Inventor's Corner


Real-time bacterial spore detection

This invention relates to a process for detecting the presence of viable bacterial spores in a sample and to a spore detection system.

The system includes a sample, germinant, bleach, and terbium nitrate chambers, which funnel into a larger germination chamber.

A sample and a germinant would feed into the germination chamber, where spores could develop. Bleach would be flushed through for clean-up purposes, and after the spores have germinated, the sample is filtered and passed through the detection chamber.

Prior to detection, the filtered sample is mixed with such lanthanides as terbium nitrate. The detection chamber includes a light source and, following the detection stage, the tested sample passes to a waste chamber, which is attached to a vacuum line and a vent.

Patent number: 6,599,715 B1
Date granted: July 29, 2003
Inventors: Laura A. Vanderberg, Timothy J. Herdendorf and Richard J. Obiso, of The Regents of the University of California (Los Alamos, N.M.)

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Sanitary drain valve

A valve for sampling a process from a tank or conduit includes an internal cavity (A) that is connected to at least one inlet (B) and an outlet (C).

A valve actuating rod (D) includes a sealing tip (E). The valve-actuating rod is movable to open and close the inlet to the internal cavity. Furthermore, a seal (F) is provided to isolate the valve actuating rod and the outside environment from the process. The seal is formed on the process side of the internal cavity's bottom wall to ensure that the process material, cleaning material, steam, etc., drains completely out of the valve's internal cavity.

Patent number: 6,601,823 B2
Date granted: Aug. 5, 2003
Inventor: Douglas A. Newberg, of NL Technologies, Ltd. (Gambrills, Md.)

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Raised floor system with view panels

The raised floor system is comprised of an outer rigid frame (A), an upper plate of a tempered glass pane (B) and a lower plate of apertured-steel panel (C) providing structural support of the view panel.

The invention is meant as an alternative to a conventional raised floor system for a semiconductor cleanroom, as well as one that allows observation of utility gauges mounted underneath the floor system.

Patent number: 6,665,996 B2
Date granted: Dec. 23, 2003
Inventor: Chi-Chen Chang, of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Hsin Chu).

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