Labcyte Inc. (Formerly Picoliter Inc.) Announces Patents on Acoustic Drop Dispensing for Microfluidics, Arrays, and Mass Spectrometry

Labcyte Inc. announced the award of its eleventh U.S. patent with the issuance of its third patent of 2004. This extends its intellectual property for using focused acoustics to manipulate liquids for a variety of life science applications. These patents describe dispensing picoliter droplets to produce high density arrays on porous surfaces, as well as the use of focused acoustics to transfer solutions such as MALDI matrix and to introduce samples into microfluidic devices.

June 10, 2004
Sunnyvale, CA
Sunnyvale, CA, June 10, 2004– Labcyte Inc. announced the award of its eleventh U.S. patent with the issuance of its third patent of 2004. This extends its intellectual property for using focused acoustics to manipulate liquids for a variety of life science applications. These patents describe dispensing picoliter droplets to produce high density arrays on porous surfaces, as well as the use of focused acoustics to transfer solutions such as MALDI matrix and to introduce samples into microfluidic devices.

U.S. Patent 6,707,038, entitled “Method and System Using Acoustic Ejection for Selective Fluid Deposition on a Nonuniform Sample Surface,“ describes technology Labcyte believes will be important in the emerging field of tissue imaging by MALDI mass spectrometry. This technology has been pioneered by Professor Richard M. Caprioli, who is a co-inventor on this patent. Deposition of MALDI matrix onto tissue slices enables quantitative, precise localization of drugs and drug metabolites as well as proteins. This patent describes selection of the MALDI matrix on the basis of the sample surface, a procedure which allows for tailored extraction of macromolecules and improves sensitivity.

U.S. Patent 6,710,335, entitled “Acoustic Sample Introduction for Analysis and/or Processing,” covers the use of focused acoustics to transfer solutions into analysis devices such as mass spectrometers and microfluidic devices. This approach has the potential to circumvent sample adsorption and clogging problems associated with capillary sipping devices used for these applications.

U.S. Patent 6,746,104, entitled “High Density Molecular Arrays on Porous Surfaces,” describes a nozzle-free, non-contact method for creation of high density arrays on porous surfaces. Porous surfaces are often preferable for protein or DNA arrays because they have higher capacity, and hence greater sensitivity and dynamic range than nonporous surfaces. “These newly issued patents describe a broad range of technology that we expect to use in future products. Now that we have our initial acoustics-based product in commercial operations, we are investigating several potential areas for deploying our technology,” said Elaine J. Heron, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Labcyte Inc. Labcyte also announced that it has hired Joseph Olechno, Ph.D. as Vice President, Marketing, with responsibility for developing and managing the team that will define and position the company’s products. Dr. Olechno has more than 20 years experience in life science tools at Applied Biosystems, Beckman, and Dionex.

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