News Column

Patent Issued for Method of Producing a Proximal Connector End of an Implantable Lead

July 28, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Cardiovascular Week -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by NewsRx journalists, a patent by the inventors Hill, Rolf (Jarfalla, SE); Ornberg, Andreas (Jarfalla, SE); Micski, Eva (Jarfalla, SE); Djurling, Henrik (Jarfalla, SE); Nygren, Mats (Bromma, SE), filed on July 24, 2012, was published online on July 15, 2014 (see also St. Jude Medical AB).

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8781590, is St. Jude Medical AB (Jarfalla, SE).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention generally relates to implantable leads, and in particular to proximal end portions for such implantable leads.

"Body implantable electrical leads form the electrical connection between an implantable medical device (IMD), such as cardiac pacemaker, cardiac defibrillator or cardioverter, and body tissue, such as the heart, which is to be electrically stimulated. As is well known, the leads connecting the IMD with the tissue may be used for pacing/defibrillation and for sensing electrical signals produced by the tissue.

"The implantable leads of today are complex arrangements, generally including multiple different lead elements of different materials and therefore having different characteristics. In particular, connector arrangements or proximal end portions of implantable leads are complex arrangements, generally consisting of a multitude of different lead elements that have to be interconnected to form the final connector. This assembling process is complex and time-consuming having multiple separate sub-assembly steps."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, NewsRx editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "There is therefore a need for a lead manufacturing process that allows assembling of proximal lead end portions using few including elements and in few assembly steps. The present invention overcomes these and other drawbacks of the prior art arrangements.

"It is a general object of the present invention to provide a lead connector comprising mechanically inter-connected connector elements of different materials.

"It is another object of the invention to provide a connector arrangement that can be simply handled in the manufacture of lead connectors for implantable medical leads.

"Briefly, the present invention involves a connector assembly of an implantable medical lead for providing a mechanical and electrical connection to an implantable medical device.

"The connector assembly has a central connector pin made of a first conducting material, such as stainless steel. In a first embodiment adapted for active fixation implantable leads, at least a portion of the outer lateral pin surface is coated with a protective layer. A tubular insulator is concentrically provided around at least a portion of the coated pin. The insulator is made of an electrically insulating material, such as a ceramic. A connector ring made of a second conducting material, such as stainless steel, is concentrically provided around at least a portion of the outer lateral insulator surface. According to the present invention, spark plasma sintering is applied to the assembly for mechanically connecting the connector ring to the tubular insulator. The protective layer prevents the insulator from mechanically bonding to the connector pin. After removal of the protective layer, a spacing is formed between the outer pin surface and the inner insulator surface. As a consequence, the connector pin is rotatable relatively the mechanically inter-connected sub-assembly consisting of the insulator and the ring electrode. However, due to the design of the pin, i.e. having a waist surrounded by proximal and distal lead portions with comparatively larger diameters, the sub-assembly is longitudinally restricted relative the connector pin by these proximal and distal pin portions.

"A connector assembly adapted for a passive fixation implantable lead does not have any protective coating on the pin surface. As a consequence, the tubular insulator becomes mechanically connected to both the connector pin and the connector ring.

"The invention offers the following advantages: Requires fewer lead components for manufacturing a lead connector assembly; Allows reliable mechanical inter-connection of connector elements of different materials; Simplifies the assembly process; Provides a rigid connector design; and Same connector elements and similar manufacturing process can be used for both passive and active fixation lead connectors. Other advantages offered by the present invention will be appreciated upon reading of the below description of the embodiments of the invention."

For more information, see this patent: Hill, Rolf; Ornberg, Andreas; Micski, Eva; Djurling, Henrik; Nygren, Mats. Method of Producing a Proximal Connector End of an Implantable Lead. U.S. Patent Number 8781590, filed July 24, 2012, and published online on July 15, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Cardio Device, Cardiology, Medical Devices, St. Jude Medical AB.

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Source: Cardiovascular Week

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