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Method and apparatus for obtaining blood for diagnostic tests

Method and apparatus for obtaining a sample of blood from a patient for subsequent diagnostic tests, e.g., glucose monitoring. In one aspect of the invention, the method comprises the steps of:
    • (a) placing a blood collection device over a region on the surface of the skin from which said sample is to be obtained,
    • (b) forming a seal between said blood collection device and said surface of the skin,
    • (c) creating a vacuum sufficient to result in said surface of the skin becoming stretched and engorged with blood,
    • (d) triggering a lancing assembly and causing a lancet to penetrate said skin,
    • (e) retracting said lancet,
    • (f) withdrawing blood toward and onto a fluid collector, and
    • (g) releasing the vacuum.
In another aspect of the invention, an apparatus for carrying out the method described previously is provided. The apparatus comprises:
    • (a) a housing having a sealable chamber located therein and a sealable opening in fluid communication with said sealable chamber,
    • (b) a power source,
    • (c) a vacuum pump operably connected to said power source, said vacuum pump in communication with said sealable chamber,
    • (d) a lancing assembly positioned within said housing, said lancing assembly capable of moving a lancet towards said sealable opening, and
    • (e) a fluid collector positioned in said sealable chamber, said fluid collector in fluid communication with said sealable opening.

Plasma concentrator device

A plasma concentrator of this invention having a concentrator chamber, concentrator gel beads, a filter, and an agitator. The agitator has agitator blades extending outwardly from the lower end. The agitator end is positioned in the concentrator chamber and supported for rotation about its central axis and for reciprocal movement along its central axis. The concentrator has a top with an upper opening through which the upper end of the actuator stem extends, and a lower opening in which the filter is positioned. The concentrator chamber can have a cylindrical inner wall, and the agitator blades can have an outer edge in close proximity to the inner wall with the space between the outer edge and the inner wall being less than the diameter of the gel beads. The filter is selected to block effective flow of plasma therethrough under ambient gravity conditions and permit plasma and plasma concentrate flow therethrough under centrifugal forces of the separation gravity. The method concentrates plasma by removing water without significantly denaturing the fibrinogen in the plasma. The plasma is introduced into a concentration chamber containing a plurality of dehydrated concentrator gel beads and an agitator. Then water is removed from the plasma while stirring the beads to reduce plasma polarization and breaking up clumps of beads that form during the agitation. Then centrifugal force can be applied to the concentrated plasma in an amount sufficient to separate a substantial portion of the plasma concentrate from the beads.
Owner:HANUMAN +1
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