Articulatable surgical instruments with conductive pathways

  • US 10,285,695 B2
  • Filed: 09/23/2016
  • Issued: 05/14/2019
  • 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 plurality of electric motors;

    a shaft module releasably connected to the handle assembly, wherein the shaft module comprises;

    a plurality of rotatable shaft members corresponding to the plurality of electric motors, wherein each electric motor is coupled to a separate rotatable shaft member, and wherein at least two of the electric motors are simultaneously coupled to corresponding rotatable shaft members as the shaft module is connected to the handle assembly; and

    an articulation joint;

    at least one electrical shaft conductor positioned within the shaft module;

    an end effector connected to the shaft module;

    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 battery positionable within the handle assembly and configured to supply power to the electric motors; and

    a control system positioned within the handle assembly and configured to control operation of the electric motors.

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