News Column

Patent Issued for Handheld Medical Device

June 25, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventors Le, Richard T. (Irvine, CA); Santos, Daniel M. (Laguna Niguel, CA); Johnson, Patrick L. (Cowan Heights, CA), filed on May 16, 2008, was published online on June 10, 2014.

The patent's assignee for patent number 8747392 is Pro-Dex, Inc. (Irvine, CA).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention generally relates to handheld medical devices. More particularly, certain features, aspects and advantages of the present invention relate to such devices having control button assemblies on multiple sides, having an offset drive system, having a cannulated drive shaft and/or having a locking collet mechanism.

"Handheld medical devices are generally known in which a motor drives a surgical device having any of a number of different functions and operating characteristics. The surgical devices are interchangeable such that the same handpiece can be used with any of a number of surgical devices or cutter configurations.

"In addition, U.S. Pat. No. 5,871,493 shows a handpiece in which fluid can be aspirated through the surgical device through an aspiration channel. The aspiration channel extends alongside a motor, which motor is axially aligned with the surgical device. Thus, the aspiration channel must be offset from the surgical device.

"U.S. Pat. No. 6,221,088 shows a power handpiece for driving a surgical blade to cut anatomical tissue. A distal end of the handpiece couples to the surgical blade. A motor assembly can be installed in the handpiece to drive the surgical blade and a suction channel is provided in the handpiece body, with a portion of the handpiece body extending through a drive shaft that connects to the surgical blade. The surgical blade carries a sealing assembly to facilitate irrigation and suction. The motor is removed from the handpiece body for sterilization."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "While these configurations may be adequate, each of these configurations also suffers from some drawbacks. Thus, an improved handheld medical device is desired. In some configurations, controls can be positioned on each of the proximal and distal ends of the handpiece. In some configurations, those controls can be positioned on each of an upper side and a lower side of the handpiece. In some configurations, a motor can be provided that has an axis offset from an axis of an implement that is driven by the motor. In some configurations, a fluid passage can be defined through the handpiece in which the axis of the implement extends along the fluid passage. In some embodiments, a collet mechanism features a locking member that is spring biased to a lock position and moveable with a button to an unlock position.

"In some embodiments that are arranged and configured in accordance with certain features, aspects and advantages of the present invention, a medical handpiece comprises a handpiece outer housing. The handpiece outer housing encloses an elongated motor assembly. The elongated motor assembly comprises a motor output shaft. The motor output shaft rotates about a motor output shaft axis. The handpiece outer housing also encloses an internal fluid passage. The internal fluid passage extends generally parallel to the motor output shaft axis. The internal fluid passage also extends generally alongside the elongated motor assembly. A flow controller is mounted in the handpiece outer housing. The flow controller comprises an adjustable flow control valve. The adjustable flow control valve intersects with the internal fluid passage of the handpiece outer housing. The motor output shaft of the elongated motor assembly is mechanically connected to a handpiece drive shaft. The handpiece drive shaft is rotatable about a handpiece drive shaft axis. The handpiece drive shaft axis is offset from the motor output shaft axis. The handpiece drive shaft comprises a drive shaft fluid passage. The drive shaft fluid passage is in fluid communication with the internal fluid passage of the handpiece outer housing."

For additional information on this patent, see: Le, Richard T.; Santos, Daniel M.; Johnson, Patrick L.. Handheld Medical Device. U.S. Patent Number 8747392, filed May 16, 2008, and published online on June 10, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Surgery, Pro-Dex Inc., Medical Devices.

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Source: Journal of Engineering

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