Smart sensors with local signal processing

Abstract
A device including smart sensors with a local signal processor is disclosed. The device includes an end-effector including at least one sensor and a signal processing component corresponding to the at least one sensor; and a handle configured to receive processed information from the signal processing component. The processed information is generated by the signal processing component at the end-effector based on data received from the at least one sensor at the end-effector.
Description
BACKGROUND

The present disclosure relates to surgical instruments and, in various circumstances, to surgical stapling and cutting instruments and staple cartridges therefor that are designed to staple and cut tissue.





BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The features and advantages of the present disclosure, and the manner of attaining them, will become more apparent and the present disclosure will be better understood by reference to the following description of the present disclosure taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:



FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a surgical instrument that has an interchangeable shaft assembly operably coupled thereto;



FIG. 2 is an exploded assembly view of the interchangeable shaft assembly and surgical instrument of FIG. 1;



FIG. 3 is another exploded assembly view showing portions of the interchangeable shaft assembly and surgical instrument of FIGS. 1 and 2;



FIG. 4 is an exploded assembly view of a portion of the surgical instrument of FIGS. 1-3;



FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional side view of a portion of the surgical instrument of FIG. 4 with the firing trigger in a fully actuated position;



FIG. 6 is another cross-sectional view of a portion of the surgical instrument of FIG. 5 with the firing trigger in an unactuated position;



FIG. 7 is an exploded assembly view of one form of an interchangeable shaft assembly;



FIG. 8 is another exploded assembly view of portions of the interchangeable shaft assembly of FIG. 7;



FIG. 9 is another exploded assembly view of portions of the interchangeable shaft assembly of FIGS. 7 and 8;



FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of the interchangeable shaft assembly of FIGS. 7-9;



FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a portion of the shaft assembly of FIGS. 7-10 with the switch drum omitted for clarity;



FIG. 12 is another perspective view of the portion of the interchangeable shaft assembly of FIG. 11 with the switch drum mounted thereon;



FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a portion of the interchangeable shaft assembly of FIG. 11 operably coupled to a portion of the surgical instrument of FIG. 1 illustrated with the closure trigger thereof in an unactuated position;



FIG. 14 is a right side elevational view of the interchangeable shaft assembly and surgical instrument of FIG. 13;



FIG. 15 is a left side elevational view of the interchangeable shaft assembly and surgical instrument of FIGS. 13 and 14;



FIG. 16 is a perspective view of a portion of the interchangeable shaft assembly of FIG. 11 operably coupled to a portion of the surgical instrument of FIG. 1 illustrated with the closure trigger thereof in an actuated position and a firing trigger thereof in an unactuated position;



FIG. 17 is a right side elevational view of the interchangeable shaft assembly and surgical instrument of FIG. 16;



FIG. 18 is a left side elevational view of the interchangeable shaft assembly and surgical instrument of FIGS. 16 and 17;



FIG. 18A is a right side elevational view of the interchangeable shaft assembly of FIG. 11 operably coupled to a portion of the surgical instrument of FIG. 1 illustrated with the closure trigger thereof in an actuated position and the firing trigger thereof in an actuated position;



FIG. 19 is a schematic of a system for powering down an electrical connector of a surgical instrument handle when a shaft assembly is not coupled thereto;



FIG. 20 is an exploded view of one aspect of an end effector of the surgical instrument of FIG. 1;



FIGS. 21A-21B is a circuit diagram of the surgical instrument of FIG. 1 spanning two drawings sheets;



FIG. 22 illustrates one instance of a power assembly comprising a usage cycle circuit configured to generate a usage cycle count of the battery back;



FIG. 23 illustrates one aspect of a process for sequentially energizing a segmented circuit;



FIG. 24 illustrates one aspect of a power segment comprising a plurality of daisy chained power converters;



FIG. 25 illustrates one aspect of a segmented circuit configured to maximize power available for critical and/or power intense functions;



FIG. 26 illustrates one aspect of a power system comprising a plurality of daisy chained power converters configured to be sequentially energized;



FIG. 27 illustrates one aspect of a segmented circuit comprising an isolated control section;



FIG. 28, which is divided into FIGS. 28A and 28B, is a circuit diagram of the surgical instrument of FIG. 1;



FIG. 29 is a block diagram the surgical instrument of FIG. 1 illustrating interfaces between the handle assembly 14 and the power assembly and between the handle assembly 14 and the interchangeable shaft assembly;



FIG. 30 depicts an example medical device that can include one or more aspects of the present disclosure;



FIG. 31 depicts an example end-effector of a medical device that can include one or more aspects of the present disclosure;



FIG. 32 also depicts an example end-effector of a medical device that can include one or more aspects of the present disclosure;



FIG. 33 is a diagram of a smart sensor component in accordance with an aspect the present disclosure;



FIG. 34 is a logic diagram illustrating one aspect of a process for calibrating a first sensor in response to an input from a second sensor;



FIG. 35 is a logic diagram illustrating one aspect of a process for adjusting a measurement of a first sensor in response to a plurality of secondary sensors;



FIG. 36 illustrates one aspect of a circuit configured to convert signals from a first sensor and a plurality of secondary sensors into digital signals receivable by a processor;



FIG. 37 is a logic diagram illustrating one aspect of a process for selecting the most reliable output from a plurality of redundant sensors;



FIG. 38 illustrates a sideways cross-sectional view of one aspect of an end effector comprising a magnet and a magnetic field sensor in communication with processor;



FIGS. 39-41 illustrate one aspect of an end effector that comprises a magnet where FIG. 39 illustrates a perspective cutaway view of the anvil and the magnet, FIG. 40 illustrates a side cutaway view of the anvil and the magnet, and FIG. 41 illustrates a top cutaway view of the anvil and the magnet;



FIG. 42 illustrates one aspect of an end effector that is operable to use conductive surfaces at the distal contact point to create an electrical connection;



FIG. 43 illustrates one aspect of an exploded view of a staple cartridge that comprises a flex cable connected to a magnetic field sensor and processor;



FIG. 44 illustrates the end effector shown in FIG. 43 with a flex cable and without the shaft assembly;



FIGS. 45 and 46 illustrate an elongated channel portion of an end effector without the anvil or the staple cartridge, to illustrate how the flex cable shown in FIG. 44 can be seated within the elongated channel;



FIG. 47 illustrates a flex cable, shown in FIGS. 44-46, alone;



FIG. 48 illustrates a close up view of the elongated channel shown in FIGS. 45 and 46 with a staple cartridge coupled thereto;



FIGS. 49 and 50 illustrate one aspect of a distal sensor plug where FIG. 49 illustrates a cutaway view of the distal sensor plug and FIG. 50 further illustrates the magnetic field sensor and the processor operatively coupled to the flex board such that they are capable of communicating;



FIG. 51 illustrates an aspect of an end effector with a flex cable operable to provide power to sensors and electronics in the distal tip of the anvil portion;



FIGS. 52-54 illustrate the operation of the articulation joint and flex cable of the end effector where FIG. 52 illustrates a top view of the end effector with the end effector pivoted −45 degrees with respect to the shaft assembly, FIG. 53 illustrates a top view of the end effector, and FIG. 54 illustrates a top view of the end effector with the end effector pivoted +45 degrees with respect to the shaft assembly;



FIG. 55 illustrates cross-sectional view of the distal tip of an aspect of an anvil with sensors and electronics; and



FIG. 56 illustrates a cutaway view of the distal tip of the anvil.





DESCRIPTION

Applicant of the present application owns the following patent applications that were filed on even date herewith and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entireties:

    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/640,746, entitled POWERED SURGICAL INSTRUMENT;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/640,795, entitled MULTIPLE LEVEL THRESHOLDS TO MODIFY OPERATION OF POWERED SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/640,832, entitled ADAPTIVE TISSUE COMPRESSION TECHNIQUES TO ADJUST CLOSURE RATES FOR MULTIPLE TISSUE TYPES;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/640,935, entitled OVERLAID MULTI SENSOR RADIO FREQUENCY (RF) ELECTRODE SYSTEM TO MEASURE TISSUE COMPRESSION;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/640,831, entitled MONITORING SPEED CONTROL AND PRECISION INCREMENTING OF MOTOR FOR POWERED SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/640,859, entitled TIME DEPENDENT EVALUATION OF SENSOR DATA TO DETERMINE STABILITY, CREEP, AND VISCOELASTIC ELEMENTS OF MEASURES;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/640,817, entitled INTERACTIVE FEEDBACK SYSTEM FOR POWERED SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/640,844, entitled CONTROL TECHNIQUES AND SUB-PROCESSOR CONTAINED WITHIN MODULAR SHAFT WITH SELECT CONTROL PROCESSING FROM HANDLE;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/640,780, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING A LOCKABLE BATTERY HOUSING;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/640,765, entitled SYSTEM FOR DETECTING THE MIS-INSERTION OF A STAPLE CARTRIDGE INTO A SURGICAL STAPLER; and
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/640,799, entitled SIGNAL AND POWER COMMUNICATION SYSTEM POSITIONED ON A ROTATABLE SHAFT.


Applicant of the present application owns the following patent applications that were filed on Feb. 27, 2015, and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entireties:

    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/633,576, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT SYSTEM COMPRISING AN INSPECTION STATION, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0249919;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/633,546, entitled SURGICAL APPARATUS CONFIGURED TO ASSESS WHETHER A PERFORMANCE PARAMETER OF THE SURGICAL APPARATUS IS WITHIN AN ACCEPTABLE PERFORMANCE BAND, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0249915;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/633,560, entitled SURGICAL CHARGING SYSTEM THAT CHARGES AND/OR CONDITIONS ONE OR MORE BATTERIES;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/633,566, entitled CHARGING SYSTEM THAT ENABLES EMERGENCY RESOLUTIONS FOR CHARGING A BATTERY, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0249918;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/633,555, entitled SYSTEM FOR MONITORING WHETHER A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT NEEDS TO BE SERVICED, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0249908;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/633,542, entitled REINFORCED BATTERY FOR A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0249908;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/633,548, entitled POWER ADAPTER FOR A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0249909;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/633,526, entitled ADAPTABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENT HANDLE, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0249945;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/633,541, entitled MODULAR STAPLING ASSEMBLY now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0249927; and
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/633,562, entitled SURGICAL APPARATUS CONFIGURED TO TRACK AN END-OF-LIFE PARAMETER, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0249917.


Applicant of the present application owns the following patent applications that were filed on Dec. 18, 2014 and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entireties:

    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/574,478, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT SYSTEMS COMPRISING AN ARTICULATABLE END EFFECTOR AND MEANS FOR ADJUSTING THE FIRING STROKE OF A FIRING, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0174977;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/574,483, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT ASSEMBLY COMPRISING LOCKABLE SYSTEMS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0174969;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/575,139, entitled DRIVE ARRANGEMENTS FOR ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0174978;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/575,148, entitled LOCKING ARRANGEMENTS FOR DETACHABLE SHAFT ASSEMBLIES WITH ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL END EFFECTORS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0174976;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/575,130, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT WITH AN ANVIL THAT IS SELECTIVELY MOVABLE ABOUT A DISCRETE NON-MOVABLE AXIS RELATIVE TO A STAPLE CARTRIDGE, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0174972;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/575,143, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH IMPROVED CLOSURE ARRANGEMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0174983;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/575,117, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH ARTICULATABLE END EFFECTORS AND MOVABLE FIRING BEAM SUPPORT ARRANGEMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0174975;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/575,154, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH ARTICULATABLE END EFFECTORS AND IMPROVED FIRING BEAM SUPPORT ARRANGEMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0174973;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/574,493, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT ASSEMBLY COMPRISING A FLEXIBLE ARTICULATION SYSTEM, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0174970; and
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/574,500, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT ASSEMBLY COMPRISING A LOCKABLE ARTICULATION SYSTEM, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0174971.


Applicant of the present application owns the following patent applications that were filed on Mar. 1, 2013 and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entireties:

    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/782,295, entitled ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH CONDUCTIVE PATHWAYS FOR SIGNAL COMMUNICATION, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0246471;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/782,323, entitled ROTARY POWERED ARTICULATION JOINTS FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0246472;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/782,338, entitled THUMBWHEEL SWITCH ARRANGEMENTS FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0249557;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/782,499, entitled ELECTROMECHANICAL SURGICAL DEVICE WITH SIGNAL RELAY ARRANGEMENT, now U.S. Pat. No. 9,358,003;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/782,460, entitled MULTIPLE PROCESSOR MOTOR CONTROL FOR MODULAR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0246478;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/782,358, entitled JOYSTICK SWITCH ASSEMBLIES FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Pat. No. 9,326,767;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/782,481, entitled SENSOR STRAIGHTENED END EFFECTOR DURING REMOVAL THROUGH TROCAR, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0246479;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/782,518, entitled CONTROL METHODS FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH REMOVABLE IMPLEMENT PORTIONS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0246475;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/782,375, entitled ROTARY POWERED SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH MULTIPLE DEGREES OF FREEDOM, now U.S. Pat. No. 9,398,911; and
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/782,536, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT SOFT STOP, now U.S. Pat. No. 9,307,986.


Applicant of the present application also owns the following patent applications that were filed on Mar. 14, 2013 and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entireties:

    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/803,097, entitled ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING A FIRING DRIVE, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263542;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/803,193, entitled CONTROL ARRANGEMENTS FOR A DRIVE MEMBER OF A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT, now U.S. Pat. No. 9,332,987;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/803,053, entitled INTERCHANGEABLE SHAFT ASSEMBLIES FOR USE WITH A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263564;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/803,086, entitled ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING AN ARTICULATION LOCK, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/803,210, entitled SENSOR ARRANGEMENTS FOR ABSOLUTE POSITIONING SYSTEM FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263538;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/803,148, entitled MULTI-FUNCTION MOTOR FOR A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263554;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/803,066, entitled DRIVE SYSTEM LOCKOUT ARRANGEMENTS FOR MODULAR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263565;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/803,117, entitled ARTICULATION CONTROL SYSTEM FOR ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Pat. No. 9,351,726;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/803,130, entitled DRIVE TRAIN CONTROL ARRANGEMENTS FOR MODULAR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Pat. No. 9,351,727; and
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/803,159, entitled METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR OPERATING A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0277017.


Applicant of the present application also owns the following patent application that was filed on Mar. 7, 2014 and is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety:

    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/200,111, entitled CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263539.


Applicant of the present application also owns the following patent applications that were filed on Mar. 26, 2014 and are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entireties:

    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/226,106, entitled POWER MANAGEMENT CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272582;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/226,099, entitled STERILIZATION VERIFICATION CIRCUIT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272581;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/226,094, entitled VERIFICATION OF NUMBER OF BATTERY EXCHANGES/PROCEDURE COUNT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272580;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/226,117, entitled POWER MANAGEMENT THROUGH SLEEP OPTIONS OF SEGMENTED CIRCUIT AND WAKE UP CONTROL, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272574;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/226,075, entitled MODULAR POWERED SURGICAL INSTRUMENT WITH DETACHABLE SHAFT ASSEMBLIES, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272579;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/226,093, entitled FEEDBACK ALGORITHMS FOR MANUAL BAILOUT SYSTEMS FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272569;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/226,116, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT UTILIZING SENSOR ADAPTATION, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272571;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/226,071, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT CONTROL CIRCUIT HAVING A SAFETY PROCESSOR, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272578;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/226,097, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING INTERACTIVE SYSTEMS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272570;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/226,126, entitled INTERFACE SYSTEMS FOR USE WITH SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272572;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/226,133, entitled MODULAR SURGICAL INSTRUMENT SYSTEM, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272557;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/226,081, entitled SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR CONTROLLING A SEGMENTED CIRCUIT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0277471;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/226,076, entitled POWER MANAGEMENT THROUGH SEGMENTED CIRCUIT AND VARIABLE VOLTAGE PROTECTION, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0280424;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/226,111, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENT SYSTEM, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272583; and
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/226,125, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING A ROTATABLE SHAFT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0280384.


Applicant of the present application also owns the following patent applications that were filed on Sep. 5, 2014 and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entireties:

    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/479,103, entitled CIRCUITRY AND SENSORS FOR POWERED MEDICAL DEVICE, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0066912;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/479,119, entitled ADJUNCT WITH INTEGRATED SENSORS TO QUANTIFY TISSUE COMPRESSION, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0066914;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/478,908, entitled MONITORING DEVICE DEGRADATION BASED ON COMPONENT EVALUATION, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0066910;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/478,895, entitled MULTIPLE SENSORS WITH ONE SENSOR AFFECTING A SECOND SENSOR'S OUTPUT OR INTERPRETATION, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0066909;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/479,110, entitled USE OF POLARITY OF HALL MAGNET DETECTION TO DETECT MISLOADED CARTRIDGE, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0066915;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/479,098, entitled SMART CARTRIDGE WAKE UP OPERATION AND DATA RETENTION, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0066911;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/479,115, entitled MULTIPLE MOTOR CONTROL FOR POWERED MEDICAL DEVICE, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0066916; and
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/479,108, entitled LOCAL DISPLAY OF TISSUE PARAMETER STABILIZATION, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0066913.


Applicant of the present application also owns the following patent applications that were filed on Apr. 9, 2014 and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entireties:

    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/248,590, entitled MOTOR DRIVEN SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH LOCKABLE DUAL DRIVE SHAFTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0305987;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/248,581, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING A CLOSING DRIVE AND A FIRING DRIVE OPERATED FROM THE SAME ROTATABLE OUTPUT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0305989;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/248,595, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT SHAFT INCLUDING SWITCHES FOR CONTROLLING THE OPERATION OF THE SURGICAL INSTRUMENT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0305988;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/248,588, entitled POWERED LINEAR SURGICAL STAPLER, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0309666;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/248,591, entitled TRANSMISSION ARRANGEMENT FOR A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0305991;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/248,584, entitled MODULAR MOTOR DRIVEN SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH ALIGNMENT FEATURES FOR ALIGNING ROTARY DRIVE SHAFTS WITH SURGICAL END EFFECTOR SHAFTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0305994;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/248,587, entitled POWERED SURGICAL STAPLER, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0309665;
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/248,586, entitled DRIVE SYSTEM DECOUPLING ARRANGEMENT FOR A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0305990; and
    • U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/248,607, entitled MODULAR MOTOR DRIVEN SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH STATUS INDICATION ARRANGEMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0305992.


Applicant of the present application also owns the following patent applications that were filed on Apr. 16, 2013 and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entireties:

    • U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/812,365, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT WITH MULTIPLE FUNCTIONS PERFORMED BY A SINGLE MOTOR;
    • U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/812,376, entitled LINEAR CUTTER WITH POWER;
    • U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/812,382, entitled LINEAR CUTTER WITH MOTOR AND PISTOL GRIP;
    • U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/812,385, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT HANDLE WITH MULTIPLE ACTUATION MOTORS AND MOTOR CONTROL; and
    • U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/812,372, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT WITH MULTIPLE FUNCTIONS PERFORMED BY A SINGLE MOTOR.


The present disclosure provides an overall understanding of the principles of the structure, function, manufacture, and use of the devices and methods disclosed herein. One or more examples of these aspects are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Those of ordinary skill in the art will understand that the devices and methods specifically described herein and illustrated in the accompanying drawings are non-limiting examples. The features illustrated or described in connection with one example may be combined with the features of other examples. Such modifications and variations are intended to be included within the scope of the present disclosure.


Reference throughout the specification to “various aspects,” “some aspects,” “one aspect,” or “an aspect”, or the like, means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the aspect is included in at least one aspect. Thus, appearances of the phrases “in various aspects,” “in some aspects,” “in one aspect”, or “in an aspect”, or the like, in places throughout the specification are not necessarily all referring to the same aspect. Furthermore, the particular features, structures, or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more aspects. Thus, the particular features, structures, or characteristics illustrated or described in connection with one aspect may be combined, in whole or in part, with the features structures, or characteristics of one or more other aspects without limitation. Such modifications and variations are intended to be included within the scope of the present disclosure.


The terms “proximal” and “distal” are used herein with reference to a clinician manipulating the handle portion of the surgical instrument. The term “proximal” referring to the portion closest to the clinician and the term “distal” referring to the portion located away from the clinician. It will be further appreciated that, for convenience and clarity, spatial terms such as “vertical,” “horizontal,” “up,” and “down” may be used herein with respect to the drawings. However, surgical instruments are used in many orientations and positions, and these terms are not intended to be limiting and/or absolute.


Various example devices and methods are provided for performing laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgical procedures. However, the person of ordinary skill in the art will readily appreciate that the various methods and devices disclosed herein can be used in numerous surgical procedures and applications including, for example, in connection with open surgical procedures. As the present Detailed Description proceeds, those of ordinary skill in the art will further appreciate that the various instruments disclosed herein can be inserted into a body in any way, such as through a natural orifice, through an incision or puncture hole formed in tissue, etc. The working portions or end effector portions of the instruments can be inserted directly into a patient's body or can be inserted through an access device that has a working channel through which the end effector and elongated shaft of a surgical instrument can be advanced.



FIGS. 1-6 depict a motor-driven surgical cutting and fastening instrument 10 that may or may not be reused. In the illustrated examples, the instrument 10 includes a housing 12 that comprises a handle assembly 14 that is configured to be grasped, manipulated and actuated by the clinician. The housing 12 is configured for operable attachment to an interchangeable shaft assembly 200 that has a surgical end effector 300 operably coupled thereto that is configured to perform one or more surgical tasks or procedures. As the present Detailed Description proceeds, it will be understood that the various unique and novel arrangements of the various forms of interchangeable shaft assemblies disclosed herein also may be effectively employed in connection with robotically-controlled surgical systems. Thus, the term “housing” also may encompass a housing or similar portion of a robotic system that houses or otherwise operably supports at least one drive system that is configured to generate and apply at least one control motion which could be used to actuate the interchangeable shaft assemblies disclosed herein and their respective equivalents. The term “frame” may refer to a portion of a handheld surgical instrument. The term “frame” also may represent a portion of a robotically controlled surgical instrument and/or a portion of the robotic system that may be used to operably control a surgical instrument. For example, the interchangeable shaft assemblies disclosed herein may be employed with various robotic systems, instruments, components and methods disclosed in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/118,241, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENTS WITH ROTATABLE STAPLE DEPLOYMENT ARRANGEMENTS, now U.S. Pat. No. 9,072,535. U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/118,241, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENTS WITH ROTATABLE STAPLE DEPLOYMENT ARRANGEMENTS, now U.S. Pat. No. 9,072,535, is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.


The housing 12 depicted in FIGS. 1-3 is shown in connection with an interchangeable shaft assembly 200 that includes an end effector 300 that comprises a surgical cutting and fastening device that is configured to operably support a surgical staple cartridge 304 therein. The housing 12 may be configured for use in connection with interchangeable shaft assemblies that include end effectors that are adapted to support different sizes and types of staple cartridges, have different shaft lengths, sizes, and types, etc. In addition, the housing 12 also may be effectively employed with a variety of other interchangeable shaft assemblies including those assemblies that are configured to apply other motions and forms of energy such as, for example, radio frequency (RF) energy, ultrasonic energy and/or motion to end effector arrangements adapted for use in connection with various surgical applications and procedures. Furthermore, the end effectors, shaft assemblies, handles, surgical instruments, and/or surgical instrument systems can utilize any suitable fastener, or fasteners, to fasten tissue. For instance, a fastener cartridge comprising a plurality of fasteners removably stored therein can be removably inserted into and/or attached to the end effector of a shaft assembly.



FIG. 1 illustrates the surgical instrument 10 with an interchangeable shaft assembly 200 operably coupled thereto. FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate attachment of the interchangeable shaft assembly 200 to the housing 12 or handle assembly 14. As shown in FIG. 4, the handle assembly 14 may comprise a pair of interconnectable handle housing segments 16 and 18 that may be interconnected by screws, snap features, adhesive, etc. In the illustrated arrangement, the handle housing segments 16, 18 cooperate to form a pistol grip portion 19 that can be gripped and manipulated by the clinician. As will be discussed in further detail below, the handle assembly 14 operably supports a plurality of drive systems therein that are configured to generate and apply various control motions to corresponding portions of the interchangeable shaft assembly that is operably attached thereto.


Referring now to FIG. 4, the handle assembly 14 may further include a frame 20 that operably supports a plurality of drive systems. For example, the frame 20 can operably support a “first” or closure drive system, generally designated as 30, which may be employed to apply closing and opening motions to the interchangeable shaft assembly 200 that is operably attached or coupled thereto. In at least one form, the closure drive system 30 may include an actuator in the form of a closure trigger 32 that is pivotally supported by the frame 20. More specifically, as illustrated in FIG. 4, the closure trigger 32 is pivotally coupled to the housing 14 by a pin 33. Such arrangement enables the closure trigger 32 to be manipulated by a clinician such that when the clinician grips the pistol grip portion 19 of the handle assembly 14, the closure trigger 32 may be easily pivoted from a starting or “unactuated” position to an “actuated” position and more particularly to a fully compressed or fully actuated position. The closure trigger 32 may be biased into the unactuated position by spring or other biasing arrangement (not shown). In various forms, the closure drive system 30 further includes a closure linkage assembly 34 that is pivotally coupled to the closure trigger 32. As shown in FIG. 4, the closure linkage assembly 34 may include a first closure link 36 and a second closure link 38 that are pivotally coupled to the closure trigger 32 by a pin 35. The second closure link 38 also may be referred to herein as an “attachment member” and include a transverse attachment pin 37.


Still referring to FIG. 4, it can be observed that the first closure link 36 may have a locking wall or end 39 thereon that is configured to cooperate with a closure release assembly 60 that is pivotally coupled to the frame 20. In at least one form, the closure release assembly 60 may comprise a release button assembly 62 that has a distally protruding locking pawl 64 formed thereon. The release button assembly 62 may be pivoted in a counterclockwise direction by a release spring (not shown). As the clinician depresses the closure trigger 32 from its unactuated position towards the pistol grip portion 19 of the handle assembly 14, the first closure link 36 pivots upward to a point wherein the locking pawl 64 drops into retaining engagement with the locking wall 39 on the first closure link 36 thereby preventing the closure trigger 32 from returning to the unactuated position. See FIG. 18. Thus, the closure release assembly 60 serves to lock the closure trigger 32 in the fully actuated position. When the clinician desires to unlock the closure trigger 32 to permit it to be biased to the unactuated position, the clinician simply pivots the closure release button assembly 62 such that the locking pawl 64 is moved out of engagement with the locking wall 39 on the first closure link 36. When the locking pawl 64 has been moved out of engagement with the first closure link 36, the closure trigger 32 may pivot back to the unactuated position. Other closure trigger locking and release arrangements also may be employed.


Further to the above, FIGS. 13-15 illustrate the closure trigger 32 in its unactuated position which is associated with an open, or unclamped, configuration of the shaft assembly 200 in which tissue can be positioned between the jaws of the shaft assembly 200. FIGS. 16-18 illustrate the closure trigger 32 in its actuated position which is associated with a closed, or clamped, configuration of the shaft assembly 200 in which tissue is clamped between the jaws of the shaft assembly 200. Upon comparing FIGS. 14 and 17, the reader will appreciate that, when the closure trigger 32 is moved from its unactuated position (FIG. 14) to its actuated position (FIG. 17), the closure release button 62 is pivoted between a first position (FIG. 14) and a second position (FIG. 17). The rotation of the closure release button 62 can be referred to as being an upward rotation; however, at least a portion of the closure release button 62 is being rotated toward the circuit board 100. Referring to FIG. 4, the closure release button 62 can include an arm 61 extending therefrom and a magnetic element 63, such as a permanent magnet, for example, mounted to the arm 61. When the closure release button 62 is rotated from its first position to its second position, the magnetic element 63 can move toward the circuit board 100. The circuit board 100 can include at least one sensor configured to detect the movement of the magnetic element 63. In at least one aspect, a magnetic field sensor 65, for example, can be mounted to the bottom surface of the circuit board 100. The magnetic field sensor 65 can be configured to detect changes in a magnetic field surrounding the magnetic field sensor 65 caused by the movement of the magnetic element 63. The magnetic field sensor 65 can be in signal communication with a microcontroller 1500 (FIG. 19), for example, which can determine whether the closure release button 62 is in its first position, which is associated with the unactuated position of the closure trigger 32 and the open configuration of the end effector, its second position, which is associated with the actuated position of the closure trigger 32 and the closed configuration of the end effector, and/or any position between the first position and the second position.


As used throughout the present disclosure, a magnetic field sensor may be a Hall effect sensor, search coil, fluxgate, optically pumped, nuclear precession, SQUID, Hall-effect, anisotropic magnetoresistance, giant magnetoresistance, magnetic tunnel junctions, giant magnetoimpedance, magnetostrictive/piezoelectric composites, magnetodiode, magnetotransistor, fiber optic, magnetooptic, and microelectromechanical systems-based magnetic sensors, among others.


In at least one form, the handle assembly 14 and the frame 20 may operably support another drive system referred to herein as a firing drive system 80 that is configured to apply firing motions to corresponding portions of the interchangeable shaft assembly attached thereto. The firing drive system may 80 also be referred to herein as a “second drive system”. The firing drive system 80 may employ an electric motor 82, located in the pistol grip portion 19 of the handle assembly 14. In various forms, the motor 82 may be a DC brushed driving motor having a maximum rotation of, approximately, 25,000 RPM, for example. In other arrangements, the motor may include a brushless motor, a cordless motor, a synchronous motor, a stepper motor, or any other suitable electric motor. The motor 82 may be powered by a power source 90 that in one form may comprise a removable power pack 92. As shown in FIG. 4, for example, the power pack 92 may comprise a proximal housing portion 94 that is configured for attachment to a distal housing portion 96. The proximal housing portion 94 and the distal housing portion 96 are configured to operably support a plurality of batteries 98 therein. Batteries 98 may each comprise, for example, a Lithium Ion (“LI”) or other suitable battery. The distal housing portion 96 is configured for removable operable attachment to a control circuit board assembly 100 which is also operably coupled to the motor 82. A number of batteries 98 may be connected in series may be used as the power source for the surgical instrument 10. In addition, the power source 90 may be replaceable and/or rechargeable.


As outlined above with respect to other various forms, the electric motor 82 can include a rotatable shaft (not shown) that operably interfaces with a gear reducer assembly 84 that is mounted in meshing engagement with a with a set, or rack, of drive teeth 122 on a longitudinally-movable drive member 120. In use, a voltage polarity provided by the power source 90 can operate the electric motor 82 in a clockwise direction wherein the voltage polarity applied to the electric motor by the battery can be reversed in order to operate the electric motor 82 in a counter-clockwise direction. When the electric motor 82 is rotated in one direction, the drive member 120 will be axially driven in the distal direction “DD”. When the motor 82 is driven in the opposite rotary direction, the drive member 120 will be axially driven in a proximal direction “PD”. The handle assembly 14 can include a switch which can be configured to reverse the polarity applied to the electric motor 82 by the power source 90. As with the other forms described herein, the handle assembly 14 can also include a sensor that is configured to detect the position of the drive member 120 and/or the direction in which the drive member 120 is being moved.


Actuation of the motor 82 can be controlled by a firing trigger 130 that is pivotally supported on the handle assembly 14. The firing trigger 130 may be pivoted between an unactuated position and an actuated position. The firing trigger 130 may be biased into the unactuated position by a spring 132 or other biasing arrangement such that when the clinician releases the firing trigger 130, it may be pivoted or otherwise returned to the unactuated position by the spring 132 or biasing arrangement. In at least one form, the firing trigger 130 can be positioned “outboard” of the closure trigger 32 as was discussed above. In at least one form, a firing trigger safety button 134 may be pivotally mounted to the closure trigger 32 by pin 35. The safety button 134 may be positioned between the firing trigger 130 and the closure trigger 32 and have a pivot arm 136 protruding therefrom. See FIG. 4. When the closure trigger 32 is in the unactuated position, the safety button 134 is contained in the handle assembly 14 where the clinician cannot readily access it and move it between a safety position preventing actuation of the firing trigger 130 and a firing position wherein the firing trigger 130 may be fired. As the clinician depresses the closure trigger 32, the safety button 134 and the firing trigger 130 pivot down wherein they can then be manipulated by the clinician.


As discussed above, the handle assembly 14 can include a closure trigger 32 and a firing trigger 130. Referring to FIGS. 14-18A, the firing trigger 130 can be pivotably mounted to the closure trigger 32. The closure trigger 32 can include an arm 31 extending therefrom and the firing trigger 130 can be pivotably mounted to the arm 31 about a pivot pin 33. When the closure trigger 32 is moved from its unactuated position (FIG. 14) to its actuated position (FIG. 17), the firing trigger 130 can descend downwardly, as outlined above. After the safety button 134 has been moved to its firing position, referring primarily to FIG. 18A, the firing trigger 130 can be depressed to operate the motor of the surgical instrument firing system. In various instances, the handle assembly 14 can include a tracking system, such as system 800, for example, configured to determine the position of the closure trigger 32 and/or the position of the firing trigger 130. With primary reference to FIGS. 14, 17, and 18A, the tracking system 800 can include a magnetic element, such as permanent magnet 802, for example, which is mounted to an arm 801 extending from the firing trigger 130. The tracking system 800 can comprise one or more sensors, such as a first magnetic field sensor 803 and a second magnetic field sensor 804, for example, which can be configured to track the position of the magnet 802.


Upon comparing FIGS. 14 and 17, the reader will appreciate that, when the closure trigger 32 is moved from its unactuated position to its actuated position, the magnet 802 can move between a first position adjacent the first magnetic field sensor 803 and a second position adjacent the second magnetic field sensor 804.


Upon comparing FIGS. 17 and 18A, the reader will further appreciate that, when the firing trigger 130 is moved from an unfired position (FIG. 17) to a fired position (FIG. 18A), the magnet 802 can move relative to the second magnetic field sensor 804. The sensors 803 and 804 can track the movement of the magnet 802 and can be in signal communication with a microcontroller on the circuit board 100. With data from the first sensor 803 and/or the second sensor 804, the microcontroller can determine the position of the magnet 802 along a predefined path and, based on that position, the microcontroller can determine whether the closure trigger 32 is in its unactuated position, its actuated position, or a position therebetween. Similarly, with data from the first sensor 803 and/or the second sensor 804, the microcontroller can determine the position of the magnet 802 along a predefined path and, based on that position, the microcontroller can determine whether the firing trigger 130 is in its unfired position, its fully fired position, or a position therebetween.


As indicated above, in at least one form, the longitudinally movable drive member 120 has a rack of teeth 122 formed thereon for meshing engagement with a corresponding drive gear 86 of the gear reducer assembly 84. At least one form also includes a manually-actuatable “bailout” assembly 140 that is configured to enable the clinician to manually retract the longitudinally movable drive member 120 should the motor 82 become disabled. The bailout assembly 140 may include a lever or bailout handle assembly 14 that is configured to be manually pivoted into ratcheting engagement with teeth 124 also provided in the drive member 120. Thus, the clinician can manually retract the drive member 120 by using the bailout handle assembly 14 to ratchet the drive member 120 in the proximal direction “PD”. U.S. Patent Application Publication No. US 2010/0089970, now U.S. Pat. No. 8,608,045 discloses bailout arrangements and other components, arrangements and systems that also may be employed with the various instruments disclosed herein. U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/249,117, entitled POWERED SURGICAL CUTTING AND STAPLING APPARATUS WITH MANUALLY RETRACTABLE FIRING SYSTEM, U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2010/0089970, now U.S. Pat. No. 8,608,045, is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.


Turning now to FIGS. 1 and 7, the interchangeable shaft assembly 200 includes a surgical end effector 300 that comprises an elongated channel 302 that is configured to operably support a staple cartridge 304 therein. The end effector 300 may further include an anvil 306 that is pivotally supported relative to the elongated channel 302. The interchangeable shaft assembly 200 may further include an articulation joint 270 and an articulation lock 350 (FIG. 8) which can be configured to releasably hold the end effector 300 in a desired position relative to a shaft axis SA-SA. Details regarding the construction and operation of the end effector 300, the articulation joint 270 and the articulation lock 350 are set forth in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/803,086, filed Mar. 14, 2013, entitled ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING AN ARTICULATION LOCK, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541. The entire disclosure of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/803,086, filed Mar. 14, 2013, entitled ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING AN ARTICULATION LOCK, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541, is hereby incorporated by reference herein. As shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, the interchangeable shaft assembly 200 can further include a proximal housing or nozzle 201 comprised of nozzle portions 202 and 203. The interchangeable shaft assembly 200 can further include a closure tube 260 which can be utilized to close and/or open the anvil 306 of the end effector 300. Primarily referring now to FIGS. 8 and 9, the shaft assembly 200 can include a spine 210 which can be configured to fixably support a shaft frame portion 212 of the articulation lock 350. See FIG. 8. The spine 210 can be configured to, one, slidably support a firing member 220 therein and, two, slidably support the closure tube 260 which extends around the spine 210. The spine 210 can also be configured to slidably support a proximal articulation driver 230. The articulation driver 230 has a distal end 231 that is configured to operably engage the articulation lock 350. The articulation lock 350 interfaces with an articulation frame 352 that is adapted to operably engage a drive pin (not shown) on the end effector frame (not shown). As indicated above, further details regarding the operation of the articulation lock 350 and the articulation frame may be found in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/803,086, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541. In various circumstances, the spine 210 can comprise a proximal end 211 which is rotatably supported in a chassis 240. In one arrangement, for example, the proximal end 211 of the spine 210 has a thread 214 formed thereon for threaded attachment to a spine bearing 216 configured to be supported within the chassis 240. See FIG. 7. Such an arrangement facilitates rotatable attachment of the spine 210 to the chassis 240 such that the spine 210 may be selectively rotated about a shaft axis SA-SA relative to the chassis 240.


Referring primarily to FIG. 7, the interchangeable shaft assembly 200 includes a closure shuttle 250 that is slidably supported within the chassis 240 such that it may be axially moved relative thereto. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 7, the closure shuttle 250 includes a pair of proximally-protruding hooks 252 that are configured for attachment to the attachment pin 37 that is attached to the second closure link 38 as will be discussed in further detail below. A proximal end 261 of the closure tube 260 is coupled to the closure shuttle 250 for relative rotation thereto. For example, a U shaped connector 263 is inserted into an annular slot 262 in the proximal end 261 of the closure tube 260 and is retained within vertical slots 253 in the closure shuttle 250. See FIG. 7. Such an arrangement serves to attach the closure tube 260 to the closure shuttle 250 for axial travel therewith while enabling the closure tube 260 to rotate relative to the closure shuttle 250 about the shaft axis SA-SA. A closure spring 268 is journaled on the closure tube 260 and serves to bias the closure tube 260 in the proximal direction “PD” which can serve to pivot the closure trigger into the unactuated position when the shaft assembly is operably coupled to the handle assembly 14.


In at least one form, the interchangeable shaft assembly 200 may further include an articulation joint 270. Other interchangeable shaft assemblies, however, may not be capable of articulation. As shown in FIG. 7, for example, the articulation joint 270 includes a double pivot closure sleeve assembly 271. According to various forms, the double pivot closure sleeve assembly 271 includes an end effector closure sleeve assembly 272 having upper and lower distally projecting tangs 273, 274. An end effector closure sleeve assembly 272 includes a horseshoe aperture 275 and a tab 276 for engaging an opening tab on the anvil 306 in the various manners described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/803,086, filed Mar. 14, 2013, entitled ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING AN ARTICULATION LOCK, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541, which has been incorporated by reference herein. As described in further detail therein, the horseshoe aperture 275 and tab 276 engage a tab on the anvil when the anvil 306 is opened. An upper double pivot link 277 includes upwardly projecting distal and proximal pivot pins that engage respectively an upper distal pin hole in the upper proximally projecting tang 273 and an upper proximal pin hole in an upper distally projecting tang 264 on the closure tube 260. A lower double pivot link 278 includes upwardly projecting distal and proximal pivot pins that engage respectively a lower distal pin hole in the lower proximally projecting tang 274 and a lower proximal pin hole in the lower distally projecting tang 265. See also FIG. 8.


In use, the closure tube 260 is translated distally (direction “DD”) to close the anvil 306, for example, in response to the actuation of the closure trigger 32. The anvil 306 is closed by distally translating the closure tube 260 and thus the shaft closure sleeve assembly 272, causing it to strike a proximal surface on the anvil 360 in the manner described in the aforementioned reference U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/803,086, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541. As was also described in detail in that reference, the anvil 306 is opened by proximally translating the closure tube 260 and the shaft closure sleeve assembly 272, causing tab 276 and the horseshoe aperture 275 to contact and push against the anvil tab to lift the anvil 306. In the anvil-open position, the shaft closure tube 260 is moved to its proximal position.


As indicated above, the surgical instrument 10 may further include an articulation lock 350 of the types and construction described in further detail in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/803,086, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541, which can be configured and operated to selectively lock the end effector 300 in position. Such arrangement enables the end effector 300 to be rotated, or articulated, relative to the shaft closure tube 260 when the articulation lock 350 is in its unlocked state. In such an unlocked state, the end effector 300 can be positioned and pushed against soft tissue and/or bone, for example, surrounding the surgical site within the patient in order to cause the end effector 300 to articulate relative to the closure tube 260. The end effector 300 also may be articulated relative to the closure tube 260 by an articulation driver 230.


As was also indicated above, the interchangeable shaft assembly 200 further includes a firing member 220 that is supported for axial travel within the shaft spine 210. The firing member 220 includes an intermediate firing shaft portion 222 that is configured for attachment to a distal cutting portion or knife bar 280. The firing member 220 also may be referred to herein as a “second shaft” and/or a “second shaft assembly”. As shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, the intermediate firing shaft portion 222 may include a longitudinal slot 223 in the distal end thereof which can be configured to receive a tab 284 on the proximal end 282 of the distal knife bar 280. The longitudinal slot 223 and the proximal end 282 can be sized and configured to permit relative movement therebetween and can comprise a slip joint 286. The slip joint 286 can permit the intermediate firing shaft portion 222 of the firing drive 220 to be moved to articulate the end effector 300 without moving, or at least substantially moving, the knife bar 280. Once the end effector 300 has been suitably oriented, the intermediate firing shaft portion 222 can be advanced distally until a proximal sidewall of the longitudinal slot 223 comes into contact with the tab 284 in order to advance the knife bar 280 and fire the staple cartridge positioned within the channel 302 As can be further seen in FIGS. 8 and 9, the shaft spine 210 has an elongate opening or window 213 therein to facilitate assembly and insertion of the intermediate firing shaft portion 222 into the shaft frame 210. Once the intermediate firing shaft portion 222 has been inserted therein, a top frame segment 215 may be engaged with the shaft frame 212 to enclose the intermediate firing shaft portion 222 and knife bar 280 therein. Further description of the operation of the firing member 220 may be found in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/803,086, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541.


Further to the above, the shaft assembly 200 can include a clutch assembly 400 which can be configured to selectively and releasably couple the articulation driver 230 to the firing member 220. In one form, the clutch assembly 400 includes a lock collar, or sleeve 402, positioned around the firing member 220 wherein the lock sleeve 402 can be rotated between an engaged position in which the lock sleeve 402 couples the articulation driver 360 to the firing member 220 and a disengaged position in which the articulation driver 360 is not operably coupled to the firing member 200. When lock sleeve 402 is in its engaged position, distal movement of the firing member 220 can move the articulation driver 360 distally and, correspondingly, proximal movement of the firing member 220 can move the articulation driver 230 proximally. When lock sleeve 402 is in its disengaged position, movement of the firing member 220 is not transmitted to the articulation driver 230 and, as a result, the firing member 220 can move independently of the articulation driver 230. In various circumstances, the articulation driver 230 can be held in position by the articulation lock 350 when the articulation driver 230 is not being moved in the proximal or distal directions by the firing member 220.


Referring primarily to FIG. 9, the lock sleeve 402 can comprise a cylindrical, or an at least substantially cylindrical, body including a longitudinal aperture 403 defined therein configured to receive the firing member 220. The lock sleeve 402 can comprise diametrically-opposed, inwardly-facing lock protrusions 404 and an outwardly-facing lock member 406. The lock protrusions 404 can be configured to be selectively engaged with the firing member 220. More particularly, when the lock sleeve 402 is in its engaged position, the lock protrusions 404 are positioned within a drive notch 224 defined in the firing member 220 such that a distal pushing force and/or a proximal pulling force can be transmitted from the firing member 220 to the lock sleeve 402. When the lock sleeve 402 is in its engaged position, the second lock member 406 is received within a drive notch 232 defined in the articulation driver 230 such that the distal pushing force and/or the proximal pulling force applied to the lock sleeve 402 can be transmitted to the articulation driver 230. In effect, the firing member 220, the lock sleeve 402, and the articulation driver 230 will move together when the lock sleeve 402 is in its engaged position. On the other hand, when the lock sleeve 402 is in its disengaged position, the lock protrusions 404 may not be positioned within the drive notch 224 of the firing member 220 and, as a result, a distal pushing force and/or a proximal pulling force may not be transmitted from the firing member 220 to the lock sleeve 402. Correspondingly, the distal pushing force and/or the proximal pulling force may not be transmitted to the articulation driver 230. In such circumstances, the firing member 220 can be slid proximally and/or distally relative to the lock sleeve 402 and the proximal articulation driver 230.


As shown in FIGS. 8-12, the shaft assembly 200 further includes a switch drum 500 that is rotatably received on the closure tube 260. The switch drum 500 comprises a hollow shaft segment 502 that has a shaft boss 504 formed thereon for receive an outwardly protruding actuation pin 410 therein. In various circumstances, the actuation pin 410 extends through a slot 267 into a longitudinal slot 408 provided in the lock sleeve 402 to facilitate axial movement of the lock sleeve 402 when it is engaged with the articulation driver 230. A rotary torsion spring 420 is configured to engage the boss 504 on the switch drum 500 and a portion of the nozzle housing 203 as shown in FIG. 10 to apply a biasing force to the switch drum 500. The switch drum 500 can further comprise at least partially circumferential openings 506 defined therein which, referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, can be configured to receive circumferential mounts 204, 205 extending from the nozzle halves 202, 203 and permit relative rotation, but not translation, between the switch drum 500 and the proximal nozzle 201. As shown in those Figures, the mounts 204 and 205 also extend through openings 266 in the closure tube 260 to be seated in recesses 211 in the shaft spine 210. However, rotation of the nozzle 201 to a point where the mounts 204, 205 reach the end of their respective slots 506 in the switch drum 500 will result in rotation of the switch drum 500 about the shaft axis SA-SA. Rotation of the switch drum 500 will ultimately result in the rotation of eth actuation pin 410 and the lock sleeve 402 between its engaged and disengaged positions. Thus, in essence, the nozzle 201 may be employed to operably engage and disengage the articulation drive system with the firing drive system in the various manners described in further detail in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/803,086, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541.


As also illustrated in FIGS. 8-12, the shaft assembly 200 can comprise a slip ring assembly 600 which can be configured to conduct electrical power to and/or from the end effector 300 and/or communicate signals to and/or from the end effector 300, for example. The slip ring assembly 600 can comprise a proximal connector flange 604 mounted to a chassis flange 242 extending from the chassis 240 and a distal connector flange 601 positioned within a slot defined in the shaft housings 202, 203. The proximal connector flange 604 can comprise a first face and the distal connector flange 601 can comprise a second face which is positioned adjacent to and movable relative to the first face. The distal connector flange 601 can rotate relative to the proximal connector flange 604 about the shaft axis SA-SA. The proximal connector flange 604 can comprise a plurality of concentric, or at least substantially concentric, conductors 602 defined in the first face thereof. A connector 607 can be mounted on the proximal side of the connector flange 601 and may have a plurality of contacts (not shown) wherein each contact corresponds to and is in electrical contact with one of the conductors 602. Such an arrangement permits relative rotation between the proximal connector flange 604 and the distal connector flange 601 while maintaining electrical contact therebetween. The proximal connector flange 604 can include an electrical connector 606 which can place the conductors 602 in signal communication with a shaft circuit board 610 mounted to the shaft chassis 240, for example. In at least one instance, a wiring harness comprising a plurality of conductors can extend between the electrical connector 606 and the shaft circuit board 610. The electrical connector 606 may extend proximally through a connector opening 243 defined in the chassis mounting flange 242. See FIG. 7. U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/800,067, entitled STAPLE CARTRIDGE TISSUE THICKNESS SENSOR SYSTEM, filed on Mar. 13, 2013, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263552, is incorporated by reference in its entirety. U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/800,025, entitled STAPLE CARTRIDGE TISSUE THICKNESS SENSOR SYSTEM, filed on Mar. 13, 2013, now U.S. Pat. No. 9,345,481, is incorporated by reference in its entirety. Further details regarding slip ring assembly 600 may be found in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/803,086, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541.


As discussed above, the shaft assembly 200 can include a proximal portion which is fixably mounted to the handle assembly 14 and a distal portion which is rotatable about a longitudinal axis. The rotatable distal shaft portion can be rotated relative to the proximal portion about the slip ring assembly 600, as discussed above. The distal connector flange 601 of the slip ring assembly 600 can be positioned within the rotatable distal shaft portion. Moreover, further to the above, the switch drum 500 can also be positioned within the rotatable distal shaft portion. When the rotatable distal shaft portion is rotated, the distal connector flange 601 and the switch drum 500 can be rotated synchronously with one another. In addition, the switch drum 500 can be rotated between a first position and a second position relative to the distal connector flange 601. When the switch drum 500 is in its first position, the articulation drive system may be operably disengaged from the firing drive system and, thus, the operation of the firing drive system may not articulate the end effector 300 of the shaft assembly 200. When the switch drum 500 is in its second position, the articulation drive system may be operably engaged with the firing drive system and, thus, the operation of the firing drive system may articulate the end effector 300 of the shaft assembly 200. When the switch drum 500 is moved between its first position and its second position, the switch drum 500 is moved relative to distal connector flange 601. In various instances, the shaft assembly 200 can comprise at least one sensor configured to detect the position of the switch drum 500. Turning now to FIGS. 11 and 12, the distal connector flange 601 can comprise a magnetic field sensor 605, for example, and the switch drum 500 can comprise a magnetic element, such as permanent magnet 505, for example. The magnetic field sensor 605 can be configured to detect the position of the permanent magnet 505. When the switch drum 500 is rotated between its first position and its second position, the permanent magnet 505 can move relative to the magnetic field sensor 605. In various instances, magnetic field sensor 605 can detect changes in a magnetic field created when the permanent magnet 505 is moved. The magnetic field sensor 605 can be in signal communication with the shaft circuit board 610 and/or the handle circuit board 100, for example. Based on the signal from the magnetic field sensor 605, a microcontroller on the shaft circuit board 610 and/or the handle circuit board 100 can determine whether the articulation drive system is engaged with or disengaged from the firing drive system.


Referring again to FIGS. 3 and 7, the chassis 240 includes at least one, and preferably two, tapered attachment portions 244 formed thereon that are adapted to be received within corresponding dovetail slots 702 formed within a distal attachment flange portion 700 of the frame 20. Each dovetail slot 702 may be tapered or, stated another way, be somewhat V-shaped to seatingly receive the attachment portions 244 therein. As can be further seen in FIGS. 3 and 7, a shaft attachment lug 226 is formed on the proximal end of the intermediate firing shaft 222. As will be discussed in further detail below, when the interchangeable shaft assembly 200 is coupled to the handle assembly 14, the shaft attachment lug 226 is received in a firing shaft attachment cradle 126 formed in the distal end 125 of the longitudinal drive member 120 as shown in FIGS. 3 and 6, for example.


Various shaft assemblies employ a latch system 710 for removably coupling the shaft assembly 200 to the housing 12 and more specifically to the frame 20. As shown in FIG. 7, for example, in at least one form, the latch system 710 includes a lock member or lock yoke 712 that is movably coupled to the chassis 240. In the illustrated example, for example, the lock yoke 712 has a U-shape with two spaced downwardly extending legs 714. The legs 714 each have a pivot lug 716 formed thereon that are adapted to be received in corresponding holes 245 formed in the chassis 240. Such arrangement facilitates pivotal attachment of the lock yoke 712 to the chassis 240. The lock yoke 712 may include two proximally protruding lock lugs 714 that are configured for releasable engagement with corresponding lock detents or grooves 704 in the distal attachment flange 700 of the frame 20. See FIG. 3. In various forms, the lock yoke 712 is biased in the proximal direction by spring or biasing member (not shown). Actuation of the lock yoke 712 may be accomplished by a latch button 722 that is slidably mounted on a latch actuator assembly 720 that is mounted to the chassis 240. The latch button 722 may be biased in a proximal direction relative to the lock yoke 712. As will be discussed in further detail below, the lock yoke 712 may be moved to an unlocked position by biasing the latch button the in distal direction which also causes the lock yoke 712 to pivot out of retaining engagement with the distal attachment flange 700 of the frame 20. When the lock yoke 712 is in “retaining engagement” with the distal attachment flange 700 of the frame 20, the lock lugs 716 are retainingly seated within the corresponding lock detents or grooves 704 in the distal attachment flange 700.


When employing an interchangeable shaft assembly that includes an end effector of the type described herein that is adapted to cut and fasten tissue, as well as other types of end effectors, it may be desirable to prevent inadvertent detachment of the interchangeable shaft assembly from the housing during actuation of the end effector. For example, in use the clinician may actuate the closure trigger 32 to grasp and manipulate the target tissue into a desired position. Once the target tissue is positioned within the end effector 300 in a desired orientation, the clinician may then fully actuate the closure trigger 32 to close the anvil 306 and clamp the target tissue in position for cutting and stapling. In that instance, the first drive system 30 has been fully actuated. After the target tissue has been clamped in the end effector 300, it may be desirable to prevent the inadvertent detachment of the shaft assembly 200 from the housing 12. One form of the latch system 710 is configured to prevent such inadvertent detachment.


As can be most particularly seen in FIG. 7, the lock yoke 712 includes at least one and preferably two lock hooks 718 that are adapted to contact corresponding lock lug portions 256 that are formed on the closure shuttle 250. Referring to FIGS. 13-15, when the closure shuttle 250 is in an unactuated position (i.e., the first drive system 30 is unactuated and the anvil 306 is open), the lock yoke 712 may be pivoted in a distal direction to unlock the interchangeable shaft assembly 200 from the housing 12. When in that position, the lock hooks 718 do not contact the lock lug portions 256 on the closure shuttle 250. However, when the closure shuttle 250 is moved to an actuated position (i.e., the first drive system 30 is actuated and the anvil 306 is in the closed position), the lock yoke 712 is prevented from being pivoted to an unlocked position. See FIGS. 16-18. Stated another way, if the clinician were to attempt to pivot the lock yoke 712 to an unlocked position or, for example, the lock yoke 712 was in advertently bumped or contacted in a manner that might otherwise cause it to pivot distally, the lock hooks 718 on the lock yoke 712 will contact the lock lugs 256 on the closure shuttle 250 and prevent movement of the lock yoke 712 to an unlocked position.


Attachment of the interchangeable shaft assembly 200 to the handle assembly 14 will now be described with reference to FIG. 3. To commence the coupling process, the clinician may position the chassis 240 of the interchangeable shaft assembly 200 above or adjacent to the distal attachment flange 700 of the frame 20 such that the tapered attachment portions 244 formed on the chassis 240 are aligned with the dovetail slots 702 in the frame 20. The clinician may then move the shaft assembly 200 along an installation axis IA that is perpendicular to the shaft axis SA-SA to seat the attachment portions 244 in “operable engagement” with the corresponding dovetail receiving slots 702. In doing so, the shaft attachment lug 226 on the intermediate firing shaft 222 will also be seated in the cradle 126 in the longitudinally movable drive member 120 and the portions of pin 37 on the second closure link 38 will be seated in the corresponding hooks 252 in the closure yoke 250. As used herein, the term “operable engagement” in the context of two components means that the two components are sufficiently engaged with each other so that upon application of an actuation motion thereto, the components may carry out their intended action, function and/or procedure.


As discussed above, at least five systems of the interchangeable shaft assembly 200 can be operably coupled with at least five corresponding systems of the handle assembly 14. A first system can comprise a frame system which couples and/or aligns the frame or spine of the shaft assembly 200 with the frame 20 of the handle assembly 14. Another system can comprise a closure drive system 30 which can operably connect the closure trigger 32 of the handle assembly 14 and the closure tube 260 and the anvil 306 of the shaft assembly 200. As outlined above, the closure tube attachment yoke 250 of the shaft assembly 200 can be engaged with the pin 37 on the second closure link 38. Another system can comprise the firing drive system 80 which can operably connect the firing trigger 130 of the handle assembly 14 with the intermediate firing shaft 222 of the shaft assembly 200.


As outlined above, the shaft attachment lug 226 can be operably connected with the cradle 126 of the longitudinal drive member 120. Another system can comprise an electrical system which can signal to a controller in the handle assembly 14, such as microcontroller, for example, that a shaft assembly, such as shaft assembly 200, for example, has been operably engaged with the handle assembly 14 and/or, two, conduct power and/or communication signals between the shaft assembly 200 and the handle assembly 14. For instance, the shaft assembly 200 can include an electrical connector 1410 that is operably mounted to the shaft circuit board 610. The electrical connector 1410 is configured for mating engagement with a corresponding electrical connector 1400 on the handle control board 100. Further details regaining the circuitry and control systems may be found in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/803,086, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541, the entire disclosure of which was previously incorporated by reference herein. The fifth system may consist of the latching system for releasably locking the shaft assembly 200 to the handle assembly 14.


Referring again to FIGS. 2 and 3, the handle assembly 14 can include an electrical connector 1400 comprising a plurality of electrical contacts. Turning now to FIG. 19, the electrical connector 1400 can comprise a first contact 1401a, a second contact 1401b, a third contact 1401c, a fourth contact 1401d, a fifth contact 1401e, and a sixth contact 1401f, for example. While the illustrated example utilizes six contacts, other examples are envisioned which may utilize more than six contacts or less than six contacts.


As illustrated in FIG. 19, the first contact 1401a can be in electrical communication with a transistor 1408, contacts 1401b-1401e can be in electrical communication with a microcontroller 1500, and the sixth contact 1401f can be in electrical communication with a ground. In certain circumstances, one or more of the electrical contacts 1401b-1401e may be in electrical communication with one or more output channels of the microcontroller 1500 and can be energized, or have a voltage potential applied thereto, when the handle 1042 is in a powered state. In some circumstances, one or more of the electrical contacts 1401b-1401e may be in electrical communication with one or more input channels of the microcontroller 1500 and, when the handle assembly 14 is in a powered state, the microcontroller 1500 can be configured to detect when a voltage potential is applied to such electrical contacts. When a shaft assembly, such as shaft assembly 200, for example, is assembled to the handle assembly 14, the electrical contacts 1401a-1401f may not communicate with each other. When a shaft assembly is not assembled to the handle assembly 14, however, the electrical contacts 1401a-1401f of the electrical connector 1400 may be exposed and, in some circumstances, one or more of the contacts 1401a-1401f may be accidentally placed in electrical communication with each other. Such circumstances can arise when one or more of the contacts 1401a-1401f come into contact with an electrically conductive material, for example. When this occurs, the microcontroller 1500 can receive an erroneous input and/or the shaft assembly 200 can receive an erroneous output, for example. To address this issue, in various circumstances, the handle assembly 14 may be unpowered when a shaft assembly, such as shaft assembly 200, for example, is not attached to the handle assembly 14.


In other circumstances, the handle 1042 can be powered when a shaft assembly, such as shaft assembly 200, for example, is not attached thereto. In such circumstances, the microcontroller 1500 can be configured to ignore inputs, or voltage potentials, applied to the contacts in electrical communication with the microcontroller 1500, i.e., contacts 1401b-1401e, for example, until a shaft assembly is attached to the handle assembly 14. Even though the microcontroller 1500 may be supplied with power to operate other functionalities of the handle assembly 14 in such circumstances, the handle assembly 14 may be in a powered-down state. In a way, the electrical connector 1400 may be in a powered-down state as voltage potentials applied to the electrical contacts 1401b-1401e may not affect the operation of the handle assembly 14. The reader will appreciate that, even though contacts 1401b-1401e may be in a powered-down state, the electrical contacts 1401a and 1401f, which are not in electrical communication with the microcontroller 1500, may or may not be in a powered-down state. For instance, sixth contact 1401f may remain in electrical communication with a ground regardless of whether the handle assembly 14 is in a powered-up or a powered-down state.


Furthermore, the transistor 1408, and/or any other suitable arrangement of transistors, such as transistor 1410, for example, and/or switches may be configured to control the supply of power from a power source 1404, such as a battery 90 within the handle assembly 14, for example, to the first electrical contact 1401a regardless of whether the handle assembly 14 is in a powered-up or a powered-down state. In various circumstances, the shaft assembly 200, for example, can be configured to change the state of the transistor 1408 when the shaft assembly 200 is engaged with the handle assembly 14. In certain circumstances, further to the below, a magnetic field sensor 1402 can be configured to switch the state of transistor 1410 which, as a result, can switch the state of transistor 1408 and ultimately supply power from power source 1404 to first contact 1401a. In this way, both the power circuits and the signal circuits to the connector 1400 can be powered down when a shaft assembly is not installed to the handle assembly 14 and powered up when a shaft assembly is installed to the handle assembly 14.


In various circumstances, referring again to FIG. 19, the handle assembly 14 can include the magnetic field sensor 1402, for example, which can be configured to detect a detectable element, such as a magnetic element 1407 (FIG. 3), for example, on a shaft assembly, such as shaft assembly 200, for example, when the shaft assembly is coupled to the handle assembly 14. The magnetic field sensor 1402 can be powered by a power source 1406, such as a battery, for example, which can, in effect, amplify the detection signal of the magnetic field sensor 1402 and communicate with an input channel of the microcontroller 1500 via the circuit illustrated in FIG. 19. Once the microcontroller 1500 has a received an input indicating that a shaft assembly has been at least partially coupled to the handle assembly 14, and that, as a result, the electrical contacts 1401a-1401f are no longer exposed, the microcontroller 1500 can enter into its normal, or powered-up, operating state. In such an operating state, the microcontroller 1500 will evaluate the signals transmitted to one or more of the contacts 1401b-1401e from the shaft assembly and/or transmit signals to the shaft assembly through one or more of the contacts 1401b-1401e in normal use thereof. In various circumstances, the shaft assembly 200 may have to be fully seated before the magnetic field sensor 1402 can detect the magnetic element 1407. While a magnetic field sensor 1402 can be utilized to detect the presence of the shaft assembly 200, any suitable system of sensors and/or switches can be utilized to detect whether a shaft assembly has been assembled to the handle assembly 14, for example. In this way, further to the above, both the power circuits and the signal circuits to the connector 1400 can be powered down when a shaft assembly is not installed to the handle assembly 14 and powered up when a shaft assembly is installed to the handle assembly 14.


In various examples, as may be used throughout the present disclosure, any suitable magnetic field sensor may be employed to detect whether a shaft assembly has been assembled to the handle assembly 14, for example. For example, the technologies used for magnetic field sensing include Hall effect sensor, search coil, fluxgate, optically pumped, nuclear precession, SQUID, Hall-effect, anisotropic magnetoresistance, giant magnetoresistance, magnetic tunnel junctions, giant magnetoimpedance, magnetostrictive/piezoelectric composites, magnetodiode, magnetotransistor, fiber optic, magnetooptic, and microelectromechanical systems-based magnetic sensors, among others.


Referring to FIG. 19, the microcontroller 1500 may generally comprise a microprocessor (“processor”) and one or more memory units operationally coupled to the processor. By executing instruction code stored in the memory, the processor may control various components of the surgical instrument, such as the motor, various drive systems, and/or a user display, for example. The microcontroller 1500 may be implemented using integrated and/or discrete hardware elements, software elements, and/or a combination of both. Examples of integrated hardware elements may include processors, microprocessors, microcontrollers, integrated circuits, application specific integrated circuits (ASIC), programmable logic devices (PLD), digital signal processors (DSP), field programmable gate arrays (FPGA), logic gates, registers, semiconductor devices, chips, microchips, chip sets, microcontrollers, system-on-chip (SoC), and/or system-in-package (SIP). Examples of discrete hardware elements may include circuits and/or circuit elements such as logic gates, field effect transistors, bipolar transistors, resistors, capacitors, inductors, and/or relays. In certain instances, the microcontroller 1500 may include a hybrid circuit comprising discrete and integrated circuit elements or components on one or more substrates, for example.


Referring to FIG. 19, the microcontroller 1500 may be an LM 4F230H5QR, available from Texas Instruments, for example. In certain instances, the Texas Instruments LM4F230H5QR is an ARM Cortex-M4F Processor Core comprising on-chip memory of 256 KB single-cycle flash memory, or other non-volatile memory, up to 40 MHz, a prefetch buffer to improve performance above 40 MHz, a 32 KB single-cycle serial random access memory (SRAM), internal read-only memory (ROM) loaded with StellarisWare® software, 2 KB electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM), one or more pulse width modulation (PWM) modules, one or more quadrature encoder inputs (QEI) analog, one or more 12-bit Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADC) with 12 analog input channels, among other features that are readily available. Other microcontrollers may be readily substituted for use with the present disclosure. Accordingly, the present disclosure should not be limited in this context.


As discussed above, the handle assembly 14 and/or the shaft assembly 200 can include systems and configurations configured to prevent, or at least reduce the possibility of, the contacts of the handle electrical connector 1400 and/or the contacts of the shaft electrical connector 1410 from becoming shorted out when the shaft assembly 200 is not assembled, or completely assembled, to the handle assembly 14. Referring to FIG. 3, the handle electrical connector 1400 can be at least partially recessed within a cavity 1409 defined in the handle frame 20. The six contacts 1401a-1401f of the electrical connector 1400 can be completely recessed within the cavity 1409. Such arrangements can reduce the possibility of an object accidentally contacting one or more of the contacts 1401a-1401f. Similarly, the shaft electrical connector 1410 can be positioned within a recess defined in the shaft chassis 240 which can reduce the possibility of an object accidentally contacting one or more of the contacts 1411a-1411f of the shaft electrical connector 1410. With regard to the particular example depicted in FIG. 3, the shaft contacts 1411a-1411f can comprise male contacts. In at least one example, each shaft contact 1411a-1411f can comprise a flexible projection extending therefrom which can be configured to engage a corresponding handle contact 1401a-1401f, for example. The handle contacts 1401a-1401f can comprise female contacts. In at least one example, each handle contact 1401a-1401f can comprise a flat surface, for example, against which the male shaft contacts 1401a-1401f can wipe, or slide, against and maintain an electrically conductive interface therebetween. In various instances, the direction in which the shaft assembly 200 is assembled to the handle assembly 14 can be parallel to, or at least substantially parallel to, the handle contacts 1401a-1401f such that the shaft contacts 1411a-1411f slide against the handle contacts 1401a-1401f when the shaft assembly 200 is assembled to the handle assembly 14. In various alternative examples, the handle contacts 1401a-1401f can comprise male contacts and the shaft contacts 1411a-1411f can comprise female contacts. In certain alternative examples, the handle contacts 1401a-1401f and the shaft contacts 1411a-1411f can comprise any suitable arrangement of contacts.


In various instances, the handle assembly 14 can comprise a connector guard configured to at least partially cover the handle electrical connector 1400 and/or a connector guard configured to at least partially cover the shaft electrical connector 1410. A connector guard can prevent, or at least reduce the possibility of, an object accidentally touching the contacts of an electrical connector when the shaft assembly is not assembled to, or only partially assembled to, the handle. A connector guard can be movable. For instance, the connector guard can be moved between a guarded position in which it at least partially guards a connector and an unguarded position in which it does not guard, or at least guards less of, the connector. In at least one example, a connector guard can be displaced as the shaft assembly is being assembled to the handle. For instance, if the handle comprises a handle connector guard, the shaft assembly can contact and displace the handle connector guard as the shaft assembly is being assembled to the handle. Similarly, if the shaft assembly comprises a shaft connector guard, the handle can contact and displace the shaft connector guard as the shaft assembly is being assembled to the handle. In various instances, a connector guard can comprise a door, for example. In at least one instance, the door can comprise a beveled surface which, when contacted by the handle or shaft, can facilitate the displacement of the door in a certain direction. In various instances, the connector guard can be translated and/or rotated, for example. In certain instances, a connector guard can comprise at least one film which covers the contacts of an electrical connector. When the shaft assembly is assembled to the handle, the film can become ruptured. In at least one instance, the male contacts of a connector can penetrate the film before engaging the corresponding contacts positioned underneath the film.


As described above, the surgical instrument can include a system which can selectively power-up, or activate, the contacts of an electrical connector, such as the electrical connector 1400, for example. In various instances, the contacts can be transitioned between an unactivated condition and an activated condition. In certain instances, the contacts can be transitioned between a monitored condition, a deactivated condition, and an activated condition. For instance, the microcontroller 1500, for example, can monitor the contacts 1401a-1401f when a shaft assembly has not been assembled to the handle assembly 14 to determine whether one or more of the contacts 1401a-1401f may have been shorted. The microcontroller 1500 can be configured to apply a low voltage potential to each of the contacts 1401a-1401f and assess whether only a minimal resistance is present at each of the contacts. Such an operating state can comprise the monitored condition. In the event that the resistance detected at a contact is high, or above a threshold resistance, the microcontroller 1500 can deactivate that contact, more than one contact, or, alternatively, all of the contacts. Such an operating state can comprise the deactivated condition. If a shaft assembly is assembled to the handle assembly 14 and it is detected by the microcontroller 1500, as discussed above, the microcontroller 1500 can increase the voltage potential to the contacts 1401a-1401f. Such an operating state can comprise the activated condition.


The various shaft assemblies disclosed herein may employ sensors and various other components that require electrical communication with the controller in the housing. These shaft assemblies generally are configured to be able to rotate relative to the housing necessitating a connection that facilitates such electrical communication between two or more components that may rotate relative to each other. When employing end effectors of the types disclosed herein, the connector arrangements must be relatively robust in nature while also being somewhat compact to fit into the shaft assembly connector portion.


Referring to FIG. 20, a non-limiting form of the end effector 300 is illustrated. As described above, the end effector 300 may include the anvil 306 and the staple cartridge 304. In this non-limiting example, the anvil 306 is coupled to an elongate channel 198. For example, apertures 199 can be defined in the elongate channel 198 which can receive pins 152 extending from the anvil 306 and allow the anvil 306 to pivot from an open position to a closed position relative to the elongate channel 198 and staple cartridge 304. In addition, FIG. 20 shows a firing bar 172, configured to longitudinally translate into the end effector 300. The firing bar 172 may be constructed from one solid section, or in various examples, may include a laminate material comprising, for example, a stack of steel plates. A distally projecting end of the firing bar 172 can be attached to an E-beam 178 that can, among other things, assist in spacing the anvil 306 from a staple cartridge 304 positioned in the elongate channel 198 when the anvil 306 is in a closed position. The E-beam 178 can also include a sharpened cutting edge 182 which can be used to sever tissue as the E-beam 178 is advanced distally by the firing bar 172. In operation, the E-beam 178 can also actuate, or fire, the staple cartridge 304. The staple cartridge 304 can include a molded cartridge body 194 that holds a plurality of staples 191 resting upon staple drivers 192 within respective upwardly open staple cavities 195. A wedge sled 190 is driven distally by the E-beam 178, sliding upon a cartridge tray 196 that holds together the various components of the replaceable staple cartridge 304. The wedge sled 190 upwardly cams the staple drivers 192 to force out the staples 191 into deforming contact with the anvil 306 while a cutting surface 182 of the E-beam 178 severs clamped tissue.


Further to the above, the E-beam 178 can include upper pins 180 which engage the anvil 306 during firing. The E-beam 178 can further include middle pins 184 and a bottom foot 186 which can engage various portions of the cartridge body 194, cartridge tray 196 and elongate channel 198. When a staple cartridge 304 is positioned within the elongate channel 198, a slot 193 defined in the cartridge body 194 can be aligned with a slot 197 defined in the cartridge tray 196 and a slot 189 defined in the elongate channel 198. In use, the E-beam 178 can slide through the aligned slots 193, 197, and 189 wherein, as indicated in FIG. 20, the bottom foot 186 of the E-beam 178 can engage a groove running along the bottom surface of channel 198 along the length of slot 189, the middle pins 184 can engage the top surfaces of cartridge tray 196 along the length of longitudinal slot 197, and the upper pins 180 can engage the anvil 306. In such circumstances, the E-beam 178 can space, or limit the relative movement between, the anvil 306 and the staple cartridge 304 as the firing bar 172 is moved distally to fire the staples from the staple cartridge 304 and/or incise the tissue captured between the anvil 306 and the staple cartridge 304. Thereafter, the firing bar 172 and the E-beam 178 can be retracted proximally allowing the anvil 306 to be opened to release the two stapled and severed tissue portions (not shown).


Having described a surgical instrument 10 (FIGS. 1-4) in general terms, the description now turns to a detailed description of various electrical/electronic components of the surgical instrument 10. Turning now to FIGS. 21A-21B, where one example of a segmented circuit 2000 comprising a plurality of circuit segments 2002a-2002g is illustrated. The segmented circuit 2000 comprising the plurality of circuit segments 2002a-2002g is configured to control a powered surgical instrument, such as, for example, the surgical instrument 10 illustrated in FIGS. 1-18A, without limitation. The plurality of circuit segments 2002a-2002g is configured to control one or more operations of the powered surgical instrument 10. A safety processor segment 2002a (Segment 1) comprises a safety processor 2004. A primary processor segment 2002b (Segment 2) comprises a primary processor 2006. The safety processor 2004 and/or the primary processor 2006 are configured to interact with one or more additional circuit segments 2002c-2002g to control operation of the powered surgical instrument 10. The primary processor 2006 comprises a plurality of inputs coupled to, for example, one or more circuit segments 2002c-2002g, a battery 2008, and/or a plurality of switches 2058a-2070. The segmented circuit 2000 may be implemented by any suitable circuit, such as, for example, a printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) within the powered surgical instrument 10. It should be understood that the term processor as used herein includes any microprocessor, microcontroller, or other basic computing device that incorporates the functions of a computer's central processing unit (CPU) on an integrated circuit or at most a few integrated circuits. The processor is a multipurpose, programmable device that accepts digital data as input, processes it according to instructions stored in its memory, and provides results as output. It is an example of sequential digital logic, as it has internal memory. Processors operate on numbers and symbols represented in the binary numeral system.


In one aspect, the main processor 2006 may be any single core or multicore processor such as those known under the trade name ARM Cortex by Texas Instruments. In one example, the safety processor 2004 may be a safety microcontroller platform comprising two microcontroller-based families such as TMS570 and RM4x known under the trade name Hercules ARM Cortex R4, also by Texas Instruments. Nevertheless, other suitable substitutes for microcontrollers and safety processor may be employed, without limitation. In one example, the safety processor 2004 may be configured specifically for IEC 61508 and ISO 26262 safety critical applications, among others, to provide advanced integrated safety features while delivering scalable performance, connectivity, and memory options.


In certain instances, the main processor 2006 may be an LM 4F230H5QR, available from Texas Instruments, for example. In at least one example, the Texas Instruments LM4F230H5QR is an ARM Cortex-M4F Processor Core comprising on-chip memory of 256 KB single-cycle flash memory, or other non-volatile memory, up to 40 MHz, a prefetch buffer to improve performance above 40 MHz, a 32 KB single-cycle SRAM, internal ROM loaded with StellarisWare® software, 2 KB EEPROM, one or more PWM modules, one or more QEI analog, one or more 12-bit ADC with 12 analog input channels, among other features that are readily available for the product datasheet. Other processors may be readily substituted and, accordingly, the present disclosure should not be limited in this context.


In one aspect, the segmented circuit 2000 comprises an acceleration segment 2002c (Segment 3). The acceleration segment 2002c comprises an acceleration sensor 2022. The acceleration sensor 2022 may comprise, for example, an accelerometer. The acceleration sensor 2022 is configured to detect movement or acceleration of the powered surgical instrument 10. In some examples, input from the acceleration sensor 2022 is used, for example, to transition to and from a sleep mode, identify an orientation of the powered surgical instrument, and/or identify when the surgical instrument has been dropped. In some examples, the acceleration segment 2002c is coupled to the safety processor 2004 and/or the primary processor 2006.


In one aspect, the segmented circuit 2000 comprises a display segment 2002d (Segment 4). The display segment 2002d comprises a display connector 2024 coupled to the primary processor 2006. The display connector 2024 couples the primary processor 2006 to a display 2028 through one or more display driver integrated circuits 2026. The display driver integrated circuits 2026 may be integrated with the display 2028 and/or may be located separately from the display 2028. The display 2028 may comprise any suitable display, such as, for example, an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display, a liquid-crystal display (LCD), and/or any other suitable display. In some examples, the display segment 2002d is coupled to the safety processor 2004.


In some aspects, the segmented circuit 2000 comprises a shaft segment 2002e (Segment 5). The shaft segment 2002e comprises one or more controls for a shaft 2004 coupled to the surgical instrument 10 and/or one or more controls for an end effector 2006 coupled to the shaft 2004. The shaft segment 2002e comprises a shaft connector 2030 configured to couple the primary processor 2006 to a shaft PCBA 2031. The shaft PCBA 2031 comprises a first articulation switch 2036, a second articulation switch 2032, and a shaft PCBA EEPROM 2034. In some examples, the shaft PCBA EEPROM 2034 comprises one or more parameters, routines, and/or programs specific to the shaft 2004 and/or the shaft PCBA 2031. The shaft PCBA 2031 may be coupled to the shaft 2004 and/or integral with the surgical instrument 10. In some examples, the shaft segment 2002e comprises a second shaft EEPROM 2038. The second shaft EEPROM 2038 comprises a plurality of algorithms, routines, parameters, and/or other data corresponding to one or more shafts 2004 and/or end effectors 2006 which may be interfaced with the powered surgical instrument 10.


In some aspects, the segmented circuit 2000 comprises a position encoder segment 2002f (Segment 6). The position encoder segment 2002f comprises one or more magnetic rotary position encoders 2040a-2040b. The one or more magnetic rotary position encoders 2040a-2040b are configured to identify the rotational position of a motor 2048, a shaft 2004, and/or an end effector 2006 of the surgical instrument 10. In some examples, the magnetic rotary position encoders 2040a-2040b may be coupled to the safety processor 2004 and/or the primary processor 2006.


In some aspects, the segmented circuit 2000 comprises a motor segment 2002g (Segment 7). The motor segment 2002g comprises a motor 2048 configured to control one or more movements of the powered surgical instrument 10. The motor 2048 is coupled to the primary processor 2006 by an H-Bridge driver 2042 and one or more H-bridge field-effect transistors (FETs) 2044. The H-bridge FETs 2044 are coupled to the safety processor 2004. A motor current sensor 2046 is coupled in series with the motor 2048 to measure the current draw of the motor 2048. The motor current sensor 2046 is in signal communication with the primary processor 2006 and/or the safety processor 2004. In some examples, the motor 2048 is coupled to a motor electromagnetic interference (EMI) filter 2050.


In some aspects, the segmented circuit 2000 comprises a power segment 2002h (Segment 8). A battery 2008 is coupled to the safety processor 2004, the primary processor 2006, and one or more of the additional circuit segments 2002c-2002g. The battery 2008 is coupled to the segmented circuit 2000 by a battery connector 2010 and a current sensor 2012. The current sensor 2012 is configured to measure the total current draw of the segmented circuit 2000. In some examples, one or more voltage converters 2014a, 2014b, 2016 are configured to provide predetermined voltage values to one or more circuit segments 2002a-2002g. For example, in some examples, the segmented circuit 2000 may comprise 3.3V voltage converters 2014a-2014b and/or 5V voltage converters 2016. A boost converter 2018 is configured to provide a boost voltage up to a predetermined amount, such as, for example, up to 13V. The boost converter 2018 is configured to provide additional voltage and/or current during power intensive operations and prevent brownout or low-power conditions.


In some aspects, the safety segment 2002a comprises a motor power interrupt 2020. The motor power interrupt 2020 is coupled between the power segment 2002h and the motor segment 2002g. The safety segment 2002a is configured to interrupt power to the motor segment 2002g when an error or fault condition is detected by the safety processor 2004 and/or the primary processor 2006 as discussed in more detail herein. Although the circuit segments 2002a-2002g are illustrated with all components of the circuit segments 2002a-2002h located in physical proximity, one skilled in the art will recognize that a circuit segment 2002a-2002h may comprise components physically and/or electrically separate from other components of the same circuit segment 2002a-2002g. In some examples, one or more components may be shared between two or more circuit segments 2002a-2002g.


In some aspects, a plurality of switches 2056-2070 are coupled to the safety processor 2004 and/or the primary processor 2006. The plurality of switches 2056-2070 may be configured to control one or more operations of the surgical instrument 10, control one or more operations of the segmented circuit 2000, and/or indicate a status of the surgical instrument 10. For example, a bail-out door switch 2056 is configured to indicate the status of a bail-out door. A plurality of articulation switches, such as, for example, a left side articulation left switch 2058a, a left side articulation right switch 2060a, a left side articulation center switch 2062a, a right side articulation left switch 2058b, a right side articulation right switch 2060b, and a right side articulation center switch 2062b are configured to control articulation of a shaft 2004 and/or an end effector 2006. A left side reverse switch 2064a and a right side reverse switch 2064b are coupled to the primary processor 2006. In some examples, the left side switches comprising the left side articulation left switch 2058a, the left side articulation right switch 2060a, the left side articulation center switch 2062a, and the left side reverse switch 2064a are coupled to the primary processor 2006 by a left flex connector 2072a. The right side switches comprising the right side articulation left switch 2058b, the right side articulation right switch 2060b, the right side articulation center switch 2062b, and the right side reverse switch 2064b are coupled to the primary processor 2006 by a right flex connector 2072b. In some examples, a firing switch 2066, a clamp release switch 2068, and a shaft engaged switch 2070 are coupled to the primary processor 2006.


In some aspects, the plurality of switches 2056-2070 may comprise, for example, a plurality of handle controls mounted to a handle of the surgical instrument 10, a plurality of indicator switches, and/or any combination thereof. In various examples, the plurality of switches 2056-2070 allow a surgeon to manipulate the surgical instrument, provide feedback to the segmented circuit 2000 regarding the position and/or operation of the surgical instrument, and/or indicate unsafe operation of the surgical instrument 10. In some examples, additional or fewer switches may be coupled to the segmented circuit 2000, one or more of the switches 2056-2070 may be combined into a single switch, and/or expanded to multiple switches. For example, in one example, one or more of the left side and/or right side articulation switches 2058a-2064b may be combined into a single multi-position switch.


In one aspect, the safety processor 2004 is configured to implement a watchdog function, among other safety operations. The safety processor 2004 and the primary processor 2006 of the segmented circuit 2000 are in signal communication. A microprocessor alive heartbeat signal is provided at output 2096. The acceleration segment 2002c comprises an accelerometer 2022 configured to monitor movement of the surgical instrument 10. In various examples, the accelerometer 2022 may be a single, double, or triple axis accelerometer. The accelerometer 2022 may be employed to measures proper acceleration that is not necessarily the coordinate acceleration (rate of change of velocity). Instead, the accelerometer sees the acceleration associated with the phenomenon of weight experienced by a test mass at rest in the frame of reference of the accelerometer 2022. For example, the accelerometer 2022 at rest on the surface of the earth will measure an acceleration g=9.8 m/s2 (gravity) straight upwards, due to its weight. Another type of acceleration that accelerometer 2022 can measure is g-force acceleration. In various other examples, the accelerometer 2022 may comprise a single, double, or triple axis accelerometer. Further, the acceleration segment 2002c may comprise one or more inertial sensors to detect and measure acceleration, tilt, shock, vibration, rotation, and multiple degrees-of-freedom (DoF). A suitable inertial sensor may comprise an accelerometer (single, double, or triple axis), a magnetometer to measure a magnetic field in space such as the earth's magnetic field, and/or a gyroscope to measure angular velocity.


In one aspect, the safety processor 2004 is configured to implement a watchdog function with respect to one or more circuit segments 2002c-2002h, such as, for example, the motor segment 2002g. In this regards, the safety processor 2004 employs the watchdog function to detect and recover from malfunctions of the primary processor 2006. During normal operation, the safety processor 2004 monitors for hardware faults or program errors of the primary processor 2004 and to initiate corrective action or actions. The corrective actions may include placing the primary processor 2006 in a safe state and restoring normal system operation. In one example, the safety processor 2004 is coupled to at least a first sensor. The first sensor measures a first property of the surgical instrument 10 (FIGS. 1-4). In some examples, the safety processor 2004 is configured to compare the measured property of the surgical instrument 10 to a predetermined value. For example, in one example, a motor sensor 2040a is coupled to the safety processor 2004. The motor sensor 2040a provides motor speed and position information to the safety processor 2004. The safety processor 2004 monitors the motor sensor 2040a and compares the value to a maximum speed and/or position value and prevents operation of the motor 2048 above the predetermined values. In some examples, the predetermined values are calculated based on real-time speed and/or position of the motor 2048, calculated from values supplied by a second motor sensor 2040b in communication with the primary processor 2006, and/or provided to the safety processor 2004 from, for example, a memory module coupled to the safety processor 2004.


In some aspects, a second sensor is coupled to the primary processor 2006. The second sensor is configured to measure the first physical property. The safety processor 2004 and the primary processor 2006 are configured to provide a signal indicative of the value of the first sensor and the second sensor respectively. When either the safety processor 2004 or the primary processor 2006 indicates a value outside of an acceptable range, the segmented circuit 2000 prevents operation of at least one of the circuit segments 2002c-2002h, such as, for example, the motor segment 2002g. For example, in the example illustrated in FIGS. 21A-21B, the safety processor 2004 is coupled to a first motor position sensor 2040a and the primary processor 2006 is coupled to a second motor position sensor 2040b. The motor position sensors 2040a, 2040b may comprise any suitable motor position sensor, such as, for example, a magnetic angle rotary input comprising a sine and cosine output. The motor position sensors 2040a, 2040b provide respective signals to the safety processor 2004 and the primary processor 2006 indicative of the position of the motor 2048.


The safety processor 2004 and the primary processor 2006 generate an activation signal when the values of the first motor sensor 2040a and the second motor sensor 2040b are within a predetermined range. When either the primary processor 2006 or the safety processor 2004 to detect a value outside of the predetermined range, the activation signal is terminated and operation of at least one circuit segment 2002c-2002h, such as, for example, the motor segment 2002g, is interrupted and/or prevented. For example, in some examples, the activation signal from the primary processor 2006 and the activation signal from the safety processor 2004 are coupled to an AND gate. The AND gate is coupled to a motor power switch 2020. The AND gate maintains the motor power switch 2020 in a closed, or on, position when the activation signal from both the safety processor 2004 and the primary processor 2006 are high, indicating a value of the motor sensors 2040a, 2040b within the predetermined range. When either of the motor sensors 2040a, 2040b detect a value outside of the predetermined range, the activation signal from that motor sensor 2040a, 2040b is set low, and the output of the AND gate is set low, opening the motor power switch 2020. In some examples, the value of the first sensor 2040a and the second sensor 2040b is compared, for example, by the safety processor 2004 and/or the primary processor 2006. When the values of the first sensor and the second sensor are different, the safety processor 2004 and/or the primary processor 2006 may prevent operation of the motor segment 2002g.


In some aspects, the safety processor 2004 receives a signal indicative of the value of the second sensor 2040b and compares the second sensor value to the first sensor value. For example, in one aspect, the safety processor 2004 is coupled directly to a first motor sensor 2040a. A second motor sensor 2040b is coupled to a primary processor 2006, which provides the second motor sensor 2040b value to the safety processor 2004, and/or coupled directly to the safety processor 2004. The safety processor 2004 compares the value of the first motor sensor 2040 to the value of the second motor sensor 2040b. When the safety processor 2004 detects a mismatch between the first motor sensor 2040a and the second motor sensor 2040b, the safety processor 2004 may interrupt operation of the motor segment 2002g, for example, by cutting power to the motor segment 2002g.


In some aspects, the safety processor 2004 and/or the primary processor 2006 is coupled to a first sensor 2040a configured to measure a first property of a surgical instrument and a second sensor 2040b configured to measure a second property of the surgical instrument. The first property and the second property comprise a predetermined relationship when the surgical instrument is operating normally. The safety processor 2004 monitors the first property and the second property. When a value of the first property and/or the second property inconsistent with the predetermined relationship is detected, a fault occurs. When a fault occurs, the safety processor 2004 takes at least one action, such as, for example, preventing operation of at least one of the circuit segments, executing a predetermined operation, and/or resetting the primary processor 2006. For example, the safety processor 2004 may open the motor power switch 2020 to cut power to the motor circuit segment 2002g when a fault is detected.


In one aspect, the safety processor 2004 is configured to execute an independent control algorithm. In operation, the safety processor 2004 monitors the segmented circuit 2000 and is configured to control and/or override signals from other circuit components, such as, for example, the primary processor 2006, independently. The safety processor 2004 may execute a preprogrammed algorithm and/or may be updated or programmed on the fly during operation based on one or more actions and/or positions of the surgical instrument 10. For example, in one example, the safety processor 2004 is reprogrammed with new parameters and/or safety algorithms each time a new shaft and/or end effector is coupled to the surgical instrument 10. In some examples, one or more safety values stored by the safety processor 2004 are duplicated by the primary processor 2006. Two-way error detection is performed to ensure values and/or parameters stored by either of the processors 2004, 2006 are correct.


In some aspects, the safety processor 2004 and the primary processor 2006 implement a redundant safety check. The safety processor 2004 and the primary processor 2006 provide periodic signals indicating normal operation. For example, during operation, the safety processor 2004 may indicate to the primary processor 2006 that the safety processor 2004 is executing code and operating normally. The primary processor 2006 may, likewise, indicate to the safety processor 2004 that the primary processor 2006 is executing code and operating normally. In some examples, communication between the safety processor 2004 and the primary processor 2006 occurs at a predetermined interval. The predetermined interval may be constant or may be variable based on the circuit state and/or operation of the surgical instrument 10.



FIG. 22 illustrates one example of a power assembly 2100 comprising a usage cycle circuit 2102 configured to monitor a usage cycle count of the power assembly 2100. The power assembly 2100 may be coupled to a surgical instrument 2110. The usage cycle circuit 2102 comprises a processor 2104 and a use indicator 2106. The use indicator 2106 is configured to provide a signal to the processor 2104 to indicate a use of the battery back 2100 and/or a surgical instrument 2110 coupled to the power assembly 2100. A “use” may comprise any suitable action, condition, and/or parameter such as, for example, changing a modular component of a surgical instrument 2110, deploying or firing a disposable component coupled to the surgical instrument 2110, delivering electrosurgical energy from the surgical instrument 2110, reconditioning the surgical instrument 2110 and/or the power assembly 2100, exchanging the power assembly 2100, recharging the power assembly 2100, and/or exceeding a safety limitation of the surgical instrument 2110 and/or the battery back 2100.


In some instances, a usage cycle, or use, is defined by one or more power assembly 2100 parameters. For example, in one instance, a usage cycle comprises using more than 5% of the total energy available from the power assembly 2100 when the power assembly 2100 is at a full charge level. In another instance, a usage cycle comprises a continuous energy drain from the power assembly 2100 exceeding a predetermined time limit. For example, a usage cycle may correspond to five minutes of continuous and/or total energy draw from the power assembly 2100. In some instances, the power assembly 2100 comprises a usage cycle circuit 2102 having a continuous power draw to maintain one or more components of the usage cycle circuit 2102, such as, for example, the use indicator 2106 and/or a counter 2108, in an active state.


The processor 2104 maintains a usage cycle count. The usage cycle count indicates the number of uses detected by the use indicator 2106 for the power assembly 2100 and/or the surgical instrument 2110. The processor 2104 may increment and/or decrement the usage cycle count based on input from the use indicator 2106. The usage cycle count is used to control one or more operations of the power assembly 2100 and/or the surgical instrument 2110. For example, in some instances, a power assembly 2100 is disabled when the usage cycle count exceeds a predetermined usage limit Although the instances discussed herein are discussed with respect to incrementing the usage cycle count above a predetermined usage limit, those skilled in the art will recognize that the usage cycle count may start at a predetermined amount and may be decremented by the processor 2104. In this instance, the processor 2104 initiates and/or prevents one or more operations of the power assembly 2100 when the usage cycle count falls below a predetermined usage limit.


The usage cycle count is maintained by a counter 2108. The counter 2108 comprises any suitable circuit, such as, for example, a memory module, an analog counter, and/or any circuit configured to maintain a usage cycle count. In some instances, the counter 2108 is formed integrally with the processor 2104. In other instances, the counter 2108 comprises a separate component, such as, for example, a solid state memory module. In some instances, the usage cycle count is provided to a remote system, such as, for example, a central database. The usage cycle count is transmitted by a communications module 2112 to the remote system. The communications module 2112 is configured to use any suitable communications medium, such as, for example, wired and/or wireless communication. In some instances, the communications module 2112 is configured to receive one or more instructions from the remote system, such as, for example, a control signal when the usage cycle count exceeds the predetermined usage limit.


In some instances, the use indicator 2106 is configured to monitor the number of modular components used with a surgical instrument 2110 coupled to the power assembly 2100. A modular component may comprise, for example, a modular shaft, a modular end effector, and/or any other modular component. In some instances, the use indicator 2106 monitors the use of one or more disposable components, such as, for example, insertion and/or deployment of a staple cartridge within an end effector coupled to the surgical instrument 2110. The use indicator 2106 comprises one or more sensors for detecting the exchange of one or more modular and/or disposable components of the surgical instrument 2110.


In some instances, the use indicator 2106 is configured to monitor single patient surgical procedures performed while the power assembly 2100 is installed. For example, the use indicator 2106 may be configured to monitor firings of the surgical instrument 2110 while the power assembly 2100 is coupled to the surgical instrument 2110. A firing may correspond to deployment of a staple cartridge, application of electrosurgical energy, and/or any other suitable surgical event. The use indicator 2106 may comprise one or more circuits for measuring the number of firings while the power assembly 2100 is installed. The use indicator 2106 provides a signal to the processor 2104 when a single patient procedure is performed and the processor 2104 increments the usage cycle count.


In some instances, the use indicator 2106 comprises a circuit configured to monitor one or more parameters of the power source 2114, such as, for example, a current draw from the power source 2114. The one or more parameters of the power source 2114 correspond to one or more operations performable by the surgical instrument 2110, such as, for example, a cutting and sealing operation. The use indicator 2106 provides the one or more parameters to the processor 2104, which increments the usage cycle count when the one or more parameters indicate that a procedure has been performed.


In some instances, the use indicator 2106 comprises a timing circuit configured to increment a usage cycle count after a predetermined time period. The predetermined time period corresponds to a single patient procedure time, which is the time required for an operator to perform a procedure, such as, for example, a cutting and sealing procedure. When the power assembly 2100 is coupled to the surgical instrument 2110, the processor 2104 polls the use indicator 2106 to determine when the single patient procedure time has expired. When the predetermined time period has elapsed, the processor 2104 increments the usage cycle count. After incrementing the usage cycle count, the processor 2104 resets the timing circuit of the use indicator 2106.


In some instances, the use indicator 2106 comprises a time constant that approximates the single patient procedure time. In one example, the usage cycle circuit 2102 comprises a resistor-capacitor (RC) timing circuit 2506. The RC timing circuit comprises a time constant defined by a resistor-capacitor pair. The time constant is defined by the values of the resistor and the capacitor. In one example, the usage cycle circuit 2552 comprises a rechargeable battery and a clock. When the power assembly 2100 is installed in a surgical instrument, the rechargeable battery is charged by the power source. The rechargeable battery comprises enough power to run the clock for at least the single patient procedure time. The clock may comprise a real time clock, a processor configured to implement a time function, or any other suitable timing circuit.


Referring still to FIG. 22, in some instances, the use indicator 2106 comprises a sensor configured to monitor one or more environmental conditions experienced by the power assembly 2100. For example, the use indicator 2106 may comprise an accelerometer. The accelerometer is configured to monitor acceleration of the power assembly 2100. The power assembly 2100 comprises a maximum acceleration tolerance. Acceleration above a predetermined threshold indicates, for example, that the power assembly 2100 has been dropped. When the use indicator 2106 detects acceleration above the maximum acceleration tolerance, the processor 2104 increments a usage cycle count. In some instances, the use indicator 2106 comprises a moisture sensor. The moisture sensor is configured to indicate when the power assembly 2100 has been exposed to moisture. The moisture sensor may comprise, for example, an immersion sensor configured to indicate when the power assembly 2100 has been fully immersed in a cleaning fluid, a moisture sensor configured to indicate when moisture is in contact with the power assembly 2100 during use, and/or any other suitable moisture sensor.


In some instances, the use indicator 2106 comprises a chemical exposure sensor. The chemical exposure sensor is configured to indicate when the power assembly 2100 has come into contact with harmful and/or dangerous chemicals. For example, during a sterilization procedure, an inappropriate chemical may be used that leads to degradation of the power assembly 2100. The processor 2104 increments the usage cycle count when the use indicator 2106 detects an inappropriate chemical.


In some instances, the usage cycle circuit 2102 is configured to monitor the number of reconditioning cycles experienced by the power assembly 2100. A reconditioning cycle may comprise, for example, a cleaning cycle, a sterilization cycle, a charging cycle, routine and/or preventative maintenance, and/or any other suitable reconditioning cycle. The use indicator 2106 is configured to detect a reconditioning cycle. For example, the use indicator 2106 may comprise a moisture sensor to detect a cleaning and/or sterilization cycle. In some instances, the usage cycle circuit 2102 monitors the number of reconditioning cycles experienced by the power assembly 2100 and disables the power assembly 2100 after the number of reconditioning cycles exceeds a predetermined threshold.


The usage cycle circuit 2102 may be configured to monitor the number of power assembly 2100 exchanges. The usage cycle circuit 2102 increments the usage cycle count each time the power assembly 2100 is exchanged. When the maximum number of exchanges is exceeded the usage cycle circuit 2102 locks out the power assembly 2100 and/or the surgical instrument 2110. In some instances, when the power assembly 2100 is coupled the surgical instrument 2110, the usage cycle circuit 2102 identifies the serial number of the power assembly 2100 and locks the power assembly 2100 such that the power assembly 2100 is usable only with the surgical instrument 2110. In some instances, the usage cycle circuit 2102 increments the usage cycle each time the power assembly 2100 is removed from and/or coupled to the surgical instrument 2110.


In some instances, the usage cycle count corresponds to sterilization of the power assembly 2100. The use indicator 2106 comprises a sensor configured to detect one or more parameters of a sterilization cycle, such as, for example, a temperature parameter, a chemical parameter, a moisture parameter, and/or any other suitable parameter. The processor 2104 increments the usage cycle count when a sterilization parameter is detected. The usage cycle circuit 2102 disables the power assembly 2100 after a predetermined number of sterilizations. In some instances, the usage cycle circuit 2102 is reset during a sterilization cycle, a voltage sensor to detect a recharge cycle, and/or any suitable sensor. The processor 2104 increments the usage cycle count when a reconditioning cycle is detected. The usage cycle circuit 2102 is disabled when a sterilization cycle is detected. The usage cycle circuit 2102 is reactivated and/or reset when the power assembly 2100 is coupled to the surgical instrument 2110. In some instances, the use indicator comprises a zero power indicator. The zero power indicator changes state during a sterilization cycle and is checked by the processor 2104 when the power assembly 2100 is coupled to a surgical instrument 2110. When the zero power indicator indicates that a sterilization cycle has occurred, the processor 2104 increments the usage cycle count.


A counter 2108 maintains the usage cycle count. In some instances, the counter 2108 comprises a non-volatile memory module. The processor 2104 increments the usage cycle count stored in the non-volatile memory module each time a usage cycle is detected. The memory module may be accessed by the processor 2104 and/or a control circuit, such as, for example, the control circuit 200. When the usage cycle count exceeds a predetermined threshold, the processor 2104 disables the power assembly 2100. In some instances, the usage cycle count is maintained by a plurality of circuit components. For example, in one instance, the counter 2108 comprises a resistor (or fuse) pack. After each use of the power assembly 2100, a resistor (or fuse) is burned to an open position, changing the resistance of the resistor pack. The power assembly 2100 and/or the surgical instrument 2110 reads the remaining resistance. When the last resistor of the resistor pack is burned out, the resistor pack has a predetermined resistance, such as, for example, an infinite resistance corresponding to an open circuit, which indicates that the power assembly 2100 has reached its usage limit. In some instances, the resistance of the resistor pack is used to derive the number of uses remaining.


In some instances, the usage cycle circuit 2102 prevents further use of the power assembly 2100 and/or the surgical instrument 2110 when the usage cycle count exceeds a predetermined usage limit. In one instance, the usage cycle count associated with the power assembly 2100 is provided to an operator, for example, utilizing a screen formed integrally with the surgical instrument 2110. The surgical instrument 2110 provides an indication to the operator that the usage cycle count has exceeded a predetermined limit for the power assembly 2100, and prevents further operation of the surgical instrument 2110.


In some instances, the usage cycle circuit 2102 is configured to physically prevent operation when the predetermined usage limit is reached. For example, the power assembly 2100 may comprise a shield configured to deploy over contacts of the power assembly 2100 when the usage cycle count exceeds the predetermined usage limit. The shield prevents recharge and use of the power assembly 2100 by covering the electrical connections of the power assembly 2100.


In some instances, the usage cycle circuit 2102 is located at least partially within the surgical instrument 2110 and is configured to maintain a usage cycle count for the surgical instrument 2110. FIG. 22 illustrates one or more components of the usage cycle circuit 2102 within the surgical instrument 2110 in phantom, illustrating the alternative positioning of the usage cycle circuit 2102. When a predetermined usage limit of the surgical instrument 2110 is exceeded, the usage cycle circuit 2102 disables and/or prevents operation of the surgical instrument 2110. The usage cycle count is incremented by the usage cycle circuit 2102 when the use indicator 2106 detects a specific event and/or requirement, such as, for example, firing of the surgical instrument 2110, a predetermined time period corresponding to a single patient procedure time, based on one or more motor parameters of the surgical instrument 2110, in response to a system diagnostic indicating that one or more predetermined thresholds are met, and/or any other suitable requirement. As discussed above, in some instances, the use indicator 2106 comprises a timing circuit corresponding to a single patient procedure time. In other instances, the use indicator 2106 comprises one or more sensors configured to detect a specific event and/or condition of the surgical instrument 2110.


In some instances, the usage cycle circuit 2102 is configured to prevent operation of the surgical instrument 2110 after the predetermined usage limit is reached. In some instances, the surgical instrument 2110 comprises a visible indicator to indicate when the predetermined usage limit has been reached and/or exceeded. For example, a flag, such as a red flag, may pop-up from the surgical instrument 2110, such as from the handle, to provide a visual indication to the operator that the surgical instrument 2110 has exceeded the predetermined usage limit. As another example, the usage cycle circuit 2102 may be coupled to a display formed integrally with the surgical instrument 2110. The usage cycle circuit 2102 displays a message indicating that the predetermined usage limit has been exceeded. The surgical instrument 2110 may provide an audible indication to the operator that the predetermined usage limit has been exceeded. For example, in one instance, the surgical instrument 2110 emits an audible tone when the predetermined usage limit is exceeded and the power assembly 2100 is removed from the surgical instrument 2110. The audible tone indicates the last use of the surgical instrument 2110 and indicates that the surgical instrument 2110 should be disposed or reconditioned.


In some instances, the usage cycle circuit 2102 is configured to transmit the usage cycle count of the surgical instrument 2110 to a remote location, such as, for example, a central database. The usage cycle circuit 2102 comprises a communications module 2112 configured to transmit the usage cycle count to the remote location. The communications module 2112 may utilize any suitable communications system, such as, for example, wired or wireless communications system. The remote location may comprise a central database configured to maintain usage information. In some instances, when the power assembly 2100 is coupled to the surgical instrument 2110, the power assembly 2100 records a serial number of the surgical instrument 2110. The serial number is transmitted to the central database, for example, when the power assembly 2100 is coupled to a charger. In some instances, the central database maintains a count corresponding to each use of the surgical instrument 2110. For example, a bar code associated with the surgical instrument 2110 may be scanned each time the surgical instrument 2110 is used. When the use count exceeds a predetermined usage limit, the central database provides a signal to the surgical instrument 2110 indicating that the surgical instrument 2110 should be discarded.


The surgical instrument 2110 may be configured to lock and/or prevent operation of the surgical instrument 2110 when the usage cycle count exceeds a predetermined usage limit. In some instances, the surgical instrument 2110 comprises a disposable instrument and is discarded after the usage cycle count exceeds the predetermined usage limit. In other instances, the surgical instrument 2110 comprises a reusable surgical instrument which may be reconditioned after the usage cycle count exceeds the predetermined usage limit. The surgical instrument 2110 initiates a reversible lockout after the predetermined usage limit is met. A technician reconditions the surgical instrument 2110 and releases the lockout, for example, utilizing a specialized technician key configured to reset the usage cycle circuit 2102.


In some aspects, the segmented circuit 2000 is configured for sequential start-up. An error check is performed by each circuit segment 2002a-2002g prior to energizing the next sequential circuit segment 2002a-2002g. FIG. 23 illustrates one example of a process for sequentially energizing a segmented circuit 2270, such as, for example, the segmented circuit 2000. When a battery 2008 is coupled to the segmented circuit 2000, the safety processor 2004 is energized 2272. The safety processor 2004 performs a self-error check 2274. When an error is detected 2276a, the safety processor stops energizing the segmented circuit 2000 and generates an error code 2278a. When no errors are detected 2276b, the safety processor 2004 initiates 2278b power-up of the primary processor 2006. The primary processor 2006 performs a self-error check. When no errors are detected, the primary processor 2006 begins sequential power-up of each of the remaining circuit segments 2278b. Each circuit segment is energized and error checked by the primary processor 2006. When no errors are detected, the next circuit segment is energized 2278b. When an error is detected, the safety processor 2004 and/or the primary process stops energizing the current segment and generates an error 2278a. The sequential start-up continues until all of the circuit segments 2002a-2002g have been energized. In some examples, the segmented circuit 2000 transitions from sleep mode following a similar sequential power-up process 11250.



FIG. 24 illustrates one aspect of a power segment 2302 comprising a plurality of daisy chained power converters 2314, 2316, 2318. The power segment 2302 comprises a battery 2308. The battery 2308 is configured to provide a source voltage, such as, for example, 12V. A current sensor 2312 is coupled to the battery 2308 to monitor the current draw of a segmented circuit and/or one or more circuit segments. The current sensor 2312 is coupled to an FET switch 2313. The battery 2308 is coupled to one or more voltage converters 2309, 2314, 2316. An always on converter 2309 provides a constant voltage to one or more circuit components, such as, for example, a motion sensor 2322. The always on converter 2309 comprises, for example, a 3.3V converter. The always on converter 2309 may provide a constant voltage to additional circuit components, such as, for example, a safety processor (not shown). The battery 2308 is coupled to a boost converter 2318. The boost converter 2318 is configured to provide a boosted voltage above the voltage provided by the battery 2308. For example, in the illustrated example, the battery 2308 provides a voltage of 12V. The boost converter 2318 is configured to boost the voltage to 13V. The boost converter 2318 is configured to maintain a minimum voltage during operation of a surgical instrument, for example, the surgical instrument 10 (FIGS. 1-4). Operation of a motor can result in the power provided to the primary processor 2306 dropping below a minimum threshold and creating a brownout or reset condition in the primary processor 2306. The boost converter 2318 ensures that sufficient power is available to the primary processor 2306 and/or other circuit components, such as the motor controller 2343, during operation of the surgical instrument 10. In some examples, the boost converter 2318 is coupled directly one or more circuit components, such as, for example, an OLED display 2388.


The boost converter 2318 is coupled to one or more step-down converters to provide voltages below the boosted voltage level. A first voltage converter 2316 is coupled to the boost converter 2318 and provides a first stepped-down voltage to one or more circuit components. In the illustrated example, the first voltage converter 2316 provides a voltage of 5V. The first voltage converter 2316 is coupled to a rotary position encoder 2340. A FET switch 2317 is coupled between the first voltage converter 2316 and the rotary position encoder 2340. The FET switch 2317 is controlled by the processor 2306. The processor 2306 opens the FET switch 2317 to deactivate the position encoder 2340, for example, during power intensive operations. The first voltage converter 2316 is coupled to a second voltage converter 2314 configured to provide a second stepped-down voltage. The second stepped-down voltage comprises, for example, 3.3V. The second voltage converter 2314 is coupled to a processor 2306. In some examples, the boost converter 2318, the first voltage converter 2316, and the second voltage converter 2314 are coupled in a daisy chain configuration. The daisy chain configuration allows the use of smaller, more efficient converters for generating voltage levels below the boosted voltage level. The examples, however, are not limited to the particular voltage range(s) described in the context of this specification.



FIG. 25 illustrates one aspect of a segmented circuit 2400 configured to maximize power available for critical and/or power intense functions. The segmented circuit 2400 comprises a battery 2408. The battery 2408 is configured to provide a source voltage such as, for example, 12V. The source voltage is provided to a plurality of voltage converters 2409, 2418. An always-on voltage converter 2409 provides a constant voltage to one or more circuit components, for example, a motion sensor 2422 and a safety processor 2404. The always-on voltage converter 2409 is directly coupled to the battery 2408. The always-on converter 2409 provides a voltage of 3.3V, for example. The examples, however, are not limited to the particular voltage range(s) described in the context of this specification.


The segmented circuit 2400 comprises a boost converter 2418. The boost converter 2418 provides a boosted voltage above the source voltage provided by the battery 2408, such as, for example, 13V. The boost converter 2418 provides a boosted voltage directly to one or more circuit components, such as, for example, an OLED display 2488 and a motor controller 2443. By coupling the OLED display 2488 directly to the boost converter 2418, the segmented circuit 2400 eliminates the need for a power converter dedicated to the OLED display 2488. The boost converter 2418 provides a boosted voltage to the motor controller 2443 and the motor 2448 during one or more power intensive operations of the motor 2448, such as, for example, a cutting operation. The boost converter 2418 is coupled to a step-down converter 2416. The step-down converter 2416 is configured to provide a voltage below the boosted voltage to one or more circuit components, such as, for example, 5V. The step-down converter 2416 is coupled to, for example, a FET switch 2451 and a position encoder 2440. The FET switch 2451 is coupled to the primary processor 2406. The primary processor 2406 opens the FET switch 2451 when transitioning the segmented circuit 2400 to sleep mode and/or during power intensive functions requiring additional voltage delivered to the motor 2448. Opening the FET switch 2451 deactivates the position encoder 2440 and eliminates the power draw of the position encoder 2440. The examples, however, are not limited to the particular voltage range(s) described in the context of this specification.


The step-down converter 2416 is coupled to a linear converter 2414. The linear converter 2414 is configured to provide a voltage of, for example, 3.3V. The linear converter 2414 is coupled to the primary processor 2406. The linear converter 2414 provides an operating voltage to the primary processor 2406. The linear converter 2414 may be coupled to one or more additional circuit components. The examples, however, are not limited to the particular voltage range(s) described in the context of this specification.


The segmented circuit 2400 comprises a bailout switch 2456. The bailout switch 2456 is coupled to a bailout door on the surgical instrument 10. The bailout switch 2456 and the safety processor 2404 are coupled to an AND gate 2419. The AND gate 2419 provides an input to a FET switch 2413. When the bailout switch 2456 detects a bailout condition, the bailout switch 2456 provides a bailout shutdown signal to the AND gate 2419. When the safety processor 2404 detects an unsafe condition, such as, for example, due to a sensor mismatch, the safety processor 2404 provides a shutdown signal to the AND gate 2419. In some examples, both the bailout shutdown signal and the shutdown signal are high during normal operation and are low when a bailout condition or an unsafe condition is detected. When the output of the AND gate 2419 is low, the FET switch 2413 is opened and operation of the motor 2448 is prevented. In some examples, the safety processor 2404 utilizes the shutdown signal to transition the motor 2448 to an off state in sleep mode. A third input to the FET switch 2413 is provided by a current sensor 2412 coupled to the battery 2408. The current sensor 2412 monitors the current drawn by the circuit 2400 and opens the FET switch 2413 to shut-off power to the motor 2448 when an electrical current above a predetermined threshold is detected. The FET switch 2413 and the motor controller 2443 are coupled to a bank of FET switches 2445 configured to control operation of the motor 2448.


A motor current sensor 2446 is coupled in series with the motor 2448 to provide a motor current sensor reading to a current monitor 2447. The current monitor 2447 is coupled to the primary processor 2406. The current monitor 2447 provides a signal indicative of the current draw of the motor 2448. The primary processor 2406 may utilize the signal from the motor current 2447 to control operation of the motor, for example, to ensure the current draw of the motor 2448 is within an acceptable range, to compare the current draw of the motor 2448 to one or more other parameters of the circuit 2400 such as, for example, the position encoder 2440, and/or to determine one or more parameters of a treatment site. In some examples, the current monitor 2447 may be coupled to the safety processor 2404.


In some aspects, actuation of one or more handle controls, such as, for example, a firing trigger, causes the primary processor 2406 to decrease power to one or more components while the handle control is actuated. For example, in one example, a firing trigger controls a firing stroke of a cutting member. The cutting member is driven by the motor 2448. Actuation of the firing trigger results in forward operation of the motor 2448 and advancement of the cutting member. During firing, the primary processor 2406 closes the FET switch 2451 to remove power from the position encoder 2440. The deactivation of one or more circuit components allows higher power to be delivered to the motor 2448. When the firing trigger is released, full power is restored to the deactivated components, for example, by closing the FET switch 2451 and reactivating the position encoder 2440.


In some aspects, the safety processor 2404 controls operation of the segmented circuit 2400. For example, the safety processor 2404 may initiate a sequential power-up of the segmented circuit 2400, transition of the segmented circuit 2400 to and from sleep mode, and/or may override one or more control signals from the primary processor 2406. For example, in the illustrated example, the safety processor 2404 is coupled to the step-down converter 2416. The safety processor 2404 controls operation of the segmented circuit 2400 by activating or deactivating the step-down converter 2416 to provide power to the remainder of the segmented circuit 2400.



FIG. 26 illustrates one aspect of a power system 2500 comprising a plurality of daisy chained power converters 2514, 2516, 2518 configured to be sequentially energized. The plurality of daisy chained power converters 2514, 2516, 2518 may be sequentially activated by, for example, a safety processor during initial power-up and/or transition from sleep mode. The safety processor may be powered by an independent power converter (not shown). For example, in one example, when a battery voltage VBATT is coupled to the power system 2500 and/or an accelerometer detects movement in sleep mode, the safety processor initiates a sequential start-up of the daisy chained power converters 2514, 2516, 2518. The safety processor activates the 13V boost section 2518. The boost section 2518 is energized and performs a self-check. In some examples, the boost section 2518 comprises an integrated circuit 2520 configured to boost the source voltage and to perform a self check. A diode D prevents power-up of a 5V supply section 2516 until the boost section 2518 has completed a self-check and provided a signal to the diode D indicating that the boost section 2518 did not identify any errors. In some examples, this signal is provided by the safety processor. The examples, however, are not limited to the particular voltage range(s) described in the context of this specification.


The 5V supply section 2516 is sequentially powered-up after the boost section 2518. The 5V supply section 2516 performs a self-check during power-up to identify any errors in the 5V supply section 2516. The 5V supply section 2516 comprises an integrated circuit 2515 configured to provide a step-down voltage from the boost voltage and to perform an error check. When no errors are detected, the 5V supply section 2516 completes sequential power-up and provides an activation signal to the 3.3V supply section 2514. In some examples, the safety processor provides an activation signal to the 3.3V supply section 2514. The 3.3V supply section comprises an integrated circuit 2513 configured to provide a step-down voltage from the 5V supply section 2516 and perform a self-error check during power-up. When no errors are detected during the self-check, the 3.3V supply section 2514 provides power to the primary processor. The primary processor is configured to sequentially energize each of the remaining circuit segments. By sequentially energizing the power system 2500 and/or the remainder of a segmented circuit, the power system 2500 reduces error risks, allows for stabilization of voltage levels before loads are applied, and prevents large current draws from all hardware being turned on simultaneously in an uncontrolled manner. The examples, however, are not limited to the particular voltage range(s) described in the context of this specification.


In one aspect, the power system 2500 comprises an over voltage identification and mitigation circuit. The over voltage identification and mitigation circuit is configured to detect a monopolar return current in the surgical instrument and interrupt power from the power segment when the monopolar return current is detected. The over voltage identification and mitigation circuit is configured to identify ground floatation of the power system. The over voltage identification and mitigation circuit comprises a metal oxide varistor. The over voltage identification and mitigation circuit comprises at least one transient voltage suppression diode.



FIG. 27 illustrates one aspect of a segmented circuit 2600 comprising an isolated control section 2602. The isolated control section 2602 isolates control hardware of the segmented circuit 2600 from a power section (not shown) of the segmented circuit 2600. The control section 2602 comprises, for example, a primary processor 2606, a safety processor (not shown), and/or additional control hardware, for example, a FET Switch 2617. The power section comprises, for example, a motor, a motor driver, and/or a plurality of motor MOSFETS. The isolated control section 2602 comprises a charging circuit 2603 and a rechargeable battery 2608 coupled to a 5V power converter 2616. The charging circuit 2603 and the rechargeable battery 2608 isolate the primary processor 2606 from the power section. In some examples, the rechargeable battery 2608 is coupled to a safety processor and any additional support hardware. Isolating the control section 2602 from the power section allows the control section 2602, for example, the primary processor 2606, to remain active even when main power is removed, provides a filter, through the rechargeable battery 2608, to keep noise out of the control section 2602, isolates the control section 2602 from heavy swings in the battery voltage to ensure proper operation even during heavy motor loads, and/or allows for real-time operating system (RTOS) to be used by the segmented circuit 2600. In some examples, the rechargeable battery 2608 provides a stepped-down voltage to the primary processor, such as, for example, 3.3V. The examples, however, are not limited to the particular voltage range(s) described in the context of this specification.



FIGS. 28A and 28B illustrate another aspect of a control circuit 3000 configured to control the powered surgical instrument 10, illustrated in FIGS. 1-18A. As shown in FIGS. 18A, 28B, the handle assembly 14 may include a motor 3014 which can be controlled by a motor driver 3015 and can be employed by the firing system of the surgical instrument 10. In various forms, the motor 3014 may be a DC brushed driving motor having a maximum rotation of, approximately, 25,000 RPM, for example. In other arrangements, the motor 3014 may include a brushless motor, a cordless motor, a synchronous motor, a stepper motor, or any other suitable electric motor. In certain circumstances, the motor driver 3015 may comprise an H-Bridge FETs 3019, as illustrated in FIGS. 28A and 28B, for example. The motor 3014 can be powered by a power assembly 3006, which can be releasably mounted to the handle assembly 14. The power assembly 3006 is configured to supply control power to the surgical instrument 10. The power assembly 3006 may comprise a battery which may include a number of battery cells connected in series that can be used as the power source to power the surgical instrument 10. In such configuration, the power assembly 3006 may be referred to as a battery pack. In certain circumstances, the battery cells of the power assembly 3006 may be replaceable and/or rechargeable. In at least one example, the battery cells can be Lithium-Ion batteries which can be separably couplable to the power assembly 3006.


Examples of drive systems and closure systems that are suitable for use with the surgical instrument 10 are disclosed in U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/782,866, entitled CONTROL SYSTEM OF A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT, and filed Mar. 14, 2013, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety. For example, the electric motor 3014 can include a rotatable shaft (not shown) that may operably interface with a gear reducer assembly that can be mounted in meshing engagement with a set, or rack, of drive teeth on a longitudinally-movable drive member. In use, a voltage polarity provided by the battery can operate the electric motor 3014 to drive the longitudinally-movable drive member to effectuate the end effector 300. For example, the motor 3014 can be configured to drive the longitudinally-movable drive member to advance a firing mechanism to fire staples into tissue captured by the end effector 300 from a staple cartridge assembled with the end effector 300 and/or advance a cutting member to cut tissue captured by the end effector 300, for example.


As illustrated in FIGS. 28A and 28B and as described below in greater detail, the power assembly 3006 may include a power management controller which can be configured to modulate the power output of the power assembly 3006 to deliver a first power output to power the motor 3014 to advance the cutting member while the interchangeable shaft 200 is coupled to the handle assembly 14 (FIG. 1) and to deliver a second power output to power the motor 3014 to advance the cutting member while the interchangeable shaft assembly 200 is coupled to the handle assembly 14, for example. Such modulation can be beneficial in avoiding transmission of excessive power to the motor 3014 beyond the requirements of an interchangeable shaft assembly that is coupled to the handle assembly 14.


In certain circumstances, the interface 3024 can facilitate transmission of the one or more communication signals between the power management controller 3016 and the shaft assembly controller 3022 by routing such communication signals through a main controller 3017 residing in the handle assembly 14 (FIG. 1), for example. In other circumstances, the interface 3024 can facilitate a direct line of communication between the power management controller 3016 and the shaft assembly controller 3022 through the handle assembly 14 while the shaft assembly 200 (FIG. 1) and the power assembly 3006 are coupled to the handle assembly 14.


In one instance, the main microcontroller 3017 may be any single core or multicore processor such as those known under the trade name ARM Cortex by Texas Instruments. In one instance, the surgical instrument 10 (FIGS. 1-4) may comprise a power management controller 3016 such as, for example, a safety microcontroller platform comprising two microcontroller-based families such as TMS570 and RM4x known under the trade name Hercules ARM Cortex R4, also by Texas Instruments. Nevertheless, other suitable substitutes for microcontrollers and safety processor may be employed, without limitation. In one instance, the safety processor 2004 (FIG. 21A) may be configured specifically for IEC 61508 and ISO 26262 safety critical applications, among others, to provide advanced integrated safety features while delivering scalable performance, connectivity, and memory options.


In certain instances, the microcontroller 3017 may be an LM 4F230H5QR, available from Texas Instruments, for example. In at least one example, the Texas Instruments LM4F230H5QR is an ARM Cortex-M4F Processor Core comprising on-chip memory of 256 KB single-cycle flash memory, or other non-volatile memory, up to 40 MHz, a prefetch buffer to improve performance above 40 MHz, a 32 KB single-cycle serial random access memory (SRAM), internal read-only memory (ROM) loaded with StellarisWare® software, 2 KB electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM), one or more pulse width modulation (PWM) modules, one or more quadrature encoder inputs (QEI) analog, one or more 12-bit Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADC) with 12 analog input channels, among other features that are readily available for the product datasheet. The present disclosure should not be limited in this context.



FIG. 29 is a block diagram the surgical instrument of FIG. 1 illustrating interfaces between the handle assembly 14 (FIG. 1) and the power assembly and between the handle assembly 14 and the interchangeable shaft assembly. As shown in FIG. 29, the power assembly 3006 may include a power management circuit 3034 which may comprise the power management controller 3016, a power modulator 3038, and a current sense circuit 3036. The power management circuit 3034 can be configured to modulate power output of the battery 3007 based on the power requirements of the shaft assembly 200 (FIG. 1) while the shaft assembly 200 and the power assembly 3006 are coupled to the handle assembly 14. For example, the power management controller 3016 can be programmed to control the power modulator 3038 of the power output of the power assembly 3006 and the current sense circuit 3036 can be employed to monitor power output of the power assembly 3006 to provide feedback to the power management controller 3016 about the power output of the battery 3007 so that the power management controller 3016 may adjust the power output of the power assembly 3006 to maintain a desired output.


It is noteworthy that the power management controller 3016 and/or the shaft assembly controller 3022 each may comprise one or more processors and/or memory units which may store a number of software modules. Although certain modules and/or blocks of the surgical instrument 14 (FIG. 1) may be described by way of example, it can be appreciated that a greater or lesser number of modules and/or blocks may be used. Further, although various instances may be described in terms of modules and/or blocks to facilitate description, such modules and/or blocks may be implemented by one or more hardware components, e.g., processors, Digital Signal Processors (DSPs), Programmable Logic Devices (PLDs), Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), circuits, registers and/or software components, e.g., programs, subroutines, logic and/or combinations of hardware and software components.


In certain instances, the surgical instrument 10 (FIGS. 1-4) may comprise an output device 3042 which may include one or more devices for providing a sensory feedback to a user. Such devices may comprise, for example, visual feedback devices (e.g., an LCD display screen, LED indicators), audio feedback devices (e.g., a speaker, a buzzer) or tactile feedback devices (e.g., haptic actuators). In certain circumstances, the output device 3042 may comprise a display 3043 which may be included in the handle assembly 14 (FIG. 1). The shaft assembly controller 3022 and/or the power management controller 3016 can provide feedback to a user of the surgical instrument 10 through the output device 3042. The interface 3024 can be configured to connect the shaft assembly controller 3022 and/or the power management controller 3016 to the output device 3042. The reader will appreciate that the output device 3042 can instead be integrated with the power assembly 3006. In such circumstances, communication between the output device 3042 and the shaft assembly controller 3022 may be accomplished through the interface 3024 while the shaft assembly 200 is coupled to the handle assembly 14.


Having described a surgical instrument 10 (FIGS. 1-4) and various control circuits 2000, 3000 for controlling the operation thereof, the disclosure now turns to various specific configurations of the surgical instrument 10 and control circuits 2000 (or 3000).


The present disclosure provides additional techniques to overcome challenges with conventional modular endosurgical devices. Two of these techniques, in the context of modular endocutters, include wire contacts to transmit power and receive signals from an end effector shaft configured to rotate, and the ability to upgrade the modular attachment with new tech and sensors while allowing the handle to readily accept the new tech.


The ability for the sensors in the end-effector to have the signal processing capability built into the sensor itself helps improve both of these issues. In one aspect, the sensor can be configured to supply the handle with processed information rather than supplying the handle with raw data to minimize the impact of newer sensors and the number of wires necessary to run them. In one aspect, a series of smart sensors can be placed in parallel along a single power line with the shaft of the device as the return path and using current draw “signal” the handle to stop, or start, or end etc. In accordance with this technique, the handle does not need to know what the sensor actually is or how to interpret the processed information being fed back to the controller. Likewise, the current draw can be monitored using a standard Morse Code like encoding technique on the power line to enable the handle to know what the issue is and which sensor identified the issue without any pairing or other couple communication requirement.


Medical devices may be modular devices that include several separate components. For example, an endocutter such as endocutter 12010 as shown in FIG. 30 may include several large and small separate components. The endocutter 12010 is similarly constructed and equipped as the motor-driven surgical cutting and fastening instrument 10 described in connection with FIGS. 1-29. Accordingly, for conciseness and clarity the details of operation and construction will not be repeated here. Endocutter 12010 may include a handle component 12012, a shaft component 12014, and an end-effector component 12016. Each of the handle, the shaft, and the end-effector may include smaller but separate components such as sensors, transducers, motors, switches, controllers, processors etc., which may be programmable and interoperable with one another. In this way, endocutter 12010 may be a modular medical device.


In general, modular devices may have several challenges to overcome. For example, modular endocutter 12010 may require multiple wire contacts configured to transmit power and receive signals. A power source, such as a battery 90 (FIG. 4), may transfer power to one or more sensors, transducers, motors, switches, controllers, processors, or other modular components of the endocutter through various wires and wire contacts. One or more of these modular components may receive signals from one another in order to perform various calculations, processes, or actions to operate the endocutter. For example, a sensor in end-effector 12016 may be powered from a battery in handle 12012 through a wire in shaft 12014 and may send back signals or data to a microprocessor or microcontroller in handle 12012 through a different wire in shaft 12014. The shaft 12014 may be only a half inch in diameter and may have the ability to rotate, which may lead to challenges when swapping or upgrading modular components such as sensors.


In some systems, a sensor in the end-effector may send data to the handle. The data may require signal processing or other processing by one or more components in the handle in order to be used to operate the endocutter. Adding a new sensor or upgrading an existing sensor may require new wires to enable communication with the one or more components (e.g., a microprocessor) in the handle. Having to add new wires or wire contacts may negatively impact the ability to use new sensors or upgrade existing sensors and may be undesirable. The ability to upgrade the modular components (e.g., sensors) in, for example, the end-effector 12016, with new technology such as more advanced sensors, while allowing components in the handle 12012 (e.g., a microcontroller 12024) to readily accept output from the new sensors without adding new wires or new wire contacts may be desirable.


In one aspect of the present disclosure, one or more sensors in the end-effector (e.g., end-effector 12016) may have local or built-in signal processing capability. These sensors may be referred to as smart sensors. Rather than supplying the handle or one or more components therein with data that may require further processing, smart sensors with local signal processing may supply the handle with already processed data or information that can be used to operate the endocutter while minimizing or eliminating further processing.


For example, the end-effector 12016 may include a sensor 12020 and signal processing component 12022. The signal processing component 12022 may correspond to the sensor 12020 (i.e., may be configured to process data from sensor 12020). In one example, the signal processing component 12022 may be specially designed or configured to process signals or data received from the sensor 12020. Further, the signal processing component 12022 may generate processed information based on the signals or data received from sensor 12020. In this way, the signal processing component 12022 may process data received from the sensor 12020 of a surgical instrument (i.e., the endocutter 12010) locally to the sensor and into information usable by the surgical instrument.


The handle 12012 (or a component therein) may be configured to receive the processed information from the signal processing component 12022. For example, the signal processing component 12022 may transmit the processed information to handle 12012 via shaft 12014 (through, e.g., one or more wires). In this way, the processed information may be transmitted from the signal processing component 12022 to a controller 12024 (e.g., a microcontroller) of the surgical instrument (e.g., the endocutter 12010). Further, the surgical instrument (e.g., the endocutter 12010) may be controlled based on the processed information from the signal processing component 12022. For example, the end-effector 12016 may be stopped or started or a process of the endocutter 12010 may be ended based on the processed information. In one example, the controller 12024 may stop or start the end-effector based on the processed information.


The signal processing component 12022 and the sensor 12020 may be part of a single module 12018. The single module 12018 may be positioned in the end-effector 12016 and may be a modular component easily swapped into or out of the end-effector 12016. The sensor 12020 may be, for example, a magnetic field sensor, a magnetic sensor, an inductive sensor, a capacitive sensor, or another type of sensor used in medical devices or endocutters. The signal processing component 12022 may be the microcontroller 2006 (FIGS. 21A, 21B) or microcontroller 3017 (FIGS. 28A, 28B).


In one aspect, the signal processing component may be a sensor circuit 12036 as shown in FIG. 31. The sensor circuit 12036 may be any suitable circuit configured to read signals from a sensor component such as an inductive coil 12032. The sensor circuit 12036 may be in communication with or be communicatively coupled to a sensor component in the end-effector 12030. For example, the sensor circuit 12036 may be communicatively coupled to an inductive coil 12032 via a wire or cable 12038. The inductive coil 12032 may produce a magnetic field 12034 and may be located at a distal end of an anvil 12040 of the end-effector 12030. The sensor circuit 12036 may receive data or signals from the sensor component (e.g., inductive coil 12032) and may process the data or signals to generate processed information which may be used to operate the end-effector 12030.


While the sensor circuit 12036 is shown outside of the end-effector 12030 and the anvil 12040 in FIG. 31 for ease of disclosure, the sensor circuit 12036 may be local to the sensor component (e.g., inductive coil 12032) or may be part of a single module including the sensor component and the sensor circuit, such as single module 12018 of FIG. 30. For example, as shown in FIG. 32, a sensor circuit 12052 also may be positioned at a distal end of an anvil 12056 of an end-effector 12050. The sensor circuit 12052 may be local to, and in communication with, a sensing component such as magnet 12054.


Referring back to FIG. 30, the handle 12012 may include a controller 12024 which may be configured to control or otherwise operate the endocutter 12010. In one example, the controller 12012 may be a microcontroller and may be configured to receive the processed information from the signal processing component 12022 or the single module 12018. For example the shaft 12014 may be configured to communicatively couple the signal processing component 12022 of the end-effector 12016 and the handle 12012. The microcontroller 12024 in the handle 12012 may be in wired communication with the signal processing component 12022 via shaft 12014. In one example, the signal processing component 12022 may be in wireless communication with the microcontroller 12024 or with another component in handle 12012. While the controller 12024 may be configured to receive the processed information from the signal processing component 12022 or the single module 12018, this is not intended to be a limitation of the present disclosure as various other components (e.g., a microprocessor, display, interface, switch, etc.) in handle 12012 may be configured to receive the processed information from the signal processing component 12022 or the single module 12018.


In one aspect, a plurality of smart sensors may be positioned on a power line of an end-effector and may be communicatively coupled to a handle of an endocutter. The smart sensors may be positioned in series or parallel with respect to the power line. Referring now to FIG. 33, smart sensors 12060 and 12062 may be in communication with a signal processing component or a microprocessor 12064 which may be local to the smart sensors. Both the smart sensors 12060 and 12062 and the microprocessor 12064 may be located at the end-effector (represented by dashed-box 12066). For example, smart sensor 12060 may output signals or data to an operational amplifier 12068 and an ADC converter 12070, which may condition the signals or data for input into microprocessor 12064. Similarly, smart sensor 12062 may output signals or data to an operational amplifier 12072 and an ADC converter 12074, which may condition the signals or data for input into microprocessor 12064.


Smart sensors 12060 and/or 12062 may be different types of sensors or the same type of sensor, which may be, for example, magnetic field sensors, magnetic sensors, inductive sensors, capacitive sensors, or other types of sensors used in medical devices or endocutters. Component 12064, previously referred to as a microprocessor, also may be a computational core, FPGA (field programmable gate array), logic unit (e.g., logic processor or logic controller), signal processing unit, or other type of processor. The microprocessor 12064 may be in communication with a memory, such as non-volatile memory 12076, which may store calculation data, equipment information such as a type of cartridge inserted in the end-effector 12066, tabular data, or other reference data that may enable the microprocessor 12064 to process signals or data received from one or more of the smart sensors 12060 or 12062 for use in operating the end-effector 12066 or an endocutter.


Further, a shaft 12078 may include a return path through which at least one of the plurality of smart sensors (e.g., smart sensors 12060 or 12062) and the handle 12080 are communicatively coupled. The shaft may include one or more wires which may transfer information from the microprocessor 12064 to the handle 12080 for operation of the end-effector 12066 or endocutter. In one example, the information from the microprocessor 12064 may be communicated to the handle 12080 (by way of shaft 12078 or directly without use of shaft 12078) over one or more of: a wired-line, a single-wired line, a multi-wired line, a wireless communication protocol such as Bluetooth, an optical line, or an acoustic line.


In one aspect, at least one of a plurality of smart sensors positioned at an end-effector may include a signal processing component. For example, the signal processing component may be built into the smart sensor or may be locally coupled to the smart sensor as shown in single module 12018 of FIG. 30. The signal processing component may be configured to process data received from a sensor component (e.g., sensor component 12020) of at least one of the plurality of smart sensors. A controller 12024 (e.g., a microcontroller) at the handle may be communicatively coupled to at least one of the plurality of smart sensors.


In one aspect, a smart sensor may be configured for local signal processing in a medical device. The smart sensor may include at least one sensor component (e.g., sensor component 12020) and at least one processing component (e.g., processing component 12022). The processing component may be configured to receive data from the at least one sensor component and to process the data into information for use by the medical device. The medical device may be, for example, an endocutter, however this is not intended to be a limitation of the present disclosure. It should be understood that the techniques and features discussed herein for smart sensors with local signal processing may be used in any medical device where processing of sensor signals or data is used for operation of the medical device.


Further, a controller (e.g., controller 12024, microcontroller) in the medical device may be configured to receive the information (i.e., processed signals or data) from the at least one processing component (e.g., processing component 12022). As discussed above, the medical device may be a surgical instrument such as an endocutter and the smart sensor may be configured for local signal processing in the surgical instrument. Local signal processing may refer to, for example, processing signals or data from a sensor component at a processing component coupled to the sensor, where the resulting processed information may be used by a separate component. For example, the controller 12024 may be positioned in the handle 12012 of the surgical instrument (i.e., the endocutter 12010) and the smart sensor may be configured to be positioned in a separate component (i.e., the end-effector 12016) of the surgical instrument (i.e., the endocutter 12010), separate from the handle 12012. Thus, the controller 12024 may be positioned at the handle 12012 of the surgical instrument and the signal processing component 12022 and the sensor 12020 may be located in a component separate from the handle 12012 (e.g., end-effector 12016).


In this way, the handle or controller 12024 need not have information about the smart sensor, knowledge of what the smart sensor is doing, or capability to interpret data feed back from the smart sensor. This is because the processing component 12022 may transform or condition the data from the smart sensor and generate information from the data directly usable by the handle or controller 12024. The information generated by the processing component may be used directly, without the data from the smart sensor needing to be processed in another part of the medical device (e.g., near the handle 12012 or controller 12024). Thus, the surgical instrument may be controlled based on the (processed) information from the signal processing component local to the sensor.


In one aspect, a current draw on a power line communicatively coupled to the signal processing component 12022 (i.e., local to the sensor 12020) may be monitored. The current draw may be monitored by a microprocessor or other monitoring device at the shaft 12014 or the handle 12012, or at another microprocessor or other monitoring device separate from the signal processing component 12022. For example, the monitoring may be a standard Morse Code type monitoring of the current draw on the power line. An issue with the surgical instrument based on the current draw and a particular sensor may be determined by the separate microprocessor at, e.g., the handle 12012. In this way, the monitoring may allow the handle (or a processor or controller therein) to be informed of various issues related to signals or data received by one or more sensor and which particular sensor identified the issue, without a further communication requirement (e.g., pairing, or other coupled communication).


Turning now to FIG. 34, which is a logic diagram illustrating one aspect of a process 13040 for calibrating a first sensor 13008a in response to an input from a second sensor 13008b. The first sensor 13008a is configured to capture 13022a a signal indicative of one or more parameters of the end effector 13000. The first signal 13022a may be conditioned based on one or more predetermined parameters, such as, for example, a smoothing function, a look-up table, and/or any other suitable conditioning parameters. A second signal is captured 13022b by the second sensor 13008b. The second signal 13022b may be conditioned based on one or more predetermined conditioning parameters. The first signal 13022a and the second signal 13022b are provided to a processor, such as, for example, the primary processor 2006 (FIGS. 21A-21B). The primary processor 2006 calibrates 13042 the first signal 13022a in response to the second signal 13022b. The first signal 13022a is calibrated 13042 to reflect the fullness of the bite of tissue in the end effector 13000. The calibrated signal is displayed 13026 to an operator by, for example, a display 12026 embedded in the surgical instrument 10 (FIGS. 1-6).



FIG. 35 is a logic diagram illustrating one aspect of a process 13170 for adjusting a measurement of a first sensor 13158 in response to a plurality of secondary sensors 13160a, 13160. In one example, a Hall effect voltage is obtained 13172, for example, by a magnetic field sensor. The Hall effect voltage is converted 13174 by an analog to digital convertor. The converted Hall effect voltage signal is calibrated 13176. The calibrated curve represents the thickness of a tissue section located between the anvil 13152 and the staple cartridge 13156. A plurality of secondary measurements are obtained 13178a, 13178b by a plurality of secondary sensors, such as, for example, a plurality of strain gauges. The input of the strain gauges is converted 13180a, 13180b into one or more digital signals, for example, by a plurality of electronic μStrain conversion circuits. The calibrated Hall effect voltage and the plurality of secondary measurements are provided to a processor, such as, for example, the primary processor 2006 (FIGS. 21A-21B). The primary processor utilizes the secondary measurements to adjust 13182 the Hall effect voltage, for example, by applying an algorithm and/or utilizing one or more look-up tables. The adjusted Hall effect voltage represents the true thickness and fullness of the bite of tissue clamped by the anvil 13152 and the staple cartridge 13156. The adjusted thickness is displayed 13026 to an operator by, for example, a display 12026 embedded in the surgical instrument 10 (FIGS. 1-6).



FIG. 36 illustrates one aspect of a circuit 13190 configured to convert signals from the first sensor 13158 and the plurality of secondary sensors 13160a, 13160b into digital signals receivable by a processor, such as, for example, the primary processor 2006 (FIGS. 21A-21B). The circuit 13190 comprises an analog-to-digital convertor 13194. In some examples, the analog-to-digital convertor 13194 comprises a 4-channel, 18-bit analog to digital convertor. Those skilled in the art will recognize that the analog-to-digital convertor 13194 may comprise any suitable number of channels and/or bits to convert one or more inputs from analog to digital signals. The circuit 13190 comprises one or more level shifting resistors 13196 configured to receive an input from the first sensor 13158, such as, for example, a magnetic field sensor. The level shifting resistors 13196 adjust the input from the first sensor, shifting the value to a higher or lower voltage depending on the input. The level shifting resistors 13196 provide the level-shifted input from the first sensor 13158 to the analog-to-digital convertor.


In some aspects, a plurality of secondary sensors 13160a, 13160b are coupled to a plurality of bridges 13192a, 13192b within the circuit 13190. The plurality of bridges 13192a, 13192b may provide filtering of the input from the plurality of secondary sensors 13160a, 13160b. After filtering the input signals, the plurality of bridges 13192a, 13192b provide the inputs from the plurality of secondary sensors 13160a, 13160b to the analog-to-digital convertor 13194. In some examples, a switch 13198 coupled to one or more level shifting resistors may be coupled to the analog-to-digital convertor 13194. The switch 13198 is configured to calibrate one or more of the input signals, such as, for example, an input from a magnetic field sensor. The switch 13198 may be engaged to provide one or more level shifting signals to adjust the input of one or more of the sensors, such as, for example, to calibrate the input of a magnetic field sensor. In some examples, the adjustment is not necessary, and the switch 13198 is left in the open position to decouple the level shifting resistors. The switch 13198 is coupled to the analog-to-digital convertor 13194. The analog-to-digital convertor 13194 provides an output to one or more processors, such as, for example, the primary processor 2006 (FIGS. 21A-21B). The primary processor 2006 calculates one or more parameters of the end effector 13150 based on the input from the analog-to-digital convertor 13194. For example, in one example, the primary processor 2006 calculates a thickness of tissue located between the anvil 13152 and the staple cartridge 13156 based on input from one or more sensors 13158, 13160a, 13160b.



FIG. 37 is a logic diagram illustrating one aspect of a process 13320 for selecting the most reliable output from a plurality of redundant sensors, such as, for example, the plurality of sensors 13308a, 13308b. In one example, a first signal is generated by a first sensor 13308a. The first signal is converted 13322a by an analog-to-digital convertor. One or more additional signals are generated by one or more redundant sensors 13308b. The one or more additional signals are converted 13322b by an analog-to-digital convertor. The converted signals are provided to a processor, such as, for example, the primary processor 2006 (FIGS. 21A-21B). The primary processor 2006 evaluates 13324 the redundant inputs to determine the most reliable output. The most reliable output may be selected based on one or more parameters, such as, for example, algorithms, look-up tables, input from additional sensors, and/or instrument conditions. After selecting the most reliable output, the processor may adjust the output based on one or more additional sensors to reflect, for example, the true thickness and bite of a tissue section located between the anvil 13302 and the staple cartridge 13306. The adjusted most reliable output is displayed 13026 to an operator by, for example, a display 2026 embedded in the surgical instrument 10 (FIGS. 1-6).



FIG. 38 illustrates one aspect of an end effector 13000 comprising a magnet 13008 and a magnetic field sensor 13010 in communication with a processor 13012. The end effector 13000 is similar to the end effector 300 (FIG. 1) described above in connection with surgical instrument 10 (FIGS. 1-6). The end effector 13000 comprises a first jaw member, or anvil 13002, pivotally coupled to a second jaw member, or elongated channel 13004. The elongated channel 13004 is configured to operably support a staple cartridge 13006 therein. The staple cartridge 13006 is similar to the staple cartridge 304 (FIG. 1) described above in connection with surgical instrument 10 (FIGS. 1-6). The anvil 13008 comprises a magnet 13008. The staple cartridge comprises a magnetic field sensor 13010 and a processor 13012. The magnetic field sensor 13010 is operable to communicate with the processor 13012 through a conductive coupling 13014. The magnetic field sensor 13010 is positioned within the staple cartridge 13006 to operatively couple with the magnet 13008 when the anvil 13002 is in a closed position. The magnetic field sensor 13010 can be configured to detect changes in the magnetic field surrounding the magnetic field sensor 13010 caused by the movement of or location of magnet 13008.



FIGS. 39-41 illustrate one aspect of an end effector that comprises a magnet where FIG. 39 illustrates a perspective cutaway view of the anvil 13102 and the magnet 13058a, in an optional location. FIG. 40 illustrates a side cutaway view of the anvil 13102 and the magnet 13058a, in an optional location. FIG. 41 illustrates a top cutaway view of the anvil 13102 and the magnet 13058a, in an optional location.



FIG. 42 illustrates one aspect of an end effector 13200 that is operable to use conductive surfaces at the distal contact point to create an electrical connection. The end effector 13200 is similar to the end effector 300 (FIG. 1) described above in connection with surgical instrument 10 (FIGS. 1-6). The end effector 13200 comprises an anvil 13202, an elongated channel 13204, and a staple cartridge 13206. The anvil 13202 further comprises a magnet 13208 and an inside surface 13210, which further comprises a number of staple-forming indents 13212. In some examples, the inside surface 13210 of the anvil 13202 further comprises a first conductive surface 13214 surrounding the staple-forming indents 13212. The first conductive surface 13214 can come into contact with second conductive surfaces 13222 on the staple cartridge 13206. The cartridge body comprises a number of staple cavities designed to hold staples (not pictured). In some examples the staple cavities further comprise staple cavity extensions that protrude above the surface of the cartridge body. The staple cavity extensions can be coated with the second conductive surfaces. Because the staple cavity extensions protrude above the surface of the cartridge body, the second conductive surfaces will come into contact with the first conductive surfaces 13214 when the anvil 13202 is in a closed position. In this manner the anvil 13202 can form an electrical contact with the staple cartridge 13206.



FIG. 43 illustrates one aspect of a staple cartridge 13606 that comprises a flex cable 13630 connected to a magnetic field sensor 13610 and processor 13612. The staple cartridge 13606 is similar to the staple cartridge 13606 is similar to the staple cartridge 306 (FIG. 1) described above in connection with surgical instrument 10 (FIGS. 1-6). FIG. 43 is an exploded view of the staple cartridge 13606. The staple cartridge comprises 13606 a cartridge body 13620, a wedge sled 13618, a cartridge tray 13622, and a flex cable 13630. The flex cable 13630 further comprises electrical contacts 13632 at the proximal end of the staple cartridge 13606, placed to make an electrical connection when the staple cartridge 13606 is operatively coupled with an end effector, such as end effector 13800 described below. The electrical contacts 13632 are integrated with cable traces 13634, which extend along some of the length of the staple cartridge 13606. The cable traces 13634 connect 13636 near the distal end of the staple cartridge 13606 and this connection 13636 joins with a conductive coupling 13614. A magnetic field sensor 13610 and a processor 13612 are operatively coupled to the conductive coupling 13614 such that the magnetic field sensor 13610 and the processor 13612 are able to communicate.



FIG. 44 illustrates one aspect of an end effector 13800 with a flex cable 13830 operable to provide power to a staple cartridge 13806 that comprises a distal sensor plug 13816. The end effector 13800 is similar to the end effector 300 (FIG. 1) described above in connection with surgical instrument 10 (FIGS. 1-6). The end effector 13800 comprises a first jaw member or anvil 13802, a second jaw member or elongated channel 13804, and a staple cartridge 13806 operatively coupled to the elongated channel 13804. The end effector 13800 is operatively coupled to a shaft assembly. The shaft assembly is similar to shaft assembly 200 (FIG. 1) described above in connection with surgical instrument 10 (FIGS. 1-6). The shaft assembly further comprises a closure tube that encloses the exterior of the shaft assembly. In some examples the shaft assembly further comprises an articulation joint 13904, which includes a double pivot closure sleeve assembly. The double pivot closure sleeve assembly includes an end effector closure sleeve assembly that is operable to couple with the end effector 13800.



FIGS. 45 and 46 illustrate the elongated channel 13804 portion of the end effector 13800 without the anvil 13802 or the staple cartridge, to illustrate how the flex cable 13830 can be seated within the elongated channel 13804. In some examples, the elongated channel 13804 further comprises a third aperture 13824 for receiving the flex cable 13830. Within the body of the elongated channel 13804 the flex cable splits 13834 to form extensions 13836 on either side of the elongated channel 13804. FIG. 46 further illustrates that connectors 13838 can be operatively coupled to the flex cable extensions 13836.



FIG. 47 illustrates the flex cable 13830 alone. As illustrated, the flex cable 13830 comprises a single coil 13832 operative to wrap around the articulation joint 13904 (FIG. 44), and a split 13834 that attaches to extensions 13836. The extensions can be coupled to connectors 13838 that have on their distal facing surfaces prongs 13840 for coupling to the staple cartridge 13806, as described below.



FIG. 48 illustrates a close up view of the elongated channel 13804 shown in FIGS. 45 and 115 with a staple cartridge 13804 coupled thereto. The staple cartridge 13804 comprises a cartridge body 13822 and a cartridge tray 13820. In some examples the staple cartridge 13806 further comprises electrical traces 13828 that are coupled to proximal contacts 13856 at the proximal end of the staple cartridge 13806. The proximal contacts 13856 can be positioned to form a conductive connection with the prongs 13840 of the connectors 13838 that are coupled to the flex cable extensions 13836. Thus, when the staple cartridge 13806 is operatively coupled with the elongated channel 13804, the flex cable 13830, through the connectors 13838 and the connector prongs 13840, can provide power to the staple cartridge 13806.



FIGS. 49 and 50 illustrate one aspect of a distal sensor plug 13816. FIG. 49 illustrates a cutaway view of the distal sensor plug 13816. As illustrated, the distal sensor plug 13816 comprises a magnetic field sensor 13810 and a processor 13812. The distal sensor plug 13816 further comprises a flex board 13814. As further illustrated in FIG. 50, the magnetic field sensor 13810 and the processor 13812 are operatively coupled to the flex board 13814 such that they are capable of communicating.



FIG. 51 illustrates one aspect of an end effector 13950 with a flex cable 13980 operable to provide power to sensors and electronics in the distal tip 13952 of the anvil 13961 portion. The end effector 13950 comprises a first jaw member or anvil 13961, a second jaw member or elongated channel 13954, and a staple cartridge 13956 operatively coupled to the elongated channel. The end effector 13950 is operatively coupled to a shaft assembly 13960. The shaft assembly 13960 further comprises a closure tube 13962 that encloses the shaft assembly 13960. In some examples the shaft assembly 13960 further comprises an articulation joint 13964, which includes a double pivot closure sleeve assembly 13966.


In various aspects, the end effector 13950 further comprises a flex cable 13980 that is configured to not interfere with the function of the articulation joint 13964. In some examples, the closure tube 13962 comprises a first aperture 13968 through which the flex cable 13980 can extend. In some examples, flex cable 13980 further comprises a loop or coil 13982 that wraps around the articulation joint 13964 such that the flex cable 13980 does not interfere with the operation of the articulation joint 13964, as further described below. In some examples, the flex cable 13980 extends along the length of the anvil 13961 to a second aperture 13970 in the distal tip of the anvil 13961.



FIGS. 52-54 illustrate the operation of the articulation joint 13964 and flex cable 13980 of the end effector 13950. FIG. 52 illustrates a top view of the end effector 13952 with the end effector 13950 pivoted −45 degrees with respect to the shaft assembly 13960. As illustrated, the coil 13982 of the flex cable 13980 flexes with the articulation joint 13964 such that the flex cable 13980 does not interfere with the operation of the articulation joint 13964. FIG. 53 illustrates a top view of the end effector 13950. As illustrated, the coil 13982 wraps around the articulation joint 13964 once. FIG. 54 illustrates a top view of the end effector 13950 with the end effector 13950 pivoted +45 degrees with respect to the shaft assembly 13960. As illustrated, the coil 13982 of the flex cable 13980 flexes with the articulation joint 13964 such that the flex cable 13980 does not interfere with the operation of the articulation joint 13964.



FIG. 55 illustrates cross-sectional view of the distal tip of one aspect of an anvil 13961 with sensors and electronics 13972. The anvil 13961 comprises a flex cable 13980, as described with respect to FIGS. 52-54. As illustrated in FIG. 55, the anvil 13961 further comprises a second aperture 13970 through which the flex cable 13980 can pass such that the flex cable 13980 can enter a housing 13974 in the within the anvil 13961. Within the housing 13974 the flex cable 13980 can operably couple to sensors and electronics 13972 located within the housing 13974 and thereby provide power to the sensors and electronics 13972.



FIG. 56 illustrates a cutaway view of the distal tip of the anvil 13961. FIG. 56 illustrates one aspect of the housing 13974 that can contain sensors and electronics 13972 as illustrated by FIG. 55.


The present disclosure will now be described in connection with various examples and combinations of such examples as set forth hereinbelow.


1. One example provides a device comprising: an end-effector including at least one sensor and a signal processing component corresponding to the at least one sensor; and a handle configured to receive processed information from the signal processing component; wherein the processed information is generated by the signal processing component at the end-effector based on data received from the at least one sensor at the end-effector.


2. Another example provides the device of example 1, wherein the signal processing component and the sensor are part of a single module at the end-effector.


3. Another example provides the device of example 1 or 2, wherein the processed information is received by a controller at the handle.


4. Another example provides the device of any one of examples 1-3, further comprising: a shaft configured to communicatively couple the signal processing component of the end-effector and the handle.


5. Another example provides the device of any one of examples 1-4, wherein the signal processing component is a sensor circuit.


6. Yet another example provides a device comprising: a plurality of smart sensors positioned on a power line of an end-effector and communicatively coupled to a handle; and a shaft including a return path through which at least one of the plurality of smart sensors and the handle are communicatively coupled.


7. Another example provides the device of example 6, wherein at least one of the plurality of smart sensors includes a signal processing component configured to process data received from a sensor component of at least one of the plurality of smart sensors.


8. Another example provides the device of example 6 or 7, further comprising: a controller at the handle to which at least one of the plurality of smart sensors is commutatively coupled.


9. Yet another example provides a smart sensor configured for local signal processing in a medical device, the smart sensor comprising: at least one sensor component; at least one processing component configured to receive data from the at least one sensor component and to process the data into information for use by the medical device; and a controller in the medical device configured to receive the information from the at least one processing component.


10. Another example provides the smart sensor of example 9, wherein the medical device is a surgical instrument and the smart sensor is configured for local signal processing in the surgical instrument.


11. Another example provides the smart sensor of example 9 or 10, wherein the controller is positioned in a handle of the surgical instrument and the smart sensor is configured to be positioned in a component of the surgical instrument separate from the handle.


12. Yet another example provides a method for controlling a surgical instrument, the method comprising: processing data received from a sensor of the surgical instrument, at a signal processing component local to the sensor, into information usable by the surgical instrument; and transmitting the information from the signal processing component to a controller of the surgical instrument.


13. Another example provides the method of example 12, further comprising: controlling the surgical instrument based on the information from the signal processing component.


14. Another example provides the method of example 12 or 13, further comprising: monitoring a current draw on a power line communicatively coupled to the signal processing component local to the sensor; and determining an issue with the surgical instrument based on the current draw and the sensor.


15. Another example provides the method of any one of examples 12-14, wherein the sensor and the signal processing component are part of a single module.


16. Another example provides the method of any one of examples 12-15, wherein the controller is positioned at a handle of the surgical instrument and the signal processing component and the sensor are located in a component separate from the handle.


In accordance with various examples, the surgical instruments described herein may comprise one or more processors (e.g., microprocessor, microcontroller) coupled to various sensors. In addition, to the processor(s), a storage (having operating logic) and communication interface, are coupled to each other.


As described earlier, the sensors may be configured to detect and collect data associated with the surgical device. The processor processes the sensor data received from the sensor(s).


The processor may be configured to execute the operating logic. The processor may be any one of a number of single or multi-core processors known in the art. The storage may comprise volatile and non-volatile storage media configured to store persistent and temporal (working) copy of the operating logic.


In various aspects, the operating logic may be configured to perform the initial processing, and transmit the data to the computer hosting the application to determine and generate instructions. For these examples, the operating logic may be further configured to receive information from and provide feedback to a hosting computer. In alternate examples, the operating logic may be configured to assume a larger role in receiving information and determining the feedback. In either case, whether determined on its own or responsive to instructions from a hosting computer, the operating logic may be further configured to control and provide feedback to the user.


In various aspects, the operating logic may be implemented in instructions supported by the instruction set architecture (ISA) of the processor, or in higher level languages and compiled into the supported ISA. The operating logic may comprise one or more logic units or modules. The operating logic may be implemented in an object oriented manner. The operating logic may be configured to be executed in a multi-tasking and/or multi-thread manner. In other examples, the operating logic may be implemented in hardware such as a gate array.


In various aspects, the communication interface may be configured to facilitate communication between a peripheral device and the computing system. The communication may include transmission of the collected biometric data associated with position, posture, and/or movement data of the user's body part(s) to a hosting computer, and transmission of data associated with the tactile feedback from the host computer to the peripheral device. In various examples, the communication interface may be a wired or a wireless communication interface. An example of a wired communication interface may include, but is not limited to, a Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface. An example of a wireless communication interface may include, but is not limited to, a Bluetooth interface.


For various aspects, the processor may be packaged together with the operating logic. In various examples, the processor may be packaged together with the operating logic to form a SiP. In various examples, the processor may be integrated on the same die with the operating logic. In various examples, the processor may be packaged together with the operating logic to form a System on Chip (SoC).


Various aspects may be described herein in the general context of computer executable instructions, such as software, program modules, and/or engines being executed by a processor. Generally, software, program modules, and/or engines include any software element arranged to perform particular operations or implement particular abstract data types. Software, program modules, and/or engines can include routines, programs, objects, components, data structures and the like that perform particular tasks or implement particular abstract data types. An implementation of the software, program modules, and/or engines components and techniques may be stored on and/or transmitted across some form of computer-readable media. In this regard, computer-readable media can be any available medium or media useable to store information and accessible by a computing device. Some examples also may be practiced in distributed computing environments where operations are performed by one or more remote processing devices that are linked through a communications network. In a distributed computing environment, software, program modules, and/or engines may be located in both local and remote computer storage media including memory storage devices. A memory such as a random access memory (RAM) or other dynamic storage device may be employed for storing information and instructions to be executed by the processor. The memory also may be used for storing temporary variables or other intermediate information during execution of instructions to be executed by the processor.


Although some aspects may be illustrated and described as comprising functional components, software, engines, and/or modules performing various operations, it can be appreciated that such components or modules may be implemented by one or more hardware components, software components, and/or combination thereof. The functional components, software, engines, and/or modules may be implemented, for example, by logic (e.g., instructions, data, and/or code) to be executed by a logic device (e.g., processor). Such logic may be stored internally or externally to a logic device on one or more types of computer-readable storage media. In other examples, the functional components such as software, engines, and/or modules may be implemented by hardware elements that may include processors, microprocessors, circuits, circuit elements (e.g., transistors, resistors, capacitors, inductors, and so forth), integrated circuits, ASICs, PLDs, DSPs, FPGAs, logic gates, registers, semiconductor device, chips, microchips, chip sets, and so forth.


Examples of software, engines, and/or modules may include software components, programs, applications, computer programs, application programs, system programs, machine programs, operating system software, middleware, firmware, software modules, routines, subroutines, functions, methods, procedures, software interfaces, application program interfaces (API), instruction sets, computing code, computer code, code segments, computer code segments, words, values, symbols, or any combination thereof. Determining whether one example is implemented using hardware elements and/or software elements may vary in accordance with any number of factors, such as desired computational rate, power levels, heat tolerances, processing cycle budget, input data rates, output data rates, memory resources, data bus speeds and other design or performance constraints.


One or more of the modules described herein may comprise one or more embedded applications implemented as firmware, software, hardware, or any combination thereof. One or more of the modules described herein may comprise various executable modules such as software, programs, data, drivers, application APIs, and so forth. The firmware may be stored in a memory of the controller and/or the controller which may comprise a nonvolatile memory (NVM), such as in bit-masked ROM or flash memory. In various implementations, storing the firmware in ROM may preserve flash memory. The NVM may comprise other types of memory including, for example, programmable ROM (PROM), erasable programmable ROM (EPROM), EEPROM, or battery backed RAM such as dynamic RAM (DRAM), Double-Data-Rate DRAM (DDRAM), and/or synchronous DRAM (SDRAM).


In some cases, various aspects may be implemented as an article of manufacture. The article of manufacture may include a computer readable storage medium arranged to store logic, instructions and/or data for performing various operations of one or more examples. In various examples, for example, the article of manufacture may comprise a magnetic disk, optical disk, flash memory or firmware containing computer program instructions suitable for execution by a general purpose processor or application specific processor. The examples, however, are not limited in this context.


The functions of the various functional elements, logical blocks, modules, and circuits elements described in connection with the examples disclosed herein may be implemented in the general context of computer executable instructions, such as software, control modules, logic, and/or logic modules executed by the processing unit. Generally, software, control modules, logic, and/or logic modules comprise any software element arranged to perform particular operations. Software, control modules, logic, and/or logic modules can comprise routines, programs, objects, components, data structures and the like that perform particular tasks or implement particular abstract data types. An implementation of the software, control modules, logic, and/or logic modules and techniques may be stored on and/or transmitted across some form of computer-readable media. In this regard, computer-readable media can be any available medium or media useable to store information and accessible by a computing device. Some examples also may be practiced in distributed computing environments where operations are performed by one or more remote processing devices that are linked through a communications network. In a distributed computing environment, software, control modules, logic, and/or logic modules may be located in both local and remote computer storage media including memory storage devices.


Additionally, it is to be appreciated that the aspects described herein illustrate example implementations, and that the functional elements, logical blocks, modules, and circuits elements may be implemented in various other ways which are consistent with the described examples. Furthermore, the operations performed by such functional elements, logical blocks, modules, and circuits elements may be combined and/or separated for a given implementation and may be performed by a greater number or fewer number of components or modules. As will be apparent to those of skill in the art upon reading the present disclosure, each of the individual examples described and illustrated herein has discrete components and features which may be readily separated from or combined with the features of any of the other several aspects without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. Any recited method can be carried out in the order of events recited or in any other order which is logically possible.


It is worthy to note that any reference to “one example” or “an example” means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the example is comprised in at least one example. The appearances of the phrase “in one example” or “in one aspect” in the specification are not necessarily all referring to the same example.


Unless specifically stated otherwise, it may be appreciated that terms such as “processing,” “computing,” “calculating,” “determining,” or the like, refer to the action and/or processes of a computer or computing system, or similar electronic computing device, such as a general purpose processor, a DSP, ASIC, FPGA or other programmable logic device, discrete gate or transistor logic, discrete hardware components, or any combination thereof designed to perform the functions described herein that manipulates and/or transforms data represented as physical quantities (e.g., electronic) within registers and/or memories into other data similarly represented as physical quantities within the memories, registers or other such information storage, transmission or display devices.


It is worthy to note that some aspects may be described using the expression “coupled” and “connected” along with their derivatives. These terms are not intended as synonyms for each other. For example, some aspects may be described using the terms “connected” and/or “coupled” to indicate that two or more elements are in direct physical or electrical contact with each other. The term “coupled,” however, also may mean that two or more elements are not in direct contact with each other, but yet still co-operate or interact with each other. With respect to software elements, for example, the term “coupled” may refer to interfaces, message interfaces, API, exchanging messages, and so forth.


It should be appreciated that any patent, publication, or other disclosure material, in whole or in part, that is said to be incorporated by reference herein is incorporated herein only to the extent that the incorporated material does not conflict with existing definitions, statements, or other disclosure material set forth in this disclosure. As such, and to the extent necessary, the disclosure as explicitly set forth herein supersedes any conflicting material incorporated herein by reference. Any material, or portion thereof, that is said to be incorporated by reference herein, but which conflicts with existing definitions, statements, or other disclosure material set forth herein will only be incorporated to the extent that no conflict arises between that incorporated material and the existing disclosure material.


The present disclosure applies to conventional endoscopic and open surgical instrumentation as well as application in robotic-assisted surgery.


Aspects of the devices disclosed herein can be designed to be disposed of after a single use, or they can be designed to be used multiple times. Examples may, in either or both cases, be reconditioned for reuse after at least one use. Reconditioning may include any combination of the steps of disassembly of the device, followed by cleaning or replacement of particular pieces, and subsequent reassembly. In particular, examples of the device may be disassembled, and any number of the particular pieces or parts of the device may be selectively replaced or removed in any combination. Upon cleaning and/or replacement of particular parts, examples of the device may be reassembled for subsequent use either at a reconditioning facility, or by a surgical team immediately prior to a surgical procedure. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that reconditioning of a device may utilize a variety of techniques for disassembly, cleaning/replacement, and reassembly. Use of such techniques, and the resulting reconditioned device, are all within the scope of the present application.


By way of example only, aspects described herein may be processed before surgery. First, a new or used instrument may be obtained and when necessary cleaned. The instrument may then be sterilized. In one sterilization technique, the instrument is placed in a closed and sealed container, such as a plastic or TYVEK bag. The container and instrument may then be placed in a field of radiation that can penetrate the container, such as gamma radiation, x-rays, or high-energy electrons. The radiation may kill bacteria on the instrument and in the container. The sterilized instrument may then be stored in the sterile container. The sealed container may keep the instrument sterile until it is opened in a medical facility. A device also may be sterilized using any other technique known in the art, including but not limited to beta or gamma radiation, ethylene oxide, plasma peroxide, or steam.


One skilled in the art will recognize that the herein described components (e.g., operations), devices, objects, and the discussion accompanying them are used as examples for the sake of conceptual clarity and that various configuration modifications are contemplated. Consequently, as used herein, the specific exemplars set forth and the accompanying discussion are intended to be representative of their more general classes. In general, use of any specific exemplar is intended to be representative of its class, and the non-inclusion of specific components (e.g., operations), devices, and objects should not be taken limiting.


With respect to the use of substantially any plural and/or singular terms herein, those having skill in the art can translate from the plural to the singular and/or from the singular to the plural as is appropriate to the context and/or application. The various singular/plural permutations are not expressly set forth herein for sake of clarity.


The herein described subject matter sometimes illustrates different components contained within, or connected with, different other components. It is to be understood that such depicted architectures are merely examples and that in fact many other architectures may be implemented which achieve the same functionality. In a conceptual sense, any arrangement of components to achieve the same functionality is effectively “associated” such that the desired functionality is achieved. Hence, any two components herein combined to achieve a particular functionality can be seen as “associated with” each other such that the desired functionality is achieved, irrespective of architectures or intermedial components. Likewise, any two components so associated can also be viewed as being “operably connected,” or “operably coupled,” to each other to achieve the desired functionality, and any two components capable of being so associated can also be viewed as being “operably couplable,” to each other to achieve the desired functionality. Specific examples of operably couplable include but are not limited to physically matable and/or physically interacting components, and/or wirelessly interactable, and/or wirelessly interacting components, and/or logically interacting, and/or logically interactable components.


Some aspects may be described using the expression “coupled” and “connected” along with their derivatives. It should be understood that these terms are not intended as synonyms for each other. For example, some aspects may be described using the term “connected” to indicate that two or more elements are in direct physical or electrical contact with each other. In another example, some aspects may be described using the term “coupled” to indicate that two or more elements are in direct physical or electrical contact. The term “coupled,” however, also may mean that two or more elements are not in direct contact with each other, but yet still co-operate or interact with each other.


In some instances, one or more components may be referred to herein as “configured to,” “configurable to,” “operable/operative to,” “adapted/adaptable,” “able to,” “conformable/conformed to,” etc. Those skilled in the art will recognize that “configured to” can generally encompass active-state components and/or inactive-state components and/or standby-state components, unless context requires otherwise.


While particular aspects of the present subject matter described herein have been shown and described, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that, based upon the teachings herein, changes and modifications may be made without departing from the subject matter described herein and its broader aspects and, therefore, the appended claims are to encompass within their scope all such changes and modifications as are within the true scope of the subject matter described herein. It will be understood by those within the art that, in general, terms used herein, and especially in the appended claims (e.g., bodies of the appended claims) are generally intended as “open” terms (e.g., the term “including” should be interpreted as “including but not limited to,” the term “having” should be interpreted as “having at least,” the term “includes” should be interpreted as “includes but is not limited to,” etc.). It will be further understood by those within the art that when a specific number of an introduced claim recitation is intended, such an intent will be explicitly recited in the claim, and in the absence of such recitation no such intent is present. For example, as an aid to understanding, the following appended claims may contain usage of the introductory phrases “at least one” and “one or more” to introduce claim recitations. However, the use of such phrases should not be construed to imply that the introduction of a claim recitation by the indefinite articles “a” or “an” limits any particular claim containing such introduced claim recitation to claims containing only one such recitation, even when the same claim includes the introductory phrases “one or more” or “at least one” and indefinite articles such as “a” or “an” (e.g., “a” and/or “an” should typically be interpreted to mean “at least one” or “one or more”); the same holds true for the use of definite articles used to introduce claim recitations.


In addition, even when a specific number of an introduced claim recitation is explicitly recited, those skilled in the art will recognize that such recitation should typically be interpreted to mean at least the recited number (e.g., the bare recitation of “two recitations,” without other modifiers, typically means at least two recitations, or two or more recitations). Furthermore, in those instances where a convention analogous to “at least one of A, B, and C, etc.” is used, in general such a construction is intended in the sense one having skill in the art would understand the convention (e.g., “a system having at least one of A, B, and C” would include but not be limited to systems that have A alone, B alone, C alone, A and B together, A and C together, B and C together, and/or A, B, and C together, etc.). In those instances where a convention analogous to “at least one of A, B, or C, etc.” is used, in general such a construction is intended in the sense one having skill in the art would understand the convention (e.g., “a system having at least one of A, B, or C” would include but not be limited to systems that have A alone, B alone, C alone, A and B together, A and C together, B and C together, and/or A, B, and C together, etc.). It will be further understood by those within the art that typically a disjunctive word and/or phrase presenting two or more alternative terms, whether in the description, claims, or drawings, should be understood to contemplate the possibilities of including one of the terms, either of the terms, or both terms unless context dictates otherwise. For example, the phrase “A or B” will be typically understood to include the possibilities of “A” or “B” or “A and B.”


With respect to the appended claims, those skilled in the art will appreciate that recited operations therein may generally be performed in any order. Also, although various operational flows are presented in a sequence(s), it should be understood that the various operations may be performed in other orders than those which are illustrated, or may be performed concurrently. Examples of such alternate orderings may include overlapping, interleaved, interrupted, reordered, incremental, preparatory, supplemental, simultaneous, reverse, or other variant orderings, unless context dictates otherwise. Furthermore, terms like “responsive to,” “related to,” or other past-tense adjectives are generally not intended to exclude such variants, unless context dictates otherwise.


In summary, numerous benefits have been described which result from employing the concepts described herein. The foregoing disclosure has been presented for purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or limiting to the precise form disclosed. Modifications or variations are possible in light of the above teachings. The one or more examples were chosen and described in order to illustrate principles and practical application to thereby enable one of ordinary skill in the art to utilize the various examples and with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is intended that the claims submitted herewith define the overall scope.

Claims
  • 1. A device comprising: an end-effector including a first sensor and a signal processing microprocessor corresponding to the first sensor;a handle including a microcontroller configured to receive processed information from the signal processing microprocessor and control the end-effector based on the processed information; anda second sensor configured to send second data to the signal processing microprocessor, wherein the second sensor is located at the end-effector, wherein the second sensor is separate from the first sensor,wherein the signal processing microprocessor is configured to process first data received from the first sensor located at the end-effector locally to generate the processed information to enable the microcontroller in the handle to use the processed information directly without further processing the processed information by the microcontroller in the handle, andwherein processing, by the signal processing microprocessor, the first data to generate the processed information comprises calibrating, by the signal processing microprocessor, the first data in response to the second data from the second sensor.
  • 2. The device of claim 1, wherein the signal processing microprocessor and the first sensor are part of a single module at the end-effector.
  • 3. The device of claim 1, further comprising: a shaft configured to communicatively couple the signal processing microprocessor of the end-effector and the handle.
  • 4. The device of claim 1, further comprising a memory in communication with the signal processing microprocessor, wherein the memory is configured to store calculation data that enables the signal processing microprocessor to process the first data received from the first sensor.
  • 5. The device of claim 1, wherein the first sensor comprises a magnetic sensor located at a first jaw member of the end-effector and a second jaw member of the end-effector includes a magnet, and wherein the magnetic sensor is configured to detect changes in a magnetic field caused by a movement of the magnet.
  • 6. The device of claim 1, wherein controlling, by the microcontroller, the end-effector based on the processed information comprises an operation selected from the group consisting of stopping the end-effector, starting the end-effector, and ending a process of the end-effector.
  • 7. A device comprising: a plurality of smart sensors positioned on an electrical power line located at an end-effector for delivery of electrical power and communicatively coupled to a handle;a shaft including a return path through which at least one of the plurality of smart sensors and the handle are communicatively coupled; anda controller at the handle to which at least one of the plurality of smart sensors is commutatively coupled,wherein at least one of the plurality of smart sensors includes a signal processing microprocessor in the end-effector,wherein the signal processing microprocessor is configured to process first data received from a first sensor component of at least one of the plurality of smart sensors locally to generate processed information,wherein the controller is configured to receive the processed information from the signal processing microprocessor and control the end-effector based on the processed information without further processing the processed information by the controller, andwherein processing, by the signal processing microprocessor, the first data to generate the processed information comprises calibrating, by the signal processing microprocessor, the first data in response to second data from a second sensor component of at least one of the plurality of smart sensors.
  • 8. The device of claim 7, further comprising a memory in communication with the signal processing microprocessor, wherein the memory is configured to store calculation data that enables the signal processing microprocessor to process the first data.
  • 9. The device of claim 7, wherein the first sensor component comprises a magnetic sensor located at a first jaw member of the end-effector and a second jaw member of the end-effector includes a magnet, and wherein the magnetic sensor is configured to detect changes in a magnetic field caused by a movement of the magnet.
  • 10. The device of claim 7, wherein controlling, by the controller, the end-effector based on the processed information comprises an operation selected from the group consisting of stopping the end-effector, starting the end-effector, and ending a process of the end-effector.
US Referenced Citations (3589)
Number Name Date Kind
66052 Smith Jun 1867 A
662587 Blake Nov 1900 A
670748 Weddeler Mar 1901 A
951393 Hahn Mar 1910 A
1306107 Elliott Jun 1919 A
1314601 McCaskey Sep 1919 A
1677337 Grove Jul 1928 A
1794907 Kelly Mar 1931 A
2037727 La Chapelle Apr 1936 A
2132295 Hawkins Oct 1938 A
2161632 Nattenheimer Jun 1939 A
2211117 Hess Aug 1940 A
2214870 West Sep 1940 A
2318379 Davis et al. May 1943 A
2441096 Happe May 1948 A
2450527 Smith et al. Oct 1948 A
2526902 Rublee Oct 1950 A
2527256 Jackson Oct 1950 A
2578686 Fish Dec 1951 A
2674149 Benson Apr 1954 A
2711461 Happe Jun 1955 A
2804848 O'Farrell et al. Sep 1957 A
2808482 Zanichkowsky et al. Oct 1957 A
2853074 Olson Sep 1958 A
2959974 Emrick Nov 1960 A
3032769 Palmer May 1962 A
3075062 Iaccarino Jan 1963 A
3078465 Bobrov Feb 1963 A
3079606 Bobrov et al. Mar 1963 A
3166072 Sullivan, Jr. Jan 1965 A
3196869 Scholl Jul 1965 A
3204731 Bent et al. Sep 1965 A
3266494 Brownrigg et al. Aug 1966 A
3269630 Fleischer Aug 1966 A
3275211 Hirsch et al. Sep 1966 A
3317103 Cullen et al. May 1967 A
3317105 Astafjev et al. May 1967 A
3357296 Lefever Dec 1967 A
3490675 Green et al. Jan 1970 A
3494533 Green et al. Feb 1970 A
3499591 Green Mar 1970 A
3503396 Pierie et al. Mar 1970 A
3551987 Wilkinson Jan 1971 A
3568675 Harvey Mar 1971 A
3572159 Tschanz Mar 1971 A
3598943 Barrett Aug 1971 A
3608549 Merrill Sep 1971 A
3640317 Panfili Feb 1972 A
3643851 Green et al. Feb 1972 A
3661666 Foster et al. May 1972 A
3662939 Bryan May 1972 A
3695646 Mommsen Oct 1972 A
3709221 Riely Jan 1973 A
3717294 Green Feb 1973 A
3734207 Fishbein May 1973 A
3740994 DeCarlo, Jr. Jun 1973 A
3744495 Johnson Jul 1973 A
3746002 Haller Jul 1973 A
3751902 Kingsbury et al. Aug 1973 A
3819100 Noiles et al. Jun 1974 A
3821919 Knohl Jul 1974 A
3841474 Maier Oct 1974 A
3851196 Hinds Nov 1974 A
3885491 Curtis May 1975 A
3892228 Mitsui Jul 1975 A
3894174 Cartun Jul 1975 A
3940844 Colby et al. Mar 1976 A
3950686 Randall Apr 1976 A
3955581 Spasiano et al. May 1976 A
RE28932 Noiles et al. Aug 1976 E
3981051 Brumlik Sep 1976 A
4054108 Gill Oct 1977 A
4060089 Noiles Nov 1977 A
4106446 Yamada et al. Aug 1978 A
4111206 Vishnevsky et al. Sep 1978 A
4129059 Van Eck Dec 1978 A
4169990 Lerdman Oct 1979 A
4180285 Reneau Dec 1979 A
4198734 Brumlik Apr 1980 A
4198982 Fortner et al. Apr 1980 A
4207898 Becht Jun 1980 A
4213562 Garrett et al. Jul 1980 A
4226242 Jarvik Oct 1980 A
4244372 Kapitanov et al. Jan 1981 A
4250436 Weissman Feb 1981 A
4261244 Becht et al. Apr 1981 A
4272002 Moshofsky Jun 1981 A
4272662 Simpson Jun 1981 A
4274304 Curtiss Jun 1981 A
4275813 Noiles Jun 1981 A
4289133 Rothfuss Sep 1981 A
4296654 Mercer Oct 1981 A
4304236 Conta et al. Dec 1981 A
4305539 Korolkov et al. Dec 1981 A
4312685 Riedl Jan 1982 A
4317451 Cerwin et al. Mar 1982 A
4321002 Froehlich Mar 1982 A
4328839 Lyons et al. May 1982 A
4331277 Green May 1982 A
4340331 Savino Jul 1982 A
4347450 Colligan Aug 1982 A
4349028 Green Sep 1982 A
4353371 Cosman Oct 1982 A
4373147 Carlson, Jr. Feb 1983 A
4379457 Gravener et al. Apr 1983 A
4380312 Landrus Apr 1983 A
4382326 Rabuse May 1983 A
4383634 Green May 1983 A
4393728 Larson et al. Jul 1983 A
4396139 Hall et al. Aug 1983 A
4397311 Kanshin et al. Aug 1983 A
4402445 Green Sep 1983 A
4408692 Siegel et al. Oct 1983 A
4409057 Molenda et al. Oct 1983 A
4415112 Green Nov 1983 A
4416276 Newton et al. Nov 1983 A
4428376 Mericle Jan 1984 A
4429695 Green Feb 1984 A
4434796 Karapetian et al. Mar 1984 A
4438659 Desplats Mar 1984 A
4442964 Becht Apr 1984 A
4448194 DiGiovanni et al. May 1984 A
4451743 Suzuki et al. May 1984 A
4454887 Krüger Jun 1984 A
4467805 Fukuda Aug 1984 A
4470414 Imagawa et al. Sep 1984 A
4473077 Noiles et al. Sep 1984 A
4475679 Fleury, Jr. Oct 1984 A
4485816 Krumme Dec 1984 A
4485817 Swiggett Dec 1984 A
4486928 Tucker et al. Dec 1984 A
4488523 Shichman Dec 1984 A
4489875 Crawford et al. Dec 1984 A
4499895 Takayama Feb 1985 A
4500024 DiGiovanni et al. Feb 1985 A
4505272 Utyamyshev et al. Mar 1985 A
4505273 Braun et al. Mar 1985 A
4505414 Filipi Mar 1985 A
4506671 Green Mar 1985 A
4512038 Alexander et al. Apr 1985 A
4520817 Green Jun 1985 A
4522327 Korthoff et al. Jun 1985 A
4526174 Froehlich Jul 1985 A
4527724 Chow et al. Jul 1985 A
4530453 Green Jul 1985 A
4531522 Bedi et al. Jul 1985 A
4532927 Miksza, Jr. Aug 1985 A
4548202 Duncan Oct 1985 A
4565109 Tsay Jan 1986 A
4565189 Mabuchi Jan 1986 A
4566620 Green et al. Jan 1986 A
4569469 Mongeon et al. Feb 1986 A
4571213 Ishimoto Feb 1986 A
4573468 Conta et al. Mar 1986 A
4573469 Golden et al. Mar 1986 A
4573622 Green et al. Mar 1986 A
4576167 Noiles et al. Mar 1986 A
4580712 Green Apr 1986 A
4585153 Failla et al. Apr 1986 A
4589416 Green May 1986 A
4591085 Di Giovanni May 1986 A
4597753 Turley Jul 1986 A
4600037 Hatten Jul 1986 A
4604786 Howie, Jr. Aug 1986 A
4605001 Rothfuss et al. Aug 1986 A
4605004 Di Giovanni et al. Aug 1986 A
4606343 Conta et al. Aug 1986 A
4607638 Crainich Aug 1986 A
4608981 Rothfuss et al. Sep 1986 A
4610250 Green Sep 1986 A
4610383 Rothfuss et al. Sep 1986 A
4619262 Taylor Oct 1986 A
4619391 Sharkany et al. Oct 1986 A
4628459 Shinohara et al. Dec 1986 A
4629107 Fedotov et al. Dec 1986 A
4632290 Green et al. Dec 1986 A
4633874 Chow et al. Jan 1987 A
4634419 Kreizman et al. Jan 1987 A
4641076 Linden Feb 1987 A
4643731 Eckenhoff Feb 1987 A
4646722 Silverstein et al. Mar 1987 A
4655222 Florez et al. Apr 1987 A
4662555 Thornton May 1987 A
4663874 Sano et al. May 1987 A
4664305 Blake, III et al. May 1987 A
4665916 Green May 1987 A
4667674 Korthoff et al. May 1987 A
4669647 Storace Jun 1987 A
4671445 Barker et al. Jun 1987 A
4676245 Fukuda Jun 1987 A
4684051 Akopov et al. Aug 1987 A
4691703 Auth et al. Sep 1987 A
4693248 Failla Sep 1987 A
4700703 Resnick et al. Oct 1987 A
4708141 Inoue et al. Nov 1987 A
4709120 Pearson Nov 1987 A
4715520 Roehr, Jr. et al. Dec 1987 A
4719917 Barrows et al. Jan 1988 A
4727308 Huljak et al. Feb 1988 A
4728020 Green et al. Mar 1988 A
4728876 Mongeon et al. Mar 1988 A
4729260 Dudden Mar 1988 A
4730726 Holzwarth Mar 1988 A
4741336 Failla et al. May 1988 A
4743214 Tai-Cheng May 1988 A
4747820 Hornlein et al. May 1988 A
4750902 Wuchinich et al. Jun 1988 A
4752024 Green et al. Jun 1988 A
4754909 Barker et al. Jul 1988 A
4767044 Green Aug 1988 A
4773420 Green Sep 1988 A
4777780 Holzwarth Oct 1988 A
4787387 Burbank, III et al. Nov 1988 A
4790225 Moody et al. Dec 1988 A
4805617 Bedi et al. Feb 1989 A
4805823 Rothfuss Feb 1989 A
4809695 Gwathmey et al. Mar 1989 A
4815460 Porat et al. Mar 1989 A
4817847 Redtenbacher et al. Apr 1989 A
4819853 Green Apr 1989 A
4821939 Green Apr 1989 A
4827911 Broadwin et al. May 1989 A
4830855 Stewart May 1989 A
4834720 Blinkhorn May 1989 A
4844068 Arata et al. Jul 1989 A
4848637 Pruitt Jul 1989 A
4865030 Polyak Sep 1989 A
4868530 Ahs Sep 1989 A
4869414 Green et al. Sep 1989 A
4869415 Fox Sep 1989 A
4873977 Avant et al. Oct 1989 A
4875486 Rapoport et al. Oct 1989 A
4880015 Nierman Nov 1989 A
4890613 Golden et al. Jan 1990 A
4892244 Fox et al. Jan 1990 A
4893622 Green et al. Jan 1990 A
4896678 Ogawa Jan 1990 A
4900303 Lemelson Feb 1990 A
4903697 Resnick et al. Feb 1990 A
4915100 Green Apr 1990 A
4930503 Pruitt Jun 1990 A
4930674 Barak Jun 1990 A
4931047 Broadwin et al. Jun 1990 A
4932960 Green et al. Jun 1990 A
4938408 Bedi et al. Jul 1990 A
4941623 Pruitt Jul 1990 A
4944443 Oddsen et al. Jul 1990 A
4951860 Peters et al. Aug 1990 A
4955959 Tompkins et al. Sep 1990 A
4965709 Ngo Oct 1990 A
4973274 Hirukawa Nov 1990 A
4978049 Green Dec 1990 A
4978333 Broadwin et al. Dec 1990 A
4986808 Broadwin et al. Jan 1991 A
4988334 Hornlein et al. Jan 1991 A
5002543 Bradshaw et al. Mar 1991 A
5002553 Shiber Mar 1991 A
5005754 Van Overloop Apr 1991 A
5009661 Michelson Apr 1991 A
5014899 Presty et al. May 1991 A
5015227 Broadwin et al. May 1991 A
5018515 Gilman May 1991 A
5018657 Pedlick et al. May 1991 A
5024671 Tu et al. Jun 1991 A
5027834 Pruitt Jul 1991 A
5031814 Tompkins et al. Jul 1991 A
5035040 Kerrigan et al. Jul 1991 A
5038109 Goble et al. Aug 1991 A
5040715 Green et al. Aug 1991 A
5042707 Taheri Aug 1991 A
5061269 Muller Oct 1991 A
5062563 Green et al. Nov 1991 A
5065929 Schulze et al. Nov 1991 A
5071052 Rodak et al. Dec 1991 A
5071430 de Salis et al. Dec 1991 A
5074454 Peters Dec 1991 A
5079006 Urquhart Jan 1992 A
5080556 Carreno Jan 1992 A
5083695 Foslien et al. Jan 1992 A
5084057 Green et al. Jan 1992 A
5088979 Filipi et al. Feb 1992 A
5088997 Delahuerga et al. Feb 1992 A
5094247 Hernandez et al. Mar 1992 A
5100420 Green et al. Mar 1992 A
5104025 Main et al. Apr 1992 A
5104397 Vasconcelos et al. Apr 1992 A
5106008 Tompkins et al. Apr 1992 A
5108368 Hammerslag et al. Apr 1992 A
5111987 Moeinzadeh et al. May 1992 A
5116349 Aranyi May 1992 A
5122156 Granger et al. Jun 1992 A
5129570 Schulze et al. Jul 1992 A
5137198 Nobis et al. Aug 1992 A
5139513 Segato Aug 1992 A
5141144 Foslien et al. Aug 1992 A
5142932 Moya et al. Sep 1992 A
5155941 Takahashi et al. Oct 1992 A
5156315 Green et al. Oct 1992 A
5156609 Nakao et al. Oct 1992 A
5156614 Green et al. Oct 1992 A
5158567 Green Oct 1992 A
D330699 Gill Nov 1992 S
5163598 Peters et al. Nov 1992 A
5171247 Hughett et al. Dec 1992 A
5171249 Stefanchik et al. Dec 1992 A
5171253 Klieman et al. Dec 1992 A
5188111 Yates et al. Feb 1993 A
5190517 Zieve et al. Mar 1993 A
5190544 Chapman et al. Mar 1993 A
5190560 Woods et al. Mar 1993 A
5192288 Thompson et al. Mar 1993 A
5195968 Lundquist et al. Mar 1993 A
5197648 Gingold Mar 1993 A
5197649 Bessler et al. Mar 1993 A
5197966 Sommerkamp Mar 1993 A
5200280 Karasa Apr 1993 A
5205459 Brinkerhoff et al. Apr 1993 A
5207697 Carusillo et al. May 1993 A
5209747 Knoepfler May 1993 A
5211649 Kohler et al. May 1993 A
5211655 Hasson May 1993 A
5217457 Delahuerga et al. Jun 1993 A
5217478 Rexroth Jun 1993 A
5219111 Bilotti et al. Jun 1993 A
5221036 Takase Jun 1993 A
5221281 Klicek Jun 1993 A
5222963 Brinkerhoff et al. Jun 1993 A
5222975 Crainich Jun 1993 A
5222976 Yoon Jun 1993 A
5223675 Taft Jun 1993 A
5234447 Kaster et al. Aug 1993 A
5236440 Hlavacek Aug 1993 A
5239981 Anapliotis Aug 1993 A
5240163 Stein et al. Aug 1993 A
5242457 Akopov et al. Sep 1993 A
5244462 Delahuerga et al. Sep 1993 A
5246156 Rothfuss et al. Sep 1993 A
5246443 Mai Sep 1993 A
5253793 Green et al. Oct 1993 A
5258009 Conners Nov 1993 A
5258012 Luscombe et al. Nov 1993 A
5259366 Reydel et al. Nov 1993 A
5259835 Clark et al. Nov 1993 A
5260637 Pizzi Nov 1993 A
5263629 Trumbull et al. Nov 1993 A
5263973 Cook Nov 1993 A
5264218 Rogozinski Nov 1993 A
5268622 Philipp Dec 1993 A
5271543 Grant et al. Dec 1993 A
5271544 Fox et al. Dec 1993 A
RE34519 Fox et al. Jan 1994 E
5275323 Schulze et al. Jan 1994 A
5275608 Forman et al. Jan 1994 A
5279416 Malec et al. Jan 1994 A
5281216 Klicek Jan 1994 A
5282806 Haber et al. Feb 1994 A
5282829 Hermes Feb 1994 A
5284128 Hart Feb 1994 A
5285381 Iskarous et al. Feb 1994 A
5285945 Brinkerhoff et al. Feb 1994 A
5289963 McGarry et al. Mar 1994 A
5290271 Jernberg Mar 1994 A
5292053 Bilotti et al. Mar 1994 A
5297714 Kramer Mar 1994 A
5304204 Bregen Apr 1994 A
5307976 Olson et al. May 1994 A
5309387 Mori et al. May 1994 A
5309927 Welch May 1994 A
5312023 Green et al. May 1994 A
5312024 Grant et al. May 1994 A
5312329 Beaty et al. May 1994 A
5314424 Nicholas May 1994 A
5314445 Heidmueller ńee Degwitz et al. May 1994 A
5314466 Stern et al. May 1994 A
5318221 Green et al. Jun 1994 A
5330487 Thornton et al. Jul 1994 A
5330502 Hassler et al. Jul 1994 A
5332142 Robinson et al. Jul 1994 A
5333422 Warren et al. Aug 1994 A
5333772 Rothfuss et al. Aug 1994 A
5333773 Main et al. Aug 1994 A
5334183 Wuchinich Aug 1994 A
5336232 Green et al. Aug 1994 A
5339799 Kami et al. Aug 1994 A
5341724 Vatel Aug 1994 A
5341810 Dardel Aug 1994 A
5342381 Tidemand Aug 1994 A
5342395 Jarrett et al. Aug 1994 A
5342396 Cook Aug 1994 A
5343391 Mushabac Aug 1994 A
5344060 Gravener et al. Sep 1994 A
5344454 Clarke et al. Sep 1994 A
5346504 Ortiz et al. Sep 1994 A
5348259 Blanco et al. Sep 1994 A
5350388 Epstein Sep 1994 A
5350391 Iacovelli Sep 1994 A
5350400 Esposito et al. Sep 1994 A
5352229 Goble et al. Oct 1994 A
5352235 Koros et al. Oct 1994 A
5352238 Green et al. Oct 1994 A
5354303 Spaeth et al. Oct 1994 A
5356006 Alpern et al. Oct 1994 A
5358506 Green et al. Oct 1994 A
5358510 Luscombe et al. Oct 1994 A
5359231 Flowers et al. Oct 1994 A
D352780 Glaeser et al. Nov 1994 S
5360305 Kerrigan Nov 1994 A
5360428 Hutchinson, Jr. Nov 1994 A
5364001 Bryan Nov 1994 A
5364003 Williamson, IV Nov 1994 A
5366133 Geiste Nov 1994 A
5366134 Green et al. Nov 1994 A
5366479 McGarry et al. Nov 1994 A
5368015 Wilk Nov 1994 A
5368592 Stern et al. Nov 1994 A
5370645 Klicek et al. Dec 1994 A
5372124 Takayama et al. Dec 1994 A
5372596 Klicek et al. Dec 1994 A
5372602 Burke Dec 1994 A
5374277 Hassler Dec 1994 A
5376095 Ortiz Dec 1994 A
5379933 Green et al. Jan 1995 A
5381649 Webb Jan 1995 A
5381782 DeLaRama et al. Jan 1995 A
5382247 Cimino et al. Jan 1995 A
5383880 Hooven Jan 1995 A
5383881 Green et al. Jan 1995 A
5383888 Zvenyatsky et al. Jan 1995 A
5383895 Holmes et al. Jan 1995 A
5389098 Tsuruta et al. Feb 1995 A
5389104 Hahnen et al. Feb 1995 A
5391180 Tovey et al. Feb 1995 A
5392979 Green et al. Feb 1995 A
5395030 Kuramoto et al. Mar 1995 A
5395033 Byrne et al. Mar 1995 A
5395034 Allen et al. Mar 1995 A
5395312 Desai Mar 1995 A
5395384 Duthoit Mar 1995 A
5397046 Savage et al. Mar 1995 A
5397324 Carroll et al. Mar 1995 A
5403312 Yates et al. Apr 1995 A
5405072 Zlock et al. Apr 1995 A
5405073 Porter Apr 1995 A
5405344 Williamson et al. Apr 1995 A
5405360 Tovey Apr 1995 A
5407293 Crainich Apr 1995 A
5409498 Braddock et al. Apr 1995 A
5411508 Bessler et al. May 1995 A
5413107 Oakley et al. May 1995 A
5413267 Solyntjes et al. May 1995 A
5413268 Green et al. May 1995 A
5413272 Green et al. May 1995 A
5413573 Koivukangas May 1995 A
5415334 Williamson, IV et al. May 1995 A
5415335 Knodell, Jr. May 1995 A
5417203 Tovey et al. May 1995 A
5417361 Williamson, IV May 1995 A
5421829 Olichney et al. Jun 1995 A
5422567 Matsunaga Jun 1995 A
5423471 Mastri et al. Jun 1995 A
5423809 Klicek Jun 1995 A
5425745 Green et al. Jun 1995 A
5431322 Green et al. Jul 1995 A
5431654 Nic Jul 1995 A
5431668 Burbank, III et al. Jul 1995 A
5433721 Hooven et al. Jul 1995 A
5437681 Meade et al. Aug 1995 A
5438302 Goble Aug 1995 A
5439155 Viola Aug 1995 A
5439156 Grant et al. Aug 1995 A
5439479 Schichman et al. Aug 1995 A
5441191 Linden Aug 1995 A
5441193 Gravener Aug 1995 A
5441483 Avitall Aug 1995 A
5441494 Ortiz Aug 1995 A
5444113 Sinclair et al. Aug 1995 A
5445155 Sieben Aug 1995 A
5445304 Plyley et al. Aug 1995 A
5445644 Pietrafitta et al. Aug 1995 A
5447265 Vidal et al. Sep 1995 A
5447417 Kuhl et al. Sep 1995 A
5447513 Davison et al. Sep 1995 A
5449355 Rhum et al. Sep 1995 A
5449365 Green et al. Sep 1995 A
5449370 Vaitekunas Sep 1995 A
5452836 Huitema et al. Sep 1995 A
5452837 Williamson, IV et al. Sep 1995 A
5454378 Palmer et al. Oct 1995 A
5454827 Aust et al. Oct 1995 A
5456401 Green et al. Oct 1995 A
5458579 Chodorow et al. Oct 1995 A
5462215 Viola et al. Oct 1995 A
5464013 Lemelson Nov 1995 A
5464144 Guy et al. Nov 1995 A
5464300 Crainich Nov 1995 A
5465894 Clark et al. Nov 1995 A
5465895 Knodel et al. Nov 1995 A
5465896 Allen et al. Nov 1995 A
5466020 Page et al. Nov 1995 A
5467911 Tsuruta et al. Nov 1995 A
5468253 Bezwada et al. Nov 1995 A
5470006 Rodak Nov 1995 A
5470007 Plyley et al. Nov 1995 A
5470009 Rodak Nov 1995 A
5470010 Rothfuss et al. Nov 1995 A
5472132 Savage et al. Dec 1995 A
5472442 Klicek Dec 1995 A
5473204 Temple Dec 1995 A
5474057 Makower et al. Dec 1995 A
5474223 Viola et al. Dec 1995 A
5474566 Alesi et al. Dec 1995 A
5476206 Green et al. Dec 1995 A
5476479 Green et al. Dec 1995 A
5478003 Green et al. Dec 1995 A
5478354 Tovey et al. Dec 1995 A
5480089 Blewett Jan 1996 A
5480409 Riza Jan 1996 A
5482197 Green et al. Jan 1996 A
5484095 Green et al. Jan 1996 A
5484398 Stoddard Jan 1996 A
5484451 Akopov et al. Jan 1996 A
5485947 Olson et al. Jan 1996 A
5485952 Fontayne Jan 1996 A
5487499 Sorrentino et al. Jan 1996 A
5487500 Knodel et al. Jan 1996 A
5489058 Plyley et al. Feb 1996 A
5489256 Adair Feb 1996 A
5496312 Klicek Mar 1996 A
5496317 Goble et al. Mar 1996 A
5497933 DeFonzo et al. Mar 1996 A
5501654 Failla et al. Mar 1996 A
5503320 Webster et al. Apr 1996 A
5503635 Sauer et al. Apr 1996 A
5503638 Cooper et al. Apr 1996 A
5505363 Green et al. Apr 1996 A
5507426 Young et al. Apr 1996 A
5509596 Green et al. Apr 1996 A
5509916 Taylor Apr 1996 A
5511564 Wilk Apr 1996 A
5514129 Smith May 1996 A
5514157 Nicholas et al. May 1996 A
5518163 Hooven May 1996 A
5518164 Hooven May 1996 A
5520678 Heckele et al. May 1996 A
5520700 Beyar et al. May 1996 A
5522817 Sander et al. Jun 1996 A
5522831 Sleister et al. Jun 1996 A
5527320 Carruthers et al. Jun 1996 A
5529235 Boiarski et al. Jun 1996 A
D372086 Grasso et al. Jul 1996 S
5531305 Roberts et al. Jul 1996 A
5531744 Nardella et al. Jul 1996 A
5533521 Granger Jul 1996 A
5533581 Barth et al. Jul 1996 A
5533661 Main et al. Jul 1996 A
5535934 Boiarski et al. Jul 1996 A
5535935 Vidal et al. Jul 1996 A
5535937 Boiarski et al. Jul 1996 A
5540375 Bolanos et al. Jul 1996 A
5541376 Ladtkow et al. Jul 1996 A
5542594 McKean et al. Aug 1996 A
5542949 Yoon Aug 1996 A
5543119 Sutter et al. Aug 1996 A
5547117 Hamblin et al. Aug 1996 A
5549583 Sanford et al. Aug 1996 A
5549621 Bessler et al. Aug 1996 A
5549627 Kieturakis Aug 1996 A
5549628 Cooper et al. Aug 1996 A
5549637 Crainich Aug 1996 A
5551622 Yoon Sep 1996 A
5553675 Pitzen et al. Sep 1996 A
5553765 Knodel et al. Sep 1996 A
5554148 Aebischer et al. Sep 1996 A
5554169 Green et al. Sep 1996 A
5556416 Clark et al. Sep 1996 A
5558665 Kieturakis Sep 1996 A
5558671 Yates Sep 1996 A
5560530 Bolanos et al. Oct 1996 A
5560532 DeFonzo et al. Oct 1996 A
5562239 Boiarski et al. Oct 1996 A
5562241 Knodel et al. Oct 1996 A
5562682 Oberlin et al. Oct 1996 A
5562690 Green et al. Oct 1996 A
5562701 Huitema et al. Oct 1996 A
5562702 Huitema et al. Oct 1996 A
5563481 Krause Oct 1996 A
5564615 Bishop et al. Oct 1996 A
5569161 Ebling et al. Oct 1996 A
5569270 Weng Oct 1996 A
5569284 Young et al. Oct 1996 A
5571090 Sherts Nov 1996 A
5571100 Goble et al. Nov 1996 A
5571116 Bolanos et al. Nov 1996 A
5571285 Chow et al. Nov 1996 A
5573543 Akopov et al. Nov 1996 A
5574431 McKeown et al. Nov 1996 A
5575054 Klinzing et al. Nov 1996 A
5575789 Bell et al. Nov 1996 A
5575799 Bolanos et al. Nov 1996 A
5575803 Cooper et al. Nov 1996 A
5575805 Li Nov 1996 A
5577654 Bishop Nov 1996 A
5579978 Green et al. Dec 1996 A
5580067 Hamblin et al. Dec 1996 A
5582611 Tsuruta et al. Dec 1996 A
5582617 Klieman et al. Dec 1996 A
5584425 Savage et al. Dec 1996 A
5586711 Plyley et al. Dec 1996 A
5588579 Schnut et al. Dec 1996 A
5588580 Paul et al. Dec 1996 A
5588581 Conlon et al. Dec 1996 A
5591170 Spievack et al. Jan 1997 A
5591187 Dekel Jan 1997 A
5597107 Knodel et al. Jan 1997 A
5599151 Daum et al. Feb 1997 A
5599279 Slotman et al. Feb 1997 A
5599344 Paterson Feb 1997 A
5599350 Schulze et al. Feb 1997 A
5599852 Scopelianos et al. Feb 1997 A
5601224 Bishop et al. Feb 1997 A
5603443 Clark et al. Feb 1997 A
5605272 Witt et al. Feb 1997 A
5605273 Hamblin et al. Feb 1997 A
5607094 Clark et al. Mar 1997 A
5607095 Smith et al. Mar 1997 A
5607433 Polla et al. Mar 1997 A
5607450 Zvenyatsky et al. Mar 1997 A
5609285 Grant et al. Mar 1997 A
5609601 Kolesa et al. Mar 1997 A
5611709 McAnulty Mar 1997 A
5613966 Makower et al. Mar 1997 A
5615820 Viola Apr 1997 A
5618294 Aust et al. Apr 1997 A
5618303 Marlow et al. Apr 1997 A
5618307 Donlon et al. Apr 1997 A
5619992 Guthrie et al. Apr 1997 A
5620289 Curry Apr 1997 A
5620452 Yoon Apr 1997 A
5624398 Smith et al. Apr 1997 A
5624452 Yates Apr 1997 A
5626587 Bishop et al. May 1997 A
5626595 Sklar et al. May 1997 A
5628446 Geiste et al. May 1997 A
5628743 Cimino May 1997 A
5628745 Bek May 1997 A
5630539 Plyley et al. May 1997 A
5630540 Blewett May 1997 A
5630541 Williamson, IV et al. May 1997 A
5630782 Adair May 1997 A
5632432 Schulze et al. May 1997 A
5632433 Grant et al. May 1997 A
5634584 Okorocha et al. Jun 1997 A
5636779 Palmer Jun 1997 A
5636780 Green et al. Jun 1997 A
5639008 Gallagher et al. Jun 1997 A
5643291 Pier et al. Jul 1997 A
5645209 Green et al. Jul 1997 A
5647526 Green et al. Jul 1997 A
5647869 Goble et al. Jul 1997 A
5649937 Bito et al. Jul 1997 A
5649956 Jensen et al. Jul 1997 A
5651491 Heaton et al. Jul 1997 A
5653373 Green et al. Aug 1997 A
5653374 Young et al. Aug 1997 A
5653677 Okada et al. Aug 1997 A
5653721 Knodel et al. Aug 1997 A
5655698 Yoon Aug 1997 A
5657429 Wang et al. Aug 1997 A
5657921 Young et al. Aug 1997 A
5658238 Suzuki et al. Aug 1997 A
5658281 Heard Aug 1997 A
5658300 Bito et al. Aug 1997 A
5658307 Exconde Aug 1997 A
5662258 Knodel et al. Sep 1997 A
5662260 Yoon Sep 1997 A
5662662 Bishop et al. Sep 1997 A
5665085 Nardella Sep 1997 A
5667517 Hooven Sep 1997 A
5667526 Levin Sep 1997 A
5667527 Cook Sep 1997 A
5669544 Schulze et al. Sep 1997 A
5669904 Platt, Jr. et al. Sep 1997 A
5669907 Platt, Jr. et al. Sep 1997 A
5669918 Balazs et al. Sep 1997 A
5673840 Schulze et al. Oct 1997 A
5673841 Schulze et al. Oct 1997 A
5673842 Bittner et al. Oct 1997 A
5674286 D'Alessio et al. Oct 1997 A
5678748 Plyley et al. Oct 1997 A
5680981 Mililli et al. Oct 1997 A
5680982 Schulze et al. Oct 1997 A
5680983 Plyley et al. Oct 1997 A
5683349 Makower et al. Nov 1997 A
5685474 Seeber Nov 1997 A
5686090 Schilder et al. Nov 1997 A
5688270 Yates et al. Nov 1997 A
5690269 Bolanos et al. Nov 1997 A
5692668 Schulze et al. Dec 1997 A
5693020 Rauh Dec 1997 A
5693042 Boiarski et al. Dec 1997 A
5693051 Schulze et al. Dec 1997 A
5695494 Becker Dec 1997 A
5695502 Pier et al. Dec 1997 A
5695504 Gifford, III et al. Dec 1997 A
5695524 Kelley et al. Dec 1997 A
5697542 Knodel et al. Dec 1997 A
5697543 Burdorff Dec 1997 A
5697909 Eggers et al. Dec 1997 A
5697943 Sauer et al. Dec 1997 A
5700270 Peyser et al. Dec 1997 A
5702387 Arts et al. Dec 1997 A
5702408 Wales et al. Dec 1997 A
5702409 Rayburn et al. Dec 1997 A
5704087 Strub Jan 1998 A
5704534 Huitema et al. Jan 1998 A
5706997 Green et al. Jan 1998 A
5706998 Plyley et al. Jan 1998 A
5707392 Kortenbach Jan 1998 A
5709334 Sorrentino et al. Jan 1998 A
5709680 Yates et al. Jan 1998 A
5709706 Kienzle et al. Jan 1998 A
5711472 Bryan Jan 1998 A
5713128 Schrenk et al. Feb 1998 A
5713505 Huitema Feb 1998 A
5713895 Lontine et al. Feb 1998 A
5713896 Nardella Feb 1998 A
5713920 Bezwada et al. Feb 1998 A
5715987 Kelley et al. Feb 1998 A
5715988 Palmer Feb 1998 A
5716366 Yates Feb 1998 A
5718359 Palmer et al. Feb 1998 A
5718360 Green et al. Feb 1998 A
5718548 Costellessa Feb 1998 A
5720744 Eggleston et al. Feb 1998 A
D393067 Geary et al. Mar 1998 S
5725536 Oberlin et al. Mar 1998 A
5725554 Simon et al. Mar 1998 A
5728110 Vidal et al. Mar 1998 A
5728121 Bimbo et al. Mar 1998 A
5730758 Allgeyer Mar 1998 A
5732821 Stone et al. Mar 1998 A
5732871 Clark et al. Mar 1998 A
5732872 Bolduc et al. Mar 1998 A
5733308 Daugherty et al. Mar 1998 A
5735445 Vidal et al. Apr 1998 A
5735848 Yates et al. Apr 1998 A
5735874 Measamer et al. Apr 1998 A
5738474 Blewett Apr 1998 A
5738648 Lands et al. Apr 1998 A
5743456 Jones et al. Apr 1998 A
5747953 Philipp May 1998 A
5749889 Bacich et al. May 1998 A
5749893 Vidal et al. May 1998 A
5752644 Bolanos et al. May 1998 A
5752965 Francis et al. May 1998 A
5755717 Yates et al. May 1998 A
5758814 Gallagher et al. Jun 1998 A
5762255 Chrisman et al. Jun 1998 A
5762256 Mastri et al. Jun 1998 A
5766188 Igaki Jun 1998 A
5766205 Zvenyatsky et al. Jun 1998 A
5769748 Eyerly et al. Jun 1998 A
5769892 Kingwell Jun 1998 A
5772379 Evensen Jun 1998 A
5772578 Heimberger et al. Jun 1998 A
5772659 Becker et al. Jun 1998 A
5776130 Buysse et al. Jul 1998 A
5778939 Hok-Yin Jul 1998 A
5779130 Alesi et al. Jul 1998 A
5779131 Knodel et al. Jul 1998 A
5779132 Knodel et al. Jul 1998 A
5782396 Mastri et al. Jul 1998 A
5782397 Koukline Jul 1998 A
5782749 Riza Jul 1998 A
5782859 Nicholas et al. Jul 1998 A
5784934 Izumisawa Jul 1998 A
5785232 Vidal et al. Jul 1998 A
5785647 Tompkins et al. Jul 1998 A
5787897 Kieturakis Aug 1998 A
5792135 Madhani et al. Aug 1998 A
5792165 Klieman et al. Aug 1998 A
5794834 Hamblin et al. Aug 1998 A
5796188 Bays Aug 1998 A
5797536 Smith et al. Aug 1998 A
5797537 Oberlin et al. Aug 1998 A
5797538 Heaton et al. Aug 1998 A
5797906 Rhum et al. Aug 1998 A
5797959 Castro et al. Aug 1998 A
5799857 Robertson et al. Sep 1998 A
5800379 Edwards Sep 1998 A
5800423 Jensen Sep 1998 A
5806676 Wasgien Sep 1998 A
5807376 Viola et al. Sep 1998 A
5807378 Jensen et al. Sep 1998 A
5807393 Williamson, IV et al. Sep 1998 A
5809441 McKee Sep 1998 A
5810721 Mueller et al. Sep 1998 A
5810811 Yates et al. Sep 1998 A
5810846 Virnich et al. Sep 1998 A
5810855 Rayburn et al. Sep 1998 A
5813813 Daum et al. Sep 1998 A
5814055 Knodel et al. Sep 1998 A
5814057 Oi et al. Sep 1998 A
5816471 Plyley et al. Oct 1998 A
5817084 Jensen Oct 1998 A
5817091 Nardella et al. Oct 1998 A
5817093 Williamson, IV et al. Oct 1998 A
5817109 McGarry et al. Oct 1998 A
5817119 Klieman et al. Oct 1998 A
5820009 Melling et al. Oct 1998 A
5823066 Huitema et al. Oct 1998 A
5824333 Scopelianos et al. Oct 1998 A
5826776 Schulze et al. Oct 1998 A
5827271 Buysse et al. Oct 1998 A
5827298 Hart et al. Oct 1998 A
5829662 Allen et al. Nov 1998 A
5833690 Yates et al. Nov 1998 A
5833695 Yoon Nov 1998 A
5833696 Whitfield et al. Nov 1998 A
5836503 Ehrenfels et al. Nov 1998 A
5836960 Kolesa et al. Nov 1998 A
5839639 Sauer et al. Nov 1998 A
5843021 Edwards et al. Dec 1998 A
5843096 Igaki et al. Dec 1998 A
5843097 Mayenberger et al. Dec 1998 A
5843122 Riza Dec 1998 A
5843132 Ilvento Dec 1998 A
5843169 Taheri Dec 1998 A
5846254 Schulze et al. Dec 1998 A
5849011 Jones et al. Dec 1998 A
5849023 Mericle Dec 1998 A
5855311 Hamblin et al. Jan 1999 A
5855583 Wang et al. Jan 1999 A
5860581 Robertson et al. Jan 1999 A
5860975 Goble et al. Jan 1999 A
5865361 Milliman et al. Feb 1999 A
5868760 McGuckin, Jr. Feb 1999 A
5871135 Williamson, IV et al. Feb 1999 A
5873885 Weidenbenner Feb 1999 A
5876401 Schulze et al. Mar 1999 A
5878193 Wang et al. Mar 1999 A
5878937 Green et al. Mar 1999 A
5878938 Bittner et al. Mar 1999 A
5891160 Williamson, IV et al. Apr 1999 A
5893506 Powell Apr 1999 A
5893835 Witt et al. Apr 1999 A
5893878 Pierce Apr 1999 A
5894979 Powell Apr 1999 A
5897552 Edwards et al. Apr 1999 A
5897562 Bolanos et al. Apr 1999 A
5899914 Zirps et al. May 1999 A
5901895 Heaton et al. May 1999 A
5902312 Frater et al. May 1999 A
5903117 Gregory May 1999 A
5904647 Ouchi May 1999 A
5904693 Dicesare et al. May 1999 A
5904702 Ek et al. May 1999 A
5906625 Bito et al. May 1999 A
5908402 Blythe Jun 1999 A
5908427 McKean et al. Jun 1999 A
5911353 Bolanos et al. Jun 1999 A
5915616 Viola et al. Jun 1999 A
5916225 Kugel Jun 1999 A
5918791 Sorrentino et al. Jul 1999 A
5919198 Graves, Jr. et al. Jul 1999 A
5921956 Grinberg et al. Jul 1999 A
5928256 Riza Jul 1999 A
5931847 Bittner et al. Aug 1999 A
5931853 McEwen et al. Aug 1999 A
5937951 Izuchukwu et al. Aug 1999 A
5938667 Peyser et al. Aug 1999 A
5941442 Geiste et al. Aug 1999 A
5944172 Hannula Aug 1999 A
5944715 Goble et al. Aug 1999 A
5947984 Whipple Sep 1999 A
5948030 Miller et al. Sep 1999 A
5951516 Bunyan Sep 1999 A
5951552 Long et al. Sep 1999 A
5951574 Stefanchik et al. Sep 1999 A
5951581 Saadat et al. Sep 1999 A
5954259 Viola et al. Sep 1999 A
5964394 Robertson Oct 1999 A
5964774 McKean et al. Oct 1999 A
5971916 Koren Oct 1999 A
5973221 Collyer et al. Oct 1999 A
5977746 Hershberger et al. Nov 1999 A
5984949 Levin Nov 1999 A
5988479 Palmer Nov 1999 A
5997528 Bisch et al. Dec 1999 A
5997552 Person et al. Dec 1999 A
6001108 Wang et al. Dec 1999 A
6003517 Sheffield et al. Dec 1999 A
6004319 Goble et al. Dec 1999 A
6004335 Vaitekunas et al. Dec 1999 A
6010054 Johnson et al. Jan 2000 A
6010513 Törmälä et al. Jan 2000 A
6012494 Balazs Jan 2000 A
6013076 Goble et al. Jan 2000 A
6015406 Goble et al. Jan 2000 A
6015417 Reynolds, Jr. Jan 2000 A
6017322 Snoke et al. Jan 2000 A
6017354 Culp et al. Jan 2000 A
6017356 Frederick et al. Jan 2000 A
6022352 Vandewalle Feb 2000 A
6024741 Williamson, IV et al. Feb 2000 A
6024748 Manzo et al. Feb 2000 A
6027501 Goble et al. Feb 2000 A
6032849 Mastri et al. Mar 2000 A
6033378 Lundquist et al. Mar 2000 A
6033399 Gines Mar 2000 A
6033427 Lee Mar 2000 A
6037724 Buss et al. Mar 2000 A
6039733 Buysse et al. Mar 2000 A
6039734 Goble Mar 2000 A
6042601 Smith Mar 2000 A
6045560 McKean et al. Apr 2000 A
6047861 Vidal et al. Apr 2000 A
6049145 Austin et al. Apr 2000 A
6050472 Shibata Apr 2000 A
6050990 Tankovich et al. Apr 2000 A
6050996 Schmaltz et al. Apr 2000 A
6053390 Green et al. Apr 2000 A
6053922 Krause et al. Apr 2000 A
RE36720 Green et al. May 2000 E
6056735 Okada et al. May 2000 A
6056746 Goble et al. May 2000 A
6062360 Shields May 2000 A
6063095 Wang et al. May 2000 A
6063097 Oi et al. May 2000 A
6063098 Houser et al. May 2000 A
6065679 Levie et al. May 2000 A
6065919 Peck May 2000 A
6066132 Chen et al. May 2000 A
6068627 Orszulak et al. May 2000 A
6071233 Ishikawa et al. Jun 2000 A
6074386 Goble et al. Jun 2000 A
6074401 Gardiner et al. Jun 2000 A
6077286 Cuschieri et al. Jun 2000 A
6079606 Milliman et al. Jun 2000 A
6080181 Jensen et al. Jun 2000 A
6082577 Coates et al. Jul 2000 A
6083191 Rose Jul 2000 A
6083234 Nicholas et al. Jul 2000 A
6083242 Cook Jul 2000 A
6086544 Hibner et al. Jul 2000 A
6086600 Kortenbach Jul 2000 A
6090106 Goble et al. Jul 2000 A
6093186 Goble Jul 2000 A
6099537 Sugai et al. Aug 2000 A
6099551 Gabbay Aug 2000 A
6102271 Longo et al. Aug 2000 A
6104304 Clark et al. Aug 2000 A
6106511 Jensen Aug 2000 A
6109500 Alli et al. Aug 2000 A
6117148 Ravo et al. Sep 2000 A
6117158 Measamer et al. Sep 2000 A
6119913 Adams et al. Sep 2000 A
6120433 Mizuno et al. Sep 2000 A
6123241 Walter et al. Sep 2000 A
H1904 Yates et al. Oct 2000 H
6126058 Adams et al. Oct 2000 A
6126670 Walker et al. Oct 2000 A
6131789 Schulze et al. Oct 2000 A
6131790 Piraka Oct 2000 A
6132368 Cooper Oct 2000 A
6139546 Koenig et al. Oct 2000 A
6149660 Laufer et al. Nov 2000 A
6152935 Kammerer et al. Nov 2000 A
6155473 Tompkins et al. Dec 2000 A
6156056 Kearns et al. Dec 2000 A
6159146 El Gazayerli Dec 2000 A
6159200 Verdura et al. Dec 2000 A
6159224 Yoon Dec 2000 A
6162208 Hipps Dec 2000 A
6162537 Martin et al. Dec 2000 A
6165175 Wampler et al. Dec 2000 A
6165184 Verdura et al. Dec 2000 A
6165188 Saadat et al. Dec 2000 A
6168605 Measamer et al. Jan 2001 B1
6171305 Sherman Jan 2001 B1
6171316 Kovac et al. Jan 2001 B1
6171330 Benchetrit Jan 2001 B1
6174308 Goble et al. Jan 2001 B1
6174309 Wrublewski et al. Jan 2001 B1
6175290 Forsythe et al. Jan 2001 B1
6179195 Adams et al. Jan 2001 B1
6179776 Adams et al. Jan 2001 B1
6181105 Cutolo et al. Jan 2001 B1
6182673 Kindermann et al. Feb 2001 B1
6187003 Buysse et al. Feb 2001 B1
6190386 Rydell Feb 2001 B1
6193129 Bittner et al. Feb 2001 B1
6197042 Ginn et al. Mar 2001 B1
6200330 Benderev et al. Mar 2001 B1
6202914 Geiste et al. Mar 2001 B1
6206897 Jamiolkowski et al. Mar 2001 B1
6206904 Ouchi Mar 2001 B1
6210403 Klicek Apr 2001 B1
6213999 Platt, Jr. et al. Apr 2001 B1
6214028 Yoon et al. Apr 2001 B1
6220368 Ark et al. Apr 2001 B1
6223100 Green Apr 2001 B1
6223835 Habedank et al. May 2001 B1
6224617 Saadat et al. May 2001 B1
6228081 Goble May 2001 B1
6228083 Lands et al. May 2001 B1
6228084 Kirwan, Jr. May 2001 B1
6231565 Tovey et al. May 2001 B1
6234178 Goble et al. May 2001 B1
6241139 Milliman et al. Jun 2001 B1
6241140 Adams et al. Jun 2001 B1
6241723 Heim et al. Jun 2001 B1
6245084 Mark et al. Jun 2001 B1
6248116 Chevillon et al. Jun 2001 B1
6248117 Blatter Jun 2001 B1
6249076 Madden et al. Jun 2001 B1
6250532 Green et al. Jun 2001 B1
6258107 Balázs et al. Jul 2001 B1
6261286 Goble et al. Jul 2001 B1
6264086 McGuckin, Jr. Jul 2001 B1
6264087 Whitman Jul 2001 B1
6270508 Klieman et al. Aug 2001 B1
6273876 Klima et al. Aug 2001 B1
6273897 Dalessandro et al. Aug 2001 B1
6277114 Bullivant et al. Aug 2001 B1
6293942 Goble et al. Sep 2001 B1
6296640 Wampler et al. Oct 2001 B1
6302311 Adams et al. Oct 2001 B1
6305891 Burlingame Oct 2001 B1
6306134 Goble et al. Oct 2001 B1
6306149 Meade Oct 2001 B1
6309403 Minor et al. Oct 2001 B1
6315184 Whitman Nov 2001 B1
6320123 Reimers Nov 2001 B1
6322494 Bullivant et al. Nov 2001 B1
6324339 Hudson et al. Nov 2001 B1
6325799 Goble Dec 2001 B1
6325810 Hamilton et al. Dec 2001 B1
6330965 Milliman et al. Dec 2001 B1
6331181 Tierney et al. Dec 2001 B1
6331761 Kumar et al. Dec 2001 B1
6333029 Vyakarnam et al. Dec 2001 B1
6334860 Dorn Jan 2002 B1
6334861 Chandler et al. Jan 2002 B1
6336926 Goble Jan 2002 B1
6338737 Toledano Jan 2002 B1
6343731 Adams et al. Feb 2002 B1
6346077 Taylor et al. Feb 2002 B1
6352503 Matsui et al. Mar 2002 B1
6352532 Kramer et al. Mar 2002 B1
6355699 Vyakarnam et al. Mar 2002 B1
6356072 Chass Mar 2002 B1
6358224 Tims et al. Mar 2002 B1
6364877 Goble et al. Apr 2002 B1
6364888 Niemeyer et al. Apr 2002 B1
6370981 Watarai Apr 2002 B2
6373152 Wang et al. Apr 2002 B1
6383201 Dong May 2002 B1
6387113 Hawkins et al. May 2002 B1
6387114 Adams May 2002 B2
6391038 Vargas et al. May 2002 B2
6392854 O'Gorman May 2002 B1
6398781 Goble et al. Jun 2002 B1
6398797 Bombard et al. Jun 2002 B2
6402766 Bowman et al. Jun 2002 B2
6406440 Stefanchik Jun 2002 B1
6406472 Jensen Jun 2002 B1
6409724 Penny et al. Jun 2002 B1
H2037 Yates et al. Jul 2002 H
6413274 Pedros Jul 2002 B1
6416486 Wampler Jul 2002 B1
6416509 Goble et al. Jul 2002 B1
6419695 Gabbay Jul 2002 B1
6423079 Blake, III Jul 2002 B1
RE37814 Allgeyer Aug 2002 E
6428070 Takanashi et al. Aug 2002 B1
6429611 Li Aug 2002 B1
6430298 Kettl et al. Aug 2002 B1
6436097 Nardella Aug 2002 B1
6436107 Wang et al. Aug 2002 B1
6436110 Bowman et al. Aug 2002 B2
6436122 Frank et al. Aug 2002 B1
6439439 Rickard et al. Aug 2002 B1
6439446 Perry et al. Aug 2002 B1
6440146 Nicholas et al. Aug 2002 B2
6441577 Blumenkranz et al. Aug 2002 B2
6443973 Whitman Sep 2002 B1
6447518 Krause et al. Sep 2002 B1
6447864 Johnson et al. Sep 2002 B2
6450391 Kayan et al. Sep 2002 B1
6450989 Dubrul et al. Sep 2002 B2
6454781 Witt et al. Sep 2002 B1
6468275 Wampler et al. Oct 2002 B1
6471106 Reining Oct 2002 B1
6471659 Eggers et al. Oct 2002 B2
6478210 Adams et al. Nov 2002 B2
6482200 Shippert Nov 2002 B2
6485490 Wampler et al. Nov 2002 B2
6485667 Tan Nov 2002 B1
6488196 Fenton, Jr. Dec 2002 B1
6488197 Whitman Dec 2002 B1
6491201 Whitman Dec 2002 B1
6491690 Goble et al. Dec 2002 B1
6491701 Tierney et al. Dec 2002 B2
6492785 Kasten et al. Dec 2002 B1
6494896 D'Alessio et al. Dec 2002 B1
6498480 Manara Dec 2002 B1
6500176 Truckai et al. Dec 2002 B1
6500194 Benderev et al. Dec 2002 B2
6503257 Grant et al. Jan 2003 B2
6503259 Huxel et al. Jan 2003 B2
6505768 Whitman Jan 2003 B2
6510854 Goble Jan 2003 B2
6511468 Cragg et al. Jan 2003 B1
6512360 Goto et al. Jan 2003 B1
6517528 Pantages et al. Feb 2003 B1
6517535 Edwards Feb 2003 B2
6517565 Whitman et al. Feb 2003 B1
6517566 Hovland et al. Feb 2003 B1
6522101 Malackowski Feb 2003 B2
6527782 Hogg et al. Mar 2003 B2
6527785 Sancoff et al. Mar 2003 B2
6533157 Whitman Mar 2003 B1
6533784 Truckai et al. Mar 2003 B2
6535764 Imran et al. Mar 2003 B2
6543456 Freeman Apr 2003 B1
6545384 Pelrine et al. Apr 2003 B1
6547786 Goble Apr 2003 B1
6550546 Thurler et al. Apr 2003 B2
6551333 Kuhns et al. Apr 2003 B2
6554861 Knox et al. Apr 2003 B2
6555770 Kawase Apr 2003 B2
6558378 Sherman et al. May 2003 B2
6558379 Batchelor et al. May 2003 B1
6565560 Goble et al. May 2003 B1
6566619 Gillman et al. May 2003 B2
6569085 Kortenbach et al. May 2003 B2
6569171 DeGuillebon et al. May 2003 B2
6578751 Hartwick Jun 2003 B2
6582427 Goble et al. Jun 2003 B1
6582441 He et al. Jun 2003 B1
6583533 Pelrine et al. Jun 2003 B2
6585144 Adams et al. Jul 2003 B2
6587750 Gerbi et al. Jul 2003 B2
6588643 Bolduc et al. Jul 2003 B2
6588931 Betzner Jul 2003 B2
6589164 Flaherty Jul 2003 B1
6592538 Hotchkiss et al. Jul 2003 B1
6592597 Grant et al. Jul 2003 B2
6596296 Nelson et al. Jul 2003 B1
6596304 Bayon et al. Jul 2003 B1
6596432 Kawakami et al. Jul 2003 B2
D478665 Isaacs et al. Aug 2003 S
D478986 Johnston et al. Aug 2003 S
6601749 Sullivan et al. Aug 2003 B2
6602252 Mollenauer Aug 2003 B2
6602262 Griego et al. Aug 2003 B2
6605078 Adams Aug 2003 B2
6605669 Awokola et al. Aug 2003 B2
6607475 Doyle et al. Aug 2003 B2
6613069 Boyd et al. Sep 2003 B2
6616686 Coleman et al. Sep 2003 B2
6619529 Green et al. Sep 2003 B2
6620166 Wenstrom, Jr. et al. Sep 2003 B1
6626834 Dunne et al. Sep 2003 B2
6629630 Adams Oct 2003 B2
6629974 Penny et al. Oct 2003 B2
6629988 Weadock Oct 2003 B2
6635838 Kornelson Oct 2003 B1
6636412 Smith Oct 2003 B2
6638108 Tachi Oct 2003 B2
6638285 Gabbay Oct 2003 B2
6638297 Huitema Oct 2003 B1
RE38335 Aust et al. Nov 2003 E
6641528 Torii Nov 2003 B2
6644532 Green et al. Nov 2003 B2
6645201 Utley et al. Nov 2003 B1
6646307 Yu et al. Nov 2003 B1
6648816 Irion et al. Nov 2003 B2
6652595 Nicolo Nov 2003 B1
D484243 Ryan et al. Dec 2003 S
D484595 Ryan et al. Dec 2003 S
D484596 Ryan et al. Dec 2003 S
6656177 Truckai et al. Dec 2003 B2
6656193 Grant et al. Dec 2003 B2
6663623 Oyama et al. Dec 2003 B1
6663641 Kovac et al. Dec 2003 B1
6666854 Lange Dec 2003 B1
6666875 Sakurai et al. Dec 2003 B1
6667825 Lu et al. Dec 2003 B2
6669073 Milliman et al. Dec 2003 B2
6671185 Duval Dec 2003 B2
D484977 Ryan et al. Jan 2004 S
6676660 Wampler Jan 2004 B2
6679269 Swanson Jan 2004 B2
6679410 Würsch et al. Jan 2004 B2
6681978 Geiste et al. Jan 2004 B2
6681979 Whitman Jan 2004 B2
6682527 Strul Jan 2004 B2
6682528 Frazier et al. Jan 2004 B2
6685727 Fisher et al. Feb 2004 B2
6689153 Skiba Feb 2004 B1
6692507 Pugsley et al. Feb 2004 B2
6695198 Adams et al. Feb 2004 B2
6695199 Whitman Feb 2004 B2
6695774 Hale et al. Feb 2004 B2
6698643 Whitman Mar 2004 B2
6699235 Wallace et al. Mar 2004 B2
6704210 Myers Mar 2004 B1
6705503 Pedicini et al. Mar 2004 B1
6709445 Boebel et al. Mar 2004 B2
6712773 Viola Mar 2004 B1
6716223 Leopold et al. Apr 2004 B2
6716232 Vidal et al. Apr 2004 B1
6716233 Whitman Apr 2004 B1
6722552 Fenton, Jr. Apr 2004 B2
6723087 O'Neill et al. Apr 2004 B2
6723091 Goble et al. Apr 2004 B2
6726697 Nicholas et al. Apr 2004 B2
6726706 Dominguez Apr 2004 B2
6729119 Schnipke et al. May 2004 B2
6736825 Blatter et al. May 2004 B2
6736854 Vadurro et al. May 2004 B2
6740030 Martone et al. May 2004 B2
6747121 Gogolewski Jun 2004 B2
6749560 Konstorum et al. Jun 2004 B1
6752768 Burdorff et al. Jun 2004 B2
6752816 Culp et al. Jun 2004 B2
6755195 Lemke et al. Jun 2004 B1
6755338 Hahnen et al. Jun 2004 B2
6758846 Goble et al. Jul 2004 B2
6761685 Adams et al. Jul 2004 B2
6762339 Klun et al. Jul 2004 B1
6767352 Field et al. Jul 2004 B2
6767356 Kanner et al. Jul 2004 B2
6769590 Vresh et al. Aug 2004 B2
6769594 Orban, III Aug 2004 B2
6770027 Banik et al. Aug 2004 B2
6770070 Balbierz Aug 2004 B1
6770072 Truckai et al. Aug 2004 B1
6773409 Truckai et al. Aug 2004 B2
6773438 Knodel et al. Aug 2004 B1
6775575 Bommannan et al. Aug 2004 B2
6777838 Miekka et al. Aug 2004 B2
6780151 Grabover et al. Aug 2004 B2
6780180 Goble et al. Aug 2004 B1
6783524 Anderson et al. Aug 2004 B2
6786382 Hoffman Sep 2004 B1
6786864 Matsuura et al. Sep 2004 B2
6786896 Madani et al. Sep 2004 B1
6788018 Blumenkranz Sep 2004 B1
6790173 Saadat et al. Sep 2004 B2
6793652 Whitman et al. Sep 2004 B1
6793661 Hamilton et al. Sep 2004 B2
6793663 Kneifel et al. Sep 2004 B2
6802843 Truckai et al. Oct 2004 B2
6805273 Bilotti et al. Oct 2004 B2
6806808 Watters et al. Oct 2004 B1
6808525 Latterell et al. Oct 2004 B2
6814741 Bowman et al. Nov 2004 B2
6817508 Racenet et al. Nov 2004 B1
6817509 Geiste et al. Nov 2004 B2
6817974 Cooper et al. Nov 2004 B2
6818018 Sawhney Nov 2004 B1
6820791 Adams Nov 2004 B2
6821273 Mollenauer Nov 2004 B2
6821282 Perry et al. Nov 2004 B2
6821284 Sturtz et al. Nov 2004 B2
6827246 Sullivan et al. Dec 2004 B2
6827712 Tovey et al. Dec 2004 B2
6827725 Batchelor et al. Dec 2004 B2
6828902 Casden Dec 2004 B2
6830174 Hillstead et al. Dec 2004 B2
6831629 Nishino et al. Dec 2004 B2
6832998 Goble Dec 2004 B2
6834001 Myono Dec 2004 B2
6835173 Couvillon, Jr. Dec 2004 B2
6835199 McGuckin, Jr. et al. Dec 2004 B2
6835336 Watt Dec 2004 B2
6837846 Jaffe et al. Jan 2005 B2
6837883 Moll et al. Jan 2005 B2
6838493 Williams et al. Jan 2005 B2
6840423 Adams et al. Jan 2005 B2
6843403 Whitman Jan 2005 B2
6843789 Goble Jan 2005 B2
6843793 Brock et al. Jan 2005 B2
6846307 Whitman et al. Jan 2005 B2
6846308 Whitman et al. Jan 2005 B2
6846309 Whitman et al. Jan 2005 B2
6849071 Whitman et al. Feb 2005 B2
6850817 Green Feb 2005 B1
6853879 Sunaoshi Feb 2005 B2
6858005 Ohline et al. Feb 2005 B2
RE38708 Bolanos et al. Mar 2005 E
6861142 Wilkie et al. Mar 2005 B1
6863694 Boyce et al. Mar 2005 B1
6866178 Adams et al. Mar 2005 B2
6866671 Tierney et al. Mar 2005 B2
6867248 Martin et al. Mar 2005 B1
6869430 Balbierz et al. Mar 2005 B2
6869435 Blake, III Mar 2005 B2
6872214 Sonnenschein et al. Mar 2005 B2
6874669 Adams et al. Apr 2005 B2
6877647 Green et al. Apr 2005 B2
6878106 Herrmann Apr 2005 B1
6889116 Jinno May 2005 B2
6893435 Goble May 2005 B2
6899538 Matoba May 2005 B2
6905057 Swayze et al. Jun 2005 B2
6905497 Truckai et al. Jun 2005 B2
6905498 Hooven Jun 2005 B2
6908472 Wiener et al. Jun 2005 B2
6911033 de Guillebon et al. Jun 2005 B2
6911916 Wang et al. Jun 2005 B1
6913579 Truckai et al. Jul 2005 B2
6913608 Liddicoat et al. Jul 2005 B2
6913613 Schwarz et al. Jul 2005 B2
6921397 Corcoran et al. Jul 2005 B2
6921412 Black et al. Jul 2005 B1
6923093 Ullah Aug 2005 B2
6923803 Goble Aug 2005 B2
6926716 Baker et al. Aug 2005 B2
6929641 Goble et al. Aug 2005 B2
6929644 Truckai et al. Aug 2005 B2
6931830 Liao Aug 2005 B2
6932218 Kosann et al. Aug 2005 B2
6932810 Ryan Aug 2005 B2
6936042 Wallace et al. Aug 2005 B2
6939358 Palacios et al. Sep 2005 B2
6942662 Goble et al. Sep 2005 B2
6945444 Gresham et al. Sep 2005 B2
6945981 Donofrio et al. Sep 2005 B2
6953138 Dworak et al. Oct 2005 B1
6953139 Milliman et al. Oct 2005 B2
6958035 Friedman et al. Oct 2005 B2
6959851 Heinrich Nov 2005 B2
6959852 Shelton, IV et al. Nov 2005 B2
6960107 Schaub et al. Nov 2005 B1
6960163 Ewers et al. Nov 2005 B2
6960220 Marino et al. Nov 2005 B2
6962587 Johnson et al. Nov 2005 B2
6963792 Green Nov 2005 B1
6964363 Wales et al. Nov 2005 B2
6966907 Goble Nov 2005 B2
6966909 Marshall et al. Nov 2005 B2
6971988 Orban, III Dec 2005 B2
6972199 Lebouitz et al. Dec 2005 B2
6974462 Sater Dec 2005 B2
6978921 Shelton, IV et al. Dec 2005 B2
6978922 Bilotti et al. Dec 2005 B2
6981628 Wales Jan 2006 B2
6981941 Whitman et al. Jan 2006 B2
6981978 Gannoe Jan 2006 B2
6984203 Tartaglia et al. Jan 2006 B2
6984231 Goble et al. Jan 2006 B2
6986451 Mastri et al. Jan 2006 B1
6988649 Shelton, IV et al. Jan 2006 B2
6988650 Schwemberger et al. Jan 2006 B2
6990796 Schnipke et al. Jan 2006 B2
6993413 Sunaoshi Jan 2006 B2
6994708 Manzo Feb 2006 B2
6995729 Govari et al. Feb 2006 B2
6997931 Sauer et al. Feb 2006 B2
6998816 Wieck et al. Feb 2006 B2
7000818 Shelton, IV et al. Feb 2006 B2
7000819 Swayze et al. Feb 2006 B2
7001380 Goble Feb 2006 B2
7001408 Knodel et al. Feb 2006 B2
7008435 Cummins Mar 2006 B2
7009039 Yayon et al. Mar 2006 B2
7011657 Truckai et al. Mar 2006 B2
7018357 Emmons Mar 2006 B2
7018390 Turovskiy et al. Mar 2006 B2
7021669 Lindermeir et al. Apr 2006 B1
7025743 Mann et al. Apr 2006 B2
7029435 Nakao Apr 2006 B2
7029439 Roberts et al. Apr 2006 B2
7032798 Whitman et al. Apr 2006 B2
7032799 Viola et al. Apr 2006 B2
7033356 Latterell et al. Apr 2006 B2
7036680 Flannery May 2006 B1
7037344 Kagan et al. May 2006 B2
7041102 Truckai et al. May 2006 B2
7041868 Greene et al. May 2006 B2
7043852 Hayashida et al. May 2006 B2
7044352 Shelton, IV et al. May 2006 B2
7044353 Mastri et al. May 2006 B2
7048687 Reuss et al. May 2006 B1
7048745 Tierney et al. May 2006 B2
7052494 Goble et al. May 2006 B2
7052499 Steger et al. May 2006 B2
7055730 Ehrenfels et al. Jun 2006 B2
7055731 Shelton, IV et al. Jun 2006 B2
7056284 Martone et al. Jun 2006 B2
7056330 Gayton Jun 2006 B2
7059331 Adams et al. Jun 2006 B2
7059508 Shelton, IV et al. Jun 2006 B2
7063671 Couvillon, Jr. Jun 2006 B2
7063712 Vargas et al. Jun 2006 B2
7066879 Fowler et al. Jun 2006 B2
7066944 Laufer et al. Jun 2006 B2
7067038 Trokhan et al. Jun 2006 B2
7070083 Jankowski Jul 2006 B2
7070559 Adams et al. Jul 2006 B2
7070597 Truckai et al. Jul 2006 B2
7071287 Rhine et al. Jul 2006 B2
7075770 Smith Jul 2006 B1
7077856 Whitman Jul 2006 B2
7080769 Vresh et al. Jul 2006 B2
7081114 Rashidi Jul 2006 B2
7083073 Yoshie et al. Aug 2006 B2
7083075 Swayze et al. Aug 2006 B2
7083571 Wang et al. Aug 2006 B2
7083615 Peterson et al. Aug 2006 B2
7083619 Truckai et al. Aug 2006 B2
7083620 Jahns et al. Aug 2006 B2
7087054 Truckai et al. Aug 2006 B2
7087071 Nicholas et al. Aug 2006 B2
7090637 Danitz et al. Aug 2006 B2
7090673 Dycus et al. Aug 2006 B2
7090683 Brock et al. Aug 2006 B2
7090684 McGuckin, Jr. et al. Aug 2006 B2
7094202 Nobis et al. Aug 2006 B2
7094247 Monassevitch et al. Aug 2006 B2
7097089 Marczyk Aug 2006 B2
7097644 Long Aug 2006 B2
7097650 Weller et al. Aug 2006 B2
7098794 Lindsay et al. Aug 2006 B2
7100949 Williams et al. Sep 2006 B2
7101394 Hamm et al. Sep 2006 B2
7104741 Krohn Sep 2006 B2
7108695 Witt et al. Sep 2006 B2
7108701 Evens et al. Sep 2006 B2
7108709 Cummins Sep 2006 B2
7111769 Wales et al. Sep 2006 B2
7112214 Peterson et al. Sep 2006 B2
RE39358 Goble Oct 2006 E
7114642 Whitman Oct 2006 B2
7118582 Wang et al. Oct 2006 B1
7121446 Arad et al. Oct 2006 B2
7122028 Looper et al. Oct 2006 B2
7125409 Truckai et al. Oct 2006 B2
7126303 Farritor et al. Oct 2006 B2
7126879 Snyder Oct 2006 B2
7128253 Mastri et al. Oct 2006 B2
7128254 Shelton, IV et al. Oct 2006 B2
7128748 Mooradian et al. Oct 2006 B2
7131445 Amoah Nov 2006 B2
7133601 Phillips et al. Nov 2006 B2
7134587 Schwemberger et al. Nov 2006 B2
7137981 Long Nov 2006 B2
7140527 Ehrenfels et al. Nov 2006 B2
7140528 Shelton, IV Nov 2006 B2
7143923 Shelton, IV et al. Dec 2006 B2
7143924 Scirica et al. Dec 2006 B2
7143925 Shelton, IV et al. Dec 2006 B2
7143926 Shelton, IV et al. Dec 2006 B2
7147138 Shelton, IV Dec 2006 B2
7147139 Schwemberger et al. Dec 2006 B2
7147140 Wukusick et al. Dec 2006 B2
7147637 Goble Dec 2006 B2
7147650 Lee Dec 2006 B2
7150748 Ebbutt et al. Dec 2006 B2
7153300 Goble Dec 2006 B2
7155316 Sutherland et al. Dec 2006 B2
7156863 Sonnenschein et al. Jan 2007 B2
7159750 Racenet et al. Jan 2007 B2
7160296 Pearson et al. Jan 2007 B2
7160299 Baily Jan 2007 B2
7161036 Oikawa et al. Jan 2007 B2
7168604 Milliman et al. Jan 2007 B2
7172104 Scirica et al. Feb 2007 B2
7172593 Trieu et al. Feb 2007 B2
7179223 Motoki et al. Feb 2007 B2
7179267 Nolan et al. Feb 2007 B2
7182239 Myers Feb 2007 B1
7182763 Nardella Feb 2007 B2
7183737 Kitagawa Feb 2007 B2
7187960 Abreu Mar 2007 B2
7188758 Viola et al. Mar 2007 B2
7189207 Viola Mar 2007 B2
7195627 Amoah et al. Mar 2007 B2
7199537 Okamura et al. Apr 2007 B2
7202653 Pai Apr 2007 B2
7204835 Latterell et al. Apr 2007 B2
7207233 Wadge Apr 2007 B2
7207471 Heinrich et al. Apr 2007 B2
7207472 Wukusick et al. Apr 2007 B2
7207556 Saitoh et al. Apr 2007 B2
7208005 Frecker et al. Apr 2007 B2
7210609 Leiboff et al. May 2007 B2
7211081 Goble May 2007 B2
7211084 Goble et al. May 2007 B2
7211092 Hughett May 2007 B2
7211979 Khatib et al. May 2007 B2
7213736 Wales et al. May 2007 B2
7214224 Goble May 2007 B2
7215517 Takamatsu May 2007 B2
7217285 Vargas et al. May 2007 B2
7220260 Fleming et al. May 2007 B2
7220272 Weadock May 2007 B2
7225963 Scirica Jun 2007 B2
7225964 Mastri et al. Jun 2007 B2
7234624 Gresham et al. Jun 2007 B2
7235089 McGuckin, Jr. Jun 2007 B1
7235302 Jing et al. Jun 2007 B2
7237708 Guy et al. Jul 2007 B1
7238195 Viola Jul 2007 B2
7241288 Braun Jul 2007 B2
7246734 Shelton, IV Jul 2007 B2
7247161 Johnston et al. Jul 2007 B2
7249267 Chapius Jul 2007 B2
7252660 Kunz Aug 2007 B2
7255696 Goble et al. Aug 2007 B2
7256695 Hamel et al. Aug 2007 B2
7258262 Mastri et al. Aug 2007 B2
7258546 Beier et al. Aug 2007 B2
7260431 Libbus et al. Aug 2007 B2
7265374 Lee et al. Sep 2007 B2
7267679 McGuckin, Jr. et al. Sep 2007 B2
7273483 Wiener et al. Sep 2007 B2
7278562 Mastri et al. Oct 2007 B2
7278563 Green Oct 2007 B1
7278949 Bader Oct 2007 B2
7278994 Goble Oct 2007 B2
7282048 Goble et al. Oct 2007 B2
7286850 Frielink et al. Oct 2007 B2
7287682 Ezzat et al. Oct 2007 B1
7293685 Ehrenfels et al. Nov 2007 B2
7295893 Sunaoshi Nov 2007 B2
7295907 Lu et al. Nov 2007 B2
7296722 Ivanko Nov 2007 B2
7296724 Green et al. Nov 2007 B2
7297149 Vitali et al. Nov 2007 B2
7300373 Jinno et al. Nov 2007 B2
7300450 Vleugels et al. Nov 2007 B2
7303106 Milliman et al. Dec 2007 B2
7303107 Milliman et al. Dec 2007 B2
7303108 Shelton, IV Dec 2007 B2
7303502 Thompson Dec 2007 B2
7303556 Metzger Dec 2007 B2
7306597 Manzo Dec 2007 B2
7308998 Mastri et al. Dec 2007 B2
7322859 Evans Jan 2008 B2
7322975 Goble et al. Jan 2008 B2
7322994 Nicholas et al. Jan 2008 B2
7324572 Chang Jan 2008 B2
7326203 Papineau et al. Feb 2008 B2
7326213 Benderev et al. Feb 2008 B2
7328828 Ortiz et al. Feb 2008 B2
7328829 Arad et al. Feb 2008 B2
7330004 DeJonge et al. Feb 2008 B2
7331340 Barney Feb 2008 B2
7334717 Rethy et al. Feb 2008 B2
7334718 McAlister et al. Feb 2008 B2
7335199 Goble et al. Feb 2008 B2
7336048 Lohr Feb 2008 B2
7336184 Smith et al. Feb 2008 B2
7338513 Lee et al. Mar 2008 B2
7341591 Grinberg Mar 2008 B2
7343920 Toby et al. Mar 2008 B2
7344532 Goble et al. Mar 2008 B2
7344533 Pearson et al. Mar 2008 B2
7346344 Fontaine Mar 2008 B2
7348763 Reinhart et al. Mar 2008 B1
RE40237 Bilotti et al. Apr 2008 E
7351258 Ricotta et al. Apr 2008 B2
7354447 Shelton, IV et al. Apr 2008 B2
7354502 Polat et al. Apr 2008 B2
7357287 Shelton, IV et al. Apr 2008 B2
7357806 Rivera et al. Apr 2008 B2
7361195 Schwartz et al. Apr 2008 B2
7364060 Milliman Apr 2008 B2
7364061 Swayze et al. Apr 2008 B2
7377918 Amoah May 2008 B2
7377928 Zubik et al. May 2008 B2
7380695 Doll et al. Jun 2008 B2
7380696 Shelton, IV et al. Jun 2008 B2
7384417 Cucin Jun 2008 B2
7386730 Uchikubo Jun 2008 B2
7388217 Buschbeck et al. Jun 2008 B2
7388484 Hsu Jun 2008 B2
7391173 Schena Jun 2008 B2
7396356 Mollenauer Jul 2008 B2
7397364 Govari Jul 2008 B2
7398907 Racenet et al. Jul 2008 B2
7398908 Holsten et al. Jul 2008 B2
7400752 Zacharias Jul 2008 B2
7401721 Holsten et al. Jul 2008 B2
7404508 Smith et al. Jul 2008 B2
7404509 Ortiz et al. Jul 2008 B2
7404822 Viart et al. Jul 2008 B2
7407074 Ortiz et al. Aug 2008 B2
7407075 Holsten et al. Aug 2008 B2
7407076 Racenet et al. Aug 2008 B2
7407077 Ortiz et al. Aug 2008 B2
7407078 Shelton, IV et al. Aug 2008 B2
7410086 Ortiz et al. Aug 2008 B2
7413563 Corcoran et al. Aug 2008 B2
7416101 Shelton, IV et al. Aug 2008 B2
7418078 Blanz et al. Aug 2008 B2
RE40514 Mastri et al. Sep 2008 E
7419080 Smith et al. Sep 2008 B2
7419081 Ehrenfels et al. Sep 2008 B2
7419495 Menn et al. Sep 2008 B2
7422136 Marczyk Sep 2008 B1
7422138 Bilotti et al. Sep 2008 B2
7422139 Shelton, IV et al. Sep 2008 B2
7424965 Racenet et al. Sep 2008 B2
7427607 Suzuki Sep 2008 B2
7431188 Marczyk Oct 2008 B1
7431189 Shelton, IV et al. Oct 2008 B2
7431694 Stefanchik et al. Oct 2008 B2
7431730 Viola Oct 2008 B2
7434715 Shelton, IV et al. Oct 2008 B2
7434717 Shelton, IV et al. Oct 2008 B2
7438209 Hess et al. Oct 2008 B1
7438718 Milliman et al. Oct 2008 B2
7439354 Lenges et al. Oct 2008 B2
7441684 Shelton, IV et al. Oct 2008 B2
7441685 Boudreaux Oct 2008 B1
7442201 Pugsley et al. Oct 2008 B2
7448525 Shelton, IV et al. Nov 2008 B2
7451904 Shelton, IV Nov 2008 B2
7455208 Wales et al. Nov 2008 B2
7455676 Holsten et al. Nov 2008 B2
7455682 Viola Nov 2008 B2
7461767 Viola et al. Dec 2008 B2
7462187 Johnston et al. Dec 2008 B2
7464846 Shelton, IV et al. Dec 2008 B2
7464847 Viola et al. Dec 2008 B2
7464849 Shelton, IV et al. Dec 2008 B2
7467740 Shelton, IV et al. Dec 2008 B2
7467849 Silverbrook et al. Dec 2008 B2
7472814 Mastri et al. Jan 2009 B2
7472815 Shelton, IV et al. Jan 2009 B2
7472816 Holsten et al. Jan 2009 B2
7473253 Dycus et al. Jan 2009 B2
7473263 Johnston et al. Jan 2009 B2
7476237 Taniguchi et al. Jan 2009 B2
7479608 Smith Jan 2009 B2
7481347 Roy Jan 2009 B2
7481348 Marczyk Jan 2009 B2
7481349 Holsten et al. Jan 2009 B2
7481824 Boudreaux et al. Jan 2009 B2
7485133 Cannon et al. Feb 2009 B2
7485142 Milo Feb 2009 B2
7487899 Shelton, IV et al. Feb 2009 B2
7490749 Schall et al. Feb 2009 B2
7494039 Racenet et al. Feb 2009 B2
7494499 Nagase et al. Feb 2009 B2
7494501 Ahlberg et al. Feb 2009 B2
7500979 Hueil et al. Mar 2009 B2
7501198 Barlev et al. Mar 2009 B2
7503474 Hillstead et al. Mar 2009 B2
7506790 Shelton, IV Mar 2009 B2
7506791 Omaits et al. Mar 2009 B2
7507202 Schoellhorn Mar 2009 B2
7510107 Timm et al. Mar 2009 B2
7510566 Jacobs et al. Mar 2009 B2
7513408 Shelton, IV et al. Apr 2009 B2
7517356 Heinrich Apr 2009 B2
7524320 Tierney et al. Apr 2009 B2
7530984 Sonnenschein et al. May 2009 B2
7530985 Takemoto et al. May 2009 B2
7533906 Luettgen et al. May 2009 B2
7534259 Lashinski et al. May 2009 B2
7540867 Jinno et al. Jun 2009 B2
7542807 Bertolero et al. Jun 2009 B2
7546939 Adams et al. Jun 2009 B2
7546940 Milliman et al. Jun 2009 B2
7547312 Bauman et al. Jun 2009 B2
7549563 Mather et al. Jun 2009 B2
7549564 Boudreaux Jun 2009 B2
7549998 Braun Jun 2009 B2
7552854 Wixey et al. Jun 2009 B2
7556185 Viola Jul 2009 B2
7556186 Milliman Jul 2009 B2
7556647 Drews et al. Jul 2009 B2
7559449 Viola Jul 2009 B2
7559450 Wales et al. Jul 2009 B2
7559452 Wales et al. Jul 2009 B2
7559937 de la Torre et al. Jul 2009 B2
7562910 Kertesz et al. Jul 2009 B2
7563862 Sieg et al. Jul 2009 B2
7565993 Milliman et al. Jul 2009 B2
7566300 Devierre et al. Jul 2009 B2
7567045 Fristedt Jul 2009 B2
7568603 Shelton, IV et al. Aug 2009 B2
7568604 Ehrenfels et al. Aug 2009 B2
7568619 Todd et al. Aug 2009 B2
7575144 Ortiz et al. Aug 2009 B2
7588174 Holsten et al. Sep 2009 B2
7588175 Timm et al. Sep 2009 B2
7588176 Timm et al. Sep 2009 B2
7588177 Racenet Sep 2009 B2
7591783 Boulais et al. Sep 2009 B2
7591818 Bertolero et al. Sep 2009 B2
7597229 Boudreaux et al. Oct 2009 B2
7597230 Racenet et al. Oct 2009 B2
7597693 Garrison Oct 2009 B2
7600663 Green Oct 2009 B2
7604150 Boudreaux Oct 2009 B2
7604151 Hess et al. Oct 2009 B2
7607557 Shelton, IV et al. Oct 2009 B2
7611038 Racenet et al. Nov 2009 B2
7611474 Hibner et al. Nov 2009 B2
7615003 Stefanchik et al. Nov 2009 B2
7615067 Lee et al. Nov 2009 B2
7617961 Viola Nov 2009 B2
7624902 Marczyk et al. Dec 2009 B2
7624903 Green et al. Dec 2009 B2
7625370 Hart et al. Dec 2009 B2
7631793 Rethy et al. Dec 2009 B2
7631794 Rethy et al. Dec 2009 B2
7635074 Olson et al. Dec 2009 B2
7637409 Marczyk Dec 2009 B2
7637410 Marczyk Dec 2009 B2
7638958 Philipp et al. Dec 2009 B2
7641091 Olson et al. Jan 2010 B2
7641092 Kruszynski et al. Jan 2010 B2
7641093 Doll et al. Jan 2010 B2
7641095 Viola Jan 2010 B2
7644783 Roberts et al. Jan 2010 B2
7644848 Swayze et al. Jan 2010 B2
7645230 Mikkaichi et al. Jan 2010 B2
7648519 Lee et al. Jan 2010 B2
7650185 Maile et al. Jan 2010 B2
7651017 Ortiz et al. Jan 2010 B2
7651498 Shifrin et al. Jan 2010 B2
7654431 Hueil et al. Feb 2010 B2
7655288 Bauman et al. Feb 2010 B2
7656131 Embrey et al. Feb 2010 B2
7658311 Boudreaux Feb 2010 B2
7658312 Vidal et al. Feb 2010 B2
7659219 Biran et al. Feb 2010 B2
7662161 Briganti et al. Feb 2010 B2
7665646 Prommersberger Feb 2010 B2
7665647 Shelton, IV et al. Feb 2010 B2
7669746 Shelton, IV Mar 2010 B2
7669747 Weisenburgh, II et al. Mar 2010 B2
7670334 Hueil et al. Mar 2010 B2
7673780 Shelton, IV et al. Mar 2010 B2
7673781 Swayze et al. Mar 2010 B2
7673782 Hess et al. Mar 2010 B2
7673783 Morgan et al. Mar 2010 B2
7674253 Fisher et al. Mar 2010 B2
7674255 Braun Mar 2010 B2
7674263 Ryan Mar 2010 B2
7674270 Layer Mar 2010 B2
7682307 Danitz et al. Mar 2010 B2
7686201 Csiky Mar 2010 B2
7686804 Johnson et al. Mar 2010 B2
7686826 Lee et al. Mar 2010 B2
7688028 Phillips et al. Mar 2010 B2
7691098 Wallace et al. Apr 2010 B2
7691103 Fernandez et al. Apr 2010 B2
7691106 Schenberger et al. Apr 2010 B2
7694865 Scirica Apr 2010 B2
7695485 Whitman et al. Apr 2010 B2
7699204 Viola Apr 2010 B2
7699835 Lee et al. Apr 2010 B2
7699844 Utley et al. Apr 2010 B2
7699846 Ryan Apr 2010 B2
7699856 Van Wyk et al. Apr 2010 B2
7699859 Bombard et al. Apr 2010 B2
7699860 Huitema et al. Apr 2010 B2
7703653 Shah et al. Apr 2010 B2
7708180 Murray et al. May 2010 B2
7708181 Cole et al. May 2010 B2
7708758 Lee et al. May 2010 B2
7714239 Smith May 2010 B2
7717312 Beetel May 2010 B2
7717313 Criscuolo et al. May 2010 B2
7717846 Zirps et al. May 2010 B2
7718180 Karp May 2010 B2
7718556 Matsuda et al. May 2010 B2
7721930 McKenna et al. May 2010 B2
7721931 Shelton, IV et al. May 2010 B2
7721933 Ehrenfels et al. May 2010 B2
7721934 Shelton, IV et al. May 2010 B2
7721936 Shelton, IV et al. May 2010 B2
7722527 Bouchier et al. May 2010 B2
7722607 Dumbauld et al. May 2010 B2
7722610 Viola et al. May 2010 B2
7726537 Olson et al. Jun 2010 B2
7726538 Holsten et al. Jun 2010 B2
7726539 Holsten et al. Jun 2010 B2
7727954 McKay Jun 2010 B2
7729742 Govari Jun 2010 B2
7731072 Timm et al. Jun 2010 B2
7731073 Wixey et al. Jun 2010 B2
7731724 Huitema et al. Jun 2010 B2
7735703 Morgan et al. Jun 2010 B2
7736374 Vaughan et al. Jun 2010 B2
7738971 Swayze et al. Jun 2010 B2
7740159 Shelton, IV et al. Jun 2010 B2
7742036 Grant et al. Jun 2010 B2
7743960 Whitman et al. Jun 2010 B2
7744624 Bettuchi Jun 2010 B2
7744627 Orban, III et al. Jun 2010 B2
7744628 Viola Jun 2010 B2
7748587 Haramiishi et al. Jul 2010 B2
7749204 Dhanaraj et al. Jul 2010 B2
7751870 Whitman Jul 2010 B2
7753245 Boudreaux et al. Jul 2010 B2
7753904 Shelton, IV et al. Jul 2010 B2
7758612 Shipp Jul 2010 B2
7766209 Baxter, III et al. Aug 2010 B2
7766210 Shelton, IV et al. Aug 2010 B2
7766821 Brunnen et al. Aug 2010 B2
7766894 Weitzner et al. Aug 2010 B2
7770773 Whitman et al. Aug 2010 B2
7770774 Mastri et al. Aug 2010 B2
7770775 Shelton, IV et al. Aug 2010 B2
7770776 Chen et al. Aug 2010 B2
7771396 Stefanchik et al. Aug 2010 B2
7772720 McGee et al. Aug 2010 B2
7776037 Odom Aug 2010 B2
7776060 Mooradian et al. Aug 2010 B2
7778004 Nerheim et al. Aug 2010 B2
7780054 Wales Aug 2010 B2
7780055 Scirica et al. Aug 2010 B2
7780663 Yates et al. Aug 2010 B2
7780685 Hunt et al. Aug 2010 B2
7784662 Wales et al. Aug 2010 B2
7784663 Shelton, IV Aug 2010 B2
7787256 Chan et al. Aug 2010 B2
7789875 Brock et al. Sep 2010 B2
7789883 Takashino et al. Sep 2010 B2
7789889 Zubik et al. Sep 2010 B2
7793812 Moore et al. Sep 2010 B2
7794475 Hess et al. Sep 2010 B2
7798386 Schall et al. Sep 2010 B2
7799039 Shelton, IV et al. Sep 2010 B2
7799044 Johnston et al. Sep 2010 B2
7799965 Patel et al. Sep 2010 B2
7803151 Whitman Sep 2010 B2
7806891 Nowlin et al. Oct 2010 B2
7810690 Bilotti et al. Oct 2010 B2
7810691 Boyden et al. Oct 2010 B2
7810692 Hall et al. Oct 2010 B2
7810693 Broehl et al. Oct 2010 B2
7815092 Whitman et al. Oct 2010 B2
7815565 Stefanchik et al. Oct 2010 B2
7819296 Hueil et al. Oct 2010 B2
7819297 Doll et al. Oct 2010 B2
7819298 Hall et al. Oct 2010 B2
7819299 Shelton, IV et al. Oct 2010 B2
7819884 Lee et al. Oct 2010 B2
7819886 Whitfield et al. Oct 2010 B2
7823592 Bettuchi et al. Nov 2010 B2
7823760 Zemlok et al. Nov 2010 B2
7824401 Manzo et al. Nov 2010 B2
7824426 Racenet et al. Nov 2010 B2
7828189 Holsten et al. Nov 2010 B2
7828794 Sartor Nov 2010 B2
7828808 Hinman et al. Nov 2010 B2
7832408 Shelton, IV et al. Nov 2010 B2
7832611 Boyden et al. Nov 2010 B2
7832612 Baxter, III et al. Nov 2010 B2
7833234 Bailly et al. Nov 2010 B2
7836400 May et al. Nov 2010 B2
7837079 Holsten et al. Nov 2010 B2
7837080 Schwemberger Nov 2010 B2
7837081 Holsten et al. Nov 2010 B2
7837694 Tethrake et al. Nov 2010 B2
7838789 Stoffers et al. Nov 2010 B2
7841503 Sonnenschein et al. Nov 2010 B2
7842025 Coleman et al. Nov 2010 B2
7842028 Lee Nov 2010 B2
7845533 Marczyk et al. Dec 2010 B2
7845534 Viola et al. Dec 2010 B2
7845535 Scircia Dec 2010 B2
7845536 Viola et al. Dec 2010 B2
7845537 Shelton, IV et al. Dec 2010 B2
7846149 Jankowski Dec 2010 B2
7850642 Moll et al. Dec 2010 B2
7850982 Stopek et al. Dec 2010 B2
7854736 Ryan Dec 2010 B2
7857183 Shelton, IV Dec 2010 B2
7857185 Swayze et al. Dec 2010 B2
7857186 Baxter, III et al. Dec 2010 B2
7857813 Schmitz et al. Dec 2010 B2
7861906 Doll et al. Jan 2011 B2
7862579 Ortiz et al. Jan 2011 B2
7866525 Scirica Jan 2011 B2
7866527 Hall et al. Jan 2011 B2
7866528 Olson et al. Jan 2011 B2
7870989 Viola et al. Jan 2011 B2
7871418 Thompson et al. Jan 2011 B2
7879070 Ortiz et al. Feb 2011 B2
7883465 Donofrio et al. Feb 2011 B2
7886951 Hessler Feb 2011 B2
7886952 Scirica et al. Feb 2011 B2
7887530 Zemlok et al. Feb 2011 B2
7887535 Lands et al. Feb 2011 B2
7891531 Ward Feb 2011 B1
7891532 Mastri et al. Feb 2011 B2
7892245 Liddicoat et al. Feb 2011 B2
7893586 West et al. Feb 2011 B2
7896214 Farascioni Mar 2011 B2
7896215 Adams et al. Mar 2011 B2
7896877 Hall et al. Mar 2011 B2
7896895 Boudreaux et al. Mar 2011 B2
7900805 Shelton, IV et al. Mar 2011 B2
7905380 Shelton, IV et al. Mar 2011 B2
7905381 Baxter, III et al. Mar 2011 B2
7905889 Catanese, III et al. Mar 2011 B2
7905902 Huitema et al. Mar 2011 B2
7909191 Baker et al. Mar 2011 B2
7909220 Viola Mar 2011 B2
7909221 Viola et al. Mar 2011 B2
7913891 Doll et al. Mar 2011 B2
7913893 Mastri et al. Mar 2011 B2
7914543 Roth et al. Mar 2011 B2
7914551 Ortiz et al. Mar 2011 B2
7918230 Whitman et al. Apr 2011 B2
7918376 Knodel et al. Apr 2011 B1
7918377 Measamer et al. Apr 2011 B2
7918848 Lau et al. Apr 2011 B2
7922061 Shelton, IV et al. Apr 2011 B2
7922063 Zemlok et al. Apr 2011 B2
7922743 Heinrich et al. Apr 2011 B2
7923144 Kohn et al. Apr 2011 B2
7926691 Viola et al. Apr 2011 B2
7927328 Orszulak et al. Apr 2011 B2
7928281 Augustine Apr 2011 B2
7930065 Larkin et al. Apr 2011 B2
7931660 Aranyi et al. Apr 2011 B2
7931695 Ringeisen Apr 2011 B2
7934630 Shelton, IV et al. May 2011 B2
7934631 Balbierz et al. May 2011 B2
7935773 Hadba et al. May 2011 B2
7938307 Bettuchi May 2011 B2
7941865 Seman, Jr. et al. May 2011 B2
7942303 Shah May 2011 B2
7942890 D'Agostino et al. May 2011 B2
7944175 Mori et al. May 2011 B2
7950560 Zemlok et al. May 2011 B2
7950561 Aranyi May 2011 B2
7951071 Whitman et al. May 2011 B2
7951166 Orban et al. May 2011 B2
7954682 Giordano et al. Jun 2011 B2
7954684 Boudreaux Jun 2011 B2
7954686 Baxter, III et al. Jun 2011 B2
7954687 Zemlok et al. Jun 2011 B2
7955257 Frasier et al. Jun 2011 B2
7955322 Devengenzo et al. Jun 2011 B2
7955380 Chu et al. Jun 2011 B2
7959050 Smith et al. Jun 2011 B2
7959051 Smith et al. Jun 2011 B2
7959052 Sonnenschein et al. Jun 2011 B2
7963432 Knodel et al. Jun 2011 B2
7963433 Whitman et al. Jun 2011 B2
7963963 Francischelli et al. Jun 2011 B2
7963964 Santilli et al. Jun 2011 B2
7966799 Morgan et al. Jun 2011 B2
7967178 Scirica et al. Jun 2011 B2
7967179 Olson et al. Jun 2011 B2
7967180 Scirica Jun 2011 B2
7967181 Viola et al. Jun 2011 B2
7967839 Flock et al. Jun 2011 B2
7972298 Wallace et al. Jul 2011 B2
7980443 Scheib et al. Jul 2011 B2
7988026 Knodel et al. Aug 2011 B2
7988027 Olson et al. Aug 2011 B2
7988028 Farascioni et al. Aug 2011 B2
7992757 Wheeler et al. Aug 2011 B2
7997468 Farascioni Aug 2011 B2
7997469 Olson et al. Aug 2011 B2
8002696 Suzuki Aug 2011 B2
8002784 Jinno et al. Aug 2011 B2
8002785 Weiss et al. Aug 2011 B2
8002795 Beetel Aug 2011 B2
8006365 Levin et al. Aug 2011 B2
8006885 Marczyk Aug 2011 B2
8006889 Adams et al. Aug 2011 B2
8007511 Brock et al. Aug 2011 B2
8011550 Aranyi et al. Sep 2011 B2
8011551 Marczyk et al. Sep 2011 B2
8011553 Mastri et al. Sep 2011 B2
8011555 Tarinelli et al. Sep 2011 B2
8012170 Whitman et al. Sep 2011 B2
8016176 Kasvikis et al. Sep 2011 B2
8016177 Bettuchi et al. Sep 2011 B2
8016178 Olson et al. Sep 2011 B2
8016855 Whitman et al. Sep 2011 B2
8016858 Whitman Sep 2011 B2
8016881 Furst Sep 2011 B2
8020742 Marczyk Sep 2011 B2
8020743 Shelton, IV Sep 2011 B2
8021375 Aldrich et al. Sep 2011 B2
8025199 Whitman et al. Sep 2011 B2
8028883 Stopek Oct 2011 B2
8028884 Sniffin et al. Oct 2011 B2
8028885 Smith et al. Oct 2011 B2
8034077 Smith et al. Oct 2011 B2
8034363 Li et al. Oct 2011 B2
8037591 Spivey et al. Oct 2011 B2
8038045 Bettuchi et al. Oct 2011 B2
8038046 Smith et al. Oct 2011 B2
8038686 Huitema et al. Oct 2011 B2
8043207 Adams Oct 2011 B2
8043328 Hahnen et al. Oct 2011 B2
8044536 Nguyen et al. Oct 2011 B2
8047236 Perry Nov 2011 B2
8048503 Farnsworth et al. Nov 2011 B2
8056787 Boudreaux et al. Nov 2011 B2
8056788 Mastri et al. Nov 2011 B2
8057508 Shelton, IV Nov 2011 B2
8058771 Giordano et al. Nov 2011 B2
8060250 Reiland et al. Nov 2011 B2
8061576 Coppola Nov 2011 B2
8062330 Prommersberger et al. Nov 2011 B2
8063619 Zhu et al. Nov 2011 B2
8066167 Measamer et al. Nov 2011 B2
8066168 Vidal et al. Nov 2011 B2
D650074 Hunt et al. Dec 2011 S
8070035 Holsten et al. Dec 2011 B2
8070743 Kagan et al. Dec 2011 B2
8075571 Vitali et al. Dec 2011 B2
8079950 Stern et al. Dec 2011 B2
8083118 Milliman et al. Dec 2011 B2
8083119 Prommersberger Dec 2011 B2
8083120 Shelton, IV et al. Dec 2011 B2
8084001 Burns et al. Dec 2011 B2
8085013 Wei et al. Dec 2011 B2
8091756 Viola Jan 2012 B2
8092443 Bischoff Jan 2012 B2
8092932 Phillips et al. Jan 2012 B2
8096458 Hessler Jan 2012 B2
8097017 Viola Jan 2012 B2
8100310 Zemlok Jan 2012 B2
8100872 Patel Jan 2012 B2
8102278 Deck et al. Jan 2012 B2
8105350 Lee et al. Jan 2012 B2
8108072 Zhao et al. Jan 2012 B2
8109426 Milliman et al. Feb 2012 B2
8110208 Hen Feb 2012 B1
8113405 Milliman Feb 2012 B2
8113410 Hall et al. Feb 2012 B2
8114100 Smith et al. Feb 2012 B2
8123103 Milliman Feb 2012 B2
8123766 Bauman et al. Feb 2012 B2
8123767 Bauman et al. Feb 2012 B2
8127975 Olson et al. Mar 2012 B2
8127976 Scirica et al. Mar 2012 B2
8128624 Couture et al. Mar 2012 B2
8128643 Aranyi et al. Mar 2012 B2
8128645 Sonnenschein et al. Mar 2012 B2
8132703 Milliman et al. Mar 2012 B2
8132706 Marczyk et al. Mar 2012 B2
8134306 Drader et al. Mar 2012 B2
8136712 Zingman Mar 2012 B2
8136713 Hathaway et al. Mar 2012 B2
8137339 Jinno et al. Mar 2012 B2
8140417 Shibata Mar 2012 B2
8141762 Bedi et al. Mar 2012 B2
8141763 Milliman Mar 2012 B2
8142425 Eggers Mar 2012 B2
8146790 Milliman Apr 2012 B2
8147485 Wham et al. Apr 2012 B2
8152041 Kostrzewski Apr 2012 B2
8157145 Shelton, IV et al. Apr 2012 B2
8157148 Scirica Apr 2012 B2
8157151 Ingmanson et al. Apr 2012 B2
8157152 Holsten et al. Apr 2012 B2
8157153 Shelton, IV et al. Apr 2012 B2
8157793 Omori et al. Apr 2012 B2
8161977 Shelton, IV et al. Apr 2012 B2
8162138 Bettenhausen et al. Apr 2012 B2
8162197 Mastri et al. Apr 2012 B2
8167185 Shelton, IV et al. May 2012 B2
8167895 D'Agostino et al. May 2012 B2
8167898 Schaller et al. May 2012 B1
8170241 Roe et al. May 2012 B2
8172120 Boyden et al. May 2012 B2
8172122 Kasvikis et al. May 2012 B2
8172124 Shelton, IV et al. May 2012 B2
8177797 Shimoji et al. May 2012 B2
8179705 Chapuis May 2012 B2
8180458 Kane et al. May 2012 B2
8181840 Milliman May 2012 B2
8186555 Shelton, IV et al. May 2012 B2
8186560 Hess et al. May 2012 B2
8191752 Scirica Jun 2012 B2
8192460 Orban, III et al. Jun 2012 B2
8196795 Moore et al. Jun 2012 B2
8196796 Shelton, IV et al. Jun 2012 B2
8201720 Hessler Jun 2012 B2
8201721 Zemlok et al. Jun 2012 B2
8205779 Ma Jun 2012 B2
8205780 Sorrentino et al. Jun 2012 B2
8205781 Baxter, III et al. Jun 2012 B2
8210411 Yates et al. Jul 2012 B2
8210414 Bettuchi et al. Jul 2012 B2
8210415 Ward Jul 2012 B2
8210416 Milliman et al. Jul 2012 B2
8211125 Spivey Jul 2012 B2
8214019 Govari et al. Jul 2012 B2
8215531 Shelton, IV et al. Jul 2012 B2
8215533 Viola et al. Jul 2012 B2
8220468 Cooper et al. Jul 2012 B2
8220688 Laurent et al. Jul 2012 B2
8220690 Hess et al. Jul 2012 B2
8221424 Cha Jul 2012 B2
8225799 Bettuchi Jul 2012 B2
8226715 Hwang et al. Jul 2012 B2
8227946 Kim Jul 2012 B2
8228048 Spencer Jul 2012 B2
8231040 Zemlok et al. Jul 2012 B2
8231041 Marczyk et al. Jul 2012 B2
8231042 Hessler et al. Jul 2012 B2
8231043 Tarinelli et al. Jul 2012 B2
8236010 Ortiz et al. Aug 2012 B2
8241271 Millman et al. Aug 2012 B2
8241308 Kortenbach et al. Aug 2012 B2
8241322 Whitman et al. Aug 2012 B2
8245594 Rogers et al. Aug 2012 B2
8245898 Smith et al. Aug 2012 B2
8245899 Swensgard et al. Aug 2012 B2
8245900 Scirica Aug 2012 B2
8245901 Stopek Aug 2012 B2
8246637 Viola et al. Aug 2012 B2
8256654 Bettuchi et al. Sep 2012 B2
8256655 Sniffin et al. Sep 2012 B2
8256656 Milliman et al. Sep 2012 B2
8257251 Shelton, IV et al. Sep 2012 B2
8257356 Bleich et al. Sep 2012 B2
8257391 Orban, III et al. Sep 2012 B2
8262655 Ghabrial et al. Sep 2012 B2
8267300 Boudreaux Sep 2012 B2
8267924 Zemlok et al. Sep 2012 B2
8267946 Whitfield et al. Sep 2012 B2
8267951 Whayne et al. Sep 2012 B2
8269121 Smith Sep 2012 B2
8272553 Mastri et al. Sep 2012 B2
8272554 Whitman et al. Sep 2012 B2
8273404 Dave et al. Sep 2012 B2
8276801 Zemlok et al. Oct 2012 B2
8276802 Kostrzewski Oct 2012 B2
8281973 Wenchell et al. Oct 2012 B2
8281974 Hessler et al. Oct 2012 B2
8282654 Ferrari et al. Oct 2012 B2
8286845 Perry et al. Oct 2012 B2
8287561 Nunez et al. Oct 2012 B2
8292150 Bryant Oct 2012 B2
8292151 Viola Oct 2012 B2
8292155 Shelton, IV et al. Oct 2012 B2
8292157 Smith et al. Oct 2012 B2
8292888 Whitman Oct 2012 B2
8298161 Vargas Oct 2012 B2
8298677 Wiesner et al. Oct 2012 B2
8302323 Fortier et al. Nov 2012 B2
8308040 Huang et al. Nov 2012 B2
8308042 Aranyi Nov 2012 B2
8308046 Prommersberger Nov 2012 B2
8308659 Scheibe et al. Nov 2012 B2
8313496 Sauer et al. Nov 2012 B2
8313509 Kostrzewski Nov 2012 B2
8317070 Hueil et al. Nov 2012 B2
8317071 Knodel Nov 2012 B1
8317074 Ortiz et al. Nov 2012 B2
8317790 Bell et al. Nov 2012 B2
8319002 Daniels et al. Nov 2012 B2
8322455 Shelton, IV et al. Dec 2012 B2
8322589 Boudreaux Dec 2012 B2
8322590 Patel et al. Dec 2012 B2
8323789 Rozhin et al. Dec 2012 B2
8328061 Kasvikis Dec 2012 B2
8328062 Viola Dec 2012 B2
8328063 Milliman et al. Dec 2012 B2
8328064 Racenet et al. Dec 2012 B2
8328802 Deville et al. Dec 2012 B2
8328823 Aranyi et al. Dec 2012 B2
8333313 Boudreaux et al. Dec 2012 B2
8333764 Francischelli et al. Dec 2012 B2
8336753 Olson et al. Dec 2012 B2
8336754 Cappola et al. Dec 2012 B2
8342378 Marczyk et al. Jan 2013 B2
8342379 Whitman et al. Jan 2013 B2
8348123 Scirica et al. Jan 2013 B2
8348126 Olson et al. Jan 2013 B2
8348127 Marczyk Jan 2013 B2
8348129 Bedi et al. Jan 2013 B2
8348130 Shah et al. Jan 2013 B2
8348131 Omaits et al. Jan 2013 B2
8348972 Soltz et al. Jan 2013 B2
8353437 Boudreaux Jan 2013 B2
8353438 Baxter, III et al. Jan 2013 B2
8353439 Baxter, III et al. Jan 2013 B2
8356740 Knodel Jan 2013 B1
8357144 Whitman et al. Jan 2013 B2
8360296 Zingman Jan 2013 B2
8360297 Shelton, IV et al. Jan 2013 B2
8360298 Farascioni et al. Jan 2013 B2
8360299 Zemlok et al. Jan 2013 B2
8361501 DiTizio et al. Jan 2013 B2
8365973 White et al. Feb 2013 B1
8365975 Manoux et al. Feb 2013 B1
8365976 Hess et al. Feb 2013 B2
8366559 Papenfuss et al. Feb 2013 B2
8371491 Huitema et al. Feb 2013 B2
8371492 Aranyi et al. Feb 2013 B2
8371493 Aranyi et al. Feb 2013 B2
8372094 Bettuchi et al. Feb 2013 B2
8376865 Forster et al. Feb 2013 B2
8377044 Coe et al. Feb 2013 B2
8388633 Rousseau et al. Mar 2013 B2
8393513 Jankowski Mar 2013 B2
8393514 Shelton, IV et al. Mar 2013 B2
8393516 Kostrzewski Mar 2013 B2
8397971 Yates et al. Mar 2013 B2
8398633 Mueller Mar 2013 B2
8398673 Hinchliffe et al. Mar 2013 B2
8403138 Weisshaupt et al. Mar 2013 B2
8403198 Sorrentino et al. Mar 2013 B2
8403832 Cunningham et al. Mar 2013 B2
8403945 Whitfield et al. Mar 2013 B2
8408439 Huang et al. Apr 2013 B2
8408442 Racenet et al. Apr 2013 B2
8409079 Oakamoto et al. Apr 2013 B2
8409174 Omori Apr 2013 B2
8409222 Whitfield et al. Apr 2013 B2
8409223 Sorrentino et al. Apr 2013 B2
8413870 Pastorelli et al. Apr 2013 B2
8413871 Racenet et al. Apr 2013 B2
8413872 Patel Apr 2013 B2
8414577 Boudreaux et al. Apr 2013 B2
8418909 Kostrzewski Apr 2013 B2
8424737 Scirica Apr 2013 B2
8424739 Racenet et al. Apr 2013 B2
8424740 Shelton, IV et al. Apr 2013 B2
8424741 McGuckin, Jr. et al. Apr 2013 B2
8425600 Maxwell Apr 2013 B2
8430292 Patel et al. Apr 2013 B2
8430892 Bindra et al. Apr 2013 B2
8430898 Wiener et al. Apr 2013 B2
8439246 Knodel et al. May 2013 B1
8444036 Shelton, IV May 2013 B2
8444549 Viola et al. May 2013 B2
8453904 Eskaros et al. Jun 2013 B2
8453906 Huang et al. Jun 2013 B2
8453907 Laurent et al. Jun 2013 B2
8453908 Bedi et al. Jun 2013 B2
8453912 Mastri et al. Jun 2013 B2
8453914 Laurent et al. Jun 2013 B2
8454628 Smith et al. Jun 2013 B2
8457757 Cauller et al. Jun 2013 B2
8459520 Giordano et al. Jun 2013 B2
8459525 Yates et al. Jun 2013 B2
8464922 Marczyk Jun 2013 B2
8464923 Shelton, IV Jun 2013 B2
8464924 Gresham et al. Jun 2013 B2
8464925 Hull et al. Jun 2013 B2
8465502 Zergiebel Jun 2013 B2
8469973 Meade et al. Jun 2013 B2
8474677 Woodard, Jr. et al. Jul 2013 B2
8475453 Marczyk et al. Jul 2013 B2
8475474 Bombard et al. Jul 2013 B2
8479969 Shelton, IV Jul 2013 B2
8480703 Nicholas et al. Jul 2013 B2
8485412 Shelton, IV et al. Jul 2013 B2
8485413 Scheib et al. Jul 2013 B2
8490853 Criscuolo et al. Jul 2013 B2
8491581 Deville et al. Jul 2013 B2
8496156 Sniffin et al. Jul 2013 B2
8496683 Prommersberger et al. Jul 2013 B2
8499992 Whitman et al. Aug 2013 B2
8499993 Shelton, IV et al. Aug 2013 B2
8500762 Sholev et al. Aug 2013 B2
8506557 Zemlok et al. Aug 2013 B2
8506580 Zergiebel et al. Aug 2013 B2
8506581 Wingardner, III et al. Aug 2013 B2
8511308 Hecox et al. Aug 2013 B2
8512359 Whitman et al. Aug 2013 B2
8517239 Scheib et al. Aug 2013 B2
8517241 Nicholas et al. Aug 2013 B2
8517243 Giordano et al. Aug 2013 B2
8517244 Shelton, IV et al. Aug 2013 B2
8521273 Kliman Aug 2013 B2
8523043 Ullrich et al. Sep 2013 B2
8523881 Cabiri et al. Sep 2013 B2
8523900 Jinno et al. Sep 2013 B2
8529588 Ahlberg et al. Sep 2013 B2
8529600 Woodard, Jr. et al. Sep 2013 B2
8529819 Ostapoff et al. Sep 2013 B2
8534528 Shelton, IV Sep 2013 B2
8535304 Sklar et al. Sep 2013 B2
8540128 Shelton, IV et al. Sep 2013 B2
8540129 Baxter, III et al. Sep 2013 B2
8540130 Moore et al. Sep 2013 B2
8540131 Swayze Sep 2013 B2
8540133 Bedi et al. Sep 2013 B2
8540733 Whitman et al. Sep 2013 B2
8551076 Duval et al. Oct 2013 B2
8556151 Viola Oct 2013 B2
8556918 Bauman et al. Oct 2013 B2
8561870 Baxter, III et al. Oct 2013 B2
8561873 Ingmanson et al. Oct 2013 B2
8567656 Shelton, IV et al. Oct 2013 B2
8573461 Shelton, IV et al. Nov 2013 B2
8573465 Shelton, IV et al. Nov 2013 B2
8574199 von Bülow et al. Nov 2013 B2
8579176 Smith et al. Nov 2013 B2
8579178 Holsten et al. Nov 2013 B2
8579937 Gresham Nov 2013 B2
8584919 Hueil et al. Nov 2013 B2
8585721 Kirsch Nov 2013 B2
8590762 Hess et al. Nov 2013 B2
8602287 Yates et al. Dec 2013 B2
8602288 Shelton, IV et al. Dec 2013 B2
8603135 Mueller Dec 2013 B2
8608044 Hueil et al. Dec 2013 B2
8608045 Smith et al. Dec 2013 B2
8608046 Laurent et al. Dec 2013 B2
8608745 Guzman et al. Dec 2013 B2
8613383 Beckman et al. Dec 2013 B2
8616431 Timm et al. Dec 2013 B2
8622274 Yates et al. Jan 2014 B2
8622275 Baxter, III et al. Jan 2014 B2
8628518 Blumenkranz et al. Jan 2014 B2
8628545 Cabrera et al. Jan 2014 B2
8631987 Shelton, IV et al. Jan 2014 B2
8632462 Yoo et al. Jan 2014 B2
8632525 Kerr et al. Jan 2014 B2
8632535 Shelton, IV et al. Jan 2014 B2
8632563 Nagase et al. Jan 2014 B2
8636187 Hueil et al. Jan 2014 B2
8636736 Yates et al. Jan 2014 B2
8640788 Dachs, II et al. Feb 2014 B2
8647258 Aranyi et al. Feb 2014 B2
8652120 Giordano et al. Feb 2014 B2
8652151 Lehman et al. Feb 2014 B2
8657174 Yates et al. Feb 2014 B2
8657176 Shelton, IV et al. Feb 2014 B2
8657177 Scirica et al. Feb 2014 B2
8657178 Hueil et al. Feb 2014 B2
8662370 Takei Mar 2014 B2
8663192 Hester et al. Mar 2014 B2
8668129 Olson Mar 2014 B2
8668130 Hess et al. Mar 2014 B2
8672206 Aranyi et al. Mar 2014 B2
8672207 Shelton, IV et al. Mar 2014 B2
8672208 Hess et al. Mar 2014 B2
8678263 Viola Mar 2014 B2
8679093 Farra Mar 2014 B2
8679098 Hart Mar 2014 B2
8679137 Bauman et al. Mar 2014 B2
8679454 Guire et al. Mar 2014 B2
8684250 Bettuchi et al. Apr 2014 B2
8684253 Giordano et al. Apr 2014 B2
8685020 Weizman et al. Apr 2014 B2
8695866 Leimbach et al. Apr 2014 B2
8696665 Hunt et al. Apr 2014 B2
8701958 Shelton, IV et al. Apr 2014 B2
8701959 Shah Apr 2014 B2
8708211 Zemlok et al. Apr 2014 B2
8708213 Shelton, IV et al. Apr 2014 B2
8720766 Hess et al. May 2014 B2
8721630 Ortiz et al. May 2014 B2
8721666 Schroeder et al. May 2014 B2
8727197 Hess et al. May 2014 B2
8728119 Cummins May 2014 B2
8733613 Huitema et al. May 2014 B2
8733614 Ross et al. May 2014 B2
8734478 Widenhouse et al. May 2014 B2
8739033 Rosenberg May 2014 B2
8740034 Morgan et al. Jun 2014 B2
8740037 Shelton, IV et al. Jun 2014 B2
8740038 Shelton, IV et al. Jun 2014 B2
8746529 Shelton, IV et al. Jun 2014 B2
8746530 Giordano et al. Jun 2014 B2
8746535 Shelton, IV et al. Jun 2014 B2
8747238 Shelton, IV et al. Jun 2014 B2
8752264 Ackley et al. Jun 2014 B2
8752699 Morgan et al. Jun 2014 B2
8752747 Shelton, IV et al. Jun 2014 B2
8752749 Moore et al. Jun 2014 B2
8757465 Woodard, Jr. et al. Jun 2014 B2
8758235 Jaworek Jun 2014 B2
8758391 Swayze et al. Jun 2014 B2
8758438 Boyce et al. Jun 2014 B2
8763875 Morgan et al. Jul 2014 B2
8763877 Scholl et al. Jul 2014 B2
8763879 Shelton, IV et al. Jul 2014 B2
8771169 Whitman et al. Jul 2014 B2
8777004 Shelton, IV et al. Jul 2014 B2
8783541 Shelton, IV et al. Jul 2014 B2
8783542 Riestenberg et al. Jul 2014 B2
8783543 Shelton, IV et al. Jul 2014 B2
8784404 Doyle et al. Jul 2014 B2
8784415 Malackowski et al. Jul 2014 B2
8789737 Hodgkinson et al. Jul 2014 B2
8789739 Swensgard Jul 2014 B2
8789740 Baxter, III et al. Jul 2014 B2
8789741 Baxter, III et al. Jul 2014 B2
8790684 Dave et al. Jul 2014 B2
8794496 Scirica Aug 2014 B2