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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Multi-Element Cover for a Multi-Camera Endoscope", for Approval

June 18, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Levi, Moshe (Ganey Tikva, IL); Aizenfeld, Amram (Ramot Menashe, IL); Salman, Golan (Atlit, IL), filed on February 6, 2012, was made available online on June 5, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Endo Choice Innovation Center Ltd.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Endoscopes have attained great acceptance within the medical community, since they provide a means for performing procedures with minimal patient trauma, while enabling the physician to view the internal anatomy of the patient. Over the years, numerous endoscopes have been developed and categorized according to specific applications, such as cystoscopy, colonoscopy, laparoscopy, upper GI endoscopy and others. Endoscopes may be inserted into the body's natural orifices or through an incision in the skin.

"An endoscope is usually an elongated tubular shaft, rigid or flexible, having a video camera or a fiber optic lens assembly at its distal end. The shaft is connected to a handle, which sometimes includes an ocular for direct viewing. Viewing is also usually possible via an external screen. Various surgical tools may be inserted through a working channel in the endoscope for performing different surgical procedures.

"Endoscopes, such as colonoscopes, that are currently being used, typically have a front camera for viewing the internal organ, such as the colon, an illuminator, a fluid injector for cleaning the camera lens and sometimes also the illuminator and a working channel for insertion of surgical tools, for example, for removing polyps found in the colon. Often, endoscopes also have fluid injectors ('jet') for cleaning a body cavity, such as the colon, into which they are inserted. The illuminators commonly used are fiber optics which transmit light, generated remotely, to the endoscope tip section. The use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for illumination is also known.

"Among the disadvantages of such endoscopes, are their limited field of view and their complicated packing of all the required elements, such as electronics and fiber optics together with fluid carrying elements in the small sized endoscope tip section. Other problem of the existing endoscopes is the difficult assembling of the gentle electronic components, which are often damaged by the assembling process itself. Another problem of the existing endoscopes is the complicated sealing of the parts, specifically in the tip section of the endoscope. Sealing of the tip section remains a challenge particularly due to the complex environment in which the endoscope is intended to operate.

"There is thus a need in the art for endoscopes, such as colonoscopes, that allow a broader field of view and also enable the efficient packing, assembling and sealing of all necessary elements in the tip section, while maintaining their function.

"The foregoing examples of the related art and limitations related therewith are intended to be illustrative and not exclusive. Other limitations of the related art will become apparent to those of skill in the art upon a reading of the specification and a study of the figures."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The following embodiments and aspects thereof are described and illustrated in conjunction with systems, tools and methods which are meant to be exemplary and illustrative, not limiting in scope.

"According to some embodiments, there is provided a tip section of a multi-camera endoscope, the tip section comprising: a front-pointing camera and a discrete front illuminator associated therewith; one or more side-pointing cameras and one or more discrete side illuminators associated therewith; and a multi component cover configured to cover the inner parts of the tip section.

"According to some embodiments, there is provided a tip section of a multi-camera endoscope, the tip section comprising: a front looking camera and a front discrete illuminator to essentially illuminate the Field Of View (FOV) of the front looking camera; a right side looking camera and a right discrete illuminator to essentially illuminate the FOV of the right side looking camera; a left side looking camera and a left discrete illuminator to essentially illuminate the FOV of the left side looking camera; and a multi component cover configured to cover and seal the tip section such as to essentially prevent entry of fluids from the environment of the endoscope to inner parts of the tip section.

"According to some embodiments, the multi component cover comprises: a front-side component configured to cover a front part and a side part of the tip section; and a side component configured to cover another side part of the tip section, wherein the front-side component and the side component are configured to abut to cover the tip section. The front-side component may be configured to cover the front part and a right side part of the tip section and wherein the side component is configured to cover a left side part of the tip section. The front-side component may be configured to cover the front part and a left side part of the tip section and wherein the side component is configured to cover a right side part of the tip section.

"According to some embodiments, the multi component cover comprises: a front component configured to cover a front part; a right side component configured to cover a right side part of the tip section; and a left side component configured to cover a left side part of the tip section; wherein the front, right side and left side components are configured to abut to cover the tip section.

"According to some embodiments, the multi component cover comprises: a main component configured to cover the majority of the tip section; and a removable window component configured to cover a window opening located on the main component, wherein the removable window component is configured to allow access to an inner part of the tip section without removing the main component.

"According to some embodiments, the multi component cover comprises: a distal component configured to cover a distal part of the tip section; and a proximal component configured to cover a proximal part of the tip section, wherein the distal component and the proximal component are configured to abut to cover the tip section. According to some embodiments, the distal component may have a shape of a cylinder having a side wall and a front face, the front face is configured to cover a front part of the tip section and the proximal component has a shape of a cylinder having a side wall. According to some embodiments, the distal component may be configured for assembling over an inner part of the tip section from a distal part of the tip section and wherein the proximal component is configured for assembling over the inner part of the tip section from a proximal part of the tip section, such that the distal component and the proximal component are configured to join each other along a connection line, (which may be essentially perpendicular to the length of the tip section, for example, along an imaginary line extended between the two side cameras), such that the assembling does not cause damage to the a right/left side looking cameras or optical assemblies thereof.

"The multi component cover further comprises optical windows for one or more of: the front discrete illuminator, the right discrete illuminator, and the left discrete illuminator.

"The multi component cover may further comprise openings for one or more of: the front looking camera and/or an optical assembly thereof, the right side looking camera and/or an optical assembly thereof, and the left side looking camera and/or an optical assembly thereof.

"The multi component cover may further comprise a fluid channeling component adapted to channel fluid for insufflations and/or irrigation. The fluid channeling component may be a unitary component comprising a front fluid channel leading to a front opening at a distal end of the unitary fluid channeling component, for cleaning one or more front optical elements of the tip section, and a side fluid channel leading to a left side opening and to a right side opening in the unitary fluid channeling component, for cleaning side optical elements of the tip section. The unitary fluid channeling component further comprises a working channel adapted for the insertion of a medical tool. The unitary fluid channeling component further comprises a jet fluid channel adapted to clean a body cavity into which the endoscope is inserted.

"According to some embodiments, the multi component cover may further include openings for one or more of: a front I/I injector and/or a nozzle thereof, a side I/I injector and/or a nozzle thereof, a jet fluid channel, and a working channel.

"According to some embodiments, the front looking camera, the front discrete illuminator, the right side looking camera, the right discrete illuminator, the left side looking camera, and the left discrete illuminator are configured to be installed on a single electronic circuit board.

"According to some embodiments, the tip section has a diameter of about 17 mm or less. According to some embodiments, the tip section has a diameter of about 12 mm or less. According to some embodiments, the tip section has a diameter of about 10 mm or less. According to some embodiments, the tip section has a diameter of about 7 mm or less.

"According to some embodiments, there is provided a method for assembling a multi component cover on a tip section of a multi-camera endoscope, the method comprising: installing one or more optical windows on a first part of a multi component cover; installing the first part of an inner part of a tip section; installing one or more optical windows on a second part of the multi component cover; and installing the second part of the inner part of the tip section.

"According to some embodiments, the first part of the multi component cover comprises: a front-side component configured to cover a front part and a side part of the tip section; and the second part of the multi component cover comprises: a side component configured to cover another side part of the tip section, wherein the front-side component and the side component are configured to abut to cover the tip section. The front-side component may be configured to cover the front part and a right side part of the tip section and wherein the side component is configured to cover a left side part of the tip section. The front-side component may be configured to cover the front part and a left side part of the tip section and wherein the side component is configured to cover a right side part of the tip section.

"According to some embodiments, the first part of the multi component cover comprises a front component configured to cover a front part; wherein the second part of the multi component cover comprises a right side component configured to cover a right side part of the tip section; wherein the a third part of the multi component cover comprises a left side component configured to cover a left side part of the tip section; and wherein the front, right side and left side components are configured to abut to cover the tip section.

"According to some embodiments, the first part of the multi component cover comprises a main component configured to cover the majority of the tip section; and wherein the second part of the multi component cover comprises a removable window component configured to cover a window opening located on the main component, wherein the removable window component is configured to allow access to an inner part of the tip section without removing the main component.

"According to some embodiments, the first part of the multi component cover comprises a distal component configured to cover a distal part of the tip section; and wherein the second part of the multi component cover comprises a proximal component configured to cover a proximal part of the tip section, wherein the distal component and the proximal component are configured to abut to cover the tip section. The distal component may have a shape of a cylinder having a side wall and a front face, the front face is configured to cover a front part of the tip section and the proximal component has a shape of a cylinder having a side wall.

"According to some embodiments, any one of the parts (components) of the multi component cover may include a cannel/cavity, for example, along one or more edges of the part (component), on an external and/or internal part of the part (component). The cannel/cavity may be configured to contain one or more adhesives, such as glue, for connecting the parts (components) to each other and thus allowing better sealing of the tip cover.

"According to some embodiments, there is provided herein an endoscope comprising the tip section as described herein. According to some embodiments, there is provided herein a colonoscope comprising the tip section as described herein.

"According to some embodiments, there is provided herein a multi-camera endoscope, such as a colonoscope, comprising the tip section disclosed herein. According to some embodiments, the tip section of an endoscope (such a colonoscope) is the most distal part of the endoscope which terminates the endoscope. The tip section is turnable by way of a bending section connected thereto.

"More details and features of the current invention and its embodiments may be found in the description and the attached drawings.

"Unless otherwise defined, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. Although methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of the present invention, suitable methods and materials are described below. In case of conflict, the patent specification, including definitions, will control. In addition, the materials, methods, and examples are illustrative only and not intended to be limiting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

"Exemplary embodiments are illustrated in referenced figures. Dimensions of components and features shown in the figures are generally chosen for convenience and clarity of presentation and are not necessarily shown to scale. It is intended that the embodiments and figures disclosed herein are to be considered illustrative rather than restrictive. The figures are listed below:

"FIG. 1a schematically depicts an isometric view of a tip section of an endoscope (including an electronic circuit board carrying cameras and illumination sources, and fluid channeling component), having a multi component tip cover (shown in an exploded view), according to an exemplary embodiment of the current invention;

"FIG. 1b schematically depicts an isometric view of the tip section of FIG. 1a, having an assembled multi component tip cover, according to some exemplary embodiments of the current invention;

"FIG. 2 schematically depicts an isometric view of a tip section of an endoscope (including an electronic circuit board carrying cameras and illumination sources, and a fluid channeling component), having a multi component tip cover (shown in an exploded view), according to an exemplary embodiment of the current invention;

"FIG. 3 schematically depicts an exploded view of a multi component tip cover, according to an exemplary embodiment of the current invention;

"FIG. 4a schematically depicts an isometric view of a tip section of an endoscope (including an electronic circuit board carrying cameras and illumination sources, and a fluid channeling component), having a multi component tip cover (shown in an exploded view), according to an exemplary embodiment of the current invention;

"FIG. 4b schematically depicts an isometric view of the tip section of FIG. 4a, having a multi component tip cover (partially in an exploded view), according to an exemplary embodiment of the current invention; and

"FIG. 4c schematically depicts an isometric view of the tip section of FIGS. 4a-b having an assembled multi component tip cover, according to an exemplary embodiment of the current invention."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Levi, Moshe; Aizenfeld, Amram; Salman, Golan. Multi-Element Cover for a Multi-Camera Endoscope. Filed February 6, 2012 and posted June 5, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1510&p=31&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140529.PD.&OS=PD/20140529&RS=PD/20140529

Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Circuit Board, Endo Choice Innovation Center Ltd.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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