Patents Represented by Attorney Robert J. Klepinski
  • Patent number: 4476873
    Abstract: An ultrasound scanning system particularly adapted for imaging skeletal structure, such as the spinal column. An ultrasound scanning head for generating ultrasound waves and for receiving reflected ultrasound signals is mounted on a transporter for moving it linearily along the spine between a cervical reference point and a sacral reference point. A position transducer monitors the position of the transducer along the spine and a counter measures the time between the ultrasound pulse and its echo to determine the distance from the transducer face to the tissue interface responsible for generating the echo. The distance and range data is smoothed and analyzed in a digital computer using algorithms that distinguish between the echoes received from bone and other tissue such as lung tissue. The bone data is further processed via computer to produce a visual representation of the spine and rib structure sufficient for the diagnosis of spinal misalignment characteristic of scoliosis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 1982
    Date of Patent: October 16, 1984
    Assignee: Medtronic, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul D. Sorenson, Dale A. Dickson, Larry A. McNichols, John D. Badzinski
  • Patent number: 4467800
    Abstract: A tool having a handle portion and a curved tongue extending from the handle. The curve of the tongue is sufficient that, when the distal end of the tongue is placed substantially parallel to the spinal cord within the epidural space, the proximal portion of the curve extends substantially parallel to the plane passing between spinal vertebrae. The tongue is formed of a pliant material having sufficient rigidity to separate epidural fat to form a pocket in the epidural space, but sufficiently pliant to prevent trauma to the dura and the spine upon contact. A circular disc, having a thickness and width substantially equal to the thickness and width of the electrode to be placed in the pocket, is formed in the distal end of the tongue to shape the pocket to the size of the electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 1982
    Date of Patent: August 28, 1984
    Assignee: Medtronic, Inc.
    Inventor: Duane J. Zytkovicz
  • Patent number: 4458689
    Abstract: An ultrasound scanning system including an array of ultrasound transducers and a transporter for moving the transducers over a human back. The movement of the ultrasound transducers define a plane and a position transducer produces a position signal representative of the position of the ultrasound transducers in the plane. There is a means for producing a range signal representative of the distance between the transducers and the objects imaged in the back. The range signals are digitized and stored in an array in a digital memory with the position of each stored range signal in the array corresponding to the position of the transducer from which the range signal was obtained in the plane at the time the range signal was received. The range information is printed on a page or displayed on a cathode ray tube with the position of the printed data on the page or the data displayed on the cathode ray tube corresponding to the position on the plane of the back from which the data was obtained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 1982
    Date of Patent: July 10, 1984
    Assignee: Medtronic, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul D. Sorenson, John D. Badzinski
  • Patent number: 4458693
    Abstract: Apparatus and technique for monitoring physiological parameters. An acoustic sensor or microphone is placed in close proximity to the chest of a patient having one or two prosthetic heart valves. These heart valves produce clicks characteristic of opening and closing action. The acoustic sensor picks up the sound of these clicks and transfers them as electrical energy to a transmitter unit. The transmitter unit processes the analog signal, converts it to a digital signal and establishes the key timing factors involved. This digital data is stored in a memory buffer within the transmitter. Subsequently, this information is modulated and placed on telephone lines for transmission to a central monitoring site. At the monitoring site a demodulator returns the data to baseband digital signals. A computer at the central monitoring site displays the information in the time domain and also converts the information for display in the frequency domain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 1981
    Date of Patent: July 10, 1984
    Assignee: Medtronic, Inc.
    Inventors: John D. Badzinski, Michael A. Colson, Dennis G. Hepp
  • Patent number: 4457311
    Abstract: An ultrasound scanning system having a linear array of ultrasound transducers and a transporter system for moving the transducers along the human back. There is a means for producing a position signal indicative of the position of the array along the plane of the back, and a means for producing a range signal representative of the distance of objects interacting with the ultrasound signal from the transducer. An output means, such as a printer or cathode ray tube display, is responsive to the range signal and the position signal to produce an output representative of the structure of the body imaged during the back scan.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 1982
    Date of Patent: July 3, 1984
    Assignee: Medtronic, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul D. Sorenson, Dale A. Dickson
  • Patent number: 4454764
    Abstract: An ultrasonic imaging module including a housing having an internal fluid-filled chamber, and an ultrasonic transducer producing a beam of ultrasonic energy. The transducer includes a piezoelectric transducer element and a ball-shaped ultrasonic window rotatably mounted in a bearing in one wall of the chamber for transmitting the beam of ultrasonic energy to the object to be ultrasonically scanned while rolling on the object. A source of pressured fluid is connected to the chamber and the relative size of the bearing and roller-ball window are such that a film of ultrasonic coupling fluid is applied from the chamber to the surface of the object to be scanned as the roller-ball window turns in the bearing during the scanning process. An ultrasonic lens mounted in the chamber between the transducer element and the ball-window compensates for the effect of the sphericity of the window on the ultrasonic beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 1982
    Date of Patent: June 19, 1984
    Assignee: Medtronic, Inc.
    Inventor: Paul D. Sorenson
  • Patent number: 4437468
    Abstract: An ultrasound scanning system particularly adapted for scanning large body areas such as the back. There is a plurality of ultrasound transducers, each mounted in a transducer shoe, and each shoe in turn mounted on a plunger which seats in the bore of a housing so that it is free to move independently from the other transducers in a direction parallel to the bore, but is constrained to move with the other transducers in the two perpendicular directions. A spring seated in the bore between the housing and the plunger provides a bias force to maintain a positive and uniform contact between the transducer and the back.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 1982
    Date of Patent: March 20, 1984
    Assignee: Medtronic, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul D. Sorenson, Dale A. Dickson
  • Patent number: 4432377
    Abstract: A body implantable lead having a barrel-shaped ring electrode with the ends of the barrel embedded into the lead casing material. A cylindrical flange within the bore of the ring electrode contacts the lead conductor. The lead and electrode are formed by placing the lead in a press with the electrode between a pair of collets with elliptical working surfaces and the lead casing and conductor passing through the axial bore of the collets, and forcing the collets together to shape the electrode and to force the ends of the ring into the casing and the flange into contact with the lead conductor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 1982
    Date of Patent: February 21, 1984
    Assignee: Medtronic, Inc.
    Inventor: Eugene A. Dickhudt
  • Patent number: 4429577
    Abstract: An ultrasonic transducer system for scanning a body including an ultrasonic transducer mounted in a transducer shoe and means for applying acoustic coupling fluid to the transducer/body interface as the shoe moves along the interface. The means for applying the coupling fluid includes a fluid reservoir and a fluid dispensing channel in the transducer shoe, a position transducer for producing a signal proportional to the movement of the dispensing means along the transducer/body interface, a microprocessor responsive to the signal, and a stepping motor driven pump controlled by the microprocessor to pump fluid from the fluid reservoir to the dispensing channel in an amount determined by the movement of the dispensing means along the ultrasonic transducer/body interface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 1982
    Date of Patent: February 7, 1984
    Assignee: Medtronic, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul D. Sorenson, Dale A. Dickson
  • Patent number: 4428381
    Abstract: Apparatus for technique for monitoring physiological parameters. An acoustic sensor or microphone is placed in close proximity to the chest of a patient having one or two prosthetic heart valves. These heart valves produce clicks characteristic of opening and closing action. The acoustic sensor picks up the sound of these clicks and transfers them as electrical energy to a transmitter unit. The transmitter unit processes the analog signal, converts it to a digital signal and establishes the key timing factors involved. This digital data is stored in a memory buffer within the transmitter. Subsequently, this information is modulated and placed on telephone lines for transmission to a central monitoring site. At the monitoring site a demodulator returns the data to baseband digital signals. A computer at the central monitoring site displays the information in the time domain and also converts the information for display in the frequency domain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 1981
    Date of Patent: January 31, 1984
    Assignee: Medtronic, Inc.
    Inventor: Dennis G. Hepp
  • Patent number: 4419819
    Abstract: A length of tubing having an inside diameter equal to the diameter of a biomedical lead is slit along a direction parallel to its axis, with the length of the slits being equal to the desired circumference for lead anchor lobes. The tubing is slipped over the lead body and compressed so that the slit portions of the body expand into lobes, and while the tubing is compressed its ends are heated and compressed until they fuse to the lead body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 1982
    Date of Patent: December 13, 1983
    Assignee: Medtronic, Inc.
    Inventors: Eugene A. Dickhudt, Roger A. Paulson
  • Patent number: 4414986
    Abstract: A biomedical stimulation lead wherein the lead body is preformed into a helical configuration to assist in anchoring the lead. The lead includes a non-conducting member extending forward of the lead electrode along the axis of the lead body, and tines extending perpendicularly from the member. The tines are flat in a plane perpendicular to the axis of the lead.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 1982
    Date of Patent: November 15, 1983
    Assignee: Medtronic, Inc.
    Inventors: Eugene A. Dickhudt, Roger A. Paulson
  • Patent number: 4411277
    Abstract: A body implantable connector for connecting to an implantable device, such as an electrical lead. The connector has a sheath for frictionally fitting over the end of the lead, the sheath being of a pliant material of sufficient strength to resist breaking under the forces normally exerted on the connector, but sufficiently pliable to deform under the frictional forces created between the sheath and lead when they are urged in opposite directions, so that when a force is exerted to pull the sheath from the lead it will stretch causing its diameter to decrease and grip the lead more tightly. In one embodiment a wire extends longitudinally within the sheath and mates with a lumen in the conductor of the lead to make electrical connection to the lead. A means for compressing the sheath about the lead, such as a suture or O-ring, may be used to further secure the sheath to the lead.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 1981
    Date of Patent: October 25, 1983
    Assignee: Medtronic, Inc.
    Inventor: Eugene A. Dickhudt
  • Patent number: 4411276
    Abstract: A body implantable connector for connecting a plurality of implantable devices, such as connecting an extension to a lead. There is a sheath having two open ends, one of which frictionally fits over the end of the lead and the other of which fits over the end of the extension. The sheath is of pliant material of sufficient strength to resist breaking under the forces normally exerted on the connector, but sufficiently pliable to deform and to contract about the lead and the extension under the frictional forces created between the sheath and the lead, and the sheath and the extension when the lead and the extension are urged in a direction tending to separate them. A wire extends longitudinally within the sheath and mates with lumens in the conductors of the lead and the extension to make electrical connection between the lead and the extension. There is a member within the sheath, intermediate the open ends of the sheath, and integrally formed with the sheath which supports the wire within the sheath.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 1981
    Date of Patent: October 25, 1983
    Assignee: Medtronic, Inc.
    Inventors: Eugene A. Dickhudt, Roger A. Paulson