The assignee for this patent, patent number 8524490, is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Systems which utilize multiple or cyclic chemical reactions to produce a desired product often have careful temperature control to produce optimal results. Such reactions include nucleic acid amplification reactions such as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the ligase chain reaction (LCR). However, because of the cost and difficulty associated with existing transportable testing equipment, such systems have thus far been unavailable in field-based operations.
"A number of thermal 'cyclers' used for DNA amplification and sequencing currently exist in the market, wherein the temperature controlled elements in these cyclers are heated and maintained at a certain desired temperature. However, these devices suffer drawbacks, such as high energy demand to operate, heat, and maintain the temperature at a prescribed level, and contamination, size and weight of the apparatus. These drawbacks often render the devices not practical in field operations.
"Thus, there exists a need to develop a thermocycler system that is portable and can be operated without being connected to an external power source. It is further desirable to have such system with a long operating life and to be user-friendly, thereby adaptable for field use."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, NewsRx editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "It is an object of the present application to provide a portable thermocycler, and methods of making and using thereof. The thermocycler described herein can be deployed for field-use, where no power outlets are available.
"One embodiment provides a heating block of a thermocycler, comprising: a heating plate mounted over a thermally insulating material having a thickness substantially greater than that of the heating plate, wherein the heating plate comprises a material having a thermal conductivity substantially higher than that of the thermally insulating material, and wherein the heating plate is maintained at a set temperature by a heater.
"In another embodiment, a portable thermocycler is provided, the thermocycler comprising: (i) a case; (ii) a rotary plate in the case; (iii) a plurality of heating blocks arranged in a geometric pattern disposed on the rotary plate; and (iv) at least one vessel adapted to move and contact at least two of the plurality of heating blocks; wherein each of the heating blocks comprises a heating plate maintained at a set temperature mounted over a thermally insulating material; wherein the geometric pattern comprises a number of center heating blocks arranged in a shape defining a polygon and a number of outside heating blocks disposed around the periphery of the rotary plate; and wherein the rotary plate includes a plurality of rotating wheels adapted to rotate at least one of the vessels into contact with each of the heating blocks.
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