News Column

"Transcutaneous Medical Device with Variable Stiffness" in Patent Application Approval Process

September 11, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- A patent application by the inventors Brister, Mark C. (Encinitas, CA); Brauker, James H. (Addison, MI), filed on April 30, 2014, was made available online on August 28, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to DexCorm, Inc.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Transcutaneous medical devices are useful in medicine for providing the enhanced functionality of a wholly implantable medical device while avoiding many of the complications associated with a wholly implantable device. For example, transcutaneous analyte sensors are generally minimally invasive compared to wholly implantable sensor, and are capable of measuring an analyte concentration for a short period of time (e.g., three days) with similar accuracy as in a wholly implantable sensor."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "In a first aspect, a transcutaneous analyte sensor is provided, the sensor comprising an elongated flexible portion, wherein the elongated flexible portion has a variable stiffness along at least a portion of its length.

"In an embodiment of the first aspect, the sensor comprises at least one wire in a helical configuration, and wherein the variable stiffness is provided by a variable pitch of the helical configuration.

"In an embodiment of the first aspect, the sensor comprises at least one wire in a helical configuration, and wherein the variable stiffness is provided by a variable cross-section of the wire.

"In an embodiment of the first aspect, the sensor comprises at least one wire, and wherein the variable stiffness is provided by a variable hardness of the wire.

"In an embodiment of the first aspect, the variable stiffness of the elongated flexible portion is produced by subjecting the wire to an annealing process.

"In an embodiment of the first aspect, the sensor comprises at least one wire, the wire having a variable diameter.

"In an embodiment of the first aspect, a distal portion of the sensor is more flexible than a proximal portion of the sensor.

"In an embodiment of the first aspect, an intermediate portion of the sensor is more flexible than at least one of a distal portion of the sensor and a proximal portion of the sensor.

"In an embodiment of the first aspect, a distal tip of the sensor is stiffer than at least one of an intermediate portion of the sensor and a proximal portion of the sensor.

"In a second aspect, a transcutaneous analyte sensor is provided, the sensor comprising a distal portion, an intermediate portion, and a proximal portion, wherein the distal portion is adapted to be inserted through a skin of a host, wherein the proximal portion is adapted to remain substantially external to the host when the distal portion is inserted in the host, and wherein a stiffness of the sensor is variable along a length of the sensor.

"In an embodiment of the second aspect, the proximal portion is stiffer than the distal portion.

"In an embodiment of the second aspect, the sensor comprises at least one wire in a helical configuration, and wherein a difference in stiffness of the distal portion and the proximal portion is provided by varying a pitch of the helical configuration.

"In an embodiment of the second aspect, the sensor comprises at least one wire in a helical configuration, and wherein a difference in flexibility of the distal portion and the proximal portion is provided by a varying a cross-section of the wire.

"In an embodiment of the second aspect, the sensor comprises at least one wire, and wherein a difference in flexibility of the distal portion and the proximal portion is provided by a varying a hardness of the wire.

"In an embodiment of the second aspect, a variation in stiffness of the elongated flexible portion is produced by subjecting the wire to an annealing process.

"In an embodiment of the second aspect, the intermediate portion is more flexible than at least one of the distal portion and the proximal portion.

"In an embodiment of the second aspect, the distal portion comprises a distal tip on an end of the sensor that is stiffer a substantial portion of the sensor.

"In an embodiment of the second aspect, the intermediate portion is more flexible than at least one of the distal portion and the proximal portion.

"In an embodiment of the second aspect, the distal portion comprises a distal tip on an end of the sensor that is stiffer a substantial portion of the sensor.

"In a third aspect, a transcutaneous analyte sensor is provided, the sensor comprising an in vivo portion adapted for insertion into a host and an ex vivo portion adapted for operable connection to a device that remains external to the host, wherein the sensor is configured to absorb a relative movement between the ex vivo portion of the sensor and the in vivo portion of the sensor.

"In an embodiment of the third aspect, the sensor is configured to absorb a relative movement by a flexibility of at least an intermediate portion located between the in vivo portion and the ex vivo portion.

"In an embodiment of the third aspect, the device comprises a housing adapted for mounting on a skin of a host, wherein the housing comprises electrical contacts operably connected to the sensor.

"In an embodiment of the third aspect, the ex vivo portion of the sensor is has a preselected stiffness to maintain a stable connection between the sensor and the electrical contacts.

"In an embodiment of the third aspect, the in vivo portion of the sensor has a preselected flexibility to minimize mechanical stresses caused by motion of the host.

"In an embodiment of the third aspect, a stiffness of the ex vivo portion of the sensor is greater than a stiffness of the in vivo portion of the sensor.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1A is a perspective view of a transcutaneous sensor assembly.

"FIG. 1B is a side cross-sectional view of the transcutaneous sensor assembly of FIG. 1A.

"FIG. 2 is a schematic side view of a transcutaneous medical device.

"FIG. 3A is a schematic side view of a first transcutaneous medical device having a variable stiffness.

"FIG. 3B is a schematic side view of a second transcutaneous medical device having a variable stiffness.

"FIG. 3C is a schematic side view of a third transcutaneous medical device having a variable stiffness.

"FIGS. 4A to 4D are perspective and side views of a first variable stiffness wire for use with a transcutaneous analyte sensor.

"FIGS. 5A and 5B are perspective and cross-sectional views of a second variable stiffness wire for use with a transcutaneous analyte sensor.

"FIGS. 6A and 6B are perspective and cross-sectional views of a third variable stiffness wire suitable for use with a transcutaneous analyte sensor.

"FIG. 7 is an expanded view of distal and proximal portions of a transcutaneous sensor in one example."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Brister, Mark C.; Brauker, James H. Transcutaneous Medical Device with Variable Stiffness. Filed April 30, 2014 and posted August 28, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1713&p=35&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140821.PD.&OS=PD/20140821&RS=PD/20140821

Keywords for this news article include: DexCorm, DexCorm Inc.

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Source: Politics & Government Week


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