[ii] Patent Number: 5,415,633  Date of Patent: May 16,1995
Pilot Cardiovascular Systems Inc. flyer.
Primary Examiner—C. Fred Rosenbaum
Assistant Examiner—Bryan Leander Tsosie
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Lahive & Cockfield
A remotely steerable guidewire, catheter or insertable active implement is disclosed. A steerable guidewire or a catheter for coronary and peripheral catheterizations is illustrated, using smart materials such as piezoelectrics for controlling its motions inside the body via control inputs applied from outside the body. A steerable portion of the device, which may be either an active flexible tip or an active region along the length of the implement, controls the shaft position or modifies its stiffness. In one embodiment, manipulation of electrical control inputs permits deflection of the steerable region through a range of motion about the axis of the implement in a single plane. In further embodiments, the tip may deflect in multiple planes about its longitudinal axis, or the catheter may be selectively stiffened to assume an arc shape or to firmly lodge the tip in position in a vessel.
26 Claims, 4 Drawing Sheets