When Glenbrook Technologies was notified it had won a 2013 Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award in the Medical Devices category, it was thanks to the work of two employees who attended County College of Morris (CCM).
The device, a one-of-a-kind rotating X-ray camera that observes the effectiveness of filters inside blood vessels, was developed by principal inventor Corry Tsang and production supervisor Daxesh Patel. Tsang, who has been with the Randolph-based company for 15 years, received his associate’s degree in electronics engineering technology from CCM in 2000. Patel, who has been with Glenbrook Technologies for 16 years, also studied electrical engineering at CCM.
“CCM, through its co-op, got me the job here,” says Tsang. “I credit the college for my career. I think the engineering program was a great background to start with and it just fit perfectly for the job I do here now.”
The award-winning apparatus was created to observe the effectiveness of vena cava filters, which capture blood clots traveling through the large vein that carries blood from the lower half of the body to the heart.
According to Gil Zweig, president of Glenbrook Technologies, the filters are tested in a pig’s vena cava, which is opaque. To monitor the filter’s effectiveness, a compact, high-resolution X-ray camera is used to record images. That X-ray technology is something the company specializes in. The truly unique part of the apparatus is its rotation.
“We had to look at different types of plastics that would allow the gear to rotate within the plastic and not bind up,” says Tsang. “So there was a lot of engineering involved in looking at different materials.”
The high-tech camera system is the specialty of the company and has been used by organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration, Center for Disease Control and the Central Intelligence Agency. It’s a product’s impact that matters most to the company.
“We’re really proud that our systems are pretty much doing all of the high-end quality controls for the medical, electronics and security industries,” says Patel.
The rotating X-ray is one of 12 patents that will receive an Edison award from the Research and Development Council of New Jersey. The company also won an Edison award in 2009 for the development of its low-dose magnifying X-ray fluoroscope and system. This year’s honor will be presented at the 34th Edison Patent Awards Ceremony and Reception on November 7 at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City.
Zweig said about 70 percent of his employees have studied at CCM. A member of the CCM Foundation Board of Directors and the Engineering/Technology Advisory Committee, Zweig is a longtime supporter of the college. Technician Christopher Maisano, another CCM educated employee, says he is thankful for the support he received while at the college.
“When I left high school I was unsure what I wanted to do and CCM helped point me in this direction,” Maisano says. “All of my skills I’ve certainly learned by starting at CCM.”
It was while at CCM that Patel encouraged Tsang to take part in the co-op Patel was already involved in with Glenbrook Technologies. The same drive to help each other continues to this day, winning awards along the way.
“We all work as a family instead of ‘I’m going to do this, you are going to do that,’ ” says Tsang.
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