Electro-optic manufacturer Photonis USA has been awarded a patent from the US Patent Office for an etching manufacturing process used to create glass microwell plates. The patent is the 13th awarded to Photonis USA, and the second to be awarded in 2010.
Glass microwell plates are glass wafer plates used to hold samples for biologic and genomic analysis. These plates are comprised of millions of individual glass wells, which are typically less than 32µm in diameter, with a uniform depth, which is less than the thickness of the overall glass plate. The well depth prevents multiple samples from co-mingling on the same glass plate while allowing for multiple sample analysis to be performed simultaneously.
Photonis was awarded a patent on the unique etching process, which provides a uniformity of depth to each well, while preserving the rigidity of a glass sample plate. A uniform depth is important so that the samples are undiluted, which results in maximum ion formation and improved analysis. Rigidity of glass under extreme conditions is also important to prevent damage to the analytical equipment.