Samsung Invents Bio-tech Chips for Pharma


When we  look at Samsung as a part of the “Companies We Follow” series on, we normally see electronics, mobile devices, wireless technologies and a variety of processes and methods that relate to computers and the Internet. An interesting patent application of a different sort recently published to Samsung caught my attention.

The patent application is simply titled Bio-chip, and issued on June 12, 2014 as U.S. Patent Application No. 20140162908. It covers a method of performing multiple analytical tests on a single source of biomaterial. This bio-chip testing system has applications in the medical world, for quicker diagnosis of disease, as well as the cosmetic fields by providing a more cost-effective way to measure a product’s toxicity.

Biotechnologies present an intriguing area of development in a variety of consumer industries, from pharmaceuticals to cosmetics to medical services and more. One way in which the technological application of biological systems can be used to benefit society is through the rapid diagnosis of diseases, perhaps an area of innovation that one would normally not associate with Samsung. For pharmaceuticals and other industries, bio-chips and cell chips can help a manufacturer test their products for toxicity.

However, the currently existing bio-chip technologies possess some incredible shortcomings, especially in light of recent shifts in research. An increased interest in studying the proteins which support all living organisms has created a desire for bio-chip systems that can analyze portions of biomaterials instead of the whole. As well, medical diagnoses and cosmetics toxicity tests using bio-chips are fairly expensive because of the large amount of reagents used to conduct precise tests.

In February 2013, Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co. filed this patent application with the USPTO to protect a bio-chip comprised of a fixing plate including multiple guide grooves and a substrate which includes multiple support plates for holding biomaterials for testing. The substrate is attached to the fixing plate by inserting it into the guide grooves. A number of pillars and catching members are also included in this device to restrict movement of the substrate and other components. This application claims priority to a Korean Patent Application filed on Dec. 6, 2012, the disclosure of which was incorporated by reference.

This design has been developed so that a single bio-chip would be capable of performing multiple analysis procedures. The biomaterial can be easily deposited onto the substrate and held in place so that selected regions of the biomaterial can be separated and analyzed. Substrates and other components are constructed of a plastic material which may be handled more easily than glass without breaking.

Claim 1 of this patent application filed by Samsung would protect:

“A bio-chip, comprising: a fixing plate having a plurality of guide grooves formed in one surface thereof; a first substrate having a plurality of support plates inserted into the guide grooves; and a plurality of pillars protruded from one surface of the respective support plates, and having a biomaterial disposed thereon; and a second substrate having a plurality of micro-wells into which the pillars are inserted.”

And don’t think this invention is a one-off for Samsung. The company has a variety of other patent applications also titled Bio-chip, but which do not relate to the same chain of applications for priority. For example see:

U.S. Patent Application No. 20130102502, which incorporates by reference and claims priority to a Korean Patent Application (No. 10-2011-0109183) filed on October 25, 2011.

U.S. Patent Application No. 20130101480, which incorporates by reference and claims priority to a Korean Patent Application (No. 10-2011-0109184) filed on October 25, 2011.

U.S. Patent Application No. 20130184182, which which incorporates by reference and claims priority to a Korean Patent Application (No. 0-2012-0005142) filed on January 17, 2012.

Samsung also has patent applications relating to bio-sensors and bio-toner as well.


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