Stryker has been granted a patent for a probe designed for minimally invasive surgery. The probe features a bulbous-shaped tip with a smooth and rounded outer surface, and a neuromonitoring element that can detect electrical activity. The probe also includes a surface feature to prevent expulsion from the body and has insulated and conductive materials on different surface regions. GlobalData’s report on Stryker gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s company profile on Stryker, Surgical robots was a key innovation area identified from patents. Stryker's grant share as of September 2023 was 61%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.
A probe for minimally invasive surgery with neuromonitoring capabilities
A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11771464B2) describes a probe designed for use in minimally invasive surgery. The probe consists of a shaft and a tip that extends from the shaft. The tip has a bulbous shape with a smooth and rounded outer surface, including a ledge that tapers to a neck with a reduced diameter between the terminus of the tip and the shaft. The probe also includes a neuromonitoring element located between the terminus and the neck of the tip, which is configured to detect electrical activity.
The patent claims also mention that the neuromonitoring element has an elongate shape. The shaft of the probe includes a proximal portion and a distal portion, with the distal portion being narrower than at least one location on each of the proximal portion and the tip. The entire surface of the proximal portion, distal portion, and tip is smooth and continuous. The distal portion of the shaft also includes a concave surface.
Additionally, the tip of the probe has a maximum diameter larger than the maximum diameter of the shaft. The probe may also include an ultrasound sensor on the tip. The dimensions of the tip are specified as a maximum width of 6 mm, a neck width of 4.5 mm, a length from the maximum width to the terminus of 6 mm, and a length from the neck to the terminus of 8 mm.
Another embodiment of the probe described in the patent is designed for use in the human body. This probe includes a handle, a shaft portion connected to the handle, a tip portion extending from the shaft portion, and a neuromonitoring element located between the terminus of the tip portion and a surface feature that resists expulsion of the probe from the human body. Similar to the previous embodiment, this probe may also include an ultrasound sensor on the tip. The dimensions of the tip portion are the same as mentioned earlier.
Overall, this granted patent introduces a probe with a unique design for use in minimally invasive surgery. The inclusion of a neuromonitoring element and optional ultrasound sensor enhances the functionality of the probe, allowing for improved detection and monitoring of electrical activity during surgical procedures. The specific dimensions and surface features of the probe contribute to its effectiveness and ease of use in various medical applications.