Labcyte Inc. has announced the issuance of European Patent EP 1337325. This broad patent covers many aspects of acoustic droplet ejection (ADE), a technique that moves small volumes of liquid with sound.
The patent describes the use of ADE to access fluids in multiple reservoirs such as those of multi-well microplates.
The patent also covers movement of the source of the acoustic energy to keep the focus of the acoustic beam at the fluid meniscus.
The patent describes moving the source of the acoustic energy from one well to another and ejecting different fluids at rates greater than one second per fluid.
In response to the need for rapid transfer from high-density plates such as those containing 1536 wells, Labcyte has commercialized systems that operate at much higher speeds.
The Labcyte system, the Echo™ 555 liquid handler, can transfer as many as 640,000 different compounds in a single day.
The company also announced issuance of its 25th U.S. patent, No. 6,991,917. This patent describes spatial control of the acoustic delivery of cells from a carrier fluid.
The technique can distribute cell-containing droplets to form an array of living cells for numerous biological applications.
"Labcyte continues to expand its portfolio of intellectual property," said Dr. Elaine J. Heron, CEO of Labcyte Inc., "while developing as a strongly competitive and commercial company."
"Acoustic droplet ejection is quickly becoming the method of choice for transferring nanoliter volumes of drug candidates in high-throughput screening labs, and we are developing numerous additional applications."
Labcyte Inc. provides two instruments that use ADE-the Echo™ 550 liquid handler and the recently introduced Echo 555, which was designed for UHTS laboratories requiring very high throughput.