Patents by Inventor Robert E. Thorne

Robert E. Thorne 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).

  • Patent number: 9927336
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods for performing small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) at low (cryogenic) temperatures for determining the structure of and changes in the structure of proteins, DNA, RNA, and other biological molecules and biomolecular assemblies and structures. A cryogenic, small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) application sample holder, includes a sample cell including a base portion and at least two parallel walls disposed on the base, wherein the sample cell has a liquid volume capacity defined by the walls and the base portion of 0.001 to 10 microliters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: CORNELL UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: Stephen P. Meisberger, Matthew A. Warkentin, Jesse B. Hopkins, Andrea M. Katz, Lois Pollack, Robert E. Thorne
  • Patent number: 9855557
    Abstract: Devices and methods for manual and high-throughput protein crystal growth and growth of other biological and organic crystals. A microplate includes a plurality of cells and a frame that defines the cells in the microplate. In each cell there is at least one well open at top. Each well in a cell may be enclosed at bottom, or it may be open at bottom, in which case the well bottom may be sealed by a separate part, which may be, e.g., a separate film or plate (e.g., of plastic, glass or metal) or a molded part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2018
    Assignee: MITEGEN, LLC
    Inventors: Robert E. Thorne, Benjamin Apker, Robert Newman
  • Publication number: 20170030626
    Abstract: A cryogenic cooling manifold and methods incorporating a cryogenic cooling manifold for managing the gas layer(s) above a liquid cryogen to control cooling temperature-time profiles and ice formation for microliter and smaller samples that are plunged through the gas and into the liquid cryogen.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 27, 2016
    Publication date: February 2, 2017
    Applicant: Mitegen, LLC
    Inventors: David Closs, Stephen Hollabaugh, Robert E. Thorne, Robert Newman, Benjamin A. Apker, Tian Xia, David Moreau
  • Patent number: 9417166
    Abstract: A method and devices for rapid cooling of small biological samples by plunging them in a cryogenic liquid, such as liquid nitrogen, or contacting them with a cryogenic metal surface, reduce or eliminate the cold gas layer that forms above the liquid cryogens or cryogenic surfaces, producing an abrupt transition from ambient (e.g., room) temperature to the cryogen temperature as the sample enters the liquid or contacts the surface. To reduce or eliminate the effects of the cold gas layer, a flow of warm dry gas can be directed along the plunge path, for example. By removing this cold gas layer, cooling times for a 10 micron sample (the size of single cells and the smallest protein crystals now used protein crystallography) will decrease to ˜0.001 s.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2016
    Assignee: CORNELL UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: Robert E. Thorne, Matthew W. Warkentin, Viatcheslav Berejnov
  • Publication number: 20150233804
    Abstract: Apparatus and methods for performing small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) at low (cryogenic) temperatures for determining the structure of and changes in the structure of proteins, DNA, RNA, and other biological molecules and biomolecular assemblies and structures. A cryogenic, small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) application sample holder, includes a sample cell including a base portion and at least two parallel walls disposed on the base, wherein the sample cell has a liquid volume capacity defined by the walls and the base portion of 0.001 to 10 microliters.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 4, 2013
    Publication date: August 20, 2015
    Applicant: CORNELL UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: Stephen P. Meisberger, Matthew A. Warkentin, Jesse B. Hopkins, Andrea M. Katz, Lois Pollack, Robert E. Thorne
  • Publication number: 20150093306
    Abstract: Devices and methods for manual and high-throughput protein crystal growth and growth of other biological and organic crystals. A microplate includes a plurality of cells and a frame that defines the cells in the microplate. In each cell there is at least one well open at top. Each well in a cell may be enclosed at bottom, or it may be open at bottom, in which case the well bottom may be sealed by a separate part, which may be, e.g., a separate film or plate (e.g., of plastic, glass or metal) or a molded part.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 28, 2013
    Publication date: April 2, 2015
    Applicant: MITEGEN, LLC
    Inventors: Robert E. Thorne, Benjamin Apker, Robert Newman
  • Patent number: 8571177
    Abstract: A goniometer base for X-ray crystallography comprises a magnetic steel part with a cylindrical hole, a compliant cylindrical part that is inserted into this hole, and a cylindrical tube that is press-fit into the hole and holds the compliant part in place, such that when a crystal mounting tool is inserted through the concentric holes in each part, it is positively gripped and held in place at both T=300 K and T=100 K.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2013
    Assignee: Cornell University
    Inventors: Robert E. Thorne, Benjamin Apker, Eric Hunt
  • Patent number: 8210057
    Abstract: Microfabricated tools useful for manipulating small, delicate samples are formed from thin plastic films. The films have a small thickness (preferably 5 to 50 micrometers and typically 10 micrometers) and small lateral dimensions (preferably 2 mm or less and typically 0.1 to 1 mm) so that they are reasonably flexible, but are preferably curved by being wrapped around a cylindrical or flat post to give them some rigidity. The softness and thinness of the plastic reduce risk of sample damage during incidental contact with the tool. Its thinness makes it optically and X-ray transparent, so that the samples can be clearly visualized during manipulations and so that the tools can be used to collect X-ray data from samples. As an option, an X-ray sensitive phosphor is incorporated in the film at low concentration. This allows the X-ray beam to be visually located on the mount or tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2012
    Assignee: Cornell University
    Inventors: Robert E. Thorne, Guanhan Chew
  • Publication number: 20110211674
    Abstract: A goniometer base for X-ray crystallography comprises a magnetic steel part with a cylindrical hole, a compliant cylindrical part that is inserted into this hole, and a cylindrical tube that is press-fit into the hole and holds the compliant part in place, such that when a crystal mounting tool is inserted through the concentric holes in each part, it is positively gripped and held in place at both T=300 K and T=100 K.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 1, 2011
    Publication date: September 1, 2011
    Applicant: CORNELL UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: Robert E. Thorne, Benjamin Apker, Eric Hunt
  • Publication number: 20100216230
    Abstract: In systems and methods for freezing and subsequently thawing liquid samples containing biological components, a sample is fractioned into a very large number of small drops (10) having surface area to volume ratios of 1000 m-1 or greater. The drops are projected at a liquid cryogen (40) or at the solid surface of a highly thermally conducting metal cup or plate, where they rapidly freeze. The cold gas layer that develops above any cold surface is replaced with a dry gas stream (75). The environmental temperature experienced by the sample then abruptly changes from the warm ambient to the temperature of the cryogenic liquid or solid surface. To thaw drops with the highest warming rates, the frozen drops may be projected into warm liquids. The sample is projected with cold gas to the warm liquid, so that again there is an abrupt transition in the environmental temperature.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 28, 2007
    Publication date: August 26, 2010
    Applicant: CORNELL RESEARCH FOUNDATION, INC.
    Inventors: Robert E. Thorne, Scott McFarlane, Matthew Warkentin
  • Publication number: 20100132483
    Abstract: Microfabricated tools useful for manipulating small, delicate samples are formed from thin plastic films. The films have a small thickness (preferably 5 to 50 micrometers and typically 10 micrometers) and small lateral dimensions (preferably 2 mm or less and typically 0.1 to 1 mm) so that they are reasonably flexible, but are preferably curved by being wrapped around a cylindrical or flat post to give them some rigidity. The softness and thinness of the plastic reduce risk of sample damage during incidental contact with the tool. Its thinness makes it optically and X-ray transparent, so that the samples can be clearly visualized during manipulations and so that the tools can be used to collect X-ray data from samples. As an option, an X-ray sensitive phosphor is incorporated in the film at low concentration. This allows the X-ray beam to be visually located on the mount or tool.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 30, 2009
    Publication date: June 3, 2010
    Inventors: Robert E. Thorne, Guanhan Chew
  • Patent number: 7666259
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a crystallization and screening plate comprises a plurality of cells open at a top and a bottom, a frame that defines the cells in the plate, and at least two films. The first film seals a top of the plate and the second film seals a bottom of the plate. At least one of the films is patterned to strongly pin the contact lines of drops dispensed onto it, fixing their position and shape. The present invention also includes methods and other devices for manual and high-throughput protein crystal growth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2010
    Assignee: Cornell Research Foundation, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert E. Thorne, Viatcheslav Berejnov, Yevgeniy Kalinin
  • Patent number: 7542546
    Abstract: Sample mounts (10) for mounting microcrystals of biological macromolecules for X-ray crystallography are prepared by using patterned thin polyimide films (12) that have curvature imparted thereto, for example, by being attached to a curved outer surface of a small metal rod (16). The patterned film (12) preferably includes a tip end (24) for holding a crystal. Preferably, a small sample aperture is disposed in the film for reception of the crystal. A second, larger aperture can also be provided that is connected to the sample aperture by a drainage channel, allowing removal of excess liquid and easier manipulation in viscous solutions. The curvature imparted to the film (12) increases the film's rigidity and allows a convenient scoop-like action for retrieving crystals. The polyimide contributes minimally to background and absorption, and can be treated to obtain desired hydrophobicity or hydrophilicity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2009
    Assignee: Cornell Research Foundation, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert E. Thorne, Zachary Stum, Kevin O'Neill, Jan Kmetko
  • Publication number: 20090133410
    Abstract: A method and devices for rapid cooling of small biological samples by plunging them in a cryogenic liquid, such as liquid nitrogen, or contacting them with a cryogenic metal surface, reduce or eliminate the cold gas layer that forms above the liquid cryogens or cryogenic surfaces, producing an abrupt transition from ambient (e.g., room) temperature to the cryogen temperature as the sample enters the liquid or contacts the surface. To reduce or eliminate the effects of the cold gas layer, a flow of warm dry gas can be directed along the plunge path, for example. By removing this cold gas layer, cooling times for a 10 micron sample (the size of single cells and the smallest protein crystals now used protein crystallography) will decrease to ˜0.001 s.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 26, 2008
    Publication date: May 28, 2009
    Inventors: Robert E. Thorne, Matthew W. Warkentin, Viatcheslav Berejnov
  • Publication number: 20080165929
    Abstract: Sample mounts (10) for mounting microcrystals of biological macromolecules for X-ray crystallography are prepared by using patterned thin polyimide films (12) that have curvature imparted thereto, for example, by being attached to a curved outer surface of a small metal rod (16). The patterned film (12) preferably includes a tip end (24) for holding a crystal. Preferably, a small sample aperture is disposed in the film for reception of the crystal. A second, larger aperture can also be provided that is connected to the sample aperture by a drainage channel, allowing removal of excess liquid and easier manipulation in viscous solutions. The curvature imparted to the film (12) increases the film's rigidity and allows a convenient scoop-like action for retrieving crystals. The polyimide contributes minimally to background and absorption, and can be treated to obtain desired hydrophobicity or hydrophilicity.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 27, 2007
    Publication date: July 10, 2008
    Inventors: Robert E. Thorne, Zachary Stum, Kevin O'Neill, Jan Kmetko
  • Patent number: 7263162
    Abstract: Sample mounts (10) for mounting microcrystals of biological macromolecules for X-ray crystallography are prepared by using patterned thin polyimide films (12) that have curvature imparted thereto, for example, by being attached to a curved outer surface of a small metal rod (16). The patterned film (12) preferably includes a tapered tip end (24) for holding a crystal. Preferably, a small sample aperture is disposed in the film for reception of the crystal. A second, larger aperture can also be provided that is connected to the sample aperture by a drainage channel, allowing removal of excess liquid and easier manipulation in viscous solutions. The curvature imparted to the film (12) increases the film's rigidity and allows a convenient scoop-like action for retrieving crystals. The polyimide contributes minimally to background and absorption, and can be treated to obtain desired hydrophobicity or hydrophilicity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2007
    Assignee: Cornell Research Foundation, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert E. Thorne, Zachary Stum, Kevin O'Neill, Jan Kmetko
  • Patent number: 7191774
    Abstract: A toy air gun and in particular an improved air gun for generating vortex rings are described. The gun is designed so that the path along the axis of air motion from the rear of the gun to the air exit hole is optically transparent, and contains patterns normal to this axis that assist in accurate sighting. This allows targets to be directly sighted along the axis of air or vortex ring travel. Together with improvements to ensure purely axial air motion, this dramatically increases the aiming accuracy of this class of gun and makes it suitable for target-type activities. A screen with a cylindrically symmetric pattern of openings and aiming marks prevents solid objects placed inside the gun's barrel from being projected outwards, and assists in aiming the gun. An vented safety guard at the exit end of the gun prevents large pressures from developing in the event that the gun exit is blocked while preserving the vortex ring component to the airflow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2007
    Inventor: Robert E. Thorne
  • Publication number: 20040255922
    Abstract: A toy air gun and in particular an improved air gun for generating vortex rings are described. The gun is designed so that the path along the axis of air motion from the rear of the gun to the air exit hole is optically transparent, and contains patterns normal to this axis that assist in accurate sighting. This allows targets to be directly sighted along the axis of air or vortex ring travel. Together with improvements to ensure purely axial air motion, this dramatically increases the aiming accuracy of this class of gun and makes it suitable for target-type activities. A screen with a cylindrically symmetric pattern of openings and aiming marks prevents solid objects placed inside the gun's barrel from being projected outwards, and assists in aiming the gun. An vented safety guard at the exit end of the gun prevents large pressures from developing in the event that the gun exit is blocked while preserving the vortex ring component to the airflow.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 18, 2004
    Publication date: December 23, 2004
    Inventor: Robert E. Thorne