Tuesday, August 12, 2008

US Patent 7409851 - Functionalized MEMS biosensor


This patent from Cornell Research Foundation with priority going back to March 29, 2005 includes some basic claims to MEMs oscillators used in bioassays. Although prior art was applied against the claims the applicant argued that the device operates using a "catalyzing adsorption site" which produces resonant shifts in non-aqueous environments such as air or vacuum which was alleged to be distinguished form the prior art. Claim 1 reads:

1. A MEMs device comprising:

a MEMs oscillator;

a catalyzing adsorption site supported by the oscillator, such that the sites provide control of chemical surface functionality for the detection of desired analytes, wherein the site is adapted to obtain a desired oscillator resonant frequency shift, such shift representing the difference between a site with attached analyte and without attached analyte.

However, some relevant prior art may have been overlooked such as

Mechanical Resonant Immunospecific Biological Detector 2000 (teaches micromechanical cantilevers used in air or vacuum for bioassays)


Attogram detection using nanoelectromechanical oscillators 4/2004 (teaches micromechanical cantilevers employing catalyzing capture sites, this at least should have been cited by the applicant since it shares two common inventors with the patent)


Microcantilever resonance-based DNA detection with nanoparticle probes 5/2003 (also employing catalyzing capture sites)