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Micronics Receives Patent on Immunoassay in a Disposable Lab Card; Technology Enables Point-of-Use Products for Range of Applications.

Business Editors

REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 21, 2003

Micronics, Inc. today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued an important patent on the use of a credit-card sized microfluidic device to perform competitive immunoassays.

The issued claims are for a miniaturized means by which the presence and concentration of analytes - or particles - of interest may be determined. This is achieved by exploiting molecular binding reactions and differential diffusion rates in microchannels. The ability to perform assays in this microscale dimension affords an extremely rapid, homogenous, and cost effective alternative to current methods used commercially today.

One of the issued claims permits the measurement of a labeled antigen concentration along one dimension of a microchannel, after allowing it to diffuse for a short time into a region containing specific antibodies. Concentrations of analytes - such as drugs or hormones - may be determined in less than thirty seconds using only a few microliters of sample. This compares to standard immunoassay methods today that require larger volumes of sample and reagents and at least five to ten minutes to achieve a result.

The microassay described in the patent is applicable to a wide range of analytes, including therapeutic drugs, molecular biological markers and environmental contaminants.

The patent, entitled "Microscale Diffusion Immunoassay " (US Patent Number 6,541,213), is based on work initially performed at the University of Washington ("UW"). Micronics holds exclusive, worldwide license rights to this patent as well as to a number of other patents from the UW in the field of microfluidics.

Micronics is an emerging leader in the development of point-of-use systems that allow real-time answers to health questions while at the physician's office, home, workplace, school, shopping mall and other public places. These systems include portable and handheld instruments with integrated laboratory-tests-on-a-card ("lab cards"), as well as stand alone, single use lab cards being developed to provide rapid on-site results in infectious diseases testing, nucleic acid testing, blood type analysis, cancer testing, and respiratory disease testing.

Micronics is the world's foremost provider of thin film laminate-based custom designed lab cards on behalf of clients worldwide. The company also sells its ultra-low-pulse microFlow(TM) System to researchers in industry, academia and government to enable the analysis and control of fluids in flow using greatly reduced volumes of samples and reagents over current macro-scale instruments commonly used in laboratories today. Additional company information may be found at
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 21, 2003
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