Articulatable surgical instruments with conductive pathways for signal communication

  • US 10,226,249 B2
  • Filed: 09/23/2016
  • Issued: 03/12/2019
  • Est. Priority Date: 03/01/2013
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A surgical instrument, comprising:

  • a handle assembly comprising a proximal portion and a distal portion detachably connected to the proximal portion;

    a modular shaft assembly detachably connected to the handle assembly, wherein the modular shaft assembly comprises an articulation joint;

    at least one electrical shaft conductor positioned within the modular shaft assembly;

    an end effector connected to the modular shaft assembly;

    a coupler assembly configured to be detachably coupled to the end effector and form an electrically conductive coupler pathway from an end effector conductor in the end effector to the articulation joint;

    an articulation joint conductor contacting the electrically conductive coupler pathway and traversing the articulation joint to contact the at least one electrical shaft conductor to form an electrically-conductive path therebetween, wherein the coupler assembly comprises a locking assembly configured to releasably lock the end effector to the coupler assembly, and wherein the locking assembly forms the electrically conductive coupler pathway from the end effector conductor to the articulation joint conductor;

    a motor housing assembly removably supported within the proximal portion of the handle assembly, wherein the motor housing assembly comprises;

    a plurality of electric motors; and

    a motor support configured to support the plurality of electric motors, wherein the motor support is configured to hold a first one of the electric motors and a second one of the electric motors parallel to one another relative to a longitudinal axis of the modular shaft assembly;

    a battery electrically couplable to the electric motors, wherein the battery is positioned within the proximal portion of the handle assembly;

    a control system electrically connected to the battery, wherein the control system is positioned within the proximal portion of the handle assembly and is configured to control operation of the plurality of electric motors; and

    a visual display in signal communication with the control system.

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