Patents Assigned to Pi Medical, Inc.
  • Publication number: 20030196669
    Abstract: An apparatus for use in treating snoring of a patient suffering from snoring includes an implant of bio-compatible material sized to be embedded within the soft palate. The implant is disposed within a bore of a distal tip of a needle for penetration into the soft palate. The bore is sized to receive a rod from a proximal end of the needle with the rod opposing the implant to eject the implant from the distal tip upon relative sliding movement of said needle and said rod. The needle at the distal tip is perforated for fluid to flow through a wall of the needle into engagement with the implant. The implant is selected to altering a dynamic response of the soft palate to airflow past the soft palate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 30, 2003
    Publication date: October 23, 2003
    Applicant: Pi Medical, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy R. Conrad, Mark B. Knudson
  • Publication number: 20030149445
    Abstract: A patient's pharyngeal wall is treated by inserting an expander member into the airway and positioning an active portion of the expander member in opposition to portions of the pharyngeal wall to be treated. The expander member is activated to urge the wall portions outwardly to an outwardly displaced position. The expander member is then deactivated while leaving the wall portions in the outwardly placed position and the expander member is removed from said airway. A further aspect of the treatment includes stabilization of at least a portion of the pharyngeal wall after compression of portions of the wall.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 4, 2002
    Publication date: August 7, 2003
    Applicant: Pi Medical, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark B. Knudson, Timothy R. Conrad
  • Patent number: 6601584
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for treating snoring include selecting an implant formed of a bio-compatible material having dimensions including a longitudinal length, a thickness and a width. The material is sized to be inserted into the soft palate with the longitudinal length extending aligned with an anterior-posterior axis of the palate and with the thickness contained within a thickness of the soft palate. The implant includes a tissue growth-inducing material having a plurality of spaces for accepting tissue growth from the soft palate into the spaces. The material is contractible in at least one of the dimensions in response to implantation of the implant in a body tissue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2003
    Assignee: PI Medical, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark B. Knudson, Timothy R. Conrad
  • Patent number: 6523542
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for treating snoring include selecting an implant formed form a sheet of flexible, bio-compatible material. The sheet has a longitudinal length between a proximal edge and a distal edge, a transverse width and a thickness between upper and lower surfaces. The material is sized to be inserted into the soft palate with the longitudinal length extending aligned with an anterior-posterior axis of the soft palate and with the thickness contained within a thickness of the soft palate. The material has a plurality of spaces for accepting tissue growth from the soft palate into the spaces. The implant is inserted into the soft palate with the longitudinal length extending aligned with an anterior-posterior axis of the soft palate and with the thickness contained within the thickness of the soft palate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2003
    Assignee: Pi Medical, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark B. Knudson, Anja K. Metzger
  • Patent number: 6523541
    Abstract: A delivery system for delivering an implant into a soft palate of a patient for treatment of snoring includes an implant and a delivery tool. The implant is formed from a sheet of flexible, bio-compatible material sized to be inserted into the soft palate. The delivery tool includes a penetrating member with a distal end for penetration into the soft palate through a small penetration wound. The implant is carried in the distal end of the penetrating member. A flattening tool is contained within the penetration member and constrained by the penetrating member against a bias for a distal tip of the tool to expand beyond a size of the penetration wound to approximately a width of the implant. The flattening tool is retractable between an extended position and a retracted position with the distal tip of the tool in the retracted position being smaller than the penetration wound. The penetrating member is retractable relative to the flattening tool when the flattening tool is in the extended position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2003
    Assignee: Pi Medical, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark B. Knudson, Timothy R. Conrad
  • Patent number: 6523543
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for treating snoring of a patient includes providing an implant for altering a dynamic response of a soft palate of the patient to airflow past the soft palate. The implant is embedded in the soft palate to alter the dynamic response. For example, the implant has a mass, stiffness or dampening sufficient to alter the dynamic response following the implantation without substantially impairing a function of the soft palate to close a nasal passage of the patient during swallowing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2003
    Assignee: Pi Medical, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy R. Conrad, Mark B. Knudson, Jerry C. Griffin
  • Patent number: 6516806
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for treating snoring include selecting an implant formed of a bio-compatible material having a longitudinal length between a proximal end and a distal end. The material is compliant in response to tensile forces along the length. The material is sized to be inserted into the soft palate with the longitudinal length extending aligned with an anterior-posterior axis of the palate and with the thickness contained within a thickness of the soft palate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2003
    Assignee: Pi Medical, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark B. Knudson, Timothy R. Conrad
  • Patent number: 6513531
    Abstract: A treatment for treating snoring of a patient attributable at least in part to motion of a soft palate of the patient includes forming a scar in the interior of the soft palate and extending in a direction toward the distal end of the soft palate with the scar limited to a proximal two-thirds of the soft palate
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2003
    Assignee: Pi Medical, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark B. Knudson, Timothy R. Conrad
  • Patent number: 6513530
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for treating snoring of a patient includes providing an implant for altering a dynamic response of a soft palate of the patient to airflow past the soft palate. The implant is embedded in the soft palate to alter the dynamic response. The implant has multiple fibers braided along a length of the implant. The braid includes unbonded ends and air-textured yarns.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2003
    Assignee: Pi Medical, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark B. Knudson, Michael P. Brenzel
  • Patent number: 6502574
    Abstract: A method for treating snoring includes identifying first and second locations disposed on right and left sides, respectively, of a soft palate and separated by an anterior-posterior midline extending centrally positioned on the palate. The first and second locations are linked across the midline by creating a linkage between the first and second locations and through the midline with the linkage having a stiffness greater than a stiffness of untreated tissue naturally residing between the locations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2003
    Assignee: Pi Medical, Inc.
    Inventors: Walter J. Stevens, Anja K. Metzger, Larry A. Walter, Mark B. Knudson, Timothy R. Conrad
  • Publication number: 20020170564
    Abstract: A patient's upper airway condition such as snoring and sleep apnea is treated by selecting a particulate material selected for limited migration within tissue and for encouraging a fibrotic response of tissue to the material. A bolus of the particulate material is injected into the tissue area to structurally stiffen the tissue.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 3, 2002
    Publication date: November 21, 2002
    Applicant: Pi Medical Inc.
    Inventors: Mark B. Knudson, Katherine S. Tweden, Timothy R. Conrad
  • Patent number: 6453905
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for treating snoring of a patient includes providing an implant for altering a dynamic response of a soft palate of the patient to airflow past the soft palate. The implant is embedded in the soft palate to alter the dynamic response. The implant has a first component for initially altering the dynamic response of the soft palate, and a second component for later altering the dynamic response of the soft palate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2002
    Assignee: Pi Medical, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy R. Conrad, Mark B. Knudson
  • Patent number: 6450169
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for treating snoring of a patient includes providing an implant for altering a dynamic response of a soft palate of the patient to airflow past the soft palate. The implant is embedded in the soft palate to alter the dynamic response. The implant has multiple fibers braided along a length of the implant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2002
    Assignee: Pi Medical, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy R. Conrad, Mark B. Knudson
  • Patent number: 6439238
    Abstract: A diagnostic method is for indicating a patient's susceptibility to treatment of snoring by stiffening a region of the patient's a naso-pharyngeal area includes applying a stiffening agent to an outer surface of the region of the naso-pharyngeal area. The stiffening agent is left in place on the outer surface for at least a temporary period of time. During the temporary period of time, observation is made of any abatement of snoring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2002
    Assignee: Pi Medical, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael P. Brenzel, Hugh Qinghong Zhao
  • Patent number: 6431174
    Abstract: A patient's upper airway condition such as snoring and sleep apnea is treated by selecting a particulate material selected for limited migration within tissue and for encouraging a fibrotic response of tissue to the material. A bolus of the particulate material is injected into the tissue area to structurally stiffen the tissue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2002
    Assignee: Pi Medical, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark B. Knudson, Katherine S. Tweden, Timothy R. Conrad
  • Patent number: 6415796
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for treating snoring of a patient includes providing an implant for altering a dynamic response of a soft palate of the patient to airflow past the soft palate. The implant is embedded in the soft palate to alter the dynamic response. The implant has a first component for initially altering the dynamic response of the soft palate, and a second component for later altering the dynamic response of the soft palate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2002
    Assignee: Pi Medical, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy R. Conrad, Mark B. Knudson
  • Patent number: 6401717
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for treating snoring of a patient includes providing an implant for altering a dynamic response of a soft palate of the patient to airflow past the soft palate. The implant is embedded in the soft palate to alter the dynamic response. For example, the implant has a mass, stiffness or dampening sufficient to alter the dynamic response following the implantation without substantially impairing a function of the soft palate to close a nasal passage of the patient during swallowing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Pi Medical, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy R. Conrad, Mark B. Knudson, Jerry C. Griffin
  • Patent number: 6390096
    Abstract: An apparatus for use in treating snoring of a patient suffering from snoring includes an implant of bio-compatible material sized to be embedded within the soft palate. The implant is disposed within a bore of a distal tip of a needle for penetration into the soft palate. The bore is sized to receive a rod from a proximal end of the needle with the rod opposing the implant to eject the implant from the distal tip upon relative sliding movement of said needle and said rod. The needle at the distal tip is perforated for fluid to flow through a wall of the needle into engagement with the implant. The implant is selected to altering a dynamic response of the soft palate to airflow past the soft palate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2002
    Assignee: Pi Medical, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy R. Conrad, Mark B. Knudson
  • Publication number: 20020056462
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for treating snoring of a patient includes providing an implant for altering a dynamic response of a soft palate of the patient to airflow past the soft palate. The implant is embedded in the soft palate to alter the dynamic response. The implant has multiple fibers braided along a length of the implant.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 3, 2002
    Publication date: May 16, 2002
    Applicant: Pi Medical, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy R. Conrad, Mark B. Knudson
  • Publication number: 20020035994
    Abstract: A method for treating snoring includes identifying first and second locations disposed on right and left sides, respectively, of a soft palate and separated by an anterior-posterior midline extending centrally positioned on the palate. The first and second locations are linked across the midline by creating a linkage between the first and second locations and through the midline with the linkage having a stiffness greater than a stiffness of untreated tissue naturally residing between the locations.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 14, 2001
    Publication date: March 28, 2002
    Applicant: Pi Medical, Inc.
    Inventors: Walter J. Stevens, Anja K. Metzger, Larry A. Walter, Mark B. Knudson, Timothy R. Conrad