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Mechanisms for Thermal Management of Electronic Components in Combination RF/Ultrasonic Surgical Handle Disclosure Number: IPCOM000247645D
Publication Date: 2016-Sep-22
Document File: 7 page(s) / 321K

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Several firms now offer advanced energy shears device that provides both RF and ultrasonic energy to cut and coagulate tissue during surgical procedures. From a set up perspective it is preferable to have the user make one attachment to one energy source. This energy source will generically be referred to as a generator. When a single generator is used, a combination RF and ultrasonic signal must be filtered or decomposed in to an RF drive and an ultrasonic drive signal. The process of filtering or decomposing this combination signal into two separate drive signals creates significant thermal challenges. These thermal challenges increase as the duty cycle increases, the power increases, or filter sizes decrease. The mechanisms disclosed in this publication seek to minimize heat of the proximal plug section of the combination RF/Ultrasonic handle despite the thermal challenges listed above. Note that failure to properly manage the thermal build up in the proximal plug section of the combination RF/Ultrasonic handle may result in user injury or equipment damage.

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Mechanisms for Thermal Management of Electronic Components in Combination RF/Ultrasonic Surgical Handle


Several firms now offer advanced energy shears device that provides both RF and ultrasonic energy to  cut and coagulate tissue during surgical procedures.  From a set up perspective it is preferable to have  the user make one attachment to one energy source.  This energy source will generically be referred to  as a generator.  When a single generator is used, a combination RF and ultrasonic signal must be filtered  or decomposed in to an RF drive and an ultrasonic drive signal.  The process of filtering or decomposing  this combination signal into two separate drive signals creates significant thermal challenges.  These  thermal challenges increase as the duty cycle increases, the power increases, or filter sizes decrease.   The mechanisms disclosed in this publication seek to minimize heat of the proximal plug section of the  combination RF/Ultrasonic handle despite the thermal challenges listed above.  Note that failure to  properly manage the thermal build up in the proximal plug section of the combination RF/Ultrasonic  handle may result in user injury or equipment damage. 


Several mechanisms are disclosed below.  For clarity they have been organized into two buckets.  The  first bucket are those mechanism that exist internal to the user interface handle plug.  The second  bucket are those mechanisms that are external or customer facing but still part of the user interface of  the handle plug.   

Internal to Plug: Mechanism 1  Mechanism one relies on the ability to vary power output of the generator based on feedback provided  by the electronics in the system.  Specifically, a thermocouple, thermistor, or other means of sensing  temperature would be added to the electronic elements inside the plug of the combination  RF/Ultrasonic handle.  A predefined transfer function would allow the generator to estimate the exterior  temperature of the proximal plug based on the temperature reading of the temperature sensor inside  the proximal plug.  The generator would allow the user to continue using the system, but limit power or  voltage entering the electronic filter elements until the temperature of the proximal plug was reduced  to a predefined level, such as 75 °F.  It could also provide auditory or visual feedback to the user via  generator tone, generator display, or both. 


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Internal to Plug: Mechanism 2  Mechanism two has a copper wire or similar thermally conductive filament in intimate proximit...