News Column

Patent Application Titled "Signal Transmission Components for Use with Medical Devices" Published Online

May 12, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Biotech Business Week -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by NewsRx journalists, a patent application by the inventor DRESHER, Russell (Hudson, MA), filed on October 21, 2013, was made available online on May 1, 2014 (see also Biotechnology Companies).

The assignee for this patent application is Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Electrically charged objects, such as, for example, electrical medical equipment, may generate electromagnetic (EM) fields. EM fields may affect the behavior of other charged objects in the vicinity. Mathematical relationships, such as Maxwell's and Faraday's equations and the Lorentz force law, demonstrate that radiated EM fields can induce electric currents on nearby equipment. These induced currents are generally referred to as electromagnetic interference (EMI), and they may interfere with or corrupt electrical signals generated by nearby medical equipment. In a medical setting, such as an operating room or a physician's office, electrical equipment may generate EM fields that affect other medical instrumentation in the vicinity. While medical equipment may be regulated and tested according to industry standards in order to limit the magnitude of EM fields produced, EM fields and radiation may also be generated by other equipment present in a medical facility.

"In the case of a digital endoscope, electrical equipment, such as imaging systems, including cameras located on a distal region for viewing an internal region, may be affected by such EM fields. The EM fields generated by surrounding equipment may couple with cables associated with a digital endoscopic camera, corrupting signals relayed to and from the camera. EM fields may also couple with electronic cables connecting distal endoscopic components, like the digital camera, to proximal electronics, for example, an imaging processor. Additionally, any other electrical components placed near the EM source may be corrupted.

"This corruption from stray current, sometimes referred to as 'airborne EMI,' may have a detrimental effect on endoscopic medical equipment. Cables connecting the distal and proximal electronics of an endoscope may be particularly susceptible to corruption, because the conductors within the cables may act as long antennae, attracting electrical noise from the EM field. These cables may transmit video signal from a distally located endoscopic camera to proximal video processing equipment. In the case of endoscopic imaging equipment, the coupled EMI may corrupt video signal, causing image degradation or, in some instances, complete loss of video imaging. Thus, there exists a need to reduce EM field noise coupling to endoscopic cabling.

"One method of reducing the effects of coupling from airborne EMI to endoscopic cables involves twisting the individual cable conductors together. Twisting the conductors may uniformly expose each conductor to substantially the same noise. Electronic hardware and/or software may then be able to detect the similar signal components, i.e. noise, across each individual cable conductor, allowing the hardware and software to subtract that noise uniformly from the total signal output. However, twisting conductors or conductor pairs may not always be feasible. For example, some medical devices, such as endoscopes, may have size constraints to allow them to navigate narrow body lumens. Because twisting conductors may add additional bulk to the cables, this method of noise reduction may not be possible for some devices.

"Another noise-reduction technique includes surrounding noise-sensitive cables with an EMI shield. Such shields may include, e.g., copper tape or EMI shielding paint, which may be painted on the cabling enclosure, for example. Adding EMI shielding may increase the cost of such devices, however, which is a concern particularly for disposable endoscopes. In some cases, the addition of an EMI shield may be difficult or impossible. For example, it may not be possible to coat the internal lumen of a catheter with EMI shielding paint.

"Noise coupling may also occur through a conductive medium, for example, saline or bodily fluid. This source of noise coupling may be referred to as 'conductively coupled noise.' For example, if an electrical signal is applied to a volume of saline solution, a resulting signal can be measured on an electrode placed in contact with the saline. The saline acts as a conductive path, allowing the injected signal to couple with the electrode. For a medical device, such as an endoscope, bodily fluid or saline used for irrigation, for example, may surround portions of the internal electronic cabling when the endoscope is exposed to such fluidic environments. The conductivity of this fluid medium thus increases the potential for noise coupling between the fluid and the cables.

"One method of decreasing conductively coupled noise is to reduce the amount of fluid in contact with the cabling. Placing the cabling in a separate, sealed lumen may prevent fluids from contacting the cabling. Yet, the size constraints of endoscopes may make sealing the cables difficult. For example, a wall between a visualization lumen of an endoscope and an irrigation and/or aspiration lumen may be thin, for example, to reduce size or increase flexibility. Consequently, the thin wall may be prone to processing defects and/or mechanical damage during a medical procedure. These defects may allow fluid from the irrigation and/or aspiration lumen to enter into the visualization lumen. When an electronic imaging endoscope is used, fluid may surround an electrical cable disposed in the visualization lumen and may fill available space between adjacent conductors of the electronic cable assembly. This may result in imaging signal degradation or failure. Additionally, manufacturing thin walls capable of increased fluid impermeability may also increase the cost of medical devices.

"Another method of reducing conductively coupled noise is to electrically insulate the signal conductors using insulation around the cable. However, the insulation must be of sufficient thickness to prevent noise from coupling to the internal conductors. As a result, using insulation may add to the space requirements of a medical device and therefore may not be feasible for use in smaller-diameter devices, such as endoscopes. Accordingly, a need exists for a means of insulating cables from environmental noise and/or fluid without increasing space requirements, decreasing flexibility, or increasing the cost of a digital imaging endoscope."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, NewsRx editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "Embodiments of the present disclosure are directed to a medical device. The medical device may include an elongate member, having a proximal end and a distal end and at least two lumens extending therebetween. At least one of the lumens may be an imaging lumen configured to hold an imaging device, and an imaging device may be disposed inside the imaging lumen. A signal transmitting device may extend longitudinally through the imaging lumen. A distal end of the signal transmitting device may be operably coupled to the imaging device and a proximal end may be operably coupled to a processor. The processor may be located outside of the imaging lumen. The signal transmitting device may transmit signals between the imaging device and the processor. A grounded, braided catheter may be disposed within and extend the length of the elongate member, surrounding the imaging lumen.

"In various embodiments, the medical device may include one or more of the following additional features: the imaging device may be a camera; the signal transmitting device may be a cable; the braided catheter may completely surround the circumference of the imaging lumen; the medical device may include an illumination lumen configured to house an illumination device, and an illumination device disposed within the illumination lumen; the braided catheter may completely surround the circumferences of both the illumination lumen and the imaging lumen; the braided catheter may be formed of a conductive material; the braided catheter may be connected to a floating ground or an earth ground; the medical device may include an antenna disposed within the elongate member and extending the length of the signal transmitting device; the antenna may be disposed within the imaging lumen; the antenna may be located adjacent to the signal transmitting device; the antenna may be formed of a conductive material and may be electrically grounded; and the antenna may be connected to the same ground as the braided catheter.

"Further embodiments of the disclosure are directed to a medical device. The medical device may include an elongate member, having a proximal end and a distal end and at least two lumens extending therebetween. At least one of the lumens may be an imaging lumen configured to hold an imaging device, and an imaging device may be disposed inside the imaging lumen. At least one cable may extend longitudinally through the imaging lumen. A distal end of the at least one cable may be operably coupled to the imaging device and a proximal end may be operably coupled to a processor. The processor may be located outside of the imaging lumen. The at least one cable may transmit signals between the imaging device and the processor. The medical device may also include a non-conductive medium disposed in the imaging lumen and surrounding the cable.

"In various embodiments, the medical device may include one or more of the following additional features: the non-conductive medium may be a fluid having a density higher than water and the fluid may be sealed within the imaging lumen; the medical device may include a grounded, braided catheter disposed within the elongate member and surrounding the circumference of the imaging lumen; the medical device may also include a conductive antenna adjacent to the cable and extending the length of the cable.

"Another embodiment of the disclosure relates to a medical device having an elongate member with a proximal end and a distal end and an imaging lumen extending therebetween. An imaging device may be disposed in the imaging lumen. At least one cable may be disposed within the imaging lumen. A distal end of the at least one cable may operably couple the imaging device and a proximal end may operably couple a processor. The at least one cable may transmit signals between the imaging device and the processor. The medical device may also include a conductive antenna extending the length of the at least one cable within the imaging lumen. The medical device may also include a braided catheter extending the length of the elongate member and disposed between an exterior wall of the elongate member and an exterior wall of the imaging lumen. The braided catheter may surround the circumference of the imaging lumen. The braided catheter and the antenna may be connected to an electrical ground.

"In various embodiments, the braided catheter and the antenna may be configured to attract current from an electromagnetic field to provide a low-impedance pathway to the ground.

"Additional objects and advantages of the embodiments will be set forth in part in the description that follows, and in part will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by practice of the embodiments. The objects and advantages of the invention will be realized and attained by means of the elements and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

"It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not restrictive of the invention, as claimed.

"The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary medical imaging system, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 2 illustrates a longitudinal cross-sectional view of an endoscope component of the exemplary medical imaging system depicted in FIG. 1;

"FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary transverse cross-sectional view of an endoscope, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 4 illustrates another exemplary transverse cross-sectional view of an endoscope, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 5A illustrates an exemplary transverse cross-sectional view of an endoscope, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure; and

"FIG. 5B illustrates a perspective view of the electronic cable assembly of the endoscope illustrated in FIG. 5A."

For more information, see this patent application: DRESHER, Russell. Signal Transmission Components for Use with Medical Devices. Filed October 21, 2013 and posted May 1, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1620&p=33&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140424.PD.&OS=PD/20140424&RS=PD/20140424

Keywords for this news article include: Software, Electronics, Electromagnet, Biotechnology Companies, Boston Scientific Scimed Inc..

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC


For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel



Source: Biotech Business Week


Story Tools






HispanicBusiness.com Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters