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 numberUS3726272 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 10, 1973
Filing dateMar 27, 1971
Priority dateSep 21, 1967
Also published asDE1791141A1, DE1791141B2, DE1791141C3, DE1791280A1, DE1791280B2, DE1791280C3, US3730645
Publication numberUS 3726272 A, US 3726272A, US-A-3726272, US3726272 A, US3726272A
InventorsFukami M, Mori T, Sato M
Original AssigneeOlympus Optical Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Endoscope
US 3726272 A
Abstract
An endoscope comprising a control housing and a forward end portion connected to said control housing by an elongated tube and adapted to be inserted into a hollow portion of a living body for inspection and/or photographing thereof. The endoscope comprises a flexible sheath secured at its one end to the control housing and various extension means of the endoscope to be connected to the respective various exterior devices for effecting various functions such as for illuminating the object, supplying air and/or water into the hollow portion into which the forward end portion of the endoscope is inserted, sucking undesired material such as phlegm out of the hollow portion, and controlling the photographing device of the endoscope for the proper exposure are extended together through the flexible sheath from the control housing to the free outer end of the flexible sheath. The various extension means are connected to the respective corresponding exterior devices at the free outer end of the flexible sheath so that the entanglement of the various extension means during the operation of the endoscope is prevented while the connection of the extension means to the respective exterior devices is facilitated.
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Fukami et a].

[ ENDOSCOPE [75] Inventors: Masaharu F ukami; Masaki Sato;

Toshiyuki Mori, all of Tokyo, Japan [73] 'Assignee: Olympus Optical Company, Ltd.,

Tokyo, Japan [22] Filed: Mar. 27, 1971 [21] Appl. No.1 126,941

Related US. Application Data [63] Continuation of Ser. No. 760,151, Sept. 17, 1968,

abandoned.

' [30] Foreign Application Priority Data FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 777,032 6/1957 GreatBritain ..339/ll7 Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner-C. F. Dunne [57 1 ABSTRACT An endoscope comprising a control housing and a forward end portion connected to said control housing by 11 3,726,272 1451 Apr. '10, 1973 an elongated tube and adapted to be inserted into a hollow portion of a living body for inspection and/or photographing thereof. The endoscope comprises a flexible sheath secured at its one end to the control housing and various extension means of the endoscope to be connected to the respective various exterior devices for effecting various functions such as for illuminating the object, supplying air and/or water into the hollow portion into which the forward end portion of the endoscope is inserted, sucking undesired material such as phlegm out of the hollow portion, and controlling the photographing device of the endoscope for the proper exposure are extended together through the flexible sheath from the control housing to the free outer end of the flexible sheath. The various extension means are connected to the respective corresponding exterior devices at the free outer end of the flexible sheath so that the entanglement of the various extension means during the operation of the endoscope is prevented while the connection of the extension means to the respective exterior devices is facilitated.

An air supplying device for use with an endoscope for supplying desired quantity of air into a hollow portion of a living body into which the forward end plprtion of the endoscope is inserted for the inspection ereof so to the endoscope to which the air pump is connected.

The timer is actuated each time the foot switch is closed for actuating the air pump so that the timer deenergizes the air pump after a predetermined time period set in the timer so that a predetermined quantity air is supplied to the endoscope each time the foot switch is closed while the air pump is stopped at any desired moment during the actuation of the timer by opening the foot switch so that the excess quantity of air is prevented from being supplied to the endoscope.

7 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures,

PAIHMEBAPM V A 3,726,272-

SHEET 1 [IF 3 F/g PR/OR ART INVENTORS nasmimm c mukm nasamu BY Tosulhuu om ENDOSCOPE This application is a continuation of Ser. No.

760151, now abandoned.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a novel and useful endoscope, and more particularly to an endoscope which is not only useful for the observation of a hollow portion in a living body but also useful for conveniently carrying out various operations for the diagnosis of the living body such as suction of undesired material such as phlegm out of the hollow portion, supplying air into the hollow portion for facilitating the inspection or photographing thereof by inflating the hollow portion, and supplying water into the hollow portion for the washing thereof without disturbing the operation of the endoscope proper while the hollow portion is observed by the endoscope.

The present invention relates also to a novel and useful air supplying device adapted to be used with an endoscope for supplying any desired quantity of air into the hollow portion of a living body which is being observed by the endoscope.

Heretofore, a simple type endoscope has been equipped with lead wires extending from the control housing throughthe elongated tube to the forward end portion of the endoscope for supplying electric power therethrough to the lamp housed in the forward end a portion from an electric source connected to the control housing as well as an air supplying device connected to the control housing for supplying air into the hollow portion to be inspected from the forward end portion of the endoscope through-a thin pipe extending through the elongated tube of the endoscope.

With the development of the endoscope, the endoscope has been equipped with various exterior devices for carrying out various operations for facilitating the diagnosis to be connected to the control housing of the endoscope such as water supplying device for washing the hollow portion which is being observed by the endoscope, suction device for sucking'undesired material out of the hollow portion, and lead wires con- I necting the photoelectric element in the endoscope to 1 the automatic exposure control device located outside of the control housing and connected thereto in case the endoscope is provided with a photographing device.

In an endoscope in which a light conducting fiber optical system is provided in place of a lamp located in the forward end portion of the endoscope for illuminating the hollow portion tobe inspected, the fiber optical system extends through the elongated tube from the control housing to the forward end portion. The rearward end of the fiber optical system is connected to the exterior light source and .the light istransmitted through the fiber optical system to the forward end thereof so as to be emitted therefrom for the illumination of the object.

As described above, when the various operations such as washing, supplying air, sucking undesired material and illumination of the object are to be effected while the hollow portion of the living body is inspected by the endoscope, the above described various exterior devices for effecting the above described operations must be connected to the control housing by means of flexible tubes or lead wires, respectively. This is very troublesome in handling the endoscope. Since the endoscope must be moved and rotated during the operation thereof in order to properly observe the desired position of the hollow portion, the various flexible tubes connecting the above described various exterior devices to the control housing might be entangled each other thereby disturbing the proper operaphotographing thereof by means of the endoscope to be properly carried out.

Heretofore, the admission of air into the hollow portion is usually effected by a manually operable rubberbulb blower provided with a non-return valve which is connected to a tube extending from the control housing through the elongated tube to the forward end portion of the endoscope. The air is discharged from the open end of the tube into the hollow portion of the living body by a predetermined quantity each time the rubber-bulb blower is actuated by the operator. The quantity of the air admitted into the hollow portion is determined by the number of times of the manual operation of the rubber-bulb blower. However, since the operation of the rubber-bulb blower is relatively hard when the operation is carried out together with the operation of the endoscope-for the observation and/or the photographing of the object, the operator tends to get tired soon, particularly when the group diagnosis is to be carried out. And, at the same time, when forceps incorporated in the endoscope are operated while the hollow portion is observed by means of the endoscope, it is impossible for the operator to manually operate the rubber-bulb blower thereby I requiring the rubber-bulb blower to be operated by another assistant operator. The admission of air into the hollow portion can also be effected by means of mechanically driven air pump. In this case, however, since no means has been developed to measure the quantity of air introduced into the hollow portion, there is a danger that too much amount of air might be introduced into the hollow portion thereby harming the internal organ of the living body. When the integrating flow meter is provided for measuring the quantity of air admitted into the hollow portion, it is very troublesome to read out the graduation of the flow meter thereby rendering the operation of the endoscope very difficult.

The present invention aims at providing a novel and useful air supplying device for use with an endoscope which avoids the above described disadvantages of the prior art air supplying device.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION One object of the present invention is to provide a novel and useful endoscope which avoids the above described disadvantages of the prior art endoscope.

i This is achieved in accordance with the present inventionby arranging all the necessary flexible tubes or lead wires connecting the various exterior devices to the control housing al'ong within a single flexible sheath is made very easy but also the entanglement of the tubes during the operation of the endoscope is positively prevented.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a novel and useful air supplying device for use with an endoscope which avoids the above described disadvantages of the prior art air supplying device and which permits the air to be admitted into the hollow portion by any desired quantity by the operation effected by the operator thereby dispensing with the employment of an assistant operator.

This is achieved by the present invention'by providing a timed air supplying mechanism adapted to be coupled with the endoscope and comprising a foot switch,

a timer and an air pump whichis driven by a drive motor by closing the foot switch so as to feed air into the hollow portion of the living body, the timer being comprised of a timing lever, a spring biased timing can disc cooperable with the timing lever and an electromagnet forbringing the timing lever into cooperative position with the timing cam disc by closing the foot switch thereby permitting the'air to be admitted at a constant rate into the hollowportion of the living body for a given time period determined by the timer each time the foot switch is closed until the timer is be stopped any desired moment by opening the foot switch so that the timing lever is disengaged from the timing cam disc thereby permitting the desired amount of air to be admitted into the hollow portion of the living body by closing the foot switch any desired number of times and by opening the foot switch any desired moment when sufficient amount of air has been introduced into the hollow portion of the living body. In accordance with the other feature of the present invention, the timer may be substituted by a transistor timer comprised of relays, a transistor circuit and a C-R timing circuit thereby dispensing with mechanical timer elements which are complicated in construction.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side view of a prior art endoscope illustrating the various tubes connected individually to the various exterior devices;

FIG. 2 is an end view of the forward end portion of the endoscope shown in FIG. 1;

stopped after the operation thereof whilethe pump can FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5 but showing the electric circuit of the timer in which relay, transistors and OR timing circuit are provided instead of mechanical timing elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS:

Prior to the description of the present invention, a prior art endoscope will be briefly described in connection with FIGS. 1 and 2 for the better understanding of the feature of the present invention.

In FIG. 1, the prior art endoscope comprises a control housing 1 and a forward end portion 2 adapted to be inserted into a hollow portion of a living body and connected by elongated tube 3, preferably flexible, to the control housing 1. An objective lens system 4 (FIG.

2) is provided in the forward end portion 2 for focusing the image of the object in the forward end portion. An elongated image transmitting optical system (not shown) such as a fiber optical system extends through the elongated tube 3 with the forward end thereof located at a position in the forward end portion 2 where theimage of the object is focused by means of the object lens system 4. The rearward end of the image transmitting optical system terminates in the control housing 1. Ocular means 5 is provided in the control housing 1 at a position adjacent to the rearward end of the image transmitting optical system in opposing relationship thereto so that the image formed in the forward end of the image transmitting optical system and transmitted therethrough to the rearward end of the image transmitting optical system can be viewed through the ocular means 5.

In order to illuminate the object to be insepected by the endoscope, a light conducting fiber optical system 6 (FIG. 1 may provided which extend through the elongated tube 3 with the forward end thereof divided into two portions and terminating at the forward end of the forward end portion 2 to form a pair of light emanating windows 7, 7 respectively. The rearward end of the light conducting fiber optical system 7 extends outwardly of the control housing 1 through a sheath 8 connected to the control housing 1. The outer end of the light conducting fiber optical system 6 is detachably connected to a light source 9 so that the light from the light source 9 is transmitted through the light conducting fiber optical system 6 to the forward end thereof so as to emanate the light through the illuminating windows 7, 7 thereby illuminating the object.

The light conducting fiber optical system 6 can be replaced by lamp means provided in the forward end portion 2. In this case, the lamp means is energized by an exterior electric power source through lead wires extending through the elongated tube 3 and connecting the lamp means to the exterior electric power source.

The above construction of the endoscope is well known in the art.

to the forward end portion 2, respectively. The rearward end of the tube may be connected to a rubberbulb blower 14 or an air pump 15 so that the air is fed to the forward end portion 2 so as to inflate the hollow portion into which the forward end portion 2 is inserted. In the similar manner, the rearward end of the tube 11 may be connected to an injector 16 or a water pump 17 so that the water is fed to the forward end portion 2 so as to effect the washing of the inner wall of the hollow portion to be inspected by the endoscope. The photoelectric element may be located adjacent to the rearward end of the image transmitting optical system or in the forward end portion 2. In the latter case, the lead wires extend through the elongated tube 3.

As described above, when the endoscope of the prior art is used, each of the devices for effecting the above described various operations must be individually connected to the tubes of the endoscope belonging to the respective devices. This is very troublesome and time consuming. Moreover, since the endoscope must be moved and rotated during the operation of the endoscope in order to aim at the desired point in the inner wall of the hollow portion to be inspected, the various tubes tend to be entangled each other thereby disturbing the operation.

In order to avoid the above described disadvantages, the endoscope is constructed in accordance with the present invention as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrating a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the endoscope comprises a control housing 1, a forward end portion (not shown) which is similar to the forward end portion 2 in FIGS. 1 and 2 and which is connected to the control housing 1 through an elongated tube 3 analogous in construction to that shown in FIG. 1. An objective lens system is located in the forward end portion, ocular means 5 is located in the control housing 1, and an image transmitting optical system 18 extends through the elongated tube 3 in like manner as in the case shown in FIG. 1.

In accordance with the present invention, the light conducting fiber optical system 6 extends from the forward end portion through the elongated tube 3 into the control housing 1 and further extends outwardly therefrom through cylindrical projection 1' integral with the control housing 1 and'flexible sheath 19 connected at its one end to'the end of the projection l. The free outer end 6a of the light conducting fiber optical system 6 extends beyond the connecting member 20 having threaded connecting ring 21 rotatably mounted thereon which is attached to the free end of thesheath 19 as shown in FIG. 3.

A beam splitting prism 22 having half mirror 22a diagonally'arranged therein is located adjacent to the rear end of the image transmitting fiber optical system 18 in alignment therewith so that a portion of the light incident to the prism 22 from the image transmitting fiber optical system 18 is directed to the ocular means 5 through the half mirror 22a so that the image transmitted to the rearward end of the image transmitting fiber optical system from the forward end thereof is viewed through the ocular means 5 while the remainder of the light incident to the prism 22 is reflected toward the side of the prism 22 on which a photoelectric element 23 is secured. Lead wires 12' covered by a tube 12 extend from the photoelectric element 22 through the projection l and the sheath 19 to the free end of the sheath 19 and are connected to pins 12a projecting from the connecting member 20 as shown in FIG. 3.

Water and air supplying tube 24 extends from the forward end of the forward end portion through the elongated tube 3 and the inner end of the tube 24 is connected to the circumferential surface of a cylindrical member 25 provided in the control housing 1 and having an open end 25a opening in the surface of the control housing 1 and a bottom 25b and a mating shoulder 250 formed by an enlarged hollow portion in the member 25 near the bottom 25b. One end of water supplying tube 26 is connected to the water and air supplying tube 24 at a position near the inner end of the tube 24 and the tube 26 extends through the projection 1' and the sheath 19 to the connecting member 20 and terminates at fitting 26a provided on the circumferential surface of the connecting member 20.

One end of air supplying tube 27 is connected to the bottom 25b of the cylindrical member 25 and the tube 27 extends through projection 1' and the sheath 19 to the free end of the sheath 19 and the outer end of the tube 27 is connected to a cylindrical projection 27a projecting from the connecting member 20 as shown in FIG. 3.

A suction tube 28 for sucking undesired material such as'phlegm out of the hollow portion into which the forward end portion of the endoscope is inserted extends from the forward end of the forward end portion through the elongated tube 3 into the control housing 1 and further extends therefrom throughthe projection l and the sheath 19 to a fitting 28a provided on thecircumferential surface of the connecing member 20 as shown in FIG.3.

In accordance with one feature of the present invention, the cylindrical member 25 connected to the water and air supplying tube 24 and the air supplying tube 27 is provided therein with a slidable hollow actuator member 29 slidably fitting with the inner wall of the enlarged hollow portion of the cylindrical member 25 and having a through hole 29a and a flange 29b. A shoulder 29c is provided on the outer circumferential surface of the actuator member 29, so that the actuator member 29 is slidable in the enlarged hollow portion of the cylindrical member 25 within the range limited by the abuttment of the shoulder 290 of the actuator member 29 against the shoulder 250 of the cylindrical member 25 and the abuttment of the inner end 29d of the actuator member 29 against the bottom 25b of the cylindrical member 25. As shown, when the actuator member 29 is moved inwardly to abut against the bottom 25b of the cylindrical member 25, the opening 24a of the water and air supplying tube 24 opening in the inner wall of the enlarged hollow portion of the cylindrical member 25 is closed by the circumferential surface of the actuator member 29. A spring 30 is provided around the actuator member 29 between the flange 29b thereof and the opening 25a of the cylindrical member 25 so that the actuator member 29 is normally urged outwardly until the shoulder 29c abuts against the shoulder 25c.

In accordance with further feature of the present invention, a cylindrical member 31 having an open end 4 31a and a bottom 31b is provided in the control housing 1 in juxtaposed relationship to the cylindrical member 25. A portion of the suction tube 28 extends in the hollow portion of the cylindrical member 31 and an opening 28b is provided in the tube 28, which opens in the hollow portion of the cylindrical member 31 as shown in FIG. 3.

In operation, the connecting member is connected to a mating connecting member 32 shown by chain-dot line by means of connecting ring 21. The mating connecting member 32 is provided with fittings each leading to the light source 9, the automatic exposure control device 13 and the air pump 15, respectively, so that, when the connecting members 20 and 32 are connected to each other, the light conducting fiber optical system 6, the air supplying tube 27 and the lead wires 12" leading to the photo-electric element 23 are coupled with the light source 9, the automatic exposure control device 13 and the air pump, respectively. Also, the water pump 17 and a suction pump 33 are con- 1 nected to the fitting 26a of water supplying tube 26 and the fitting 28a of the suction tube 28, respectively.

By energizing the light source 9, the object to be in spected can be illuminated so that it is observed in like manner as the conventional endoscope. When the photographing or the object is to be effected, the photoelectric element 23 connected to the automatic exposure control device 13 serves to achieve proper exposure in like manner as the conventional exposure control system.

When the air is to be admitted into the hollow portion into which the forward end portion of the endoscope is inserted for the inspection, the air pump 15 is first actuated by means not shown so that the air is fedthrough the air supplying tube 27 to the cylindrical member 25. By closing the opening 2% of the actuator 7 the forwardend portion ofthe endoscope to thereby permit the air to be admitted into the hollow portion as long as the opening 29e of the cylindrical member 29 is closed by the operators finger without depressing the same.

When the water is to be admitted into the hollow portion to be inspected, the actuator member 29 is first pushed inwardly by means of the operators finger aginst the action of the spring 30 until the opening 24a of the water and air supplying tube 24 is closed by the actuator member 29, and then the water pump 17 is actuated by means not shown. Then, the water is fed through the water supplying tube 26 and the water and air supplying tube 24 to the forward end portion to thereby permit the water to be admitted into the hollow portion as long as the water pump 17 is actuated while the actuator member 29 is kept depressed so as to close the opening 240.

When the undesired material such-as phlegm is to be removed from the hollow portion to be inspected, the suction pump 33 is first actuated. By closing the opening 31a of the cylindrical member 31, the air is prevented from flowing into the tube 28 through the opening 28b to thereby permit the undesired material in the hollowportion to be sucked through the suction tube 28 as long as the opening 31a is closed.

it is evident, in case a lamp is provided in the forward end portion 2 in place of the light conducting fiber optical system 6, lead wires connected to the lamp are led through the elongated tube 3 andv the sheath 19 to the connecting member 20 and the lead wires are connected to an electric power source instead of the light source 9 when the connecting member-20 is connected to the mating connecting member 32.

Further, any of the above described elements can be dispensed with or any further elements for carrying out further desired functions can be added to the endoscope of the present invention depending upon the requirements when the endoscope is used.

Further, the fittings 26a and 28a are shown as being located in the circumferential surface of the connecting member 20, but they may be located in the end surface thereof, and any of the elements can be located either in the end surface of the connecting member 20 or in the circumferential surface thereof depending upon the design of the endoscope.

It is also evident that the photoelectric element 23 may be located in the forward end portion of the endoscope instead of being located adjacent to the rearward end of the image transmitting optical system 18.

In this case, the lead wires 12 are extended through the elongated tube 3 and the sheath 19 and connected to the automatic exposure control device 13.

As described above, the various operations of the endoscope of the present invention are very simple and the operations are very reliable and no delay in the operations occurs.

Since the various tubes used for effecting the various operations of the endoscope constructed in accordance with the present invention as described above are housed together within the single sheath 19, not only the connection of the various tubes to the respective corresponding devices is effected very simply and easily, but also no entanglement of the various tubes during the operation of the endoscope occurs. Thisis extremely advantageous in handling the endoscope.

Further, since the various tubes are housed together within the single sheath 19, danger that the tubes might be collapsed by the bending of the sheath is extremely reduced in comparison with the case in which the tubes are individually connected to their corresponding devices.

FIG. 5 shows another embodiment of the air supplying device of the present invention to be used with the endoscope for regulating the quantity of the air admitted into the hollow portion of the living body into which the forward end portion of the endoscope is inserted.

Referring to FIG. 5, electric power source 34 is connected through lead wires 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41 and 42 to a driving motor 43. A foot switch 44 is provided between leadwires 38 and 39, while a time switch 45 is provided between lead wires 40 and 41. The time switch 45 comprises a stationary contact 46 provided at the end of the lead wire 40 and a movable contact 47 secured to mounting pieces 48 which are in turn secured to a swingable lever 49 pivoted about pin 50. Stopper 46' limits the range of movement of the movable contact 47. The lever 49 is urged to rotate clockwise by means of a spring 51 secured with its one end to the end of the lever 49 and with its other end to a stationary portion of the device, so that the contacts nected to the electric power source 34 through lead wires 53 and 54 in parallel relation to the motor 43.

Further, an electromagnet 55 is connected to the electric power source 34 through leadwires 35 and 39 in parallel relation to the motor 43 and the air pump The timing mechanism actuating the timing switch 45 will be described below. A magnetically attractable lever 56 pivoted about shaft 57 is provided adjacent to the electromagnet 55 so that the lever 56 is rotated counterclockwise by the magnetic force of the electromagnet 55 when it is energized by closing the foot switch 44. The lever 56 is normally urged to rotate clockwise by means of a spring 58 secured at its one end to the end 56 of the lever 56 and with its other end to a stationary point such as the extension of the base 55' of the electromagnet 55. An abuttment pin 59 is fixedly secured to the lever 56 at a position adjacent to the end 56" of the lever 56 as shown.

, A timing lever 60 also pivoted about the shaft 50 is provided beneath the lever 49 adjacent thereto but a small amount of the swinging movement of the lever 49 relative to the lever 60 is allowed. pin 61 is fixedly secured to the lower side of the lever 60 at about the midpoint of the length thereof, the function of the pin 61 will be described later. The end of the lever 60 opposite to the side where the pin 61 is fixed is provided with an abuttment projection 60a which abuts against the lever 49 when the lever 60 is rotated counterclockwise as described later so that the lever 49 is swung counterclockwise to thereby opening the time switch 45 comprised of contacts 46, 47.

One end of spring 62 is fixed to the end 56" of the lever 56 at a position adjacent to the pin 59 while the other end of the spring 62 is fixed to the end 60' of the lever 60 opposing to the end 56" of the lever 56 so that the ends 56" and 60' of the levers 56 and 60 are urged toward each other by the action of the spring 62 until the outer end of the pin 59 abuts against the lever 60. The spring 51 is made weaker than the spring 62 for the reason described hereinbelow.

A timing cam disc 64 provided with a recess 64 in the periphery thereof is located beneath the lever 60 in such a manner that the recess 64 receives the pin 61 when the cam disc 63 is rotated by an appropriate angle so that the lever 60'is swung counterclockwise by the engagement of the pin 61 within the recess 64. The shaft of the timing cam disc 63 is connected to the shaft of a reduction gear schematically shown by 65 which is driven by the motor 43 so that the cam disc 63 is driven counterclockwise by the motor 43. A clutch also schematically shown by 66 is interposed between the shaft of the cam disc 63 and the shaft of the reduction gear 65. The clutch 66 is controlled by the lever 56 such that the clutch 66 is engaged to rotate the cam disc 63'when the lever 56 is attracted by the energization of the electromagnet 55 and disengaged when the electromagnet 55 is deenergized to release the lever 56.

A spiral spring 67 is provided around the shaft of the cam disc 63 with its outer end 67 secured to a stationary point in the deivce while the inner end is secured to the shaft of the cam disc 63 so that the cam disc is returned to its predetermined initial angular position by the action of the spiral spring 67 when the clutch 66 is disengaged. The angular position of the recess 64 with respect to the position of the pin 61 is appropriately set depending upon the time period in which the desired quantity of the air is fed to the endoscope by means of I the air pump 52.

In operation of the air supplying device shown in FIG. 5, the air pump 52 is connected to the air supplying tube of the endoscope. In case the endoscope as shown in FIG. 3 is used, the opening 29e of the actuator member 29 may be preliminarily closed, or the actuator member 29 may be replaced by an actuator member having no throughhole.

By closing the foot switch 44 by the operators foot, the driving motor 43 and the air pump 52 are actuated through the timing switch 45 comprising the contacts 46, 47. At the same time, the electromagnet 55 is energized to attract the lever 56 against the action of the spring 58 to rotate it anticlockwise about the shaft 57 thereby permitting the clutch 66 to be engaged. Thus, the air pump 52 begins to supply air to the endoscope to which the air pump 52 is connected, while the rotation of the motor 43 cuases the timing cam disc 63 to be rotated anticlockwise against the action of the spring 67 from its predetermined initial position with respect to the positionof the pin 61 fixed to the timing lever 60 through the reduction gear and the clutch 66 engaged by the energization of the electromagnet 55. The anticlockwise rotation of the lever 56 caused by the energization of the electromagnet 55 also causes the timing lever 60 to be rotated about the pin 50 anticlockwise by the spring 62 connecting the ends 56" and 60 of the respective levers 56 and 60 until the pin 61 of the timing lever is urged to contact with the peripheral surface of the cam disc 63 with appropriate pressure exerted by the spring 62 but an appropriate distance is still held between the outer end of the pin 59 and the lever 60. When the recess 64 of the cam disc 63 comes to the position where the pin 61 can engage with the recess 64 of the cam disc 63 as it rotates, the pin 61 engages with the recess 64 so that the lever 60 is further rotated anticlockwise by the action of the srping 62 while the lever 56 is attracted by the electromagnet 55. This causes the lever 49 to be rotated anticlockwise against the action of the spring 51 by the abuttment of the projection 60a of the lever 60 against the lever 49 because, as previously described, the force of the spring 51 is weaker than that of the spring 62.

The anticlockwise rotation of the lever 49 causes the anticlockwise movement of the mounting pieces 48 secured to the lever 49 to thereby open the switch 45 by disengaging the movable contacg 47 from the stationary contact 46, so that the circuit including the electric power source 34, the motor 43 and the air pump 52 is opened to stop the motor 43 and the air pump 52. The time period during which the air pump 52 continues to feed the air to the endoscope is determined by the actuation of the foot switch 44 and the engagement of the pin 61 of the timing lever 60 with the recess 64 of the timing cam disc 63. As previously described, the relative angular position of the recess 64 of the timing cam disc 63 with respect to the position of the pin 62 of the timing lever 60 is preliminarily set at any desired angle.

After the switch 45 is opened to stop the air pump 52 and the motor 43, the foot switch 44 is opened by the operator. Thus, the electromagnet 55 is deenergized to release the lever 56 so that the lever 56 is rotated clockwise by the action of the spring 58 to thereby rotate the timing lever 60 clockwise by virtue of the abuttmentof the pin 59 against the lever 60 to disengage the pin 61 from the recess 64 of the cam disc 63. At the same time, the clutch 66 is disengaged by the release of the lever 56 so as to free the shaft of the cam disc 63 from the shaft of the reduction gear 65. When the pin 61 is disengaged from the recess 64 of the cam disc 63, the cam disc 63 is rotated clockwise to its initial position set by a stopper means not shown by the action of the spiral spring 67, so as to be ready for the next operation of the air supplying device.

Thus, the desired quantity of air is fed to the endoscope by the air supplying device of the present invention by repeatedly operating the foot switch 44 by the required number of times.

In case excess quantity of air is fed by one complete operation of the air supplying device of the present invention, the air supplying device can be stopped any time during the operation thereof so as to stop the feeding of air to the endoscope by merely opening the foot switch 44 at the moment desired. When the foot switch 44 is opened during the operation of the air supplying device, all the motor 43, the air pump 52 and the electromagnet 55 are simultaneously deenergized and the lever 56 is released to disengage the pin 61 of the timing lever 60 from the recess 64 of the timing cam disc 63 is that the cam disc 63 is returned to the initial position by the action of the spring 67 because the clutch 66 is disengaged by the release of the lever 56 while the switch 45 is held in closed position by the action of the spring 51. Thus the air supplying device is ready for the next operation.

As described above, the air supplying device shown in FIG. is very simple in construction and can feed any desired quantity of air to the endoscope without the danger of feeding excess air by merely closing the foot switch by the operators foot without disturbing the operation of the endoscope proper and, at the same time, no assistant operator is required for feeding air to the endoscope.

FIG. 6 shows an alternative embodiment of the air supplying device employing a transistor timer system in place of the mechanical timing system as shown in FIG. 5.

Referring to FIG. 6, the electric power source 34 is connected to the air pump 52 through a switch 68 actuated by means-of a relay 69. In order to actuate the relay 69, an electric circuit comprising DC power source 70, a foot switch 44, a relay 71, a switch 72 actuated by the relay 71, a condenser 73 and a resistance 74 anda transistor circuit including transistors 75 and the relay 69 as shown in FIG. 6.

The operation of the air supplying device shown in FIG. 6 is similar to that shown in FIG. 5.

By closing the foot switch 44, the circuit is closed thereby DC current supplied by-the DC power source 70 flows therein so that the relay 71 is energized to actuate the switch 72 thereby permitting the condenser 73 to be charged. The transistor circuit 75 is held in conductive state until the condenser 71 is fully charged so that the switch 68 is held in closed state by the action of the relay 69 so that the air pump 52 continues the feeding of air to the endoscope. When the condenser 71 is fully charged the transistor circuit 75 is made nonconductive thereby deenergizing the relay 69 to open the switch 68 so that the air pump 52 is stopped. The foot switch 44 is opened after the completion of the operation so as to be ready for the next operation. The time period during which the air pump 52 is actuated is controlled by adjusting the resistance 74.

When it is desired to stop the feeding of air during the operation of the air supplying device of FIG. 6, it is merely necessary to open the foot switch 44 at any moment desired, the condenser 73 being short-circuited by the deenergization of the relay 71 while the relay 69 is deenergized thereby opening the switch 68 so as to stop the air pump 52. Thus, the device is made ready for the next operation.

We claim:

1. An endoscope comprising a control housing and a hollow portion of a living body for the inspection thereof which is connected to said control housing by an elongated tube, an image of the object to be inspected being focused in said forward end portion by means of an objective lens system housed in said forward end'portion, the thus focused image of the object being transmitted through an image transmitting optical system extending through said elongated tube from said forward end portion to said control housing to thereby permit the thus transmitted image of the object to be viewed through an ocular means provided in said control housing, wherein the improvement comprises a flexible sheath secured at its one end to said control housing, a great majority of various extension means of the endoscope to be connected to the respective various exterior devices for effecting various functions for the proper operation of the endoscope being extended together through said flexible sheath from said control housing to the free outer end of said flexible sheath to thereby permit the great majority of said various extension means to be connected at the outer free end of said sheath to said respective various exterior devices so that the entanglement of said various extension means with each other during the operation of the endoscope is prevented while the connection of said various extension means to said respective various exterior devices is facilitated, said various exterior devices comprising a light source, an air supplying device and a water supplying device to be connected respectively to a light transmitting means for illuminating the object, an air supplying tube and a water supplying tube constituting said various extension means, said air supplying tube being connected tov the bottom of a cylindricalmember provided in said control housing with its open end opening in the surface of said control housing, a water and air supplying tube extending through said elongated tube of the endoscope with its inner end connected to the side wall of said cylindrical member adjacent to the bottom thereof while said water supplying tube is connected to said water and air supplying tube intermediate the length thereof, a hollow actuator member having a throughhole and slidably fitted in said cylindrical member so that the end of said water and air supplying tube connected to said side wall of said cylinsaid air supplying device is actuated and supplying of water is effected by actuating said water supplying device after said actuator member is moved inwardly of said cylindrical member against the action of said spring to close said end of said water and air supplying tube connected to said side wall of said cylindrical member.

2. The endoscope according to claim 1, wherein said light source of said various exterior devices comprises an electric power source, said light transmitting means of said various extension means comprising lead wires leading to a lamp housed in said forward end portion of the endoscope for illumination of the object.

3. The endoscope according to claim 1, wherein said various exterior devices also include a suction device to be connected to a suction tube for sucking undesired material out of the hollow portion into which said forward end portion of the endoscope is inserted, said suction tube constituting a component of said various ex tension means and being provided with an opening at a position in said control housing, said opening being opened in the hollow space in a second cylindrical member having a closed bottom and located in said control housing with its open end opening toward the exterior of said control housing, so that suction of undesired material such as phlegr'n out of the hollow portion into which said forward end portion of the endoscope is inserted is effected by closing said open end of said second cylindrical member while said suction device connected to said suction tube is actuated.

4. The endoscope according to claim 3, wherein said light source of said various exterior devices comprises an electric power source, said light transmitting means of said various extension means comprising lead wires leading to a lamp housed in said forward'end portion of the endoscope for illumination of the object.

5. An endoscope comprisingfa' control housing, a forward end portion adapted to be inserted into the hollow portion of a living bodyfor the inspection thereof, an elongated tube connecting said forward end portion to said control housing, an objective lens system located in said forward end portion for focusing an image of an object, an image transmitting optical system extending through said elongated tube from said forward end portion to said control housing and an ocular means provided in said control housing, the forward end of said image transmitting optical system-being located behind said objective lens system so as to focus said image on said forward end while the rearward end thereof is located in front of said ocular means, the thus focused image of the object being transmitted through said image transmitting optical system to thereby'permit the thus transmitted image of the object to be viewed through said ocular means, a light conducting fiber optical system extending through said elongated tube and having a forward end terminating at said forward end portion so plied to said light conducting fiber optical sys em at a rearward end thereof and emitted from said forward end, a photoelectric element connected to lead wires and adapted to receive the light from the object so as to generate a signal indicative of the scene brightness which is lead through said lead wires, wherein the improvement comprises a flexible sheath secured at one end thereof to said control housing and having a connecting member at an outer end thereof, a mating connecting member having fittings leading to an external light source, and an external exposure control device adapted to receive said signal through said lead wires for the automatic exposure control of the endoscope,

said light conducting fiber optical system and said lead wires ectending through said flexible sheath and'terminating adjacent to said outer end of said sheath, thereby permitting said light conducting fiber optical system and said lead wires to be simultaneously connected to said external light source and said external exposure control device, respectively, by a single operation of said connecting member for coupling the same with said mating connecting member.

6. An endoscope according to claim 5, further comprising an air supply tube extending'through said elongated tube and said flexible sheath with a forward end thereof terminating at said forward end portion of the endoscope, said air supply tube terminating adjacent to said outer end of said sheath, and an external air pump connected to the air supply tube and coupled to said fittings simultaneously with the coupling of said light conducting fiber optical system and said lead wires with said external light source and said external exposure control device, respectively.

7. An endoscope according to claim 5, wherein the connecting member is a cap nut.

as to illuminate the object by the light sup- 7

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3129511 *Dec 20, 1960Apr 21, 1964Power Brake Equipment CompanyControl system
US3253524 *Jan 2, 1963May 31, 1966Olympus Optical CoFlexible tube assembly
US3329074 *Jul 1, 1963Jul 4, 1967Iota Cam CorpInstrument for visual inspection
US3398738 *Sep 24, 1964Aug 27, 1968Aerojet General CoRefrigerated surgical probe
US3417745 *Aug 23, 1963Dec 24, 1968Sheldon Edward EmanuelFiber endoscope provided with focusing means and electroluminescent means
GB777032A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3903877 *May 29, 1974Sep 9, 1975Olympus Optical CoEndoscope
US3924608 *May 22, 1974Dec 9, 1975Olympus Optical CoEndoscope
US4023482 *Sep 23, 1974May 17, 1977Litton Business Systems, Inc.Printing of automatically readable characters
US4146019 *Sep 30, 1976Mar 27, 1979University Of Southern CaliforniaMultichannel endoscope
US4216767 *Feb 15, 1978Aug 12, 1980Machida Endoscope Co., Ltd.Endoscope with closed pressurized inner cavity
US4253448 *Sep 20, 1979Mar 3, 1981Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.Endoscope connector
US4261343 *Mar 26, 1979Apr 14, 1981Kabushiki Kaisha Medos KenkyushoEndoscope
US4261345 *Nov 20, 1979Apr 14, 1981Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.Endoscope connector
US4270525 *Apr 10, 1979Jun 2, 1981Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.Suction control device for an endoscope
US4273109 *Jun 16, 1978Jun 16, 1981Cavitron CorporationFiber optic light delivery apparatus and medical instrument utilizing same
US4325362 *Dec 22, 1980Apr 20, 1982Kabushiki Kaisha Medos KenkyushoEndoscope
US4343300 *Sep 16, 1980Aug 10, 1982Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.Data transmission system for an endoscope apparatus
US4361138 *Dec 16, 1980Nov 30, 1982Olympus Optical Company Ltd.Ventilation/feedwater switching apparatus for endoscope
US4402310 *Nov 13, 1980Sep 6, 1983Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.Endoscope system
US4412531 *Oct 6, 1980Nov 1, 1983Kabushiki Kaisha Medos KenkyushoSuction device for endoscope
US4416268 *Jun 29, 1981Nov 22, 1983Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.Endoscope having two detachable armour tubes
US4497550 *Mar 19, 1982Feb 5, 1985Kabushiki Kaisha Medos KenkyushoDevice for preventing the observing objective lens window of an endoscope from collecting moisture
US4534339 *Oct 17, 1983Aug 13, 1985Warner-Lambert Technologies, Inc.Endoscope
US4540258 *Jan 25, 1983Sep 10, 1985DimedcoApparatus for photographing body cavities
US4562830 *Dec 28, 1984Jan 7, 1986Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.Suction device for an endoscope
US4759348 *Sep 28, 1981Jul 26, 1988Cawood Charles DavidEndoscope assembly and surgical instrument for use therewith
US4971034 *Jul 5, 1989Nov 20, 1990Asahi Kogaku Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaBody cavity pressure adjusting device for endoscope and laser medical treatment apparatus including body cavity pressure adjusting device
US5016614 *May 4, 1987May 21, 1991Macallister Niall PEndotracheal intubation apparatus
US5800342 *Dec 17, 1996Sep 1, 1998Lee; Jai S.Method of endotracheal intubation
US5840013 *Dec 17, 1996Nov 24, 1998Lee; Jai S.Method of introducing a tubular member at a site in the body
US6193649 *Sep 8, 1999Feb 27, 2001Asahi Kogaku Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaEndoscope air sending device
USRE32421 *Aug 9, 1984May 19, 1987Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.Data transmission system for an endoscope apparatus
DE3324730A1 *Jul 8, 1983Jan 19, 1984Machida Endoscope Co LtdConnection structure for an endoscope
DE19915284A1 *Apr 3, 1999Oct 19, 2000Winter & Ibe OlympusEndoscopic device has additional cable guide at near end of endoscope to hold cables and pipes out of users way and prevent them from becoming tangled with each other
EP0017464A1 *Apr 1, 1980Oct 15, 1980Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.Apparatus for endoscopic photography
EP0025958A2 *Sep 12, 1980Apr 1, 1981Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.Endoscope apparatus having a duplex transmission function
EP0029556A2 *Nov 14, 1980Jun 3, 1981Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.Endoscope system
EP0046238A1 *Aug 5, 1981Feb 24, 1982Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.Endoscope with adapter
WO1983000992A1 *Sep 13, 1982Mar 31, 1983Charles David CawoodEndoscope assembly and surgical instrument for use therewith
Classifications
U.S. Classification600/126, 396/17, 600/132, 600/158, 396/267, 600/163
International ClassificationF04B49/02, A61B1/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61B1/00165, A61B1/00112, F04B49/02
European ClassificationA61B1/00S2, A61B1/00F, F04B49/02