Patents by Inventor Hou-Pu Chou

Hou-Pu Chou 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: 20160129442
    Abstract: Microfluidic devices are described that include a rigid base layer, and an elastomeric layer on the base layer. The elastomeric layer may include at least part of a fluid channel for transporting a liquid reagent, and a vent channel that accepts gas diffusing through the elastomeric layer from the flow channel and vents it out of the elastomeric layer. The devices may also include a mixing chamber fluidly connected to the fluid channel, and a control channel overlapping with a deflectable membrane that defines a portion of the flow channel, where the control channel may be operable to change a rate at which the liquid reagent flows through the fluid channel. The devices may further include a rigid plastic layer on the elastomeric layer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 5, 2015
    Publication date: May 12, 2016
    Inventors: Tim Woudenberg, Jing Wang, Hou-Pu Chou
  • Publication number: 20160123958
    Abstract: The present invention provides microfluidic devices and methods for using the same. In particular, microfluidic devices of the present invention are useful in conducting a variety of assays and high throughput screening. Microfluidic devices of the present invention include elastomeric components and comprise a main flow channel; a plurality of branch flow channels; a plurality of control channels; and a plurality of valves. Preferably, each of the valves comprises one of the control channels and an elastomeric segment that is deflectable into or retractable from the main or branch flow channel upon which the valve operates in response to an actuation force applied to the control channel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 30, 2015
    Publication date: May 5, 2016
    Inventors: Stephen R. Quake, Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer
  • Patent number: 9182322
    Abstract: Microfluidic devices are described that include a rigid base layer, and an elastomeric layer on the base layer. The elastomeric layer may include at least part of a fluid channel for transporting a liquid reagent, and a vent channel that accepts gas diffusing through the elastomeric layer from the flow channel and vents it out of the elastomeric layer. The devices may also include a mixing chamber fluidly connected to the fluid channel, and a control channel overlapping with a deflectable membrane that defines a portion of the flow channel, where the control channel may be operable to change a rate at which the liquid reagent flows through the fluid channel. The devices may further include a rigid plastic layer on the elastomeric layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2015
    Assignee: Fluidigm Corporation
    Inventors: Tim Woudenberg, Jing Wang, Hou-Pu Chou
  • Patent number: 9176137
    Abstract: The present invention provides microfluidic devices and methods for using the same. In particular, microfluidic devices of the present invention are useful in conducting a variety of assays and high throughput screening. Microfluidic devices of the present invention include elastomeric components and comprise a main flow channel; a plurality of branch flow channels; a plurality of control channels; and a plurality of valves. Preferably, each of the valves comprises one of the control channels and an elastomeric segment that is deflectable into or retractable from the main or branch flow channel upon which the valve operates in response to an actuation force applied to the control channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2015
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Stephen R. Quake, Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer
  • Publication number: 20150276089
    Abstract: A method of fabricating an elastomeric structure, comprising: forming a first elastomeric layer on top of a first micromachined mold, the first micromachined mold having a first raised protrusion which forms a first recess extending along a bottom surface of the first elastomeric layer; forming a second elastomeric layer on top of a second micromachined mold, the second micromachined mold having a second raised protrusion which forms a second recess extending along a bottom surface of the second elastomeric layer; bonding the bottom surface of the second elastomeric layer onto a top surface of the first elastomeric layer such that a control channel forms in the second recess between the first and second elastomeric layers; and positioning the first elastomeric layer on top of a planar substrate such that a flow channel forms in the first recess between the first elastomeric layer and the planar substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 24, 2014
    Publication date: October 1, 2015
    Applicant: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Marc Alexander Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer, Stephen R. Quake, Markus Enzelberger, Mark L. Adams, Carl L. Hansen
  • Patent number: 9103825
    Abstract: A microfluidic device adapted to perform many simultaneous binding assays including but not limited to immunological experiments, such as ELISA assays, with minimal cross-talk between primary and secondary antibodies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2015
    Assignee: FLUIDIGM CORPORATION
    Inventors: Hany Ramez Nassef, Hou-Pu Chou, Michael Lucero, Andrew May, Kathy Yokobata
  • Publication number: 20150183633
    Abstract: A method of fabricating an elastomeric structure, comprising: forming a first elastomeric layer on top of a first micromachined mold, the first micromachined mold having a first raised protrusion which forms a first recess extending along a bottom surface of the first elastomeric layer; forming a second elastomeric layer on top of a second micromachined mold, the second micromachined mold having a second raised protrusion which forms a second recess extending along a bottom surface of the second elastomeric layer; bonding the bottom surface of the second elastomeric layer onto a top surface of the first elastomeric layer such that a control channel forms in the second recess between the first and second elastomeric layers; and positioning the first elastomeric layer on top of a planar substrate such that a flow channel forms in the first recess between the first elastomeric layer and the planar substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 30, 2014
    Publication date: July 2, 2015
    Inventors: Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer, Stephen R. Quake
  • Patent number: 8992858
    Abstract: A microfluidic device comprises pumps, valves, and fluid oscillation dampers. In a device employed for sorting, an entity is flowed by the pump along a flow channel through a detection region to a junction. Based upon an identity of the entity determined in the detection region, a waste or collection valve located on opposite branches of the flow channel at the junction are actuated, thereby routing the entity to either a waste pool or a collection pool. A damper structure may be located between the pump and the junction. The damper reduces the amplitude of oscillation pressure in the flow channel due to operation of the pump, thereby lessening oscillation in velocity of the entity during sorting process. The microfluidic device may be formed in a block of elastomer material, with thin membranes of the elastomer material deflectable into the flow channel to provide pump or valve functionality.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: The United States of America National Institute of Health (NIH), U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
    Inventors: Hou-Pu Chou, Anne Y. Fu, Stephen R. Quake
  • Publication number: 20150031116
    Abstract: The invention relates to a microfabricated device for the rapid detection of DNA, proteins or other molecules associated with a particular disease. The devices and methods of the invention can be used for the simultaneous diagnosis of multiple diseases by detecting molecules (e.g. amounts of molecules), such as polynucleotides (e.g., DNA) or proteins (e.g., antibodies), by measuring the signal of a detectable reporter associated with hybridized polynucleotides or antigen/antibody complex. In the microfabricated device according to the invention, detection of the presence of molecules (i.e., polynucleotides, proteins, or antigen/antibody complexes) are correlated to a hybridization signal from an optically-detectable (e.g. fluorescent) reporter associated with the bound molecules. These hybridization signals can be detected by any suitable means, for example optical, and can be stored for example in a computer as a representation of the presence of a particular gene.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 5, 2014
    Publication date: January 29, 2015
    Applicant: CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
    Inventors: Stephen R. Quake, Hou-Pu Chou
  • Publication number: 20140322489
    Abstract: A method of fabricating an elastomeric structure, comprising: forming a first elastomeric layer on top of a first micromachined mold, the first micromachined mold having a first raised protrusion which forms a first recess extending along a bottom surface of the first elastomeric layer; forming a second elastomeric layer on top of a second micromachined mold, the second micromachined mold having a second raised protrusion which forms a second recess extending along a bottom surface of the second elastomeric layer; bonding the bottom surface of the second elastomeric layer onto a top surface of the first elastomeric layer such that a control channel forms in the second recess between the first and second elastomeric layers; and positioning the first elastomeric layer on top of a planar substrate such that a flow channel forms in the first recess between the first elastomeric layer and the planar substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 18, 2014
    Publication date: October 30, 2014
    Applicant: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer, Stephen R. Quake
  • Publication number: 20140308178
    Abstract: Microfluidic devices are described that include a rigid base layer, and an elastomeric layer on the base layer. The elastomeric layer may include at least part of a fluid channel for transporting a liquid reagent, and a vent channel that accepts gas diffusing through the elastomeric layer from the flow channel and vents it out of the elastomeric layer. The devices may also include a mixing chamber fluidly connected to the fluid channel, and a control channel overlapping with a deflectable membrane that defines a portion of the flow channel, where the control channel may be operable to change a rate at which the liquid reagent flows through the fluid channel. The devices may further include a rigid plastic layer on the elastomeric layer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 27, 2013
    Publication date: October 16, 2014
    Applicant: Fluidigm Corporation
    Inventors: Tim Woudenberg, Jing Wang, Hou-Pu Chou
  • Patent number: 8846183
    Abstract: A method of fabricating an elastomeric structure, comprising: forming a first elastomeric layer on top of a first micromachined mold, the first micromachined mold having a first raised protrusion which forms a first recess extending along a bottom surface of the first elastomeric layer; forming a second elastomeric layer on top of a second micromachined mold, the second micromachined mold having a second raised protrusion which forms a second recess extending along a bottom surface of the second elastomeric layer; bonding the bottom surface of the second elastomeric layer onto a top surface of the first elastomeric layer such that a control channel forms in the second recess between the first and second elastomeric layers; and positioning the first elastomeric layer on top of a planar substrate such that a flow channel forms in the first recess between the first elastomeric layer and the planar substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2014
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer, Stephen R. Quake
  • Publication number: 20140199713
    Abstract: The present invention provides microfluidic devices and methods for using the same. In particular, microfluidic devices of the present invention are useful in conducting a variety of assays and high throughput screening. Microfluidic devices of the present invention include elastomeric components and comprise a main flow channel; a plurality of branch flow channels; a plurality of control channels; and a plurality of valves. Preferably, each of the valves comprises one of the control channels and an elastomeric segment that is deflectable into or retractable from the main or branch flow channel upon which the valve operates in response to an actuation force applied to the control channel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 17, 2014
    Publication date: July 17, 2014
    Applicant: CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
    Inventors: STEPHEN R. QUAKE, MARC A. UNGER, HOU-PU CHOU, TODD A. THORSEN, AXEL SCHERER
  • Publication number: 20140130920
    Abstract: A microfabricated fluidic unidirectional valve includes a microfabricated elastomer material having a flow through channel. The microfabricated fluidic unidirectional valve also includes an elastomer flap attached to the elastomer material in the flow through channel. The elastomer flap forms a seal in the flow through channel to prevent fluid from flowing in a first direction through the flow through channel and to allow fluid flow in a second direction through the flow through channel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 5, 2013
    Publication date: May 15, 2014
    Applicant: Fluidigm Corporation
    Inventors: David Fernandes, Hou-Pu Chou, Marc A. Unger
  • Patent number: 8695640
    Abstract: A method of fabricating an elastomeric structure, comprising: forming a first elastomeric layer on top of a first micromachined mold, the first micromachined mold having a first raised protrusion which forms a first recess extending along a bottom surface of the first elastomeric layer; forming a second elastomeric layer on top of a second micromachined mold, the second micromachined mold having a second raised protrusion which forms a second recess extending along a bottom surface of the second elastomeric layer; bonding the bottom surface of the second elastomeric layer onto a top surface of the first elastomeric layer such that a control channel forms in the second recess between the first and second elastomeric layers; and positioning the first elastomeric layer on top of a planar substrate such that a flow channel forms in the first recess between the first elastomeric layer and the planar substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer, Stephen R. Quake
  • Patent number: 8673645
    Abstract: The present invention provides microfluidic devices and methods for using the same. In particular, microfluidic devices of the present invention are useful in conducting a variety of assays and high throughput screening. Microfluidic devices of the present invention include elastomeric components and comprise a main flow channel; a plurality of branch flow channels; a plurality of control channels; and a plurality of valves. Preferably, each of the valves comprises one of the control channels and an elastomeric segment that is deflectable into or retractable from the main or branch flow channel upon which the valve operates in response to an actuation force applied to the control channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2014
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Stephen R. Quake, Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer
  • Patent number: 8656958
    Abstract: A method of fabricating an elastomeric structure, comprising: forming a first elastomeric layer on top of a first micromachined mold, the first micromachined mold having a first raised protrusion which forms a first recess extending along a bottom surface of the first elastomeric layer; forming a second elastomeric layer on top of a second micromachined mold, the second micromachined mold having a second raised protrusion which forms a second recess extending along a bottom surface of the second elastomeric layer; bonding the bottom surface of the second elastomeric layer onto a top surface of the first elastomeric layer such that a control channel forms in the second recess between the first and second elastomeric layers; and positioning the first elastomeric layer on top of a planar substrate such that a flow channel forms in the first recess between the first elastomeric layer and the planar substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2014
    Assignee: California Institue of Technology
    Inventors: Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer, Stephen R. Quake, Markus M. Enzelberger, Mark L. Adams, Carl L. Hansen
  • Patent number: 8617488
    Abstract: Microfluidic devices are described that include a rigid base layer, and an elastomeric layer on the base layer. The elastomeric layer may include at least part of a fluid channel for transporting a liquid reagent, and a vent channel that accepts gas diffusing through the elastomeric layer from the flow channel and vents it out of the elastomeric layer. The devices may also include a mixing chamber fluidly connected to the fluid channel, and a control channel overlapping with a deflectable membrane that defines a portion of the flow channel, where the control channel may be operable to change a rate at which the liquid reagent flows through the fluid channel. The devices may further include a rigid plastic layer on the elastomeric layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2013
    Assignee: Fluidigm Corporation
    Inventors: Tim Woudenberg, Jing Wang, Hou-Pu Chou
  • Patent number: 8590573
    Abstract: A microfabricated fluidic unidirectional valve includes a microfabricated elastomer material having a flow through channel. The microfabricated fluidic unidirectional valve also includes an elastomer flap attached to the elastomer material in the flow through channel. The elastomer flap forms a seal in the flow through channel to prevent fluid from flowing in a first direction through the flow through channel and to allow fluid flow in a second direction through the flow through channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Assignee: Fluidigm Corporation
    Inventors: David Fernandes, Hou-Pu Chou, Marc A. Unger
  • Publication number: 20130295653
    Abstract: The invention relates to a microfabricated device for the rapid detection of DNA, proteins or other molecules associated with a particular disease. The devices and methods of the invention can be used for the simultaneous diagnosis of multiple diseases by detecting molecules (e.g. amounts of molecules), such as polynucleotides (e.g., DNA) or proteins (e.g., antibodies), by measuring the signal of a detectable reporter associated with hybridized polynucleotides or antigen/antibody complex. In the microfabricated device according to the invention, detection of the presence of molecules (i.e., polynucleotides, proteins, or antigen/antibody complexes) are correlated to a hybridization signal from an optically-detectable (e.g. fluorescent) reporter associated with the bound molecules. These hybridization signals can be detected by any suitable means, for example optical, and can be stored for example in a computer as a representation of the presence of a particular gene.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 25, 2012
    Publication date: November 7, 2013
    Applicant: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Stephen R. Quake, Hou-Pu Chou