Patents Examined by J. P. Lacyk
  • Patent number: 5624376
    Abstract: A floating mass transducer for improving hearing in a hearing impaired person is provided. The floating mass transducer (100) may be implanted or mounted externally for producing vibrations in a vibratory structure of an ear. In an exemplary embodiment, the floating mass transducer comprises a magnet assembly (12) and a coil (14) secured inside a housing (10) which is fixed to an ossicle of a middle ear. The coil is more rigidly secured to the housing than the magnet. The magnet assembly and coil are configured such that conducting alternating electrical current through the coil results in vibration of the magnet assembly and coil relative to one another. The vibration is caused by the interaction of the magnetic fields of the magnet assembly and coil. Because the coil is more rigidly secured to the housing than the magnet assembly, the vibrations of the coil cause the housing to vibrate. The vibrations of the housing are conducted to the oval window of the ear via the ossicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 29, 1997
    Assignee: Symphonix Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: Geoffrey R. Ball, James M. Culp, Craig Mar, Tim Dietz, John D. Salisbury
  • Patent number: 5624372
    Abstract: A composite source wire for use in a patient's body to irradiate preselected tissue by localized in vivo radiation with a radioactive source, via a path from a point external to the body to the site of the tissue to be irradiated. The source wire includes a thin elongate stainless steel wire with a substantially cylindrical central aperture at its distal tip, a cylindrical radioactive fiber core tightly sealed without welding within and abutting at one end the floor of the aperture and at the other end a cylindrical plug sealing the aperture at the distal tip of the source wire, the distal tip being securely enclosed about the plug and forming a tapered tip portion at that point. The source wire has an overall diameter sized to permit ease of movement through the path formed by a vessel or duct in the patient's body during advancement to the site of the tissue to be irradiated and to allow its retraction along the path from the point external to the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 29, 1997
    Assignee: Omnitron International, Inc.
    Inventor: Samuel F. Liprie
  • Patent number: 5531662
    Abstract: A microwave radiator formed at least partially of a radioactive substance and adapted to simultaneously deliver microwave energy and nuclear radiation to living tissue. The radiator is incorporated into an interstitial or intracavitary probe. The radiator is a helical electrical conductor, formed of a radioactive substance such as iridium.sup.192, and electrically connecting a central electrical conductor to a coaxial electrically-conducting jacket. Alternatively, a microwave antenna is formed as part of a probe with a cavity adapted to receive sources of ionizing radiation. Preferably, the cavity is part of a channel through a conduit carrying the probe, the channel being connected to a device for delivering ionizing radiation sources to the probe after positioning at the target tissue and after a heating regime. The device is able to remove the ionizing sources while leaving the microwave source in place for an additional heating regime. Other therapeutic regimes are facilitated by the combination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 2, 1996
    Assignee: Microwave Medical Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Kenneth L. Carr
  • Patent number: 5526809
    Abstract: Ischemia in a hollow internal organ can be detected in its incipient stages by obtaining a CO.sub.2 sample from within the organ of interest, measuring the partial pressure of CO.sub.2 sample, measuring the bicarbonate concentration of an arterial blood sample, and on the basis of these two measurements calculating the pH of the wall of the organ. The value of the pH is an indicator of the onset of ischemia in the organ. The CO.sub.2 sample is obtained by a novel catheter, multiple embodiments of which are disclosed. Also disclosed is a method for determining the vitality or adequacy of oxygenation of the whole body, or a solid internal organ, by the measurement of the pH of venous blood.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 18, 1996
    Assignee: Mountpelier Investments, S.A.
    Inventor: Richard G. Fiddian-Green
  • Patent number: 5527260
    Abstract: A method for freezing bovine embryos which comprises adding a dextran and supplemented calf serum to bovine embryos, and freezing the resulting mixture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 18, 1996
    Assignee: National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations
    Inventor: Kenji Kameyama
  • Patent number: 5513661
    Abstract: Methods are provided for intramuscular needle diagnosis and treatment of muscle pain that is believed to be the result of sympathetically mediated spindle spasm. Two simultaneous needle EMG needle recordings are used to establish the presence of and magnitude of the "trigger points" in painful muscle. The abnormal muscle activity so identified can then be treated by blocking the sympathetic activation muscle blocker or other agent that would have the same effect of inhibiting the abnormal muscle activity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 7, 1996
    Inventor: David R. Hubbard
  • Patent number: 5507716
    Abstract: Equipment and methods employed to assist people to achieve lucid dreams (dreams in which one is aware that one is dreaming) function by detecting and monitoring the eye and head movements of sleeping persons for the presence of sufficient eye movement activity in the absence of head movement to indicate the presence of REM sleep and then applying sensory stimuli to sleepers in REM sleep, which if incorporated into their dreams, can cue them that they are dreaming without producing awakening. With this equipment and methods, people are able to have more lucid dreams than they otherwise would. A preferred embodiment includes a face mask that contains two infrared emitter-detector pairs, one for sensing eye movements and one for sensing body movements, a state-test button, and components that produce low intensity sensory stimuli such as light and sound.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 1991
    Date of Patent: April 16, 1996
    Assignee: The Lucidity Institute, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen P. LaBerge, Robert S. Rich, David K. Wright, Daniel G. Kottke
  • Patent number: 5494028
    Abstract: A medical ventilator having a valve which controls the flow of gas from a pressurized gas source to a patient for inhalation. Flow through the valve is choked and pressure upstream of the valve is held stable so that a known relationship exists between the position of the valve and the flow rate through the valve. An open loop control system causes the valve to open or close as needed to deliver a preselected tidal volume of gas to the patient on each breath. Since the flow rate is known, no feedback to the controller regarding actual flow conditions is required. The exact positioning of the valve and length of time that the valve is to be held open is predetermined by the controller before the breath is delivered, and is repeated for subsequent breaths. Preferably, the valve is driven by a stepping motor, and the controller comprises a microcomputer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 1987
    Date of Patent: February 27, 1996
    Assignee: Bird Products Corporation
    Inventors: Douglas F. DeVries, Lindon A. Baker
  • Patent number: 5460592
    Abstract: The method and apparatus for transporting a radioactive carrier device comprising flexible elongated bio-absorbable material having spaced radioactive seeds disposed therein in which the elongated material is loaded in a spacing jig member having spaced first recesses to accommodate the seeds and second recesses to accommodate the elongated material. The loaded jig member has a sheath shielding member placed over it. The carrier assembly is heated to make the carrier device non-deflecting. The carrier assembly, which is placed in a primary shipping container, also may be autoclaved prior to shipping the packaged assembly to a site of use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 24, 1995
    Assignee: Amersham Holdings, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael A. Langton, Frank J. Lyman, Jay C. Reed
  • Patent number: 5445158
    Abstract: Tympanic temperature measurements are obtained from the output of a radiation sensor mounted in an extension from a housing. The housing has a temperature display and supports electronics for responding to sensed radiation. The sensor is mounted in an improved extension which is shaped to fit into smaller ear canals, such as a child's ear canal or a swollen adult ear canal. Within the extension, the sensor is positioned in a highly conductive environment and receives radiation from an external target through a tube. Electronics determine the target temperature based on the sensor output signal and a temperature sensor signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 29, 1995
    Assignee: Exergen Corporation
    Inventor: Francesco Pompei
  • Patent number: 5443082
    Abstract: Articles of equipment such as swabs and surgical instruments are provided with a machine readable information source such as a bar code, and are monitored during surger by means of a system which comprises a bar code scanner (19) and a computer (3) on which information read by the scanner can be stored. The system may include scales (9) for weighing the equipment so that body fluid absorbed by absorbent articles such as swabs can be determined.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 22, 1995
    Assignee: British Technology Group Ltd.
    Inventor: Judith J. Mewburn
  • Patent number: 5437605
    Abstract: An implantable penile prosthesis system which includes a fully implantable and elongatable prosthesis that is operated by remote control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 1, 1995
    Inventor: Ali M. Helmy
  • Patent number: 5431174
    Abstract: A method of using a multi-compartment fluid assembly for calibrating an apparatus external to the assembly, while conveniently maintaining sterility. The method includes providing calibration fluid in a closed calibration container disposed within a bag that includes a connector for conveying fluids between the interior of the bag and a conventional intravascular tube. In use, fluids may be directed through the external apparatus and the intravascular tube and into the bag's interior. At an appropriate time, the calibration container is opened and the calibration fluid is withdrawn from the container to the intravascular tube, through the connector, without mixing the calibration fluid with any fluids in a remaining volume of the bag. Subsequently, the calibration fluid is transferred from the intravascular tube to the bag's interior, again through the connector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 11, 1995
    Assignee: Via Medical Corporation
    Inventor: Wallace L. Knute
  • Patent number: 5429583
    Abstract: A COPd thermoseed for treating cancerous tissue. The alloy constituents are chosen such that the Curie point temperature thereof falls into a therapeutic range. Because its magnetization vs. temperature characteristic exhibits an increasing slope up to the Curie transition, thermoseeds fabricated from the alloy can be optimized about the maximum in the M-T curve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 4, 1995
    Assignee: Pegasus Medical Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph A. Paulus, Robert D. Tucker
  • Patent number: 5421808
    Abstract: A self-contained, battery-operated, external vacuum device includes an electric motor with an eccentric output shaft coupled with a reciprocating diaphragm pump in a common housing with the electric motor and batteries. A housing vacuum port is removably mounted inline on a reversible coupler, which in turn is received in an open end of a vacuum chamber for receiving a user's flaccid penis for vacuum engorgement therapy. The reversible coupler includes a pair of concentric annular extensions for establishing a vacuum seal with the housing vacuum port. A reverse side of the coupler includes an extended coupling nipple for alternate vacuum seal attachment with tubing connected to a manual pump. The vacuum chamber is tapered towards the penis introducing end to facilitate the full engorgement of the glans penis. A relative vacuum indicator on the housing permits the user to monitor the degree of negative pressure applied to the penis, which may then be adjusted with a flow control knob mounted on the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 6, 1995
    Assignee: Osbon Medical Systems, Ltd.
    Inventors: James B. Osbon, Andrew Sealfon, John M. Mitchell
  • Patent number: 5415620
    Abstract: A breast augmentation apparatus includes a rigid cup-like hollow body having an expanded open end for receiving therein a breast with a resilient gasket member mounted thereto for providing air tight sealing between the hollow body and the skin around the breast and an opposite closed end with an air evacuation duct formed thereon with an air hose mounted thereto for connecting to a air evacuation pump for draining out air inside the hollow body. A nipple protector in the form of a cup for receiving therein and protecting the nipple from the influence of air evacuation inside the hollow body is resiliently supported inside the hollow body by a helical spring. The nipple protector has an open end with a resilient skirt mounted thereto for receiving and covering the nipple in an air tight manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 16, 1995
    Inventor: Chien-Wen Chen
  • Patent number: 5405309
    Abstract: Safe, isotopically pure Pd-103-containing seeds of high apparent activity are formed by bombarding an Rh target in a cyclotron with high energy particles to obtain Rh containing carrier-free Pd-103, separating therefrom the carrier-free Pd-103, adding a small amount of Pd to the carrier-free Pd-103, electroplating said Pd-103/Pd admixture to a pellet(s) of electroconductive material and encapsulating the pellet(s) within a bicompatible container or shell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 11, 1995
    Assignee: Theragenics Corporation
    Inventor: John L. Carden, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5397339
    Abstract: A multipolar electrode catheter includes a central and four side electrodes at its distal end. The catheter is actuable from a retracted or collapsed mode wherein the side electrodes are arranged around the tubular catheter outer surface to an expanded mode. A plurality of longitudinal slits in the catheter wall enable radial expansion of the distal end so that the side electrodes are moved to an operative position radially outward from their position in the retracted mode. In the expanded position, the side electrodes lie in the same plane and equally spaced from adjacent electrodes. Electrode leads connected to the electrodes enable the electrodes to be used both for mapping and ablation of endocardial sites.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 14, 1995
    Inventor: Jawahar M. Desai
  • Patent number: 5395300
    Abstract: A method of fabricating a radioactive core to be integrated within a source wire for use in radiation treatment of tumors within the body of a patient utilizes a thin elongate fiber of substantially pure iridium encapsulated in a straight quartz tube substantially transparent to the flux of a beam of radiation. The iridium fiber is oriented lengthwise along the axis of the tube, so that the fiber is restrained from curling. The tube and the fiber therein are irradiated with a beam directed normal to the axis of the tube while rotating the tube about the axis, to render the fiber radioactive to a predetermined level of activity. The method is adapted to produce a generally cylindrical Ir-192 source having a longitudinal axis of symmetry, a length of about one centimeter, a diameter of about 0.35 millimeter, a weight of about 20 milligrams and a radioactivity level of at least approximately 10 curies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 7, 1995
    Assignee: Omnitron International, Inc.
    Inventor: Sam F. Liprie
  • Patent number: 5390683
    Abstract: Artificial disk implant and methods for implanting same, the implant having a member (32, 34, 36, 77, 92, 94) for adapting in size and shape to the anatomical space between vertebrae, and apparatus (25, 42, 60, 112) for expanding the implant in the middle portion thereof to conform to the space. In one embodiment, there is provided an artificial intervertebral disk implant having a cylindrical body (20, 41, 56, 88) comprised of cylindrical subunits (32, 34, 36, 92, 94) capable of expansion. In another embodiment, rectangular members (34, 36) or elongate ribs (77) capable of expansion are provided. The implant can be used alone or in various combinations for the purpose of spinal fusion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 1993
    Date of Patent: February 21, 1995
    Inventor: Madhavan Pisharodi