On March 29, 2016 , the USPTO issued U.S. Patent Number 9,295,772 to Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc., which was successfully prosecuted by Novel IP.
The '772 patent is directed towards an extracorporeal blood processing system capable of using dialysate to prime the system. A plastic molded compact manifold supports molded blood and dialysate fluidic pathways along with relevant sensors, valves and pumps. The compact manifold is also disposable in one embodiment and can be detachably installed in the dialysis machine. A two-way valve in the manifold is used to direct the dialysate flow through the blood circuit to prime the circuit for use in treatment.
Independent Claim 1 describes " A priming process for priming a first circuit and a second circuit used in a dialysis machine, said first and second circuits having a manifold and a dialyzer external to said manifold, said priming process comprising: inserting said manifold into the dialysis machine, wherein said manifold comprises a plurality of molded components which are configured to connect together to form a single operative structure comprising a portion of the first circuit, a portion of the second circuit and a compressible valve structure in fluid communication with each of said first and second circuits, wherein said valve structure is one of said plurality of molded components and has a first state and a second state, wherein, when in said first state, fluid from the first circuit cannot enter into the second circuit within said manifold and is separated from a second fluid within said second circuit by a semi-permeable membrane within said dialyzer and when in said second state, said first fluid from the first circuit can enter into the second circuit within said manifold and said dialyzer; placing said valve in said second state by removing pressure from said compressible valve structure; pumping said first fluid through said first and second circuits within said manifold and dialyzer; placing said valve in said first state by applying pressure to said compressible valve structure; and removing said first fluid from said second circuit, wherein a venous line and an arterial line of the manifold are connected to a patient when said valve is in said first state and wherein said venous line is not connected to said patient and said arterial line is connected to said patient when said valve is placed in said second state. "