ENDOSCOPIC SYSTEM FOR ENHANCED VISUALIZATION

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A medical device, configured for insertion into a body, may include an elongate member extending from a proximal end to a distal end, where the distal end may be configured to be positioned inside the body. The medical device may also include an imaging device positioned at the distal end. The medical device may further include a plurality of light sources positioned at the distal end, wherein a characteristic of light delivered through a first light source may be controlled independent of the characteristic of light delivered through a second light source.

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Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is based upon and claims the benefit of priority under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/372,114 to Benning et al. filed on Aug. 10, 2010.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

Embodiments of the present invention relate to an endoscopic system. In particular, exemplary embodiments of the present invention relate to endoscopes for enhanced visualization. Embodiments of the present invention also cover methods of using such devices.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

An endoscope is a flexible instrument introduced into the body for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. Typically, these devices are inserted into the body through an opening (a natural opening or an incision), and are delivered to a work site inside the body through a body channel, such as, for example, the esophagus. Imaging devices incorporated in the endoscope allows a surgeon to see the work site from outside the body and remotely operate the endoscope to perform a desired diagnostic/therapeutic procedure at the work site. There are many different types of endoscopes in use today and embodiments of the current disclosure may be applied with any of these different types of endoscopes. In general, embodiments of the current disclosure may be applicable with any type of medical device that can be inserted into a body, and that allows a surgeon outside the body to visualize a region inside the body. For the sake of brevity, however, the novel aspects of the current disclosure will be described with reference to an endoscope.

In a typical application, a distal end of an endoscope may be inserted into the body through an opening in the body. This opening may be a natural anatomic opening, such as, for example, the mouth, rectum, vagina, etc., or an incision made on the body. The endoscope may be pushed into the body such that the distal end of the endoscope proceeds from the point of insertion to a region of interest (work site) within the body by traversing a body channel. The endoscope may include one or more lumens extending longitudinally from the proximal end to the distal end of the endoscope. These lumens may deliver various diagnostic/treatment devices to the work site to assist in the performance of the intended procedure at the work site.

Among others, these lumens may include an illumination lumen that includes an illumination source to illuminate a field of view at the work site, and an imaging lumen that includes an imaging device to capture an image of the work site and deliver the image outside the body. A diffusing lens may be used to attempt to project light evenly over the entire visualization field through the illumination lumen. Due to the differences in proximities, and other light reflecting characteristics of different locations within the field of view of the work site (such as, for example, differences in reflectivity of muscle and tissue), these different locations may appear to be illuminated differently. For instance, some of these locations may appear to be oversaturated with light while other locations may appear to be insufficiently illuminated. This variation in illumination may make visualization of the work site difficult, and may therefore be undesirable. An endoscope with a diffusing lens may, however, be limited to providing uniform light across the entire field of view. Additionally, with small bore endoscopes, the cost of implementing a diffusing lens for even distribution of light may be high. While this cost may be less of an issue with reusable endoscopes where the cost can be amortized due to repeated usage, this cost may be prohibitively high in the case of disposable endoscopes. The current disclosure is directed to systems and methods configured to enable clear visualization of a field of view within the body from outside the body.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An embodiment of the invention includes a medical device configured for insertion into a body. The medical device may include an elongate member extending from a proximal end to a distal end, where the distal end may be configured to be positioned inside the body. The medical device may also include an imaging device positioned at the distal end. The medical device may further include a plurality of light sources positioned at the distal end, wherein a characteristic of light delivered through a first light source may be controlled independent of the characteristic of light delivered through a second light source.

Various embodiments of the invention may include one or more of the following aspects: the plurality of light sources may include a plurality of fiber optic cables that terminate at the distal end; the plurality of light sources may include at least one LED; each of the plurality of light sources may be positioned at different locations at the distal end; the plurality of light sources may be configured to be illuminated by a common illumination source positioned outside the body; the characteristic of light may include at least one of an intensity, a wavelength, a polarization, a frequency, or a phase of light; the medical device may also include an illumination control system that is configured to vary the characteristic of light directed through the first light source independent of the characteristic of light directed through the second light source; the illumination control system may include controls that enable a user to manually vary the characteristic of light directed through the first light source independent of the characteristic of light directed through the second light source; the illumination control system may include an algorithm configured to automatically vary the characteristic of light directed through the first light source independent of the characteristic of light directed through the second light source; the algorithm may automatically vary the characteristic of light directed through the first light source independent of the characteristic of light directed through the second light source based on an illumination of an image captured by the imaging device; the medical device may also include an illumination control system that is configured to vary the characteristic of light based on input from one or more light sensors; and the medical device may be an endoscope.

An embodiment of the invention may also include a method of using a medical device. The method may include inserting a distal end of the medical device into a body. The medical device may extend from the distal end to a proximal end, and may include at least an imaging device and a plurality of light sources positioned at the distal end. The method may also include positioning the distal end proximate a work site within the body, and activating the imaging device to receive an image of the work site outside the body. The method may further include adjusting a characteristic of light directed through one of the light sources independent of the characteristic of light directed through other of the light sources based on the received image.

Various embodiments of the invention may include one or more of the following aspects: adjusting the characteristic of light may include varying an intensity of light directed through one of the light sources independent of the intensity of light directed through the other of the light sources; adjusting the characteristic of light may include manually adjusting the characteristic of light directed through one of the light sources independent of the characteristic of light directed through the other of the light sources; adjusting the characteristic of light may include automatically adjusting the characteristic of light directed through one of the light sources independent of the characteristic of light directed through the other of the light sources based on an illumination of the received image; and the characteristic of light may include at least one of an intensity, a wavelength, a polarization, a frequency, or a phase of light.

An embodiment of the invention may further include an endoscope. The endoscope may include an elongate body extending from a proximal end to a distal end, and an imaging device positioned at the distal end. The imaging device may be configured to direct an image of a work site proximate the distal end to a viewing device positioned proximate the proximal end. The endoscope may also include a plurality of light sources positioned at the distal end. The plurality of light sources may be configured to illuminate the work site. The endoscope may also include an illumination control system configured to vary a characteristic of light directed through one of the light sources independent of the characteristic of light directed through other of the light sources based on an illumination of the image on the viewing device.

Various embodiments of the invention may include one or more of the following aspects: the characteristic of light may include at least one of an intensity, a wavelength, a polarization, a frequency, or a phase of light; the plurality of light sources may include at least three light sources and the illumination control system may be configured to vary a characteristic of light directed through each one of the three light sources independent of the characteristic of light directed through the other two light sources; the illumination control system may be configured to automatically vary a characteristic of light directed through one of the light sources independent of the characteristic of light directed through the other of the light sources based on the illumination of the image; the plurality of light sources may include a plurality of fiber optic cables that terminate at the distal end, the plurality of light sources may be configured to be illuminated by a common illumination source positioned proximate the proximal end of the elongate body.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention.

FIG. 1 is a schematic view of an embodiment of an endoscope performing an exemplary endoscopic procedure.

FIG. 2A is an illustration of the distal end of the endoscope of FIG. 1.

FIG. 2B is an illustration of the proximal end of the endoscope of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an illustration of illumination coverage at a work site using the endoscope of FIG. 1; and

FIGS. 4A-4C are illustrations of different embodiments of the distal end of endoscopes of the current disclosure.

DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

Reference will now be made to exemplary embodiments of the invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, the same reference numbers will be used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts.

The terms “proximal” and “distal” are used herein to refer to the relative positions of the exemplary endoscopic device 20. When used herein, “proximal” refers to a position relatively closer to the exterior of the body or closer to the surgeon using the endoscopic device 20. In contrast, “distal” refers to a position relatively further away from the surgeon using the endoscopic device 20 or closer to the interior of the body.

FIG. 1 depicts an exemplary endoscopic device 20 performing an exemplary medical procedure on a patient. Endoscopic device 20 may be inserted into stomach 12 through the esophagus 14, and positioned in stomach 12 such that a distal end 22 of endoscopic device 20 may be positioned proximate a work site 18 on stomach wall 16. A proximal end 28 (see FIG. 2B) of endoscopic device 20 may extend out of the body of the patient and may be controlled to perform the desired operations at the distal end 22 of the endoscopic device 20. It should be emphasized that the medical procedure illustrated in FIG. 1 is exemplary only, and that endoscopes of the current disclosure may be applied to any endoscopic application known in the art. It should also be emphasized that endoscopic device 20 of FIG. 1 can be any medical device that can be used to visualize a region inside the body from outside the body. For example, endoscopic device 20 of FIG. 1 may include any type of imaging endoscopes, guide tubes, catheters or the like without limitation.

Endoscopic device 20 may include a flexible elongate member 26 extending between the proximal end 28 and distal end 22. During use, distal end 22 may be positioned proximate work site 18 within a body and the proximal end 28 may be positioned outside the body. Elongate member 26 may be flexible so as to enable endoscopic device 20 to bend and pass through tortuous body passages as distal end 22 of endoscopic device 20 advances to work site 18. In some embodiments, elongate member 26 may be made of, or coated with, a polymeric or a lubricious material to enable the endoscopic device 20 to pass through body cavities with ease.

FIGS. 2A and 2B are schematic illustrations of distal end 22 and proximal end 28, respectively, of endoscopic device 20. In the discussion that follows, reference will be made to both FIGS. 2A and 2B. Endoscopic device 20 may include one or more lumens 34a, 34b, 34c, etc. extending therethrough and terminating at distal end 22. These lumens may be configured to direct tools/instruments and the like to work site 18 from outside the body. Although these lumens are illustrated as being circular, in general, the lumens can have any cross-sectional shape. Distal end 22 of endoscopic device 20 may also include devices (36, 38) that are embedded or attached thereon. These devices may be configured to perform tasks to assist in the medical procedure at work site 18. Although not illustrated in FIG. 2A, distal end 22 of endoscopic device 20 may also include one or more end effectors that are configured to perform specific tasks at work site 18. These end effectors may be coupled to a distal end of an endoscopic device and may be operatively coupled to, and controlled by, an actuation device 46 (i.e. a handle) at the proximal end 28 of endoscopic device 20 (see FIG. 2B).

One or more of the lumens 34a, 34b, 34c may extend from distal end 22 to proximal end 28 longitudinally along elongate member 26. These lumens may have a constant cross-sectional shape along the entire length of elongate member 26 or may have a cross-sectional shape that changes along the length of elongate member 26. This change in cross-sectional shape along the length may be step wise or gradual. In some embodiments, some or all lumens may be lined with a polymeric or another layer or coating to facilitate use. The lumens 34a, 34b, 34c may provide access to instruments and facilities that may aid in performing desired medical procedures at work site 18. These lumens may include one or more of, among others, an irrigation lumen 34a, an aspiration lumen 34b, and a working lumen 34c.

The irrigation lumen 34a may be configured to facilitate fluid flow from proximal end 28 to distal end 22. In some embodiments, the irrigation lumen may be attached to a source of fluid at proximal end 28 and to a nozzle (or other similar device that is configured to alter fluid flow) at distal end 22. Aspiration lumen 34b may be configured to facilitate suction and/or fluid flow through it. In some embodiments, fluid may be directed from proximal end 28 to distal end 22 through irrigation lumen 34a to clean work site 18. Suction may then be applied at proximal end 28 of aspiration lumen 34b to remove the fluid (and/or biological material) from work site 18 through the aspiration lumen. In this manner, a tissue sample may be extracted out of the body through aspiration lumen 34b.

The working lumen 34c may include a conduit that is configured to deliver an endoscopic instrument or device to work site 18. The endoscopic instrument may include any tool that is configured to perform a desired function at work site 18 while being remotely controlled by actuation device 46 from outside the body. The endoscopic instrument may be configured as an end effector attached at the distal end of an endoscopic instrument. For instance, the endoscopic instrument may include surgical forceps attached at the distal end of links that may be manipulated from the proximal end by actuation device 46 to control the operation of the forceps at work site 18. In general, working lumen 34c may have any suitable shape, size, and configuration that is configured to pass the end effector therethrough. Although only one working lumen 34c is illustrated in FIG. 2A, in some embodiments, endoscopic device 20 may include multiple working lumens configured to direct a plurality of surgical tools to work site 18.

The devices on distal end 22 of endoscopic device 20 may include an imaging device 36 and an illumination device 38. Imaging device 36 may include a camera, imaging sensor (such as, for example, a complimentary metal-oxide semiconductor or a CMOS sensor), a light sensor, or another image receiving device (such as, for example, a fiber optic imaging device). Imaging device 36 may transmit an image signal to a monitor or other display device 42 positioned outside the body and viewable by the surgeon. The image signals may correspond to still pictures and/or transient images that display time varying images of work site 18 on the display device 42. In some embodiments, image sensor 36 may transmit the image signals to the display device 42 wirelessly, while in other embodiments imaging device 36 may transmit the signals using wire or a cable (fiber optic or another type of cable) embedded along the length of the elongate member 26. In some embodiments, image signals from imaging device 36 may be processed by a control device 40 before being directed to display device 42. It is also contemplated that, in some devices, control device 40 may also direct a control signal to imaging device 36 to control various aspects of its operation. In some embodiments, in addition to, or in place of imaging device 36 fixed to distal end 22, an imaging device may be delivered to distal end 22 through a working lumen of endoscopic device 20.

Illumination device 38 may include any device that is configured to illuminate work site 18. Illumination device 38 may include, among others, bulbs, LEDs, one or more fiber optic cables, and light guides. In one embodiment, the illumination device may include a plurality of fiber optic cables. Other embodiments may include a collection of one or more other types of light sources. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2A, illumination device 38 is depicted as a cluster comprising four individual fiber optic cables 38a, 38b, 38c, and 38d. However, other embodiments may include a different number of fiber optic cables and a different positioning of the fiber optic cables (discussed with reference to FIGS. 4A-4C). These fiber optic cables 38a, 38b, 38c, and 38d may direct light to distal end 22 from an external light source at proximal end 28 to illuminate work site 18.

The external light source may include one or more LED, Xenon, or other light sources in an illumination control system 50. Illumination control system 50 may be configured to control and vary a characteristic of the light directed to each of the fiber optic cables individually. This characteristic may include intensity, wavelength, polarization, frequency, phase or any other characteristic that can vary the level of illumination directed through each of the individual fiber optic cables. That is, in one embodiment, illumination control system 50 may be configured to set the intensity of light directed to fiber optic cable 38a at a first level, the intensity of light directed to fiber optic cable 38b at a second level different from the first level, the intensity of light directed to fiber optic cable 38c at a third level different from the first and second levels, and the intensity of light directed to fiber optic cable 38d at a fourth level different from the first, second, and third levels.

Illumination control system 50 may also include one or more light sources, control electronics, and associated control algorithms that operate cooperatively to modulate the amount of light directed to each of the individual fiber optic cables 38a, 38b, 38c, and 38d. In one embodiment, illumination control system 50 may include a single light source with individual lenses, irises, and/or filters to modulate the amount of light directed to each of the individual fiber optic cables 38a, 38b, 38c, and 38d. Any optical arrangement known in the art may be used to split the light from the single light source into multiple beams having different characteristics and direct each beam through the individual fiber optic cables 38a, 38b, 38c, and 38d. In other embodiments, illumination control system 50 may include multiple light sources to vary the characteristic of light input to the individual fiber optic cables 38a, 38b, 38c, and 38d. In applications involving disposable endoscopes, illumination control system 50 may form the capital equipment that may be used along with a disposable endoscope. Since the illumination control system 50 may be reused with different disposable endoscopes, the sensitivity of cost of the illumination control system 50 to the application may be low.

FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary illumination coverage in work site 18 in an embodiment using four individual fiber optic cables. First region 48a may be the area illuminated by fiber optic cable 38a, second region 48b may be the area illuminated by fiber optic cable 38b, third region 48c may be the area illuminated by fiber optic cable 38c, and fourth region 48d may be the area illuminated by fiber optic cable 38d. The regions of overlap may be illuminated by multiple fiber optic cables and may naturally be areas of relatively high illumination. In some embodiments, distal end 22 of endoscopic device 20 may be manipulated to position an area of interest of work site 18 at a region of maximum overlap 58. Based on an image in display device 42, the surgeon may determine that some of the regions should be illuminated differently from other regions for good visualization of work site 18. Illumination control system 50 may include controls 52 (such as, for example, controls 52a-52f) to selectively vary the level of illumination in the different regions, including regions of overlap that are illuminated by multiple fiber optic cables. For instance, if an image in display device 42 indicates that the level of illumination in the first region 48a is too low and the level of illumination in the second region 48b is too high, the surgeon may manipulate the controls 52 of illumination control system 50 to increase the illumination level of first region 48a and decrease the illumination level of second region 48b.

In some embodiments, the endoscopic device 20 may include a plurality of preset illumination patterns. These preset illumination patterns may correspond to illumination patterns where the intensity (or another characteristic) of light through each fiber optic cable 38a-38d may be optimized for a certain application or for a certain location in the body. For example, one preset pattern may correspond to an illumination pattern that is optimized for a particular endoscopic procedure (such as, for example, hemostasis of a bleeding ulcer) and another preset pattern may correspond to an illumination pattern that is optimized for another endoscopic procedure or a particular location within the body (such as, for example, the esophagus). In some embodiments, some of the preset illumination patterns may be configured to change over time. For instance, an illumination pattern may change as the distal end 22 of the endoscopic device 20 traverses a body tract for optimal visibility of different sections of the body tract. These preset illumination patterns may be selected by a user, for example, by activating a control of illumination control system 50. The preset illumination patterns may be preset by a supplier or a user, and may be adapted to be modified as desired.

In some embodiments, illumination control system 50 may include a control algorithm to adjust the illumination of the work site automatically. This control algorithm may include software codes that analyze the image from imaging device 36 and automatically control the intensity of light in each of the fiber optic cables for optimal illumination of work site 18. For instance, analysis of a captured image from imaging device 36 may indicate that the first region 48a is relatively dark and the second region 48b is relatively bright as compared to the other regions. Illumination control system 50 may automatically vary the intensity of light directed to each of the individual fiber optic cables in steps until a subsequent image analysis indicates that the differences in illumination of different regions is within an acceptable threshold. In some embodiments, the illumination control system 50 may be configured to “learn” from each illumination adjustment operation and improve over time. In one such embodiment, the illumination control system 50 may include a self-learning neural network or another similar algorithm. The neural network may include a training mode and a usage mode. In the training mode, illumination control system 50 may be trained to output a selected pattern of light through each fiber optic cable for a particular image pattern on imaging device 36. In the usage mode, when this image pattern is detected in imaging device 36, the illumination control system 50 may output the selected pattern of light through the fiber optic cables. If an image pattern on imaging device 36 does not belong to a taught list of image patterns, a characteristic of light through each fiber optic cable may be manually or automatically adjusted for optimal illumination of work site 18, and the output pattern of light may be added to the taught list of image patterns.

FIGS. 4A through 4C illustrate the distal end 22 of different embodiments of endoscopic devices of the current disclosure. In endoscopic device 20A of FIG. 4A, four fiber optic cables 38a, 38b, 38c, and 38d are positioned at spaced locations on distal end 22. In endoscopic device 20B of FIG. 4B, six fiber optic cables 38a, 38b, 38c, 38d, 38e, and 38f are positioned at spaced locations on distal end 22. In endoscopic device 20C of FIG. 4C, four clusters of fiber optic cables, each cluster including four fiber optic cables, are positioned at spaced locations on distal end 22. The positioning of the fiber optic cables in FIGS. 4A-4C is only exemplary. In general, the fiber optic cables (38a, 38b, etc.) may be positioned at any location on distal end 22 of endoscopic device 20. In some embodiments, the fiber optic cables (38, 38b, etc.) may be positioned symmetrically about a center point of distal end 22 while in other embodiments they be positioned asymmetrically depending on the application, for example. In each of these embodiments, a characteristic of the light emitted by some or all of the individual fiber optic cables may be individually varied by illumination control system 50. For instance, in the embodiments of FIGS. 4A and 4B, the intensity of the light emitted by each of the individual fiber optic cables (38a, 38b, 38c, and 38d in the embodiment of FIG. 4A and 38a, 38b, 38c, 38d, 38e, and 38f in the embodiment of FIG. 4B) may be varied individually by illumination control system 50. And, in the embodiment of FIG. 4C, the intensity of light emitted by each cluster of fiber optic cables (38a-38d, 38e-38h, 38i-38l, and 38m-38p) may be varied individually.

Any type of fiber optic cable (plastic, glass, etc.) may be used as illumination device 38. Although in the description above, the intensity of light directed through each fiber optic cable is described as being varied, in general, any characteristic of light that can modulate the illumination at distal end 22 may be varied by illumination control system 50. For instance, in some embodiments, the characteristic of light that is varied by the illumination control system 50 may include a wavelength of the light directed through each fiber optic cable. Additionally, although illumination device 38 is described as being a fiber optic cable, this is not a limitation. In general, any illumination device that is capable of being individually controlled may be used as illumination device 38. For instance, in some embodiments, LEDs may be used as illumination device 38. In these embodiments, illumination control system 50 may control each LED individually to control a characteristic of the light emitted by each individual LED. In other embodiments, combinations of different illumination devices may be used.

In some embodiments, the illumination devices 38 at distal end 22 of endoscopic device 20 may be operatively coupled with one or more adjustable diffusing lenses or other adjustable lens membranes to selectively vary a characteristic of light emitted by each illumination device 38. In these embodiments, a characteristic of the light emitted by each illumination device 38 may be changed by selectively activating the diffusing lens or lens membrane associated with that illumination device. The diffusing lens or lens membrane may be selectively activated by any means, such as, for example, a pressure may be applied to the lens membrane to change its optical properties, and therefore, a characteristic of light passing through the membrane. A pressure may be applied to the lens membrane by applying an electric current to the membrane.

In some embodiments, the lenses may be independently controlled to aim light at or away from a particular point, direct, focus, obscure, and/or change a characteristic of (for example, frequency, etc.) of the light. In some embodiments, a lens or another optical member associated with an illumination device may be biased to provide more (or less) illumination to a region of work site 18 illuminated by that illumination device. In some embodiments, the illumination control system 50 may vary a cant or tilt of a fiber optic cable (or another illumination device) relative to a longitudinal axis of the endoscopic device 20 to vary a characteristic of light delivered to work site 18 through that cable. The cant of the fiber optic cable may be changed by advancing or retracting wedges or other positioning mechanisms associated with that cable. In some embodiments, combinations of light sources (such as, for example, LED and fiber optic) may be used to provide illumination. In some such embodiments, different combinations of these light sources may be used to vary the level of illumination directed at a particular region. In some embodiments, one or more light sensors could be used in addition to, or as, cameras. These light sensors may assist in automatically or manually adjusting the illumination effect.

The embodiments described herein are exemplary only, and it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made in the disclosed systems and processes without departing from the scope of the invention. Other embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from consideration of the specification and practice of the invention disclosed herein. It is intended that the specification and examples be considered as exemplary only, with a true scope of the invention being indicated by the following claims.

Claims

1-22. (canceled)

23. A medical device configured for insertion into a body, comprising:

an elongate member extending from a proximal end to a distal end, the distal end configured to be positioned inside the body;
an imaging device positioned at the distal end and configured to detect an image pattern;
a plurality of light sources positioned at the distal end, wherein each light source illuminates a different region, and the regions together form the image pattern; and
a control device having a processor configured to execute instructions that automatically control each light source of the plurality of light sources to deliver light based on the detected image pattern, and automatically vary a characteristic of light directed through a first light source of the plurality of light sources independent of a characteristic of light directed through a second light source of the plurality of light sources based on the detected image pattern.

24. The medical device of claim 23, wherein the control device is configured to detect a difference in illumination among the regions, and adjust an intensity of each light source until the differences in illumination among the regions are within a threshold.

25. The medical device of claim 23, wherein the plurality of light sources includes at least one of a plurality of fiber optic cables that terminate at the distal end and at least one LED.

26. The medical device of claim 23, wherein each light source of the plurality of light sources is positioned at a different location at the distal end.

27. The medical device of claim 23, wherein the characteristic of light delivered through the first light source includes at least one of an intensity, a wavelength, a polarization, a frequency, or a phase of light.

28. The medical device of claim 23, wherein the characteristic of light directed through the first light source is varied by adjusting a tilt of the first light source relative to a longitudinal axis of the elongate member.

29. The medical device of claim 28, further including one or more wedges coupled to the first light source, wherein the tilt of the first light source is adjusted by advancing or retracting the one or more wedges.

30. The medical device of claim 23, further including one or more adjustable lenses configured to vary the characteristic of light from each of the plurality of light sources.

31. The medical device of claim 30, wherein the one or more adjustable lenses are configured to be adjusted by a change in pressure applied to the one or more adjustable lenses.

32. The medical device of claim 31, wherein the change in pressure applied to the one or more adjustable lenses is achieved by an electric current applied to the one or more adjustable lenses.

33. The medical device of claim 23, wherein the control device includes controls that enable a user to manually vary the characteristic of light directed through the first light source independent of the characteristic of light directed through the second light source.

34. A medical device configured for insertion into a body, comprising:

an elongate member extending from a proximal end to a distal end, the distal end configured to be positioned inside the body;
an imaging device positioned at the distal end and configured to detect an image pattern;
a plurality of light sources positioned at the distal end, wherein each light source illuminates a different region, and the regions together form the image pattern; and
a control device having a processor configured to execute instructions that automatically control each light source of the plurality of light sources to deliver light based on the detected image pattern, wherein the control device is configured to: compare the detected image pattern to a list of image patterns; automatically adjust a characteristic of each light source to a preset illumination pattern for the detected image pattern, if the detected image pattern corresponds to an image pattern in the list of image patterns; receive a manual adjustment of a characteristic of one or more of the plurality of light sources or automatically adjust a characteristic of one or more of the plurality of light sources to create a new illumination pattern for the detected image pattern, if the detected image pattern does not correspond to an image pattern in the list of image patterns; and add the new illumination pattern to the list of taught image patterns if the detected image pattern is not on the list of image patterns.

35. The medical device of claim 34, wherein each preset illumination pattern includes a different characteristic of light for at least one of the plurality of light sources than any other preset illumination pattern.

36. The medical device of claim 35, wherein the characteristic of light includes at least one of an intensity, a wavelength, a polarization, a frequency, or a phase of light.

37. A medical device configured for insertion into a body, comprising:

an elongate member extending from a proximal end to a distal end, the distal end configured to be positioned inside the body;
a plurality of light sources positioned at the distal end, wherein each light source illuminates a different region, and the regions together form an image pattern; and
a control device having a processor configured to execute instructions that automatically control each light source of the plurality of light sources to deliver light according to a plurality of preset illumination patterns, wherein each preset illumination pattern of the plurality of preset illumination patterns is optimized for a different endoscopic procedure or a different location within the body.

38. The medical device of claim 37, wherein the control device is configured to automatically change the preset illumination pattern as the plurality of light sources traverse through different sections of the body.

39. The medical device of claim 37, wherein each preset illumination pattern includes a different characteristic of light for at least one of the plurality of light sources than any other preset illumination pattern.

40. The medical device of claim 39, wherein the characteristic of light includes at least one of an intensity, a wavelength, a polarization, a frequency, or a phase of light.

41. The medical device of claim 37, wherein the control device is configured to change the preset illumination pattern as a function of time.

42. The medical device of claim 37, wherein the control device is configured to process adjustments to the preset illumination pattern and automatically output an adjusted preset illumination pattern based on detection of the image pattern.

Patent History
Publication number: 20200170490
Type: Application
Filed: Dec 17, 2015
Publication Date: Jun 4, 2020
Applicant:
Inventors: Christopher A. BENNING (Hopkinton, MA), Paul Daniel AQUILINO (Walpole, MA)
Application Number: 14/972,499
Classifications
International Classification: A61B 1/06 (20060101); A61B 1/07 (20060101);