Tubular medical instrument having a flexible sheath with cuffs
Tubular medical instrument having a flexible sheath driven by a plurality of cuffs
Apparatus for endoscopic examination
Device and method for advancing an endoscope through a body passage
Multi-purpose medical devices
Image sensor assembly
ApplicationNo. 291428 filed on 08/16/1994
US Classes:600/114, With guide means for body insertion600/115, Inflatable cuff or balloon600/116, With inflatable balloon600/139Having flexible tube structure
ExaminersPrimary: Dvorak, Linda C. M.
Assistant: Flanagan, Beverly M.
Attorney, Agent or Firm
International ClassA61B 001/04
AbstractA robot for performing endoscopic procedures in flexible and curved human or animal lumens. A plurality of segments are attached to each other. Traction segments embrace the lumen walls. Other segments include actuators that cause the endoscope to locally deform its shape via bending, extending, or some combination of bending and extension. A method is provided to sequence the action of the segments to cause inchworm-like or snake-like locomotion, or a combination of them through a curved and flexible lumen. The method of movement can be adapted to the lumen characteristics, or to obviate a component failure. A compressed gas line attached to the back segment provides compressed gas for insufflation of the lumen, and can optionally be used to drive the actuators that control the operation of the endoscope segments. The lead segment may include television cameras, ultrasound transducers, biopsy arms, drug delivery systems, or other sensors, diagnostic aids, therapeutic devices, and surgical tools. Medical instruments and sensors can also be placed in the rear or middle segments.
Field of SearchWith guide means for body insertion
Inflatable cuff or balloon
With inflatable balloon
With means for indicating position, depth or condition of endoscope
With control or monitoring of endoscope functions
Having flexible tube structure
Having shape memory retaining material component
With adjustable rigidity
Having temperature sensitive shape memory retaining material