Zimmer Biomet has been granted a patent for a medical device that includes an elongated sleeve with a cutting member made of a wear-resistant ceramic material. The device can rotate at high speed to cut bone and other hard tissue. Additionally, the cutting member has an electrode for cautery or radiofrequency ablation of tissue when the device is in a stationary position. The patent also includes a method for treating tissue using the device, which involves positioning the device at a treatment site, rotating the inner sleeve to shear the tissue, stopping rotation to expose the electrode, and delivering electrical current through the electrode to treat the tissue. The electrode includes micropores that communicate with a central channel and a negative pressure source. GlobalData’s report on Zimmer Biomet 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 Zimmer Biomet, Prosthetic cardiac valves was a key innovation area identified from patents. Zimmer Biomet's grant share as of September 2023 was 66%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

A patent granted for a medical device for tissue treatment

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11771456B2) describes a method for treating tissue in a patient using a shaver device. The method involves positioning the distal end of the shaver's shaft at a treatment site submerged in a conductive fluid. The outer window of the shaft's outer sleeve is engaged against the tissue at the treatment site. The inner sleeve of the shaft is then rotated within the outer sleeve, causing the inner window of the inner sleeve to shear the tissue engaged by the outer window. The inner sleeve carries an electrode with micropores that communicate with a central channel in the inner sleeve. After rotation is stopped, electrical current is delivered through the exposed electrode to electrosurgically treat the tissue at the treatment site.

The electrical current delivered can be radiofrequency current, which is used to cauterize or ablate the sheared tissue. Negative pressure can be applied to the micropores during the delivery of electrical current to inhibit bubble formation at the electrode's surface. The inner window of the inner sleeve includes sharp cutting edges, and the inner sleeve can be rotated in opposing directions. The electrode is circumferentially spaced apart from the inner window by 180°. The rotation of the inner sleeve can be automatically stopped to center the electrode in the outer window by sensing its rotational position and receiving a signal from a controller.

During the delivery of electrical current, a negative pressure source can be actuated to draw the conductive fluid into the central channel through the micropores. The conductive fluid can be collected in a reservoir connected to the central channel. Additionally, negative pressure can be applied to the central channel to draw the conductive fluid out of the treatment site through the micropores.

The micropores in the electrode have diameters ranging from 10 micrometers to 100 micrometers. Another embodiment of the method involves positioning the shaver's shaft at a treatment site submerged in a conductive fluid, with the inner sleeve oriented within the outer sleeve so that the electrode is exposed in the outer window. Electrical current is delivered through the exposed electrode, and negative pressure is applied to the central channel to draw the conductive fluid out of the treatment site through the micropores. This embodiment also includes the use of radiofrequency current, the inhibition of bubble formation, and the centering of the electrode in the outer window by stopping the rotation of the inner sleeve.

Overall, this patented method provides a technique for treating tissue using a shaver device with an electrode and micropores, allowing for precise and controlled electrosurgical treatment.

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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.