Patents by Inventor Douglas Ray Sparks

Douglas Ray Sparks has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20200206972
    Abstract: A monolithic structure containing several physical structures with features in the size range of 0.1-5000 micrometers. At least one of the physical structures contains of 3-dimensional surfaces, at least one of which is curved. Further, at least two of the 3-dimensional surfaces have varying orientations with respect to an external surface of the monolithic structure. A method of making a monolithic structure. The method includes generating computer aided design (CAD) files suitable for additive manufacturing of physical structures required for a monolithic structure. Utilizing the generated CAD files and specified materials, the physical structures containing features in the size range of 0.1-5000 micrometers are fabricated by additive manufacturing, At least one of the physical structure has 3-dimensioal surfaces wherein at least one of the 3-dimensional surface is curved and at least two of which have varying orientations with respect to an external surface of the monolithic structure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 30, 2019
    Publication date: July 2, 2020
    Inventor: Douglas Ray Sparks
  • Publication number: 20160202101
    Abstract: Three-dimensional printing techniques suitable for producing sensor structures, and sensor structures formed thereby. Such a sensor structure includes a support element coupled to a sensing element, and is formed by a three-dimensional printing technique that forms the support element and the sensing element as a single integral component by fusing particles fused together with a high energy beam.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 12, 2016
    Publication date: July 14, 2016
    Inventor: Douglas Ray Sparks
  • Patent number: 8992859
    Abstract: A micromachined tube (microtube) suitable for microfluidic devices. The microtube is formed by isotropically etching a surface of a first substrate to define therein a channel having an arcuate cross-sectional profile, and forming a substrate structure by bonding the first substrate to a second substrate so that the second substrate overlies and encloses the channel to define a passage having a cross-sectional profile of which at least half is arcuate. The substrate structure is thinned to define the microtube and walls thereof that surround the passage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Integrated Sensing Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas Ray Sparks, Nader Najafi
  • Patent number: 8744544
    Abstract: A system for monitoring a charge-based physiological parameter within an internal organ of a living body, and a sensor adapted to be implanted in the living body and an organ therein. The sensor includes sensing elements adapted to sense the charge-based physiological parameter within the organ, and the sensing elements include at least first and second sensing elements that are electrically conductive, aligned, spaced apart and exposed at the exterior of the sensor. The sensor further includes a device for passing an alternating current from the first to the second sensing elements through an ionic solution contacting the sensing elements. The sensor also includes a device for generating a signal corresponding to the impedance of the ionic solution based on the alternating current.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2014
    Assignee: Integrated Sensing Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Nader Najafi, Douglas Ray Sparks
  • Patent number: 8695418
    Abstract: Fluidic systems and methods of determining properties of fluids flowing therein. The fluidic systems and methods make use of a micromachined device that determines at least one property of the fluid within the system. The micromachined device includes a base structure on a substrate and a tube structure extending from the base structure and spaced apart from a surface of the substrate. The tube structure has at least one pair of geometrically parallel tube portions substantially lying in a plane, and at least one continuous internal passage defined at least in part within the parallel tube portions. A drive element induces vibrational movement of the tube structure in the plane of the tube structure and induces resonant vibrational movements in the tube portions in the plane of the tube structure. A sensing element senses deflections of each tube portion in the plane of the tube structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: Integrated Sensing Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas Ray Sparks, Michael W. Putty, Nader Najafi, Richard Thayre Smith
  • Publication number: 20140044900
    Abstract: A micromachined tube (microtube) suitable for microfluidic devices. The microtube is formed by isotropically etching a surface of a first substrate to define therein a channel having an arcuate cross-sectional profile, and forming a substrate structure by bonding the first substrate to a second substrate so that the second substrate overlies and encloses the channel to define a passage having a cross-sectional profile of which at least half is arcuate. The substrate structure is thinned to define the microtube and walls thereof that surround the passage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 8, 2013
    Publication date: February 13, 2014
    Applicant: Integrated Sensing Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas Ray Sparks, Nader Najafi
  • Patent number: 8585910
    Abstract: A process for producing a micromachined tube (microtube) suitable for microfluidic devices. The process entails isotropically etching a surface of a first substrate to define therein a channel having an arcuate cross-sectional profile, and forming a substrate structure by bonding the first substrate to a second substrate so that the second substrate overlies and encloses the channel to define a passage having a cross-sectional profile of which at least half is arcuate. The substrate structure can optionally then be thinned to define a microtube and walls thereof that surround the passage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2013
    Assignee: Integrated Sensing Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas Ray Sparks, Nader Najafi
  • Patent number: 8408073
    Abstract: A microfluidic device and sensing method that utilize a resonating tube configured to have sufficient sensitivity to be capable of sensing the volume of a gas present as bubbles in a liquid or the flow rate and/or density of a gas or gas mixture flowing through the tube. The tube has a freestanding tube portion supported above a surface of a substrate so as to be capable of vibrating in a plane normal to the surface of the substrate. As a gas-containing fluid flows through an internal passage of the tube, a drive signal vibrates the freestanding tube portion at a resonant frequency thereof. Coriolis-induced deflections of the freestanding tube portion are sensed relative to the substrate to produce an output corresponding to the sensed deflections, and the drive signal and/or the output are assessed to determine the volume, density and/or flow rate of the gas of the gas-containing fluid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2013
    Assignee: Integrated Sensing Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas Ray Sparks, Richard Thayre Smith, Nader Najafi
  • Publication number: 20120260718
    Abstract: A microfluidic device and sensing method that utilize a resonating tube configured to have sufficient sensitivity to be capable of sensing the volume of a gas present as bubbles in a liquid or the flow rate and/or density of a gas or gas mixture flowing through the tube. The tube has a freestanding tube portion supported above a surface of a substrate so as to be capable of vibrating in a plane normal to the surface of the substrate. As a gas-containing fluid flows through an internal passage of the tube, a drive signal vibrates the freestanding tube portion at a resonant frequency thereof. Coriolis-induced deflections of the freestanding tube portion are sensed relative to the substrate to produce an output corresponding to the sensed deflections, and the drive signal and/or the output are assessed to determine the volume, density and/or flow rate of the gas of the gas-containing fluid.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 11, 2011
    Publication date: October 18, 2012
    Applicant: INTEGRATED SENSING SYSTEMS INC.
    Inventors: Douglas Ray Sparks, Richard Thayre Smith, Nader Najafi
  • Patent number: 8272274
    Abstract: A microelectromechanical system (MEMS) device and a method for operating the device to determine at least one property of a fluid. The device includes a base on a substrate and a tube structure extending from the base and spaced apart from a surface of the substrate. The tube structure includes at least one tube portion and more preferably at least a pair of parallel tube portions substantially lying in a plane, at least one continuous internal passage defined at least in part within the parallel tube portions, and an inlet and outlet of the internal passage fluidically connected to the base. A drive element is operable to induce vibrational movement in the tube structure in a plane of the tube structure and induce resonant vibrational movements in the tube portions. A sensing element senses the deflections of the tube portions when the tube structure is vibrated with the drive element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2012
    Assignee: Integrated Sensing Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas Ray Sparks, Michael W. Putty, Richard Thayre Smith, Nader Najafi
  • Publication number: 20120157961
    Abstract: A device and method capable of sensing the presence of biochem agents, and preferably also capable of delivering precise amounts of one or more antidotes to treat a victim exposed to the agents. The device includes a freestanding tube portion having an internal passage containing a substance selective to a chemical or biological agent so that matter accumulates within the freestanding tube portion when a fluid drawn through the tube portion contains the agent. When vibrated at resonance, the resonant frequency of the tube portion is indicative of the accumulation of matter and thereby the presence of the agent to which the substance is selective. The device then preferably delivers precise amounts of one or more appropriate antidotes to treat the victim. The device is a sufficiently small and lightweight unit to permit being carried by an individual.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 15, 2008
    Publication date: June 21, 2012
    Applicant: INTEGRATED SENSING SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Douglas Ray Sparks, Nader Najafi
  • Patent number: 8021961
    Abstract: A process for fabricating multiple microfluidic device chips. The process includes fabricating multiple micromachined tubes in a semiconductor device wafer. The tubes are fabricated so that each tube has an internal fluidic passage and an inlet and outlet thereto defined in a surface of the device wafer. The device wafer is then bonded to a glass wafer to form a device wafer stack, and so that through-holes in the glass wafer are individually fluidically coupled with the inlets and outlets of the tubes. The glass wafer is then bonded to a metallic wafer to form a package wafer stack, so that through-holes in the metallic wafer are individually fluidically coupled with the through-holes of the glass wafer. Multiple microfluidic device chips are then singulated from the package wafer stack. Each device chip has a continuous flow path for a fluid therethrough that is preferably free of organic materials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2011
    Assignee: Integrated Sensing Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Douglas Ray Sparks
  • Patent number: 8016798
    Abstract: A fluid delivery system capable of delivering a precise amount of fluid, such as a fluid required for medical treatment. The delivery system makes use of an inline sensing unit that includes a housing comprising an inlet for receiving a fluid from a fluid source, an outlet for discharging the fluid from the housing, and at least one cavity between the inlet and the outlet. A sensing element and electronic circuitry are disposed within the at least one cavity. The electronic circuitry is adapted to produce an electrical output based on at least one response of the sensing element. The sensing unit is further equipped with a communication element for providing communication between the electronic circuitry and an electronic device remote from the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2011
    Assignee: Integrated Sensing Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas Ray Sparks, Nader Najafi
  • Publication number: 20110214512
    Abstract: Fluidic systems and methods of determining properties of fluids flowing therein. The fluidic systems and methods make use of a micromachined device that determines at least one property of the fluid within the system. The micromachined device includes a base structure on a substrate and a tube structure extending from the base structure and spaced apart from a surface of the substrate. The tube structure has at least one pair of geometrically parallel tube portions substantially lying in a plane, and at least one continuous internal passage defined at least in part within the parallel tube portions. A drive element induces vibrational movement of the tube structure in the plane of the tube structure and induces resonant vibrational movements in the tube portions in the plane of the tube structure. A sensing element senses deflections of each tube portion in the plane of the tube structure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 25, 2011
    Publication date: September 8, 2011
    Applicant: INTEGRATED SENSING SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Douglas Ray Sparks, Michael W. Putty, Nader Najafi, Richard Thayre Smith
  • Patent number: 7921737
    Abstract: A microelectromechanical system (MEMS) device and method for operating the device to determine a property of a fluid. The device has a tube that extends from a base and is spaced apart from a substrate surface for vibrational movement in a plane normal to the surface. The tube defines a continuous internal passage having a fluid inlet and fluid outlet fluidically connected to the base. A cantilevered member attached to a distal portion of the tube opposite the base is configured for vibrational movement relative to the distal portion. A drive electrode operable to induce vibrational movements in the tube and cantilevered member is disposed on the substrate surface. Sensing electrodes are disposed on the substrate surface for sensing Coriolis-induced deflections of the tube when vibrated, generating outputs from which a property of a fluid flowing through the tube can be determined.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2011
    Assignee: Integrated Sensing Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas Ray Sparks, Richard Thayre Smith, Nader Najafi
  • Patent number: 7879241
    Abstract: A method of treating a bodily fluid withdrawn and then returned to a living body. The method involves withdrawing the bodily fluid from the living body and causing the bodily fluid to flow through a treatment system, altering at least the density of the bodily fluid through the action of a second fluid as the bodily fluid flows through the treatment system, sensing at least the density and flow rate of the bodily fluid before the density thereof is altered by the second fluid, sensing at least the density and flow rate of the bodily fluid after the density thereof is altered by the second fluid, sensing at least the density and flow rate of the second fluid, controlling the density and/or flow rate of the second fluid based on the sensed densities and flow rates, and returning the bodily fluid to the living body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2011
    Assignee: Integrated Sensing Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas Ray Sparks, Nader Najafi
  • Patent number: 7823445
    Abstract: A fluid sensing system and method for sensing properties of a flowing fluid. The system and method entail a microfluidic device having a micromachined tube supported above a substrate, a tube passage within a freestanding portion of the tube, an inlet and outlet in fluidic communication with the tube passage and an exterior of the microfluidic device, elements for vibrating the freestanding portion of the tube, and elements for sensing movement of the freestanding portion of the tube so as to measure the vibration frequency and/or deflection of the freestanding portion and produce therefrom at least one output corresponding to a property of a fluid flowing through the tube passage. The system and method further entail placing the microfluidic device in a flowing fluid so that a fraction of the fluid enters the tube passage, and processing the output of the device to compute a property of the fluid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2010
    Assignee: Integrated Sensing Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas Ray Sparks, Richard Thayre Smith, Nader Najafi
  • Patent number: 7789949
    Abstract: A getter device including a substrate formed of a first getter material having a composition for gettering a first gas species, and a second getter material contacting an external surface of the substrate and having a composition for gettering a second gas species. The substrate has internal porosity connected to openings at its external surface, and the second getter material covers at least a portion of the external surface of the substrate but is absent from at least part of the internal porosity within the substrate so that the first getter material is exposed within the internal porosity for gettering the first gas species. According to a second aspect, a substrate is formed of a material transparent to radiation, and a film of getter material is deposited on the substrate to be sufficiently thin and/or porous so that the film is also transparent to the radiation transmitted through the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2010
    Assignee: Integrated Sensing Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas Ray Sparks, Nader Najafi, Bernard Edward Newman
  • Publication number: 20100037708
    Abstract: A microelectromechanical system (MEMS) device and method for operating the device to determine a property of a fluid. The device has a tube that extends from a base and is spaced apart from a substrate surface for vibrational movement in a plane normal to the surface. The tube defines a continuous internal passage having a fluid inlet and fluid outlet fluidically connected to the base. A cantilevered member attached to a distal portion of the tube opposite the base is configured for vibrational movement relative to the distal portion. A drive electrode operable to induce vibrational movements in the tube and cantilevered member is disposed on the substrate surface. Sensing electrodes are disposed on the substrate surface for sensing Coriolis-induced deflections of the tube when vibrated, generating outputs from which a property of a fluid flowing through the tube can be determined.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 11, 2009
    Publication date: February 18, 2010
    Applicant: INTEGRATED SENSING SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Douglas Ray Sparks, Richard Thayre Smith, Nader Najafi
  • Publication number: 20100037706
    Abstract: A microelectromechanical system (MEMS) device and a method for operating the device to determine at least one property of a fluid. The device includes a base on a substrate and a tube structure extending from the base and spaced apart from a surface of the substrate. The tube structure includes at least one tube portion and more preferably at least a pair of parallel tube portions substantially lying in a plane, at least one continuous internal passage defined at least in part within the parallel tube portions, and an inlet and outlet of the internal passage fluidically connected to the base. A drive element is operable to induce vibrational movement in the tube structure in a plane of the tube structure and induce resonant vibrational movements in the tube portions. A sensing element senses the deflections of the tube portions when the tube structure is vibrated with the drive element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 11, 2009
    Publication date: February 18, 2010
    Applicant: INTEGRATED SENSING SYSTEMS, INC.
    Inventors: Douglas Ray Sparks, Michael W. Putty, Richard Thayre Smith, Nader Najafi