News Column

Patent Issued for Reservoir Plunger Position Monitoring and Medical Device Incorporating Same

September 3, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventors Bazargan, Afshin (Simi Valley, CA); Vazquez, Pablo (Granada Hills, CA); Fonacier, EJMar (Woodland Hills, CA); Weaver, Andrew E. (Granada Hills, CA), filed on August 21, 2012, was published online on August 19, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8808269, is Medtronic MiniMed, Inc. (Northridge, CA).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Infusion pump devices and systems are relatively well-known in the medical devices, for use in delivering or dispensing an agent, such as insulin or another prescribed medication, to a patient. A typical infusion pump includes a pump drive system which typically includes a small motor and drive train components that convert rotational motor motion to a translational displacement of a plunger (or stopper) in a reservoir that delivers medication from the reservoir to the body of a user via a fluid path created between the reservoir and the body of a user. Some fluid infusion devices also include a force sensor designed to detect and indicate a pump malfunction and/or non-delivery of the medication to the patient due to a fluid path occlusion.

"In some fluid infusion devices, the reservoir is obscured from the user by being contained inside a housing, thereby preventing the user from being able to visually monitor the amount of fluid remaining in the reservoir. Additionally, the reservoir could become disengaged from the drive system due to an unexpected anomaly within the pump drive system. Thus, it is desirable to inform the user of the remaining amount of fluid in the reservoir and notify the user in the event the reservoir becomes disengaged from the infusion device or there is an anomaly with the drive system."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "An embodiment of an infusion device is provided. The infusion device includes a voided portion adapted to receive a shaft portion that includes a shaft coupled to a plunger of a reservoir. The shaft portion includes a detectable feature, and the infusion device includes a sensing arrangement proximate the voided portion to sense the detectable feature.

"In another embodiment, an infusion device includes a reservoir having a plunger disposed within a barrel portion, a shaft that is coupled to the plunger and includes a detectable feature, and a sensing arrangement proximate the shaft to sense a position of the detectable feature.

"In yet another embodiment, a method of operating an infusion device to deliver fluid from a reservoir is provided. The reservoir includes a plunger coupled to a shaft such that displacement of the shaft results in displacement of the plunger. The infusion device includes a sensing arrangement to sense a detectable feature on the shaft and a motor having a rotor coupled to the shaft to displace the shaft in response to rotation of the rotor and deliver fluid from the reservoir. The method involves operating the motor to displace the shaft and deliver fluid from the reservoir, obtaining a measured shaft position based at least in part on a position of the detectable feature sensed by the sensing arrangement, determining a remaining amount of fluid in the reservoir based on the measured shaft position, and providing a low fluid notification when the determined amount of remaining fluid is less than a threshold value.

"In another embodiment, a method for operating an infusion device to deliver fluid from a reservoir involves operating a motor having a rotor coupled to a shaft coupled to a plunger in the reservoir displace the shaft and deliver fluid from the reservoir, obtaining a measured shaft position based at least in part on a position of a detectable feature on the shaft sensed by a sensing arrangement, determining an expected shaft position based on an amount of rotation of the rotor, and identifying an anomalous condition when a difference between the expected shaft position and the measured shaft position exceeds a threshold amount.

"This summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the detailed description. This summary is not intended to identify key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter."

For more information, see this patent: Bazargan, Afshin; Vazquez, Pablo; Fonacier, EJMar; Weaver, Andrew E.. Reservoir Plunger Position Monitoring and Medical Device Incorporating Same. U.S. Patent Number 8808269, filed August 21, 2012, and published online on August 19, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8808269.PN.&OS=PN/8808269RS=PN/8808269

Keywords for this news article include: Medtronic MiniMed Inc.

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Source: Journal of Engineering


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