Patents Represented by Attorney Dana M. Schmidt
  • Patent number: 5528023
    Abstract: A wide bandwidth slope detector has a comparator with first and second time constant circuits coupled to first and second inputs thereof. Where one time constant is on the order of three times the other, the comparator will change state in response to the slopes of an input analog signal coupled to the time constant circuit. Feedback can be provided by a fixed resistor or by a tracking circuit. A smoothing or clipping circuit can be used to pre-process the input analog signals to eliminate noise therefrom. A bar code reading system combines first and second clipping circuits to smooth the highs and lows of the input signal, coupled to a slope detector. The tracking circuit can be used to provide a symmetrical hysteresis characteristic.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 18, 1996
    Assignee: Johnson & Johnson Clinical Diagnostics, Inc.
    Inventors: Randal S. Butturini, Ernest W. Cooley
  • Patent number: 5525514
    Abstract: A method for verifying the effectiveness of a washing operation on a clinical dry chemistry slide element in which wash liquid is dispensed onto the surface of the slide element and then detection devices are used to verify the effectiveness of the wash by making an initial detection at an on center site followed by making a second detection at a second and off-center radial position. A comparison of the two readings provides verification of the wash. In addition, rate measurements can be made at each of the read positions to measure the effectiveness of the wash and to verify sample application for immunological assays.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 11, 1996
    Assignee: Johnson & Johnson Clinical Diagnostics, Inc.
    Inventors: Merrit N. Jacobs, Russel H. Marvin, Paul J. Mulqueen
  • Patent number: 5523054
    Abstract: There is disclosed a slide test element and method of assay that allows for detection of analytes in biological liquids without the use of any detection reagents. The method uses NIR spectroscopy and a test element comprising a support, and a substantially constant light-path defining layer comprising a diffusely-reflecting material that is a) sufficiently porous in all directions as to allow a liquid to spread uniformly in all directions, and b) homogeneously reflects at least 95% of NIR radiation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 4, 1996
    Assignee: Johnson & Johnson Clinical Diagnostics, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven C. Switalski, Thomas R. Kissel
  • Patent number: 5523056
    Abstract: An incubator assembly useful in a clinical analyzer having at least two incubators, each having a rotationally driven rotor assembly having a plurality of slide element holding stations, which incubators are stacked one above the other to define a substantially vertical arrangement. In a preferred embodiment, in which the incubators are of varying size, the smaller rotor assembly is horizontally offset so that the outside diameter of each rotor assembly is coincident in one location, preferably an input station, so that slide elements can be loaded into and removed more conveniently from either rotor assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 4, 1996
    Assignee: Johnson & Johnson Clinical Diagnostics, Inc.
    Inventor: James G. Miller
  • Patent number: 5518693
    Abstract: Apparatus and a method for automatically transferring by pushing and pulling a reagent module onto and off of a rotor of modules. A surface of the module and the transfer mechanism are cooperatively shaped with a loose-fitting tongue and arcuate groove, both the tongue and groove having a curved extension along an arc concentric with the axis of rotation of the rotor, such that modules mounted on the rotor can be rotated off the transfer mechanism by sliding the tongue relative to the groove in a rotational direction. An additional groove is provided at an angle to said arcuate groove, along which the tongue or arcuate groove, whichever is on the transfer mechanism, reciprocates to push or pull a module into or out of the rotor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 21, 1996
    Assignee: Johnson & Johnson Clinical Diagnostics, Inc.
    Inventors: David A. Tomasso, Johannes J. Porte
  • Patent number: 5516645
    Abstract: A dry immunoassay analytical element, for assaying a ligand, comprising a support bearing:(a) a labeled ligand zone;(b) a spreading zone; and(c) a receptor zone containing a fixed concentration of an immobilized receptor for the ligand and the labeled ligand and the receptor is covalently bonded to polymeric beads having a diameter in the range of 0.1 to 5 .mu.m;characterized in that the element contains a compound containing a vanadium IV (V.sup.+4) ion and the zones can be in the same or separate layers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 14, 1996
    Assignee: Johnson & Johnson Clinical Diagnostics, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel S. Daniel, David A. Hilborn, Calvin R. Messing
  • Patent number: 5507388
    Abstract: A stack of plastic articles and a process of forming the stack are disclosed. Preferably the stack is of heat-fusible plastic slide elements for use in a diagnostic analyzer, the elements being temporarily and non-destructively fused together so that the stack can be used free of a cartridge.In another embodiment, the stack can be of any plastic article temporarily fused to adjacent elements, one side edge of each element bearing a colorant and another bearing no colorant, so that a bar code for the stack is inherently formed simply by rotating each element to project outwardly the colored side edge or the side edge lacking colorant, prior to fusing the elements together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 16, 1996
    Assignee: Johnson & Johnson Clinical Diagnostics, Inc.
    Inventors: Maurice A. Kildal, Frank A. Richardson, Claude E. Monsees
  • Patent number: 5505905
    Abstract: A container for sterilizing objects contained in a pouch (20, 66) is provided with shield portions (30, 32) having flexible wiping (42) located on at least one side edge portion (44) of a peripheral edge (40) of one of the shield portions (30, 32). The wiping fingers (42) insure that metal-to-metal contact is maintained between the shield portions (30, 32) during sterilization. The pouch (66) is constructed from two sheets (81) of a laminate material, and includes an instrument retaining portion (68) and a fluid retaining portion (70). A water pillow (80) that bursts during sterilization is provided within the fluid retaining portion (70). Alternatively, a temporary seal (86) that bursts or opens during sterilization is provided within the fluid retaining portion (70) to prevent the premature transfer of a sterilization fluid contained in the fluid retaining portion (70) to the instrument retaining portion (68).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 9, 1996
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Kenneth D. Corby, Francisco Chiarilli, David E. Foeller, Fugui He, Jacob M. Shmois, Peter J. Harissis, Mary Beth M. Allen, Mary-Irene E. Condo
  • Patent number: 5493128
    Abstract: A vertical autoloader capable of handling a variety of different size cassettes without the use of pallets, which includes a separator mechanism and an indexer mechanism. The separator mechanism has a plurality of partitions that define a plurality of slots, and the indexer mechanism has a plurality of partitions that define a plurality of slots corresponding to the slots defined by the partitions of the separator mechanism. An indexer drive mechanism moves the indexer mechanism with respect to a home position of the separator mechanism, wherein the slots defined by the partitions of the indexer mechanism are moved by one position with respect to the slots defined by the partitions of the separator mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 1994
    Date of Patent: February 20, 1996
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventor: John C. Boutet
  • Patent number: 5490972
    Abstract: An incubator and its cover are provided for an analyzer, and especially a mechanism for raising and lowering the cover. Such a mechanism includes a connector between the cover and incubator that allows the cover to be raised to a superimposed position, but not rotated. A pivot pin is mounted directly between the connector and the cover so that the cover can be pivoted relative to the connector to complete exposure of the incubator for access. A latch is provided on the connector for automatically latching the cover in the raised position as soon as the cover is pivoted in the plane at least part way from the superimposed position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1994
    Date of Patent: February 13, 1996
    Assignee: Johnson & Johnson Clinical Diagnostics, Inc.
    Inventors: Gary S. Hartman, James G. Miller
  • Patent number: 5460780
    Abstract: A combination is provided of a reaction vessel and apparatus for processing it. Preferably, the latter features a temperature control device comprising two surfaces to contact a reaction vessel sandwiched between them, a heater element being disposed on one side of one of the surfaces, a cavity being provided at the heater element, and pressure means for delivering cooling gas to the cavity and the heater element and for removing the air after it has cooled the heater element. Most preferably, there is further included means for providing relative movement between the control device and a reaction vessel so sandwiched between the two surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 1989
    Date of Patent: October 24, 1995
    Inventors: Mark J. Devaney, Jr., Jeffrey A. Wellman, John S. Lercher
  • Patent number: 5456883
    Abstract: An incubator comprises a rotor ring with two sets of apertures displaced along an arc of rotation, holding a cuvette in them. The apertures of one set are connected to an aperture of the other by a slot sized to allow passage of an elevator lead screw, but not a cuvette, between the apertures, the cuvette being raised on the top of the elevator during such passage. The elevator can also be used to move the cuvette into contact with a luminometer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 10, 1995
    Assignee: Johnson & Johnson Clinical Diagnostics, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert A. Burkovich, James D. Riall
  • Patent number: 5449624
    Abstract: A method of assaying analytes using a rate procedure is described where the change in density over time has a variable rate. The method features the steps of depositing the sample onto a dried slide-like test element, making an initial rate reading during an early time window, using the initial rate readings in a comparison study with rates from known low and high concentration results to predict whether the sample rate will be sufficiently low as to be ascertainable during a later time window or not, and then calculating a rate of reaction and concentration during either the early time window or the early time window with a portion of the later time window, respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 12, 1995
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Paul A. Kildal-Brandt, Thomas A. Weber
  • Patent number: 5441895
    Abstract: A stack of a plurality of substantially identical cup-like vessels pre-incorporated with reagent on the inside, each of the vessels occupying at least about 50% of the depth of the next adjacent vessel to maximize stacking density. Because the pre-incorporated reagent overlaps the occupied depth portion of the vessel and therefore runs a risk of being dislodged, the wall of the vessel is constructed to provide a gap between the inside surface bearing the reagent, and the outside surface of the occupying, nested vessel, that is at least 0.025 mm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 15, 1995
    Inventors: Raymond F. Jakubowicz, Johannes J. Porte
  • Patent number: 5441891
    Abstract: An incubator and method of transfer in such incubator in an analyzer, wherein a simple transfer mechanism is provided for moving a cuvette from one incubator ring to another adjacent one. The mechanism comprises a shuttle disposed above said rotors, said shuttle having an aperture sufficiently large as to receive, but not retain by friction, one of said vessels, a mechanism for moving the shuttle and its aperture to traverse from one ring to the other, and a pusher member and mechanism for moving the pusher member to raise a cuvette from one ring into the shuttle. When the shuttle aperture aligns with the aperture of the other ring, a cuvette in the shuttle simply falls under the influence of gravity into the other ring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 15, 1995
    Inventors: Robert A. Burkovich, James D. Riall
  • Patent number: 5424837
    Abstract: A container of sample tubes is described with a mechanism for detecting the diameter of variously sized tubes that are placed therein. A method of detection is also described. Both the mechanism and the method rely on pairs of tube holders that are biased together with detectable ends that are spaced farther apart, the larger the tube that is held by the holders. A sensor is provided externally of the container to sense how far apart the ends are spaced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 13, 1995
    Inventors: Johannes J. Porte, William D. Van Arsdale, Christopher E. Thomas, James D. Riall, Thomas A. Wertman
  • Patent number: 5422271
    Abstract: A device and method are disclosed for amplifying and detecting nucleic acid material. The device and method use a label and signalling material responsive to the label to produce a detectable signal. A surprising result of the method and device is that at least one of the wash steps heretofore required has been eliminated without substantially adversely affecting the results.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 6, 1995
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Paul H.-D. Chen, John B. Findlay, Susan M. Atwood, Lynn Bergmeyer
  • Patent number: 5419871
    Abstract: An analyzer and an elevator therein for moving a slide element from a distributor operating preferably in a single horizontal plane, to one of plural incubators disposed at different vertical levels. A drive mechanism is provided for raising and lowering the elevator, and a pusher is provided, such as a pusher blade within the elevator, to push a slide element from the distributor to a support in the elevator, and then into one of the incubators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 30, 1995
    Inventors: Martin F. Muszak, Alexander W. Hirsch, Michael W. LaCourt
  • Patent number: D366529
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1992
    Date of Patent: January 23, 1996
    Assignee: Johnson & Johnson Clinical Diagnostics, Inc.
    Inventors: Kerinchan P. J. Babaoglu, Norbert S. Norkus, Randall S. Johnson
  • Patent number: D369564
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 7, 1996
    Assignee: Johnson & Johnson Clinical Diagnostics, Inc.
    Inventors: Laura R. Whitby, Andrew T. Chung, Rodney Wright