Patents by Inventor David A. Weitz

David A. Weitz has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20220274072
    Abstract: The present invention generally relates to systems and methods for the control of fluids and, in some cases, to systems and methods for flowing a fluid into and/or out of other fluids. As examples, fluid may be injected into a droplet contained within a fluidic channel, or a fluid may be injected into a fluidic channel to create a droplet. In some embodiments, electrodes may be used to apply an electric field to one or more fluidic channels, e.g., proximate an intersection of at least two fluidic channels. For instance, a first fluid may be urged into and/or out of a second fluid, facilitated by the electric field. The electric field, in some cases, may disrupt an interface between a first fluid and at least one other fluid. Properties such as the volume, flow rate, etc.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 16, 2022
    Publication date: September 1, 2022
    Applicant: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: David A. Weitz, Adam R. Abate, Tony Hung, Pascaline Mary
  • Publication number: 20220241198
    Abstract: The present invention generally relates to polymers and, in particular, to copolymers for stabilizing, e.g., emulsions or droplets. In certain aspects, the copolymers may comprise a relatively hydrophobic monomer and a relatively hydrophilic monomer polymerized together (e.g., randomly) to form the copolymer. Examples of hydrophobic monomers include methacrylates and vinylphenyls; examples of hydrophilic monomers include boronic acids or acid derivatives. Surprisingly, such random copolymers may act as surfactants, e.g., stabilizing droplets within the emulsion. In addition, in some cases, an interfacial film may be produced by exposing the copolymer to a complexing molecule, such as a polyol, that can complex with the copolymer to form the film. In some cases, the film may at least partially surround a droplet, and in certain embodiments, the film may be sufficiently sturdy such that the droplet can be removed from the emulsion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 22, 2020
    Publication date: August 4, 2022
    Applicant: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: David A. Weitz, Joerg G. Werner, Julie V. Brouchon, John Heyman, Brendan Deveney
  • Patent number: 11401550
    Abstract: The present invention is generally related to systems and methods for producing a plurality of droplets. The droplets may contain varying species, e.g., for use as a library. In some cases, the fluidic droplets may be rigidified to form rigidified droplets (e.g., gel droplets). In certain embodiments, the droplets may undergo a phase change (e.g., from rigidified droplets to fluidized droplets), as discussed more herein. In some cases, a species may be added internally to a droplet by exposing the droplet to a fluid comprising a plurality of species.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2022
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: David A. Weitz, Jeremy Agresti
  • Patent number: 11396016
    Abstract: A system and method are provided for harvesting target biological substances. The system includes a substrate and a first and second channel formed in the substrate. The channels longitudinally extending substantially parallel to each other. A series of gaps extend from the first channel to the second channel to create a fluid communication path passing between a series of columns with the columns being longitudinally separated by a predetermined separation distance. The system also includes a first source configured to selectively introduce into the first channel a first biological composition at a first channel flow rate and a second source configured to selectively introduce into the second channel a second biological composition at a second channel flow rate. The sources are configured to create a differential between the first and second channel flow rates to generate physiological shear rates along the second channel that are bounded within a predetermined range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2020
    Date of Patent: July 26, 2022
    Assignees: The Brigham and Women's Hospital, Inc., President and Fellows of Harvard College, Vilnius University
    Inventors: Joseph Italiano, Linas Mazutis, Jonathan Thon, David A. Weitz
  • Patent number: 11389800
    Abstract: The present invention generally relates to systems and techniques for manipulating fluids and/or making droplets. In certain aspects, the present invention generally relates to droplet production. The droplets may be formed from fluids from different sources. In one set of embodiments, the present invention is directed to a microfluidic device comprising a plurality of droplet-making units, and/or other fluidic units, which may be substantially identical in some cases. Substantially each of the fluidic units may be in fluidic communication with a different source of a first fluid and a common source of a second fluid, in certain embodiments. In one aspect, substantially the same pressure may be applied to substantially all of the different sources of fluid, which may be used to cause fluid to move from the different sources into the microfluidic device. In some cases, the fluids may interact within the fluidic units, e.g., by reacting, or for the production of droplets within the microfluidic device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2022
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Ralph Alexander Sperling, Adam R. Abate, David A. Weitz
  • Patent number: 11383234
    Abstract: Various aspects of the present invention relate to the control and manipulation of fluidic species, for example, in microfluidic systems. In one aspect, the invention relates to systems and methods for making droplets of fluid surrounded by a liquid, using, for example, electric fields, mechanical alterations, the addition of an intervening fluid, etc. In some cases, the droplets may each have a substantially uniform number of entities therein. For example, 95% or more of the droplets may each contain the same number of entities of a particular species. In another aspect, the invention relates to systems and methods for dividing a fluidic droplet into two droplets, for example, through charge and/or dipole interactions with an electric field. The invention also relates to systems and methods for fusing droplets according to another aspect of the invention, for example, through charge and/or dipole interactions. In some cases, the fusion of the droplets may initiate or determine a reaction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2020
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2022
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: David A. Weitz, Darren Roy Link, Galder Cristobal-Azkarate, Zhengdong Cheng, Keunho Ahn
  • Publication number: 20220212194
    Abstract: Various aspects of the present invention relate to the control and manipulation of fluidic species, for example, in microfluidic systems. In one set of embodiments, droplets may be sorted using surface acoustic waves. The droplets may contain cells or other species. In some cases, the surface acoustic waves may be created using a surface acoustic wave generator such as an interdigitated transducer, and/or a material such as a piezoelectric substrate. The piezoelectric substrate may be isolated front the microfluidic substrate except at or proximate the location where the droplets arc sorted, e.g., into first or second microfluidic channels. At such locations, the microfluidic substrate may be coupled to the piezoelectric substrate (or other material) by one or more coupling regions. In some cases, relatively high sorting rates may be achieved, e.g., at rates of at least about 1,000 Hz, at least about 10,000 Hz, or at least about 100,000 Hz, and in some embodiments, with high cell viability after sorting.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 14, 2021
    Publication date: July 7, 2022
    Applicants: President and Fellows of Harvard College, Universität Augsburg
    Inventors: David A. Weitz, Thomas Franke, Achim Wixforth, Lothar Schmid, Jeremy Agresti, Adam R. Abate
  • Publication number: 20220202727
    Abstract: The present invention provides injectable compositions comprising cells encapsulated in hydrogel capsules and methods of preparing these compostions. The present invention also provides methods for using these compositions to promote hematopoiesis and to treat or prevent cardiovascular and immunological disorders in a subject.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 9, 2021
    Publication date: June 30, 2022
    Inventors: Jae-Won Shin, Angelo S. Mao, Stefanie Utech, David A. Weitz, David J. Mooney, Oktay R. Uzun
  • Patent number: 11358105
    Abstract: The present invention generally relates to systems and methods for the control of fluids and, in some cases, to systems and methods for flowing a fluid into and/or out of other fluids. As examples, fluid may be injected into a droplet contained within a fluidic channel, or a fluid may be injected into a fluidic channel to create a droplet. In some embodiments, electrodes may be used to apply an electric field to one or more fluidic channels, e.g., proximate an intersection of at least two fluidic channels. For instance, a first fluid may be urged into and/or out of a second fluid, facilitated by the electric field. The electric field, in some cases, may disrupt an interface between a first fluid and at least one other fluid. Properties such as the volume, flow rate, etc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2021
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2022
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: David A. Weitz, Adam R. Abate, Tony Hung, Pascaline Mary
  • Publication number: 20220097067
    Abstract: This invention generally relates to systems and methods for the formation and/or control of fluidic species, and articles produced by such systems and methods. In some cases, the invention involves unique fluid channels, systems, controls, and/or restrictions, and combinations thereof. In certain embodiments, the invention allows fluidic streams (which can be continuous or discontinuous, i.e., droplets) to be formed and/or combined, at a variety of scales, including microfluidic scales. In one set of embodiments, a fluidic stream may be produced from a channel, where a cross-sectional dimension of the fluidic stream is smaller than that of the channel, for example, through the use of structural elements, other fluids, and/or applied external fields, etc. In some cases, a Taylor cone may be produced.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 9, 2021
    Publication date: March 31, 2022
    Applicant: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: David A. Weitz, Darren Roy Link, Manuel Marquez-Sanchez, Zhengdong Cheng
  • Publication number: 20220065849
    Abstract: A method for identifying cognate pairs of a ligand species and a receptor species includes co-compartmentalizing ligand species and receptor species, forming a set of microreactors, each microreactor including a ligand species and preferably a receptor species; assaying the recognition between ligands and receptors in each microreactor and based on this assay, classifying each microreactor as positive when a ligand species and receptor species in the microreactor recognize one with the other or negative when no ligand species and no receptor species recognize in the microreactor; identifying ligand species and receptor species contained in each positive microreactor; establishing a subset of positive microreactors containing the same receptor species; determining the probability that the ligand species recognizing the receptor species corresponds to the most frequent co-compartmentalized ligand species.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 19, 2019
    Publication date: March 3, 2022
    Inventors: Andrew GRIFFITHS, Sebastien AMIGORENA, Olivier LANTZ, David WEITZ, Philippe NGHE, Annabelle GERARD
  • Patent number: 11229607
    Abstract: The present invention provides injectable compositions comprising cells encapsulated in hydrogel capsules and methods of preparing these compositions. The present invention also provides methods for using these compositions to promote hematopoiesis and to treat or prevent cardiovascular and immunological disorders in a subject.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2022
    Assignee: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Jae-Won Shin, Angelo S. Mao, Stefanie Utech, David A. Weitz, David J. Mooney, Oktay Uzun
  • Patent number: 11229911
    Abstract: Various aspects of the present invention relate to the control and manipulation of fluidic species, for example, in microfluidic systems. In one set of embodiments, droplets may be sorted using surface acoustic waves. The droplets may contain cells or other species. In some cases, the surface acoustic waves may be created using a surface acoustic wave generator such as an interdigitated transducer, and/or a material such as a piezoelectric substrate. The piezoelectric substrate may be isolated from the microfluidic substrate except at or proximate the location where the droplets are sorted, e.g., into first or second microfluidic channels. At such locations, the microfluidic substrate may be coupled to the piezoelectric substrate (or other material) by one or more coupling regions. In some cases, relatively high sorting rates may be achieved, e.g., at rates of at least about 1,000 Hz, at least about 10,000 Hz, or at least about 100,000 Hz, and in some embodiments, with high cell viability after sorting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 2019
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2022
    Assignees: President and Fellows of Harvard College, Universität Augsburg
    Inventors: David A. Weitz, Thomas Franke, Achim Wixforth, Lothar Schmid, Jeremy Agresti, Adam R. Abate
  • Patent number: 11224876
    Abstract: Microfluidic structures and methods for manipulating fluids, fluid components, and reactions are provided. In one aspect, such structures and methods can allow production of droplets of a precise volume, which can be stored/maintained at precise regions of the device. In another aspect, microfluidic structures and methods described herein are designed for containing and positioning components in an arrangement such that the components can be manipulated and then tracked even after manipulation. For example, cells may be constrained in an arrangement in microfluidic structures described herein to facilitate tracking during their growth and/or after they multiply.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2019
    Date of Patent: January 18, 2022
    Assignees: Brandeis University, President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: Seth Fraden, Hakim Boukellal, Yanwei Jia, Seila Selimovic, Amy Rowat, Jeremy Agresti, David A. Weitz
  • Publication number: 20220002554
    Abstract: A pigment comprising a plurality of photonic crystal particles dispersed in a medium, each photonic crystal particles containing a plurality of spectrally selective absorbing components dispersed within each photonic crystal particle that selectively absorb electromagnetic radiation without substantially absorbing electromagnetic radiation near a resonant wavelength of each photonic crystal particle, wherein each photonic crystal particle has a predetermined minimum number of repeat units of a photonic crystal structure, wherein the predetermined minimum number of repeat units is related to the resonant wavelength, the full-width at half maximum of the resonant wavelength, and the refractive index contrast in the photonic crystal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 16, 2021
    Publication date: January 6, 2022
    Inventors: Joanna AIZENBERG, Nicolas VOGEL, Ian BURGESS, Mathias KOLLE, Tanya SHIRMAN, Stefanie UTECH, Katherine Reece PHILLIPS, David A. WEITZ, Natalie KOAY
  • Publication number: 20210395821
    Abstract: Techniques Nuc-seq, Div-Seq, and Dronc-Seq are allow for unbiased analysis of any complex tissue. Nuc-Seq, a scalable single nucleus RNA-Seq method, can sensitively identify closely related cell types, including within the adult hippocampus. Div-seq combines Nuc-Seq with EdU-mediated labeling of proliferating cells, allowing tracking of transcriptional dynamics of newborn neurons in an adult neurogenic region in the hippocampus. Dronc-Seq uses a microfluidic device to co-encapsulate individual nuclei in reverse emulsion aqueous droplets in an oil medium together with one uniquely barcoded mRNA-capture bead.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 13, 2018
    Publication date: December 23, 2021
    Inventors: Naomi Habib, Aviv Regev, Eugene Drokhlyansky, Anindita Basu, Inbal Avraham-Davidi, Orit Rozenblatt-Rosen, David A. Weitz
  • Publication number: 20210379555
    Abstract: The present invention generally relates to microfluidics and labeled nucleic acids. For example, certain aspects are generally directed to systems and methods for labeling nucleic acids within microfluidic droplets. In one set of embodiments, the nucleic acids may include “barcodes” or unique sequences that can be used to distinguish nucleic acids in a droplet from those in another droplet, for instance, even after the nucleic acids are pooled together. In some cases, the unique sequences may be incorporated into individual droplets using particles and attached to nucleic acids contained within the droplets (for example, released from lysed cells). In some cases, the barcodes may be used to distinguish tens, hundreds, or even thousands of nucleic acids, e.g., arising from different cells or other sources.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 18, 2021
    Publication date: December 9, 2021
    Applicants: President and Fellows of Harvard College, Vilnius University
    Inventors: David A. Weitz, Allon Moshe Klein, Ilke Akartuna, Linas Mazutis, Marc W. Kirschner
  • Publication number: 20210355535
    Abstract: The present invention generally relates to microfluidics and/or epigenetic sequencing. In one set of embodiments, cells contained within a plurality of microfluidic droplets are lysed and the DNA (e.g., from nucleosomes) within the droplets are labeled, e.g., with adapters containing an identification sequence. The adapters may also contain other sequences, e.g., restriction sites, primer sites, etc., to assist with later analysis. After labeling with adapters, the DNA from the different cells may be combined and analyzed, e.g., to determine epigenetic information about the cells. For example, the DNA may be separated on the basis of certain modifications (e.g., methylation), and the DNA from the separated nucleosomes may be sequenced using techniques such as chromatin immunoprecipitation (“CUP”). In some cases, the DNA sequences may also be aligned with genomes, e.g., to determine which portions of the genome were epigenetically modified, e.g., via methylation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 25, 2021
    Publication date: November 18, 2021
    Applicants: President and Fellows of Harvard College, The General Hospital Corporation
    Inventors: David Weitz, Assaf Rotem, Oren Ram, Bradley E. Bernstein
  • Publication number: 20210348203
    Abstract: The present invention generally relates to droplets and/or emulsions, such as multiple emulsions. In some cases, the droplets and/or emulsions may be used in assays, and in certain embodiments, the droplet or emulsion may be hardened to form a gel. In some aspects, a heterogeneous assay can be performed using a gel. For example, a droplet may be hardened to form a gel, where the droplet contains a cell, DNA, or other suitable species. The gel may be exposed to a reactant, and the reactant may interact with the gel and/or with the cell, DNA, etc., in some fashion. For example, the reactant may diffuse through the gel, or the hardened particle may liquefy to form a liquid state, allowing the reactant to interact with the cell. As a specific example, DNA contained within a gel particle may be subjected to PCR (polymerase chain reaction) amplification, e.g., by using PCR primers able to bind to the gel as it forms. As the DNA is amplified using PCR, some of the DNA will be bound to the gel via the PCR primer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 14, 2021
    Publication date: November 11, 2021
    Applicant: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: David A. Weitz, Jeremy Agresti, Liang-Yin Chu, Jin-Woong Kim, Amy Rowat, Morten Sommer, Gautam Dantas, George M. Church
  • Publication number: 20210340597
    Abstract: The present invention generally relates to droplet-based microfluidic devices, including systems, methods, and kits for amplifying or cloning within droplets. In some embodiments, the present invention is generally directed to systems, methods, or kits for amplifying a plurality of nucleic acids, e.g., without substantially selectively amplifying some nucleic acids over others. The nucleic acids may be contained within the droplets. In addition, in some embodiments, a plurality of microfluidic droplet containing a species of interest, such as a nucleic acid, may be mixed with microfluidic droplets free of the species, then pipetted or otherwise transferred such that, on average, a predetermined number of droplets containing species of interest is transferred.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 13, 2021
    Publication date: November 4, 2021
    Applicant: President and Fellows of Harvard College
    Inventors: David A. Weitz, John Heyman, Huidan Zhang, Linas Mazutis