Patents by Inventor Stephen J. Blumenkranz

Stephen J. Blumenkranz 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).

  • Publication number: 20190269388
    Abstract: A medical instrument including a shaft and an actuated structure mounted at a distal end of the shaft can employ a pair of tendons connected to the actuated structure, extending down the shaft, and respectively wound around a capstan in opposite directions. A passive preload system may maintain minimum tensions in the tendons.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 16, 2019
    Publication date: September 5, 2019
    Inventors: Samuel Kwok Wai Au, Stephen J. Blumenkranz, Giuseppe Maria Prisco
  • Publication number: 20190269437
    Abstract: Embodiments of a cannula seal are disclosed. In some embodiments, a cannula seal can include a base portion that engages with a cannula; and a seal portion integrally formed with the base portion that slidebly engages with an instrument shaft such that an insertion frictional force between the seal portion and the instrument shaft for insertion of the instrument shaft is symmetrical and substantially equal with a retraction frictional force.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 8, 2019
    Publication date: September 5, 2019
    Inventors: Stephen J. Blumenkranz, Bruce M. Schena, Randal P. Goldberg
  • Patent number: 10390896
    Abstract: A force sensor apparatus is provided including a tube portion having a plurality of radial ribs and at least one fiber optic strain gauge positioned over each rib of the plurality of radial ribs. A proximal end of the tube portion is operably couplable to a shaft of a surgical instrument that is operably couplable to a manipulator arm of a robotic surgical system, and a distal end of the tube portion is proximally couplable to a wrist joint coupled to an end effector. A thermal shunt shell is over an outer surface of the tube portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2019
    Assignee: Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc.
    Inventor: Stephen J. Blumenkranz
  • Patent number: 10383700
    Abstract: A force transducer is coupled to a distal portion of a shaft of a surgical instrument. The force transducer includes proximal and distal portions, radial ribs, and a plurality of strain gauges. The radial ribs form a plurality of through passages. The surgical instrument further includes a flush manifold that receives a liquid from a proximal portion of the shaft, and that directs the liquid along a first subset of through passages of the plurality of through passages toward the distal portion of the force transducer. A plenum at the distal portion of the force transducer collects the liquid from the first subset of through passages and redirects the liquid back toward the proximal portion of the shaft along a second subset of through passages of the plurality of through passages different from the first subset of through passages.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2019
    Assignee: Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc.
    Inventor: Stephen J. Blumenkranz
  • Publication number: 20190247128
    Abstract: An apparatus for guiding an elongated flexible instrument comprises a variable-length support assembly. The variable-length support assembly includes a first end, a second end, a plurality of support member pairs, and a plurality of eyelets configured to receive the elongated flexible instrument. Each support member pair comprises a first support member linked to a second support member, and each of the plurality of eyelets is movably coupled to at least one of the plurality of support member pairs along a longitudinal central axis between the first end and the second end. The variable-length support assembly is configured to selectively transition from a compressed configuration to an expanded configuration along the longitudinal central axis, and the plurality of eyelets are adapted to support the elongated flexible instrument as the elongated flexible instrument is advanced along the longitudinal central axis.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 7, 2017
    Publication date: August 15, 2019
    Inventors: Matthew D. Inouye, David W. Bailey, Stephen J. Blumenkranz, Matthew D. Rohr Daniel
  • Patent number: 10376134
    Abstract: An apparatus comprises an instrument including an elongated shaft. The apparatus also comprises a first shape sensor including an elongated optical fiber extending within the elongated shaft at a first radial distance from the neutral axis. The apparatus also comprises a twist resistant feature configured to reduce twisting of the elongated optical fiber relative to the elongated shaft while permitting axial translation of the elongated optical fiber within the elongated shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2019
    Assignee: Intutitive Surgical Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Randall L. Schlesinger, Stephen J. Blumenkranz, Christopher R. Carlson, Vincent Duindam, Anoop B. Kowshik, Timothy D. Soper
  • Patent number: 10365295
    Abstract: An accelerometer is included within the confined space and limited volume of a distal portion of a surgical instrument. The surgical instrument includes an end component, a joint coupled to the end component, a shaft coupled to the joint, and a force transducer and accelerometer apparatus. The force transducer and accelerometer apparatus is coupled between the joint and the shaft. The force transducer and accelerometer apparatus includes a force sensor and an accelerometer. The accelerometer includes an optic fiber having a Fiber Bragg Grating. Information acquired from the Fiber Bragg Grating is used to drive a vibro-tactile haptic feedback output device coupled to a master control arm surgeon grip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2019
    Assignee: Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen J. Blumenkranz, Lawton N. Verner
  • Patent number: 10363107
    Abstract: A surgical instrument includes a distal portion. A force sensor is operatively mounted on the distal portion. The force sensor includes a wireless package, which wirelessly provides (1) identification information of the surgical instrument and (2) strain data related to the distal portion. A surgical end effector includes a jaw and the distal portion is on a non-contact portion of the jaw. The wireless package includes a surface acoustic wave strain sensor with identification information. The wireless package also includes a small folded antenna electrically coupled to the surface acoustic wave strain sensor with identification information. The identification information includes an identification of a type of surgical instrument and unique identification of the specific surgical instrument in the type of surgical instrument.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2019
    Assignee: Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen J. Blumenkranz, Brett J. Lockyer
  • Patent number: 10327808
    Abstract: Embodiments of a cannula seal are disclosed. In some embodiments, a cannula seal can include a base portion that engages with a cannula; and a seal portion integrally formed with the base portion that slidebly engages with an instrument shaft such that an insertion frictional force between the seal portion and the instrument shaft for insertion of the instrument shaft is symmetrical and substantially equal with a retraction frictional force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2019
    Assignee: Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen J. Blumenkranz, Bruce M. Schena, Randal P. Goldberg
  • Patent number: 10321900
    Abstract: A medical instrument including a shaft and an actuated structure mounted at a distal end of the shaft can employ a pair of tendons connected to the actuated structure, extending down the shaft, and respectively wound around a capstan in opposite directions. A passive preload system may maintain minimum tensions in the tendons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2019
    Assignee: Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Samuel Kwok Wai Au, Stephen J. Blumenkranz, Giuseppe Maria Prisco
  • Publication number: 20190175289
    Abstract: Embodiments of an actuated cannula seal are disclosed In some embodiments, a cannula seal includes a base portion that engages with a cannula; and a seal portion integrally formed with the base portion, the sealing portion capable of engaging with an instrument shaft, the sealing portion capable of being actuated by an actuator so that the sealing portion is continually in motion relative to the instrument shaft. The actuation of the sealing portion can be accomplished by rotation or vibration of the sealing portion relative to the instrument shaft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 11, 2019
    Publication date: June 13, 2019
    Inventors: Lawton N. Verner, Stephen J. Blumenkranz
  • Publication number: 20190175290
    Abstract: Embodiments of an actuated cannula seal are disclosed In some embodiments, a cannula seal includes a base portion that engages with a cannula; and a seal portion integrally formed with the base portion, the sealing portion capable of engaging with an instrument shaft, the sealing portion capable of being actuated by an actuator so that the sealing portion is continually in motion relative to the instrument shaft. The actuation of the sealing portion can be accomplished by rotation or vibration of the sealing portion relative to the instrument shaft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 11, 2019
    Publication date: June 13, 2019
    Inventors: Lawton N. Verner, Stephen J. Blumenkranz
  • Patent number: 10314513
    Abstract: An apparatus comprises an instrument including an elongated, flexible body and a shape sensor including an optical fiber extending at least partially along the elongated, flexible body. The apparatus also includes a radiopaque material incorporated with the optical fiber along an entire length of the optical fiber. The radiopaque material is incorporated such that the optical fiber is radiographically distinguishable from a remainder of the elongated, flexible body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERATIONS, INC.
    Inventors: Stephen J. Blumenkranz, Caitlin Q. Donhowe, Randall L. Schlesinger
  • Patent number: 10238458
    Abstract: Embodiments of an actuated cannula seal are disclosed In some embodiments, a cannula seal includes a base portion that engages with a cannula; and a seal portion integrally formed with the base portion, the sealing portion capable of engaging with an instrument shaft, the sealing portion capable of being actuated by an actuator so that the sealing portion is continually in motion relative to the instrument shaft. The actuation of the sealing portion can be accomplished by rotation or vibration of the sealing portion relative to the instrument shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Lawton N. Verner, Stephen J. Blumenkranz
  • Publication number: 20180360546
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a surgical instrument includes a housing linkable with a manipulator arm of a robotic surgical system, a shaft operably coupled to the housing, a force transducer on a distal end of the shaft, and a plurality of fiber optic strain gauges on the force transducer. In one example, the plurality of strain gauges are operably coupled to a fiber optic splitter or an arrayed waveguide grating (AWG) multiplexer. A fiber optic connector is operably coupled to the fiber optic splitter or the AWG multiplexer. A wrist joint is operably coupled to a distal end of the force transducer, and an end effector is operably coupled to the wrist joint. In another embodiment, a robotic surgical manipulator includes a base link operably coupled to a distal end of a manipulator positioning system, and a distal link movably coupled to the base link, wherein the distal link includes an instrument interface and a fiber optic connector optically linkable to a surgical instrument.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 23, 2018
    Publication date: December 20, 2018
    Inventors: Stephen J. Blumenkranz, Gregory W. Dachs, II, Ian E. McDowall, Christopher J. Hasser
  • Publication number: 20180303328
    Abstract: A method of operating an anatomical probe system comprises providing an elongated flexible body including a channel and providing an operational component extending within the channel of the flexible body. The method also comprises providing a support member at a distal end of the flexible body. The support member includes a fluid director. The method also includes conveying fluid through the channel and into contact with the fluid director to direct the fluid toward the operational component.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 28, 2018
    Publication date: October 25, 2018
    Applicant: INTUITIVE SURGICAL OPERATIONS, INC.
    Inventors: Carolyn M. Fenech, Anoop B. Kowshik, Stephen J. Blumenkranz, Christopher B. Allenby
  • Patent number: 10085809
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a surgical instrument includes a housing linkable with a manipulator arm of a robotic surgical system, a shaft operably coupled to the housing, a force transducer on a distal end of the shaft, and a plurality of fiber optic strain gauges on the force transducer. In one example, the plurality of strain gauges are operably coupled to a fiber optic splitter or an arrayed waveguide grating (AWG) multiplexer. A fiber optic connector is operably coupled to the fiber optic splitter or the AWG multiplexer. A wrist joint is operably coupled to a distal end of the force transducer, and an end effector is operably coupled to the wrist joint. In another embodiment, a robotic surgical manipulator includes a base link operably coupled to a distal end of a manipulator positioning system, and a distal link movably coupled to the base link, wherein the distal link includes an instrument interface and a fiber optic connector optically linkable to a surgical instrument.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2018
    Assignee: Intuitive Surgical Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen J. Blumenkranz, Gregory W. Dachs, II, Ian E. McDowall, Christopher J. Hasser
  • Publication number: 20180271606
    Abstract: Embodiments of an actuated cannula seal are disclosed In some embodiments, a cannula seal includes a base portion that engages with a cannula; and a seal portion integrally formed with the base portion, the sealing portion capable of engaging with an instrument shaft, the sealing portion capable of being actuated by an actuator so that the sealing portion is continually in motion relative to the instrument shaft. The actuation of the sealing portion can be accomplished by rotation or vibration of the sealing portion relative to the instrument shaft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 29, 2018
    Publication date: September 27, 2018
    Inventors: Lawton N. Verner, Stephen J. Blumenkranz
  • Publication number: 20180256270
    Abstract: A robotic surgery system comprises a mounting base, a plurality of surgical instruments, and an articulate support assembly. Each instrument is insertable into a patient through an associated minimally invasive aperture to a desired internal surgical site. The articulate support assembly movably supports the instruments relative to the base. The support generally comprises an orienting platform, a platform linkage movably supporting the orienting platform relative to the base, and a plurality of manipulators mounted to the orienting platform, wherein each manipulator movably supports an associated instrument.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 14, 2018
    Publication date: September 13, 2018
    Inventors: Thomas G. Cooper, Stephen J. Blumenkranz, Gary S. Guthart, David J. Rosa
  • Publication number: 20180228548
    Abstract: A flexible tool includes an optical fiber including a proximal region, a distal region, an intermediate portion between the proximal region and the distal region and an bending region between the proximal region and the intermediate portion, wherein the intermediate portion is constrained to have a single degree of freedom that is translational substantially along an axis defined by the optical fiber at the intermediate portion. The optical fiber may be used to provide shape sensing of the flexible tool.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 29, 2016
    Publication date: August 16, 2018
    Inventors: Stephen J. BLUMENKRANZ, Vincent DUINDAM, Mark E. FROGGATT, Eric E. SANBORN