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  1. High throughput functional genomics
    Resource Category : Patents -> Genomics -> High Throughput
    Inventor : Hickman, James J.

    Brief Description : This invention focuses on the marriage of solid-state electronics and neuronal function to create a new high-throughput electrophysiological assay to determine a compound's acute and chronic effect on cellular function. Electronics, surface chemistry, biotechnology, and fundamental neuroscience are integrated to provide an assay where the reporter element is an array of electrically active cells. This innovative technology can be applied to neurotoxicity, and to screening compounds from combinatorial chemistry, gene function analysis, and basic neuroscience applications. The system of the invention analyzes how the action potential is interrupted by drugs or toxins. Differences in the action potentials are due to individual toxins acting on different biochemical pathways, which in turn affects different ion channels, thereby changing the peak shape of the action potential differently for each toxin. Algorithms to analyze the action potential peak shape differences are used to indicate the pathway(s) affected by the presence of a new drug or compound; from that, aspects of its function in that cell are deduced. This observation can be exploited to determine the functional category of biochemical action of an unknown compound. An important aspect of the invention is surface chemistry that permits establishment of a high impedance seal between cell and a metal microelectrode. This seal recreates the interface that enables functional patch-clamp electrophysiology with glass micropipettes, and allows extracellular electrophysiology on a microelectrode array. Thus, the invention teaches the feasibility of using living cells as diagnostics for high throughput real-time assays of cell function.
    Assignee : Hickman, James J.
    Application No. : 11/840,041
    Filed On : 8/16/2007
    Source : United State Patent

    Year : 2007