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6734results about "Membranes" patented technology

Methods, compositions, and automated systems for separating rare cells from fluid samples

The present invention recognizes that diagnosis and prognosis of many conditions can depend on the enrichment of rare cells from a complex fluid sample. In particular, the enrichment of fetal cells from maternal samples, such as maternal blood samples, can greatly aid in the detection of fetal abnormalities or a variety of genetic conditions. In addition, the present invention recognizes that the enrichment of rare malignant cells from patient samples, can aid in diagnosis, prognosis, and development of therapeutic modalities for patients. The invention includes microfabricated filters for filtering fluid samples and methods of enriching rare cells of fluid samples using microfabricated filters of the present invention. The invention also includes solutions for the selective sedimentation of red blood cells (RBCs) from a blood sample and methods of using selective RBC sedimentation solutions for enriching rare cells of a fluid sample. Yet another aspect of the invention is an automated system for processing a fluid sample that includes: at least one filtration chamber that includes a microfabricated filter; automated means for directing fluid flow through at least one filtration chamber of the automated system, and means for collecting enriched rare cells. The present invention also includes methods of using automated systems for separating rare cells from fluid samples. Preferred fluid samples are blood, effusion, or urine samples, and rare cells that can be enriched from such sample include nucleated red blood cells and cancer cells.

Vertical skein of hollow fiber membranes and method of maintaining clean fiber surfaces while filtering a substrate to withdraw a permeate

A vertical skein of "fibers", opposed terminal portions of which are held in headers unconfined in a modular shell, is aerated with a gas-distribution means which produces a mass of bubbles serving the function of a scrub-brash for the outer surfaces of the fibers. The membrane device is surprisingly effective with relatively little cleansing gas, the specific flux through the membranes reaching an essentially constant relatively high value because the vertical deployment of fibers allows bubbles to rise upwards along the outer surfaces of the fibers. Further, bubbles flowing along the outer surfaces of the fibers make the fibers surprisingly resistant to being fouled by build-up of deposits of inanimate particles or microorganisms in the substrate provided that the length of each fiber is only slightly greater than the direct center-to-center distance between opposed faces of the headers, preferably in the range from at least 0.1% to about 5% greater. For use in a large reservoir, a bank of skeins is used with a gas distributor means and each skein has fibers preferably >0.5 meter long, which together provide a surface area >10 m2. The terminal end portions of fibers in each header are kept free from fiber-to-fiber contact with a novel method of potting fibers.

Branched flow filtraction and system

A cross flow filtration apparatus for nanofiltration or reverse osmosis has pressure vessels with a plurality of filter cartridges in each vessel. A feed port is provided at an intermediate position on the side of the vessel, and two permeate flows or branches exit opposite ends of the vessel, and the first branch has a characteristically high “upstream” flux and quality, while the second is of lesser flux and/or quality. The system provides a high degree of moduarity, enhancing flux or yield at a reduced driving pressure or overall pressure drop. Centered or off-center port, and a stop or valve in the permeate stream may apportion flows between the two outlets. Staged systems may employ a first stage bypass to achieve a target quality with increased yield. A flow divider or adaptor permits the cartridges to fit and seal in the vessel and an installation tool or sleeve may facilitate installation or replacement of cartridges having a directional perimeter seal. A tool permits modules to be bi-directional installed in the pressure vessel. Other embodiments involve adapting a conventional vessel designed for end-to-end feed flow utilizing a restrictor, obstruction or valve inside the filter cartridge to bifurcate or otherwise split or apportion the permeate. RO elements may be modified to movably position an obstruction or valve along a string of the elements and vary the take-off to two or more permeate outlets, or to provide pressure relief valves that present different pressure conditions for different elements of a string. A pressure vessel may have an intermediate inlet, with symmetric or asymmetric branching of permeate flow to opposed ends of the vessel, enhancing permeate flux, permeate quality and/or energy efficiency.

Apparatus and process for production of high purity hydrogen

The invention relates to a new and improved process and apparatus for the production of high purity hydrogen by steam reforming. The apparatus is an integrated flameless distributed combustion-membrane steam reforming (FDC-MSR) or reactor for steam reforming of a vaporizable hydrocarbon to produce H2 and CO2, with minimal CO, and minimal CO in the H2 stream. The flameless distributed combustion drives the steam reforming reaction which pro-vides great improvements in heat exchange efficiency and load following capabilities. The reactor may contain multiple flameless distributed combustion chambers and multiple hydrogen-selective, hydrogen-permeable, membrane tubes. The feed and reaction gases may flow through the reactor either radially or axially. A further embodiment of the invention involves producing high purity hydrogen by dehydrogenation using an integrated FDC-membrane de-hydrogenation reactor. A still further embodiment of the invention involves a zero emission hybrid power system wherein the produced hydrogen is used to power a high-pressure internally manifolded molten carbonate fuel cell. In addition, the design of the FDC-SMR powered fuel cell makes it possible to capture good concentrations of CO2 for sequestration or use in other processes.
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