Patent to protect purification processes
SAN DIEGO, Calif.-PURE Bioscience (www.pure-bioscience.com) has filed a utility patent application to protect "processes of making and methods of use" concerning its anhydrous or crystalline silver dihydrogen citrate (SDC) antimicrobial compositions. Current patents cover Pall's liquid SDC. The new patent expands the protected technologies to include solid compositions of the ionic silver antimicrobial that can now be mixed with water to form an SDC liquid disinfectant. Pall says its SDC-based technology is distinguished by its superior efficacy combined with reduced toxicity.
FARMINGDALE, N.Y.-EnvironmentalRx's (EVRX; www.environ-mentalrx.com) recently patented Iso-barrier portable contamination unit is now available as a service to hospitals to help control patient infection caused by bacteria. Rather than giving patients antibiotics to prevent contamination from other patients, an Iso-barrier can be placed between patients sharing a room and completely decontaminate the room in 30 minutes. EVRX technicians can move the device from room to room as needed. The company charges $90 per bed for its service.
Consolidating for control and communication
AUSTIN, Texas-MKS Instruments Inc. (www.mksinst.com), a provider of process control solutions for advanced manufacturing, has consolidated its sales and field service, product development for control and information technology products, and R&D/product development for power and reactive gas products divisions into one 28,800-square foot facility here. The new space includes a lab to provide hands-on product training for customers, and is designed to enhance communication and interaction among the company's product groups. Among its offerings, MKS Instruments develops technologies to power, measure, control and monitor complex gas-related semiconductor manufacturing processes.
New at NEBB
GAITHERSBURG, Md.-Joseph Miller has been elected president of the National Environmental Balancing Bureau (NEBB), a non-profit organization that establishes and maintains industry standards, procedures, and specifications for work in various disciplines-including cleanroom performance testing. Miller, who has more than thirty years of testing-adjusting-balancing (TAB) and commissioning, is currently commissioning administrator at Seneca Balance of Virginia (Alton, Va.). He is a member of the NEBB board of directors and has served on several of the organization's national committees. Other NEBB officers elected at the recent annual meeting were: Eric Jenison, Total Dynamic Balance, Inc., president-elect; John "Jack" Cappell, Comfort Control, Inc., vice president; Clyde Porter, Porter Testing Services, treasurer.
Gauging garment goings-on
BURBANK, Calif.-CleanTrak, a Web-based system for tracking cleanroom garments, has been introduced by ARAMARK Cleanroom Services (www.aramark.com). By scanning a barcode attached to each garment, customers can go online to track the wear history, cleaning cycle and location of each garment. The system also lets customers monitor each garment's cleaning for indications of excessive wear that can increase the risk of contamination.
Cyberspace cleanrooms class
ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill.-The Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST; www.iest.org) will offer an online class, “Cleanroom Technology and Operations,” February 23 at 11 a.m. CST. Instructor will be IEST President Jan Eudy, corporate quality assurance manager for Cintas Cleanroom Resources and a member of CleanRooms’ editorial advisory board. The one-hour course will cover the “what and how” of cleanroom operations and is based on ISO 14644-5 Cleanroom Operations and IEST recommended practices. Participants will learn the basics of international cleanroom management fundamentals. For more information, visit: www.iest.org/education/education.htm
Purchase of purification process
EAST HILLS, N.Y.-Pall Corp. (www.pall.com) has acquired the BioSepra Process Division from Ciphergen Biosystems, Inc. (Fremont, Calif.; www.ciphergen.com), which develops, manufactures, and markets chromatography sorbents designed to simplify protein purification for drug development and production. Pall plans to establish Process Proteomics Service Centers to assist customers in selecting and optimizing sorbents and membranes for the purification of proteins used in the production of therapeutic proteins and other bioprocess applications. The two companies will also collaborate on process proteomics that will be based on the combination of Ciphergen’s ProteinChip technology and BioSepra’s chromatography products.
Clean-in-place for critical cell culture creation
CHASKA, Minn.-Entegris Inc. (www.entegris.com) says an unnamed North American biotechnology company has purchased $2.8 million worth of its Clean-In-Place (CIP) equipment and engineering services for a cell culture production facility. Entegris’ Single-Use Eductor Assisted (SUEA) CIP system and associated CAD/CAM-designed precision spray technology will be used to meet the customer’s automated critical cleaning needs on their fermenter vessels, along with associated media and buffer tanks, and a variety of process lines and equipment. The purchase also includes CIP-related engineering services. Entegris says its CIP technology is designed to help customers operate their businesses more efficiently and in a more environmentally friendly manner by reducing downtime, water and chemical usage, and utility requirements.
Battling building bacteria
PITTSBURGH, Pa.-Environmental and building specialty contractor PDG Environmental Inc. (www.pdge.com) will offer its clients the ThermaPureHeat technology, developed by E-Therm Inc. (Santa Barbara, Calif.), for controlling biological growth in buildings. The patented process uses clean, dry, odorless heat to create a sauna-like environment that will rapidly dry a wet structure and is lethal to many mold and bacteria species. The process can be used for disinfecting buildings, enclosable areas, and objects. The technology is also effective in fighting E. coli, Salmonella, Legionella, and hantavirus. State-of-the-art digital probes monitor ambient and surface temperatures, which in the range of 140° to 150°F for about an hour prove fatal to many organisms that can infest buildings or objects.
Microfluidic medical marvel in the making
ANN ARBOR, Mich.-According to studies taking place at the University of Michigan, microelectromechanical systems researchers are getting close to a complete “animal-on-a-chip” that would permit medical experiments to be run in vitro on microfluidic chips rather than using live animals. The approach is said to be based on housing every type of cell inside a microfluidic circulatory system, which is fabricated by using semiconductor equipment. Besides freeing animals from experimentation, the devices are said to use commonly available human cells that are kept alive in culture. Software and circuitry on the chip are designed to provide the cells with the chemicals that enable them to perform as though they were in a living body, while built-in sensors constantly monitor cell response in real time.
Sanitizers to soar in sales
CLEVELAND, Ohio-In a new study from The Freedonia Group (www.freedoniagroup.com), disinfectants and sanitizers are expected to record the fastest growth among industrial and institutional (I&I) cleaning chemical types through 2008. The report, Industrial & Institutional Cleaning Chemicals, predicts that gains will be driven by heightened safety and health concerns over the spread of infectious diseases, and risks associated with foodborne pathogens and other contaminants. The same concerns are expected to promote demand for hand cleansers with antibacterial agents. But, according to the study, prospects for products containing antimicrobial additives could be adversely affected if indiscriminate use of disinfectants is proven to be a contributing factor in the proliferation of drug-resistant strains of bacteria.
Critical contamination control consideration
DUBLIN, Ireland-Citing the importance of low defects via low purity and particulate levels for successful very-large-scale integration (VLSI) semiconductor fabrication, Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com) has released Cleanrooms and Contamination Control in VLSI Manufacturing. The report details key technological trends and issues in cleanroom design, and related issues of wafer contamination via liquid and gaseous chemicals, deionized water, and ambient air. The latest developments in identifying, monitoring, and removing these contaminants are also described. The study also includes a description of fab cleanrooms worldwide, as well as markets for filters and cleanroom construction.
Hand protection hand-off
TULLAHOMA, Tenn.-OAK Rubber Co. (www.oakgloves.com) has appointed Protective Industrial Products (PIP; Guilderland Center, N.Y.; www.pipusa.com) as the exclusive supplier of its line of critical environment gloves and supplies. OAK’s manufacturing facility operates the only vinyl glove production lines in the U.S. Recently, the company launched new products for critical environments, including Oaktec tacky mats, wipes, glove liners, and cleanroom paper. In addition, OAK plans to introduce a new line of vinyl gloves produced by a joint venture located in China. PIP is an international glove supplier, with locations in the U.S., Mexico, Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, and Panama.
Green and clean
POQUOSON, Va.-Zentox Corp.’s (www.zentox.com) Clean Streams ozone system for cooling towers has received certification by Building Green for listing in GreenSpec as an approved green product. GreenSpec lists environmentally preferable building products and is available to architects and engineers searching for products to attain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits for their buildings. The Clean Streams systems provide stand-alone, continuous and automated treatment for cooling water systems. The ozone technology keeps heat transfer surfaces free of biofilm for better heat transfer, saving energy and water by allowing for higher cycling without chemicals. The process also provides protection against patho-gens such as Legionella pneumophilia which is often found in contaminated cooling water systems.
Purifiers provide precision, prevent problems
RADNOR, Pa.-A gas-purifying technology for laser resonators has been unveiled by Airgas, Inc. (www.airgas.com), designed to purify a laser cutter’s gas stream and protect the resonator. The Smart Indicating Purifier technology also provides early warning of impurities to help prevent gas stream contamination. Gas purity is critical to sustaining the quality of the laser beam, and with the Airgas technology, should gas be found to contain contaminants or if contaminants enter the gas stream during cylinder change out, the purifier media indicates trouble by turning color.
Bigger than a bread box
SUZHOU, China-Cleanroom facilities larger than the size of a professional soccer field are predominant in Infineon Technologies’ (www.infineon.com) new semiconductor plant here. The facility and its 10,000-square-meter cleanroom will be used for the manufacture of memory products. Mass production of up to one billion chips per year is expected beginning this year.
Sanitizing sheet shield
MUNDELIN, Ill.-Medical supply manufacturer Medline (www.medline.com) has introduced bed linens treated with HaloShield, a patented coating technology from Vanson HaloSource (www.vanson.com) that binds EPA-registered chlorine-based sanitizers to nearly any textile or surface-acting like Velcro for chlorine molecules. According to Vanson, HaloShield locks chlorine in place until it comes in contact with and kills microbes. The company says lab tests on sheets treated with the coating showed that 99.9 percent of microbes are killed within minutes, compared to an up to 24-hour kill time with other sanitizing methods.
Semi software solutions
FREMONT, Calif.-Asyst Technologies Inc. (www.asyst.com) is teaming with IBM Global Services to provide its NexEDA and EIB manufacturing and automation solutions to semiconductor manufacturers. IBM will provide worldwide systems integration services for manufacturers in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. NexEDA, an integrated software system that complies with 300-mm and Electronic Data Acquisition (EDA) requirements, is designed to help companies build better component-based control systems, and improve reliability while reducing maintenance in a managed code environment. EIB (Equipment Information Bridge) software technology is designed to provide real-time visibility into critical processes while automating control systems to reduce process variation and improve quality.
Wee wire wonders
BUFFALO, N.Y.-Nanomaterials manufacturer NanoDynamics (www.nanodynamics.com) has signed a joint venture agreement with New Zealand-based Nano Cluster Devices Ltd. (NCD) to commercialize NCD's technology process for self-assembly of nanowires used in the production of semiconductors and electronic components. The technology produces electrically conducting nanowires through the deposition of atomic clusters onto lithographically prepared templates, resulting in small, controlled linear structures with various functionalities on a range of substrates. The technology's self-assembly process, says NanoDynamics, means that slow manipulation of nano-sized building blocks is avoided. Among the potential applications are hydrogen and chemical sensors used in manufacturing, elements for smaller and faster magnetic read heads for computer hard drives, and discrete transistors and interconnects for various semiconductor and electronic devices.