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).

  • Patent number: 8550119
    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: October 8, 2013
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer, Stephen R. Quake, Markus Enzelberger, Mark L. Adams, Carl L. Hansen
  • Publication number: 20130140181
    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: September 4, 2012
    Publication date: June 6, 2013
    Applicant: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Stephen R. Quake, Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer
  • Patent number: 8455258
    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: February 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Assignee: California Insitute of Technology
    Inventors: Stephen R. Quake, Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer
  • Publication number: 20130000765
    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: December 27, 2011
    Publication date: January 3, 2013
    Applicant: Fluidigm Corporation
    Inventors: David N. Fernandes, Hou-Pu Chou, Marc A. Unger
  • Publication number: 20120328834
    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: January 27, 2012
    Publication date: December 27, 2012
    Applicant: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer, Stephen R. Quake
  • Publication number: 20120295266
    Abstract: This invention relates in general to a method for molecular fingerprinting. The method can be used for forensic identification (e.g. DNA fingerprinting, especially by VNTR), bacterial typing, and human/animal pathogen diagnosis. More particularly, molecules such as polynucleotides (e.g. DNA) can be assessed or sorted by size in a microfabricated device that analyzes the polynucleotides according to restriction fragment length polymorphism. In a microfabricated device according to the invention, DNA fragments or other molecules can be rapidly and accurately typed using relatively small samples, by measuring for example the signal of an optically-detectable (e.g., fluorescent) reporter associated with the polynucleotide fragments.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 17, 2011
    Publication date: November 22, 2012
    Applicant: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Stephen R. Quake, Hou-Pu Chou
  • Patent number: 8273574
    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: February 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2012
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Stephen R. Quake, Mark A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer
  • Patent number: 8257666
    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: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2012
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Stephen R. Quake, Hou-Pu Chou
  • Patent number: 8220487
    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: November 1, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2012
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer, Stephen R. Quake
  • Publication number: 20120178084
    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: February 8, 2012
    Publication date: July 12, 2012
    Applicant: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Stephen R. Quake, Hou-Pu Chou
  • Publication number: 20120091374
    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: October 20, 2011
    Publication date: April 19, 2012
    Applicant: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer, Stephen R. Quake
  • Patent number: 8129176
    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: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2012
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Stephen R. Quake, Hou-Pu Chou
  • Patent number: 8124218
    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: September 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2012
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer, Stephen R. Quake
  • Patent number: 8105824
    Abstract: Methods and systems are provided for conducting a reaction at a selected temperature or range of temperatures over time. An array device is provided. The array device contains separate reaction chambers and is formed as an elastomeric block from multiple layers. At least one layer has at least one recess that recess has at least one deflectable membrane integral to the layer with the recess. The array device has a thermal transfer device proximal to at least one of the reaction chambers. The thermal transfer device is formed to contact a thermal control source. Reagents for carrying out a desired reaction are introduced into the array device. The array device is contacted with a thermal control device such that the thermal control device is in thermal communication with the thermal control source so that a temperature of the reaction in at least one of the reaction chamber is changed as a result of a change in temperature of the thermal control source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2012
    Assignee: Fluidigm Corporation
    Inventors: Geoffrey Facer, Robert Grossman, Marc Unger, Phillip Lam, Hou-Pu Chou, Jake Kimball, Martin Pieprzyk, Antoine Daridon
  • Patent number: 8104514
    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: November 18, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2012
    Assignee: Fluidigm Corporation
    Inventors: David Fernandes, Hou-Pu Chou, Marc A. Unger
  • Patent number: 8105553
    Abstract: The present invention provides for microfluidic devices and methods for their use. The invention further provides for apparatus and systems for using the microfluidic devices, analyze reactions carried out in the microfluidic devices, and systems to generate, store, organize, and analyze data generated from using the microfluidic devices. The invention further provides methods of using and making microfluidic systems and devices which, in some embodiments, are useful for crystal formation. In one embodiment, an apparatus includes a platen having a platen face with one or more fluid ports therein. The fluid ports spatially correspond to one or more wells on a surface of the microfluidic device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2012
    Assignee: Fluidigm Corporation
    Inventors: Robert Grossman, Marc Unger, Phillip Lam, Hou-Pu Chou, Jake Kimball, Martin Pieprzyk
  • Patent number: 8104515
    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: August 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2012
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer, Stephen R. Quake
  • Patent number: 8104497
    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: March 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2012
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Marc Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd Thorsen, Axel Scherer, Stephen Quake, Markus Enzelberger, Mark Adams, Carl Hansen
  • Publication number: 20110265304
    Abstract: Methods and systems are provided for conducting a reaction at a selected temperature or range of temperatures over time. An array device is provided. The array device contains separate reaction chambers and is formed as an elastomeric block from multiple layers. At least one layer has at least one recess that recess has at least one deflectable membrane integral to the layer with the recess. The array device has a thermal transfer device proximal to at least one of the reaction chambers. The thermal transfer device is formed to contact a thermal control source. Reagents for carrying out a desired reaction are introduced into the array device. The array device is contacted with a thermal control device such that the thermal control device is in thermal communication with the thermal control source so that a temperature of the reaction in at least one of the reaction chamber is changed as a result of a change in temperature of the thermal control source.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 10, 2011
    Publication date: November 3, 2011
    Applicant: Fluidigm Corporation
    Inventors: Geoffrey Facer, Robert Grossman, Marc Unger, Phillip Lam, Hou-Pu Chou, Jake Kimball, Martin Pieprzyk, Antoine Daridon
  • Publication number: 20110206576
    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: August 4, 2009
    Publication date: August 25, 2011
    Applicant: FLUIDIGM CORPORATION
    Inventors: Tim Woudenberg, Jing Wang, Hou-Pu Chou