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15389results about How to "Reduce distance" patented technology

Minimally invasive valve repair procedure and apparatus

A clip of a self-closing type is used for valve repair. The clip is generally U-shaped with two end points separated from each other when it is constrained to be in an open configuration, but tends to coil up to assume its natural closed configuration if the constraint is removed. At least one end point is connected through a suture to a tissue-penetrating needle. A needle holder has an outer tube and an inner member which has a slit at the front and is slidable inside the outer tube. They are designed such that the slit can grab the needle tightly or release it as the inner member is moved backward or forward with respect to the outer tube. With the needle secured at the front, the needle holder is passed through a cannula inserted through an incision and the needle penetrates the leaflets such that the clip can be positioned with its end points hooked to the pair of leaflets to be stitched together. If the clip is released from the suture thereafter, it tends to coil up, reducing the distance between the end points and pulling the leaflets together. A double-arm clip assembly with each of the end points of the clip attached through a suture to a separate needle may be similarly used for valve repair. Such a double-arm clip assembly may contain two of such clips mutually connected by means of a flexible connector such that two leaflets are held together by the connector, with the two clips each anchored to a corresponding one of the leaflets.
Owner:MEDTRONIC INC

Apparatus for electrical stimulation of the body

A stimulator for stimulating the leg or other parts of the body e.g. the leg in a patient with drop foot is provided, the stimulator being controlled by e.g a foot switch but being reliable in use and therefore commanding acceptance by users. The foot switch has to work in adverse environmental conditions and is subject to repeated use so that its characteristics vary with time. The invention provides a functional electrical stimulator for attachment to the leg that has adaptive characteristics and comprises first and second electrodes for attachment to the leg to apply an electrical stimulus, a foot switch for sensing foot rise or foot strike, a circuit responsive to said foot switch for generating stimulation pulses; and means forming part of said circuit for responding to changes in the resistance characteristics of said switch means by adjusting a corresponding response threshold of said circuit.The invention also provides a two-channel stimulator that offers various possibilities for controlling the signals to be supplied to different muscle groups. For example, means may be provided defining a signal pathway between the first and second channels so that the supply of stimulation pulses in one of said first and second channels can be controlled by the state of switch means associated with the other of said first and second channels. In a further embodiment means defining a signal pathway between the first and second channels is arranged so that the supply of stimulation pulses in one of said first and second channels can be controlled by the state of activity of the other of said first and second channels. In a yet further embodiment the first channel has means arranged to cause the stimulation pulses to time-out after a predetermined period and the second channel having no or disabled timing means so that supply of stimulation pulses is continuous in a predetermined state of limb position responsive switch means associated with that channel. The two-channel stimulator can be used e.g., to treat bilateral dropped foot.
Owner:BOURNEMOUTH UNIV HIGHER EDUCATION CORP +1
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