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Overmolded grasper jaw

ActiveUS7494501B2Facilitate closing the jaw spinesEnhanced advantageSurgical forcepsPlastic materialsMetallic materials
The invention is directed to a surgical instrument comprising an elongate tube extending along an axis including a camming rod and an actuation mechanism operably connected to the camming rod, the camming rod having a camming pin and a camming projection; a first jaw spine having a first cam slot, a first interior camming surface, and a first exterior camming surface; and a second jaw spine having a second cam slot, a second interior camming surface, and a second exterior camming surface, the second jaw spine pivotally connected to the first jaw spine at a common pivot pin operably connected to the elongate tube to open and close the jaw spines in response to movement of the actuation mechanism. The camming pin rides along the first and second interior camming surfaces and operates to close the jaw spines when the camming rod is moved proximally. When the camming rod moves distally, the camming projection rides on the first and second exterior camming surfaces formed on the proximal sides of the respective first and second jaw spines and operates to open the jaw spines. A feature of the invention is one camming surface on each jaw spine can facilitate closing the jaw spines while the other camming surface on each jaw spine can facilitate opening the jaw spines. These two camming surfaces on each jaw spine can be widely separated. The jaw spines can be formed of a metallic material and are overmolded with an atraumatic plastic material. By overmolding the plastic onto the metal spine, an atraumatic outer surface can be formed of the plastic material along with a high degree of detail.

Electroactive polymer actuated medical devices

The present invention is directed to novel apparatus for use in medical procedures relating to tubular body fluid conduits. According to a first aspect of the invention, a filter apparatus is provided for delivery over a guidewire within a tubular body conduit, such as a blood vessel. The filter apparatus comprises: (a) a filter element transformable between a collapsed state and a deployed state, wherein the filter element is adapted to filter particulate matter from fluid within the tubular body conduit while in the deployed state; and (b) a locking member comprising one or more electroactive polymer actuators which switch the locking member between (i) a locking state wherein the locking member securely engages the guidewire and (ii) a release state wherein the locking member is movable along the length of the guidewire. According to a second aspect of the invention, a connector apparatus is provided for use in making an anastomotic connection between first and second tubular fluid conduits in a patient. The connector apparatus comprises: (a) a locking member, which further comprises one or more electroactive polymer actuators that switch the locking member between a locking state and a release state; and (b) a connector body that is configured to permit flow of bodily fluid between the first and second tubular fluid conduits. The connector body has a first portion configured for insertion into an axial end of the first tubular fluid conduit and a second portion configured for insertion through a sidewall of the second tubular fluid conduit. The second portion of the connector body is further configured to securely engage the locking member when the locking member is in the locking state.

Internet navigation using soft hyperlinks

A system for internet navigation using soft hyperlinks is disclosed, in connection with an illustrative information retrieval system with which it may be used. The navigation tool provides freedom to move through a collection of electronic documents independent of any hyperlink which has been inserted within an HTML page. A user can click on any term in a document page, not only those that are hyperlinked. For example, when a user clicks on an initial word within the document, the disclosed system employs a search engine in the background to retrieve a list of related terms. In an illustrative embodiment, a compass-like display appears with pointers indicating the first four terms returned by the search engine. These returned terms have the highest degree of correlation with the initial search term in a lexical knowledge base that the search engine constructs automatically. The disclosed system allows the user to move from the current document to one of a number of document lists which cover different associations between the initial word clicked on by the user and other terms extracted from within the retrieved list of related terms. The disclosed system may further allow the user to move to a document that is considered most related to the initial word clicked on by the user, or to a list of documents that are relevant to a phrase or paragraph selection indicated by the user within the current page.

Everted filter device

Everting filter devices and methods for using the devices, including using the devices as intra-vascular filters to filter thrombus, emboli, and plaque fragments from blood vessels. The filter devices include a filter body nominally tubular in shape and having a large proximal opening. The filter body can extend from a proximal first end region distally over the non-everted exterior surface of the filter, further extending distally to a distal-most region, then converging inwardly and extending proximally toward the filter second end region, forming a distal everted cavity. The degree of eversion of the filter can be controlled by varying the distance between the filter first end region near the proximal opening and the closed second end region. Bringing the filter first and second end regions closer together can bring filter material previously on the non-everted filter exterior to occupy the distal-most region. The everting process can also bring filter material previously in the distal-most position further into the distal everted cavity. The filter devices can be used to remove filtrate from body vessels, with the filtrate eventually occluding the distal-most region. The filter can then be further everted, bringing fresh, unoccluded filter material into place to provide additional filter capacity. Some everting filters have the capability of switching between occluding and filtering modes of operation, thereby allowing a treating physician to postpone the decision to use filtering or occluding devices until well after insertion of the device into the patient's body.
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