Patents Examined by David M. Ruddy
  • Patent number: 6385472
    Abstract: A magnetically navigable catheter includes a sheath having a proximal end and a distal end, and an extension member having a proximal end and a distal end, slidably mounted in the sheath so that the distal end portion of the extension member telescopes from the distal end of the sheath. The distal end portion of the extension member being relatively more flexible than the distal end of the sheath. There may be one or more electrodes on the distal end of the extension member. There is also at least one magnet, and preferably more than one magnet, on the distal end portion of the extension member to allow the distal end of extension member to be oriented by the application of an externally applied magnetic field.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2002
    Assignee: Stereotaxis, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew F. Hall, Walter M. Blume
  • Patent number: 6381482
    Abstract: A fabric, in the form of a woven or knitted fabric or garment, including a flexible information infrastructure integrated within the fabric for collecting, processing, transmitting and receiving information concerning—but not limited to—a wearer of the fabric. The fabric allows a new way to customize information processing devices to “fit” the wearer by selecting and plugging in (or removing) chips/sensors from the fabric thus creating a wearable, mobile information infrastructure that can operate in a stand-alone or networked mode. The fabric can be provided with sensors for monitoring physical aspects of the wearer, for example body vital signs, such as heart rate, EKG, pulse, respiration rate, temperature, voice, and allergic reaction, as well as penetration of the fabric.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2002
    Assignee: Georgia Tech Research Corp.
    Inventors: Sundaresan Jayaraman, Sungmee Park, Rangaswamy Rajamanickam, Chandramohan Gopalsamy
  • Patent number: 6379349
    Abstract: An arrangement (1) for electrothermally treating the human body or an animal body, in particular for tissue coagulation or electrotomy, includes two electrodes (3, 4) for insertion into the body to be treated. The two electrodes (3, 4) are electrically insulated from each other and are disposed at a distance from each other to produce an electric or electromagnetic field heating the body tissue in the treatment area, and each electrode is connected by a feed line with a power source arranged outside the body. An elongate catheter (2) is provided for joint insertion of the two electrodes (3, 4) into the body, which are staggered in relation to each other in the axial direction of the catheter (2) and connected to the catheter (2) or a component thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2002
    Assignee: Celon AG medical instruments
    Inventors: Gerhard Müller, Kai Desinger
  • Patent number: 6379350
    Abstract: An electrosurgical aspiration instrument that permits aspiration of an area being treated by the instrument. The instrument is coupled at a proximal end to a power source and includes an energy application surface area at a distal end. The power source supplied energy to the energy application surface area such that the distal end of the instrument may apply energy to the treatment area to modify the characteristics of biological material, such as biological tissue in the area. An aspiration lumen is formed through the instrument with an opening through the energy application surface area. The energy application surface area is configured to reduce blockage of the opening. Accordingly, aspiration may be performed simultaneously with electrosurgical treatment whereby unwanted matter such as by-products, biological debris and excess fluid is removed from the treatment area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2002
    Assignee: Oratec Interventions, Inc.
    Inventors: Hugh R. Sharkey, Bruno Strul, Daren L. Stewart, John Ashley, Ramiro L. Reyes
  • Patent number: 6368318
    Abstract: Fiber delivered laser pulses emulsify thrombus by mechanical stresses that include a combination of pressure, tension and shear stress. Laser radiation is delivered to the locality of a thrombus and the radiation is absorbed by blood, blood dot, or other present materials. The combination of a leading pressure wave and subsequent vapor bubble cause efficient, emulsification of thrombus. Operating the laser in a low average power mode alleviates potential thermal complications. The laser is operated in a high repetition rate mode to take advantage of ultrasound frequency effects of thrombus dissolution as well as to decrease the total procedure time. Specific parameter ranges for operation are described. The device includes optical fibers surrounding a lumen intended for flow of a cooling agent. The fibers may be arranged concentrically around the lumen to deliver radiation and heat over as large an area as possible.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2002
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of California
    Inventors: Steven R. Visuri, Luiz B. Da Silva, Peter M. Celliers, Richard A. London, William Benett, Kathryn Broughton, Victor Esch
  • Patent number: 6366795
    Abstract: An electrolyte (70) for use in a single-use biomedical electrode assembly (A, B, C, D) designed for receiving body-generated electrical signals at a patient's skin surface includes: Component Range (%) Skin penetration agent 10-25  Thickener 0-10 Alkali metal or alkaline earth 1-13 metal chloride Alkali metal or alkali earth 1-13 metal nitrate Surfactant 0.001-5    Soluble silver salt, as silver   0-0.01 Buffer 0-10 Water Q.S. The skin penetration agent improves penetration of the outer, dead skin layers by the electrolyte, thereby improving pickup of minute electrical signals generated within the patient's body. A preferred skin penetration agent includes sodium 2-pyrrolidone-5 carboxylate at a concentration of 15-20% by weight of the electrolyte composition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2002
    Assignee: Biosignal Partners
    Inventors: Roger E. Bremer, Daniel T. Pogany, John M. Questel
  • Patent number: 6364876
    Abstract: A securing apparatus for selectively securing an ablating element of an ablation instrument proximate to a targeted region of a biological tissue. The securing apparatus includes a support base affixed to the ablation instrument relative the ablating element, and having a support face adapted to seat against the biological tissue proximate to the ablation element. The support base further defines a passage having one end communicably coupled to a vacuum source and an opposite end terminating at an orifice at the support face. The support face together with the biological tissue forms a hermetic seal thereagainst during operation of the vacuum source to secure the ablation instrument thereagainst. Essentially, the hermetic seal and the vacuum source cooperate to form a vacuum force sufficient to retain the ablation device against the biological tissue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2002
    Assignee: AFx, Inc.
    Inventors: Lyndall Erb, Dany Berube, Robert Matheny, Robert E. Woodard, Theodore C. Ormsby
  • Patent number: 6355034
    Abstract: A multifunctional telescopic monopolar/bipolar electrosurgery pencil is disclosed for use with an electrosurgery unit (ESU). The monopolar/bipolar electrosurgery pencil includes a bipolar electrode having an insulator sandwiched between an active electrode and a return electrode wherein the bipolar electrode is connected to a handpiece capable of alternately effectuating cutting and coagulation with the bipolar electrode. The monopolar/bipolar electrosurgery pencil is capable of functioning as both a monopolar and bipolar device and can be used for open and closed laparoscopic and endoscopic procedures. Telescopic means for adjusting the length of the bipolar electrode is also provided as are means for smoke evacuation and suction/irrigation. The multifunctional telescopic monopolar/bipolar device can also be adapted for use with an ESU-argon beam coagulator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2002
    Inventor: Ioan Cosmescu
  • Patent number: 6352534
    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: September 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2002
    Assignee: Boston Scientific Corporation
    Inventors: Kimberly A. Paddock, James E. Mayberry, Charles D. Lennox
  • Patent number: 6347238
    Abstract: A method and apparatus is provided for detecting and recording a specific type of electric pulse induced in metal electrodes by the living tissue of humans, other animals or plants, and by certain organic and inorganic models of such living tissue. The purely passive system detects the electric energy produced by the living source as it interacts with the crystalline lattice of conductive metal electrodes to produce a train of oscillating pulses, the amplitude of whose envelope decays as a linear function of log-time. Specific aspects of these pulses can be used to study the state of the living, or non-living, source and to detect changes in this state over time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2002
    Inventors: William C. Levengood, John L. Gedye
  • Patent number: 6345192
    Abstract: A contactor for establishing electrical communication with organic tissue, the contactor including a cup-shaped housing of one-piece rubbery material including a closing end-wall connected across an annular sidewall with rim defining an open mouth into a main recess. An electrode in the recess comprises a contact plate with first side facing the mouth to contact organic tissue, and a second side with a pair of leg-like extensions and a center limiter post all of one-piece molded plastics coated with a thin layer of conductor preferably silver/silver chloride to be electrically conductive on the exterior surface of the electrode. The legs of the electrode snap fit against to physically and electrically connect with an electrically conductive venturi tube mounted extending through the housing, the venturi tube having a suction port positioned such that when high pressure gas is passed through the venturi tube, a vacuum is created within the housing recess.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2002
    Assignee: Venturi Medical Systems, LLC
    Inventors: Peter Feucht, Albert Harder, Mark J. Hastings, John Evans
  • Patent number: 6343223
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for improving blood perfusion by both heating a patient's skin and providing emitters and a detector which are offset from each other. Since the emitters and detector are not directly opposite each other, the light is forced to pass through more blood perfused tissue (with blood perfusion enhanced by heating) to pass from the emitters to the detector. This causes the light emitted by the emitters to pass through more blood-perfused tissue to reach the detector than it would on the direct path through the appendage if the emitters and detector were opposite each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2002
    Assignee: Mallinckrodt Inc.
    Inventors: Rodney Chin, Steven Hobbs
  • Patent number: 6336926
    Abstract: An electrosurgical system comprises a radio frequency generator (1), an electrosurgical instrument (E1), and a fluid enclosure (42). The generator (1) has a radio frequency output for delivery of power to the electrosurgical instrument (E1) when immersed in an electrically-conductive fluid. The electrosurgical instrument (E1) has an electrode assembly (32) at the distal end thereof, the electrode assembly comprising a tissue treatment electrode (34), and a return electrode (38) axially spaced therefrom in such a manner as to define, in use, a conductive fluid path that completes an electrical circuit between the tissue treatment electrode and the return electrode. The fluid enclosure (42) is adapted to surround an operation site on the skin of a patient or an incision leading to a cavity surgically created within the patient's body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2002
    Assignee: Gyrus Medical Limited
    Inventor: Nigel M Goble
  • Patent number: 6334861
    Abstract: A bipolar instrument for use by a surgeon to seal tissue with bipolar electrosurgery. The bipolar instrument is a modified hemostat including two elongate members. Each elongate member has a proximal end to be held by a surgeon and a distal end. The elongate members substantially defining a plane and are electrically conductive for transmitting high frequency electrosurgery. A pivot transverse to the plane connects the two elongate members for scissors-like motion between the distal ends. A first tissue contacting pole integral with one elongate member and positioned at its distal end is electrically conductive for transmitting high frequency electrosurgery. Latching elements extend from each elongate member for cooperative interengagement with opposed ramps and abutting stops for sliding conjugation to hold the first and second tissue contacting poles with a predetermined force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2002
    Assignee: Sherwood Services AG
    Inventors: James Gilbert Chandler, Randel Alven Frazier
  • Patent number: 6334860
    Abstract: A bipolar medical instrument is provided comprising a tubular shaft having two jaw parts disposed at the distal end of the shaft. The jaw parts are pivotally connected to one another and each forms an electrode to which a high frequency electric power is applicable. The jaw parts comprise metallic bases, which are pivotally connected to one another. The metallic bases each comprise an insulator element on the sides facing one another. A conductive element forming an electrode is connected to each of the insulator elements. Two insulated electrical lines extend through the tubular shaft to the conductive elements and are electrically connected thereto.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2002
    Assignee: Karl Storz GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventor: Jürgen Dorn
  • Patent number: 6332881
    Abstract: This is a tool used during open heart or open chest surgery for creating lesions or lines of ablation in tissue to treat atrial fibrillation. It is a relatively short device having a rigid or semi-rigid shaft connected on one end to a handle and on the other end to a more flexible distal tip having one or more electrodes. The distal end of the shaft is angled so to define a first plane of deflection. A deflection mechanism consisting of a pull wire and flat spring housed in a lumen of the tool is manipulable via the handle for deflecting the distal tip in a plane different than the first plane of deflection, allowing direct contact with the curved surface of the tissue, either epicardial or endocardial, to be ablated. The tool may contain fiber optic or other data lines for transmitting data relevant to the patient, and it may be irrigated to cool the tool and the electrodes or to deliver therapeutic fluids to tissue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2001
    Assignee: Cardima, Inc.
    Inventors: David J. Carner, Reynaldo P. Hilario, Mahmoud K. Seraj
  • Patent number: 6328761
    Abstract: A body warmer for use in footwear is disclosed which is prevented from slipping in footwear and is capable of warming a desired portion accurately, and which includes an exothermic composition capable of generating heat in the presence of air, an air-permeable bag accommodating the composition, and an air-tight bag sealingly enveloping the air-permeable bag, the air-permeable bag being formed with a non-slip layer in at least a portion thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2001
    Assignee: Kiribai Chemical Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Akio Ueki
  • Patent number: 6325799
    Abstract: In an electrosurgical instrument susceptible to varying load impedance, particularly varying load reactance, a fixed frequency radio frequency generator has an output stage (Q1, Q2, TR2-TR4, C1, VC2, 42) consisting of at least one output power device and, coupled to the power device, an output network with a load-dependent resonant condition. To compensate for variations in the load reactance, the output network has a dynamically variable capacitor (VC2) which maintains the tuning of the network substantially constant. Variation of the capacitor (VC2) is performed by means of a phase comparator and servo device (44) which are responsive to variations in phase difference occurring in the output stage due to load reactance changes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2001
    Assignee: Gyrus Medical Limited
    Inventor: Colin C. O. Goble
  • Patent number: 6324415
    Abstract: A lead assembly adapted for endocardial fixation to a human heart is provided. The lead assembly includes a lead body that has a proximal end provided with a connector for electrical connection to a cardiac stimulator. The cardiac stimulator may be a pacemaker, a cardioverter/defibrillator, or a sensing instrument. The distal end of the lead body is connected to a tubular electrode housing. The lead body consists of one or more noncoiled conductor cables surrounded by a coextensive insulating sleeve. Each conductor cable consists of a conducting element covered by a coextensive insulating sleeve. The conducting element may be a single filament wire or a plurality of individual conductor wires. In contrast to conventional leads, the lead body of the present invention does not require coiled conductor wires. Lead body diameters of 1.04 mm or smaller are possible.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2001
    Assignee: Intermedics Inc.
    Inventors: Paul R. Spehr, Elmar R. Fischer, Sr., James E. Machek
  • Patent number: RE37463
    Abstract: An implantable devices for the effective elimination of an arrhythmogenic site from the myocardium is presented. By inserting small biocompatible conductors and/or insulators into the heart tissue at the arrhythmogenic site, it is possible to effectively eliminate a portion of the tissue from the electric field and current paths within the heart. The device would act as an alternative to the standard techniques for the removal of tissue from the effective contribution to the hearts electrical action which require the destruction of tissue via energy transfer (RF, microwave, cryogenic, etc.). This device is a significant improvement in the state of the art in that it does not require tissue necrosis. In one preferred embodiment the device is a non conductive helix that is permanently implanted into the heart wall around the arrhythmogenic site.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2001
    Inventor: Peter A. Altman