Patents Examined by David M. Ruddy
  • Patent number: 6511476
    Abstract: An electrosurgical apparatus supplies high-frequency power from a high-frequency power supply unit to an instrument placed in association with an organic tissue to dissect or coagulate the organic tissue. An impedance calculating section calculates the impedance value of the organic tissue. A rate-of-impedance-change calculating section calculates the rate of impedance change of the organic tissue based on the impedance value calculated by the impedance calculating section. A control section controls the high-frequency output of the high-frequency power supply unit based on a predetermined condition provided by combining the impedance value calculated by the impedance calculating section with the rate of impedance change calculated by the rate-of-impedance-change calculating section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2003
    Assignee: Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Norihiko Hareyama
  • Patent number: 6508816
    Abstract: A micro-catheter system utilizing a microjoule pulsed electrical discharge between first and second electrodes in a recessed lumen at the catheter working end for creating a cavitating volume of electrolytic fluid composition including a pharmacologic agent. The expansion and collapse of media at a high repetition rate creates acoustic waves that propagate distally from the working end of the micro-catheter to disrupt thrombus. The expansion and collapse of such cavitation bubbles “jet” the pharmacologic agent at a controlled velocity into the acoustically-disrupted thrombus to further depolymerize the thrombus. The catheter system includes a computer-controller for independent modulation of (i) all aspects of pharmacologic agent delivery, and (ii) all parameters of electrical discharge to “tailor” the combined acoustic wave effects and pharmacologic agent effects to dissolve thrombus rapidly and efficiently.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2003
    Inventor: John H. Shadduck
  • Patent number: 6494901
    Abstract: Tanning bed apparatus is provided for providing a person with an artificial sun tan. The apparatus includes a lower tanning unit and an upper tanning unit that is moveable between an open and a closed position where the units together form a tanning chamber. A first longitudinally extending edge of the lower tanning unit is positioned lower than the vertical center of the tanning chamber to ease the task of entering and exiting the chamber. A second longitudinally extending edge of the lower tanning unit includes at least one tanning bulb that is positioned at or above the vertical center of the chamber to eliminate uneven tanning along one longitudinally extending edge of the user. At least one tanning bulb in the first longitudinally extending edge of the upper tanning unit is positioned at or below the vertical center of the chamber to eliminate uneven tanning along the opposite longitudinally extending edges of the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2002
    Assignee: Sun Ergoline, Inc.
    Inventor: John Stephen Doty
  • Patent number: 6488616
    Abstract: A support for input and output transducers of a hearing aid is implanted in the middle ear. The support, which is attached to the mastoid bone, can be a single component or comprise two adjustable components. In one embodiment, an arm extends from the proximal end of the support towards an access hole created behind the outer ear, where the arm is attached for further stability. In another embodiment, the arm extends outside the access hole, where it is mounted subcutaneously to the mastoid bone with a mechanical fastener. The support provides positional adjustability, stability, and is invisible externally.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2002
    Assignee: St. Croix Medical, Inc.
    Inventors: Donald J. Bushek, Kai Kroll
  • Patent number: 6488680
    Abstract: A device for ablating tissue is provided. The device comprises a conductive element with a channel for irrigating fluid formed therein, which is in contact with a non-conductive microporous interface. All or a portion of the interface may be removable. When the interface is removed, a portion of the conductive element is exposed for use in ablating tissue. Methods of using the device and of removing the interface are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2002
    Assignee: Medtronic, Inc.
    Inventors: David E. Francischelli, Richard H. Comben, Michael F. Hoey, Rahul Mehra, Jon M. Ocel, Robert Pearson, Paul V. Trescony, Scott E. Jahns
  • Patent number: 6488678
    Abstract: An apparatus for delivering energy to a biological site includes an electrode device having a plurality of electrodes, the electrode device positioned proximal the biological site. A power control system supplies power having a controllable phase angle to each of the electrodes. A backplate is also positioned proximal the biological site so that the biological site is interposed between the electrode device and the backplate. The backplate is maintained at the reference voltage level in relation to the power. The power control system controls the phase angle of the power so that the current flow between the electrodes and between the electrodes and the backplate results in the continuity and depth of lesions desired. In a preferred embodiment, the electrodes are arranged in a substantially linear array.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2002
    Assignee: Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc.
    Inventor: Marshall L. Sherman
  • Patent number: 6485489
    Abstract: A catheter system and methods for repairing a valvular annulus or an annular organ structure of a patient comprising sandwiching and compressing the annulus and applying heat sufficient to shrink or tighten tissue surrounding the annulus defect.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2002
    Assignee: Quantum Cor, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul Teirstein, John A. Osth, Thomas H. Witzel, Cary Hata, Wallace N Hauck, Hosheng Tu
  • Patent number: 6487430
    Abstract: An apparatus and method to connect to an electrode is claimed. The apparatus includes a first mating member and a second mating member having first and second openings. A resilient body portion connects the first and second mating members.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2002
    Assignee: GE Medical Systems Information Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert E. Henderson, Teresa Guichard
  • Patent number: 6482203
    Abstract: A deflectable interstitial ablation device includes an elongated housing, an electrode mounted within the elongated housing, a driver coupled to the electrode, an imaging device integrally mounted within the elongated housing and a deflection system disposed within the elongated housing. The elongated housing has a proximal end, a distal end, and a deflectable segment. The electrode is deployable from a first position within the elongated housing to a second position a predetermined distance beyond the distal end of the elongated housing. The electrode further has a flexible portion capable of deflecting with the deflectable segment of the elongated housing, and can be deployed by the driver with a sufficient force such that penetration of the urethral wall occurs in a single motion. The imaging device further has a flexible portion capable of deflecting with the deflectable segment of the elongated housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2002
    Assignee: SciMed Life Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Kimberly A. Paddock, James E. Mayberry, Charles D. Lennox
  • Patent number: 6480731
    Abstract: A biomedical electrode including a flexible pad having a top surface and a bottom surface; an asymmetrical, linearly aligned array of signal contacts retained by the flexible pad and each having a contact surface projecting from the bottom surface and a coupling surface projecting above the top surface; and a connector including a plurality of connector contacts each being shaped and arranged for electrical connection to a different one of the coupling surfaces. The asymmetrical array of signal contacts facilitates proper positioning of the electrode on the skin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2002
    Assignee: Altec, Inc.
    Inventors: Carlo J. DeLuca, L. Donald Gilmore
  • Patent number: 6478793
    Abstract: Ablative treatment of metastatic bone tumors and relief of pain associated with metastatic bone tumors is achieved by heat ablation of the bone tumor or tissue near the bone tumor by an ablation probe. In one form the probe is an electrode coupled to a high frequency power supply to provide ablative heating of tissue proximate to an electrode that is placed in or near the bone tumor. Cooling of the electrode by fluid circulation from a cooling apparatus outside the patient's body may be used to enlarge the region of high frequency heating around the electrode. Image guidance of the electrode placement may be monitored by an imaging device. Tracking of the electrode by an image-guided navigator helps in placement of the electrode with respect to the configuration of the bone and bone metastasis. A set of tools accommodates biopsy and various shapes of electrodes according to clinical requirements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2002
    Assignee: Sherwood Services AG
    Inventors: Eric R. Cosman, William Rittman
  • Patent number: 6477396
    Abstract: A catheter for mapping and ablating comprises an elongated flexible body having a distal region and at least one lumen extending therethrough. A tip electrode is mounted on the distal region. The tip electrode has an exposed distal region having proximal and distal ends and an isolated region proximal to the exposed distal region. The isolated region has an outer surface provided with an electrically insulating and thermally conductive layer. A second electrode is mounted on the isolated region of the tip electrode. This mapping and ablation electrode arrangement provides discrete recording of electrical signals due to the relatively small exposed distal region while allowing the creating of larger lesions due to the large thermal mass provided by the isolated region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2002
    Assignee: Biosense Webster, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert A. Mest, Hiroshi Nakagawa
  • Patent number: 6477397
    Abstract: The invention relates to an electrode structure for measuring a biosignal from a living body, which electrode structure comprises a contact surface intended to be placed against the body. It is essential for the invention that the contact surface comprises several adjacent wave fronts, which wave fronts comprise protrusions and valleys, which are situated lower between the protrusions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2002
    Assignee: Polar Electro Oy
    Inventors: Ilkka Ronkainen, Jarmo Lehtonen
  • Patent number: 6471695
    Abstract: The present invention provides improved methods, systems, and kits for protecting body tissues which are adjacent to tissues undergoing thermal treatment. Thermal treatment is often prescribed for tumors and other disease conditions within body organs and other tissue masses. The methods, systems, and kits are particularly useful for treating tumors which lie at or near the surface of an organ, such as the kidney, pancreas, stomach, spleen, and particularly the liver. One risk of treating such tumors is the possibility of mistargeting the tumor and penetrating a delivery cannula or portions of a treatment device beyond the surface into the adjacent tissues or organs. In the case of radiofrequency or electrosurgical treatment, healthy surrounding tissue may be directly ablated. An additional risk, present even when the tumor is correctly targeted, is the possibility of thermal damage to the surrounding, non-targeted tissue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2002
    Assignee: Radiotherapeutics, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert S. Behl
  • Patent number: 6471696
    Abstract: A medical instrument is disclosed. The medical instrument includes a transmission line suitable for the transmission of electromagnetic energy and an antenna coupled to the transmission line. The antenna is configured for generating an electromagnetic field sufficiently strong to cause tissue ablation. The medical instrument further includes a reflector arranged to be electrically coupled to the transmission line. The reflector is positioned laterally to a first side of the antenna and configured for redirecting a portion of the electromagnetic field to a second side of the antenna opposite the reflector, wherein a majority of the electromagnetic field is directed away from the second side of the antenna.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2002
    Assignee: AFx, Inc.
    Inventors: Dany Berube, Jules Gauthier
  • Patent number: 6471697
    Abstract: A tissue ablation device creates long linear lesions along a body space wall of an animal, and primarily between adjacent pulmonary vein ostia in a left atrial wall. An ablation element includes first and second ends that are bordered by first and second anchors. The anchors are adapted to secure the ablation element ends at predetermined first and second locations along the body space wall such that the ablation element is adapted to ablate an elongate region of tissue between those locations. The anchors may be guidewire tracking members, each including a bore adapted to receive and track over a guidewire, and may anchor within adjacent pulmonary vein ostia when the engaged guidewires are positioned within the respective veins. Stop members may be provided on the guidewires and may be adapted for positioning the relative anchors or for forcing the anchors to fit snugly within the vein ostia.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2002
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of California
    Inventor: Michael D. Lesh
  • Patent number: 6468269
    Abstract: The invention relates to a cryogenic system which is provided for performing cryosurgical interventions in the area of human and veterinary medicine, especially for treating tumors. The inventive system is comprised of a cryostat (1) and of a connecting device (8) which is located between coaxial cryogenic lines for the direct flow (9) and return flow (10) of the cryogenic medium and which is provided for connecting a cryoinstrument (17) to a cryo-attachment (13). The electromagnetic valve (11) is located in the immediate proximity of the connecting device (8). A regulating device (18) is provided for controlling the electromagnetic valves (2, 3, 4 and 7) as well as the heating element (12), and regulates the excess pressure of the cryogenic medium in the cryostat (1) to an accuracy of ±0.1×105 Pa. The bottle neck (23) of the cryostat (1) is made of a material exhibiting a low level of thermal conductivity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2002
    Inventors: Nikolai Korpan, Jaroslav Zharkov
  • Patent number: 6466811
    Abstract: A device for the mapping of cardiac arrhythmia foci including a catheter body having a distal tip, first and second point electrodes, which are secured to the catheter body and which form a first bipolar pair of electrodes, and third and fourth point electrodes, which are secured to the catheter body and which form a second bipolar pair of electrodes, wherein a line passing between the third and fourth point electrodes is within about 45 degrees of being perpendicular to a line passing through the first and second point electrodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2002
    Assignee: Daig Corporation
    Inventor: James A. Hassett
  • Patent number: 6451017
    Abstract: The present invention provides a series of devices for performing surgical procedures utilizing electrodes for performing electrocautery on a tissue of the body of a patient. The invention includes, in one aspect, a series of devices comprising surgical instruments providing at least one electrode for performing electrocautery, and, in another aspect, provides a method for cutting and cauterizing tissue with a surgical instrument. In yet another aspect, the invention involves a method for detecting the location of a bleeding vessel in a liquid-filled, visually monitored surgical field of a patient and for electrocauterizing the vessel to stop the bleeding before visualization of the surgical field is compromised. Preferred surgical instruments according to the invention also include operable components for forming a liquid cutting jet for cutting or ablating tissue of a patient and/or for providing a rotating, tissue contacting component for cutting, grinding, ablating, etc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2002
    Assignee: Hydrocision, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy E. Moutafis, Donald C. Freeman, Jr., Kevin Staid, Andy H. Levine
  • Patent number: 6453185
    Abstract: A sensing and drainage catheter for use in a cranial site includes a reduced diameter connector so that traditional tunneling techniques may be used with the connector-equipped proximal end of the catheter, rather than the sensor-equipped distal end of the catheter. The catheter includes a drainage lumen and a signal conducting lumen. The signal conducting lumen including a distal sensor for sensing the properties of cerebral spinal fluid and means for transmitting data signals representing those properties in either optical or electrical form to a reduced diameter connector attached to the proximal end of the lumen. A method comprises first accurately locating the distal end of the ventricular catheter in the brain ventricle prior to the catheter being tunneled under the scalp.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2002
    Assignee: Integra LifeSciences, Inc.
    Inventor: Jonathan B. O'Keefe