Patents


Steven T. Mayer, Fung-Ming Kong, Richard W. Pekala, and James L. Kaschmitter
Organic Aerogel Microspheres
U.S. Patent 5,908,896
June 1, 1999
Organic aerogel microspheres that can be used in capacitors, batteries, thermal insulation, adsorption/filtration media, and chromatographic packing and have diameters ranging from about 1 micrometer to about 3 millimeters. The microspheres can be pyrolyzed to form carbon aerogel microspheres. This method involves stirring the aqueous organic phase in mineral oil at elevated temperature until the dispersed organic phase polymerizes and forms nonsticky gel spheres. The size of the microspheres depends on the collision rate of the liquid droplets and the reaction rate of the monomers from which the aqueous solution is formed. The collision rate is governed by the volume ratio of the aqueous solution to the mineral oil and the shear rate, while the reaction rate is governed by the chemical formulation and the curing temperature.

David J. Erskine
White Light Velocity Interferometer
U.S. Patent 5,910,839
June 8, 1999
A technique that allows the use of broadband and incoherent illumination. White light velocimetry, a principle that can be applied to any wave phenomenon, is used for the first time with powerful, compact, or inexpensive sources for remote target velocimetry. The sources include flash and arc lamps, light from detonations, pulsed lasers, chirped frequency lasers, and lasers operating simultaneously in several wavelengths. The technique is demonstrated with white light from an incandescent source to measure a target moving at 16 miles per second.


Abraham P. Lee, Allen Northrup, Dino R. Ciarlo, Peter A. Krulevitch, and William J. Benett
Microfabricated Therapeutic Actuators
U.S. Patent 5,911,737
June 15, 1999
Microfabricated therapeutic actuators are made with a shape memory polymer (SMP), a polyurethane-based material that undergoes a phase transformation at a specified temperature (Tg). Above Tg, material is soft and can be easily reshaped into another configuration. As the temperature is lowered below Tg, the new shape is fixed and locked in as long as the material stays below Tg. Upon reheating the material to a temperature above Tg, the material will return to its original shape. For example, when fabricated with such SMP material, microtubing can be used as a release actuator for the delivery of embolic coils through catheters into aneurysms. The microtubing can be manufactured in various sizes, and the phase change temperature Tg is the determinate for an intended temperature target and use.


G. Bryan Balazs, Zoher Chiba, Patricia R. Lewis, Norvell Nelson, and G. Anthony Steward
Mediated Electrochemical Oxidation of Organic Wastes Using a CO(III) Mediator in a Nitric Acid-Based System
U.S. Patent 5,911,868
June 15, 1999
An electrochemical cell with a cobalt III mediator and nitric acid electrolyte provides efficient destruction of organic and mixed wastes. The organic waste is concentrated in the analyte reservoir where the mediator oxidizes the organics and insoluble transuranic compounds. The analyte is regenerated at the anode until the organics are converted to carbon dioxide. The nitric acid is an excellent oxidant that facilitates the destruction of the organic components. The anode is not readily attacked by the nitric acid solution, so the cell can be used for extended, continuous operation without electrode replacement.


Luiz B. Da Silva, Dennis L. Matthews, Joseph P. Fitch, Matthew J. Everett, Billy W. Colston, and Gary F. Stone
X-Ray Compass for Determining Device Orientation
U.S. Patent 5,912,945
June 15, 1999
An apparatus and method for determining the orientation of a device with respect to an x-ray source. In one embodiment, the present invention is coupled to a medical device to determine the device's rotational orientation with respect to the x-ray source. In this embodiment, the present invention comprises these parts: a scintillator that is adapted to emit photons when it absorbs x rays emitted from the x-ray source; an x-ray blocking part that is coupled to the scintillator and varies the quantity of x rays that penetrate the scintillator, based on the particular rotational orientation of the medical device with respect to the x-ray source; and a photon transport mechanism, also coupled to the scintillator, that is adapted to pass the photons emitted from the scintillator to the device's electronics, which then analyze the quantity of the photons to determine the rotational orientation of the medical device with respect to the x-ray source.


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