad applications in the life science including dispensing equipment, assay systems, particle manufacturing, microarrays, and live-cell transfer devices. Labcyte has 20 issued U.S. patents on acoustic technology and over 20 U.S. patent applications pending as well as additional
international filings. For more information, visit the company’s website,