Patents Examined by D. Austin Bonderer
  • Patent number: 7074228
    Abstract: A wax applicator for use with a microwave heating oven for dispensing a depilatory wax for removal of hair from skin comprising a hollow casing having an opening thereinto. An elongate reservoir for depilatory wax is disposed in the casing and is fabricated, at least partially, from a from a material having a first outer layer of a thermally insulating material that provides a barrier to the transmission of thermal energy and a second inner layer that absorbs radio frequency energies. The reservoir unit is adapted to be slidably inserted into the casing opening for retention in the casing. The reservoir also has disposed at a first end extending from the casing when the reservoir is retained therein, a dispensing mechanism for transporting depilatory wax from the reservoir to a surface for application.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2006
    Inventor: Theresa Cooper
  • Patent number: 6902581
    Abstract: A fusion implant apparatus for facilitating fusion of adjacent bone structures includes a threadless implant member which is positioned between adjacent opposed bone structures. The implant member defines a longitudinal axis and first and second longitudinal ends and has an outer wall which is dimensioned to engage the opposed bone structures upon positioning therebetween in supporting relation therewith. The outer wall defines an internal cavity for the reception of bone growth inducing substances and includes a plurality of apertures which extend therethrough in communication with the internal cavity to permit fusion of vertebral bone tissue. The implant member also includes an intermediate portion which defines a cross-sectional dimension transverse to the longitudinal axis which is greater than the respective cross-sectional dimensions of the first and second longitudinal ends of the implant member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2005
    Assignee: Kowmedica Osteonics Corp.
    Inventors: Jared Walkenhorst, Herb Cohen, Lance Middleton
  • Patent number: 6899735
    Abstract: A modular intervertebral prosthesis system includes first and second baseplates and an insert designed to mate to the baseplates. The baseplates include a mounting section and a intervertebral section extending away from the mounting section generally perpendicular thereto. The intervertebral section has at least one aperture passing therethrough. When installed, the insert is disposed between the intervertebral sections of the baseplates and faces the apertures. In this way, the insert is not insulated from the vertebral members, thereby allowing for osteoinduction, osteoconduction, and/or osteointegration, if desired. The insert may take the form of an articulating-type insert or a fusion-type insert, with the baseplates being operative with both types of inserts. After installation of the insert between the baseplates, the insert may be readily removed, at least initially.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2005
    Assignee: SDGI Holdings, Inc.
    Inventors: Bradley J. Coates, James E. Van Hoeck, T. Andrew Simonton, Regis Haid, Kevin Foley
  • Patent number: 6887278
    Abstract: A prosthetic implant having a fixation stem with varying stiffness is disclosed. The stem comprises an elongated core and segments extending outward from the core. The segments are spaced apart so as to define transverse grooves surrounding the core between adjacent segments. The longitudinal length of the grooves, and the materials used for the core and the segments are selected such that the stiffness of the stem varies from the proximal end to the distal end. Typically, the stiffness of the stem will be lower at the distal end such that the distal end of the stem bears less force when loaded and thereby transfers more load to the proximal end of the stem, which has a higher stiffness. As a result, stress shielding, in which the load bypasses the proximal end of the stem, is minimized and bone resorption adjacent the proximal end of the stem is decreased.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2005
    Assignee: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
    Inventor: David G. Lewallen
  • Patent number: 6866666
    Abstract: A system and method for attaching soft tissue to bone. The invention comprises the provision and use of a novel two-part anchor for attaching soft tissue and the like to bone. In one form of the invention, the two-part anchor generally comprises a stake and a cap. The stake is adapted to be positioned in bone and form a stake for impalement by a piece of soft tissue. The cap is adapted to cap soft tissue which has been impaled on the stake and thereby bind the soft tissue to the stake and, hence, to the bone in which the stake is set.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2005
    Assignee: MedicineLodge, Inc.
    Inventors: Mary Sinnott, Dan Gerbec, Alan Chervitz, T. Wade Fallin
  • Patent number: 6866670
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for removing plaque, fatty deposits, and other occlusions from blood vessels using ultrasonic energy. The method and apparatus has particular application in removing plaque from the carotid artery in a non-thermal manner. The apparatus is designed to have as small a cross-sectional profile as possible, therefore allowing the apparatus to be used in a minimally-invasive manner. As a result, the apparatus can be used in both surgical and outpatient treatment with minimal post-operative complications and minimal damage to areas other than the area of treatment. An ultrasonic probe may include aspiration channels on its outer surface. An aspiration sheath may surround the ultrasonic probe, such that the location of an aspiration port may be varied axially relative to the ultrasonic tip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2005
    Assignee: OmniSonics Medical Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert A. Rabiner, Brad A. Hare
  • Patent number: 6863072
    Abstract: A system and method for attaching soft tissue to bone. The invention comprises the provision and use of a novel two-part anchor for attaching soft tissue and the like to bone. In one form of the invention, the two-part anchor generally comprises a stake and a cap. The stake is adapted to be positioned in bone and form a stake for impalement by a piece of soft tissue. The cap is adapted to cap soft tissue which has been impaled on the stake and thereby bind the soft tissue to the stake and, hence, to the bone in which the stake is set.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2005
    Assignee: MedicineLodge, Inc.
    Inventors: Mary Sinnott, Dan Gerbec, Alan Chervitz, T. Wade Fallin
  • Patent number: 6840501
    Abstract: A needless valve is described which avoids the suctioning problems of the prior needleless devices upon deactivation and which preferably provides a positive self-purging effect. The valve is self-purging at the end of an administration cycle, avoiding clogging of attached catheters or other devices, and ensures that substantially all of liquid received into the valve is delivered to the receiver. The valve is also extremely simple in design and easy to construct and assemble, since it consists of only three pieces. The valve has a base with a connector for fluid communication attachment to tubing or other device, a solid elongated fluid channeling rod, and an internal fluid flow conduit; a flexible hollow expandable and contractible plug fitting over and moveable along the rod; and a tubular housing fitting over the plug and attached to the base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2005
    Assignee: ALARIS Medical Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Mark Christopher Doyle
  • Patent number: 6835196
    Abstract: An anchoring element with a screw (12) comprising a threaded section (13) and a head (15) designed as a spherical segment-shaped section, and with a receiving portion (1) for connecting the screw (12) to a rod (19), is provided. The receiving portion (1) comprises a first end (2) and a second end (3) opposite the latter and a longitudinal axis (4) passing through the two ends (2, 3). The receiving portion further comprises a bore (5) coaxial with the longitudinal axis (4), a first region adjoining the first end (2) with an essentially U-shaped cross-section (18) with two free arms (8, 9) comprising a thread for receiving the rod (19) to be inserted, a region adjoining the other end (3) for receiving the head (15), and an element which exerts pressure on the rod (19) or on the head (15). In order that the screws can be used in situ for very different lengths, the threaded section (13) and the head (15) are designed as separate parts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 28, 2004
    Assignee: Biedermann Motech GmbH
    Inventors: Lutz Biedermann, Jürgen Harms
  • Patent number: 6830573
    Abstract: A surgical fastener system is disclosed. The system includes a surgical fastener, a surgical fastener holder sized and shaped to receive the surgical fastener at least partially therein, and a surgical fastener driver having a seat sized and shaped to frictionally receive a head of the surgical fastener therein. The fastener driver is constructed and arranged to selectively urge the fastener, and more particularly the fastener head, out of the seat. The surgical fastener driver thus includes an elongate body with the seat defined at an end thereof, and a drive piston disposed within the body. The drive piston has a first retracted position, and a second extended position in which at least a portion of the piston extends into the seat to urge the fastener out of the seat during usage. Also disclosed is a surgical fastener and a surgical fastener holder, respectively, for use with the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 14, 2004
    Assignee: Biohorizons Implant Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: J. Todd Strong, Rickey D. Hart, R. Steven Boggan, Prasad V. Nalluri
  • Patent number: 6814740
    Abstract: A medical retrieval device for retrieving foreign objects from a patient and the method of constructing the device are disclosed. The device incorporates a wire cable composed of a precursor alloy to a superelastic material to improve durability of the device. Because precursor alloys exhibit a linear stress-strain relationship and a yield point associated with a relatively high stress level, the device transfers greater stresses before experiencing deformation. Thus, greater crushing forces can be achieved using a device of this type. These crushing forces may be needed when the foreign object is too large to remove intact. This property also facilitates the device in dilating ducts to retrieve foreign objects. Using the precursor alloy additionally eliminates the need for heat treatment of the cables used in constructing the device. A retrieval device made of precursor alloy cable also is less susceptible to permanent deformation and unwinding during use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2004
    Assignee: SciMed Life Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Gary B. McAlister
  • Patent number: 6800058
    Abstract: A system, method and apparatus for regulating vacuum applied to surgical suction devices allowing the use of a single vacuum regulator and associated canister to provide vacuum to two suction devices, such as a suction stabilizer and a suction retractor. Vacuum controllers may be placed in the vacuum lines provided to each of two or more suction devices, or may be placed only in the vacuum line of the suction device believed most likely to detach during the procedure. Each vacuum controller is provided with a primary vacuum line, coupling its associated suction device to the output of the vacuum regulator and a pilot passage, also coupling the suction device to the vacuum regulator. The controller closes a valve in the main vacuum line in response to loss of vacuum attachment, which valve remains closed until attachment is reestablished. Closure of the valve results in substantial or complete blockage of the main vacuum line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2004
    Assignee: Medtronic, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott E. Jahns, Glen Holmberg
  • Patent number: 6786903
    Abstract: A vertebral fixation device. The device includes a fixation seat, a fixation block, and a fastening bolt. The fixation seat is provided with a receiving slot for receiving a vertebral fixation rod. The fixation block is engaged with the fixation seat such that the vertebral fixation rod is pressed by the fixation block, and two retaining edges of the fixation block are retained in two retaining recesses of the fixation seat. The fastening bolt is engaged with a threaded through hole of the fixation block such that one end of the fastening bolt presses against the vertebral fixation rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2004
    Assignee: A-Spine Holding Group Corp.
    Inventor: Chih-I Lin
  • Patent number: 6783549
    Abstract: A two piece humeral component for use in shoulder arthroplasty which is adapted to be implanted into a humerus and engaged by a glenoid component of a scapula. The humeral component includes a body having a first articulating surface and a second medial surface opposite the first articulating surface. The first articulating surface is adapted to be engaged by the glenoid component and the second medial surface is adapted to be secured to mounting portion. The mounting portion has a first surface and a second medial surface. The first surface is adapted to be fixably engaged to the second mounting portion of the humeral component. The second medial surface is adapted to be secured to the humerus. A peg which has a first end adapted to engage a cavity found in the humerus is disposed on the mounting portion's second medial surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2004
    Assignee: Biomet, Inc.
    Inventors: Kevin Thomas Stone, Nicholas Michael Cordaro
  • Patent number: 6746453
    Abstract: A targeting apparatus for use in performing transfemoral osteotomy surgery includes a support element provided with a drill guide. A device is provided for securing the support element to a prosthesis to be implanted, and to a resectioned femur. An adjusting device for adjusting the angular position of the drill guide in relation to the resectioned femur about a proximal-distal axis is also included.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2004
    Assignee: Benoist Girard SAS
    Inventors: Nicolas Delogé, Jean-Pierre Brée, Arnaud Aux Epaules, Philippe Lavieille, Christophe Cueille
  • Patent number: 6723100
    Abstract: The invention relates to a bone screw and a tool for fixing same. A bone screw has a screw element (1), comprising a screw shank (2) and a screw head (3), a cylindrical receiver part (5) with a bore coaxial to the cylindrical axis coming from one end (8) of the cylinder, an opening (6) extending cross-wise to the cylindrical axis for receiving a rod (16) to be connected to the bone screw, an inner thread (10) at one end (8) and a screw (13) cooperating with it and also an outer thread (11) at one end (8) and a nut (14) cooperating with it. Both threads (10, 11) are constructed as running in opposite directions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2004
    Assignee: Biedermann Motech GmbH
    Inventors: Lutz Biedermann, Jürgen Harms
  • Patent number: 6716223
    Abstract: The introducer sheath can be loaded onto a vasoocclusive device after removal of the vasoocclusive device from a microcatheter, to permit the vasoocclusive embolic coil assembly to be used again during a clinical procedure. The sheath includes a hollow, elongated tubular member with a longitudinal slot formed in the upper wall of the elongated tubular member and extending along the length of elongated tubular member. The upper wall of the elongated tubular member adjacent to the slot has an angled configuration to accept the vasoocclusive device. The sheath may include wing members extending outwardly from the angled configuration on the outside surface of the hollow, elongated tubular member to facilitate insertion of the vasoocclusive device into the sheath. The elongated tubular member may also consist of a segment with no slot attached to a flexible pusher member to facilitate initiation of loading of the vasoocclusive device into the sheath.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2004
    Assignee: Micrus Corporation
    Inventors: Eric Leopold, Bruce McEvers
  • Patent number: 6685743
    Abstract: The surface of a high molecular weight polymer such as high molecular weight polyethylene is modified in a localized manner by treatment with a plasma gas. The treatment produces a variety of useful results, depending on the gas used and the treatment conditions. One such result is crosslinking of the polymer in a localized manner at the surface to improve the durability of the surface against detrimental processes such as reorientation and alignment of the crystalline lamellae parallel to the contact surface which renders the surface susceptible to disintegration into particles. Another result is the chemical transformation of the surface for purposes such as increasing the hydrophilic or hydrophobic nature of the surface or coupling functional groups to the surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2004
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of California
    Inventors: Kyriakos Komvopoulos, Catherine M. Klapperich, Lisa A. Pruitt, Stephen L. Kaplan
  • Patent number: 6676661
    Abstract: A multiple axis connector for securing a connecting rod of a spinal implant to a vertebra anchor wherein the connector includes a first element for securing to the vertebra anchor and a second element for receiving the connecting rod and which elements are joined by a ball joint member which permits relative angular adjustment therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2004
    Inventors: Antonio Martin Benlloch, Jean-Yves Leroy, Inmaculada Perez Pedron, Guy Viart
  • Patent number: 6660013
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for removing plaque, fatty deposits, and other occlusions from blood vessels using ultrasonic energy. The method and apparatus has particular application in removing plaque from the carotid artery in a non-thermal manner. The apparatus is designed to have as small a cross-sectional profile as possible, therefore allowing the apparatus to be used in a minimally-invasive manner. As a result, the apparatus can be used in both surgical and outpatient treatment with minimal post-operative complications and minimal damage to areas other than the area of treatment. An ultrasonic probe may include aspiration channels on its outer surface. An aspiration sheath may surround the ultrasonic probe, such that the location of an aspiration port may be varied axially relative to the ultrasonic tip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2003
    Assignee: OmniSonics Medical Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert A. Rabiner, Brad A. Hare