Thermo Fisher Scientific has been granted a patent for a system that processes biological samples. The system includes a substrate with wells and flow channels, as well as a flow control system with a manifold, ports, containment structures, and a cradle. The flow control system uses pressure differentials to cause sample volumes to flow through the flow channels and form droplets separated by carrier fluid. GlobalData’s report on Thermo Fisher Scientific gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Thermo Fisher Scientific, Nanoemulsion cosmetics was a key innovation area identified from patents. Thermo Fisher Scientific's grant share as of September 2023 was 56%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

System for processing biological samples using flow control and droplets

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11772096B2) describes a system for processing biological samples. The system includes a substrate with multiple wells for holding liquids and flow channels that are fluidically connected to the wells. A flow control system is also included, which consists of a manifold with ports that connect to the wells and containment structures for carrier fluid. The system further includes a cradle that holds the substrate in position to connect the manifold with the wells.

The flow control system is designed to transmit a pressure differential through the manifold to the wells, causing sample volumes in some of the wells to flow through the corresponding flow channels. The carrier fluid, which is immiscible with the sample volumes, also flows through the flow channels, forming droplets that contain the sample volumes separated by the carrier fluid.

Additional features of the system include a gasket to seal the interface between the manifold and the substrate, alignment means to align the wells with the manifold, and a thermal cycling system for nucleic acid amplification reactions. The system may also include a fluorescence monitoring system and a sheet of sealing material to cover the wells on the substrate's face.

The flow control system can generate a positive pressure differential using a pumping element in cooperation with the manifold. It can also transmit a pressure differential to additional wells, causing carrier fluid in those wells to flow through other flow channels. The alignment means, which may include a dowel, ensures proper alignment between the substrate's wells and the manifold when placed in the cradle.

Overall, this patented system offers a solution for processing biological samples by facilitating the controlled flow of sample volumes and carrier fluid through a substrate with wells and flow channels. It also includes various additional features to enhance functionality and efficiency, such as sealing mechanisms, alignment means, and thermal cycling capabilities.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.