Patents Examined by Sonya C. Harris
  • Patent number: 6090101
    Abstract: A permanent hair removal method includes the steps of preparing the surface of the skin, including the removal of excess hair and the application of suitable cleansers and degreasers. Alkaline ions, in a gel, cream, ointment or solution containing a buffered solution of potassium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate are applied to the clean, prepared surface. Apparatus using massage, ultrasound or other treatment modalities, promotes the penetration of the alkaline ions into the skin and hair follicles. The alkaline ions are then heated in situ through the use of a radiant energy source apparatus such as, for example, a laser, a infra red lamp or other high intensity light source. Radiant energy can also be provided by microwave or diathermy sources. The heated alkaline ions will then destroy all hair cells that are encountered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2000
    Inventors: David K. Quon, Hew W. Quon, Wanda A. Quon
  • Patent number: 6027524
    Abstract: A device for delivering phototherapeutic light to the nipple and surrounding tissue of a breast. Many mastectomy procedures for patients with breast cancer require removal of the nipple. Thus, for the best aesthetic result, post-operative augmentation or reconstruction of the breast includes the implantation of an artificial nipple. The present device and method permits a more conservative mastectomy to be performed while reducing the risk of recurrence wherein cancerous and pre-cancerous tissue in the nipple and surrounding aureole tissue are treated by illuminating the tissue with phototherapeutic light. The tissue is first perfused with a photosensitizer which accumulates therewithin. An embodiment of the device, which includes a rigid or semi-rigid hemispherical shell for structural stability, is attached to the breast. The device includes a transparent flexible aperture which is designed to fit snugly against the outer surface of the nipple and surrounding tissue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2000
    Inventor: Michael G. Petit
  • Patent number: 6019755
    Abstract: Accurate, non-mechanical removal of the epithelium from essentially only the area of the cornea to be treated. In particular, an epithelium-ablative laser device irradiates the selected region of the epithelium with ablative laser energy, a spectroscopic system monitors the ablation and spectroscopically determines whether epithelium is being ablated, and a control system terminates the epithelium removal upon spectroscopic determination of a substantial absence of epithelium ablation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2000
    Inventor: Roger F. Steinert
  • Patent number: 6013072
    Abstract: Catheters for photoablating plaque build-up in blood vessels are described. In one form, the catheter includes a catheter body having a first group of optic fibers and a second group of optic fibers. The first group of optic fibers is adjacent the second group of optic fibers, and each group of optic fibers includes at least one optic fiber having a first end and a second end. The second ends of the respective optic fibers form a substantially rounded hemispherical catheter head. A control element is coupled to the catheter body and is configured to selectively transmit energy through either the first group of optic fibers, or the second group of optic fibers, or both the first and second groups of optic fibers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2000
    Assignee: Intraluminal Therapeutics, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas R. Winston, John M. Neet
  • Patent number: 5993440
    Abstract: A hand-held, non-invasive cutting device is configured to cut a fiber-like element, such as animal or human hair projecting from the surface of a medium, such as body skin, without exposing the user to the cutting beam. The device exterior is shaped to be readily placed against the surface of the body and has an aperture that accommodates passage of the hair to be cut into an interior region of the housing. The housing includes an optical energy beam director that directs a beam of optical energy, such as a laser beam generated by an external or internal laser, through an interior cutting zone, and onto the inserted element, thereby severing or vaporizing the element. Because the laser beam is aligned with and parallel to the longitudinal direction of the cutting window, then regardless of where it is inserted in the cutting window, the element will be cut by the laser beam. In addition, the beam cannot exit the cutting window, so that the invention is non-invasive and safe for consumer use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1999
    Inventor: Faramarz Frank Ghassemi
  • Patent number: 5993439
    Abstract: A lens shield system for shielding a laser source of a system used for collecting capillary blood or fluid from skin, the lens shield comprising a strap apparatus releasably emplaceable around a member of a living being, the member having skin thereon and blood therein, and a lens shield member connected to the strap and disposed for receiving and for transmission therethrough of a laser beam from the laser source directed at the skin. A removable lens shield for shielding a laser source of a collection system used for perforating skin and collecting blood or fluid therein or therebeneath, the collection system in a housing, the lens shield comprising a body sized and configured for removable emplacement in the housing of the collection system between the laser source and the skin, and a window in the body through which the laser beam is transmissible prior to contacting the skin. A method for collecting fluid from a living being has been invented which uses the devices mentioned above.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1999
    Assignee: Cell Robotics, Inc.
    Inventors: David J. Costello, Michael A. Wolf, Kenneth G. Schalhoub, Ronald K. Lohrding, Aleksei Y. Dergatchev, Warren E. Parkhurst, Valeri G. Polushkin, Sergei A. Kokhanovsky
  • Patent number: 5968037
    Abstract: An electromagnetically induced cutting mechanism which can provide accurate cutting operations on both hard and soft materials is disclosed. The electromagnetically induced cutter is capable of providing extremely fine and smooth incisions, irrespective of the cutting surface. Additionally, a user programmable combination of atomized particles allows for user control of various cutting parameters. The various cutting parameters may also be controlled by changing spray nozzles and electromagnetic energy source parameters. Applications for the cutting mechanism include medical, dental, industrial (etching, engraving, cutting and cleaning) and any other environments where an objective is to precisely remove surface materials without inducing thermal damage, uncontrolled cutting parameters, and/or rough surfaces inappropriate for ideal bonding. The cutting mechanism further does not require any films of water or any particularly porous surfaces to obtain very accurate and controllable cutting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Assignee: Biolase Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Ioana M. Rizoiu, Andrew I. Kimmel
  • Patent number: 5964747
    Abstract: A micro surgical lighting instrument includes a hollow needle and a light guide received coaxially within the hollow needle and connected to a light source for transmitting light to a surgical site of a patient. The light guide has a distal end formed with an end face of circular segment shape and defined by a plane oriented orthogonal to the axis of the hollow needle, and a slanted surface adjacent the end face and extending rearwardly at an acute angle, with the slanted surface being lined by a coating for reflection of incident light rays.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1999
    Assignee: Duke University
    Inventors: Alexander M. Eaton, Robert Machemer, Dyson Hickingbotham, Ron Overaker
  • Patent number: 5964751
    Abstract: A light delivery system for use in irradiating vascular tissue includes a balloon catheter with a working lumen for receiving an optical fiber therein and an inflation/flushing lumen adapted to receive a liquid at a proximal end and leading to a space defined within the balloon member attached to a distal end of the catheter. The balloon member has a pattern of holes or pores in the wall thereof through which the saline may flow when the balloon is inflated, causing any blood or other absorbing substances that may interfere with good radiant energy transmission to be flushed away from the treatment site.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1999
    Assignee: Illumenex Corporation
    Inventors: Curtis A. Amplatz, Mark A. Rydell, Robert J. Ziebol, Christopher H. Porter, Michael Kasinkas
  • Patent number: 5957915
    Abstract: A surgical laser scanner having optics that scans a pulsed laser beam onto a target tissue is disclosed. The laser scanner has a lens and a scanning mirror or mirrors located upstream of the lens at a distance substantially equal to the focal length of the lens. The laser beam hits the scanning mirror and is reflected onto the lens in a pattern defined by sequential positions of the scanning mirror. The laser beam is projected onto the target tissue by the lens in a direction parallel to the optical axis of the lens. The projected pattern has a constant size regardless of the distance between the laser scanner and the target tissue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1999
    Assignee: Coherent, Inc.
    Inventor: David Trost
  • Patent number: 5941875
    Abstract: A surgical laser handpiece comprising: an outer barrel having an inner chamber; an inner zoom barrel movable in said chamber relative to said outer barrel; at least a first lens device in said zoom barrel for propagating and focusing a laser beam; and a drive member externally accessible on said outer barrel for moving said zoom barrel with one hand relative to said outer barrel for varying the focus of the laser beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 24, 1999
    Assignee: PLC Medical Systems
    Inventors: Charles Christopher Negus, Scott Andrew Morrell, Stephen J. Linhares
  • Patent number: 5925036
    Abstract: The invention relates to a medical instrument and more particularly to a system for repairing damaged bone structure. A hand-held instrument is formed with a plurality of channels allowing connection of the instrument to a source of laser beam, to a television monitor, to a vacuum suction tube, to a connector for delivering medication or bone sealant to the treatment area. A foot pedal allows a dentist or physician to control delivery of the electrical, mechanical, and vacuum forces to the damaged area, as well as examine and monitor the treatment procedure on a television monitor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 20, 1999
    Inventor: Ralph Maxwell, III
  • Patent number: 5911718
    Abstract: An apparatus and method is disclosed for treating vascular lesions. In the preferred embodiment, an intracavity, frequency doubled Nd:YAG laser is used to generate output pulses having a duration of 0.5 to 10.0 milliseconds. This laser output is used to irradiate the lesions. The laser energy is absorbed in the blood of the vein, causing it to coagulate and collapse. The long pulse duration helps to minimize bleeding while controlling thermal damage to surrounding tissue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 15, 1999
    Assignee: Coherent, Inc.
    Inventors: J. Michael Yarborough, R. Rox Anderson, George Marcellino, Gerald M. Mitchell
  • Patent number: 5910140
    Abstract: The laser medical device includes a Nd:YAlO.sub.3 laser crystal; a pumping system which illuminates the laser crystal with light irradiated from a pumping light source and achieves population inversion of Nd.sup.3+ ion in the laser crystal; and a resonant cavity for resonating light emitted from the Nd.sup.3+ ion to output a laser light having a predetermined wavelength, wherein the wavelength of the laser light falls within the transparent range of quartz optical fibers. The laser medical device may also include a quartz optical fiber for transmitting the laser light; an optical fiber injector for focusing the laser light output by the resonant cavity on one end of the optical fiber; and an optical fiber pen which is coupled to another end of the optical fiber for aiming the laser light transmitted through the optical fiber at a desired location of a subject. These devices use Nd:YAlO.sub.3 crystal as an active laser material and output laser light having a wavelength, such as 1341.4 nm and 1079.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 8, 1999
    Assignee: Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter, Chinese Academy of Sciences
    Inventors: Hong Yuan Shen, Rui Rong Zeng, Yu Ping Zhou, Gui Fang Yu, Cheng Hui Huang, Zheng Dong Zeng, Wen Xiong Lin, Rui Fen Wu
  • Patent number: 5542944
    Abstract: A surgical instrument adapted for use in prostate, intra-uterine, kidney, liver, bladder and urinary tract surgery and the like comprising an elongate flexible casing having a delivery tube for delivering a working fluid to the target tissue, and an optical fiber for delivering a coherent beam of electromagnetic radiation to the working fluid whereby to heat the working fluid and in turn thermally treat the target tissue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 6, 1996
    Inventor: Krishan M. Bhatta
  • Patent number: 5456680
    Abstract: A fiber optic catheter has a short guide wire lumen (less than 10 cm) extending in a proximal direction from its distal end and an intermediate portion reinforced with a tapered mandrel which provides optimal steerability and trackability characteristics. The distal end of the mandrel is coextensive with a proximal portion of the guide wire lumen. The intermediate portion of the catheter may have a marker for visual identification, and the tip of the catheter may include a radiopaque tip marker band for fluoroscopic identification. The short guide wire lumen catheter provides superior flexibility, a low profile, and low-friction engagement with the guide wire.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 10, 1995
    Assignee: Spectranetics Corp
    Inventors: Kevin D. Taylor, Jerome Bellendir, Dan J. Hammersmark
  • Patent number: 5456681
    Abstract: A laser therapy system and method of cutting and vaporizing a tissue body which includes a fiber optic which is inserted into the lumen of a catheter and operable between an extended position wherein a distal end portion of the fiber optic is positioned to cut and vaporize a tissue body and a retracted position wherein the fiber optic is received within the lumen of the catheter. The catheter incorporates at a distal end portion a means for removing attached tissue fragments and the like from the distal end portion of the fiber optic such that tissue fragments stuck to the distal end portion of the fiber optic can be removed while the catheter and fiber remain at the treatment site. This improved system eliminates the need to completely remove the fiber optic during the cutting and vaporization procedure in order to remove the fragments and debris.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 10, 1995
    Inventor: John H. Hajjar
  • Patent number: 5445636
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for preventing posterior capsular opacification. The apparatus includes a probe configured for insertion into the lens capsule of an eye undergoing extracapsular cataract extraction. The probe is further configured to deliver energy therefrom to tissues within the lens capsule in order to kill residual lens epithelial cells. The method includes the steps of inserting a probe constructed in accordance with the apparatus of present invention into the lens capsule of the eye, delivering energy to the probe such that residual lens epithelial cells within the lens capsule are killed, ceasing the delivery of energy to the probe, and removing the probe from the eye.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 29, 1995
    Assignee: American Cyanamid Company
    Inventor: Randolph H. Bretton
  • Patent number: 5445637
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for destroying residual lens epithelial cells. The apparatus includes a probe configured for insertion into the eye between the iris and the lens capsule. The probe is further configured to deliver energy therefrom to residual lens epithelial cells within the lens capsule in order to destroy them. The method includes the steps of inserting a probe constructed in accordance with the apparatus of present invention into the eye such that a distal end portion of the probe is disposed between the iris and the lens capsule, delivering energy to the probe such that residual lens epithelial cells within the lens capsule are destroyed, ceasing the delivery of energy to the probe, and removing the probe from the eye.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 29, 1995
    Assignee: American Cyanamid Company
    Inventor: Randolph H. Bretton
  • Patent number: 5445635
    Abstract: A power supply for use with resistively-heated surgical instruments is provided, wherein the desired operating conditions of the surgical instrument are determined by a set-point determination circuit in combination with a set-point indicator element. The power supply includes an impedance matching circuit and current step-up transformer for reducing power loss in the cable connecting the surgical instrument to the power supply. A method of regulating the output of a power supply used with resistively-heated surgical instruments is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 29, 1995
    Assignee: Hemostatic Surgery Corporation
    Inventors: Dennis J. Denen, Albert E. Weller