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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Endoscope with a T-Shaped Flexible Circuit Board", for Approval

August 20, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventor LIN, Rung-De (Taichung City, TW), filed on March 27, 2014, was made available online on August 7, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Limit Optics Co., Ltd.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to an endoscope, and more particularly to an endoscope with a T-shaped flexible circuit board.

"FIG. 1 shows a conventional endoscope 10 which comprises a pipe 11, a camera 12, a light shield 13 and a plurality of LED (light emitting diode) elements 14 mounted on a circuit board 15 and located around the periphery of the camera 12. The light shield 13 is located at the front of the camera 12 to block light. The camera 12 is combined with the light shield 13 and the LED elements 14 and then disposed in the pipe 11, and the pipe 11 is used to insert in a patient's body cavity.

"The endoscope 10 is very small and compact in order to insert into the body cavity, hence, it is very difficult to assemble these parts, including the camera 12, the light shield 13, the LED elements 14 and the circuit board 15 together into such a small pipe 11.

"On the other hand, the LED elements 14 and the circuit board 15 have to be arranged around the camera 12, and the conventional circuit board 15 is usually made of rigid metal. Hence, arranging the circuit board 15 around the camera 12 would increase the volume of the endoscope 10.

"FIGS. 2 and 3 show another endoscope A which a lower housing A1, an upper housing A2, a circuit board A3, a lens A4 and a light source A5. Each of the lower and upper housings A1, A2 is provided with an opening A11, A21 which open in a vertical direction D1. The circuit board A3 is a flat and straight board extending only in a single direction, and on the circuit board A3 are disposed the light source A5 and a photosensitive element A6. Before the circuit board A3 deforms, the light source A5 and the photosensitive element A6 are all disposed in the vertical direction D1, as shown in FIG. 2.

"When in assembly, the circuit board A3 are disposed between the lower and upper housings A1, A2, then the two housings A1, A2 are clamped together in the vertical direction D1 to make the bending frame A22 of the upper housing A2 and a separating frame A12 of the lower housing A1 press the circuit board A3 from both sides, so that the circuit board A3 is bent 180 degrees, in such a manner that the photosensitive element A6 is located right in front of the separating frame A12 and changed to be disposed in a horizontal direction D2 perpendicular to the vertical direction D1, the light source A5 is also changed to be disposed in the horizontal direction D2, and the lens A4 is located in the horizontal direction D2 adjacent to the photosensitive element A6 to shoot in the horizontal direction D2, as shown in FIG. 3.

"The endoscope A is assembled in the vertical direction D1, and the circuit board A3 is bent 180 degrees during assembly to change the direction in which the photosensitive element A6 and the light source A5 were originally disposed from the vertical direction D1 to the horizontal direction D2. However, the endoscope A has the following disadvantages:

"First of all, the circuit board A3 is a precision electronic component and will be very likely to be ruptured after being bent 180 degrees, which results in a low yield rate. Besides, the photosensitive element A6 and the light source A5 on the circuit board A3, during assembly, change in orientation from the vertical direction D1 to the horizontal direction D2, which improves ease and efficiency of assembly.

"The present invention has arisen to mitigate and/or obviate the afore-described disadvantages."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "The primary object of the present invention is to provide an endoscope with a T-shaped flexible circuit board, wherein the T-shaped flexible circuit board cooperates with the base mounting frame to better fit into a pipe of the endoscope, so as to improve the ease of assembly. Further, the flexibility of the circuit board reduces the volume of the endoscope and improves applicability.

"To achieve the above object, an endoscope with a T-shaped flexible circuit board in accordance with the present invention comprises: an endoscope with a T-shaped flexible circuit board comprising;

"a base mounting frame with two arm portions and a connecting portion connected between one ends of the two arm portions, between another ends of the two arm portions being defined a gap, each of the two arm portions extending from the connecting portion to the gap and having a length, a surface of the base mounting frame located between the two arm portions and the connecting portion being defined as an inner surface, and another surface opposite the inner surface being defined as an outer surface of the base mounting frame, each of the two arm portions having an end surface which extends in a forward direction;

"the T-shaped flexible circuit board including a mounting portion electrically connected to an electric connecting portion, the mounting portion and the electric connecting portion defining a non-zero angle with respect to each other, the T-shaped flexible circuit bard including a mounting surface and a connecting surface, the connecting surface being abutted against the inner surface of the base mounting frame in such a manner that the mounting portion is abutted against the end surfaces, the arm portions and the connecting portion of the base mounting frame, and the electric connecting portion bridges over the connecting portion and extends out of the base mounting frame to electrically connect a power supply or an imaging device;

"a photosensitive element electrically connected to the mounting portion of the flexible circuit board and mounted on the mounting surface;

"two light emitting elements being electrically connected to the mounting portion of the flexible circuit board, located in alignment with the end surfaces of the arm portions of the base mounting frame, and disposed in the forward direction; and

"a camera including a lens at one end and an engaging groove at another end thereof, and having a length larger than the length of the arm portions, the camera being disposed on the mounting surface of the mounting portion of the flexible circuit board in such a manner that the camera is disposed in a space defined by the two arm portions and the connecting portion of the base mounting frame, the photosensitive element is engaged in the engaging groove, the lens of the camera protrudes out of the gap between the arm portions of the base mounting frame and is disposed in the forward direction, and the camera is disposed in the forward direction and protrudes out of the end surfaces of the base mounting frame and also protrudes out of the two light emitting elements.

"The photosensitive element, the two light emitting elements and the camera are mounted onto the T-shaped flexible circuit board, then the flexible circuit board deforms to fit in the base mounting frame. During assembly, the photosensitive element, the two light emitting elements and the camera are maintained in the same orientation, and the T-shaped flexible circuit can be pushed into the base mounting frame simply by applying a force in a single direction parallel to the orientation direction of the photosensitive element, the two light emitting elements and the camera. Therefore, the assembly precision of the endoscope is easy to control, so as to improve the product accuracy.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a cross sectional view of a conventional endoscope;

"FIG. 2 shows a conventional endoscope before assembly;

"FIG. 3 shows the conventional endoscope of FIG. 2 after assembly;

"FIG. 4 is an exploded view of an endoscope with a T-shaped flexible circuit board in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 5 is an assembly view of the endoscope with a T-shaped flexible circuit board in accordance with the present invention;

"FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view of the endoscope with a T-shaped flexible circuit board in accordance with the present invention; and

"FIG. 7 is front side view of the endoscope with a T-shaped flexible circuit board in accordance with the present invention."

For additional information on this patent application, see: LIN, Rung-De. Endoscope with a T-Shaped Flexible Circuit Board. Filed March 27, 2014 and posted August 7, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=4696&p=94&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140731.PD.&OS=PD/20140731&RS=PD/20140731

Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Circuit Board, Limit Optics Co. Ltd.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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