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: 8002933
    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 2, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2011
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer, Stephen R. Quake
  • Publication number: 20110177499
    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: April 4, 2011
    Publication date: July 21, 2011
    Applicant: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Stephen R. Quake, Hou-Pu Chou
  • Publication number: 20110151498
    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: February 14, 2011
    Publication date: June 23, 2011
    Applicant: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Stephen R. Quake, Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer
  • Publication number: 20110151499
    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: February 15, 2011
    Publication date: June 23, 2011
    Applicant: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Stephen R. Quake, Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer
  • Patent number: 7887753
    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: May 27, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2011
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Stephen R. Quake, Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer
  • Publication number: 20110020918
    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: Application
    Filed: April 21, 2010
    Publication date: January 27, 2011
    Applicant: Fluidigm Corporation
    Inventors: Hany Ramez Nassef, Hou-Pu Chou, Michael Lucero, Andrew May, Kathy Yokobata
  • Patent number: 7867763
    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: February 14, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2011
    Assignee: Fluidigm Corporation
    Inventors: Geoffrey Facer, Robert Grossman, Marc Unger, Phillip Lam, Hou-Pu Chou, Jake Kimball, Martin Pieprzyk, Antoine Daridon
  • Publication number: 20100311060
    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: April 16, 2010
    Publication date: December 9, 2010
    Applicant: Fluidigm Corporation
    Inventors: Geoffrey Facer, Robert Grossman, Marc Unger, Phillip Lam, Hou-Pu Chou, Jake Kimball, Martin Pieprzyk, Antoine Daridon
  • Publication number: 20100263757
    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 18, 2009
    Publication date: October 21, 2010
    Applicant: Fluidigm Corporation
    Inventors: David Fernandes, Hou-Pu Chou, Marc A. Unger
  • Publication number: 20100200782
    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 24, 2009
    Publication date: August 12, 2010
    Applicant: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer, Stephen R. Quake
  • Publication number: 20100196892
    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: October 9, 2009
    Publication date: August 5, 2010
    Applicant: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Stephen R. Quake, Hou-Pu Chou
  • Patent number: 7766055
    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: August 3, 2010
    Assignee: California Institute 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
  • Publication number: 20100187105
    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 9, 2009
    Publication date: July 29, 2010
    Applicant: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer, Stephen R. Quake
  • Publication number: 20100175767
    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: August 13, 2009
    Publication date: July 15, 2010
    Applicant: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer, Stephen R. Quake
  • Patent number: 7754010
    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: July 13, 2010
    Assignee: California Institute 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
  • Publication number: 20100120018
    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: August 5, 2009
    Publication date: May 13, 2010
    Applicant: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Stephen R. Quake, Hou-Pu Chou
  • Patent number: 7704735
    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: April 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2010
    Assignee: Fluidigm Corporation
    Inventors: Geoffrey Facer, Robert Grossman, Marc Unger, Philip Lam, Hou-Pu Chou, Jake Kimball, Martin Pieprzyk, Antoine Daridon
  • Patent number: 7640947
    Abstract: Microfabricated fluidic devices of the present invention include switches that can be opened and closed to allow or block the flow of fluid through a channel in response to the pressure level in a gate of the switch. The microfabricated fluidic switches may be coupled together to perform logic functions and Boolean algebra, such as inverters, AND gates, NAND, gates, NOR gates, and OR gates. The logic gates may be coupled together to form flip-flops that latch signals. The present invention also includes microfabricated fluidic pressure multipliers that increase the pressure in a second chamber relative to a first chamber. Microfabricated fluidic devices of the present invention also include high or low pressure sources. A pressure source of the present includes a pump coupled to a reservoir through unidirectional valves. Microfabricated fluidic devices of the present invention may also include devices that perform analog functions such as switching regulator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2010
    Assignee: Fluidigm Corporation
    Inventors: David Fernandes, Hou-Pu Chou, Marc A. Unger
  • Patent number: 7622081
    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: March 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2009
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Hou-Pu Chou, Stephen R. Quake
  • Patent number: 7601270
    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: June 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2009
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Marc A. Unger, Hou-Pu Chou, Todd A. Thorsen, Axel Scherer, Stephen R. Quake