Patents by Inventor Kevin L. Houser

Kevin L. Houser has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 10765470
    Abstract: Various forms are directed to systems and methods for dissection and coagulation of tissue. A surgical instrument includes an end effector configured to dissect and seal tissue at a distal end thereof, and a generator that is electrically coupled to the surgical instrument and that is configured to deliver energy to the end effector. The surgical instrument includes an end effector configured to interact with a tissue at a distal end thereof, a generator electrically coupled to the surgical instrument and configured to deliver radio frequency (RF) energy and ultrasonic energy to the end effector to allow the end effector to interact with the tissue. The energy delivered to the end effector switches between RF energy and ultrasonic energy based on a determination of various factors such as tissue impedance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2020
    Assignee: Ethicon LLC
    Inventors: David C. Yates, Kevin L. Houser, Eitan T. Wiener, Kristen G. Denzinger, Ryan M. Asher, Phillip H. Clauda, Cameron R. Nott, Jeffrey D. Messerly, Frederick E. Shelton, IV, Geoffrey S. Strobl
  • Patent number: 10751117
    Abstract: An end effector of an electrosurgical device may include a discharge port in communication with a first fluid path, an aspiration port in communication with a second fluid path, a first and second electrode, and a diverter in mechanical communication with the two electrodes. The diverter may receive, on its surface, a fluid emitted by the discharge port, and maintain a contact of the fluid with the first and second electrodes. The diverter may be further configured to prevent an aspiration, by the aspiration port, of the fluid on its surface. An electrosurgical device may include a source port in communication with a first fluid path, an evacuation port in communication with a second fluid path, a first and second electrode, and a housing. The device may include a shaft extending distally from the housing and the end effector as described above.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 25, 2020
    Assignee: Ethicon LLC
    Inventors: David A. Witt, Frederick E. Shelton, IV, David C. Yates, Chad P. Boudreaux, Eric M. Roberson, Kevin L. Houser, Geoffrey S. Strobl
  • Publication number: 20200246642
    Abstract: A surgical instrument includes an end effector and a handle assembly. The end effector is configured to operate at a first energy level and at a second energy level. The end effector is further configured to transition between an open position and a closed position. The end effector is configured to grasp tissue in the closed position. The handle assembly includes a body, a trigger, and an activation element. The trigger is configured to pivot in a first direction relative to the body to actuate the end effector from the open position to the closed position. The activation element is configured to activate the end effector at either the first energy level or the second energy level. The trigger is configured to either activate the activation element or determine whether the end effector operates at the first energy level or the second energy level.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 7, 2020
    Publication date: August 6, 2020
    Inventors: Charles J. Scheib, Benjamin M. Boyd, Paul F. Riestenberg, Craig N. Faller, Allison Hamilton, Patrick J. Swindon, Christopher J. Chermside-Scabbo, Kevin L. Houser, David J. Cagle, Geoffrey S. Strobl, Benjamin J. Danziger, Rudolph H. Nobis
  • Patent number: 10730236
    Abstract: An additive manufacturing system is capable of extruding poly-fiber strand having a fiber core coated with a polymer with a high range of flexibility in positioning and orienting extruded fibers. Extruded fibers may be laid in a single direction, or may curve or turn to be laid in multiple directions. Structures of devices and components may be created using interconnected extruded strands having interstitial spaces between and around the strands. This structure may be infused with resin or polymer using a pressure or vacuum based infusion system. In this manner, durable polymeric objects can be created without requiring expensive molds. Other techniques are also possible, including varying the types of strands used in an object to create areas of the object that will preferentially twist or flex in certain ways or directions, as well as producing objects with zones having different types of resin or no resin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2020
    Assignee: Ethicon LLC
    Inventors: Kevin L. Houser, Peyton L. Hopson, Vincent H. Barre
  • Publication number: 20200237464
    Abstract: An ultrasonic surgical system has an ultrasonic unit including an instrument operatively connected to an ultrasonic generator, wherein the instrument has an ultrasonic end effector on the distal end of a shaft. The system further includes a positioning unit including a movable arm adapted for releasably holding the instrument, whereby an operator may direct the positioning unit to position the end effector at a surgical site inside a body cavity of a patient for performing a plurality of surgical tasks. The system further includes a control unit operatively connected to the ultrasonic and positioning units, wherein the control unit is programmable with a surgical subroutine for performing the surgical tasks. The system further includes a user interface operatively connected to the control unit for initiating an operative cycle of the surgical subroutine such that the surgical tasks are automatically performed during the operative cycle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 10, 2020
    Publication date: July 30, 2020
    Inventors: Kevin L. Houser, William T. Donofrio, Foster B. Stulen
  • Patent number: 10722261
    Abstract: A surgical instrument is disclosed comprising a housing, a transducer supported within the housing, an end-effector engaged with the transducer, and a clamp including a jaw member movably supported relative to the end-effector between an open position and a closed position. The transducer is configured to produce vibrations. The end-effector defines an axis and a distal tip. The distal tip is movable relative to the axis by vibrations produced by the transducer. The end-effector is configured to be detached from the transducer. The transducer is configured to receive a different end-effector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2020
    Assignee: Ethicon LLC
    Inventors: Kevin L. Houser, Andrew M. Zwolinski, Tracy D. Lopes, Prasanna Malaviya, Daniel W. Price, Louis T. DeLuca
  • Publication number: 20200229817
    Abstract: A surgical instrument includes a body, a shaft, and an end effector. The shaft extends distally from the body. The end effector is located at a distal end of the shaft. The end effector includes an active feature configured to operate on tissue. The body includes a drive feature operable to drive the active feature of the end effector. The body is operable to selectively couple with a variety of power sources such that the drive feature may receive electrical power form a battery or from a corded power source, based on a user's preference. The body may include a handpiece that has a socket configured to receive a battery or cable adapter. The body may removably receive various kinds of shaft assemblies to provide various operating modalities. The shaft assemblies may include user interface features.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 3, 2020
    Publication date: July 23, 2020
    Inventors: Jeffrey L. Aldridge, Eitan T. Wiener, Robert A. Kemerling, James R. Giordano, Vincent P. Battaglia, JR., Daniel W. Price, Sean P. Conlon, Gregory W. Johnson, Jeffrey D. Messerly, Shan Wan, Kevin L. Houser, Foster B. Stulen, Jacob S. Gee, Jeffrey A. Bullock, John A. Hibner, William B. Weisenburgh, II
  • Publication number: 20200229834
    Abstract: The present disclosure is directed to end effectors. An end effector includes an outer shaft extending along a longitudinal axis and an inner shaft partially located within the outer shaft. The end effector may include an ultrasonic blade. The inner shaft may include biased and unbiased portions. The inner shaft and outer shaft may be translatable relative to one another. At one translatable position, the biased portion of the inner shaft may be located within the outer shaft and the unbiased portion may be substantially straight along the longitudinal axis. At another translatable position, the biased portion of the inner shaft may be located outside of and distally positioned from the outer shaft such that the biased portion of the inner shaft is bent away from the longitudinal axis.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 6, 2020
    Publication date: July 23, 2020
    Inventors: William A. Olson, Foster B. Stulen, Jeffrey D. Messerly, Daniel W. Price, Kevin L. Houser, Craig N. Faller, William D. Dannaher, Sora Rhee, Tylor C. Muhlenkamp
  • Publication number: 20200229863
    Abstract: A system includes a medical device and a charging device. A sterile barrier may be interposed between the medical device and the charging device. The medical device includes an integral power source and an active element. The charging device is configured to charge the integral power source. The charging device may charge the integral power source through direct contact between features of the charging device and features the medical device. The charging device may alternatively charge the integral power source wirelessly, such as through inductive coupling. The medical device may include conductive prongs that are retained by the charging device. The charging device may physically couple with the medical device via magnets. The medical device and the charging device may be provided together in a sterile package as a kit. The kit may also include a reclamation bag to facilitate reclamation of electrical components.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 3, 2020
    Publication date: July 23, 2020
    Inventors: Ashvani K. Madan, Donna L. Korvick, Aron O. Zingman, John W. Willis, Kevin L. Houser, Gavin M. Monson, Kevin D. Felder, Michael J. Stokes, Sora Rhee, Timothy G. Dietz, Jeffrey L. Aldridge
  • Patent number: 10709511
    Abstract: A robotic surgical system including a control system that controls the movement of a robotic arm is described. The robotic arm can be coupled to a tool assembly that includes an end effector positioned at a distal end of a shaft. The tool assembly can include one or more sensors that measure a variety of forces or velocities associated with either the robotic arm or end effector. The control system can collect and monitor such sensed forces and velocities to determine and control one or more appropriate movement parameters associated with the robotic arm thereby controlling the cutting of tissue and preventing unwanted cutting of tissue. Furthermore, movement parameters associated with more than one robotic arm can be controlled by the control system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2020
    Assignee: Ethicon LLC
    Inventors: Frederick E. Shelton, IV, Jeffrey S. Swayze, Geoffrey S. Strobl, Jason L. Harris, David C. Yates, Kevin L. Houser
  • Patent number: 10709452
    Abstract: An apparatus includes a body, a shaft, a stapling head assembly, and an anvil. The body includes a motor, a first user input feature, and a second user input feature. The first user input feature is operable to activate the motor. The shaft extends distally from the body. The stapling head assembly is positioned at a distal end of the shaft. The stapling head assembly includes an anvil coupling feature, at least one annular array of staples, and a staple driver. The second user input feature is operable to drive the anvil coupling feature longitudinally. The staple driver is operable to drive the at least one annular array of staples. The motor is operable to drive the staple driver. The anvil is configured to couple with the anvil coupling feature. The anvil is further configured to deform the staples driven by the staple driver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2020
    Assignee: Ethicon LLC
    Inventors: Brian F. DiNardo, Brian W. Bear, Charles J. Scheib, Christopher C. Miller, Craig S. Smith, Emily A. Schellin, Frederick E. Shelton, IV, Jason E. Zerkle, Jeffrey C. Gagel, John P. Measamer, Johnny H. Alexander, III, Joseph T. Kluener, Kevin D. Sackett, Kevin L. Houser, Mark D. Overmyer, Matthew H. Bolton, Omar J. Vakharia, Richard F. Schwemberger, Richard L. Leimbach, Rodney V. Clingaman, Timothy E. Goode, William D. Fox, William R. Stager
  • Patent number: 10709469
    Abstract: A method of conserving energy in a surgical instrument that includes a segmented circuit having a plurality of independently operated circuit segments, a voltage control circuit, an energy source, a memory, and a processor coupled to the memory. The processor is configured to control a state of a circuit segment of the plurality of circuit segments. The state can be an energized state or a deenergized state. The method includes transmitting an energizing signal from the processor to a voltage control circuit, receiving the energizing signal by the voltage control circuit to apply a voltage to a circuit segment of the plurality of circuit segments, applying the voltage to the circuit segment by the voltage control circuit to cause the circuit segment to transition from the deenergized state to the energized state in accordance with an energization sequence that is different from a deenergization sequence.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2020
    Assignee: Ethicon LLC
    Inventors: Frederick E. Shelton, IV, David C. Yates, Kevin L. Houser
  • Publication number: 20200178958
    Abstract: A surgical instrument for use by an operator in a surgical procedure includes an elongate shaft, an end effector extending from the elongate shaft, and a control system. The end effector is articulatable relative to the elongate shaft between a home state position and an articulated position. The control system includes a processor and a memory coupled to the processor to store program instructions. The processor can alert the operator when the end effector reaches the home state position from the articulated position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 27, 2019
    Publication date: June 11, 2020
    Inventors: Mark D. Overmyer, Brett E. Swensgard, Shane R. Adams, Thomas W. Lytle, IV, Richard L. Leimbach, Frederick E. Shelton, IV, Kevin L. Houser
  • Patent number: 10675103
    Abstract: A robotic surgical system having a master controller configured to control a set of basic functions of the components of the robotic surgical system. The components including at least an electromechanical tool, an electromechanical arm, an instrument shaft, and an end effector. At least one secondary controller is disposed within at least one of the components and is configured to control functions of the components in addition to the basic functions controlled by the master controller. The functions of the components controlled by the secondary controller increasing the functionality of the robotic surgical system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2020
    Assignee: Ethicon LLC
    Inventors: Frederick E. Shelton, IV, David C. Yates, Jason L. Harris, Kevin L. Houser, Jeffrey S. Swayze
  • Patent number: 10675027
    Abstract: A surgical instrument includes a body, a shaft, and an end effector. The shaft extends distally from the body. The end effector is located at a distal end of the shaft. The end effector includes an active feature configured to operate on tissue. The body includes a drive feature operable to drive the active feature of the end effector. The body is operable to selectively couple with a variety of power sources such that the drive feature may receive electrical power form a battery or from a corded power source, based on a user's preference. The body may include a handpiece that has a socket configured to receive a battery or cable adapter. The body may removably receive various kinds of shaft assemblies to provide various operating modalities. The shaft assemblies may include user interface features.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2020
    Assignee: Ethicon LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey L. Aldridge, Eitan T. Wiener, Robert A. Kemerling, James R. Giordano, Vincent P. Battaglia, Jr., Daniel W. Price, Sean P. Conlon, Gregory W. Johnson, Jeffrey D. Messerly, Shan Wan, Kevin L. Houser, Foster B. Stulen, Jacob S. Gee, Jeffrey A. Bullock, John A. Hibner, William B. Weisenburgh, II
  • Publication number: 20200170665
    Abstract: An ultrasonic instrument includes a housing, an ultrasonic transducer support by the housing, and an integrated usage indicator. The housing is configured to removably connect to a shaft assembly. The ultrasonic transducer is configured to be acoustically connected to a waveguide and operated a predetermined number of use cycles. The integrated usage indicator is operatively connected to the housing and includes a used state indicator. The used state indicator is configured to indicate to a clinician in a used state when the ultrasonic transducer has been operated at least the predetermined number of use cycles for limiting usage of the ultrasonic transducer to the predetermined number of use cycles.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 26, 2019
    Publication date: June 4, 2020
    Inventors: Ryan M. Asher, Brian D. Black, Chad P. Boudreaux, Nathan Cummings, William D. Dannaher, Craig T. Davis, Glenn W. Ellison, Frederick L. Estera, Jacob S. Gee, Geni Giannotti, Timothy S. Holland, Kevin L. Houser, Gregory W. Johnson, Amy M. Krumm, Jason R. Lesko, Stephen M. Leuck, Ion V. Nicolaescu, Candice Otrembiak, Amelia A. Pierce, Eric Roberson, Shan Wan
  • Publication number: 20200163691
    Abstract: An apparatus for operating on tissue includes a body assembly, a shaft, an acoustic waveguide, and an end effector. The end effector includes an ultrasonic blade, a clamp arm, and a blade guard. The ultrasonic blade is in acoustic communication with the waveguide. The clamp arm is configured to pivot toward and away from the ultrasonic blade. The clamp arm has a first tine. The blade guard extends from the shaft. The blade guard has a longitudinally extending arm defining a concave pathway and a second tine located distal to the longitudinally extending arm. The ultrasonic blade is partially housed within the concave pathway. The first tine and the second tine are configured to grasp tissue when the clamp arm pivots toward the ultrasonic blade.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 26, 2019
    Publication date: May 28, 2020
    Inventor: Kevin L. Houser
  • Publication number: 20200163618
    Abstract: Biomarkers are collected and used to determine biological propensities of a patient, to determine the efficacy of medical devices, to select and administer therapeutic agents, to select medical devices, to make adjustments to medical devices, and/or to adjust surgical techniques. An apparatus includes a port to draw a biological fluid (e.g., a mist) from a surgical site. The apparatus includes a sensor having a cantilevered beam. The beam includes substances selected to attract certain biomarkers as the fluid is communicated across the beam. The same apparatus or another apparatus is used to administer a therapeutic agent based at least in part on collected biomarker data. The therapeutic agent delivery apparatus may include a device that is also used to create a wound at a surgical site. For instance, a harmonic surgical instrument may be used to both collect biomarkers and administer a therapeutic agent (e.g., gene therapy using sonoporation).
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 26, 2019
    Publication date: May 28, 2020
    Inventors: Jeffrey W. Clymer, Prasanna Malaviya, Donna L. Korvick, Kevin L. Houser, Cory G. Kimball, Frederick E. Shelton, IV, Chester O. Baxter, III, Taylor W. Aronhalt
  • Patent number: 10660695
    Abstract: A system includes a medical device and a charging device. A sterile barrier may be interposed between the medical device and the charging device. The medical device includes an integral power source and an active element. The charging device is configured to charge the integral power source. The charging device may charge the integral power source through direct contact between features of the charging device and features the medical device. The charging device may alternatively charge the integral power source wirelessly, such as through inductive coupling. The medical device may include conductive prongs that are retained by the charging device. The charging device may physically couple with the medical device via magnets. The medical device and the charging device may be provided together in a sterile package as a kit. The kit may also include a reclamation bag to facilitate reclamation of electrical components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2020
    Assignee: Ethicon LLC
    Inventors: Ashvani K. Madan, Donna L. Korvick, Aron O. Zingman, John W. Willis, Kevin L. Houser, Gavin M. Monson, Kevin D. Felder, Michael J. Stokes, Sora Rhee, Timothy G. Dietz, Jeffrey L. Aldridge
  • Patent number: 10653897
    Abstract: A surgical instrument having a transmission assembly, a transducer, and a handle assembly is configured for coupling the transmission assembly to the handle assembly using a locking mechanism. The locking mechanism is operable to restrict the rotational movement of an actuator coupling member and the transducer relative to the handle assembly. The locking mechanism may also be operable to lock a trigger of the handle assembly in a first position. An inner tubular actuating member of the transmission assembly may be threadably attachable to the actuator coupling member or the actuator coupling member may include a latching mechanism to couple to a flared portion of the inner tubular actuating member. A waveguide of the transmission assembly may also be threadably attachable to the transducer. In one alternative, the trigger may be configured to operate the locking mechanism, either in the first position or when pivoted distally to a third position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2020
    Assignee: Ethicon LLC
    Inventors: Chad P. Boudreaux, Kevin L. Houser