News Column

Patent Application Titled "Implantable Medical Electrical Lead Conductors and Construction Methods" Published Online

May 22, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventors Boser, Gregory A. (Richfield, MN); McIntyre, Peter B. (Mounds View, MN); Seifert, Kevin R. (Forest Lake, MN), filed on October 31, 2012, was made available online on May 8, 2014.

The assignee for this patent application is Medtronic, Inc.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Implantable medical systems that are designed to deliver electrical stimulation, for example, to cardiac muscle or the spinal cord, and/or to monitor bodily electrical activity, typically include a relatively compact implantable device to which one or more elongate implantable electrical leads are coupled, for example, like the exemplary system 10 schematically shown in FIG. 1A. FIG. 1A illustrates system 10 including an implantable defibrillator device 500 and a defibrillation lead 100, which is connected to device 500 and extends transvenously therefrom, into a heart of a patient, such that a defibrillation electrode 11 and a pace-sense electrode 13 of lead 100 are located in the right ventricle RV of the heart. Those skilled in the art appreciate that a power source and circuitry of device 500 are contained in a hermetically sealed housing 55 of device 500, which housing 55, being formed from a conductive metal such as titanium, may function as an electrode, in concert with electrode 11, to deliver high voltage pulses for defibrillation therapy in response to a cardiac arrhythmia, for example, sensed by electrodes 13, 11.

"FIG. 1A further illustrates device 500 including a connector module 51 that has a port 501 into which a connector terminal 15 of lead 100 is inserted for electrical coupling with the circuitry contained in housing 55, for example, via electrical contacts, which are mounted within port 501 and coupled to the circuitry via hermetically sealed feedthroughs. Suitable constructions for such a connector module and lead connector are known to those skilled in the art. With reference to FIG. 1B, an outer insulation sheath 12 of lead 100 contains a first elongate conductor that couples electrode 11 to a first connector terminal contact 151, and a second elongate conductor that couples electrode 13 to a connector terminal contact pin 153. Typically each of electrodes 11, 13 are joined to the corresponding conductor via a crimp and/or weld joint that may include a separate coupling component. But, to simplify lead construction and/or to streamline a profile of the lead by eliminating at least one joint, it has been proposed that a coiled conductor include an integral electrode length that extends distally out from outer insulation sheath 12 to form electrode 11. Improvements on such a construction are desired, for example, to enhance lead performance in a system such as system 10."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "According to embodiments of the present invention, a continuous conductor wire of an implantable medical electrical lead, which has been formed in a coil, includes a first, electrode length and a second, insulated length, wherein the insulated length of the wire has a radial cross-section defined by a round profile, while the electrode length of the wire has a radial cross-section defined by a flattened profile, a long axis edge of which defines an outer diameter surface of the electrode length. According to some methods of the present invention, the radial cross-section profile of the electrode length of wire is flattened after the wire has been coiled, preferably by rotary swaging. The outer diameter surface of the first, electrode length, by virtue of the flattened profile, has a larger area that faces outward than if the radial cross-section of this same length of wire were left with a round profile.

"In some embodiments, a distal end of the coil, in proximity to the electrode length of wire, is formed into a ring-like structure, for example, by welding multiple turns of the distal end of the coil together. A length of the coil corresponding to the first, electrode length of the conductor wire may be between approximately 4 cm and 8 cm, for example, to function as a defibrillation electrode, however, alternate embodiments of the present invention may be directed toward shorter electrode lengths more suitable for sensing only. According to some embodiments, in which the electrode length is appropriate for sensing only, the electrode length includes a shunt portion located in proximity to the insulated length, wherein the shunt portion is overlaid with a relatively thin layer of dielectric material.


"The following drawings are illustrative of particular embodiments of the present invention and therefore do not limit the scope of the invention. The drawings are not to scale (unless so stated) and are intended for use in conjunction with the explanations in the following detailed description. Embodiments will hereinafter be described in conjunction with the appended drawings wherein like numerals/letters denote like elements, and:

"FIG. 1A is a schematic depicting an exemplary implantable medical system;

"FIG. 1B is a plan view of an implantable medical electrical lead, which may be included in the system of FIG. 1A, and which may be constructed according to some embodiments of the present invention;

"FIG. 2 is a cross-section view, with an enlarged detail view, of a continuous conductor wire coil, according to some embodiments;

"FIG. 3 is a front elevation view of a working portion of an exemplary rotary swaging machine, which may be employed according to some methods of the present invention, along with schematic depicting wire cross-section profiles;

"FIG. 4 is an enlarged view, with a cut-away cross-section, of a distal portion of the lead shown in FIG. 1B, according to some embodiments;

"FIG. 5 is a cross-section view of the continuous conductor wire coil including a welded distal end, according to some embodiments; and

"FIG. 6 is a plan view, with a cut-away cross-section, of a distal portion of a pace-sense lead, according to some embodiments."

For more information, see this patent application: Boser, Gregory A.; McIntyre, Peter B.; Seifert, Kevin R. Implantable Medical Electrical Lead Conductors and Construction Methods. Filed October 31, 2012 and posted May 8, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Medtronic Inc.

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Source: Politics & Government Week

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