US20120265220A1 - Articulating Steerable Clip Applier for Laparoscopic Procedures - Google Patents

Articulating Steerable Clip Applier for Laparoscopic Procedures Download PDF

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US20120265220A1
US20120265220A1 US13/080,998 US201113080998A US2012265220A1 US 20120265220 A1 US20120265220 A1 US 20120265220A1 US 201113080998 A US201113080998 A US 201113080998A US 2012265220 A1 US2012265220 A1 US 2012265220A1
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phalanx
end
proximal
distal end
section
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Abandoned
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US13/080,998
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Pavel Menn
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ConMed Corp
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Pavel Menn
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Application filed by Pavel Menn filed Critical Pavel Menn
Priority to US13/080,998 priority patent/US20120265220A1/en
Publication of US20120265220A1 publication Critical patent/US20120265220A1/en
Assigned to ENDODYNAMIX, INC. reassignment ENDODYNAMIX, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: MENN, PAVEL
Assigned to CONMED CORPORTATION reassignment CONMED CORPORTATION ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: ENDODYNAMIX, INC.
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/10Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for applying or removing wound clamps, e.g. containing only one clamp or staple; Wound clamp magazines
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/12Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for ligaturing or otherwise compressing tubular parts of the body, e.g. blood vessels, umbilical cord
    • A61B17/128Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for ligaturing or otherwise compressing tubular parts of the body, e.g. blood vessels, umbilical cord for applying or removing clamps or clips
    • A61B17/1285Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for ligaturing or otherwise compressing tubular parts of the body, e.g. blood vessels, umbilical cord for applying or removing clamps or clips for minimally invasive surgery
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/00234Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for minimally invasive surgery
    • A61B2017/00292Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for minimally invasive surgery mounted on or guided by flexible, e.g. catheter-like, means
    • A61B2017/003Steerable
    • A61B2017/00305Constructional details of the flexible means
    • A61B2017/00314Separate linked members
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/00234Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for minimally invasive surgery
    • A61B2017/00292Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for minimally invasive surgery mounted on or guided by flexible, e.g. catheter-like, means
    • A61B2017/003Steerable
    • A61B2017/00318Steering mechanisms
    • A61B2017/00323Cables or rods

Abstract

A long articulating steerable clip applier affixed to a user-operated handle. A surgical jaw assembly is attached to the other end of the clip applier. The clip applier is composed of articulating phalanges that are connected end to end by pivoting links and capable of angulations relative to one another when subjected to a tensile force. Each phalange has opposing s-shaped exterior grooves that form two continuous spiral-shaped channels for holding tension wires once the phalanges are assembled. Multiple tension wires are attached to opposite ends of adjacent phalanges. When each wire is pulled, this tensile force causes the phalanges to pivot at equivalent angles with each other. As each individual phalange pivots by an equivalent angle, the sum of these angles causes the free end of the clip applier to pivot by a large angle or a cascading actuation effect.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/321,233 filed on Apr. 6, 2010, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates to a novel articulating steerable clip applier for laparoscopic or endoscopic procedures.
  • BACKGROUND OF INVENTION
  • Laparoscopic and endoscopic procedures are conducted through a small incision in the skin or natural body orifices.
  • In order to operate on a given tissue or a blood vessel, surgeons must ligate or occlude blood vessels to prevent patient blood loss. Surgical clip appliers are used in these surgeries for the application of hemostatic clips to ligate vessels. Clip appliers hold a surgical clip in an open position in a pair of specially adapted jaws. Once these jaws, containing clips, are positioned over a vessel, the clip is manually released over the vessel to ligate it. Inaccuracies in movement or failure to securely occlude the clip to the vessel can result damage to vessels or tissues, internal bleeding, lethal drops in blood pressure, infections, or longer recovery periods
  • These instruments need to provide precise and accurate movement in order to ligate vessels within the body that are difficult to access. Instruments are needed that are narrow enough to be inserted through a small opening (such as an incision, trocar or natural body orifice), long enough to reach the desired internal tissues, and flexible enough to provide a wide range of motion to navigate the distal end of a clip applier with jaws containing loaded clips around body tissues to advance towards the internal operation site.
  • Accordingly, the subject invention discloses an improved steerable articulating surgical clip applier. It contains a long, narrow, distal articulating disposable portion that is inserted into a patient during surgery. This distal articulating portion is removably attached to a proximal non-disposable control unit for moving the long disposable portion within the patient and operating actuators to control the articulation and ligation of the clip applier.
  • By separating these two components, the risk of cross contamination between separate patients or separate tissues on the same patient is reduced. The non-disposable control unit does not enter the patient and the contaminated long and narrow component is simply disposed after each surgical procedure is completed. In addition, costs are saved since medical providers only need to replace the disposable component between surgical procedures.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • There are additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto. In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of the description and should not be regarded as limiting.
  • The subject invention discloses an endoscopic surgical tool having a handle and a shaft member coupled to the handle and extending along a shaft axis from a proximal end to a distal end, wherein the distal end of the shaft member is adapted to receive an end effector, comprising: A. a linear array of n phalanx sections, where n is an integer greater than 2, wherein the linear array includes a sequentially aligned proximal phalanx section, n−2 intermediate phalanx sections, and a distal phalanx section, wherein the ith phalanx section, wherein i is greater than or equal to 1 and less than or equal to n, extends along an associated central axis CAi between a proximal end PEi and a distal end DEL and includes: a tubular member TMi defining a. a central void region CVRi extending along the central axis CAi between the proximal end PEi and the distal end DEL and b. an exterior surface ESi disposed about the central void region CVRi and extending along the central axis CAi from the proximal end PEi to the distal end DEL wherein the n phalanx sections are aligned whereby the central axis CAi of each phalanx section intersects with the central axis of phalanx sections adjacent thereto in the linear array, B. an end effector coupler EEC disposed at the distal end of the distal phalanx section and adapted for coupling the distal end to an end effector, C. a base coupling assembly BC disposed at the proximal end of the proximal phalanx section and adapted to couple to the proximal end of the proximal phalanx section to the distal end of the shaft member, whereby the shaft axis intersects the central axis of the proximal phalanx section and whereby the proximal phalanx section is movable with respect to the distal end of the shaft member substantially only in rotational motion about a transverse axis TA0 perpendicular to the central axis of the proximal phalanx section, D. n−1 phalanx section coupling assemblies PC, wherein each phalanx section coupling assembly is associated with an intermediate phalanx section and wherein the coupling assembly PCi associated with the ith phalanx section couples a distal end of the ith phalanx section to the proximal end of the adjacent i+1th phalanx section whereby the proximal end of the i+1th phalanx section is movable with respect to the distal end of the ith phalanx section substantially only in rotational motion about a transverse axis TAi perpendicular to the central axis of the ith phalanx section, wherein TAi and TA0 are mutually parallel, and wherein each of the base coupling assembly and the n−1 phalanx coupling assemblies are operative whereby a torque applied to the proximal end of the proximal phalanx section about an axis parallel to transverse axis TA0, effects a same-direction angular rotational displacement of each of the ith phalanx sections with respect to the adjacent phalanx sections about the respective transverse axes TAi.
  • In a further embodiment of the subject invention, the base coupling assembly BC may be adapted to detachably couple the proximal end of the proximal phalanx section to the distal end of the shaft member.
  • In another embodiment of the subject invention, the end effector coupling assembly EEC may be adapted to detachably couple the end effector to the distal end of the distal phalanx section.
  • In an additional embodiments of the subject invention, the ith phalanx section coupling assembly Ci may include: i. a coupling cam surface CCSi disposed about a cam central axis CCAi affixed to the distal end of the ith phalanx section, wherein the cam central axis CCAi is substantially coaxial with the transverse axis TAi, a substantially non-stretchable link coupling a point on the coupling cam surface of the ith phalanx section CCSPi with a point EPi+2 on the proximal end of the i+2th phalanx section, wherein point CCSPi and point EPi are disposed in a plane including CAi+1 and perpendicular to the transverse axes TAi and TAi+2 and on opposite sides central axis of the i+1 phalanx section CAi+1.
  • In a further embodiment of the subject invention, the link of coupling assembly Ci may be a cable extending between point CCSPi and point EPi+2.
  • In another embodiment of the subject invention, the cable extends in a helical path about the central axis CAi+1 between point CCSPi and point EPi+2.
  • In an additional embodiment of the subject invention, the exterior surface ESi includes an open-faced helical channel HCi+1 disposed about the central axis CAi+1, and the cable of coupling assembly Ci extends through the helical channel HCi+1.
  • In a further embodiment of the subject invention, the same-direction angular rotational displacement of each of the ith phalanx sections with respect to the adjacent phalanx sections are equi-angle.
  • In another embodiment of the subject invention, the tubular members TMi may be characterized by the same distance between the proximal end PEi and the distal end Dei.
  • In a further embodiment of the subject invention, at least two of the tubular members TMi may be characterized by different distances between their respective proximal ends PEi and distal ends Dei.
  • In an additional embodiment of the subject invention, the cam surfaces CCSi may be circular segments.
  • The subject invention also discloses an endoscopic surgical apparatus comprising: a handle having a front end and defining a longitudinal axis; an actuation member associated with the handle; an elongated articulating section comprising a plurality of interconnected pivotable vertebrae extending distally from the front end of said handle, wherein the plurality of pivotable vertebrae comprises an exterior surface, further wherein the plurality of pivotable vertebrae comprises an interior surface that defines a channel extending distally from the front end of said handle to a distal end to permit passage of surgical clips; and a tensioning system selectively operable from the actuation member to apply tensioning force to the plurality of interconnected pivotable vertebrae such that the proximal end of each interconnected pivotable vertebrae pivots at a substantially equivalent angle.
  • Another embodiment of the subject invention is an endoscopic surgical apparatus comprising: a handle having a front end and defining a longitudinal axis; an actuation member associated with the handle; an elongated articulating section comprising a plurality of interconnected pivotable vertebrae extending distally from the front end of said handle, wherein the plurality of pivotable vertebrae comprises an exterior surface, wherein each pivotable vertebrae comprises a set of opposing spiral-shaped grooves on the exterior surface such that the elongated articulating section has contiguous set of opposing spiral-shaped grooves, further wherein the plurality of pivotable vertebrae comprises an interior surface that defines a channel extending distally from the front end of said handle to a distal end to permit passage of surgical clips; and a plurality of tension wires inserted into the contiguous spiral-shaped grooves, wherein the plurality of tension wire are selectively operable from the actuation member to apply tensioning force to the plurality of interconnected pivotable vertebrae such that the proximal end of each interconnected pivotable vertebrae pivots at a substantially equivalent angle.
  • An additional embodiment of the subject invention is an endoscopic surgical apparatus comprising: a handle having a front end and defining a longitudinal axis; an actuation member associated with the handle; an elongated articulating section comprising a plurality of interconnected pivotable vertebrae extending distally from the front end of said handle, wherein the plurality of pivotable vertebrae comprises an exterior surface, wherein each pivotable vertebrae comprises a set of opposing spiral-shaped grooves on the exterior surface such that the elongated articulating section has contiguous set of opposing spiral-shaped grooves, further wherein the plurality of pivotable vertebrae comprises an interior surface that defines a channel extending distally from the front end of said handle to a distal end to permit passage of surgical clips; and a plurality of tension wires inserted into the contiguous spiral-shaped grooves, wherein the plurality of tension wire are selectively operable from the actuation member to apply tensioning force to the plurality of interconnected pivotable vertebrae such that the proximal end of each interconnected pivotable vertebrae pivots at a substantially equivalent angle.
  • A further embodiment of the subject invention discloses an endoscopic surgical apparatus comprising: a handle having a front end and defining a longitudinal axis; an actuation member associated with the handle; an elongated articulating section comprising a plurality of interconnected pivotable vertebrae extending distally from the front end of said handle, wherein the plurality of pivotable vertebrae comprises an exterior surface, further wherein the plurality of pivotable vertebrae comprises an interior surface that defines a channel extending distally from the front end of said handle to a distal end to permit passage of surgical clips; and a plurality of semi-circular ligaments placed over the plurality of pivotable vertebrae, wherein the plurality of semi-circular ligaments are selectively operable from the actuation member to apply tensioning force to the plurality of interconnected pivotable vertebrae such that the proximal end of each interconnected pivotable vertebrae pivots at a substantially equivalent angle.
  • Another embodiment of the subject invention is an endoscopic surgical apparatus comprising: a handle having a front end and defining a longitudinal axis; an actuation member coupled with the handle; an elongated articulating shaft coupled to the handle with a base coupling assembly and extending distally from the front end of said handle from a proximal end to a distal end, wherein the distal end of the articulating shaft is adapted to receive an end effector, the articulating shaft comprising a linear array of phalanx sections, wherein the linear array includes a sequentially aligned proximal phalanx section coupled on a distal end to the base coupling assembly, intermediate phalanx sections, and a distal phalanx section adapted to receive the end effector on the distal end, wherein each phalanx section comprises i) a proximal end and a distal end; ii) a central cavity extending along a central axis between the proximal end and the distal end; iii) an exterior surface; and iv) a set of opposing substantially spiral-shaped grooves on the exterior surface that extend along each phalanx from the proximal end to the distal end, wherein each the distal end of each phalanx section couples the proximal end of the adjacent phalanx section, whereby the proximal end of the phalanx section is movable with respect to the distal end of the phalanx section in rotational motion , and a plurality of tension wires inserted into the spiral-shaped grooves, wherein the plurality of tension wire are operable from the actuation member to apply tensioning force to the linear array of phalanx sections such that the proximal end of each phalanx section pivots at a substantially equivalent angle.
  • Another embodiment of the subject invention is an endoscopic surgical apparatus comprising: a handle having a front end and defining a longitudinal axis; an actuation member coupled with the handle; an elongated articulating shaft coupled to the handle with a base coupling assembly and extending distally from the front end of said handle from a proximal end to a distal end, wherein the distal end of the articulating shaft is adapted to receive an end effector, the articulating shaft comprising a linear array of phalanx sections, wherein the linear array includes a sequentially aligned proximal phalanx section coupled on a distal end to the base coupling assembly, intermediate phalanx sections, and a distal phalanx section adapted to receive the end effector on the distal end, wherein each phalanx section comprises i) a proximal end and a distal end; ii) a central cavity extending along a central axis between the proximal end and the distal end; iii) an exterior surface; wherein each the distal end of each phalanx section couples the proximal end of the adjacent phalanx section, whereby the proximal end of the phalanx section is movable with respect to the distal end of the phalanx section in rotational motion, and a plurality of semi-cylindrical ligaments placed over the plurality of phalanx sections, wherein the plurality of semi-cylindrical ligaments are selectively operable from the actuation member to apply tensioning force to the plurality of phalanx sections such that the proximal end of each phalanx section pivots at a substantially equivalent angle.
  • In embodiments of the subject invention, each phalanx or pivotable vertebrae may comprise a substantially cylindrical configuration.
  • In other embodiments of the subject invention, each phalanx or pivotable vertebrae may comprise a single piece.
  • In further embodiments of the subject invention, each phalanx or pivotable vertebrae may comprise two substantially half-cylindrical pieces.
  • In additional embodiments of the subject invention, the elongated articulating section may further comprise a distally attached surgical jaws assembly. In another embodiment the subject invention, the end effector may comprise a distally attached surgical jaws assembly.
  • In other embodiments of the subject invention, each pivotable vertebrae may project a first pivot member from the proximal end and project a second pivot member from the distal end, wherein the first pivot member of each pivotable vertebrae pivotably couples about a rotational axis to the second pivot member of a proximally adjacent pivotable vertebrae.
  • In further embodiments of the subject invention, the first pivot member may comprise a substantially cylindrical protrusion and the second pivot member may comprise a substantially cylindrical bore adapted for receiving the substantially cylindrical protrusion.
  • In other embodiments of the subject invention, each pivotable vertebrae may project a plurality of first pivot members from the proximal end and project a plurality of second pivot members from the distal end, wherein the plurality of first pivot members of each pivotable vertebrae pivotably couples about a rotational axis to the plurality of second pivot members of proximally adjacent pivotable vertebrae.
  • In additional embodiments of the subject invention, each phalanx section or pivotable vertebrae may be composed of injected-molded plastic.
  • In embodiments of the subject invention, the plurality of pivotable vertebrae fits within 3 mm to 10 mm envelope of MIS instrumentation.
  • In other embodiments of the subject invention, the plurality of tension wire may comprise a material selected from the group consisting of nickel titanium alloy, braided stainless steel, a single stainless steel wire, Kevlar, a high tensile strength monofilament thread, or combinations thereof.
  • In further embodiments of the subject invention, each tension wire attaches on a proximal end to a pivotable vertebrae proximate to the handle, extends through the spiral shaped grooves on a first subsequent adjacent distal pivotable vertebrae, and attaches on a distal end to a second subsequent adjacent distal pivotable vertebrae.
  • In additional embodiments of the subject invention, each tension wire proximally attaches on one side of the elongated articulating section to a pivotable vertebrae proximate to the handle, extends through the spiral shaped grooves on a subsequent adjacent distal pivotable vertebrae, and distally attaches on the opposing side of elongated articulating section to an opposing side of second subsequent adjacent distal pivotable vertebrae.
  • In other embodiments of the subject invention, applying force in the proximal direction to the proximal end of each tension wire rotates the second subsequent adjacent distal pivotable vertebrae, further wherein the direction of rotation is away from the side on the elongated articulating section that attaches to the proximal end of the tension wire.
  • In embodiments of the subject invention, applying force in the proximal direction to the proximal end of each tension wire rotates the second subsequent adjacent distal pivotable vertebrae, further wherein the direction of rotation is toward the side on the elongated articulating section that attaches to the distal end of the tension wire.
  • There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.
  • These together with other objects of the invention, along with the various features of novelty, which characterize the invention, are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following detailed description of embodiments thereof, which description should be considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a top view of the articulating steerable clip applier showing the separate angles of movement by different phalanges with covers.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a side view of the articulating steerable clip applier showing the separate angles of movement by different phalanges within a cover.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates a cross-sectional top view of the articulating steerable clip applier along the line 8 of FIG. 2.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates an enlarged cross-sectional top view of line 15 of FIG. 3 showing the pivotable connection between two phalanges on the articulating steerable clip applier.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates another top view of the articulating steerable clip applier showing the separate angles of movement by individual phalanges guided by tension wires connected from a first phalange traversing through opposing spiraled grooves on the next distal phalange to attach to a second distal phalange.
  • FIG. 6 illustrates another top view of the articulating steerable clip applier showing the separate angles of movement by individual phalanges with opposing spiraled grooves for holding the tension wires.
  • FIG. 7 illustrates a top view of connected adjacent phalanges of the articulating steerable clip applier without covers showing the separate angles of movement by different adjacent phalanges by flexible tension wires.
  • FIG. 8 illustrates the attachments of separate flexible tension wires on the separate phalanges of the articulating steerable clip applier, wherein each tension wire connects on its proximal end to one side of a first phalange, traverses through opposing spiraled grooves on the next distal phalange and attaches on its distal end to the opposing side of a second distal phalange.
  • FIG. 9 illustrates a side view of the articulating steerable clip applier showing the opposing spiraled grooves which contain the tension wires.
  • FIG. 10 illustrates a vertical cross-sectional view of an individual phalange at line 18 of FIG. 9 which contains a lumen that allows actuators, surgical clips, surgical clip carrying assemblies and other functional elements to pass through and operate to control clip movement, clip ligation or phalange articulation.
  • FIG. 11 illustrates a perspective view of the articulating steerable clip applier showing an individual phalange separated into the top and bottom half-phalanges.
  • FIG. 12 illustrates a perspective view of a top half-phalange and a bottom half phalange of the articulating steerable clip applier.
  • FIG. 13 illustrates a perspective view of a phalange comprising assembled top half and bottom half phalanges of the articulating steerable clip applier.
  • FIG. 14 illustrates a side view of a top and bottom semi-circular connecting ligaments of an individual phalange.
  • FIG. 15 illustrates a front view of a top and bottom semi-circular connecting ligaments of an individual phalange.
  • FIG. 16 illustrates a side view of a top semi-circular connecting ligament of an individual phalange.
  • FIG. 17 illustrates a side view of a substantially circular elongate tubing that covers each individual phalange.
  • FIG. 18 illustrates a front view of a substantially circular elongate tubing that covers each individual phalange.
  • FIG. 19 illustrates a side view of an articulating steerable clip applier operatively attached on the proximal end to a user-operated handle.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS
  • While several variations of the present invention have been illustrated by way of example in particular embodiments, it is apparent that further embodiments could be developed within the spirit and scope of the present invention, or the inventive concept thereof. However, it is to be expressly understood that such modifications and adaptations are within the spirit and scope of the present invention, and are inclusive, but not limited to the following appended claims as set forth.
  • FIGS. 1-3, 5, 6 and 11 illustrate a distal end 2 of the articulating steerable clip applier 1. The clip applier 1 is a long, narrow structure with a free distal end 2 adapted for coupling to an end effector, such as a surgical jaw assembly 3, and a proximal end 101 operatively coupled to a user-operated handle 100 (as shown in FIG. 19). The clip applier 1 is composed of a plurality of relatively short articulating members or phalanges 4 that are connected end to end by pivoting links 5 and capable of angulations 6 relative to one another when subjected to a tensile force. FIG. 3 illustrates a cross-sectional top view of the articulating steerable clip applier along the line 8 of FIG. 2. FIG. 4 illustrates an enlarged cross-sectional top view of pivoting point 5 showing the pivotable connection between two phalanges 4 on the articulating steerable clip applier 1 from line 15 of FIG. 3.
  • A sheath of elongate tubing 7 covers each individual phalange 4 such that the flexible joints of the phalange 4 are exposed. In one embodiment of the subject invention, this tubing 7 is composed of flexible materials. In another embodiment of the subject invention, this tubing 7 is composed of inflexible materials. Accordingly, the plurality of phalanges 4 is covered with a plurality of tubings 7. One embodiment of the tubing 7 is shown in FIGS. 17 and 18. A single flexible tubing (not shown) may cover the entire plurality of phalanges of the clip applier 1.
  • The distal end 2 of the articulating steerable clip applier 1 contains a final phalange 9. The final phalange 9 has a distal end 10 adapted for coupling to an end effector, such as a surgical jaw assembly 3, and a proximal end 11 that is attached to an adjacent proximal phalange 12. The distal tip 13 of the jaw assembly 3 is a surgical clip applicator for applying a surgical clip to a blood vessel (not shown).
  • The proximal end of the articulating steerable clip applier 1 contains an initial phalange 14. The initial phalange 14 has a proximal end 101 operatively coupled to a user-operated handle 100 and a distal end 16 that is attached to an adjacent first distal phalange 17.
  • FIGS. 11-13 illustrate individual phalanges 4 spaced apart, but the phalanges 4 are disposed in the articulating clip applier 1 so that the distal end of each proximal phalange 4 co-acts with the proximal end of the adjacent distal phalange 4.
  • Each phalange 4 has a generally cylindrical configuration and is symmetrical about a longitudinal axis. Each phalange 4 has an exterior surface 18, described more fully below, and an interior surface 19 that defines a lumen 20 extending between the proximal end 21 and distal end 22. FIG. 10 illustrates a vertical cross-sectional view of an individual phalange 4 at line 18 of FIG. 9. The plurality of lumens 20 of each phalange 4 forms an internal longitudinal passage 23 in the articulating clip applier 1. Longitudinal passage 23 permits actuators, surgical clips, surgical clip carrying assemblies and other functional elements to pass through clip applier 1 and to control the operation of clip movement, clip ligation or phalange articulation. Each phalange 4 is composed of two half phalanges 24. As shown in FIG. 12, each half phalange 24 has the same structure: a curved exterior surface 18 and a generally planar interior surface 19. Each half phalange 24 has a substantially half-round or half-elliptical cross-sectional configuration so that an assembled phalange 4 has a substantially cylindrical configuration. The interior surface 19 of each half phalange 24 contains a longitudinal channel 27.
  • The proximal end 21 of the exterior surface 18 of each half phalange 24 contains an extension 29. The extension 29 may have angled sides 30 that form a curved end 31. The top surface 32 of each extension 29 has a curvature that is substantially the same as the curvature of the exterior surface 18. The bottom 33 of each extension 29 has a substantially flat planar surface 34. The bottom 34 of each extension 29 further has a substantially cylindrical protrusion 35.
  • The distal end 22 of each half phalange 24 contains a substantially flat planar surface 37 that is lowered from the curved exterior surface 18. The substantially flat planar surface 37 has a substantially circular internal bore 38 with a diameter that is generally larger than the diameter of the cylindrical protrusion 35.
  • A phalange 4 is assembled by attaching the interior surfaces 19 of two half phalanges 24 to one another so that the two longitudinal channels 27 on each interior surface 19 of each half phalange 24 form the lumen 20. An assembled phalange 4 will have two extensions 29 on the proximal end 21, with their respective substantially cylindrical protrusions 35 facing each other. The substantially flat planar surfaces 37 of the distal end 22 will be on opposing sides of the assembled phalange 4.
  • In one embodiment of the subject invention, the phalanges 4 are composed of injected-molded plastic.
  • As shown in FIGS. 3 and 11, the plurality of phalanges 4 is connected end to end by pivoting links 5 in the following manner:
  • The initial phalange 14 has a proximal end 101 attached to a user-operated handle 100 (shown in FIG. 19). The distal end 16 of the initial phalange 14 has substantially flat planar surfaces 39 on the top and bottom of the exterior surface 18. The substantially flat planar surfaces 39 each have a substantially circular internal bore 41 with a diameter that is generally larger than the diameter of the cylindrical protrusion 35.
  • The clip applier 1 is assembled by placing the two substantially cylindrical protrusions 35 on the proximal end 21 of the first distal phalange 17 into the internal bores 41 on opposing sides on the distal end 16 of the initial phalange 14. This pivoting link 5 attaches the first distal phalange 17 to the initial phalange 14.
  • The proximal end 21 of the first distal phalange 17 may pivot with respect to the initial phalange 14. The two substantially cylindrical protrusions 35 may rotate within the internal bores 41. The substantially flat planar surfaces 34 of each extension 29 rotate freely on the substantially flat planar surfaces 39 on opposing sides of the initial phalange 14.
  • Second, third and subsequent distal phalanges 4, as desired, are added to the first distal phalange 17 as follows: the two substantially cylindrical protrusions 35 on the proximal end 21 of a subsequent phalange 4 are placed into the internal bores 38 on opposing sides on the distal end 22 of the preceding proximal phalange 4.
  • As shown in FIGS. 1, 3, 5, 6 and 7, the proximal ends 21 of all subsequent distal phalanges 4 may pivot with respect to distal ends 22 of their respective adjacent proximal phalanges 4. The protrusions 35 on the proximal end 21 of each subsequent distal phalange 4 may rotate within the internal bores 38 on the distal end 22 of the adjacent proximal phalange 4. The substantially flat planar surfaces 34 of each extension 29 rotate freely on the substantially flat planar surfaces 37 of the adjacent proximal phalange 4.
  • As shown in FIGS. 9, 12 and 13, the exterior surface 18 of each half phalange 24 contains at least one axially extending s-shaped groove 42 or channel. The curve of the s-shaped groove 42 traverses the width and length of the exterior surface 18 of the half phalange 24. The s-shaped groove 42 begins on one side of the exterior surface 18 at the proximal end 21 of the half phalange 24, axially extends and curves over the exterior surface 18 to the opposing side of the exterior surface on the distal end 22 of the half phalange 24.
  • Once a phalange 4 is assembled, it has two grooves 42 on both exterior surfaces 18 that axially extend in the phalange 4 in opposing s-shaped curves. Once the plurality of phalanges 4 is assembled, the two s-shaped grooves 42 form two continuous axially extending spiral shaped channels 43 that curve in opposing directions from each other.
  • A tension cable or wire is inserted into each spiral shaped channel 43, to provide steering control for the plurality of phalanges 4. Tension wire is preferably made from a superelastic material, e.g., nickel titanium alloy, braided stainless steel, a single stainless steel wire, Kevlar, a high tensile strength monofilament thread, or combinations thereof.
  • As shown in FIGS. 5, 7 and 8 a first set of two wires 45 a and 45 b are connected on their respective proximal ends 46 a and 46 b to the initial phalange 14 and connected on their respective distal ends 47 a and 47 b to the proximal end 21 of the adjacent first distal phalange 17. The proximal end 46 a of wire 45 a is attached to one side 14 a of the initial phalange 14 and the distal end 47 a of wire 45 a is attached to the side 17 a of the first distal phalange 17 on its proximal end 21. The proximal end 46 b of wire 45 b is attached to the opposing side 14 b of the initial phalange 14 and the distal end 47 b of wire 45 b is attached to the side 17 b of the first distal phalange 17 on its proximal end 21. When wire 45 a is pulled, this tensile force causes the first distal phalange 17 to pivot back and forth at its proximal end 21 towards side 17 a, away from side 14 b. When wire 45 b is pulled, this tensile force causes the first distal phalange 17 to pivot back and forth at its proximal end 21 towards side 17 b, away from side 14 a. Furthermore, each subsequently attached phalange 4 is moved by the same pivoted angle above, when either wire 45 a or 45 b is pulled.
  • A second set of two wires 48 a and 48 b are connected on their respective proximal ends 49 a and 49 b to the initial phalange 14 and connected on their respective distal ends 50 a and 50 b to the proximal end 51 of the second distal phalange 52, which is adjacent to phalange 17. The wires 48 a and 48 b are inserted into the two spiral shaped channels 43 that curve in opposing directions. The proximal end 49 a of wire 48 a is attached to one side 14 a of the initial phalange 14 and the distal end 50 a of wire 48 a is attached to the opposing side 52 b of the second distal phalange 52 on its proximal end 51. The proximal end 49 b of wire 48 b is attached to the opposing side 14 b of the initial phalange 14 and the distal end 50 b of wire 48 b is attached to the opposing side 52 a of the second distal phalange 52 on its proximal end 51. When wire 48 a is pulled, this tensile force causes the second distal phalange 52 to pivot back and forth at its proximal end 51 towards side 52 b, away from side 14 a. When wire 48 b is pulled, this tensile force causes the second distal phalange 52 to pivot back and forth at its proximal end 51 towards side 52 a, away from side 14 b. Furthermore, each subsequently attached phalange 4 is moved by the same pivoted angle above, when either wire 48 a or 48 b is pulled. Since the proximal end and the distal end of each wire 48 a or 48 b is attached to opposing sides of the initial phalange 14 and the second distal phalange 52, pulling either wire 48 a or 48 b causes the second distal phalange 52 to pivot in the direction of the distal end of the wire and away from the proximal end of the wire.
  • A third set of two wires 53 a and 53 b are connected on their respective proximal ends 54 a and 54 b to the first distal phalange 17 and connected on their respective distal ends 55 a and 55 b to the proximal end 56 of the third distal phalange 57, which is adjacent to second distal phalange 52. The wires 53 a and 53 b are inserted into the two spiral shaped channels 43 that curve in opposing directions. The proximal end 54 a of wire 53 a is attached to one side 17 a of the first distal phalange 17 and the distal end 55 a of wire 53 a is attached to the opposing side 57 b of the third distal phalange 57 on its proximal end 56. The proximal end 54 b of wire 53 b is attached to the opposing side 17 b of the first distal phalange 17 and the distal end 55 b of wire 53 b is attached to the opposing side 57 a of the third distal phalange 57 on its proximal end 56. When wire 53 a is pulled, this tensile force causes the third distal phalange 57 to pivot back and forth at its proximal end 56 towards side 57 b, away from side 17 a. When wire 53 b is pulled, this tensile force causes the third distal phalange 57 to pivot back and forth at its proximal end 56 towards side 57 a, away from side 17 b. Furthermore, each subsequently attached phalange 4 is moved by the same pivoted angle above, when either wire 53 a or 53 b is pulled. Since the proximal end and the distal end of each wire 53 a or 53 b is attached to opposing sides of the first distal phalange 17 and the third distal phalange 57, pulling either wire 53 a or 53 b causes the third distal phalange 57 to pivot in the direction of the distal end of the wire and away from the proximal end of the wire.
  • Additional sets of two wires may be connected on their proximal ends to a proximal phalange and connected on their distal end to the proximal end of phalange that is two phalanges distal from the proximal phalange. The wires are inserted into the two spiral shaped channels 43 that curve in opposing directions. The proximal end of each wire is attached to one side of the proximal phalange. The distal end of each wire is attached to the opposing side of the phalange that is two phalanges distal from the proximal phalange. When each wire is pulled, this tensile force causes the phalange that is two phalanges distal from the proximal phalange to pivot back and forth at its proximal end. The direction of this pivoting is towards the distal end attachment of each wire and away from the proximal end attachment of each wire.
  • A user may actuate the wires above to pivot all the remaining phalanges 4 such that the angle 6 between the distal end of a preceding phalange and the proximal end of the subsequent phalange in the clip applier is substantially equivalent. FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate the separate, but identical, angles of movement 6 by individual phalanges 4.
  • As each individual phalange 4 pivots by an equivalent angle 6, the sum of these angles 6 causes the distal end 2 of the clip applier 1 to pivot by a large angle or a cascading actuation effect, as shown in FIG. 1.
  • In another embodiment of the subject invention, as shown in FIGS. 14-16, the tension wires above may be replaced by semi-circular connecting ligaments 61. Each individual phalange 4 may be substantially covered with two semi-circular connecting ligaments 61. FIGS. 14 and 15 illustrate two semi-circular connecting ligaments 61 in an opposing top-bottom configuration 61 a to cover an individual phalange (not shown).
  • Each semi-circular connecting ligament 61 has a flexible tip 62 on its proximal end and a flexible tip 63 on its distal end. Furthermore, flexible tips 62 and 63 are on opposing sides of each semi-circular connecting ligament 61.
  • In the opposing top-bottom configuration 61 a, flexible tips 62 are attached to the distal end of a proximal phalange on opposing sides, an adjacent distal phalange is substantially covered by the two opposing semi-circular connecting ligaments 61, and flexible tips 63 are attached to the proximal end of a second distal phalange on opposing sides.
  • Each flexible tip 62 is attached to one side of the proximal phalange and each flexible tip 63 is attached to the opposing side of the second distal phalange. When a flexible tip 62 is pulled, this force causes the second distal phalange to pivot at its proximal end. The direction of this pivoting is away from the flexible tip 62 that is pulled.
  • A user may actuate the flexible tips 62 above to pivot all the remaining phalanges 4 such that the angle 6 between the distal end of a preceding phalange and the proximal end of the subsequent phalange in the clip applier is substantially equivalent. FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate the separate, but identical, angles of movement 6 by individual phalanges 4.
  • In one embodiment of the subject invention, the narrow plurality of phalanges 4 may easily fit within respective envelopes of 10 mm and 3 mm MIS instrumentation, while retaining flexible movements within a patient.

Claims (11)

1. An endoscopic surgical tool having a handle and a shaft member coupled to the handle and extending along a shaft axis from a proximal end to a distal end, wherein the distal end of the shaft member is adapted to receive an end effector, comprising:
A. a linear array of n phalanx sections, where n is an integer greater than 2, wherein the linear array includes a sequentially aligned proximal phalanx section, n−2 intermediate phalanx sections, and a distal phalanx section, wherein the ith phalanx section, wherein i is greater than or equal to 1 and less than or equal to n, extends along an associated central axis CAi between a proximal end PEi and a distal end DEL and includes:
a tubular member TMi defining
a. a central void region CVRi extending along the central axis CAi between the proximal end PEi and the distal end DEi,
b. an exterior surface ESi disposed about the central void region CVRi and extending along the central axis CAi from the proximal end PEi to the distal end DEi,
wherein the n phalanx sections are aligned whereby the central axis CAi of each phalanx section intersects with the central axis of phalanx sections adjacent thereto in the linear array,
B. an end effector coupler EEC disposed at the distal end of the distal phalanx section and adapted for coupling the distal end to an end effector,
C. a base coupling assembly BC disposed at the proximal end of the proximal phalanx section and adapted to couple to the proximal end of the proximal phalanx section to the distal end of the shaft member, whereby the shaft axis intersects the central axis of the proximal phalanx section and whereby the proximal phalanx section is movable with respect to the distal end of the shaft member substantially only in rotational motion about a transverse axis TA0 perpendicular to the central axis of the proximal phalanx section,
D. n−1 phalanx section coupling assemblies PC, wherein each phalanx section coupling assembly is associated with an intermediate phalanx section and wherein the coupling assembly PCi associated with the ith phalanx section couples a distal end of the ith phalanx section to the proximal end of the adjacent i+1th phalanx section whereby the proximal end of the i+1th phalanx section is movable with respect to the distal end of the ith phalanx section substantially only in rotational motion about a transverse axis TAi perpendicular to the central axis of the ith phalanx section, wherein TAi and TA0 are mutually parallel, and
wherein each of the base coupling assembly and the n−1 phalanx coupling assemblies are operative whereby a torque applied to the proximal end of the proximal phalanx section about an axis parallel to transverse axis TA0, effects a same-direction angular rotational displacement of each of the ith phalanx sections with respect to the adjacent phalanx sections about the respective transverse axes TAi.
2. An endoscopic surgical tool according to claim 1, wherein the base coupling assembly BC is adapted to detachably couple the proximal end of the proximal phalanx section to the distal end of the shaft member.
3. An endoscopic surgical tool according to claim 1, wherein the end effector coupling assembly EEC is adapted to detachably couple the end effector to the distal end of the distal phalanx section.
4. An endoscopic surgical tool according to claim 1, wherein at least the ith phalanx section coupling assembly Ci includes:
i. a coupling cam surface CCSi disposed about a cam central axis CCAi affixed to the distal end of the ith phalanx section, wherein the cam central axis CCAi is substantially coaxial with the transverse axis TAi,
ii. a substantially non-stretchable link coupling a point on the coupling cam surface of the ith phalanx section CCSPi with a point EPi+2 on the proximal end of the i+2th phalanx section, wherein point CCSPi and point EPi are disposed in a plane including CAi+1 and perpendicular to the transverse axes TAi and TAi+2 and on opposite sides central axis of the i+1 phalanx section CAi+1.
5. An endoscopic surgical tool according to claim 4, wherein the link of coupling assembly Ci is a cable extending between point CCSPi and point EPi+2.
6. An endoscopic surgical tool according to claim 5, wherein the cable extends in a helical path about the central axis CAi+1 between point CCSPi and point EPi+2.
7. An endoscope surgical tool according to claim 6, wherein the exterior surface ESi includes an open-faced helical channel HCi+1 disposed about the central axis CAi+1, and the cable of coupling assembly Ci extends through the helical channel HCi+1.
8. An endoscope surgical tool according to claim 1, wherein the same-direction angular rotational displacement of each of the ith phalanx sections with respect to the adjacent phalanx sections are equi-angle.
9. An endoscope surgical tool according to claim 1, wherein the tubular members TMi are characterized by the same distance between the proximal end PEi and the distal end Dei.
10. An endoscope surgical tool according to claim 1, wherein at least two of the tubular members TMi are characterized by different distances between their respective proximal ends PEi and distal ends Dei.
11. An endoscope surgical tool according to claim 1, wherein the cam surfaces CCSi are circular segments.
US13/080,998 2010-04-06 2011-04-06 Articulating Steerable Clip Applier for Laparoscopic Procedures Abandoned US20120265220A1 (en)

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US13/080,998 US20120265220A1 (en) 2010-04-06 2011-04-06 Articulating Steerable Clip Applier for Laparoscopic Procedures

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US13/080,998 US20120265220A1 (en) 2010-04-06 2011-04-06 Articulating Steerable Clip Applier for Laparoscopic Procedures
US14/339,021 US9918715B2 (en) 2010-04-06 2014-07-23 Articulating steerable clip applier for laparoscopic procedures
US15/852,037 US20180116664A1 (en) 2010-04-06 2017-12-22 Articulating Steerable Clip Applier for Laparoscopic Procedures

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US14/339,021 Active 2033-09-25 US9918715B2 (en) 2010-04-06 2014-07-23 Articulating steerable clip applier for laparoscopic procedures
US15/852,037 Pending US20180116664A1 (en) 2010-04-06 2017-12-22 Articulating Steerable Clip Applier for Laparoscopic Procedures

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