Ambu has been granted a patent for an endoscope with a tip part that includes both transparent and opaque surfaces. The opaque surface has a hydrophobic structure to prevent water droplets from obstructing the view. The endoscope also features a camera and a bending section. GlobalData’s report on Ambu gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Ambu, AI-assisted medical imaging was a key innovation area identified from patents. Ambu's grant share as of September 2023 was 39%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

A patent granted for an endoscope with a hydrophobic tip

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Ambu A/S

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11766163B2) describes an innovative design for an endoscope. The endoscope includes a bending section and a tip part with a housing supported by the bending section. The housing has a distal wall with an outer distal surface and an outer peripheral surface. Within the housing, there is a camera positioned along an optical axis.

The unique feature of this endoscope is the design of the distal wall of the housing. The distal wall includes a camera viewing area, a separate light transmission area, and an opaque portion between them. The camera viewing area is transparent and allows the optical axis of the camera to pass through. The light transmission area is also transparent. The opaque portion of the distal wall includes a textured area with a regulated pattern of outwardly extending protrusions. This pattern is molded or stamped onto the housing to provide hydrophobicity. The repeating pattern of protrusions has equidistant features in at least one predetermined direction.

The patent also describes a method of making this endoscope. The method involves injection molding the housing with a textured area on the outer distal surface of the distal wall. The camera is then positioned within the housing, and the tip part is connected to the bending section.

Overall, this patented endoscope design offers improved functionality and performance. The textured area on the distal wall provides hydrophobicity, which can prevent water or other liquids from obstructing the camera view. The regulated pattern of protrusions ensures consistency and effectiveness in achieving hydrophobicity. The transparent camera viewing area and light transmission area allow for clear visualization during medical procedures. The method of manufacturing described in the patent enables efficient production of this innovative endoscope design.

This patented technology has the potential to enhance the field of endoscopy by improving the quality and reliability of imaging during medical procedures. The hydrophobic properties of the textured area can contribute to better visibility and accuracy, ultimately benefiting both healthcare professionals and patients.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.