Medical patents by Sergio Lara Monteiro and collaborators.

Awarded patents:

(0) Radiation Imaging System patent number 5,590,169, 31 December 1996.

This patent is for medical imaging. It is now expired. There are improvements on it that are patent applied now.

(1) Method and means for connecting a large number of electrodes to a measuring device (in collaboration with Chong Il Lee) patent number 8,335,551, 18 December 2012.

A picafina penetrating device for insertion into the brain or other animal organs, which is suitable to make measurements of the electrical activity occurring in the vicinity of the device. The picafina is in the general shape of an elongated cylinder with a large number of small electrodes at its surface. A typical dimension for the electrodes at the surface of the picafina penetrating device may be of dimensions of the order of a few micrometers to a few tens or hundreds micrometers (for comparison, a hair folicle is 40-70 micrometers in diameter). These electrodes may be electrically connected to the base of the picafina penetrating device by a small number of wires, which are connected to each electrode via addressable switches. The addressable switches are important for the device, because the number of electrodes may be larger than the number of wires that are feasible to run inside the length of the picafina, so, it is the addressable switches that allow for a larger number of electrodes than the number of connecting wires.

(2) Redundant connections to picafina probing device (in collaboration with Chong Il Lee) patent number 8,509,872, 13 Aug 2013.

Loss of electrical continuity at the male/female electrical contact at the connection between the battery/controlling electronics box (which is implanted at the chess or abdomen of the patient) and the connecting wires that lead to the electrodes, causes 2% to 3% of failures in heart pacemakers. This is likely a consequence of body fluids penetrating the male/female connector seal and causing electrolysis/corrosion at the contact. This is critical for the patient, depending on how well his heart can function for a short time after loss of heart pacemaker functionality. At the minimum it causes a visit to the emergency room and an urgent surgery, to replace the battery/controlling electronics box, at worse it may cause loss of life. This patent, together with patents # 8,738,135 and # 9,037,242 offers a solution to this problem of loss of electrical continuity at the connection between the box and the connecting wires.

The numbers for US alone are:
200,000 heart pacemakers implanted per year in US
▶ US $ 40,000 approximate average cost per unit + surgery + hospital (total cost for implant) -> total cost = $ 8 billion per year
▶ if half of implanted heart pacemakers were to use this invention paying 0.1% licence fee (paying $40 per unit, increasing the cost per unit from $ 40,000 to $ 40,040) the license would generate: 1/2 * 200,000 * $40 = $ 4 million per year in license fees

(3) Method and system to address multiple electrodes for sensing and stimulation in brain and heart (in collaboration with Chong Il Lee) patent number 8,538,516, 17 September 2013.

A picafina-style penetrating device adapted to make (1) measurements and (2) electrical stimulation, on a variety of organs in animals and plants. The electrical measurements are useful to understand the neural activity and its meaning, if measured in the brain, or to understand the propagation of electrical signal through the walls of the heart, if measured in the heart muscle, or to understand the muscle activity, as any other body muscle that may be undergoing stiffening or relaxation, etc., while the electrical stimulation is useful to create desirable outcomes, as to stop the tremor associated with Parkinson's Disease, or to stop the convulsions associated with epilepsy, or to control the heart beating, or to assist a person to walk when the person may have lost some control of the limbs, perhaps due to an accident or due to a stroke or any other reason.

(4) Method and means for connecting and controlling a large number of contacts for electrical cell stimulation in living organisms (in collaboration with Chong Il Lee) patent number 8,565,868, 22 October 2013.

This patent continues with the improvements described on the previous patents, generally based on the multi-electrode at the surface of the picafina, including the important part of how to connect the larger number of electrodes to the external world.

The reader may wonder how can the larger number of electrodes proposed for the picafina be connected to the external world, given the limited available space in the lumen of the picafina. It is to be kept in mind that the picafina sports far more electrodes at its surface then the paltry 4 electrodes at the distal extremity of the lead manufactured by Medtronic. The answer to this question is that our picafina with potentially hundreds or even thousands of electrodes, does not require as many wires as electrodes, one wire for each electrode. Our picafina is fitted with electronic addressing capability, with address decoders near each electrode, with the result that it is possible to have a single wire running inside the picafina to transfer the data and a few more wires to set the electrodes at desired electric potentials - potentially there are different electric potentials at the same time, along different directions around the picafina, as per figure 13, and so the picafina only needs as many wires as different electric potentials are envisaged, perhaps 4 or 6 different electric potentials.

As for the asymmetry of the stimulated region, the reader is invited to look at figure 13 of this patent:
Figure 13a shows a cross-section of a desired volume to be electrically stimulated (13_3), and the position of an old, incompetently designed Meditronic lead 13_1, which is capable of electrically stimulating at fixed radius distance from the cylindrical supporting structure, which is set at a small electric potential leading to a stimulating distance 13_2, all at the same distance from the lead, in this case causing an under-stimulation, because all the neurons beyond 13_2 until the edge of 13_3 are not electrically stimulated,
Figure 13b shows the same cross-section of a desired volume to be electrically stimulated (13_3), and also the similarly positioned old, incompetently designed Meditronic lead 13_1, which is capable of electrically stimulating at a fixed radius distance from the cylindrical supporting structure 13_1, but which, in this case shown in figure 13b is set at a larger electric potential, leading to a stimulating distance 13_2 which reaches the furthest edge of the desired region 13_3 but now goes beyond the left edge of the desired target region, causing electrical stimulation on neurons that are not intended to be stimulated, perhaps causing the unfortunate stimulee to jump from a high-store window, or at least to be depressed or have speech problems or blurred thoughts, or any of an array of known problems known as side effects of the Meditronic lead,
Finally figure 13c shows our picafina described in this patent, which, because it has independently controllable electrodes all around the picafina, is set with the electrodes toward the left side at a lower electric potential and the electrodes toward the right side at a higher electric potential, all together causing a near perfect match between the target region and the stimulated region, as per figure 13c

As it is described at column 6 line 19 of this patent, "Current art suffers from many problems, some of which are as follows. If the electrical contacts are circular rings, the current is injected 360 degrees around the picafina, approximately the same amount in all directions, and reaching the same distance from the lead on all directions." In other words, existing devices (the shameful lead sold by Medtronic) shoots currents out the same way 360 degrees around the lead (see figures 13a and 13b), while our picafina fires with selective power along each direction, with the aim of reaching only the end of the target region along each direction and no further (see figure 13c).

(5) Device and system to improve the safety of an electrical stimulating device in an electromagnetic radiation environment (in collaboration with Chong Il Lee) patent number 8,565,869, 22 October 2013.

Patent '869 describes a method and a device for improving the safety of electrical stimulators implant wearers within an MRI machine - and of the electronics too. It departs from usual devices, that typically are designed to prevent RF induction - which is kind of hard to do!, in that the method and device described in this patent are based in redirecting the MRI induced RF to locations where the energy can be safely transferred to the patient body.

(6) Method and means to adjust the positioning of stimulating neural and muscular electrode (in collaboration with D. and K. Daneshvar and Chong Il Lee) patent number 8,670,837, 11 March 2014.

This patent describes a method and a means to translate and rotate the picafina implanted in the brain with the objective of repositioning it, perhaps due to a relative motion between the picafina and the surrounding brain.

(7) Redundant wires and connectors for DBS and heart pacemaker electrical stimulating device implanted in animals (in collaboration with Chong Il Lee) patent number 8,738,135, 27 May 2014.

This patent is similar and complementary to item 2 above (patent number 8,509,872, 13 Aug 2013). See description at item number 2

(8) Animal and plant cell electric stimulator with randomized spatial distribution of electrodes for both current injection and for electric field shaping (in collaboration with Chong Il Lee) patent number 8,954,145, 10 Feb 2015.

Patent '145 describes a new class of electrically insulated electrodes, incapable of injecting electric charges in the body but perfectly capable of creating an electric field E in its surroundings. These electrically insulated electrodes, which we call passive electrodes or field shaping electrodes, can control the direction of motion and the speed of the ions that are propagating in the tissues (as in heart pacemakers, DBS implants, etc.) - remember that equation F = q x E from your hated physics 101? For the non-initiated, the control of the direction of the ion propagation is the equivalent of the steering wheel of an automobile (or better, on an airplane, because the heart and brain situation are 3-D), and the control of the speed of motion of the ions is the equivalent of the gas pedal on the automobile (or of an airplane). The control of the speed of propagation and of the direction of motion of the ions as they propagate through the heart muscle is the equivalent of the control of an automobile position on an open field (or better, of an airplane in the air). It follows that this device allows the control of the heart contraction sequence, because each cell of the heart contracts as the charged ions arrived at its position - this is heavy stuff! The same words, when applied to DBS brain stimulation, mean the control of the stimulated volume, that is, no side effects for Parkinson's DBS, and more.

(9) System of redundant wires and connectors for picafina DBS and heart pacemaker electrical stimulating device implanted in animals including human animals (in collaboration with Chong Il Lee) patent number 9,037,242, 19 May 2015.

This patent is similar and complementary to items 2 and 7 above (patents number 8,509,872, 13 Aug 2013 and 8,738,135, 27 May 2014). See description at item number 2

(10) " Device and means for adjusting the position of DBS, brain and other neural and muscular implants " (in collaboration with Chong Il Lee) patent number 9,089,687, 28 July 2015.

This patent is similar and complementary to item 6 above (patent number 8,670,837, 11 March 2014). See description at item number 6.

(11) " DBS and Heart Electrical Stimulation and Measurements with Multiple Electrodes " (in collaboration with Chong Il Lee) patent number 9,415,229, 16 August 2016.

This patent is an extension of and complementary to item 3 above (patent number 8,538,516, 17 September 2013). See description at item number 3.

(12) " Method and means for connecting and telecontroling a large number of electrodes for electrical cell stimulation in living organisms " patent number 9,480,843, 1st November 2016. (PFW_GGD)

Patent '843 is for a wireless action at a distance device and method, capable of transmitting/receiving digital data, information and control to/from an electrical stimulating device (as a heart pacemaker, a DBS brain implant, etc.). The device is capable of selecting different voltages (or currents) levels and to act concurrently at different electrodes, each independent electrode at a potentially different voltage (or current) level, for stimulating tissues and/or organs in animals. It also includes measuring electrodes that can be used to guide the decisions of the controlling microcontroller.

(13) " Cell electric stimulator with subsurface electrodes for electric field shaping and separate electrodes for stimulation " patent number 10,149,972, 11 December 2018.

Patent '972 explains how to make a more efficient electrical stimulator with field shaping electrodes to guide the injected charges (as per our earlier patent number 8 above, patent number 8,954,145, 10 Feb 2015) adding a new twist to it: move the field shaping electrodes to below the surface of the supporting structure! This way (1) the passive electrodes do not stay in the way of the actually charge injecting electrodes (I call these active electrodes) basides (2) having a full space to use, just below the surface! Clever eh?

(14) " Method and means to improve the effects of electrical cell and neuron stimulation with random stimulation in both location and time " patent number 10,369,358 , 06 August 2019.

Patent '358 explains how to electrically stimulate tissues, as brain tissues, on a random time pattern, and from locations that keep moving around, instead of stimulating, as it is done today, stimulating from fixed locations, at regularly forever repeating time sequence (don't ask me why they do it this way). As an example, a typical Medtronic DBS stimulator injects an electric current for 90 microseconds on, 5 milliseconds period = 200 Hz. Of course that this current practice is bound to create self-sustaining neural loops by itself, which then, in turn, requires stronger, larger current stimulation, until the battery can no longer keep up with higher currents and the neurologist tells the patient: "sorry, we can do nothing more for you". In reality this happened because the very repetitive artificial stimulation gave origin to new neural loops that cause tremor themselves. This is so obvious that I find it beyond belief that nobody came up with our proposed random stimulation method before, and why in hell anyone would have made the first stimulator injecting charges at a fixed location on a forever repeating sequence. Note that this stimulation method is for neural stimulation only; it does NOT apply to heart stimulation!

(15) " Subsurface electrodes for electric field shaping with wrapping supporting structures " patent number 10,549,103, 4 February 2020.

This patent is a continuation of patent number 10,149,972. It describes a maleable structure that holds the electrodes in place, both active and passive electrodes. A malleable structure is better than a rigid structure when the target stimulation region needs more stringent control, perhaps for being small, perhaps for the need to avoid electrical stimulation beyond the desired targed volume, or any other reason.

(16) " Multilayer supporting structure for subsurface electrodes for electric field shaping " (in collaboration with Daisong Zhang) patent number 10,549,104, 4 February 2020.

This patent is a continuation of patent number 10,149,972. It describes the use of multiple layers under the external layer where the active electrodes are located, which provides more options for the passive electrodes, both in space and electric potential, therefore increasing the possibilities of controlling the direction and the speed of motion of the electric charges injected by the active electrodes at the surface, or even simply the direction and the speed of motion of the electric charges that are there for other reasons as well.

(17) " Method and means to measure heart rate with fitbit devices " patent number 11,172,836, 16 November 2021.

This patent is part of a new series of medical/personal health devices. This patent 11,172,836 is an improved FitBit, which improves on the measurements of the heart rate of the FitBit-type devices when used by darker skin persons. It is known that the heart rate measurements taken by FitBits and their equivalent devices, often fail when used by darker skin persons. This fact is generally accepted by the medical community to be a consequence of the melanin, which absorbs the "light" used, causing a decreased, or even null "light" back-scattered. Our devices offer a solution to this problem of FigBits misreading heart rate on darker skinned persons.

(18) " Device and means to ameliorate discomfort and pain during dental and similar procedures " patent number 11,173,303, 16 November 2021.

This patent is part of a new series, related to pain control during medical procedures. Not intended to eliminate the pain, but to decrease the pain. For procedures that would cause unbearable pain, as a surgery, our device is useless, but for a procedure that causes a small or acceptable pain, this device decreases the pain inflicted, making the procedure easier to be performed. For example, the decrease of the pain caused by the pricking of a hypodermic needle is a good improvement for dentists and medical practicians in general.

(19) " Subsurface electrodes for electric field shaping with protruding supporting structures " patent number 11,198,008, 14 December 2021.

(20) " Method and means to make infrared image of the female breast, other human organs and other objects " (in collaboration with Gunnar Erik Skulason) patent number 11,291,371, 5 April 2022.

This patent is part of a new series of medical imaging devices. It discloses a new method to make images with infrared radiation (infrared "light"). Infrared images of a body or a part of an animal, including persons, have been made in the past, but the methods used were so expensive and/or cumbersome, that they were not practical for use as a clinical tool. The previous devices are one of two types: (1) interferometry, which is known in the field as "frequency domain", and (2) what I call time-of-flight, known in the field as "time domain". Both of these are expensive and difficult to use. Our method is simpler and less expensive than the existing methods. We propose to use collimators to separate the light that have suffered scattering from the light that have propagated without scattering, with which separation two images can be created, one first image, which I call "transmitted image" and a second image, which I call "scattered image". The former, transmitted image, is made from the photons that have suffered no scattering, reaching the radiation detector at the same direction as the photons that were emitted into the object, while the latter, the scattered image, is made from the photons that have suffered one of more scattering events, reaching the radiation detector from a direction that is different than the direction along which they were emitted.

(Optics 1) " Method and means to prevent the formation of visible lines and other image artifacts on illuminated displays " patent number 9,218,759, 22 December 2015, also seen at www.LaraLeeOptical.com.

Patent '759 describes a method and a means to improve the quality of the image displayed on public billboards . It applies to large devices as street billboards, used to prod people to buy things that they do not want and should not even buy, to medium sized devices, as airport and train station announcing boards, and to smaller devices as computer monitors. The inventor dreams that one day, in a different society, the improved image will cause that the existing street billboards will display the murals of Diego Rivera and other 99% art works . The image improvement stems from small changes of the position of the pixels, which causes a break on the spatial frequency of the pixels. The modified pixel distribution is therefore devoid of spacial frequency arrangements, and then not subject to the problems associated with sampling frequencies. Though this image application of sampling is well known to mathematicians, engineers and other workers in the field of image acquisition and display, it is less known than its counterpart in sound, where it is more widely known that the 44.1 kHz frequency chosen for CD recording was selected for it being higher than twice the maximum frequency that humans can hear (20 kHz), which puts it above the Nyquist frequency and free from aliasing. It is worth to remind the reader that the problem solved by the invention is the optical counterpart of the same problem described by Nyquist, which is at the root of the audio Nyquist frequency, aliasing, etc., so much discussed in digital recording.

See patents on optics at www.LaraLeeOptical.com


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