Patents Assigned to Vitek, Inc.
  • Patent number: 6586234
    Abstract: The present invention relates to the detection of specific nucleic acid sequences after an amplification process, or directly without amplification. In particular, the invention provides for the automation of the amplification and detection process, the amplification and detection of one or more specific nucleic acid sequences, the use of internal controls, reduced potential for contamination caused by the manual manipulation of reagents, and improved reagent compositions to better control assay performance and provide for further protection against contamination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2003
    Assignee: bioMerieux Vitek, Inc.
    Inventors: J. Lawrence Burg, Luigi Catanzariti, Marcela Vera-Garcia, James G. Moe
  • Patent number: 6300068
    Abstract: The present invention relates to the detection of specific nucleic acid sequences after an amplification process, or directly without amplification. In particular, the invention provides for the automation of the amplification and detection process, the amplification and detection of one or more specific nucleic acid sequences, the use of internal controls, reduced potential for contamination caused by the manual manipulation of reagents, and improved reagent compositions to better control assay performance and provide for further protection against contamination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2001
    Assignee: bioMerieux Vitek, Inc.
    Inventors: J. Lawrence Burg, Luigi Catanzariti, Bryan W. Kluttz, Geoff A. McKinley, James G. Moe, Marcela Vera-Garcia
  • Patent number: 5897835
    Abstract: A positioning system for a sample testing machine incudes a base pan and a set of independent drive systems for sliding a sample tray across the base pan. Each of the drive systems incudes a paddle that engages a side of the sample tray. The paddle is slideably mounted to a shaft with a collar that slides over the shaft. A motor and drive belt is provided to move the collar along the shaft, causing the paddle to engage the side of the sample tray and slide the sample tray across the base pan. Track sections are provided in the base pan to prevent the sample tray from rotating as the paddle slides the sample tray across the base pan.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 27, 1999
    Assignee: bioMerieux Vitek, Inc.
    Inventors: William Ernest Seaton, Mark Joseph Fanning, JoAnne T. Gerst
  • Patent number: 5881781
    Abstract: A diluting station and a pipetting station for a machine such as a biological sample testing machine. The diluting station has a rotating shot tube that fills with diluent without the need for priming when the shot tube is in a vertically inclined orientation, and which dispenses the diluent into a receptacle when the shot tube is rotated to a downward orientation. A thimble valve is placed in the shot tube to control the flow of diluent into the valve.The pipetting station includes a cylindrical housing storing a plurality of straws and a concentric rotating drum that sweeps a straw into a straw withdrawal slot. A tubular tapered transfer pin is inserted into frictional engagement with the straw. The tubular transfer pin rotates the straw out of the slot and into a generally downward orientation towards a receptacle containing a fluid. The pin and straw are lowered so as to place the end of the straw into the fluid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 16, 1999
    Assignee: bioMerieux Vitek, Inc.
    Inventor: James Clement Bishop
  • Patent number: 5869006
    Abstract: An automatic sample testing machine for testing samples stored in test cards. The machine has a test sample positioning system for moving a tray containing a plurality of test sample cards and fluid receptacles among various stations in the machine. The machine has a diluting station for adding a predetermined quantity of diluent to the receptacles as needed. A pipetting station transfers fluid from one receptacle to another. A vacuum station is provided having a vacuum chamber moveable relative to the tray between upper and lower positions. The chamber cooperates with the tray to make a sealing engagement with the top surface of the tray when it is lowered to the lower position. A vacuum generator supplies vacuum to the chamber. When the vacuum is released from the chamber, the fluid samples are loaded into the cards from the receptacles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 9, 1999
    Assignee: bio Merieux Vitek, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Joseph Fanning, Roger James Morris, Ron Robinson, William Ernest Seaton, Daniel Ray Williams, Craig Drager
  • Patent number: 5869005
    Abstract: An improved sample card is provided. The improved card, typically used in biochemical analysis, achieves high sample well capacity and improved fluid flow, including by means of a plurality of through-channels which route the fluid flow of samples along both the front and back surfaces of the card. Elevated bubble traps are provided, as are integral interrupt slots for sensing card position and alignment. A bezeled leading edge facilitates insertion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 9, 1999
    Assignee: bioMerieux Vitek, Inc.
    Inventors: Raymond E. O'Bear, Bruno Colin, G. R. Tegeler, John L. Staples
  • Patent number: 5856193
    Abstract: An automatic sample testing machine for testing samples stored in test cards. The machine has a test sample positioning system for moving a tray containing a plurality of test sample cards and fluid receptacles among various stations in the machine. The machine has a diluting station for adding a predetermined quantity of diluent to the receptacles as needed. A pipetting station transfers fluid from one receptacle to another. A vacuum station is provided having a vacuum chamber moveable relative to the tray between upper and lower positions. The chamber cooperates with the tray to make a sealing engagement with the top surface of the tray when it is lowered to the lower position. A vacuum generator supplies vacuum to the chamber. When the vacuum is released from the chamber, the fluid samples are loaded into the cards from the receptacles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 5, 1999
    Assignee: bioMerieux Vitek, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Joseph Fanning, Jean-Pierre Bernard Gayral, Clifford W. Karl, Bernard Jean Marie Limon, Donald Meyer, Roger James Morris, Ron Robinson, William Ernest Seaton, David B. Shine, Paul Springer, James Clement Bishop, Craig Drager, Thomas Burchard, David Chastain, Stephen Guerrera, Andrew Moore, David Porat, Arthur Rousmaniere, Andrew Zeigler
  • Patent number: 5853667
    Abstract: A positioning system for a sample testing machine incudes a base pan and a set of independent drive systems for sliding a sample tray across the base pan. Each of the drive systems incudes a paddle that engages a side of the sample tray. The paddle is slideably mounted to a shaft with a collar that slides over the shaft. A motor and drive belt is provided to move the collar along the shaft, causing the paddle to engage the side of the sample tray and slide the sample tray across the base pan. Track sections are provided in the base pan to prevent the sample tray from rotating as the paddle slides the sample tray across the base pan.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 29, 1998
    Assignee: bioMerieux Vitek, Inc.
    Inventors: William Ernest Seaton, Mark Joseph Fanning, Craig Drager, Ron Robinson, Roger James Morris, Jean-Pierre Bernard Gayral, JoAnne T. Gerst
  • Patent number: 5853666
    Abstract: A sample card transport station moves a test sample card from an incubation station for the card to a transmittance and fluorescence optical station in a sample testing machine. The sample card transport station has a drive belt and an associated stepper motor. The belt supports the card from one side of the card. A ledge having a card slot is disposed above the belt. The card is snugly received within the card slot, and supported from below by the drive belt and rollers for the belt. When the motor turns the belt, the belt grips the card and slides the card along the slot to the optical stations, without any slippage between the belt and the card. This construction provides for precise control over the movement of the card.The fluorescence station has a linear flash lamp that illuminates a column of the wells of the cards simultaneously. A reference detector and dichromatic beam splitter design is used to insure that the fluorescence measurements are independent of lamp output changes over time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 29, 1998
    Assignee: bioMerieux Vitek, Inc.
    Inventors: William Ernest Seaton, Mark Joseph Fanning, David B. Shine, Craig Drager
  • Patent number: 5843380
    Abstract: A test sample card has a fluid passage network provided on both sides of the card to provide for maximum separation distance between adjacent growth wells. The card also has cored sections along its periphery adjacent the wells, which improve the flow of plastic during the molding of the cards. The cored sections control the formation of knit lines in the surface of the card and eliminate knit lines from forming that could potentially bridge adjacent wells. These features, singly and together, combine to produce a card that is essentially immune to cross-talk between adjacent wells, yet permit a greater number of wells in a card of given dimensions. Improved bubble trap features are also provided for the card, including a bubble trap passage having a restriction formed therein. The restriction prevents air bubbles in the bubble trap from migrating back to the growth wells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1998
    Assignee: bioMerieux Vitek, Inc.
    Inventors: John Staples, Garry Tegeler, Raymond O'Bear
  • Patent number: 5804437
    Abstract: A test sample card is provided with a locking feature for achieving a positive, locking engagement with a transfer tube that conducts fluid into the interior of the test sample card. The locking feature consists of a tubular channel inwardly disposed from the fluid intake port that has an inner annular rim defining a restriction. The annular rim is of a reduced diameter relative to the diameter of the transfer tube. A recessed region is positioned inwardly from the restriction that has an opening in one of the surfaces of the card body. When the transfer tube is inserted into the tubular channel, the first end is forced past the restriction into the recessed region, with the annular rim compressing the transfer tube. The user is able to sense with their hands when the first end is inserted past the restriction. Visual observation of the first end of the transfer tube through the opening in the card surface confirms that the transfer tube has been properly inserted into the test sample card.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1998
    Assignee: bioMerieux Vitek, Inc.
    Inventors: Garry R. Tegeler, Kent Smith
  • Patent number: 5800778
    Abstract: An improved sealant for a biocard or other sample holder is provided. The sealant achieves low weight, good tensile strength, and high oxygen permeability while avoiding excessive fluid evaporation, speeding incubation times.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 1, 1998
    Assignee: bioMerieux Vitek, Inc.
    Inventors: Patrick K. Chen, Raymond E. O'Bear
  • Patent number: 5798084
    Abstract: A positioning system for a sample testing machine includes a base pan and a set of independent drive systems for sliding a sample tray across the base pan. Each of the drive systems includes a paddle that engages a side of the sample tray. The paddle is slideably mounted to a shaft with a collar that slides over the shaft. A motor and drive belt is provided to move the collar along the shaft, causing the paddle to engage the side of the sample tray and slide the sample tray across the base pan. Track sections are provided in the base pan to prevent the sample tray from rotating as the paddle slides the sample tray across the base pan.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 25, 1998
    Assignee: bioMerieux Vitek, Inc.
    Inventors: William Ernest Seaton, Mark Joseph Fanning, Craig Drager, Ron Robinson, Roger James Morris, Jean-Pierre Bernard Gayral
  • Patent number: 5798085
    Abstract: A sample card transport station moves a test sample card from an incubation station for the card to a transmittance and fluorescence optical station in a sample testing machine. The sample card transport station has a drive belt and an associated stepper motor. The belt supports the card from one side of the card. A ledge having a card slot is disposed above the belt. The card is snugly received within the card slot, and supported from below by the drive belt and rollers for the belt. When the motor turns the belt, the belt grips the card and slides the card along the slot to the optical stations, without any slippage between the belt and the card. This construction provides for precise control over the movement of the card.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 25, 1998
    Assignee: bioMerieux Vitek, Inc.
    Inventors: William Ernest Seaton, Mark Joseph Fanning
  • Patent number: 5786182
    Abstract: A reaction vessel for a nucleic acid amplification reaction has a first chamber containing an amplification reagent mix, a second chamber containing an amplification enzyme, and a fluid channel or chamber connecting the first and second chambers together. A fluid sample is introduced into the first chamber. After a denaturation and primer annealing process has occurred in the first chamber, the fluid channel is opened to allow the solution of the reagent and fluid sample to flow into the second chamber. The second chamber is maintained at an optimal temperature for the amplification reaction.A station is described for processing test strips incorporating the reaction vessels. The station includes temperature and vacuum control subsystems to maintain proper temperatures in the reaction vessel and effectuate the transfer of the fluid from one chamber to the other in an automated fashion without human intervention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 28, 1998
    Assignee: bioMerieux Vitek, Inc.
    Inventors: Luigi Catanzariti, Bryan W. Kluttz, Geoff A. McKinley, Arthur L. Garland, Louis Graziano, James G. Moe, Marcela Vera-Garcia, James Clement Bishop, David Chastain, Fabio Gennari
  • Patent number: 5766553
    Abstract: A test sample card has a fluid passage network provided on both sides of the card to provide for maximum separation distance between adjacent growth wells. The card also has cored sections along its periphery adjacent the wells, which improve the flow of plastic during the molding of the cards. The cored sections control the formation of knit lines in the surface of the card and eliminate knit lines from forming that could potentially bridge adjacent wells. These features, singly and together, combine to produce a card that is essentially immune to cross-talk between adjacent wells, yet permit a greater number of wells in a card of given dimensions. Improved bubble trap features are also provided for the card, including a bubble trap passage having a restriction formed therein. The restriction prevents air bubbles in the bubble trap from migrating back to the growth wells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 16, 1998
    Assignee: BioMerieux Vitek, Inc.
    Inventors: John Staples, Garry Tegeler, Raymond O'Bear
  • Patent number: 5762873
    Abstract: An automatic sample testing machine for testing samples stored in test cards. The machine has a test sample positioning system for moving a tray containing a plurality of test sample cards and fluid receptacles among various stations in the machine. The machine has a diluting station for adding a predetermined quantity of diluent to the receptacles as needed. A pipetting station transfers fluid from one receptacle to another. A vacuum station is provided having a vacuum chamber moveable relative to the tray between upper and lower positions. The chamber cooperates with the tray to make a sealing engagement with the top surface of the tray when it is lowered to the lower position. A vacuum generator supplies vacuum to the chamber. When the vacuum is released from the chamber, the fluid samples are loaded into the cards from the receptacles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 9, 1998
    Assignee: bioMerieux Vitek, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Joseph Fanning, Jean-Pierre Bernard Gayral, Clifford W. Karl, Bernard Jean Marie Limon, Donald Meyer, Roger James Morris, Ron Robinson, William Ernest Seaton, David B. Shine, Paul Springer, Daniel Ray Williams, James Clement Bishop, Craig Drager, Thomas Burchard, David Chastain, Stephen Guerrera, Andrew Moore, David Porat, Arthur Rousmaniere, Andrew Zeigler
  • Patent number: 5762874
    Abstract: A positioning system for a sample testing machine includes a base pan and a set of independent drive systems for sliding a sample tray across the base pan. Each of the drive systems includes a paddle that engages a side of the sample tray. The paddle is slideably mounted to a shaft with a collar that slides over the shaft. A motor and drive belt is provided to move the collar along the shaft, causing the paddle to engage the side of the sample tray and slide the sample tray across the base pan. Track sections are provided in the base pan to prevent the sample tray from rotating as the paddle slides the sample tray across the base pan.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 9, 1998
    Assignee: bioMerieux Vitek, Inc.
    Inventors: William Ernest Seaton, Mark Joseph Fanning, Craig Drager, Ron Robinson, Roger James Morris, Jean-Pierre Bernard Gayral, JoAnne T. Gerst
  • Patent number: D397611
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 1, 1998
    Assignee: bioMerieux Vitek, Inc.
    Inventors: Ron Robinson, Terrance J. McMichael, Brian Flynn, John Hoffman, Richard B. Partlow, David Rosten
  • Patent number: D414272
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1999
    Assignee: bioMerieux Vitek, Inc.
    Inventors: Raymond E. O'Bear, Bruno Colin, Garry R. Tegeler, John Staples