Reprint of Patent # 5,188,738


For the IBM Patent Server link click HERE or HERE.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 United States Patent                                            5,188,738

 Kaali, et. al.                                            * Feb. 23, 1993

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alternating current supplied electrically conductive method and system for

treatment of blood and/or other body fluids and/or synthetic fluids with

electric forces





 Inventors:  Kaali; Steven (88 Ashford Ave., Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522);

             Schwolsky; Peter M. (4101 Cathedral Ave., NW., Washington, DC

             20016).

 [*] Notice: The portion of the term of this patent subsequent to Aug. 18,

             2009 has been disclaimed.

 Appl. No.:  615,437

 Filed:      Nov. 16, 1990





                       Related U.S. Application Data

   Continuation-in-part of Ser No. 562,721, Aug. 6, 1990, abandoned.





 Intl. Cl.:                                         B01D 35//06 A61K 41/00

 U.S. Cl.:

                                     210/748; 128/419.R; 128/421; 128/783;

                                       128/784; 204/131; 204/164; 204/186;

                                       204/302; 210/243; 422/ 22; 422/ 44;

                                                                    604/ 4

 Field of Search:

                                        210/243, 748, 764; 128/419 R, 421,

                                     783, 784; 604/4; 422/22, 44; 204/131,

                                              164, 186, 242, 275, 302, 305

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                              References Cited

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                           U.S. Patent Documents

    592,735           Oct., 1897     Jones                     204/242

    672,231           Apr., 1901     Lacomme                   204/275

    2,490,730         Dec., 1949     Dubilier                  204/305

    3,692,648         Sept., 1972    Matloff et al.            204/129

    3,753,886         Aug., 1973     Myers                     204/186

    3,878,564         Apr., 1975     Yao et al.                210/648

    3,965,008         Jun., 1976     Dawson                    422/ 22

    3,994,799         Nov., 1976     Yao et al.             210/321.64

    4,473,449         Sept., 1984    Michaels et al.           204/101

    4,616,640         Oct., 1986     Kaali et al.              128/130

    4,770,167         Sept., 1988    Kaali et al.              128/788

    4,932,421         Jun., 1990     Kaali et al.              128/831

    5,049,252         Sept., 1991    Murrell                   210/243

    5,058,065         Oct., 1991     Slovak                    128/783

    5,133,932         Jul., 1992     Gunn et al.               210/748





                          Foreign Patent Documents

    995848            Jul., 1983       SU                      210/243





                              Other References





     Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology & Medicine, vol.

     1, (1979), pp. 204-209, "Inactivation of Herpes Simples Virus with

     Methylene Blue, Light and Electricity"--Mitchell R. Swartz et al.





     Journal of the Clinical Investigation published by the American

     Society for Clinical Investigations, Inc., vol. 65, Feb. 1980, pp.

     432-438--"Mechanisms of Photodynamic Inactivation of Herpes Simplex

     Viruses"--Lowell E. Schnipper et al.





     Journal of Clinical Microbiology, vol. 17, No. 2, Feb. 1983, pp.

     374-376, "Photodynamic Inactivation of Pseudorabier Virus with

     Methylene Blue Dye, Light and Electricity"--Janine A. Badyisk et al.





Primary Examiner: Dawson; Robert A.

Assistant Examiner: Kim; Sun Uk

Attorney, Agent or Firm: Charles W. Helzer

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                  Abstract

---------------------------------------------------------------------------





A new alternating current process and system for treatment of blood and/or

other body fluids and/or synthetic fluids from a donor to a recipient or

storage receptacle or in a recycling system using novel electrically

conductive treatment vessels for treating blood and/or other body fluids

and/or synthetic fluids with electric field forces of appropriate electric

field strength to provide electric current flow through the blood or other

body fluids at a magnitude that is biologically compatible but is

sufficient to render the bacteria, virus, parasites and/or fungus

ineffective to infect or affect normally healthy cells while maintaining

the biological usefulness of the blood or other fluids. For this purpose

low voltage alternating current electric potentials are applied to the

treatment vessel which are of the order of from about 0.2 to 12 volts and

produce current flow densities in the blood or other fluids of from one

microampere per square millimeter of electrode area exposed to the fluid

being treated to about two milliamperes per square millimeter.





                       31 Claims, 26 Drawing Figures





This invention relates to novel electrically conductive methods and systems

employing electrically conductive vessels provided with electrically

conductive surfaces for use in subjecting blood and/or other body fluids

and/or synthetic fluids such as tissue culture medium to direct treatment

by alternating current electric forces.





---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                             BACKGROUND PROBLEM

---------------------------------------------------------------------------





It is now well known in the medical profession and the general public that

blood collected in a blood bank from a large number of donors may be

contaminated by contaminants such as bacteria, virus, parasites and/or

fungus obtained from even a single donor. While screening of donors has

done much to alleviate this problem, the screening of donors can and does

miss occasional donors whose blood is unfit for use. When this occurs and

the unfit blood is mixed with otherwise usable blood, the entire batch must

be discarded for transfusion purposes. Because of this problem, the present

invention has been devised to attenuate any bacteria, virus (including the

AIDS HIV virus) parasites and/or fungus contained in blood contributed by a

donor to the point that any such contaminant is rendered ineffective for

infecting a normally healthy human cell, but does not make the blood

biologically unfit for use in humans. Similar problems exist with respect

to treatment of other body fluids, such as amniotic fluids. The treatment

method and system is also applicable to mammals other than humans.





In addition to the above, there is a need for methods and systems for the

treatment of blood and other body fluids both in in-situ processing wherein

the treated blood and/or other body fluids are withdrawn from the body,

treated and then returned to the body in a closed loop, recirculating

treatment process that is located near but outside the patient's body, or

the treatment can be effected through implanted treatment system

components.





In co-pending United States application serial No. 07/615,800 entitled

"Electrically Conductive Methods and Systems for Treatment of Blood and

Other Body Fluids with Electric Forces"-Steven Kaali and Peter M.

Schwolsky, inventors, filed concurrently and co-pending with this

application, a similar treatment method and system employing direct current

excitation potentials is described and claimed. The disclosure of

co-pending application Ser. No. 07/615,800 hereby is incorporated into this

application in its entirety.





---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                            SUMMARY OF INVENTION

---------------------------------------------------------------------------





The present invention provides new electrically conductive methods and

systems using alternating electric current excitation potentials for

treating blood and/or other body fluids, such as amniotic fluids, and/or

synthetic fluids such as tissue culture medium from a donor to a

transfusion recipient or to a storage receptacle, or for recirculating a

single donor's or patient's blood or other body fluids. The treatment can

be accomplished in a treatment system external of the body or by implant

devices for purging contaminants using a novel electrically conductive

vessel for direct electric treatment of blood or other body fluids, such as

amniotic fluids, with alternating current electric field forces of

appropriate electric field strength to attenuate such contaminants to the

extent that bacteria, virus, fungus, and/or parasites contained in the

blood or other body fluids are rendered ineffective to infect and/or affect

normally healthy human cells. The treatment, however, does not render the

blood or other body fluids biologically unfit for use in humans or other

mammals after the treatment. The new methods and systems according to the

invention achieve these ends without requiring time consuming and expensive

processing procedures and equipment in addition to those normally required

in the handling of blood or other body fluids or synthetic fluids. The

invention can be used to achieve the electric field force treatment during

the normally occurring transfer processing from a donor to a recipient or

to a collection receptacle, or recirculation of a single donor's or

patient's blood or other body fluids, such as amniotic fluids.





---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                     BEST MODE OF PRACTICING INVENTION

---------------------------------------------------------------------------





FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of one form of a novel blood and other

body fluid treatment system according to the invention. FIG. 1 shows an

electrically conductive blood and/or other body fluid treatment vessel

constructed according to the invention which is in the form of intravenous

tubing 11 interconnected between a hypodermic needle 12 and a blood storage

receptacle 14. The needle 12 is inserted in an artery or vein of the arm 13

of a blood donor and the tubing 11 leads from the arm 13 to the receptacle

14. Alternatively, the system could be set up to transfer blood from the

storage receptacle 14 to the arm of a recipient or could be designed to

recirculate the blood through electrified tubing 11 back to the donor. The

electrically conductive tubing 11 may be of any desired length as indicated

by the break at 15 so that it can be appropriately set up to lead from a

comfortable position for the donor from whose arm 13 the blood is being

taken to a proper storage location for the receptacle 14. The greater the

length of the electrified portion of tubing 11, then the more extended is

the exposure of the blood (or other body fluid) to the electric field force

effects and low level, biologically compatible current flow through the

body fluid being treated thereby assuring adequate electrification

treatment of the fluid without impairing the biological usefulness of the

blood or other body fluid being treated.





FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of the electrically conductive tubing 11

taken through plane 2--2 of FIG. 1. The tubing 11 may be from 1 to about 20

millimeters in inside diameter, although it may be larger or smaller in

diameter depending upon the intended application. For example, if the blood

transfer system is for the purpose shown in FIG. 6, then the tubing may

have a cross sectional dimension of about 5 millimeters. However, if the

intended use is in an implanted blood treatment system, such as shown in

FIG. 8, then the tubing diameter must be designed to result in a

flow-through rate corresponding to the natural circulatory blood flow rate

of the patient in which the system is implanted, and must be long enough to

assure effective electrification treatment at the flow rate selected. The

tubing 11 is formed from plastic, rubber, medical grade polymer, or other

suitable material which is compatible with human fluids and/or tissue. A

plurality of physically separated, electrically conductive surface segments

form opposed, parallel electrodes shown at 16 and 16A on the inside of

tubing 11 from electrically conductive materials such as platinum, platinum

alloys, silver, silver or platinum covered alloys, or other similar

conductive materials such as conductive polymers, or silver or platinum

covered polymers which are compatible with human fluids and tissue. The

spacing between opposed electrodes 16 and 16A is of the order of 1 to 19

millimeters and perhaps may be more or less dependent upon the application

and the conductivity of the body fluids being treated.





FIG. 3 is a longitudinally extending sectional view along the axis of

tubing 11 taken through staggered section lines 3--3 of FIG. 2. From FIG. 3

of the drawings it will be seen that the electrically conductive surface

segments 16 and 16A all comprise longitudinally extending, zebra-like

stripe or strip electrodes which extend longitudinally in parallel with the

longitudinal axis of the tubing 11. In between each longitudinally

extending conductive stripe electrode 16 or 16A is a longitudinally

extending electric insulating area 17 which electrically isolates the

alternate electrically conductive, zebra-like stripe electrodes 16 and 16A

one from the other.





As best shown in FIG. 3, a first set of alternate electrically conductive

surface stripes 16 are electrically connected in common to a first annular

terminal buss 18 which circumferentially surrounds the tubing 11 and is

embedded within the sidewalls of the tubing 11 at a suitable point along

its length. The design is such that the first annular terminal buss 18 is

electrically isolated from the remaining second set of alternate,

electrically conductive surface stripe electrodes 16A and is electrically

connected through a conductor terminal 19 to an alternating current source

of electric excitation potential. AC source 20 may comprise the output from

an AC to AC voltage converter for converting 110 volt AC potential to the

desired 0.2 volts to 12 volts for use in the invention. For those treatment

systems which are to be implanted as described hereafter, the AC source may

comprise a miniaturized DC to AC converter for converting the DC voltage

from a miniaturized battery to low voltage (0.2 to 12 volts) AC. As best

depicted in FIG. 2, all of the first set of positive electrically

conductive stripes 16 are physically and electrically connected in common

to the first annular terminal buss 18 so that all of the conductive stripes

16 are maintained at a constant, alternating current electric excitation

potential.





A second annular terminal buss 21, which circumferentially surrounds the

tubing 11, is embedded within the tubing 11 at a point along its length

displaced from the position of the first annular terminal buss 18 and is

spaced inwardly towards the inside diameter of the tubing relative to the

first annular buss 18. By this arrangement it is possible to electrically

connect the remaining second set of alternate electrically conductive

surface stripes 16A in common to the second annular terminal buss 21 in a

manner such that the second annular terminal buss is electrically isolated

from the first annular terminal buss 18 as well as the first set of

alternate electrically conductive surface stripes 16. As shown in FIG. 3,

the second annular terminal buss 21 is provided with an outside terminal

conductor connection 22 for connecting the annular buss 21 and annular buss

18 across AC source 20 as shown in the system drawing of FIG. 1. The second

set of alternate electrically conductive surface stripes 16A are all

provided with internal connector studs which physically and electrically

connect all of the 16A stripes in common to the second annular terminal

buss 21 so that all of these conductive stripes will be maintained at a

potential opposite to that from the potential applied to the first set of

electrically conductive stripes 16 by annular buss 18.





As described earlier, the AC source of electric potential 20 may constitute

an AC to AC converter for converting 110 volt AC to 0.2 to 12 volt AC or a

DC to AC converter for converting 12 volt DC to 0.2 to 12 volt AC. The AC

source 20 is connected to the conductor terminals 19 and 22 through

electric supply conductors 23 and 24 preferably by a double pole, double

throw, on-off control switch 25. In preferred embodiments of the invention,

voltage controlling variable resistors 26 and 27 also are included in the

electric supply conductors 23 and 24 in order to control the value of the

excitation voltage developed between the alternate sets of conductive

surface stripes 16, 16A.





In operation, the donor whose blood is to be taken, or the recipient who is

to be given blood, or is to have his or her blood recycled, is made

comfortable on a cot with his or her arm 13 extended and the

interconnecting electrically conductive tubing 11 having the hypodermic

needle 12 for withdrawal, or supplying, or recycling of blood set up as

shown in FIG. 1. When both the donor/recipient and the system is in

readiness, the control switch 25 is closed so that an electric field is

built up across the oppositely disposed electrically conductive zebra-like

stripes 16, 16A, etc. Voltages of the order of from 0.2 to 12 volts are

applied to the conductive surfaces 16, 16A For this purpose it is important

to note that the hypodermic needle should be electrically isolated via

conventional electrically insulating IV tubing from any of the zebra stripe

electrodes 16, 16A so that the donor/recipient does not receive a shock. By

this precaution, he or she will not even be aware of the existence of the

electric field within the electrically conductive tubing 11. With the

treatment system thus conditioned, the hypodermic needle is inserted into a

vein in the donor's/recipient's arm and blood is withdrawn, given, or

recycled through the tubing 11.





As the blood passes through the electric fields produced within the

electric conductive tubing 11 it will be subjected to and treated by

biologically compatible electric current flow through the blood or other

body fluid with a current density of from one microampere per square

millimeter (1 muA/mm(^2)) of electrode cross sectional area exposed to the

fluid to about two milliamperes per square millimeter (2 mA/mm(^2))

dependent upon field strength of the electric field gradient existing

between electrodes 16 and 16A, the space between the electrodes 16, 16A and

the conductivity (resistivity) of the body fluid being treated. Recent

experiments have proven that exposure to electric fields induced by supply

voltages in the range produces electric current flow through blood of the

order of 1 to 100 microamperes. Effectiveness is dependent upon length of

time of treatment in conjunction with the magnitude of the biologically

compatible current flow. For example, treatment of virus in media at 100

microamperes for 3 minutes has been observed to substantially attenuate

(render ineffective) the AIDS virus. Similar treatment at other field

strength values and lengths of time will have a similar attenuating effect

on bacteria, virus, parasites and/or fungus which are present in blood or

other body fluids being treated. By controlling the length of time and

field strength values that blood is subjected to the electric field forces,

undesirable contaminants such as virus, bacteria, fungus and/or parasites

will be adequately attenuated to the point that they are rendered

ineffective by the sustained action of the electric current flow as the

blood travels from the hypodermic needle 12 to the storage bag 14, or vice

versa, or in a recycling mode. The length of travel of the blood through

the sustained electric field induced current flow also can be adjusted so

that the blood is subjected to the electric field force for time periods of

the order of from one to six minutes at least. At the current values noted

above this is believed adequate to attenuate (render ineffective) bacteria,

virus (including the AIDS virus), parasites and/or fungus entrained in

blood or other body fluids, but does not render the fluids unfit for human

use or impair their biological usefulness.





The species of the invention shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 is advantageous since

it is possible to fabricate the treatment tubing by preforming the

conductive segments 16 and 16A on the tubing walls while it is in a flat

planar condition, and then rolling the walls into tubular form using a

suitable mandrel. The adjoining longitudinal edges of the planar member

after rolling are thereafter heat sealed along a longitudinally extending

seam located within one of the electrically insulating sections 17.

Particular attention must be paid to the juncture of the ends of the

annular terminal busses 18 and 21 during the rolling and heat sealing steps

to assure that good electrical interconnection and continuity at these

junctures of the annular terminal busses is provided in the completed

treatment tubing. The conductive electrode segments 16, 16A may be

electro-deposited, chemically formed, separately formed conductive polymer

surfaces, or conductive foil or wires adhesively secured to the side walls

of the tubing 11 in advance of the rolling and sealing using techniques

well known in the printed circuit and integrated circuit manufacturing

technologies.





FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic, fragmentary, elevational view of a modified blood

treatment system using the novel electrically conductive treatment tubing

in accordance with the invention. In the FIG. 6 embodiment of the

invention, a blood pump 28 of conventional, commercially available

construction is inserted in the tubing 11 at some point along its length.

The blood pump 28 is electrically isolated from the zebra striped

conductive surfaces 16, 16A by suitable insulators 29 formed on the blood

input-output connections of pump 28. Provision for electrically bypassing

the blood pump 28 (if need be) is made through the shunt conductors 30, 30A

which maintain electrical continuity of the alternating current excitation

potential applied to the conductive stripes 16, 16A on each side of pump

28. For convenience, the alternating current excitation source 20 and its

connection to the electrically conductive tubing 11 has not been shown in

FIG. 6 but would have to be provided. A separate source of excitation

current for running the blood pump 28 is provided from a conventional 110

volt alternating current source through the input terminals 31, 31A.





In systems employing a blood pump, it may be desirable in some applications

to provide a blood flow regulating valve 37 inserted in the system at the

output of blood pump 28 and within the by-pass loop 30, 30A for the

conductive stripes 16, 16A. By thus controlling blood flow, the electrified

transfer system safely can be employed in a closed loop recycling system

for withdrawing blood from a patient, electrically treating the blood as

described above and then returning the electrically treated blood to the

patient. This procedure is referred to herein as recycling. The system of

FIG. 6 also can be used in those situations where the blood flow of a

donor's blood is not sufficient to assure supply of an adequate amount of

blood to or from the collection receptacle 14 or other recipient. It may

also be desirable to have a blood flow regulating valve such as 37 in

non-pump systems.





FIGS. 4 and 5 of the drawings show another embodiment of the invention

wherein the electrically conductive treatment tubing 11 includes

electrically conductive electrode segments 32 and 32A which are in the form

of zebra stripes that extend radially around the inside diameter of tubing

11 in spaced-apart, alternating polarity, conductive annular bands 32 and

32A separated by insulating surface bands 11I which serve to electrically

isolate the respective first set of conductive zebra stripes 32 from the

second set of conductive zebra stripes 32A. The first set of alternate ones

of the electrically conductive annular stripes 32 are electrically

connected in common to a first longitudinally extending terminal buss bar

33 that is embedded within tubing 11 in parallel with the longitudinal axis

of the tubing and electrically isolated from the remaining second set of

alternate electrically conductive annular stripes 32A. The first

longitudinally extending terminal buss bar 33 is designed for connection to

one output terminal of a source, such as 20, of alternating current

electric excitation potential through a supply conductor connection 35 on

the exterior surface of the tubing 11.





A second longitudinally extending terminal buss bar 34 is embedded within

the body of tubing 11 and is electrically connected to the remaining second

set of alternate electrically conductive annular stripes 32A. The second

longitudinally extending terminal buss bar 34 is electrically isolated from

the first longitudinally extending terminal buss 33 and the first set of

alternate electrically annular stripes 32. Terminal buss bar 33 is designed

for connection to a second output terminal for the alternating current

source of electric excitation potential. For this purpose an input supply

conductor connection 36 is directly connected through the exterior surface

of tubing 11 and to the second longitudinally treatment extending terminal

buss bar 34.





In operation, the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 is

physically arranged in a blood treatment system in the manner illustrated

in FIG. 1 of the drawings with the positive polarity and negative polarity

zebra annular stripes being connected to the respective output terminals of

AC source 20 via control switch 25. If required, a blood pump such as 28

and blood flow regulating valve 37 shown in FIG. 6 can be included in the

blood transfer system employing electrified tubing as shown in FIGS. 4 and

5.





Similar to the system shown in FIG. 1, a blood transfer system employing

the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 would be

electrically excited in advance of injection of the hypodermic needle 12

into the arm of a blood donor so that all blood passing through the tubing

11 will be subjected to electric forces produced between the alternate

polarity annularly formed conductive bands 32 and 32A. Experience with the

invention will establish what length is required for the electrification

field. However, for initial installations the length of the electrified

field as related to the flow of blood through electrified tubing 11 should

correspond to at least the 1-6 minute treatment time mentioned earlier.

This is achieved by using an extended array of the alternate annular zebra

bands 32 and 32A of adequate length to assure thorough subjection of blood

to electric current flow produced between the alternating polarity zebra

stripes 32 and 32A. The electric field force intensity applied to the blood

by means of the electrified tubing is anticipated to be of the order of

from 0.2 to 12 volts similar to the embodiment of the invention shown in

FIGS. 1-3.





In place of supplying continuous alternating current excitation to the

conductive stripes 16, 16A of FIGS. 2 and 3 or 32, 32A of FIGS. 4 and 5, it

also is possible to excite these electrically conductive segments of tubing

11 with pulsed waveform direct current excitation potentials. For use in

this manner, the pulse rate of the pulsed waveform excitation potentials

must be sufficiently high to maintain continuous current flow through blood

being treated. In addition, it may be desirable to couple a bank of storage

capacitors in parallel across respective pairs of opposite polarity

electrically conductive segments 16, 16A and 32, 32A where operation in a

pulsed DC mode is desired.





FIG. 7 of the drawings is a cross sectional view of another embodiment of

the invention which is substantially different from those previously

described. In FIG. 7, the material used for fabrication of the tubing 11 is

one of the new space-age polymer materials which can be either highly

electrically conductive, insulating, or semiconducting and may have values

of conductivity ranging from essentially fully conductive to insulating. In

the embodiment of the invention of FIG. 7, the conductive surface areas on

the inside diameter of the tubing 11 are actually formed into segments,

such as 11C, of the cross sectional area of the tubing 11 fabricated from

the highly conductive polymer material. The intervening segments of the

tubing 11I which separate the conductive segments 11C are integrally formed

from the highly insulating polymer material. Suitable positive polarity and

negative polarity potentials are applied to the exterior surface areas of

alternate ones of the sets of conductive polymer segments 11C from a source

of electric potential via the conductors 23 and 24 as illustrated

schematically in FIG. 7.





It will be appreciated that the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 7

is much simpler and hence less expensive to make in that it requires fewer

processing steps than the embodiments of the invention shown in FIGS. 1-6.

In other respects, the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 7 would be

used in a blood transfer system similar to that shown in FIG. 1 or 6 with

or without a blood pump 28 and blood flow regulating valve 37 to effect

transfer of blood from a donor to a receptacle or recipient in the event of

a transfusion or recycling. During the blood transfer process, again it

would be necessary to provide alternating current excitation potentials

across the spaced-apart, alternate sets of electrically conductive polymer

segments 11C prior to passing blood through the tubing 11. This will assure

that all of the blood being transferred is subjected to the electric field

forces produced between the alternate conductive surfaces 11C. As a

variation of the FIG. 7 embodiment, which visualizes that the segments 11C

and 11I all extend longitudinally and parallel to the longitudinal axis of

tubing 11, it would be possible, but more elaborate to design, to employ

alternate radially surrounding annular conductive segments 11C and

interlacing insulating segments 11I similar to FIG. 5, but such fabrication

would require somewhat more complex terminal buss bar electric supply

connections 23 and 24 than those shown in FIG. 7.





FIG. 8 is a fragmentary, diagrammatic, elevational view showing a form of

blood treatment system according to the invention wherein a small

electrically conductive vessel 41 in the form of a short piece of

electrified tubing and a combined miniaturized DC to AC converter and

battery power source 42 are implanted in the arm of a human being. The

electrified tubing 41 may be in the form of any of the prior disclosed

electrified tubing structures described with relation to FIGS. 1-7, but

which are fabricated in miniaturized form so that the tubing 41 and power

package 42 can be inserted in a section of or surrounding a vein 44 of the

arm 13 of a patient whose blood is being treated. The implantation is such

that the blood through the patient's vein 44 naturally is pumped through

the short piece of electrified tubing 41 while circulating blood to the

hand of the patient to thereby form a closed loop, recirculating, implanted

treatment system that comprises an integral part of the circulatory system

of the patient being treated. Because the parameters of such an implanted

system are necessarily small, a single passage through the implanted

electrified tube 14 may accomplish relatively little attenuation of

contaminants in the blood. Therefore, it is the repeated passage of small

portions of the patient's blood continuously twenty-four hours a day and

for as many days as are needed which will gradually attenuate the

contaminants to the point where they are rendered ineffective as described

earlier.





FIG. 9 is a partial, fragmentary, sectional view of the upper arm portion

13 of a vein or artery of a patient in which a treatment system according

to the invention has been implanted, and shows in greater detail the

construction of a specialized, miniaturized, electrically conductive

treatment vessel with associated miniaturized battery electric power source

and DC to AC converter for use in an implanted treatment system as shown in

FIG. 8. In FIG. 9, the electrified vessel 41 is in the form of an outer

housing 45 that is in the shape of a football which is implanted within the

interior walls 44 of an artery or a vein. The outer housing 45 is comprised

by a central, cylindrically-shaped portion 45M of solid conductor such as

platinum which is biocompatible with human blood and tissue and has

integrally formed, conically-shaped porous ends 45C which are attached to

and form an electrically conductive screen grid (at the same potential) as

the mid portion 45M. The conical end portions 45C both are perforated and

may be in the nature of a screen or mesh wire and of the same material

composition as the mid portion 45M. Disposed within the outer housing 45 is

a inner housing 46 which is tear-drop shaped and secured within the central

portion 45M of the outer housing by suitable insulating support spider legs

47. The inner housing 46 likewise is formed from platinum or other suitable

biocompatible conductive material and has supported within its interior a

miniaturized AC source comprising a miniaturized battery and AC to DC

converter 42 secured to the conductive walls of inner housing 46 by

conductive support legs 48. The support legs 48 serve as terminal

connectors from one terminal of AC power converter 42 to the inner housing

46 so that it is maintained at one polarity excitation potential. The

remaining opposite polarity terminal of miniaturized AC source 42 is

connected through an insulated conductor 49 to the central portion 45M of

outer housing 45 whereby the entire outer housing including the meshed

conical end portions 45C are maintained at an opposite polarity potential

from the inner housing 46.





Prior to implantation in a patient, the electrified vessel shown in FIG. 9

is activated by connection to AC source 42 so that an electric field

gradient is produced across the space between the inner and outer housings

45 and 46. Following implantation of the activated, electrified treatment

vessel 41, its presence in a vein or artery will cause all blood flowing

through the vein or artery to pass between the side walls of the inner and

outer housings 45 and 46 so as to be subjected to the electric field force

gradient existing in these spaces. The presence of the electric field

forces will induce a current flow through the blood passing between the

interior and outer housings as explained above which will result in

attenuating bacteria, virus, parasites and/or fungus which are present in

the blood as contaminants. Here again, because of the relatively small

portion of the total blood flowing in a patient that will be treated by the

device within a given time period, it is the repeated, recycling process

treatment of the blood over a prolonged period of time that will result in

attenuation of the contaminants in the blood to the point where such

contaminants are rendered ineffective as described earlier.





In order to further assure adequate treatment of the blood of a patient

receiving the implant device, it is recommended that the blood be treated

in an external treatment processing facility such as described earlier in

FIGS. 1 and 6 or to be described hereinafter with relation to FIGS. 18 and

19 in which the total capacity of the treatment system is greater whereby

substantial attenuation effect can be achieved in a comparatively shorter

time period yet to be determined, and then the in vitro implant treatment

system such as shown in FIGS. 8, 9 and 10 can be used to maintain the

attenuated condition and to prevent any subsequent build up of contaminants

after the initial treatment, if determined to be desirable.





FIG. 10 is a fragmentary, diagrammatic view of a partial vein or artery 44

showing in greater detail the cylindrical or tubular electrified treatment

vessel 41 originally described with relation to FIG. 8. This implant

treatment vessel 41 is miniaturized so that it is in effect an open-ended

cylinder in shape and has a diameter comparable to that of a large vein or

artery and so that it can be grafted or implanted into the vein or artery

as illustrated in FIG. 10. The tubular treatment vessel 41 may be designed

pursuant to FIGS. 2 and 3 of the drawings, for example. For this

application, the battery source of power and interconnected DC to AC

converter 42 are annular in shape and are slipped over the tubular

treatment vessel 41 in the manner shown. In FIG. 10 a longitudinal

sectional view of the hollow annular-shaped treatment vessel 41 and AC

power source 42 is illustrated. At the point where the battery driven AC

power source 42 fits over the tubular treatment vessel 41, the respective

terminals of the AC power source 42 are exposed to engage the corresponding

positive and negative supply terminals 19 and 22 of the tube 41 so that the

resulting structure has a minimum exterior profile to facilitate

implantation. From a comparison of FIG. 10 to FIG. 9 of the drawings, it

will be appreciated that the FIG. 9 treatment vessel introduces some flow

restriction in the vein or artery in which it is implanted and for this

reason the construction shown in FIG. 10 is preferred.





FIGS. 11 and 11A of the drawings illustrate a construction for the

electrified treatment vessel 51 wherein the treatment vessel is in the form

of square or rectangular cross sectionally-shaped open-ended tubing. The

treatment tubing 51 provided with a square or rectangular shape so that

provision of opposed, parallel conductive electrode surfaces 51U and 51L is

greatly simplified as best seen in FIG. 11A of the drawings, which is a

cross sectional view taken through plane 11A--11A of FIG. 11. By

fabricating the upper and lower surfaces of the tubing 11 from electrically

conductive material such as platinum, etc., and separating the upper and

lower surfaces 51U and 51L by electrically insulating side walls 52R and

52L, provision of the electrically isolated, opposed, parallel electrode

surfaces is simplified and the resulting treatment vessel introduces

minimum restriction to flow of blood. By connecting the upper surface 51U

to one terminal of the AC power source 42 and connecting the lower surface

51L to the opposite terminal, AC electrification of the interior area of

the tubing wherein the fluids to be treated flow is readily achieved with a

greatly simplified electrode structure. Variations of this structural

feature wherein the side insulating surfaces 52R and 52L are curved with

their concave surfaces facing each other and the cross sectional area of

the upper and lower conductive surfaces 51U and 51L tailored to provide a

desired current density, tubular treatment vessels such as shown in FIGS.

11 and 11A could be readily provided for use in implantation devices such

as that illustrated in FIG. 8.





FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a novel, electrified, closed,

octagonally-shaped, flat, box-like treatment vessel 60 according to the

invention which provides an enlarged cross-sectional area relative to the

cross sectional diameter of the inlet and outlet tubing supplying the

interior of the treatment vessel whereby increased through-put of a fluid

being treated can be achieved in a given time period. The treatment vessel

60 shown in FIG. 12 is comprised essentially of upper and lower,

octagonally-shaped, flat insulating plates 61 and 62, respectively, of an

insulating material which is compatible with human blood and/or other body

fluids. Disposed immediately below and above the upper and lower plates 61

and 62 are octagonally-shaped, conductive electrode members 63 and 64,

respectively, which are separated and electrically isolated one from the

other by a surrounding electric insulating gasket member 65. The entire

structure is sandwiched together and held in assembled relation by threaded

thru-pins 66 as best seen in FIG. 12A of the drawings. The insulating

gasket 65 which may be of teflon defines an open space 67 between the two

conductive electrode members 63 and 64 into which the blood or other body

fluid to be treated is introduced via inlet and outlet conduits 68 and 69.

Alternating current electric potentials are applied across the respective

conductive plates 63 and 64 to produce an electric field force across the

intermediate space 67 through which the fluids being treated flow between

electrode plates 63 and 64. By thus structuring the treatment vessel,

increased treatment surface area is provided to the blood or other body

fluid flowing through the space 67 whereby in a given time period an

increased quantity of fluids can be treated.





FIG. 13 is a perspective view of another form of enlarged cross sectional

area treatment vessel 70 having an exterior shape similar to that of the

treatment vessel shown in FIG. 12. The electrified treatment vessel shown

in FIG. 13 differs from that in FIG. 12, however, in the construction of

its electrically conductive electrodes which comprise a plurality of

interleaved, conductive, flat, electrode plates 71 and 71A. The electrode

plates 71 are secured in and project inwardly from a right hand (RH)

conductive end plate 73R as shown in FIG. 13A. The alternate set of flat

electrode plates 71A are secured to and project inwardly from a

corresponding conductive end plate 73L on the left hand end of the

treatment vessel 70. The conductive end plates 73R and 73L and coacting

insulating side plates 72 which insulate the conducting end plates from one

another, form an octagonally-shaped box frame which is closed by upper and

lower insulating top and bottom insulating plates 74 and 75. The conductive

end plates 73R and 73L have a central opening formed therein into which

inlet and outlet tubes 76 and 77 are secured as best seen in FIG. 13 for

providing inlet and outlet flow through connection to the treatment vessel

70.





The alternate sets of flat electrode plates 71 and 71A extend parallel to

one another and are provided with alternating current electric potentials

supplied across the respective sets of interleaved electrode plates via the

respective conductive end members 73R and 73L. If desired, the respective

flat conductive electrode plates 71 and 71A may be fabricated from a

perforated material as shown in FIG. 13B of the drawings. Also, it may be

desirable that some form of thermal insulation, or a thermally controlled

chamber be provided around the exterior of the treatment vessel 70 as

indicated by the thermal insulation 78 shown in FIG. 13A.





In operation, electrified treatment vessel 70 shown in FIGS. 13, 13A and

13B functions in essentially the same manner as was described earlier with

respect to FIGS. 1-7 to effect attenuation of contaminants such as

bacteria, virus and fungus contained in blood and/or other body fluids

being treated in the flow through treatment vessel of FIG. 13.





FIG. 14 is a longitudinal sectional view of still another form of enlarged

cross sectional area, electrified treatment vessel 80. The treatment vessel

80 shown in FIG. 14 is in the form of an open-ended, elongated cylinder 81

whose cylindrical walls are fabricated from an insulating material which is

biocompatible with human blood and/or other body fluids and whose open ends

are closed by circular-shaped conductive end pieces 82 and 83. Inlet and

outlet tubular openings 84 and 85 are provided to the interior of

cylindrical housing 81 through centrally formed apertures in the circular

end plates 82 and 83. Within the interior of the cylindrical, insulating

housing 81 at least two, separate, concentric, perforated,

cylindrically-shaped electrode members 86 and 87 are provided which extend

longitudinally through the interior of the outer cylindrical housing 81.

The first set of concentric, perforated, electrically conductive electrodes

86 is embedded in and supported by the conductive end plate 82 which serves

as an electrical terminal for applying electric potentials to all of the

concentric electrode member 86. Similarly, the concentric, perforated,

conductive electrode member 87 is physically supported by and electrically

connected to the conductive end plate 83 for the supply of alternating

current potentials thereacross. Additionally, if desired, one or more

additional perforated concentric electrode members similar to 86 may be

spaced apart from the inner concentric electrode member 86 outwardly along

the diameter of the circular end member 82 with additional perforated

concentric electrode members 87 being sandwiched between the two electrode

members 86 and spaced apart therefrom so as to provide an electric field

force between all the spaced apart, separated electrically conductive

electrode members 86 and 87. Additionally, if desired, a conductive surface

89 may be formed around the interior walls of the outer, insulating

cylindrical housing member 81 and electrically connected to the conductive

end plate 82 or 83. This will assure that the entire interior of the

treatment 80 vessel cross sectional area is crossed by the electric field

force and all blood or other body fluid passing the cylindrical housing

member 81 is subjected to biologically compatible low electric current flow

as a consequence of the alternating current electric fields produced

between the different concentric electrode members including the coated

surface 89 within the interior insulating housing member 81.





In operation, the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 14 and 14A

operates in substantially the same manner as described with relation to

earlier embodiments of the invention to assure production of biologically

compatible electric current flow through the blood or other body fluid

being treated in the treatment vessel 80.





FIG. 15 is a longitudinal sectional view of still another embodiment of an

enlarged cross-sectional area treatment vessel 90. The treatment vessel 90

again comprises an outer, hollow, open-ended cylindrically-shaped,

insulating body member 91 whose open ends are closed by electrically

conductive, circular end plates 92 and 93, respectively. Inlet and outlet

tubular openings 94 and 95 are provided through the central axial opening

in the conductive end plates 92 and 93 for passage of blood and/or other

body fluids being treated into the interior of the treatment vessel 90. The

conductive end plates 92 and 93 have respective sets of opposite polarity

potential needle-like electrodes 96 and 97, respectively, projecting

therefrom inwardly into the interior of the treatment vessel 90.

Alternating current electric potentials are applied to the respective

conductive end plates 92 and 93 through respective AC supply terminals

indicated at 98 and 99. If desired, and in order to assure complete

saturation of the entire volumetric area within treatment vessel 90 with

electric fields, a conductive coating similar to that shown at 89 in FIG.

14 can be provided to the inner surface of the hollow, cylindrically-shaped

outer body member 91 of treatment vessel 90.





FIG. 15A is a cross sectional view taken through plane A-A of FIG. 15 and

shows how the array of needle-like electrodes appear within the interior of

the treatment vessel 90. In operation, the treatment vessel 90 will

function in substantially the same manner as has been described previously

with relation to earlier described embodiments of the invention.





FIG. 16 is a perspective view of still another form of enlarged cross

sectional area treatment vessel 100 according to the invention and FIG. 16A

is a partial cross sectional view taken through plane 16A--16A of FIG. 16.

The treatment vessel 100 comprises a relatively large rectangular-shaped

block 101 of electrical insulating material which is biocompatible with

blood and/or other human body fluids. The insulating block 101 has a

plurality of parallel, longitudinally extending, open-ended, tubular-shaped

openings 102 formed therein through the entire length of the block. The

tubes 102 are provided with electrically isolated, opposed, parallel

extending conductive plate electrodes 109 as best shown in FIG. 16A, which

have alternating current electric potentials applied thereacross. One set

of these electrodes, formed for example by the lower electrode 109 in each

tube, extend out to and engage a conductive surface coating formed on one

end of the insulating block, for example 101R, and the remaining upper

electrodes 109 form a second set which extend out of the left hand end of

the tubes and contact a conductive coating formed on the remaining end 101L

of block 101. Alternating current electric potentials are connected across

the respective conductive surfaces 101R and 101L so that a potential

difference exists between the sets of electrodes 109 within each

longitudinally extending tube in block 101. The ends of the tubes 102 open

into and are supplied from, or supply, respective header reservoirs 103 and

104 formed on the respective opposite ends of the block of insulating

material 101. Each of the reservoirs 103 and 104 has a centrally formed

opening for receiving either an inlet tube 105 applied to header 103 or an

outlet tube 106 secured to header 104 for supply of blood or other body

fluids to be treated to and from the treatment vessel 100. If desired, a

blood pump or other fluid pump can be inserted between the supply tube 105

and header 103, or between outlet tube 106 and the or outlet from the

header reservoir 104, or both. Alternatively, both inlet and outlet pumps

can be used. In operation, the electrified treatment vessel 100 shown in

FIG. 16 functions in the same manner as those species of treatment vessels

described previously.





For some treatment applications, it may be desirable to provide exhaust

vents such as shown at 107 and 108 in FIG. 16 to the inlet reservoir 103

and/or the outlet reservoir 104 with the vents that can be selectively

operated by valves that can be automatically or manually controlled for

venting off gases that might be trapped in the tops of reservoirs and which

otherwise might interfere with the proper operation of the electrified

treatment vessel. In a similar manner, suitable venting apparatus may be

provided to other of the large cross sectional area electrified treatment

vessels described previously.





FIG. 17 is a perspective view of still another enlarged cross-sectional

area treatment vessel 110 which is similar in all respects to the treatment

vessel shown in FIG. 16 with the exception that the body or block of

insulating material 101 through which the elongate tubular openings are

made, is cylindrically shaped as illustrated in FIG. 17. In other respects,

the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 17 would be identical to FIG.

16 in the fabrication and operation of its component parts including the

reservoir headers 103 and 104 and would operate in a similar manner.





FIG. 18 is a diagrammatic, sketch of a human blood or other body fluid

treatment system employing one of the larger cross-sectional dimension

fluid treatment vessels 60, such as any one of those shown in FIGS. 12-17

of the drawings. The particular fluid treatment system shown in FIG. 18 is

for a continuous flow-through recirculating body fluid treatment wherein

blood is withdrawn from the arm 13 of a patient and supplied through IV

tubing 111 to a commercially available blood pump 28 and thence to an

electrified treatment vessel 60. The treatment vessel 60 may be like any of

the treatment vessels described with relation to FIGS. 12-17 of the

drawings wherein the blood or other body fluid being treated is exposed to

a low voltage, low current electric current flow for attenuating to the

point of rendering them ineffective, any contaminants entrained in the

blood, such as bacteria, virus and fungus. The treated blood appearing at

the output of the treatment vessel 60 then is recirculated back through IV

tubing 112 to the arm 13 of the patient whose blood or other body fluid is

being treated. If desired, IV tubing 111 and 112 could also be treatment

tubing such as described in FIGS. 1-7 and 11. This could provide double

treatment for the fluid if that were desirable. In the event that the

entire treatment does not take place in an air conditioned, temperature

controlled room, then it may be desirable to provide a temperature

controlled enclosure indicated by dotted lines 78 around at least the pump

28, electrified treatment vessel 60 and the interconnecting IV tubing

sections 111 and 112 in order to assure maintaining a substantially

constant viscosity of the blood or body fluid being treated.





Normally, the system of FIG. 18 would be used in a continuous flow-through

recirculating treatment system wherein blood from the patient's arm 13 is

supplied through pump 28 to the treatment vessel 60 where it is treated and

then discharged back through tubing section 112 to the arm of the patient.

The flow rate of the blood thus processed would be adjusted to correspond

substantially to the natural flow rate of blood circulated through the

patient's body to the extent possible.





In addition to operation in the above manner, it would also be possible to

operate the system of FIG. 18 in a stopped-flow, batch treatment manner

wherein the blood pump is intermittently stopped to allow for more extended

electrical treatment of the blood or other body fluid contained in the

treatment vessel 60 during the period of time (referred to as the dwell

time) that the blood pump is stopped thereby assuring fuller

electrification treatment and the greater attenuation of the bacteria,

virus, parasites and/or fungus entrained in the blood.





FIG. 19 is a diagrammatic sketch of a form of closed loop, flow-through

recirculating treatment system according to the invention that is somewhat

similar to the system shown in FIG. 18. FIG. 19 differs from FIG. 18 in

that an inlet pump 28 and an outlet pump 28' are connected to,

respectively, the intake to and outlet from the electrified treatment

vessel 60. If desired, an inlet control valve 113 and an outlet control

valve 114 also can be interconnected between the inlet pump 28 and the

intake to the treatment vessel 60 and between the output from the treatment

vessel 60 and the intake to the outlet blood pump 28'. These inlet and

outlet control valves indicated at 113 and 114 preferably are automatically

operated in a time sequence which allows the system of FIG. 19 to be

operated as a two pump, start-stop flow through system. When operated in

this manner, the first pump 28 is allowed to operate and discharge blood

from the arm 13 of the patient to be pumped into the treatment vessel 60

and thereafter is closed off with both the inlet and outlet valves 113 and

114 in their closed condition. At this point electrification treatment of

the blood or other body fluid takes place for a predetermined, scheduled

time period to assure adequate attenuation to the point of rendering

ineffective the contaminant bacteria, virus, parasites or fungus. Upon

completion of the pre-scheduled treatment period, the outlet valve 114 is

opened and outlet pump 28' actuated to return the treated blood to the arm

of the patient 13. Operation in this semi-continuous, start-stop, batch

fashion will assure that adequate electrified treatment of the blood has

been accomplished while achieving this end in a somewhat continuous manner

suitable for use in a closed loop, recycling blood treatment process.





---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        PRACTICAL USES OF INVENTION

---------------------------------------------------------------------------





While the disclosure herein presented has been directed to principally the

electrical treatment of blood, it is believed obvious to those skilled in

the art that the invention can be applied with corresponding effect to

other body fluids which are electrically conductive for the treatment of

contaminants such as bacteria, virus, parasites and/or fungus contained

therein. Further, while voltages of the order of from about 0.2 volts to 12

volts AC have been indicated as preferable, it is possible that certain

virus may be attenuated (or attenuated at a faster rate) if they are

subjected to greater electric current magnitudes of the order of 500

microamperes for shorter time periods. Acceptable current magnitudes

normally would require an excitation voltage of from 0.2 to 12 volts.

However, in certain cases where faster or more complete attenuation of the

contaminants in body fluids may be desired under certain circumstances and

conditions, the excitation voltage supplied to the conductive tubing may in

fact exceed the 0.2 to 12 volt range indicated for most treatments.





Although it is uncertain what is specifically causing the attenuation of

the contaminants (virus, bacteria, parasites and/or fungus), some possible

explanations have been put forward. One is that the attenuation is caused

simply by the direct affect of the electric current and voltage. Another

entails the following. When a voltage is applied to the electrodes, a small

current will flow through the electrically conductive medium. The applied

voltage and ensuing current will induce changes in the complex biologically

active fluid. Current can flow through the media if positive and/or

negative charges are transported through said media. The transport might

induce changes in the charge distribution of the biologically active

molecules thus changing their biological activity. Furthermore, the voltage

and current can induce the production or elimination of different ions,

radicals, gases and/or PH levels which may affect, alone or in combination,

the biologically active molecules and/or cells. The above products of the

electrical processes may either be very short lived and stay in the close

proximity of the electrodes or can diffuse or mix in the bulk of the media

and react with the biologically active molecules or cells to result in

their attenuation.





Having described several embodiments of new and improved electrically

conductive treatment methods and vessels for use in practicing the novel

method for the treatment of blood and/or other body fluids with electric

field forces and treatment systems employing the same, it is believed

obvious that other modifications and variations of the invention will be

suggested to those skilled in the art in the light of the above teachings.

It is therefore to be understood that changes may be made in the particular

embodiments of the invention described which are within the full intended

scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                   Claims

---------------------------------------------------------------------------





What is claimed is:





1. An electrically conductive vessel for direct electric treatment of

bacteria, and/or virus, and/or parasites and/or fungus entrained in blood

and/or other body fluids and/or synthetic fluids contained within or

flowing through the vessel in the presence of electric field forces, said

electrically conductive vessel being fabricated with only biologically

compatible material contacting the fluid being treated and with an array of

at least two or more spaced-apart, opposed electrically conductive

electrode segments formed of biologically compatible conductive material on

or in the interior surface of the vessel and exposed to blood or other

fluids contained in or flowing through the vessel, said electrically

conductive electrode segments being electrically isolated from each other

and extending over or through a portion of the length of the vessel, and

means for applying low voltage alternating current non-biologically

damaging electric potentials to the electrically conductive electrode

segments whereby electrical field forces are produced between the

electrically conductive electrode segments that induce biologically

compatible current flow through the blood and/or other fluids contained in

or flowing through the vessel so as to attenuate bacteria, virus, parasites

and/or fungus contained in the blood and/or other fluids by the action of

the electric current flow therethrough to thereby render the bacteria,

virus, parasites and/or fungus ineffective while not impairing and

maintaining the biological usefulness of the fluids.





2. An electrically conductive vessel according to claim 1 wherein the low

voltage alternating current electric potentials are in the range from about

0.2 volts to 12 volts and induce electric current flow densities in the

blood or other fluids of from one microampere per square millimeter (1

muA/mm(^2)) to about two milliamperes per square millimeter (2 mA/mm(^2)).





3. An electrically conductive vessel according to claim 2 wherein the

vessel is in the form of tubing and is inserted in a flow-thru blood

treatment system between a hypodermic needle employed to withdraw and/or

supply blood from a donor and/or to a recipient and/or a blood storage

receptacle or to a patient in a blood recycling system.





4. An electrically conductive vessel according to claim 2 wherein the

vessel is part of a system and is in the form of tubing and a blood pump is

inserted in the tubing between a donor and a recipient or a receptacle, and

the system further includes means for electrically isolating the blood pump

from the electrically conductive vessel, means for regulating blood flow

rate from the blood pump output and means for maintaining electrical

continuity throughout a desired length of the conductive vessel.





5. An electrically conductive vessel according to claim 2 wherein the

vessel is in the form of tubing and the electrically conductive electrode

segments are in the form zebra stripes which extend longitudinally parallel

with the longitudinal axis of the tubing with the alternate electrically

conductive electrode stripes being separated by alternate electrically

insulating stripes for electrically isolating the alternate electrically

conductive electrode stripes one from the other, a first set of alternate

ones of the electrically conductive electrode stripes being electrically

connected in common to a first annular terminal buss formed on and

circumferentially surrounding the tubing and electrically isolated from the

remaining second set of alternate electrically conductive electrode

stripes, said first annular terminal buss being designed for connection to

one supply terminal of a source of alternating current electric excitation

potential, and a second annular terminal buss circumferentially surrounding

the tubing and electrically connected to the remaining second set of

alternate electrically conductive electrode stripes, said second annular

terminal buss being electrically isolated from the first annular terminal

buss and the first set of alternate electrically conductive electrode

stripes and being designed for connection to a second supply terminal of a

source of alternating current electric excitation potential.





6. Electrically conductive tubing according to claim 5 wherein the tubing

is inserted in a flow-thru blood treatment system between a hypodermic

needle employed to withdraw and/or supply blood from a donor and/or to a

recipient and/or a blood storage receptacle or to a patient in a blood

recycling system.





7. Electrically conductive tubing according to claim 5 wherein a blood pump

is inserted in the tubing between a donor and a recipient and/or a

receptacle, and the tubing is a part of a system which further includes

means for electrically isolating the blood pump from the electrically

conductive tubing, means for regulating blood flow rate from the blood pump

output, and means for electrically interconnecting the input and output

sides of the tubing around the blood pump and the blood flow regulating

means whereby electrical continuity is maintained throughout a desired

length of the tubing.





8. An electrically conductive tubing according to claim 2 wherein the

vessel is in the form of tubing and the electrically conductive electrode

segments are in the form of zebra stripes which extend radially around the

inside diameter of the tubing in alternating conductive and insulating

annular bands whereby alternate conductive bands are electrically isolated

one from the other by respective insulating bands, a first set of alternate

ones of the electrically conductive annular electrode stripes being

electrically connected in common to a first longitudinally extending

terminal buss that is formed on the tubing in parallel with the

longitudinal axis thereof and electrically isolated from the remaining

second set of alternate electrically conductive annular electrode stripes,

said first longitudinally ext ending terminal buss being designed for

connection to a first supply terminal of a source of alternating current

electric excitation potential, and a second longitudinally extending

terminal buss electrically connected to the remaining second set of

alternate electrically conductive annular electrode stripes, said second

longitudinally extending terminal buss being electrically isolated from the

first longitudinally extending terminal buss and the first set of alternate

electrically conductive annular electrode stripes and being designed for

connection to a second supply terminal of a source of alternating current

electric excitation potential.





9. Electrically conductive tubing according to claim 8 wherein the tubing

is inserted in a flow-thru blood treatment system between a hypodermic

needle employed to withdraw and/or supply blood from a donor and/or to a

recipient and/or a blood storage receptacle or to a patient in a blood

recycling system.





10. Electrically conductive tubing according to claim 9 wherein a blood

pump is inserted in the tubing between a donor and a recipient and/or a

receptacle, and the tubing is part of a system that further includes means

for electrically isolating the blood pump from the electrically conductive

tubing, means for regulating blood flow from the output of the blood pump,

and means for electrically interconnecting the input and output sides of

the tubing around the blood pump and blood flow regulating means whereby

electrical continuity is maintained through a desired length of the tubing.





11. An electrically conductive vessel according to claim 2 wherein the

walls of the vessel itself are formed from electrically conductive polymer

material that is compatible with human tissue and blood and/or other body

fluids with the electrically conductive portions being formed into desired

patterns of spaced apart electrically conductive electrode segments

physically interconnected by integrally formed electrically insulating

tubing walls portions which electrically isolate a first array of electrode

segments from a second array of electrode segments.





12. An electrically conductive vessel according to claim 11 wherein the

vessel is in the form of tubing and the electrically conductive electrode

segments are in the form of zebra stripes which extend longitudinally

parallel with the longitudinal axis of the tubing with the alternate

electrically conductive electrode stripes being separated by alternate

electrically insulating stripes for electrically isolating the alternate

electrically conductive electrode stripes one from the other, a first set

of alternate ones of the electrically conductive electrode stripes being

electrically connected in common to a first annular terminal buss formed on

and circumferentially surrounding the tubing and electrically isolated from

the remaining second set of alternate electrically conductive electrode

stripes, said first annular terminal buss being designed for connection to

one supply terminal of a source of alternating current electric excitation

potential, and a second annular terminal buss circumferentially surrounding

the tubing and electrically connected to the remaining second set of

alternate electrically conductive electrode stripes, said second annular

terminal buss being electrically isolated from the first annular terminal

buss and the first set of alternate electrically conductive electrode

stripes and being designed for connection to a second supply terminal of a

source of alternating current electric excitation potential.





13. Electrically conductive tubing according to claim 12 wherein the tubing

is inserted in a flow-thru blood treatment system between a hypodermic

needle employed to withdraw and/or supply blood from a donor and/or to a

recipient and/or a blood storage receptacle or to a patient in a blood

recycling system.





14. Electrically conductive tubing according to claim 13 wherein a blood

pump is inserted in the tubing between a donor and a recipient and/or a

receptacle, and the tubing is part of a system which further includes means

for electrically isolating the blood pump from the electrically conductive

tubing, means for regulating blood flow from the output of the blood pump,

and means for electrically interconnecting the input and output sides of

the tubing around the blood pump and blood flow regulating means whereby

electrical continuity is maintained throughout a desired length of the

tubing.





15. An electrically conductive vessel according to claim 11 wherein the

vessel is in the form of tubing and the electrically conductive electrode

segments are in the form of zebra stripes which extend radially around the

inside diameter of the tubing in alternating conductive and insulating

annular bands whereby alternate conductive bands are electrically isolated

one from the other by respective insulating bands, a first set of alternate

ones of the electrically conductive annular electrode stripes being

electrically connected in common to a first longitudinally extending

terminal buss that is formed on the tubing in parallel with the

longitudinal axis thereof and electrically isolated from the remaining

second set of alternate electrically conductive annular electrode stripes,

said first longitudinally extending terminal buss being designed for

connection to a first supply terminal of a source of alternating current

electric excitation potential, and a second longitudinally extending

terminal buss electrically connected to the remaining second set of

alternate electrically conductive annular electrode stripes, said second

longitudinally extending terminal buss being electrically isolated from the

first longitudinally extending terminal buss and the first set of alternate

electrically conductive annular electrode stripes and being designed for

connection to a second supply terminal of a source of alternating current

electric excitation potential.





16. Electrically conductive tubing according to claim 15 wherein the tubing

is inserted in a flow-thru blood treatment system between a hypodermic

needle employed to withdraw and/or supply blood from a donor and/or to a

recipient and/or a blood storage receptacle or a patient in a blood

recycling system.





17. Electrically conductive tubing according to claim 16 wherein a blood

pump is inserted in the tubing between a donor and a recipient and/or a

receptacle, and the tubing is part of a system that further includes means

for electrically isolating the blood pump from the electrically conductive

tubing, means for regulating blood flow from the output of the blood pump,

and means for electrically interconnecting the input and output sides of

the tubing around the blood pump and the blood flow regulating means

whereby electrical continuity is maintained throughout a desired length of

the tubing.





18. A fluid treatment process for attentuating bacteria, and/or virus,

and/or parasites, and/or fungus, existing in blood and/or other body fluids

and/or synthetic fluids within a treatment vessel having only biologically

compatible internal and conductive electrode surfaces therein contacting

fluid being treated thereby maintaining the biological usefulness of the

blood or other fluids being treated comprising subjecting the fluid within

the treatment vessel to low voltage, low alternating current electric field

forces within non-biologically damaging electric field forces for producing

a biologically compatible current flow through the blood or other fluids

for a predetermined period of time sufficient to attenuate bacteria and/or

virus, and/or parasites and/or fungus contained in the blood or other

fluids to thereby render them ineffective while maintaining the biological

usefulness of the fluids being treated.





19. The product of the process according to claim 18.





20. A fluid treatment process according to claim 18 wherein the low voltage

alternating current electric potentials are in the range from about 0.2 to

12 volts and induce electric current flow densities in the blood or other

fluids of from one microampere per square millimeter (1 muA/mm(^2)) to

about two milliamperes per square millimeter (2 mA/mm(^2)).





21. The product of the process according to claim 20.





22. A fluid treatment system for attentuating bacteria, and/or virus,

and/or parasites, and/or fungus existing in blood and/or other body fluids

and/or synthetic fluids being treated without biological damage to the

blood or other fluids comprising an electrically conductive vessel formed

at least in part of biologically compatible conductive material for

contacting blood or other fluids to be treated, means for subjecting the

blood or other fluids within the conductive vessel to low voltage, low

alternating current electric field forces for producing biologically

compatible current flow through the blood or other fluids for a

predetermined period of time sufficient to attenuate bacteria and/or virus,

and/or parasites, and/or fungus contained in the blood or other fluids to

thereby render such contaminants ineffective while maintaining the

biological usefulness of the blood or other fluids.





23. A fluid treatment system according to claim 22 wherein the low voltage

alternating current electric potentials are in the range from about 0.2 to

12 volts and produce electric current flow densities in the blood or other

body fluids of from one microampere per square millimeter (1 muA/mm(^2)) to

about two milliamperes per square millimeter (2 A/mm(^2)).





24. A fluid treatment system according to claim 22 wherein the system

comprises a plurality of components including an electric power source all

of which the miniaturized and implanted in the body of a patient being

treated to form a closed loop, continuous recirculating body fluid

treatment system.





25. A fluid treatment system according to claim 22 wherein the conductive

vessel is in the form of an open ended tube to allow flow-thru treatment of

blood and other fluids and is miniaturized along with an electric power

source for supply of alternating current electric potentials thereto

whereby the system may be implanted in human beings and other mammals to

operate as a continuous recirculating fluid treatment process.





26. A fluid treatment system according to claim 22 wherein the conductive

vessel in the vicinity of the spaced-apart opposed electrically conductive

electrode segments is provided with an enlarged cross sectional area

wherein enlarged electrically conductive electrode segment surface areas

are provided to act on the blood or other fluids flowing through the vessel

thereby increasing the through-put and/or effectiveness of the treatment

accomplished within the vessel for a given dwell time.





27. A body fluid treatment system according to claim 26 wherein the

electrically conductive vessel comprises an enlarged rectangular-shaped

body of electrical insulating material having a plurality of parallel,

longitudinally extending tubular openings formed all the way through the

insulating material from one end to the other and having spaced-apart

electrically conductive metal strips secured to respective opposite sides

of all of the tubes in opposed, parallel relationship, one set of

corresponding conductive strips of all of the tubes extending out of the

ends of each tube on one side or end of the body of electrical insulating

material and contacting a conductive surface forming a terminal buss for

all conductive strips of the set, and the remaining set of conductive

strips projecting out of the opposite ends of the respective tubes on the

opposite end of the insulating block to engage a conductive terminal

surface, and header reservoirs formed on each of the ends of the body of

electrical insulating material into which the ends of the tubular openings

are connected, each header having a respective inlet or outlet opening for

supply of blood and/or other fluids for treatment thereto.





28. A fluid treatment system according to claim 27 wherein the enlarged

insulating clock member is cylindrically shaped and the header reservoirs

at each end of the block member are correspondingly cylindrically shaped.





29. A fluid treatment system according to claim 27 wherein selectively

operated gas vents are provided in the top of the respective header

reservoirs of the electrically conductive vessel.





30. A fluid treatment system according to claim 26 wherein the electrically

conductive vessel is in the form of an enlarged cross sectional area

treatment vessel of substantially greater cross sectional area than the

inlet and outlet conduits supplying body fluids to be treated to the vessel

and wherein the enlarged cross sectional area vessel is included in a blood

transfer system between a hypodermic needle employed to withdraw and/or

supply blood from a donor and/or to a recipient and/or a blood storage

receptacle or to a patient in a continuous flow-thru blood recycling

system.





31. A fluid treatment system according to claim 30 wherein a blood pump is

inserted in the flow path of the blood or other fluid either to or from the

enlarged cross sectional area vessel, or both, and are located in a tubing

system between the donor and recipient or receptacle, and the system

further includes means for regulating blood flow rate from or to the

enlarged cross sectional area treatment vessel via the inlet or outlet

pumps or both.




Top of Page