Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20060287644 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/467,875
Publication dateDec 21, 2006
Filing dateAug 28, 2006
Priority dateJun 21, 1999
Also published asCA2377368A1, CA2377368C, DE60036547D1, DE60036547T2, EP1194072A1, EP1194072B1, EP1194072B9, US7331969, WO2000078222A1
Publication number11467875, 467875, US 2006/0287644 A1, US 2006/287644 A1, US 20060287644 A1, US 20060287644A1, US 2006287644 A1, US 2006287644A1, US-A1-20060287644, US-A1-2006287644, US2006/0287644A1, US2006/287644A1, US20060287644 A1, US20060287644A1, US2006287644 A1, US2006287644A1
InventorsOlle Inganas, Edwin Jager, Anders Selbing
Original AssigneeOlle Inganas, Edwin Jager, Anders Selbing
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tools and methods for biomedical surgery
US 20060287644 A1
Abstract
A tool for biomedical surgery comprises an elongate tube-like structure which is insertable into a body lumen, a surgical tool, arranged on the elongate tube-like structure, and a layered polymer microactuator, arranged in or on the elongate tube-like structure, for inducing geometrical changes or movements to the surgical tool via an electrochemically induced change of volume of the layered polymer microactuator. The layered polymer microactuator is arranged for external electrical actuation.
Images(8)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(30)
1. A device for biomedical surgery, comprising:
an elongate tube-like structure which is insertable into a body lumen,
a surgical tool, arranged on the elongate tube-like structure, and
a layered polymer microactuator, arranged in or on the elongate tube-like structure, for inducing geometrical changes or movements to the surgical tool via an electrochemically induced change of volume of the polymer microactuator,
the layered polymer microactuator being arranged for external electrical actuation.
2. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein a guide-wire is insertable into the elongate tube-like structure.
3. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the layered polymer microactuator comprises a bi-layered polymer.
4. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the layered polymer microactuator comprises at least one non-polymer layer.
5. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the layered polymer microactuator comprises a conjugated polymer layer.
6. The device as claimed in claim 5, wherein the conjugated polymer layer comprises a polymer selected from the group consisting of pyrrole, aniline, thiophene, para-phenylene, vinylene, and phenylene polymers and copolymers, including substituted forms of the different monomers.
7. The device as claimed in claim 5, wherein the layered polymer microactuator comprises at least two layers, where an electrically activated volume change of said at least one conjugated polymer layer is arranged to cause a bending of said layered polymer actuator.
8. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the surgical tool is selected from a group consisting of a knife, a needle, a dilator, a forceps, a scissors, a tweezers, a clamp, a clip, a stent, a connector, a graft, a nerve connector, and an insertion device.
9. The device as claimed in claim 8, wherein the surgical tool is an insertion device for making a temporary permanent hole through a membrane, the insertion device comprising a central member and a number of anchoring members, which are bendable between an insertion position, wherein the insertion device is insertable through a hole in the membrane, and an anchoring position, wherein the anchoring members are in fixating engagement with the membrane.
10. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the surgical tool is releasable from the tube-like structure.
11. A tool array comprising a device as claimed in claim 1, wherein a number of identical surgical tools are arranged as an array extending on the carrier or tube-like structure, and wherein the actuation of a surgical tool closest to the exit of the tube-like structure is arranged to release the surgical tool from the array and to leave it at the point of exit of the tube-like structure in order to mount the surgical tool at or in a biological structure.
12. The tool array as claimed in claim 11, wherein a number of identical tools are located on the array extending along the tube-like structure, and where each tool is individually actuatable.
13. The tool array as claimed in claim 11, wherein a number of identical tools are located on the array extending along the tube-like structure, and said tools are simultaneously actuatable.
14. A tool array comprising a device as claimed in claim 1, wherein a number of non-identical surgical tools are arranged as an array extending along a length of the carrier or tube-like structure, and wherein said tools are individually actuatable, and wherein the actuation of a surgical tool closest to the exit of the tube-like structure is arranged to release the surgical tool from the array and to leave it at the point of exit of the tube-like structure in order to mount the surgical tool at or in a biological structure.
15. A device for biomedical surgery, comprising:
an elongate tube-like structure, which is insertable into a body lumen,
a carrier which is insertable into the elongate tube-like structure,
a surgical tool, arranged on the carrier, and
a polymer microactuator, arranged in or on the carrier, for inducing geometrical changes or movements to the surgical tool via an electrochemically induced change of volume of the polymer microactuator,
the polymer microactuator being arranged for external electrical actuation.
16. The device as claimed in claim 15, wherein the polymer microactuator comprises a conjugated polymer.
17. The device as claimed in claim 16, wherein the conjugated polymer comprises a polymer selected from the group consisting of pyrrole, aniline, thiophene, para-phenylene, vinylene, and phenylene polymers and copolymers, including substituted forms of the different monomers.
18. The device as claimed in claim 15, wherein the polymer microactuator is a layered polymer microactuator.
19. The device as claimed in claim 18, wherein the polymer microactuator comprises at least two layers, where an electrically activated volume change of said at least one conjugated polymer layer is arranged to cause a bending of said layered polymer actuator.
20. The device as claimed in claim 15, wherein the surgical tool is selected from a group consisting of a knife, a needle, a dilator, a forceps, a scissors, a tweezers, a clamp, a clip, a stent, a connector, a graft, a nerve connector, and an insertion device.
21. The device as claimed in claim 20, wherein the surgical tool is an insertion device for making a temporary permanent hole through a membrane, the insertion device comprising a central member and a number of anchoring members, which are bendable between an insertion position, wherein the insertion device is insertable through a hole in the membrane, and an anchoring position, wherein the anchoring members are in fixating engagement with the membrane.
22. The device as claimed in claim 15, wherein the surgical tool is releasable from the tube-like structure.
23. A tool array comprising a device as claimed in claim 15, wherein a number of identical surgical tools are arranged as an array extending on the carrier or tube-like structure, and wherein the actuation of a surgical tool closest to the exit of the tube-like structure is arranged to release the surgical tool from the array and is to leave it at the point of exit of the tube-like structure in order to mount the surgical tool at or in a biological structure.
24. The tool array as claimed in claim 23, wherein a number of identical tools are located on the array extending along the tube-like structure, and where said tools are individually actuatable.
25. The tool array as claimed in claim 23, wherein a number of identical tools are located on the array extending along the tube-like structure, and where said tools are simultaneously actuatable.
26. A tool array comprising a device as claimed in claim 15, wherein a number of non-identical surgical tools are arranged as an array extending along a length of the carrier or tube-like structure, and wherein said tools are individually actuatable, and wherein the actuation of a surgical tool closest to the exit of the tube-like structure is arranged to release the surgical tool from the array and to leave it at the point of exit of the tube-like structure in order to mount the surgical tool at or in a biological structure.
27. A method of biomedical surgery, comprising steps of:
inserting an elongate tube-like structure comprising a surgical tool arranged thereon, into a body lumen;
the elongate tube-like structure having a layered polymer microactuator, arranged in or on the elongate tube-like structure, for inducing geometrical changes or movements to the surgical tool via an electrochemically induced change of volume of the polymer microactuator;
and supplying an electrical charge for electrical actuation of the polymer microactuator,
whereby said geometrical changes or movements cause the tool to act upon a biological structure in said body lumen.
28. The method as claimed in claim 27, wherein said geometrical changes or movements are cause the surgical tool to perform an activity selected from a group consisting of positioning a stucture, holding a structure, cutting a structure, dilating a structure, fortifying a structure and implanting a structure.
29. A method of biomedical surgery, comprising steps of:
inserting an elongate tube-like structure into a body lumen;
inserting a carrier with a surgical tool arranged thereon, into said tube-like structure,
the carrier having a polymer microactuator, arranged in or on the carrier, for inducing geometrical changes or movements to the surgical tool via an electrochemically induced change of volume of the polymer microactuator; and
supplying an electrical charge for electrical actuation of the polymer microactuator,
whereby said geometrical changes or movements cause the tool to act upon a biological structure in said body lumen.
30. The method as claimed in claim 29, wherein said geometrical changes or movements cause the surgical tool to perform an activity selected from a group consisting of positioning a stucture, holding a structure, cutting a structure, dilating a structure, fortifying a structure and implanting a structure.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/018,985, filed Dec. 19, 2001.

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention concerns micro-surgical tools that can be delivered by or on an elongated medical device, such as a catheter or needle. These tools or microstructures can be used to adapt, assemble, separate, fortify, dilate, close and hold biological or non-biological structures inside the body during and after surgery. The tools may be stents, valves, clips, nets, knives, scissors, dilators, clamps, tweezers etc.

BACKGROUND

The use of microstructures to assemble, fortify or dilate biological structures inside the body during and after surgery can help the surgeon in a number of ways. The operation of electrically actuated tools can help the surgeon to simultaneously position, operate manually, and observe. By positioning the tool by hand and separately operating the tool through external control (i.e. footswitch, voice control, other software-control) a much higher degree of precision is achieved. In microsurgery, this is especially desired.

The development of microactuators has been spurred by the desire to be able to use tools before or during invasive surgical procedures. Because tools may be used for cutting, drilling, holding, dilating, suturing, adapting or supporting, the tools must have specific size and shape. For example, a certain tool might be needed during a surgery and may be introduced through, placed inside, on, or located at the end of a catheter or needle. Thus, the tool must be designed within the specific dimension of the catheter or needle.

The application of structures in/on or introduced through a catheter or needle is of particular interest in connection with the application of tools, which are to be left at the site after insertion, and which have to execute their function for some limited time duration after, and which may thereafter be extracted.

The combination of microactuators and catheters is not well documented in the literature. No patents describe the use of microactuators as tools housed inside or on a catheter. However, some examples of microactuators used to position a catheter have been found.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,771,902 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,819,749 disclose micromachined actuators and sensors for intratubular positioning and steering of for instance catheters in blood flows. The microcantilever actuators, that may comprise conducting polymers, are used as rudders or valves in order to provide navigation means for catheters and the like that utilize the blood flow direction for positioning or steering.

WO9837816A1 discloses microfabricated therapeutic actuators that are fabricated using shape memory polymers. The actuators are used as a microtubing release mechanism to set free an object.

WO9739688A2 describes a method and apparatus for delivery of a clip appliance in a vessel. The clip is configured from a wire like bendable material, preferably #420 stainless steel, having a W-like sinusoidal shape. Upon delivery the clip is bent so as to be secured to tissue by an external biasing apparatus, such as an actuator arm and balloon.

The publication WO9739674A1 discloses a spring based multi-purpose medical instrument. Spring jaws at the distal end are operated through a remote actuator. The preferred embodiment of this jaw actuator is a very thin (pull) wire.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,855,565 describes a cardiovascular mechanically expanding catheter apparatus as an alternative to conventional balloon angioplasty devices. The catheter comprises a dilation means that includes a mechanical expander which provides means for casing radial expansion of the dilation means against the vessel walls upon longitudinal contraction of the mechanical expander. The longitudinal contraction of the mechanical expander may preferably be achieved by a cable mechanism, however the use of an “artificial muscle” as the contraction means is also claimed.

There is a need for improved or alternative tools that may be introduced through or on a catheter or needle and used before, during or after surgical procedures.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present disclosure to provide tools that overcome or alleviate disadvantages of prior art tools.

According to a first aspect, there is provided a device for biomedical surgery, comprising an elongate tube-like structure which is insertable into a body lumen, a surgical tool, arranged on the elongate tube-like structure, and a layered polymer microactuator, arranged in or on the elongate tube-like structure, for inducing geometrical changes or movements to the surgical tool via an electrochemically induced change of volume of the polymer microactuator, the layered polymer microactuator being arranged for external electrical actuation.

In an embodiment, a guide-wire may be insertable into the elongate tube-like structure.

In an embodiment, the layered polymer microactuator may comprise a bi-layered polymer.

In an embodiment, the layered polymer microactuator may comprise at least one non-polymer layer.

In an embodiment, the layered polymer microactuator may comprise a conjugated polymer layer.

In an embodiment, the conjugated polymer layer may comprise a polymer selected from the group consisting of pyrrole, aniline, thiophene, para-phenylene, vinylene, and phenylene polymers and copolymers, including substituted forms of the different monomers.

In an embodiment, the layered polymer microactuator may comprise at least two layers, where an electrically activated volume change of said at least one conjugated polymer layer is arranged to cause a bending of said layered polymer actuator.

In an embodiment, the surgical tool may be selected from a group consisting of a knife, a needle, a dilator, a forceps, a scissors, a tweezers, a clamp, a clip, a stent, a connector, a graft, a nerve connector, and an insertion device.

In an embodiment, the surgical tool may be an insertion device for making a temporary permanent hole through a membrane, the insertion device comprising a central member and a number of anchoring members, which are bendable between an insertion position, wherein the insertion device is insertable through a hole in the membrane, and an anchoring position, wherein the anchoring members are in fixating engagement with the membrane.

In an embodiment, the surgical tool may be releasable from the tube-like structure.

According to a second aspect, there is provided a tool array comprising a device according to the first aspect, wherein a number of identical surgical tools are arranged as an array extending on the carrier or tube-like structure, and wherein the actuation of a surgical tool closest to the exit of the tube-like structure is arranged to release the surgical tool from the array and to leave it at the point of exit of the tube-like structure in order to mount the surgical tool at or in a biological structure.

In an embodiment, a number of identical tools may be located on the array extending along the tube-like structure, and where each tool is individually actuatable.

In an embodiment, a number of identical tools may be located on the array extending along the tube-like structure, and said tools are simultaneously actuatable.

According to a third aspect, there is provided a tool array comprising a tool according to the first aspect, wherein a number of non-identical surgical tools are arranged as an array extending along a length of the carrier or tube-like structure, and wherein said tools are individually actuatable, and wherein the actuation of a surgical tool closest to the exit of the tube-like structure is arranged to release the surgical tool from the array and to leave it at the point of exit of the tube-like structure in order to mount the surgical tool at or in a biological structure.

According to a fourth aspect, there is provided a device for biomedical surgery, comprising an elongate tube-like structure, which is insertable into a body lumen, a carrier which is insertable into the elongate tube-like structure, a surgical tool, arranged on the carrier, and a polymer microactuator, arranged in or on the carrier, for inducing geometrical changes or movements to the surgical tool via an electrochemically induced change of volume of the polymer microactuator, the polymer microactuator being arranged for external electrical actuation.

In an embodiment, the polymer microactuator may comprise a conjugated polymer.

In an embodiment, the conjugated polymer may comprise a polymer selected from the group consisting of pyrrole, aniline, thiophene, para-phenylene, vinylene, and phenylene polymers and copolymers, including substituted forms of the different monomers.

In an embodiment, the polymer microactuator may be a layered polymer microactuator.

In an embodiment, the polymer microactuator may comprise at least two layers, where an electrically activated volume change of said at least one conjugated polymer layer is arranged to cause a bending of said layered polymer actuator.

In an embodiment, the surgical tool may be selected from a group consisting of a knife, a needle, a dilator, a forceps, a scissors, a tweezers, a clamp, a clip, a stent, a connector, a graft, a nerve connector, and an insertion device.

In an embodiment, the surgical tool may be an insertion device for making a temporary permanent hole through a membrane, the insertion device comprising a central member and a number of anchoring members, which are bendable between an insertion position, wherein the insertion device is insertable through a hole in the membrane, and an anchoring position, wherein the anchoring members are in fixating engagement with the membrane.

In an embodiment, the surgical tool may be releasable from the tube-like structure.

According to a fifth aspect, there is provided a tool array comprising a device according to the fourth aspect, wherein a number of identical surgical tools are arranged as an array extending on the carrier or tube-like structure, and wherein the actuation of a surgical tool closest to the exit of the tube-like structure is arranged to release the surgical tool from the array and is to leave it at the point of exit of the tube-like structure in order to mount the surgical tool at or in a biological structure.

In an embodiment, a number of identical tools may be located on the array extending along the tube-like structure, and where said tools are individually actuatable.

In an embodiment, a number of identical tools may be located on the array extending along the tube-like structure, and where said tools are simultaneously actuatable.

According to a sixth aspect, there is provided a tool array comprising a tool according to the fourth aspect, wherein a number of non-identical surgical tools are arranged as an array extending along a length of the carrier or tube-like structure, and wherein said tools are individually actuatable, and wherein the actuation of a surgical tool closest to the exit of the tube-like structure is arranged to release the surgical tool from the array and to leave it at the point of exit of the tube-like structure in order to mount the surgical tool at or in a biological structure.

According to a seventh aspect, there is provided a method of biomedical surgery, comprising steps of:

inserting an elongate tube-like structure comprising a surgical tool arranged thereon, into a body lumen;

the elongate tube-like structure having a layered polymer microactuator, arranged in or on the elongate tube-like structure, for inducing geometrical changes or movements to the surgical tool via an electrochemically induced change of volume of the polymer microactuator;

and supplying an electrical charge for electrical actuation of the polymer microactuator,

whereby said geometrical changes or movements cause the tool to act upon a biological structure in said body lumen.

In the above method, said geometrical changes or movements may cause the surgical tool to perform an activity selected from a group consisting of positioning a stucture, holding a structure, cutting a structure, dilating a structure, fortifying a structure and implanting a structure.

According to an eighth aspect, there is provided a method of biomedical surgery, comprising steps of:

inserting an elongate tube-like structure into a body lumen;

inserting a carrier with a surgical tool arranged thereon, into said tube-like structure,

the carrier having a polymer microactuator, arranged in or on the carrier, for inducing geometrical changes or movements to the surgical tool via an electrochemically induced change of volume of the polymer microactuator; and

supplying an electrical charge for electrical actuation of the polymer microactuator,

whereby said geometrical changes or movements cause the tool to act upon a biological structure in said body lumen.

In the above method, said geometrical changes or movements may cause the surgical tool to perform an activity selected from a group consisting of positioning a stucture, holding a structure, cutting a structure, dilating a structure, fortifying a structure and implanting a structure.

The necessary elements to accomplish these functions may be the electrochemically activated microactuators, built by micromachining thin metal and polymer layers (Elisabeth Smela, Olle Inganäs and Ingemar Lundström: “Controlled Folding of Micron-size Structures”, Science 268 (1995) pp. 1735-1738), non-metal and polymer layers, or only polymer layers. These actuators can be produced in sizes fom micrometers to centimeters, and operate well in biological fluids such as blood plasma, blood, buffer and urine. They are therefore suitable tools for micro invasive surgery inside the body.

The versatility of construction and the speed of response, as well as the force of these actuators render them as one of the best types of microactuators inside the body. WO96/28841 discloses one route of fabrication of such devices.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The different aspects of the invention can be better understood with reference to the following drawings. The components in the drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon clearly illustrating the principles of the present disclosure. Moreover, in the drawings, like reference numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the several views.

FIGS. 1 a-1 c are a perspective view of a first embodiment.

FIGS. 2 a-2 g are a perspective view of other tools in which microactuators are used.

FIGS. 3 a-3 b are a perspective view of another embodiment.

FIGS. 4 a-4 b are perspective views of yet another embodiment.

FIGS. 5 a-5 b are perspective views of a further embodiment.

FIGS. 6 a-c are perspective views of other tools in which microactuators are used

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

Our novelty and innovation resides in the use of microactuators based on conjugated polymers being electrically operated and mounted in or on an elongated medical device for insertion into the body, such as a catheter or needle. These microactuators are positioned with the help of the catheter, and then these microactuator structures that are carried by, in, or on the catheter or needle are activated. The microfabrication of such microactuators renders possible a number of geometries and a size as small as 10 μm, which is difficult to produce by mechanical production techniques. They may be produced by use of the method presented in patent WO96/28841 and then mounted in or on the needle or catheter, or they might be produced by novel manufacturing methods. With the invention described herein completely novel microsurgery tools are now available.

The production of individually actuated tool arrays render little difficulty beyond producing the individual tool. Electrical contacts may be supplied to actuate each microactuator separately. This can be done by wiring the single microactuator, to be used as the working electrode; the catheter may then be used as the counter-electrode, and will be able to supply all the charge that is needed to actuate all those microactuators. As wires may easily be produced in width down to 10 μm with photolithography or with soft lithography, thus by providing parallel conducting wires, at least 50 microactuators may be placed along the tool array located in/on a needle of 1 mm width. Should more wires be necessary, more elaborate addressing schemes might be used.

If a three electrode system is necessary in any application, microfabricated reference electrodes or macrosize reference electrodes carried on the catheter housing can be used as a third electrode.

A first embodiment of the present invention is clips and clip arrays, where the clips are mounted in sequence, used for surgery. These clips are sub-millimetre to millimetre structures, used two hold two separated biological or non-biological structures joined, for example during a healing period. Also a biological and a non-biological structure may be held together.

FIGS. 1 a-1 c show an example of a clip tool in which microactuators may be used. Clips may be used in surgery to hold together two separated biological structures, such as tissue, skin, membranes, vessel walls etc; or to fixate a biological structure to a non-biological structure.

FIG. 1 a shows a clip 1 that is individually activated by a microactuator in its opened stated and a structure 2, which is interconnected as shown in FIGS. 1 a-1 b or having to separated parts. In FIG. 1 b, the clip 1 is in its closed state and is used to join the structure 2 to hold it closed.

As shown in FIG. 1 c the clips may be assembled into clip arrays, where the clips 1, 4 are mounted in sequence 5, and are confined by a cylindrical housing 3. The clip 1 is attached to a second clip 4, which in its turn is attached to a third clip 6, etc thus building a chain of clips 5 that are confined by the cylindrical housing 3. The cylindrical housing 3 may be a catheter or a hollow needle. Activation of the outermost clip 1 opens up the clip 1 to join the open structure 2, and then being set free by the simultaneous or sequential operation of the second clip 4. The clip 1 is left at the structure 2, holding the structures together as illustrated in FIGS. 1 a-1 b.

Another embodiment is a structure for controlling the flow through blood vessels. The simplest example is that of a clip used to prevent or regulate the amount of blood flow to a biological structure downstream in the blood vessel. Such a clip, or series of clips, would be mounted and left to hold a firm grip on the blood vessel and thus to prevent or regulate the flow of blood.

An array of tools may be collectively addressed, and the tool array may be designed to set free the outermost clip 1 on actuation of all the clips 5, a mechanism of confining the movements of all but the outermost clip 1 is needed. This is done by assembling the clip array 5 into a cylindrical housing 3, preferably a catheter, prior to insertion in the body. The cylindrical housing 3 confines the motion of microactuators, which search in vain to expand the strong metal casing on operation. When the outermost clip 1 is actuated, the clip is opened; likewise is the next-to-the outermost clip 4 partially free to move as it is protruding outside the cylindrical housing 3. Therefore the partial opening of the next-to-the outermost clip 4 sets the outermost clip 1 free, as well as opens it up for subsequent spontaneous closing on the site to be clipped.

The array of clips 5 may be pushed forward, out of the cyclindrical housing 3 by a wire, rod, or plunger (as illustrated by part 370 in FIGS. 4 a-4 b) thus releasing one clip at the time.

FIGS. 2 a-2 g shows tubular tweezers 100, tweezers 110 knifes 120, scissors 122, needles 124, dilators 126, and clamps 128 based on microactuators. The indicated movement is driven by microactuators properly mounted and designed. The tools are housed in a cyclindrical housing 140, which for example may be a needle or a catheter. These tools or micro-structures can be used to adapt, assemble, separate, fortify, dilate, close and hold biological structures inside the body during and after surgery.

FIGS. 3 a-3 b show a another embodiment 230 of the present invention. Arrays of fingers could be used to hold cylindrical objects, such as nerves and nerve fibers, or blood vessels. With the help of microactuators holding the structures (FIGS. 3 a-3 b), adjacent microstructures may operate, such as neural sensing or activating electrodes, may enable recording signals from or activating nerves. Furthermore, they could be used as a synthetic neural connectors, bridging a severed nerve or nerve fiber. A neural connector 230, with a number of small fingers 220 coil around two cylindrical nerves 200, 210 to tightly hold the nerve 240 together. Two separate nerves 200, 210 are here joined with the help of a common neural connector 230. This procedure is used to regrow the nerves. In addition, small electrodes (not shown) can be fashioned along with the microfingers 220, and be used to sense or excite nerve signals.

Tools with some temporary mechanical function could also be inserted in membranes (FIGS. 4 a-4 b) or inserted or anchored into any type of tissue. Insertion devices with temporary mechanical functions could be used for mounting a hole through a membrane, such as commonly used in ear surgery for pressure equilibration. Making these as microdevices will much decrease the effort to place and remove the inserted devices and to keep them in place during the desired time period. FIGS. 4 a-4 b show a further embodiment 300 of the present invention. An insertion device 330, for making a temporally hole in a membrane 330 is housed in a catheter/cannula/needle 310 and is inserted through the membrane 320 so as to make the device 330 form a hole 350 through the membrane. The device 330 may be pushed forward, out of the catheter/cannula/needle 310 by a wire, rod or plunger 370, thus releasing it into the membrane 320. Simultanously or sequentially on insertion into the membran 320 flaps or petals 360 may fold out in order to anchor the device 330 into the membrane.

FIGS. 5 a-5 a show a stent device 400. This embodiment is somewhat more complex with structures built with a geometry where they could be used inside or outside tube-like structures 410, as so called stents 420 to dilate a stenotic area 430 or to internally or externally fortify or join the structure(s) (FIGS. 5 a and 5 b). Stents 420 are of particular interest since they are to be inserted inside the tube 410, then to be left there to expand a stenotic (examples: blood vessel, biliary duct) or to fortify a weak (examples: blood vessel with aneurysm, divided biliary duct) part of a tubular structure 410. In the latter case the structures 420 are preferably addressed as microanastomosis devices of grafts.

Likewise the clip arrays (FIG. 1 c) the stent device 400 (FIGS. 5 a-5 b) may be formed/designed as a tool array comprising several stents, microanastomis devices, or grafts, that can be set free one at a time. Also, similar to the medical device of FIGS. 4 a-4 b, the stent 420 or array of stents may be pushed forward, out of the cyclindrical housing 440 by a wire, rod, or plunger (as illustrated by part 370 in FIGS. 4 a-4 b), thus releasing one stent at the time.

FIGS. 6 a-6 c illustrate tools or tool arrays that are mounted on an elongated medical device 540 such as a catheter. The elongated medical devices comprising the tool or tool arrays are introduced into the body by sliding it over a guidewire 510 as is known to those skilled in the art. Examples of such tools or tool arrays are tubular tweezers 500 (FIG. 6 a), knives 520 (FIG. 6 b), or stents 550 (FIG. 6 c). FIG. 6 c shows only one stent 550 on the device 540, however, as mentioned above and illustrated in FIG. 1 c, the device may comprise several such tools (stents, clips, grafts, coils) forming a tool array.

The application of structures in/on or introduced through a catheter or needle is of particular interest at the application of tools, which are to be left at the site after insertion, and which have to execute their function for some limited time duration after. Such structures may optionally be removed or replaced after such limited time.

Clips, stents, finger arrays and insertion devices, once applied, could thus be resorbable or permanent. They could express various degrees of stimulation or repression of cell growth on its surfaces, various degrees of anti-thrombotic activity as well as different antibiotic activities. They can also be carriers of various biochemical or biological components.

It should be emphasized that the above-described embomdiments of the present invention are merely possible examples of implementations, merely set forth for clear understanding fo the priniciples of the invention. Many variations and modifications may be made to the above-described embodiment(s) of the invention without departing substantially from the spirit and principles of the invention. All such modifications and variantions are intended to be included herein within the scope of this disclosure and the present invention and protected by the following claims.

In summary, according to a first variant, there is provided a device for biomedical surgery, comprising an elongate tube-like structure which is insertable into a body lumen, a surgical tool, arranged on the elongate tube-like structure, and a layered polymer microactuator, arranged in or on the elongate tube-like structure, for inducing geometrical changes or movements to the surgical tool via an electrochemically induced change of volume of the polymer microactuator, the layered polymer microactuator being arranged for external electrical actuation.

According to a second variant, there is provided a device for biomedical surgery, comprising an elongate tube-like structure, which is insertable into a body lumen, a carrier which is insertable into the elongate tube-like structure, a surgical tool, arranged on the carrier, and a polymer microactuator, arranged in or on the carrier, for inducing geometrical changes or movements to the surgical tool via an electrochemically induced change of volume of the polymer microactuator, the polymer microactuator being arranged for external electrical actuation.

In the second variant, a conductor may be arranged on the carrier.

In the second variant, the carrier may be elongate.

In the second variant, the carrier may be a needle.

In the second variant, the elongate tube-like structure may be a catheter or a cannula.

In either of the first and second variants, the surgical tool may a knife, a needle, a dilator, a forceps, a scissors, a tweezers, a clamp, a clip, a stent, a connector or a graft.

a guide-wire may be insertable into the elongate tube-like structure.

In either of the first and second variants, the elongate tube-like structure may be a catheter or cannula.

In either of the first and second variants, the polymer microactuator may be arranged for external electrical actuation through the elongate tube-like structure.

In either of the first and second variants, the layered polymer may comprise comprises at least one polymer layer. However, in the second variant, this is not necessary.

In either of the first and second variants, the layered polymer may comprise a bi-layered polymer.

In either of the first and second variants, the layered polymer may comprise at least one non-polymer layer.

In either of the first and second variants, the layered polymer microactuator may comprise a conjugated polymer layer.

In either of the first and second variants, the conjugated polymer layer may comprise a polymer is selected from the group consisting of pyrrole, aniline, thiophene, para-phenylene, vinylene, and phenylene polymers and copolymers, including substituted forms of the different monomers.

In either of the first and second variants, the layered polymer microactuator may comprise at least two layers, where an electrically activated volume change of said at least one conjugated polymer layer is arranged t cause a bending of said layered polymer actuator.

In either of the first and second variants, the device may comprise a multilayered polymer, wherein an electrically activated volume change of said conjugated polymer is arranged to cause a bending of said layered polymer microactuator.

In either of the first and second variants, the surgical tool may comprise a clip arranged to join biological tissues or tissue parts, and arranged to hold the said tissues or tissue parts to allow healing.

In either of the first and second variants, the surgical tool may comprise a clip arranged to join a biological tissue or tissue part to a non-biological part.

In either of the first and second variants, the surgical tool may comprise an expandable cylindrical object designed to be inserted, in a contracted state, into a biological tube, and arranged to become expanded to keep said tube in an expanded state or to join two or more biological tubes.

In either of the first and second variants, the surgical tool may comprise a knife, which is arranged for linear and/or angular movement.

In either of the first and second variants, the surgical tool may comprise a needle that is arranged on an actuator being arranged for linear and/or angular movement.

In either of the first and second variants, the surgical tool may comprise a nerve connector.

In either of the first and second variants, the surgical tool may comprise an insertion device for making a temporary permanent hole through a membrane.

In either of the first and second variants, the insertion device may comprise a central member and a number of anchoring members, which are bendable between an insertion position, wherein the insertion device is insertable through a hole in the membrane, and an anchoring position, wherein the anchoring members are in fixating engagement with the membrane.

In either of the first and second variants, the surgical tool may be releasable from the tube-like structure.

Furthermore, there is provided a tool array comprising a device according to either of the first and second variants, wherein a number of identical surgical tools are arranged as an array extending on the carrier or tube-like structure, and wherein the actuation of a surgical tool closest to the exit of the tube-like structure is arranged to release the surgical tool from the array and is to leave it at the point of exit of the tube-like structure in order to mount the surgical tool at or in a biological structure.

In the array, the surgical tool may be selected from a group consisting of a knife, a needle, a dilator, a forceps, a scissors, a tweezers, a clamp, a clip, a stent, a connector, a nerve connector and a graft.

In the array, the surgical tool may comprise a clip arranged to join biological tissues or tissue parts, and arranged to hold the said tissues or tissue parts to allow healing.

In the array, the surgical tool may comprise an insertion device for making a temporary permanent hole through a membrane.

In the array, the insertion device may comprise a central member and a number of anchoring members, which are bendable between an insertion position, wherein the insertion device is insertable through a hole in the membrane, and an anchoring position, wherein the anchoring members are in fixating engagement with the membrane or tissue.

In the array, a number of identical tools may be located on the array extending along the tube-like structure, and where each tool is individually actuatable.

In the array, a number of identical tools may be located on the array extending along the tube-like structure, and each tool may be simultaneously actuatable.

In the array, a number of non-identical tools may be arranged as an array extending along a length of the carrier or tube-like structure, and each tool may be individually actuatable.

Furthermore, there is provided a method of biomedical surgery, comprising steps of inserting an elongate tube-like structure comprising a surgical tool arranged thereo, into a body lumen; the elongate tube-like structure having a layered polymer microactuator, arranged in or on the elongate tube-like structure, for inducing geometrical changes or movements to the surgical tool via an electrochemically induced change of volume of the polymer microactuator; and supplying an electrical charge for electrical actuation of the polymer microactuator, whereby said geometrical changes or movements cause the tool to act upon a biological structure in said body lumen.

In the method, a guide-wire may be inserted into the elongate tube-like structure.

In the method, a catheter or cannula may be used as the elongate tube-like.

In the method, the polymer microactuator may be externally electrically actuated through the elongate tube-like structure.

Finally, there is provided a method of biomedical surgery, comprising steps of inserting an elongate tube-like structure into a body lumen; inserting a carrier with a surgical tool arranged thereon, into said tube-like structure, the carrier having a polymer, arranged in or on the carrier, for inducing geometrical changes or movements to the surgical tool via an electrochemically induced change of volume of the polymer microactuator; and supplying an electrical charge for electrical actuation of the polymer microactuator, whereby said geometrical changes or movements cause the tool to act upon a biological structure in said body lumen.

In the method, said electrical charge may be supplied through a conductor arranged on the carrier.

In the method, an elongate carrier may be used.

In the method, a needle may be used as a carrier.

In the methods, the elongate tube-like structure may be a catheter or a cannula.

In the methods, the geometrical changes or movements may cause the surgical tool to position a structure.

In the methods, the geometrical changes or movements may cause the surgical tool to hold a biological or non-biological structure.

In the methods, the geometrical changes or movements may cause the surgical tool to cut a biological or non-biological structure.

In the methods, the geometrical changes or movements may cause the surgical tool to dilate a biological or non-biological structure.

In the methods, the geometrical changes or movements may cause the surgical tool to fortify a biological or non-biological structure.

In the methods, the geometrical changes or movements may cause the surgical tool to implant a biological or non-biological structure.

In the methods, the geometrical changes or movements cause the surgical tool to position a structure.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
CN101953724A *Apr 19, 2010Jan 26, 2011杭州启明医疗器械有限公司Bracket fixing head used for loading artificial valve replacement device
Classifications
U.S. Classification606/1
International ClassificationA61F2/82, A61B17/08, A61B17/122, A61B17/12, A61B17/22, A61B17/3201, A61B17/3211, A61B17/00, A61B17/128, A61B17/28
Cooperative ClassificationA61B17/00234, A61B2017/1209, A61B17/1285, A61B2017/00871, A61B2017/00867, A61B2017/00398, A61B2017/00345, A61B17/122, A61B17/221, A61B2017/00017, A61F2/82
European ClassificationA61B17/00E, A61B17/221
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 20, 2009ASAssignment
Owner name: CREGANNA MEDICAL DEVICES LTD., IRELAND
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MICROMUSCLE AB;REEL/FRAME:023122/0034
Effective date: 20081109
Owner name: CREGANNA SOLUTIONS, IRELAND
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CREGANNA MEDICAL DEVICES LTD.;REEL/FRAME:023122/0317
Effective date: 20090511
Aug 28, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: MICROMUSCLE AB, SWEDEN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:INGANAS, OLLE;JAGER, EDWIN;SELBING, ANDERS;REEL/FRAME:018182/0162
Effective date: 20060823