Ex parte KRONENTHAL et al. - Page 11

                    Appeal No. 97-0774                                                                                                                                    
                    Application 08/121,525                                                                                                                                

                                        Claim 45.  A surgical sponge assembly comprising a                                                                                
                    plurality of absorbent, compressed sponge members slidably                                                                                            
                    mounted on a flexible unitary strand means which extends through                                                                                      
                    said sponge members, a slide member slidably mounted on said                                                                                          
                    flexible strand means, each of said compressed sponge members                                                                                         
                    being adapted to be moved along said unitary strand means by the                                                                                      
                    slide member for selective engagement with adjacent sponge member                                                                                     
                    surfaces, a distal end of said flexible strand means providing a                                                                                      
                    retaining means acting as a stop for the last sponge member                                                                                           
                    positioned at the distal end of said flexible strand means, said                                                                                      
                    sponge assembly when its sponge members are in engagement                                                                                             
                    allowing direct placement of the sponge assembly in a cavity of a                                                                                     
                    patient and when coming in contact with fluid, swelling to move                                                                                       
                    along said unitary strand means and form an enlarged flexible                                                                                         
                    cross sectional configuration which substantially fills at least                                                                                      
                    a portion of said cavity.                                                                                                                             


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