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Publication numberUS3234356 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 8, 1966
Filing dateMay 7, 1963
Priority dateMay 7, 1963
Publication numberUS 3234356 A, US 3234356A, US-A-3234356, US3234356 A, US3234356A
InventorsRaymond F Babb
Original AssigneeRaymond F Babb
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrically heated medical implement
US 3234356 A
Images(1)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 8, 1966 R. F. BABB ELECTRICALLY HEATED MEDICAL IMPLEMENT Filed May 7, 1963 B M m N FW N D1 N O M Y A R m m i KMJm 'dwum A Tron/v5):

United States Patent 3,234,356 ELECTRICALLY HEATED MEDICAL IMPLEMENT Raymond F. Babb, 7053 Canoga- Ave., Canoga Park, Calif. Filed May 7, 1963, Ser. No. 278,697 11 Claims. (Cl. 219-433) This invention relates generally to hand-held medical instruments and more particularly to a device for applying heat to highly localized portions of the body.

A commonly encountered problem in a surgeons practice is the removal of sutures from a surgical or dental incision after they have served their temporary clamping function. The problem manifests itself in a range of degrees running from serious medical concern, due to the danger of partial reopening of the incision or otherwise opening the skin in the incision-area, to a matter of annoyance and minor pain to the patient due to the pulling or pushing of the sutures in the sensitive area as they are severed by conventional means. Obviously even minor pain can be a serious matter depending upon the patient and his medical. circumstances.

As is well known, the conventional. implement for cutting and removing the sutures is a scalpel or shearing device either of which inherently requires some finite pulling of the suture either in the cutting of the suture or in placing one member of the shearing implement be :tween the tissue and the suture. Typically in attempting to minimize the pulling of the sutures they are not clearly parted from the tissue; and consequently the risk of scratching or otherwise openingthe tissue to infection is increased.

Previous attempts to utilize localized heat for parting the sutures or cauterizing blood vessels have typically resulted in the development of implements which create a risk of burning the tissue, thereby causing even further pain. and danger of infection or prolonged recuperative time.

Other attempts in accordance with the prior art have resulted. in implements which either are not portable or are bulky and relatively unwieldly. Furthermore, the known prior art devices are, at best, difiicult or impractical to sterilize either because of their. structure or materials of composition.

Other disadvantages and problems encountered with previously available devices of the subject character include lack of aesthetic attractiveness and a high cost, both deficiencies being due at least in part to the structural and material approaches of the prior artisans.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a hand-held electrical medical implement for producing a highly localized heat which implement is not subject to these and other disadvantages and deficiencies of the prior art.

'It is another object to provide such an implement which is exceedingly compact and aesthetically attractive and izvhch may be carried in the manner of a small penig t.

It is another object to provide such a device which may be readily sterilized by either thermal or chemical means.

It is another object to provide such a device which does not create any risk of burning to surrounding tissue.

It is another object to provide such a device which is mechanically rugged and dependable, and which may be mass-produced and marketed at very low unit cost thus making its utilization practicable on a wide basis.

Briefly, these and other objects and advantages are achieved in a suture cutter example of the invention which includes a hollow substantially tubular body member molded of a high density polystyrene plastic material.

3,234,355 Patented. F eb- 8, 1966 The body member is tapered toward a bluntly pointed closed end. The other end of the body member is open to receive one end of a small penlight dry cell battery.

Within the body member between its ends is disposed a plastic molded switch. plug. into an interior cavity of which project a. first spring brass strip which is adapted to contact the positive terminal button of the dry cell battery and a second spring brass strip which is parallel to and spaced from the first strip and which extends out of the switch plug axially toward the. tapered end of the body member. A radially outwardly spring biased push button and its integral housing extend into the cavity of the switch plug and secure the disposition of the plug with respect to rotation or axial movement within the tubularbody member during the assembly of the device. The push button extends radailly externally out of the body member and is adapted to engage one of the spring brass strips and to cause it to contact, mechanically and electrically, the other spring brass strip when the push button is depressed inwardly.

The tapered, bluntly tipped end of the body member in this example is formed with a pair of symmetrically disposed close spaced, axially directed bores extending through the plastic body member. A pair of relatively rigid stainless steel music wire electrodes are disposed within the axial bores and one thereof is connected to the second one. of the. brass strips extending from the switch plug. The second electrode is connected to a brass shim stock strip which is disposed between the switch plug and the body member and which extends to the rear open. end thereof. The rearwardly disposed end of the shim stock strip is returned for a short distance over the end of the tubular body member and cemented in place.

An epoxy resin potting compound is poured into the hollow tubular body member before the switch plug is implaced, to seal the electrodes and switch in place and to provide mechanical stability to the assembly.

In this example, one of the stainless steel music wire electrodes is cut to a protruding length of approximately one centimeter; the other is bent at approximately a fortyfive degree angle toward the first electrode at approximately the same point and then cut so that the tip of the latter is disposed in front of that of the former. The longer of the two electrodes is then provided with a bluntly sharpened and flattened tip and adapted thereby to be slidable under a suture.

A fine nichrome heating element wire is microwelded between a position just rearwardly of the point of the longer electrode and to the end of the shorter electrode.

Stainless tubular caps are provided in this example to fit snugly over each end of the assembly to protect the electrodes and to retain the dry cell battery, as well as to complete its electrical circuit from its negative terminal, to the rearwardly disposed end of the shimv stock strip, through the electrodes and heater wire, and through the switch spring brass strips (when in contact), to its positive terminal. The stainless cap over the electrode end of the assembly may be foraminated to facilitate alcohol sterilization of the assembly without removal of the cap.

Further details of these and other novel features and their operation, as well as additional objects and advantages of the invention, will become apparent and be best understood from a consideration of the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing which is presented by way of illustrative example only and in which:

FIG. 1 is a longitudinally sectioned exploded view of one example of an electric implement constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged detailed view of a portion of the structure illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an alternative example of the present invention illustrated assembled and ready for use;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged detailed view of the tip portion of the structure illustrated in FIG. 3; and

FIG. 5 is an enlarged detailed view of a portion of an example of the invention alternative to that illustrated in FIG. 3 and FIG. 4.

Referring to the figures in more detail, it is stressed that the particulars shown are by way of example only and are presented in the cause of providing what is believed to be the most useful and readily understood description of the principles and structural concepts of the invention. The detailed showing is not to be taken as a limitation upon the scope of the invention which is defined by the appended claims forming a part of this specification.

In FIG. 1 an example of the invention as adapted particularly for filament cutting is illustrated. It may be noted that although the description of the invention is given generally in terms of a medical implement for the sake of clarity of presentation, the implement of the invention, particularly the example thereof illustrated in FIG. 1, maybe readily utilized for the cutting by heat 0f any type of filament which can be so parted. For example, the invention finds particular usefulness in the tailoring, sail-making, and parachute making arts.

Continuing with the figure, a hand-held implement 10 is shown having a body member 12 which is preferably formed of a dielectric substance and may be molded of a high density polystyrene plastic, or machined, as from Teflon or nylon. In this example the body member 12 has an enlarged diameter portion 14 and reduced diameter portions 16, 18 disposed axially adjacently thereto whereby the annular transition 20, 22 respectively therebetween forms a retaining shoulder to be discussed in more detail below.

To the left as viewed in the figure, or forwardly of the reduced diameter portion 16, the end of the body member 12 is tapered as shown and is substantially closed to form a forward tip portion 24. The opposite or rearwardly disposed end 26 is open and is adapted to receive the forward end of a small penlight type of dry cell battery 28. In summary, as described thus far, the body member 12 may be seen to be a substantially hollow tubular member having a forward, tapered portion with a closed tip with the remainder of the body member being cylindrically open and hollow.

Disposed in a position between the tapered forward portion of the body member 12 and its rearwardly disposed end 26 is a molded switch plug 30 which, in this example, is molded of a polyester resin plastic and is, in overall form, a short right cylindrical body with an outer diameter approximately equal to the inner diameter of the hollow tubular body member 12.

The switch plug 30 is formed with a switch cavity 32 internally thereof and a transverse, radially directed cylindrical passageway 34 communicating from the switch cavity 32 through the outer wall of the switching plug 30. An opening 36 provided in register with the passageway 34 is formed in the wall of the hollow body member 12, in its enlarged diameter portion 14.

A first switch conductor 38 extends axially through the front wall of the switch plug 30 into the cavity 32 and at least a portion of the conductor 38 extends across the opening of the passageway 34. In this example the conductor 38 is a flat strip of spring brass Which is supported in a cantilever fashion by the forward wall of the switch .plug 30. It may readily therefore be deflected, bendvably elastically, downwardly to contact a second switch conductor 40 which is disposed within the cavity 32 in a juxtaposed relationship with the first conductor 38; so that when the cantilevered rear portion of the conductor 38 is deflected downwardly, a physical and electrical contact is made between the two strips. The second 4 conductor 42, like the first, may be formed of a strip of flat spring brass to minimize switch contact corrosion due to galvanic action. The strip conductor 49 extends rearwardly out of the switch plug and is bent in a right angle as shown to form a battery contacting electrode 42 lying substantially flush with the rear end wall of the switch plug 30 and is adapted to contact the center, positive button terminal of the dry cell battery 28 when the latter is inserted, as shown, into the open end 26 of the body member 12.

During assembly the switch plug 30 is inserted through the rearwardly disposed open end 36 of the body 12 to the central disposition shown and so that the passageway 34 is aligned in register with the opening 36. Then a push button switch actuator 44 is inserted through the registered openings in a manner to hold the switch plug 30 firmly in place with respect to axial .or rotational motion within the body 12. To this end the passageway 34 and the opening 36 are made slightly undersize with the respect to the outer diameter of the cylindrical housing body portion 46 of the actuator 44. The housing body 46 is thusly a press-fit insertion into the remainder of the assembly and may be, additionally, cemented in place. An outwardly spring biased actuator element 48 extends axially through the cylindrical housing body 46 and is adapted to deflect downwardly the first strip conductor 38 into contact with the second strip conductor within the switch cavity 32 when the practitioner depresses the outwardly disposed tip of the member 48 with his thumb or other digit.

A pair of electrodes 50, 52 are provided in an axial direction through the forward tip portion 24 of the body member 12. In this example the electrodes are formed of stainless steel music wire having a diameter of approximately .033 inch, and the upper electrode 52 has a length of protrusion beyond the forward tip portion 24 of approximately 1 centimeter. The same electrode protrudes inwardly of the assembly and is welded to the forwardly extending portion of the first strip conductor 38.

The other electrode 50 is, in this example, provided with a greater forward extension and is bent at an angle of approximately degrees at a point axially substantially even with the end of the electrode 52 so that the forwardly protruding tip 56 of the electrode passes in front of the electrode 52. The tip 56 of the electrode 50 may be sharpened as shown to a somewhat blunted needle point for purposes of emplacement thereof beneath a suture to be cut. A heating element wire 58 is microwelded at a point slightly to the rear of the actual point of the tip 56 and to the end of he shorter electrode 52 as shown. In this example the heater wire may be formed of Nichrome No. 35 resistance wire (.006 inch diameter) having a resistance of approximately 20.70 ohms per foot. The suspended length of the heater wire is approximately of an inch or 4 to 5 millimeters.

The electrical circuit between the battery 28 and the electrodes 50, 52 is completed by the provision of a conductor 60, which in this example may be a strip of .003 inch brass shim stock which is welded to the electrode 50 internally of the assembly. The conductor 60 extends along the inner wall of the body member 12, between it and the switch plug 30, and into the open end portion of the body member. The conductor 60 may be cemented or otherwise afiixed to the inner cylindrical surface of the rearwardly disposed end 26, extended over the actual end of the body and returned for a short distance as shown over the external surface of the reduced diameter portion 18.

During assembly of the unit a quantity of epoxy resin potting compound 62 may be poured into the tapered forward tip portion of the body member 12. Preferably the quantity of potting compound is measured to be an amount just adequate to fill the volume within the forward portion of the body 12 between the forward tip portion 24 and the switch plug 30. It is preferable also to pour the potting compound into the indicated portion of the body 12, just prior to the emplacement of the switch plug 30 and the push button switch actuator 44. In this manner extreme mechanical rigidity and stability is provided for the electrodes 58, 52 as well as for the switch plug 30 and the strip conductors 38, 60.

A pair of substantially symmetrical stainless metal caps 64, 66 are provided and adapted to fit snugly over the reduced diameter portion 16, 18, respectively, of the body member 12. The rear cap 66 is provided with a length such that when it is emplaced against the retaining shoulder 20 on the body member 12, a conducting spring 68 disposed in axial compression within its rear cap end thereby making a firm electrical contact with the negative terminal 70 of the battery 28, thusly completing the electrical circuit between the terminals of the battery. To this end the cylindrical surface of the rear cap member 66 makes a sliding electrical contact with the returned end 72 of the strip conductor 60. It may be noted that for functional and aesthetic purposes the inner diameter of the cap 66 may be shown to be approximately equal to the outer diameter of the reduced diameter portion 18 while theouter diameter of the cap 66 is approximately equal to the outer diameter of the portion 14 of the body member 12. The diameters of the contacting parts of the body member 12 and the cap 66 are shown to provide a securely gripping fit so that a deliberate removal force must be applied to the cap 66 when it is desired to disassemble the unit as for purposes of replacing the battery 28.

The forward cap member 64 is formed in a like manner to fit snugly over the reduced diameter portion 16 of the body member 12 and against the retaining shoulder 22,

thereof. In this case however the diameters of the contacting portions of the body member 12 and the cap member 64 are selected to provide an easier removal of the cap member to facilitate its ready use. The forward cap member 64 may, when desired, be provided with an opening 74 in its forward end to facilitate the sterilization of the electrodes and heater wire 50, 58, 52, without the removal of the cap member 64.

In this manner the entire forward portion of the implement may be inserted into a sterilizing compound for any desired period of time without the risk of damage to or by the pointed electrodes and the somewhat vulnerable heater element 58. It may also be noted that the stainless character of the cap 64, the high density polyester and epoxy resins of the body member 12, the potting compound, as well as the stainless steel composition of the electrodes 50, 52, and the selected composition of the switch plug 30 cause the entire unit, with the exception of the battery 28, to be resistant to extreme heats as for auoclaving as well as to chemicals such as acetone, chlorinated hydrocarbons, alkali and acid substances.

In operation the implement 10 may be removed from its sterilization chamber or canister without removing the protective forward cap member 64 therefrom until the practitioner is ready for actual use of the implement. In use, the forward cap member 64 is readily removed and laid aside, the pointed tip of the electrode 50 placed under the suture to be cut, the wire heater element 58 moved into contact with the suture, and the button 48 of the switch actuator 44 depressed to energize the heater element 58. Alternatively the button 48 may be depressed and the wire heated even before the point 56 is placed beneath the suture in order to assure that the suture will be cut at the quickest possible instant. It may be noted however that the wire heater element 58 heats to a temperature, substantially instantaneously, which is adequate for the cutting of all conventional non-metallic suture filaments. It may be noted also that the heatsink characteristics of the electrodes 50, 52 are such that the device may be used continuously over long periods of time without becoming detectably heated.

Referring to FIG. 2 an enlarged more detailed view of the forward ends of the electrodes 50, 52 are illustrated. As shown, the longer electrode 50 may be bent at approximately a 45 degree angle at a point axially approximately even with the end of the shorter electrode 52. The longer electrode 50 then extends obliquely in front of the electrode 52 in a flattened chisel-like point formed thereon by removing, at an oblique angle, the end portion 76 of the electrode 50 to form the tip 56 thereof. In this example, the Nichrome heater element 58, as indicated above but shown more clearly here, is microwelded to the electrode 50 at a point just aft of the point 56 thereof and to the side of the electrode 52 near its forward end. The forward end of the wire heater element 58 may, when desired, be pointed down at the weld to preclude any snagging action as the electrode 50 is inserted beneath a suture to be cut.

In FIG. 3 a cautery example of the invention is illustrated in condition for immediate use. The enlarged diameter portion 14 of the body member 12 is illustrated with the retaining shoulders 20, 22 providing, as indicated, a transition to the reduced diameter portions 16, 18 (the latter not being visible in this view). The rear cap member is shown in place against the retaining shoulder 26. The push button switch actuator 44 is shown in place as projecting externally from the enlarged diameter central portion 14 of the body member 12. In this view of the invention it is particularly apparent that the forward tapered portion of the body member 12 not only provides a funneling device for the ready removal or replacement of the forward cap 64 but also forms a pencil-like grip for the fingers of the practitioner.

Projecting axially outwardly from the forward tip portion 24 of the body member 12 are a pair of spaced, parallel electrodes '78, 80. The electrodes in this example may be formed in exactly the same manner as those of the previous example except that they are shown here to be cut at equal lengths of extension from the forward tip portion 24 of the body member 12. As may be seen more clearly in FIG. 4, which is an enlarged view of this portion of FIG. 3, a fiat strip heater element 82 is bent in an are as shown and microwelded to the sides of the electrodes 78, near their forward ends. The heat element maybe formed of a strip of Nichrome sheet stock approximately .001 inch thick, 1 millimeter wide and approximately 6 to 8 millimeters long. The finite surface area of a cauterizing portion 84 of the heater element 82 may be readily applied to the blood vessels or other tissue to be cauterized. Again as in the previous example the heatsink characteristic of the electrodes 78, 80 permit extended use of the cauterizing implement without a noticeable rise in their temperature.

In FIG. 5 an alternative cauterizing example of the invention is illustrated, in which a pair of electrodes 86, 88 are provided which are similar to the electrodes 78, 80 of the previous example except that they are not necessarily of the same length. As shown, the lower electrode 88 may be a few millimeters longer than the upper electrode 86. As before, a strip of Nichrome heater element 90 is provided with its ends microwelded to the respective ends of the electrodes 86, 88. In this embodiment however a glass bead which may be of Pyrex or quartz is afiixed to a bight of the heater element 90; and its spherical surfaces, which are preferred by some practitioners, may be utilized to supply the cauterizing heat to the desired vessels or tissue.

There have thus been shown and described a number of examples of a pen-shaped battery-energized electric implement which achieves the objects and exhibits the advantages set forth hereinabove.

What is claimed is:

1. A battery-energized miniature electric implement of the character to provide a highly localized source of heat comprising: a hollow substantially tubular body member having a front, substantially closed end and a rear,

open end adapted to receive at least the end of a penlight dry cell battery; a short cylindrical plastic switch plug body having an outer diameter approximately equal to the inner diameter of said body member disposed therewithin between said front and rear ends, said plug body being internally relieved to define a switch cavity and being, in register with said body member, radially relieved to form a passageway communicating from outside of said body into said switch cavity; a first switch con- .ductor extending from the rear of said plug body into said cavity and having a terminal member at its rearward end adapted to engage one terminal of said battery; a

second switch conductor extending from the front of said .plug body into said cavity and having a portion thereof within said cavity disposed in a juxtaposed relationship with a portion of said first conductor, at least one of said conductors being cantilevered into said cavity and being resiliently bendably urgeable into contact with the other;

member; conductor means carried removably by said ,body member and having a terminal member adapted to engage the other terminal of said battery for connecting it electrically with said electrical connection of said elongated conductor; push button switch actuator means disposed within said passageway and having an actuator ,member extending through a portion of said passageway and being operable externally of said body member; and heating element means connected to and suspended between said first and second electrodes externally of said body member.

2. A pen shaped battery operated electric implement of the character to provide a highly localized source of heat as for parting filaments and the like,'the implement comprising: a hollow substantially tubular body member composed of a high density molded polystyrene plastic and having a front substantially closed end and a rear open end adapted to receive at least the end of a penlight dry cell battery; a molded plastic switch plug body having an outer cylindrical surface with a diameter approximately equal to the inner diameter of a central portion of said body member and disposed therewithin; said plug body being internally relieved to define a switch cavity and being, in register with said body member, radially relieved to form a passageway communicating from outside of said body to within said switch cavity; a battery terminal contacting first switch conductor extending from the rear surface of said plug into said cavity and having a terminal member at its rearward end adapted to engage one terminal of said battery; a second switch conductor extending from the front of said plug into said cavity and having a portion thereof within said cavity disposed conductor; a push button switch actuator disposed at least partially within said passageway and extending externally of said body member for resiliently bending said cantilevered conductor into contact with the other said switch conductor; a pair of electrodes extending through said closed end'of said body member, one of said electrodes being connected to said second switch conductor; and a suture cutting resistance ,heater element connected between said electrodes externally of said body'member, said heater element and the end of one of said electrodes being insertable between animal tissue and a suture filament threaded therein; an elongated conductor connected to the other end of the other of said electrodes and extending rearwardly past said plug body; and conductor means carried removably by said body member and having a terminal member adapted to engage the other terminal of said battery for connecting it electrically with said elongated conductor. l

3. A miniature, battery-energized electric implement of the character to provide a highly localized source of heat comprising: a hollow plastic, substantially tubular body member having a front, substantially closed end and a rear, open end adapted to receive at least the end of a penlight dry cell battery; a short cylindrical plastic switch plug having an outer diameter approximately equal to the inner diameter of said body member disposed therewithin between said front and rear ends, said plug being internally relieved to define a switch cavity and being, in register with said body member, radially relieved to form a passageway communicating from outside of said body into said switch cavity; a first switch conductor extending from the rear of said plug into said cavity and having a terminal member at its rearward end adapted to engage one terminal of said battery; a second switch conductor extending from the front of said plug into said cavity and having a portion thereof within said cavity disposed in a juxtaposed relationship with a portion of said first conductor, at least one of said conductors being cantilevered into said cavity and being resiliently bendably urgeable into contact with the other; first and second semi rigid,'stainless electrodes extending substantially axially through said closed end of said body member and spaced from each other, one of said electrodes being connected to said second switch conductor; an elongated conductor extending from connection with the other of said electrodes past said plug and to said open end of said body member and being adapted to form an electrical connection externally of the outer surface of said body member; conductor means carried removably by said body member and having a terminal member adapted to engage the other terminal of said battery for connecting it electrically with said electrical connection of said elongated conductor; a push button switch actuator means disposed within said passageway and having an actuator member extending through a portion of said passageway and being operable externally of said body member; and a filamentary heating element member connected between said stainless electrodes externally of said body member, said heating element member and one of said electrodes being of the character cooperatively to thermally part sutures in animal tissue by insertion thereunder, said electrodes constituting a heat sink of high specific heat compared to that of said heating member.

4. In a pen shaped battery operated miniature electric implement to provide 'a hot wire source of heat as for parting filaments and having a hollow tubular housing member composed of plastic and having a front, substantially closed and generally pointed end and a rear, open end adapted to receive at least the end of a penlight dry cell battery, the combination therewith of a switch comprising: a molded plastic switch plug having an outer cylindrical surface with a diameter approximately equal to the inner diameter of a central portion of said housing member and disposed therewithin, said switch plug being internally relieved to define a switch cavity and being, in register with the housing member, radially relieved to form a passageway communicating from outside of said housing member to within said switch cavity; a first switch conductor extending from the rear surface of said plug into said cavity; a second switch conductor extending from the front of said plug into said cavity and having a portion thereof within said cavity disposed in a juxtaposed relationship with a portion of said first conductor, at least one of said conductors being supported in a cantilevered fashion into said cavity and being resiliently bendably member for resiliently bending said cantilevered conductor into contact with the other said switch conductor, said molded switch plug being adapted to be sealed within said housing member; a pair of electrodes extending through said closed end of said housing member, one of said electrodes being connected to said second switch conductor; and a suture cutting resistance heater element connected between said electrodes externally of said housing member, said heater element and the end of one of said electrodes being insertable between animal tissue and a suture filament threaded therein; an elongated conductor connected to the other end of said electrode and extending rearwardly past said plug body; and conductor means carried removably by said body member and having a terminal member adapted to engage the other terminal of said battery for connecting it electrically with said elongated conductor.

5. In a pen shaped battery operated miniature electric medical implement of the character to provide a highly localized source of heat as for parting filaments and cauterizing blood vessels and having a hollow substantially tubular body member composed of a high density molded polystyrene plastic with a front, substantially closed end, a central hollow cylindrical portion, and a rear, open end adapted to receive at least the end of a penlight dry cell battery; the combination therewith of a switch and electrode assembly comprising: a molded plastic switch plug having an outer cylindrical surface with a diameter approximately equal to the inner diameter of said central portion of said body member and disposed therewithin, said plug being internally relieved to define a switch cavity and being, in register with said body member, radially relieved to form a passageway communicating from outside of said body to within said switch cavity; a battery terminal contacting first switch conductor extending from the rear surface of said plug into said cavity; a second switch conductor extending from the front of said plug into said cavity and having a portion thereof within said cavity disposed in a juxtaposed relationship with a portion of said first conductor; at least one of said conductors being supported in a cantilevered fashion into said cavity and being resiliently bendably urgeable into contact with the other conductor; first and second stainless music wire electrodes extending substantially axially through said closed end of said body member and one thereof being connected to said second switch conductor; means for electrically connecting the other of said electrodes to the other terminal of the battery; a push button switch actuator disposed at least partially within said passageway and extending externally of said body member for resiliently bending said cantilevered conductor into contact with the other said switch conductor; plastic potting means disposed about said assembly for sealing and mechanically stabilizing said assembly; and heating element means connected to and suspended between said first and second electrodes externally of said body member.

6. A miniature, battery-energized electrical implement of the character to provide a localized source of heat comprising: a hollow plastic substantially tubular body member having a front, substantially closed end and a rear, open end adapted to receive at least the end of a penlight dry cell battery; a short cylindrical plastic switch plug having an outer diameter approximately equal to the inner diameter of said body member disposed therewithin between said front and rear ends, said plug being internally relieved to define a switch cavity and being, in register with said body member, radially relieved to form a passageway communicating from outside of said body into said switch cavity; a first switch conductor extending from the rear of said plug into said cavity and having a terminal member at its rearward end adapted to engage one terminal of said battery; a second switch conductor extending from the front of said plug into said cavity and having a portion thereof within said cavity disposed in a juxtaposed relationship with a portion of said first conductor, at least one of said conductors being cantilevered into said cavity and being resiliently bendable urgeable into contact with the other; first and second stainless wire electrodes extending substantially axially through said closed end of said body member and spaced from each other, one of said electrodes being connected to said second switch conductor; an elongated conductor extending from connection with the other of said electrodes past said plug and to said open end of said body member and being adapted to form an electrical connection externally of the outer surface of said body member; conductor means carried removably by said body member and having a terminal member adapted to engage the other terminal of said battery for connecting it electrically with said electrical connection of said elongated conductor; a push button switch actuator means disposed within said passageway and having an actuator member extending through a portion of said passageway and being operable externally of said body member; plastic potting material disposed within said body member substantially filling and sealing the space between said closed end and said switch plug; and heating element means connected to and suspended between said first and second electrodes externally of said body member.

7. The invention according to claim 6 in which said heating element means includes an electric resistance heating element welded between said electrodes externally of said closed end of said body member.

8. The invention according to claim 7 in which one of said electrodes projects further from said body than the other electrode, is pointed in a manner to separate a segment of suture filament from animal tissue, and is bent obliquely toward said other electrode and in which said heating element means is a resistance wire having a diameter of the order of .006 inch and which is welded to the end of said other electrode and to a point contiguous to the pointed end of said one of said electrodes which point lies toward said end of said other electrode with respect to said pointed end.

9. The invention according to claim 7 in which said resistance element is a bighted ribbon aifixed at each end to a respective one of said electrodes.

10. The invention according to claim 7 which further includes a smooth surface cautery bead disposed on said element between said electrodes.

11. The invention according to claim 8 which further includes a stainless, foraminated, tubular cap member having an inner diameter which slidingly engages, snugly removably, the outer surface of a central portion of said tubular body member and having a length extending from at least said central portion to the pointed end of said one of said electrodes.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,684,143 9/ 1928 Pieper et a1. 2l9233 1,826,576 10/ 1931 Rump 200157 2,476,612 7/ 1949 Lobdell 219--233 X 2,727,132 12/ 1955 Hills 219223 FOREIGN PATENTS 643,016 5/1928 France.

852,667 11/ 1939 France.

846,881 8/ 1952 Germany.

79,363 11/ 1918 Switzerland.

ANTHONY BARTIS, Acting Primary Examiner.

RICHARD M. WOOD, Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US1826576 *Feb 1, 1930Oct 6, 1931 Lighter fob
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3295514 *Jun 8, 1964Jan 3, 1967Dentists Supply CoElectrical dental instrument assembly
US3461874 *Aug 10, 1966Aug 19, 1969Martinez MiguelElectric cautery
US3526750 *Jun 2, 1967Sep 1, 1970William J SiegelThermal tool
US3613682 *Feb 5, 1970Oct 19, 1971ConceptDisposable cauteries
US3648001 *Dec 11, 1969Mar 7, 1972Karl D MillsCompact hand held switching device with insertable switching means
US3886944 *Nov 19, 1973Jun 3, 1975Jamshidi KhosrowMicrocautery device
US3899654 *Sep 26, 1973Aug 12, 1975Wahl Clipper CorpSoldering iron tip assembly and cordless soldering iron embodying same
US3919522 *Apr 22, 1974Nov 11, 1975Wall Clipper CorpCordless electric ignition tool
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Classifications
U.S. Classification606/30, 219/233, 219/240
International ClassificationH05B3/00, B29C65/18, A61B18/08, A61B17/06
Cooperative ClassificationA61B18/10, B29C66/861, A61B2018/00642, A61B17/06161, B29C65/18, B29C2793/00, H05B3/00
European ClassificationA61B18/10, B29C66/861, B29C65/18, A61B17/06R, H05B3/00