>From the cryonet:
Best, Jeff Davis
>Date: Mon, 20 Sep 1999 14:08:22 EDT
>Subject: 21CM patent
>Go to www.uspto.gov to access the full text of the patent (Sep.14) assigned
>to 21st Century Medicine Inc. Oddly enough, the inventors listed do not
>include Greg Fahy; they are Brian G. Wowk, Michael G. Federowicz ["Darwin"],
>Sandra R. Russell, and Steven B. Harris. It runs about 18 printed pages.
>Naturally, we will investigate the procedures and substances mentioned.
>There are many interesting features in the patent, not least the structure
>claims. The claims start broadly, including any alkoxylated organic compound
>in a concentration sufficient to permit vitrification and cooling until
>vitrified; and the application of this to any organ, tissue, or animal. More
>specific claims relate to use of 2-methoxyethanol and
>The inventors acknowledge that glycol ethers have been used before to
>preserve embryos and cell suspensions, but believe they have priority in
>application to tissues, organs, and animals. Obviously, there are
>interesting questions in patent law--both as to the relation between these
>inventors and prior users of glycol ethers, and between these inventors and
>later users of new variations and applications.
>"Summary" of the invention mentions perfusing an inert fluid through the
>vascular system and controlling the temperature of the fluid; and a class of
>new glycol ether CPAs. Oddly enough, the Claims do not (to my legally
>untutored mind) appear to make any direct or specific reference to cooling
>methods, even though in the "Summary" that seems important.
>"Glycol ethers" are understood to include compounds containing alkoxy--and
>particularly methoxy--functional groups. Included are alkoxylated alkanes
> alkoxylated alcohols and polyols, with several sub-groups given.
>For some organs, cooling and rewarming rates can exceed 100 degC per minute.
>[This seems to suggest possible use with other CPAs, such as amides.]
>"Large animals can be perfused wit high concentrations of glycol ethers
>0 C with rapid equilibration, no dehydration, no edema or other visible
>evidence of toxic effects. Histologic preservation is excellent at
>microscopic and ultrasturctural levels."
>References include Skrecky's proposal in Cryonet #5174, 1995; CRYONICS:
>REACHING FOR TOMORROW (Wowk & Darwin, 1991; and THE PROSPECT OF IMMORTALITY,
>1964; and a Darwin/Hixon piece in CRYONICS July 1984, as well as various
>patents and publications in recognized journals.
>I have not found any patent entries under "ice blockers," although the
>instant patent says that suppression of ice formation is an important
>feature. I believe 21CM has a different class of substances it calls ice
>blockers, acting through a different mechanism.
>The "Conclusion" mentions unprecedentedly high rates of cooling and
>rewarming,;and the advantages of the new CPAs, including penetration and low
>viscosity, rapid equilibration, ice inhibition, minimization of toxicity,
>glass forming properties.
>Congratulations to all the inventors involved. Lots of work ahead.
"Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
Best, Jeff Davis