Title of Patent: Device for Perfusing an Animal Head.

A modern classic amongst weird patents, Chet Fleming's invention purports to keep a severed head alive. Assigned to the Dis Corporation in 1987, the full text and diagrams can be found via Patent Number search at the United States Patent Office (USPTO) web site:

http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/srchnum.htm
Simply enter the U.S. Patent Number,
4,666,425
in the query box. The USPTO servers are often overloaded and may display a "too busy" message. To bring up the document quickly, click on your web browser's Reload or Refresh button over and over until the document is retrieved.

Though the full patent documents can be looked at online, the USPTO requires a QuickTime web browser plug-in which blocks graphics from being easily captured or printed out. However, searchers can purchase the actual text documents for as little as $3.00 US. Online payment by credit card results in a turnaround of less than an hour for access to online Adobe Acrobat Petrified Data Format (PDF) versions of the documents. Following retrieval, the PDF versions can be printed. Other delivery mechanisms, including US Mail and fax, are also offered.

Chet Fleming, which may be a nom de plume, authored a book on his patent entitled If We Can Keep a Severed Head Alive ... : Discorporation and U.S. Patent 4,666,425 (St. Louis : Polynim Press, 1988. ISBN: 0942287037).

Abstract of Patent:

This invention involves a device, referred to herein as a "cabinet," which provides physical and biochemical support for an animal's head which has been "discorporated" (i.e., severed from its body). This device can be used to supply a discorped head with oxygenated blood and nutrients by means of tubes connected to arteries which pass through th neck. After circulating through the head, the deoxygenated blood returns to the cabinet by means of cannulae which are connected to veins that emerge from the neck. A series of processing components removes carbon dioxide and add oxygen to the blood. If desired, waste products and other metabolites may be removed from the blood, and nutrients, therapeutic or experimental drugs, anti-coagulants, and other substances may be added to the blood. The replenished blood is returned to the discorped head via cannulae attached to arteries. The cabinet provides physical support for the head, by means of a collar around the neck, pins attached to one or more vertebrae, or similar mechanical means.

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