Articulatable surgical instruments with conductive pathways for signal communication

  • US 9,700,309 B2
  • Filed: 03/01/2013
  • Issued: 07/11/2017
  • Est. Priority Date: 03/01/2013
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
Patent Images

1. A surgical instrument, comprising:

  • an elongate shaft assembly including at least one electrical shaft conductor therein; and

    an articulation joint comprising;

    a proximal joint portion coupled to the elongate shaft assembly;

    a distal joint portion movably coupled to the proximal joint portion for selective articulation relative thereto;

    a coupler assembly rotatably coupled to the distal joint portion for selective rotation relative thereto, the coupler assembly configured to be detachably coupled to a surgical end effector and form an electrically conductive coupler pathway from an end effector conductor in the end effector to the articulation joint; and

    an articulation joint conductor contacting the electrically conductive coupler pathway and traversing the articulation joint to contact the corresponding shaft conductor to form an electrically-conductive path therebetween, wherein the coupler assembly further comprises a locking assembly configured to releasably lock the end effector thereto, the locking assembly forming the electrically conductive coupler pathway from the end effector conductor to the articulation joint conductor.

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