|Publication number||US3572325 A|
|Publication date||Mar 23, 1971|
|Filing date||Oct 25, 1968|
|Priority date||Oct 25, 1968|
|Publication number||US 3572325 A, US 3572325A, US-A-3572325, US3572325 A, US3572325A|
|Inventors||Bazell Seymour, Brushenko Anatoli, Overholt Bergein F, Pontarelli Donald A, Reynolds William E|
|Original Assignee||Us Health Education & Welfare|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (166), Classifications (12)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
March 23, 159171 s. BAZELL ETAL LEXIBLE ENDOSCOPE vHAVING FLUID CONDUITS AND CONTROL Filed oct. 125,' 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTORS,
moms .55mm/re 5425@ v ATTORNEYS ll nf.:
Vm. z m or YNlal'ith 23, 1971 s, BAZELL ETAL FLEXIBLE ENDOSCOPE HAVING FLUID CONDUITS AND CONTROL Filed 001i.` 25, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS, iVm/,4M E. ffy/vows 55m/auf? WHL ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3,572,325 FLEXIBLE ENDOSCOPE HAVING FLUID CONDUI'IS AND CONTROL Seymour Bazell, Chicago, Ill., William E. Reynolds, Western Springs, NJ., Anatoli Brushenko, Elmhurst, and Donald A. Pontarelli, Chicago, Ill., and Bergein F. Overholt, New York, N.Y., assignors to the United States of America as represented by the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Filed Oct. 25, 1968, Ser. No. 770,537 Int. Cl. A611) 1/06, 1/30; F111 11/18 U.S. Cl. 128-6 13 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An endoscope having a flexible distal end portion comprising a distal tip and plurality of articulated segments, a less flexible central portion, a rigid proximal end, a control assembly operated at the proximal end and ir'1- cluding control wires passing through the apparatus to the distal tip, and a fiber bundle optical system. A conduit for supplying water and air and an aspiration conduit may also be provided within the endoscope.
The present invention relates to an endoscope and more particularly to a flexible endoscope which is particularly adapted for use as a sigmoidoscope, that is, for examination of the sigmoid region of the colon.
The sigmoidoscope was flrst developed approximately 75 years ago, and is today an accepted instrument in general physical examinations. Although flexible sigmoidoscopes have been proposed heretofore, the type of sigmoidoscope which is commonly used at present is a rigid instrument which has proved inadequate in reaching the lower intenstine which is subject to a large portion of colonic diseases. In addition, a high percentage of patients cannot tolerate the full length of the instrument which is about 25 cm. The problems associated with such a prior art instrument are evident from the configuration of the colon or lower intentine. The sigmoid region is reached only after two curves of the intestine, which curves together, form an essentially reverse S shaped channel, have been navigated.
In view of the natural configuration of the intestinal tract, a suitable sigmoidoscope should be flexible and readily manipulatable. Such an instrument should also have an effective length which will enable it to explore from 50 to 60 centimeters of the lower intestinal tract, have proximally controlled maneuverability of the distal end to a radius of about 11/2 inches without change in proximal configuration, have a distal end optical system including a ilxed focus lens of visual clarity from l2 mm. to cm. with a field of view of' 50, and should be capable of chemical sterilization. In addition, the instrument should include a conduit for the injection of air and water at the distal end thereby facilitating cleaning of the lens as well 'as allowing insufllation, and an aspiration conduit which, when decoupled at the proximal end, may also serve as a biopsy channel.
A principal object of the present invention is to provide an improved flexible endoscope which has increased flexibility and maneuverability of its distal end via readily manipulatable control means at the proximal end. Another object of the present invention is to provide a flexible endoscope which complies with the aforementioned specifications for successful use as a sigmoidoscope.
The endoscope of the present invention includes a readily flexible distal end section comprised of a rigid distal tip and a first plurality of articulated annular segments which are connected to each other by small hairpin type springs, a central section of less flexibility comprised ice of a second plurality of articulated annular segments, and a rigid annular proximal end section. The springs in the distal end are of smaller diameter adjacent the distal tip Where it is desired to have a shorter radius of curvature. With this arrangement, the front group of springs will compress before the remaining springs which interconnect segments of the distal end portion. Glass or plastic fiber bundles are passed through the center of the endoscope for the transfer of an image from the distal end to the proximal end. Control wires attached to the distal end also pass through the endoscope and at the proximal end are attached to manually operable control means which may be a wobble plate. Alternatively, the control means may include a pistol grip handle arrangement. Control of the injection of air or water and control of the aspiration conduit are preferably carried out by a foot actuated lever system.
The above and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when considered in conjunction with the drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is an elevational View of one embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 2 is in part a side view and in part a vertical cross sectional view of the endoscope of FIG. 1 with some parts of the apparatus omitted for the sake of clarity.
FIG. 3 is a vertical cross sectional view on an enlarged scale of portions of the embodiment of FIG. l.
FIG. 4 is a transverse cross sectional view taken on the line 4 4 0f FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a transverse cross sectional view taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 6 is a transverse cross sectional view taken on the line 6 6 of FIG. 1 illustrating the arrangement of the internal parts of the central portion of the endoscope.
FIG. 7 is an end view of the distal tip as seen from the plane 7-7 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 8 is a plan view of foot actuated control means for the insufllation and aspiration conduits.
FIG. 9 is an elevational view of another embodiment of the invention employing pistol grip control means at the proximal end.
eferring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, the endoscope of the invention includes three main sections, namely, a readily flexible distal end section comprising a rigid distal tip 10 and a plurality of interconnected annular segments 12, a less flexible central section formed of a plurality of interconnected annular segments 14, and a proximal end section comprising a rigid stainless steel tube 16. A housing 18 is connected to the end of the tube 16 to house portions of the optical system and other apparatus as will be described hereinafter. An annealed T-302/304 stainless steel plain weave tubular braid 9 which has been impregnated with silicone rubber encases the distal and central sections of the endoscope. This is, in turn, covered by a flexible vinyl covering 11. The tubular braid was found necessary to provide torsional stability during manipulation of the distal tip.
At the distal end, the outermost segment 12 is soldered to the distal tip 10 and the innermost segment 12 is soldered to the adjacent segment 14 of the flexible central section. Each annular segment 12 is connected to the adjacent segment or segments 12 by three hairpin type springs 20 which have an arcuate shape corresponding to the curvature of segments 20, as viewed in a plane transverse to the axis of the endoscope as is best seen in FIG. 5. The ends of springs 20 are soldered to the segments 12. A front group of sets of springs 20, for example, the first three sets, are of less strength, e.g. of smaller diameter, than the remainder of the springs. The finer springs have a shorter radius of curvature than the remaining springs. By virtue of this arrangement there is formed, in effect, a spring loaded segmental column, which, when an unbalanced force is applied, will cause the front end `group of springs to compress first. As more force is applied, the springs will compress further until subsequently the larger diameter wire springs begin to compress. Thus, upon the application of force during use, the distal end will ultimately assume a rather smooth curvature.
As an illustration of suitable relative sizes of the components, one embodiment of the invention in keeping With the above description has been constructed with a distal end (exclusive of the distal tip which is approximately 4 inches long. The average distance between the segments 12 was 5/16 inch, the front group of springs 20 had a diameter of 0.1015 inch and the remaining springs had a diameter of 0.018 inch.
Three control wires 22, which are evenly spaced at 120 intervals around the periphery of the endoscope, are soldered to the first segment 12 at their distal ends, and then freely pass through apertures in the remaining segments 12 and through the center of wire coils 24 which serve as guide members. Wire coils 24 are soldered within arcuate recesses 26 in the outer periphery of segments 14 of the central section of the endoscope and serve to space the segments 114 of the central section and provide a limited amount of flexibility. Preferably, the segments 14 adjacent the distal end section are spaced wider apart than the segments 14 adjacent the proximal end section so that the front part of the central section is more fiexible than its rear part. yBy way of illustration, if the central section is approximately 33 centimeters long, the segments forming the front 13 centimeters may be spaced about 11716 inch apart and the segments of the remaining 2.0 centimeters of the central section may be spaced about 1A; inch apart. The wire coils 24 extend a short distance into the tube 16 and their ends are soldered to the ends of guide tubes 26 which in turn are soldered to the inner surface of tube 16'.
The control wires `22 then pass through guide tubes 26 into the housing 1'8 where they are reinforced by an outer wrapping of twisted cable 28. The cables 28 are supported by guides 30 mounted on a transverse reinforcing member 32 and by guides 34 which extend through the rear wall 36 of the housing 18. The proximal ends of control wires 22 are secured by set screws 38 to an annular manually operated wobble control plate 40. The wobble plate is disposed around a tubular member 42 which is provided at its outer end with a stop 44. The tubular member 42 is mounted Within a tubular suporting flange 46 which is secured to the rear wall 361 of the housing.
The procedure for manipulating the endoscope will now be described. Assuming that it is desired to have the distal end assume a curved configuration, for example, as it enters the first channel of the intestinal tract, and assuming further that the desired direction of curvature is downwardly as seen in IFIG. 1; the wobble plate 40, which has indentations 48 on its outer periphery to serve as finger grip, is grasped by the operator and moved clockwise as seen in FIGS. 11 and 2. This movement of the wobble plate causes tension to be applied to the two lower control wires 22 while a compressive force is applied to the upper control wire. This relative shortening of the lower control wires causes the distal tip 10 and the adjacent portion of the distal end of the endoscope to be pulled downwardly to the dash line position shown in lFIG. 1. During this time, the springs 20 between the annular segments 12 of the distal end section have been compressed or expanded as the case may be to accommodate the relative shortening of the lower surface of the distal end section and the relative lengthening of its upper surface. The first set of springs which are of smaller diameter as mentioned above react first. Upon the application of further force via manipulation of the wobble plate 40 and the control wires 22, the remainder of the springs are compressed or expanded as the case may be to accommodate further curvature of the distal end. It will be appreciated that the greater the amount of movement of the control plate 40 in a given direction, the greater is the amount of curvature obtained, that is, increasing the pull on one or two of the control wires decreases the radius of curvature of the distal end section. The operator, by employing the optical system to be described hereinafter, determines the appropriate amount of curvature, and at the proper time may reverse the curvature to traverse the second channel of the intestinal tract by swinging the wobble plate in the opposite direction.
One of the advantages of the endoscope of the invention is that movement of the wobble plate and hence of one or more of the control wires 22 is effective to cause a corresponding change in the configuration of the front segments 12 of the distal end section without initially changing the configuration of the remainder of the instrument. Since the front segments :12 are interconnected by springs 20 of thin wire as stated above, the front portion of the distal end section changes configuration first followed by the remainder of the distal end section. Assuming that the distal end section has been manipulated into the appropriate configuration to pass through one of the curves of the intestinal tract, upon further insertion of the instrument, the less flexible central section will, in effect, follow in the path of the distal end. The central section, although less flexible than the distal end section, nevertheless has sufficient fiexibility to follow the curved path established by the distal end section. Thus, after the distal end has been manipulated through the second channel of the intestinal tract, the distal end and central sections of the instrument may assume the essentially reverse S shaped configuration shown in dash lines in FIG. 1.
The optical system of the invention includes an objective lens 50 mounted in a lens holder 52 which is threadably secured in an aperture in a support block 54 disposed within the distal tip 10. The face of objective lens 50 is recessed from the end of the distal tip 10 since the mucosa has a tendency to fold in on the lens. If desired, a thin transparent shield, for example, a quartz window may be installed in front of the objective lens to protect it from the etching action of sterilization solution which is used during the sterilization of the instrument. A field lens 56 positioned within support block 54 is cemented to the end of a coherent fiber optic bundle '581.
By way of example, the objective lens 50 may be a 3 Imm. focal length planoconvex Fz2 in order to cover the required angular field of view. An advantage of this short focal length lens is a large depth of field even when the lens is focused for an object distance of 6 times the focal length. A 10.4 mm. lens may be used as the field lens 56.
From the distal tip 10, the bundle 58 passes rearwardly through the center of the instrument into housing 18.
The image transmitted by the bundle is viewed through an' eye piece 60 at the end of a tubular eye piece extension 62 which projects upwardly from the housing 18.
Illumination is supplied via four fiber optic bundles 64 which terminate at the distal end at the front face of support block 54. The fiber bundles 64 pass rearwardly through the center of the instrument into a protective sheathing 66 which passes through the side of housing 18 to a suitable source of illumination, (not shown).
The Ifiber bundles 58 and `64 may be made of glass fibers but are preferably made of synthetic plastic fibers which have improved flexibility but rather low tensile strength. This drawback of plastic fibers may be circumvented by installing load bearing shorter Ifibers, for example, nylon monofila-ment or silk thread between the distal and proximal ends so that the stresses are thus on the shorter strands rather than on the individual plastic fibers of the optic bundles.
A nozzle '68 for water or air projects from the face of support block 54. The nozzle is connected to a tube 70 which extends through the instrument into housing 18 to a valve casing 72 to which air and water are supplied via lines 75 and 77 respectively. Valve casing 72 contains one way ball valves at the ends of lines 75 and 77. The outlet of nozzle 68 is disposed so that it may be employed to wash the face of lens 50 and the ends of the rliber bundles 64. Air may be supplied through line 75 and tube 70 for insutiiation or distention of the colon.
A flexible tube 74 which has its front end mounted in the face of support block S4 also extends through the instrument to a vacuum source and functions as an aspiration channel. When attached to a fitting 76 (FIG. 2) tube 74 may be employed in obtaining biopsy samples.
FIG. 8 illustrates a foot operated control valve unit 78 which is used to control the supply of air and water, and the application of suction of the instrument. The supply of air is regulated by depressing a foot pedal 80 on a control lever 82. The other end of control lever 82 is pivotally secured to the frame 84 of the unit by a screw 86. A cross piece 88 attached to control lever 82, upon depression of the foot pedal 80, compresses an air Ifilled bulb 90 and forces air out tube 92 to the instrument.
Vacuum is applied by depressing a foot petal 94 on a control lever 96. Control lever 96 is pivotally mounted on a transverse shaft 98 which passes through a center portion of lever 96. A coil spring 100 located adjacent the other end of lever 96 normally biases that end of the lever downwardly so that a break edge type clamping member (not shown) on the under surface of lever 96 normally pinches and closes off a suction tube (not shown). Upon depression of the foot petal 94, the clamping member is moved upwardly against the action of spring 100 to open the suction tube.
In a similar fashion, water is supplied to the instrument by a foot pedal 102 on a control lever 104 which is pivotally mounted on the shaft 98. The water supply line is normally clamped shut by a break edge type clamping member on the under surface of control lever 104. Upon depression of the foot pedal 102, the clamping member is elevated out of contact with the water supply line against the bias of a spring 106 which normally maintains the clamping member in a closed position. As seen in FIG. 8, a transverse bar 108 has its right end welded or otherwise suitably secured to the top of control lever 104 adjacent foot pedal 102. The free end of bar 108 overlies the control lever 96 which is associated with suction line. Thus, depression of the foot pedal 102 to its lowermost position also causes depression of control lever 96 so that water cannot be supplied without simultaneously applying suction to subsequently remove the water.
An advantage of the pinch type closing of the water and suction tubes is that these tubes may be continuous through the unit and are simply pinched off by the spring loaded foot levers when not in use. Between examinations, the short sections of the tubes are withdrawn and replaced so that it is unnecessary to sterilize the entire control unit of FIG. 8.
FIG. 9 illustrates another embodiment of the present invention employing a modified control assembly.
The endoscope of this embodiment which is generally indicated by reference numeral 110 is substantially identical to the endoscope of the above described embodiment with the exception that a generally tubular housing 112 is provided in lieu of the housing 18 of the FIG. l embodiment and a pistol grip control assembly 114 is provided in lieu of the wobble plate control mechanism of the FIG. l embodiment. In this embodiment, the three control wires 22 project out apertures in the housing 112 and then freely pass through three equally spaced bores provided in a control ball 116. Squeezing the finger control piece 118 of a pistol handle 120 causes the three control wires 22 to be locked to the control ball by suitable means, for example, by clamping means (not shown) Then, movement of the handle 120 is effective to manipulate the distal end of the instrument. For example, if the handle is moved to the piston shown in dash lines in FIG. 9, this causes the upper control wire to be tensioned resulting in the distal end of the endoscope bending upwardly toward the position shown in dash lines at the right hand side of FIG. 9. Unless the finger piece 118 is depressed, the control wires are free to move through the control ball 116 to allow the central section of the instrument to assume configurations other than a straight line. Being able to disengage the control wires from the control ball has the further advantage that, with the control wires disengaged, inadvertent movement of the control ball will not change the configuration of the endoscope. The portions of these control wires which pass through the control ball are preferably wound cable of 1&2 inch diameter and its surface roughness aids in locking the cables to the control ball when the control handle is to be manipulated. By this arrangement, the distal end of the instrument is fully controllable towards any point of a circle normal to the longitudinal axis of the instrument.
This embodiment employs an eye piece 60 similar to the eye piece 60 of the FIG. l embodiment. Also, it will be appreciated that there are provided means (not shown) for connecting the endoscope of this embodiment to a light source and to water, air and suction lines as described above in connection with the FIG. l embodiment Forty patients were examined using the flexible endoscope of the present invention and also a conventional rigid endoscope. The two instruments were inserted only until significant discomfort was expressed by the patients. rlhe comparative distances inserted are tabulated in the table below.
Numb er of tests The above data shows that the flexible endoscope of the invention may be inserted for greater distances before patient discomfort becomes significant. Employing the prior art instrument, only 41% of the patients were examined to a distance of 25 centimeters, whereas this distance was reached in of the patients employing the flexible endoscope of the present invention.
While preferred embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, it will be appreciated that various changes and modifications may readily suggest themselves to those of ordinary skill in the art. It is intended to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the scope and spirit of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. An endoscope comprising a readily flexible distal end section including a distal tip and a first plurality of articulated annular segments biased by spring means of a given strength and resilience, a central section and comprising a second plurality of articulated annular segments biased by spring means of greater strength and less resilience than the spring means of the distal end section, a relatively rigid annular proximal end section, a plurality of control wires secured at one end contiguous to said distal tip and passing through the first and second pluralities of articulated annular segments and said proximal end section, manually operable control means secured to the other ends of said control wires at the proximal end of the apparatus for manipulation of the distal end section, a first fiber optic system for transmitting light to the distal tip, a second fiber optic system for transmitting an image from the. distal tip to the proximal end of the apparatus, said first and second fiber optic systems passing through the first and second pluralities of articulated annular segments and said annular proximal end section, a first conduit to selectively supply water and air to the distal tip, and an aspiration conduit having an inlet opening at the distal tip, said rst conduit and said aspiration conduit passing through the first and second pluralities of articulated annular segments and said annular proximal end section.
2. An endoscope according to claim 1, wherein said iirst plurality of articulated segments are interconnected by a plurality of springs, and a rst group of said springs adjacent said distal tip being formed of iiner wire than the remainder of said springs.
3. An endoscope according to claim 2, wherein said springs are hairpin type springs having an arcuate configuration corresponding to the curvature of said first plurality of articulated annular segments.
4. An endoscope according to claim 1, wherein said second plurality of articulated annular segments are interconnected by a plurality of wire coils secured within openings provided in the annular segments.
5. An endoscope according to claim 1, wherein said second plurality of interconnected annular segments constituting the central section include segments adjacent the distal end section which are spaced from each other by a distance greater than the spacing between the segments adjacent the proximal end section.
6. An endoscope according to claim 1, further comprising a housing secured to said proximal end section, an eye piece connected to said housing and operatively connected to said second fiber optic system, and said control wires passing through said housing to said manually operable control means.
7. An endoscope according to claim '6, wherein said manually operable control means is a wobble plate, and said control wires being secured to said wobble plate at approximately equal spacings around the periphery of said wobble plate.
8. An endoscope according to claim 7, further comprising guide means disposed around said control wires within said housing, and tubular means disposed around said control wires within said proximal end section.
9. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said manually operable control means comprise a control ball provided with apertures of greater diameter than the diameter of said control Wires, and manually actuatable means to lock said control wires to said control ball so that rotation of said control ball is effective to move said control Wires and manipulate the distal end of the apparatus.
10. Apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising control valve means operatively connected to said first conduit and said aspiration conduit and including a first pivotally mounted control lever having a foot pedal at one end and means adjacent the other end to normally prevent the flow of air to said first conduit, a second pivotally mounted control lever having a foot pedal at one end and having at the other end means to normally prevent the application of suction to said aspiration conduit, and a third pivotally mounted control lever having a foot pedal at one end and means adjacent the other end to normally prevent the flow of water to said first conduit, and spring means normally biasing said control levers to positions to prevent fiow through said conduits.
11. In an endoscope having a distal end section, a central section and a proximal end section, control wires extending from the distal end section to control means at the proximal end section, means for the transmission of light to the distal end section, and means for the transmission of an image from the distal end section to the proximal end section, the improvement comprising said distal end section including a distal tip and a iirst plurality of articulated annular segments, spring means connecting each of said annular segments to the next adjacent annular segment and having a given strength and resilience, and said central section being comprised of a second plurality of articulated annular segments similarly connected by spring means having greater strength and less resilience than the spring means of the distal end section, said central section, said spring means comprising a plurality of individual spring members connected between each adjacent pair of said first plurality of articulated annular segments, each of said spring members having an arcuate configuration corresponding to the curvature of said iirst plurality of articulated annular segments.
12. An apparatus according to claim 11, where the spring means of the central section comprise a plurality of wire coils secured to each of said segments Within openings provided therein.
13. An apparatus according to claim 11, wherein said spring members are hairpin type spring members and the number of spring members between each adjacent pair of said first plurality of articulated annular segment corresponds to the num-ber of control wires.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,485,394 3/.1924 Haynes 138-120X 3,060,972 10/1962 Sheldon ..i.. 138-120 3,091,235 5/1963 Richards 12S-6 3,266,059 8/1966 Stelle 12S-4X RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner C. L. PACE, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R. 13S-120
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3788304 *||Jun 15, 1971||Jan 29, 1974||Olympus Optical Co||Endoscope|
|US3799151 *||Dec 15, 1971||Mar 26, 1974||Olympus Optical Co||Controllably bendable tube of an endoscope|
|US3799152 *||Aug 21, 1972||Mar 26, 1974||S Kim||Flexible and expandable esophagoscope|
|US3802440 *||Dec 19, 1972||Apr 9, 1974||Resce T & Ass||Intubation guide|
|US3804081 *||Jul 26, 1972||Apr 16, 1974||Olympus Optical Co||Endoscope|
|US3854473 *||May 29, 1973||Dec 17, 1974||Olympus Optical Co||Stilet for endoscopes|
|US3948251 *||May 1, 1975||Apr 6, 1976||Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.||Flexible tube endoscope|
|US4066071 *||Aug 15, 1975||Jan 3, 1978||Nagel John G||Extension pull through device to allow for easier passage of flexible fiber endoscope|
|US4273109 *||Jun 16, 1978||Jun 16, 1981||Cavitron Corporation||Fiber optic light delivery apparatus and medical instrument utilizing same|
|US4290421 *||Jun 23, 1980||Sep 22, 1981||American Optical Corporation||Fiberscope|
|US4329980 *||Feb 25, 1980||May 18, 1982||Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.||Flexible sheath for an endoscope|
|US4655257 *||Nov 1, 1985||Apr 7, 1987||Kabushiki Kaisha Machida Seisakusho||Guide tube assembly for industrial endoscope|
|US4685457 *||Aug 29, 1986||Aug 11, 1987||Donenfeld Roger F||Endotracheal tube and method of intubation|
|US4696544 *||Nov 18, 1985||Sep 29, 1987||Olympus Corporation||Fiberscopic device for inspection of internal sections of construction, and method for using same|
|US4700693 *||Dec 9, 1985||Oct 20, 1987||Welch Allyn, Inc.||Endoscope steering section|
|US4708434 *||May 30, 1985||Nov 24, 1987||Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.||Fiberscope with bending mechanism|
|US4718406 *||Jun 28, 1982||Jan 12, 1988||The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Navy||Fiber optics image scope (micro-endoscope), ureteroscope|
|US4770188 *||May 18, 1982||Sep 13, 1988||Machida Endoscope Co., Ltd.||Guide tube assembly for an endoscope|
|US4800870 *||Mar 11, 1988||Jan 31, 1989||Reid Jr Ben A||Method and apparatus for bile duct exploration|
|US4832473 *||Feb 1, 1988||May 23, 1989||Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.||Endoscope with elastic actuator comprising a synthetic rubber tube with only radial expansion controlled by a mesh-like tube|
|US4850351 *||Nov 25, 1986||Jul 25, 1989||C. R. Bard, Inc.||Wire guided laser catheter|
|US5125395 *||Sep 12, 1990||Jun 30, 1992||Adair Edwin Lloyd||Deflectable sheath for optical catheter|
|US5203380 *||Oct 9, 1990||Apr 20, 1993||Kabushiki Kaisha Machida Seisakusho||Bending device|
|US5325845 *||Jun 8, 1992||Jul 5, 1994||Adair Edwin Lloyd||Steerable sheath for use with selected removable optical catheter|
|US5370108 *||Sep 22, 1992||Dec 6, 1994||Asahi Kogaku Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha||Endoscope|
|US5472017 *||Nov 17, 1992||Dec 5, 1995||Life Medical Technologies, Inc.||Deflectable catheter|
|US5520222 *||Mar 3, 1995||May 28, 1996||Kabushiki Kaisha Machida Seisakusho||Bending device|
|US5549542 *||Nov 17, 1992||Aug 27, 1996||Life Medical Technologies, Inc.||Deflectable endoscope|
|US5632432 *||Dec 19, 1994||May 27, 1997||Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc.||Surgical instrument|
|US5669544 *||Oct 2, 1996||Sep 23, 1997||Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc.||Surgical instrument|
|US5673840 *||Oct 2, 1996||Oct 7, 1997||Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc.||Surgical instrument|
|US5673841 *||Oct 3, 1996||Oct 7, 1997||Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc.||Surgical instrument|
|US5680982 *||Oct 2, 1996||Oct 28, 1997||Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc.||Surgical instrument|
|US5692668 *||Oct 2, 1996||Dec 2, 1997||Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc.||Surgical instrument|
|US5752644 *||Jul 11, 1995||May 19, 1998||United States Surgical Corporation||Disposable loading unit for surgical stapler|
|US5826776 *||Oct 2, 1996||Oct 27, 1998||Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc.||Surgical instrument|
|US5911353 *||Mar 18, 1998||Jun 15, 1999||United States Surgical Corporation||Disposable loading unit for surgical stapler|
|US5938588 *||Jun 25, 1997||Aug 17, 1999||Circon Corporation||Superelastic control wire sheath for flexible endoscope|
|US6648875||May 4, 2001||Nov 18, 2003||Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc.||Means for maintaining tension on a steering tendon in a steerable catheter|
|US7232409||Nov 20, 2003||Jun 19, 2007||Karl Storz Development Corp.||Method and apparatus for displaying endoscopic images|
|US7241263||Sep 30, 2004||Jul 10, 2007||Scimed Life Systems, Inc.||Selectively rotatable shaft coupler|
|US7273452||Mar 4, 2004||Sep 25, 2007||Scimed Life Systems, Inc.||Vision catheter system including movable scanning plate|
|US7413543||Mar 29, 2004||Aug 19, 2008||Scimed Life Systems, Inc.||Endoscope with actively cooled illumination sources|
|US7479106||Sep 30, 2004||Jan 20, 2009||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Automated control of irrigation and aspiration in a single-use endoscope|
|US7578786||Sep 30, 2004||Aug 25, 2009||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Video endoscope|
|US7591783||Sep 30, 2004||Sep 22, 2009||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Articulation joint for video endoscope|
|US7597662||May 8, 2006||Oct 6, 2009||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Multi-fluid delivery system|
|US7846107||May 13, 2005||Dec 7, 2010||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Endoscopic apparatus with integrated multiple biopsy device|
|US7955255||Apr 20, 2006||Jun 7, 2011||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Imaging assembly with transparent distal cap|
|US7967742||Feb 14, 2005||Jun 28, 2011||Karl Storz Imaging, Inc.||Method for using variable direction of view endoscopy in conjunction with image guided surgical systems|
|US7967759||Jan 19, 2006||Jun 28, 2011||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Endoscopic system with integrated patient respiratory status indicator|
|US8002365||Nov 13, 2007||Aug 23, 2011||Raytheon Company||Conformable track assembly for a robotic crawler|
|US8002716||May 7, 2008||Aug 23, 2011||Raytheon Company||Method for manufacturing a complex structure|
|US8042630||Jun 22, 2010||Oct 25, 2011||Raytheon Company||Serpentine robotic crawler|
|US8052597||Aug 30, 2005||Nov 8, 2011||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Method for forming an endoscope articulation joint|
|US8083671||Sep 29, 2005||Dec 27, 2011||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Fluid delivery system for use with an endoscope|
|US8097003||May 13, 2005||Jan 17, 2012||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Endoscopic apparatus with integrated variceal ligation device|
|US8118732||Sep 30, 2004||Feb 21, 2012||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Force feedback control system for video endoscope|
|US8185241||Nov 13, 2007||May 22, 2012||Raytheon Company||Tracked robotic crawler having a moveable arm|
|US8197400||Sep 28, 2005||Jun 12, 2012||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Selectively rotatable shaft coupler|
|US8199187||Sep 30, 2005||Jun 12, 2012||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Adapter for use with digital imaging medical device|
|US8202265||Apr 20, 2006||Jun 19, 2012||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Multiple lumen assembly for use in endoscopes or other medical devices|
|US8205695||Apr 22, 2010||Jun 26, 2012||Raytheon Company||Conformable track assembly for a robotic crawler|
|US8317555||Jun 11, 2010||Nov 27, 2012||Raytheon Company||Amphibious robotic crawler|
|US8317811 *||May 24, 2006||Nov 27, 2012||Corporacio Sanitaria Parc Tauli||Surgical instrument for endoscopic surgery|
|US8353860||Sep 30, 2005||Jan 15, 2013||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Device for obstruction removal with specific tip structure|
|US8357148||Sep 29, 2005||Jan 22, 2013||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Multi-functional endoscopic system for use in electrosurgical applications|
|US8392036||Jan 8, 2009||Mar 5, 2013||Raytheon Company||Point and go navigation system and method|
|US8393422||May 25, 2012||Mar 12, 2013||Raytheon Company||Serpentine robotic crawler|
|US8414476||May 27, 2011||Apr 9, 2013||Karl Storz Imaging, Inc.||Method for using variable direction of view endoscopy in conjunction with image guided surgical systems|
|US8419720||Feb 7, 2012||Apr 16, 2013||National Advanced Endoscopy Devices, Incorporated||Flexible laparoscopic device|
|US8425408||Sep 17, 2009||Apr 23, 2013||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Articulation joint for video endoscope|
|US8434208||Jul 12, 2011||May 7, 2013||Raytheon Company||Two-dimensional layout for use in a complex structure|
|US8435172||Dec 8, 2008||May 7, 2013||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Automated control of irrigation and aspiration in a single-use endoscope|
|US8475366||Aug 24, 2009||Jul 2, 2013||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Articulation joint for a medical device|
|US8535219||Mar 31, 2010||Sep 17, 2013||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Fluid manifold for endoscope system|
|US8571711||Jul 10, 2008||Oct 29, 2013||Raytheon Company||Modular robotic crawler|
|US8574263||Jul 20, 2011||Nov 5, 2013||Covidien Lp||Coaxial coil lock|
|US8585715||Dec 14, 2011||Nov 19, 2013||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Endoscopic apparatus with integrated variceal ligation device|
|US8608648||Nov 22, 2011||Dec 17, 2013||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Articulation joint|
|US8622894||Dec 30, 2011||Jan 7, 2014||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Articulation joint|
|US8845522 *||Aug 14, 2008||Sep 30, 2014||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Medical instrument with a deflectable distal portion|
|US8864754||Apr 9, 2008||Oct 21, 2014||Angiodynamics, Inc.||Device and method for endovascular treatment for causing closure of a blood vessel|
|US8864755||Aug 3, 2012||Oct 21, 2014||Angiodynamics, Inc.||Device and method for endovascular treatment for causing closure of a blood vessel|
|US8870753||Jun 2, 2011||Oct 28, 2014||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Imaging assembly with transparent distal cap|
|US8888684||Mar 27, 2006||Nov 18, 2014||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Medical devices with local drug delivery capabilities|
|US8894610||Nov 28, 2012||Nov 25, 2014||Hansen Medical, Inc.||Catheter having unirail pullwire architecture|
|US8935014||Jun 11, 2010||Jan 13, 2015||Sarcos, Lc||Method and system for deploying a surveillance network|
|US8992421||Oct 21, 2011||Mar 31, 2015||Medrobotics Corporation||Highly articulated robotic probes and methods of production and use of such probes|
|US9031698||Oct 31, 2012||May 12, 2015||Sarcos Lc||Serpentine robotic crawler|
|US9033871||Feb 8, 2005||May 19, 2015||Karl Storz Imaging, Inc.||Gravity referenced endoscopic image orientation|
|US9215970||Oct 16, 2013||Dec 22, 2015||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Fiber optic imaging catheter|
|US9254123 *||Apr 29, 2009||Feb 9, 2016||Hansen Medical, Inc.||Flexible and steerable elongate instruments with shape control and support elements|
|US9265515||Oct 31, 2013||Feb 23, 2016||Covidien Lp||Coaxial coil lock|
|US9332894 *||Sep 26, 2014||May 10, 2016||Gyrus Acmi, Inc.||Endoscope system including a resilient reservoir|
|US9339173||Nov 6, 2013||May 17, 2016||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||In-vivo visualization system|
|US9351751 *||Jul 9, 2012||May 31, 2016||Covidien Lp||Swinging bars with axial wheels to drive articulating cables|
|US9358363||May 22, 2012||Jun 7, 2016||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Multiple lumen assembly for use in endoscopes or other medical devices|
|US9364955||Dec 20, 2012||Jun 14, 2016||Medrobotics Corporation||Stabilizing apparatus for highly articulated probes with link arrangement, methods of formation thereof, and methods of use thereof|
|US9409292||Sep 13, 2013||Aug 9, 2016||Sarcos Lc||Serpentine robotic crawler for performing dexterous operations|
|US9439557||Sep 22, 2011||Sep 13, 2016||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Articulation joint|
|US9566711||Mar 4, 2014||Feb 14, 2017||Sarcos Lc||Coordinated robotic control|
|US9572628||Mar 8, 2016||Feb 21, 2017||Medrobotics Corporation||Highly articulated probes with anti-twist link arrangement, methods of formation thereof, and methods of performing medical procedures|
|US9579200 *||Sep 15, 2011||Feb 28, 2017||The United States Of America, As Represented By The Secretary, Department Of Health & Human Services||Methods and devices for transcatheter cerclage annuloplasty|
|US9615772||Feb 1, 2005||Apr 11, 2017||Karl Storz Imaging, Inc.||Global endoscopic viewing indicator|
|US9649163||Nov 10, 2011||May 16, 2017||Medrobotics Corporation||Introduction devices for highly articulated robotic probes and methods of production and use of such probes|
|US9675380||Aug 9, 2013||Jun 13, 2017||Medrobotics Corporation||Surgical tool positioning system|
|US20050027163 *||Jul 29, 2003||Feb 3, 2005||Scimed Life Systems, Inc.||Vision catheter|
|US20050054895 *||Sep 9, 2003||Mar 10, 2005||Hoeg Hans David||Method for using variable direction of view endoscopy in conjunction with image guided surgical systems|
|US20050113643 *||Nov 20, 2003||May 26, 2005||Hale Eric L.||Method and apparatus for displaying endoscopic images|
|US20050187432 *||Feb 1, 2005||Aug 25, 2005||Eric Lawrence Hale||Global endoscopic viewing indicator|
|US20050197534 *||Mar 4, 2004||Sep 8, 2005||Scimed Life Systems, Inc.||Vision catheter system|
|US20050222499 *||Sep 30, 2004||Oct 6, 2005||Banik Michael S||Interface for video endoscope system|
|US20060068360 *||Sep 30, 2004||Mar 30, 2006||Scimed Life Systems, Inc.||Single use fluid reservoir for an endoscope|
|US20060069305 *||Sep 30, 2004||Mar 30, 2006||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Device with enhanced indication of use and prevention of re-use|
|US20060111613 *||Sep 28, 2005||May 25, 2006||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Selectively rotatable shaft coupler|
|US20060156851 *||Dec 1, 2005||Jul 20, 2006||Jacobsen Stephen C||Mechanical serpentine device|
|US20060173244 *||Sep 30, 2005||Aug 3, 2006||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||System and method of obstruction removal|
|US20060189842 *||Feb 14, 2005||Aug 24, 2006||Hoeg Hans D|
|US20060259041 *||May 13, 2005||Nov 16, 2006||Hoffman David W||Endoscopic apparatus with integrated variceal ligation device|
|US20070049800 *||Aug 30, 2005||Mar 1, 2007||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Method for forming an endoscope articulation joint|
|US20070225564 *||Mar 27, 2006||Sep 27, 2007||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Medical devices with local drug delivery capabilities|
|US20070270661 *||Mar 28, 2006||Nov 22, 2007||Marc Philippon||Method and apparatus for monitoring blood flow to the hip joint|
|US20080136254 *||Nov 13, 2007||Jun 12, 2008||Jacobsen Stephen C||Versatile endless track for lightweight mobile robots|
|US20080164079 *||Nov 13, 2007||Jul 10, 2008||Jacobsen Stephen C||Serpentine robotic crawler|
|US20080167752 *||Nov 13, 2007||Jul 10, 2008||Jacobsen Stephen C||Tracked robotic crawler having a moveable arm|
|US20080215185 *||Nov 13, 2007||Sep 4, 2008||Jacobsen Stephen C||Unmanned ground robotic vehicle having an alternatively extendible and retractable sensing appendage|
|US20080281468 *||May 8, 2008||Nov 13, 2008||Raytheon Sarcos, Llc||Variable primitive mapping for a robotic crawler|
|US20090025988 *||Jul 10, 2008||Jan 29, 2009||Jacobsen Stephen C||Serpentine Robotic Crawler Having A Continuous Track|
|US20090030562 *||Jul 10, 2008||Jan 29, 2009||Jacobsen Stephen C||Modular Robotic Crawler|
|US20090069632 *||Aug 14, 2008||Mar 12, 2009||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Medical instrument with a deflectable distal portion|
|US20090222022 *||May 24, 2006||Sep 3, 2009||Corporacion Sanitaria Parc Tauli||Surgical instrument for endoscopic surgery|
|US20090306476 *||Dec 8, 2008||Dec 10, 2009||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Automated control of irrigation and aspiration in a single-use endoscope|
|US20100174422 *||Jan 8, 2009||Jul 8, 2010||Jacobsen Stephen C||Point And Go Navigation System And Method|
|US20100201185 *||Apr 22, 2010||Aug 12, 2010||Raytheon Sarcos, Llc||Conformable Track Assembly For A Robotic Crawler|
|US20100258365 *||Jun 22, 2010||Oct 14, 2010||Raytheon Sarcos, Llc||Serpentine Robotic Crawler|
|US20100280320 *||Apr 29, 2009||Nov 4, 2010||Hansen Medical, Inc.||Flexible and steerable elongate instruments with shape control and support elements|
|US20100280449 *||Apr 29, 2009||Nov 4, 2010||Hansen Medical, Inc.||Flexible and steerable elongate instruments with shape control and support elements|
|US20100280525 *||Apr 29, 2009||Nov 4, 2010||Hansen Medical, Inc.||Flexible and steerable elongate instruments with shape control and support elements|
|US20100317244 *||Jun 11, 2010||Dec 16, 2010||Jacobsen Stephen C||Amphibious Robotic Crawler|
|US20100318242 *||Jun 11, 2010||Dec 16, 2010||Jacobsen Stephen C||Method And System For Deploying A Surveillance Network|
|US20110152880 *||Dec 23, 2009||Jun 23, 2011||Hansen Medical, Inc.||Flexible and steerable elongate instruments with torsion control|
|US20110230710 *||May 27, 2011||Sep 22, 2011||Hans David Hoeg||Method For Using Variable Direction Of View Endoscopy In Conjunction With Image Guided Surgical Systems|
|US20130012929 *||Jul 9, 2012||Jan 10, 2013||Tyco Healthcare Group Lp||Swinging Bars with Axial Wheels to Drive Articulating Cables|
|US20130012958 *||Jul 9, 2012||Jan 10, 2013||Stanislaw Marczyk||Surgical Device with Articulation and Wrist Rotation|
|US20130158355 *||Dec 16, 2011||Jun 20, 2013||Pioneer Medical Instrument Co., Ltd.||Two-way endoscope steering mechanism and four-way endoscope steering mechanism|
|US20130211510 *||Sep 15, 2011||Aug 15, 2013||The Government of the United of America, as Represented by the Secretary, Department of Health||Methods and devices for transcatheter cerclage annuloplasty|
|US20140123976 *||May 3, 2012||May 8, 2014||The Regents Of The University Of Michigan||Intubation device|
|US20140275772 *||Jun 2, 2014||Sep 18, 2014||Robert Michael Chuda||Intubation device with video and anatomic stylet steering|
|US20140330251 *||Aug 27, 2013||Nov 6, 2014||Endosense Sa||Dual bend radii steering catheter|
|US20150087909 *||Sep 26, 2014||Mar 26, 2015||Gyrus Acmi, Inc. D.B.A Olympus Surgical Technologies America||Endoscope system including a resilient reservoir|
|US20150297865 *||Jun 29, 2015||Oct 22, 2015||Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc.||Articulating mechanism with flex hinged links|
|USD741485 *||Dec 6, 2012||Oct 20, 2015||Southern Implants (Pty) Ltd||Bone distractor|
|USRE38708||Jun 15, 2001||Mar 1, 2005||United States Surgical Corporation||Disposable loading unit for surgical stapler|
|USRE46007||Feb 23, 2015||May 24, 2016||Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.||Automated control of irrigation and aspiration in a single-use endoscope|
|CN102789049A *||May 18, 2011||Nov 21, 2012||全崴科技有限公司||Flexible four-directional tube structure of endoscopy|
|DE3008120A1 *||Mar 3, 1980||Sep 18, 1980||Olympus Optical Co||Biegsames endoskoprohr|
|DE4102211A1 *||Jan 25, 1991||Aug 1, 1991||Asahi Optical Co Ltd||Endoscope bending guide - has coaxial cylindrical components joined by pair of metal spirals|
|EP0025969A1 *||Sep 16, 1980||Apr 1, 1981||Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.||A structure including a light-receiving end portion of an endoscope light guide|
|EP0112527A1 *||Dec 8, 1983||Jul 4, 1984||Sumitomo Electric Industries Limited||Fiberscope|
|EP0164623A1 *||May 22, 1985||Dec 18, 1985||Sumitomo Electric Industries Limited||Fiberscope with bending mechanism|
|EP0358392A2 *||Aug 25, 1989||Mar 14, 1990||Spectrum MedSystems Corp.||Miniscope|
|EP0358392A3 *||Aug 25, 1989||Sep 11, 1991||Spectrum MedSystems Corp.||Miniscope|
|EP2524645A1 *||May 18, 2012||Nov 21, 2012||Three-In-One Enterprises Co., Ltd.||Flexible-tubed structure of endoscope|
|WO2001010292A1||Jul 26, 2000||Feb 15, 2001||Technische Universiteit Delft||Endoscope|
|WO2004086957A3 *||Mar 29, 2004||Mar 24, 2005||Scimed Life Systems Inc||Single use endoscopic imaging system|
|U.S. Classification||600/141, 600/149, 600/158, 600/182, 600/164, 138/120|
|International Classification||A61B1/005, A61B1/00|
|Cooperative Classification||A61B1/00165, A61B1/0055|
|European Classification||A61B1/00S2, A61B1/005B6|