Inventor’s Corner

Water-soluble lubricant sterilizer

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The apparatus for sterilizing a water-soluble lubricant is made up of a container (A) in which an anode and a cathode are arranged and powered. A partition (B) divides the container into a cathode section (C), into which a water-soluble lubricant is introduced (D), and an anode section (E), into which an electrically conductive material is introduced. A diaphragm (F) provided in at least a portion of the partition such that an electric current (G) flows between the anode and cathode, the cathode being an electrode generating a substance that cleanses the lubricant in the sterilization section (H).

Patent number: 6,344,132 B1
Date granted: February 5, 2002
Inventors: Takayuki Hirayama, Futoshi Sunada, Haruyoshi Mizuta and Shusaku Sakata, of Nippon Mitsubishi (Tokyo)

Dry sterilization of medical devices

The cylindrical outer wall (A), typically formed of aluminum or stainless steel, is maintained at ground potential and serves as the chamber enclosure. This enclosure may be water cooled with the aid of cooling coils (B) wrapped around it. Suitable dimensions for this chamber are 36 in. by 48 in.

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A metallic perforated inner cylinder (C) cooled by coils (D) is mounted on insulating spacers (E) within the chamber so that it is positioned generally parallel with the long axis of the outer wall of the chamber. These spacers may be formed with any suitable non-reactive and insulating type of material such as ceramic. The cylinder perforations are typically 2.5 to 4 mm diameter holes spaced in all directions from one another by approximately 0.5 cm in a triangulated manner.

Longitudinal support rails (F) are fastened to the inner wall of the perforated cylinder to support a wire basket (G) in which the materials and devices to be sterilized are placed. A suitable radio frequency (RF) source (H) is coupled between the grounded outer chamber wall and the perforated inner cylinder. An evacuation port (I) at the end of cylinder is connected to a pump (not shown) and provides for suitable evacuation of the chamber and for continuous gas flow during the sterilization process. The gas supplied for the discharge is generally flowed through the chamber by perforated diffusion tubes (J). Alternately, gas may be introduced into the chamber via a gas dispersion device (not shown) mounted behind chamber door (K) from the inside.

Material to be sterilized may be placed within a wire basket resting on a rail through the entry port behind the chamber door, which may be any suitable closure that can be conveniently opened and closed and left in a sealed position during evacuation and the gas discharge operation.

Patent number: 6,342,187 B1
Date granted: January 29, 2002
Inventors: Adir Jacob, of Framingham, MA, and Jonathan Allen Wilder, of Rochester, NY

Dust-proof optical box

The optical box (A) protects a device from dust and other potential forms of contamination.

Laser beams deflected by a polygon mirror (B) of an optical box are transmitted through an optical system and exit from an opening outside the optical box (C), and reach a photographic printing paper (D). In this case, when dust adheres to the polygon mirror (B) or the optical box (A), the functionality of an optical device deteriorates. Therefore, dust proofing is required, and is done so by supplying air into the optical box with a fan (E) that pressurizes the interior of the device.

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The introduction of air through filters (F) prevents dust intrusion from outside, thereby making it possible to eliminate dust and contamination from adhering to the polygon mirror or other optical system parts.

Patent number: 6,339,491 B1
Date granted: January 15, 2002
Inventors: Kiyoshi Kondou and Seiichi Inoue, Fuji Photo Film Co. Ltd (Kanagawa, Japan)

Sterile cap sealing method

The machine has a transporting rack (A), which is filled from a storage tank (not shown). Attached to the transporting tract is a separating device (B) that readies the sealing caps (C). A transfer apparatus (D) separates the caps and fastens them to the bottles (E).

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The transfer device is contained in a sterile chamber (F), while a sprayer (G) applies a cleaning agent to the interior of the caps. Drying equipment (H) blows hot, sterile air on caps as they are placed in the star wheel (I), which revolves above the transporting track.

Patent number: 6,341,472 B1
Date granted: January 29, 2002
Inventor: Klaus Schroeder, GEA Finnah GmbH (Ahaus, Denmark)

Send your inventions

Information on the patents highlighted above was obtained through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Inventors who have been granted patents within the last six months for new cleanroom and contamination technology are encouraged to submit them to CleanRooms magazine for publication. Send a brief description of the invention along with a detailed drawing to Mark A. DeSorbo, associate editor, CleanRooms, 98 Spit Brook Road, Nashua, NH 03062, or e-mail at [email protected].


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