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Details for Patent: 5,417,672

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Details for Patent: 5,417,672

Title: Connector for coupling an ultrasound transducer to an ultrasound catheter
Abstract:A connector for attaching an ultrasound transducer to an ultrasound catheter has a support member formed on the ultrasound transducer for supporting at least a portion of a catheter coupling which is disposed at the proximal end of ultrasound catheter. The support member preferably comprises a collar slideably disposed upon the ultrasound transducer so as to move from a non-supporting position wherein the collar is disposed adjacent the catheter coupling to a supporting position wherein the collar is disposed around and engages the catheter coupling. Supporting at least a portion of the catheter coupling mitigates the occurrence of ultrasound transmission member breakage by reducing mechanical stress applied to the proximal end thereof.
Inventor(s): Nita; Henry (Mission Viejo, CA), Tran; Martinos (Garden Grove, CA), Gesswein; Douglas H. (Mission Viejo, CA), Mills; Timothy C. (Newport Beach, CA)
Assignee: Baxter International Inc. (Deerfield, IL)
Filing Date:Oct 04, 1993
Application Number:08/131,065
Claims:1. A connector for connecting an ultrasound transducer to an ultrasound catheter having an ultrasound transmitting member extending longitudinally therethrough, said connector comprising:

a) an ultrasound transducer having a transducer coupling;

b) a catheter coupling formed on said ultrasound transducer for coupling said ultrasound transducer to said catheter at a connection such that ultrasound will be transmitted from said transducer through said ultrasound transmitting member of said catheter;

c) an annular collar on said transducer for supporting said connection between said transducer coupling and said catheter, wherein said collar is slideably moveable between:

i) a first non-supporting position whereat said collar is adjacent said connection; and,

ii) a second supporting position whereat said collar is disposed around said connection to provide support thereto; and

d) wherein said collar has a plurality of open ended slots formed therein to define a plurality of gripping fingers, said gripping fingers being configured and positioned to firmly engage said catheter when said catheter is coupled to said transducer and when said collar is disposed in said second supporting position.

2. The connector of claim 1 wherein said collar has a tapered internal bore, said tapered internal bore being configured relative to said catheter such that said collar will exert an increasingly strong grip on said catheter as said catheter is moved from said first position to said second position.

3. The connector of claim 1 wherein said collar has a countersink formed therein to facilitate movement from said first position to said second position.

4. The connector of claim 1 wherein said support member is configured to surround and support a proximal portion of said catheter when said catheter is coupled to said transducer.

5. The connector of claim 1 wherein said catheter coupling is threaded to said transducer coupling.

6. The connector of claim 1 wherein said collar comprises an elongate slot formed in said collar, said elongate slot having a closed proximal end; and a pin attached to said transducer and extending into said elongate slot such that abutment of said pin against the proximal end of said elongate slot will limit movement of said collar in the distal direction.

7. A connector for connecting an ultrasound transducer to an ultrasound catheter having an ultrasound transmitting member extending longitudinally therethrough, said connector comprising:

a) an ultrasound transducer having a transducer coupling;

b) a catheter coupling formed on said ultrasound transducer for coupling said ultrasound transducer to said catheter at a connection such that ultrasound will be transmitted from said transducer through said ultrasound transmitting member of said catheter;

c) an annular collar on said transducer for supporting said connection between said transducer coupling and said catheter, wherein said collar is slideably moveable between:

i) a first non-supporting position whereat said collar is adjacent said connection; and,

ii) a second supporting position whereat said collar is disposed around said connection to provide support thereto; and

d) wherein said collar comprises

an elongate slot formed in said collar, said elongate slot having a closed proximal end; and,

a pin attached to said transducer and extending into said elongate slot such that abutment of said pin against the proximal end of said elongate slot will limit movement of said collar in the distal direction.

8. The connector of claim 7 wherein said collar has a tapered internal bore, said tapered internal bore being configured relative to said catheter such that said collar will exert an increasingly strong grip on said catheter as said catheter is moved from said first position to said second position.

9. The connector of claim 7 wherein said collar has a countersink formed therein to facilitate movement from said first position to said second position.

10. The connector of claim 7 wherein said support member is configured to surround and support a proximal portion of said catheter when said catheter is coupled to said transducer.

11. The connector of claim 7 wherein said catheter coupling is threaded to said transducer coupling.

12. The connector of claim 7 wherein said collar has a plurality of open ended slots formed therein to define a plurality of gripping fingers, said gripping fingers being configured and positioned to firmly engage said catheter when said catheter is coupled to said transducer and when said collar is disposed in said second supporting position.

13. An ultrasound transducer, attachable to an ultrasound catheter having a catheter coupling said transducer comprising:

a hand held body;

b) a transducer element disposed within said body;

c) a bell attached to said transducer element extending through said body, a distal end of said bell defining a transducer coupling;

d) a collar slideably disposed upon said body to engage and support the catheter coupling, said collar having a non-supporting first position wherein said collar is disposed away from the catheter coupling and having a supporting second position wherein said collar is disposed around at least a portion of the catheter coupling, said collar having a non-supporting first position wherein said collar is disposed away from the catheter coupling and having a supporting second position wherein said collar is disposed around at least a portion of the catheter coupling, and wherein said collar comprises a plurality of open ended slots formed therein so as to define a plurality of gripping fingers, said gripping fingers firmly gripping the catheter coupling when said collar is disposed in the second position thereof.

14. The ultrasound transducer as recited in claim 13 wherein said collar further comprises:

(i) a close ended slot formed therein; and

(ii) a pin rigidly attached to said ultrasound transducer, the pin extending through said slot, so as to limit the distal movement of said collar.

15. The ultrasound transducer as recited in claim 13 wherein said collar further comprises a tapered bore for receiving the catheter coupling, such that said tapered bore will exert a progressively tighter grip on the catheter coupling as said collar is moved from the first position thereof toward the second position thereof.

16. The ultrasound transducer as recited in claim 13 wherein said collar comprises a countersink formed therein for facilitating movement from the first position to the second position thereof.

17. An ultrasound transducer, attachable to an ultrasound catheter having a catheter coupling, said transducer comprising:

a) a hand held body;

b) a transducer element disposed within said body;

c) a bell attached to said transducer element extending through said body, a distal end of said bell defining a transducer coupling;

d) a collar slideably disposed upon said body to engage and support the catheter coupling, said collar having a non-supporting first position wherein said collar is disposed away from the catheter coupling and having a supporting second position wherein said collar is disposed around at least a portion of the catheter coupling, said collar having a non-supporting first position wherein said collar is disposed away from the catheter coupling and having a supporting second position wherein said collar is disposed around at least a portion of the catheter coupling, and wherein said collar comprises:

(i) a close ended slot formed therein; and

(ii) a pin rigidly attached to the ultrasound transducer, the pin extending through said slot, so as to limit the distal movement of said collar.

18. The ultrasound transducer as recited in claim 17 wherein said collar comprises a tapered bore for receiving the catheter coupling, such that said tapered bore will exert a progressively tighter grip on the catheter coupling as said collar is moved from the first position thereof toward the second position thereof.

19. The ultrasound transducer as recited in claim 17 wherein said collar comprises a countersink formed therein for facilitating movement from the first position to the second position thereof.

20. An ultrasound transducer, attachable to an ultrasound catheter having a catheter coupling, said transducer comprising:

a) a hand held body;

b) a transducer element disposed within said body;

c) a bell attached to said transducer element extending through said body, a distal end of said bell defining a transducer coupling;

d) a collar slideably disposed upon said body to engage and support the catheter coupling, said collar having a non-supporting first position wherein said collar is disposed away from the catheter coupling and having a supporting second position wherein said collar is disposed around at least a portion of the catheter coupling, said collar having a non-supporting first position wherein said collar is disposed away from the catheter coupling and having a supporting second position wherein said collar is disposed around at least a portion of the catheter coupling and wherein said collar comprises a tapered bore for receiving the catheter coupling, such that said tapered bore will exert a progressively tighter grip on the catheter coupling as said collar is moved from the first position thereof toward the second position thereof.

21. The ultrasound transducer as recited in claim 20 wherein said collar comprises a countersink formed therein for facilitating movement from the first position to the second position thereof.

22. An ultrasound transducer attachable to an ultrasound catheter having a catheter coupling, said ultrasound transducer comprising:

a) hand held body;

b) a neck extending from said body;

c) a transducer element disposed within said body;

d) a boss extending from said neck;

e) a bell attached to said transducer element and extending through said neck and said boss, said boss and said bell defining a transducer coupling;

f) a collar slideably disposed around said neck, said collar having a non-supporting first position wherein said collar is retracted toward said body and having a supporting second position wherein said collar is extended so as to capture at least a portion of the catheter coupling, said collar comprising:

i) a plurality of open ended slots formed therein so as to define a plurality of gripping fingers, said gripping fingers engaging the catheter coupling when said collar is disposed in the second position therein;

ii) a close ended slot formed therein;

iii) a tapered bore formed longitudinally therethrough for receiving the catheter coupling, said tapered bore more tightly gripping the catheter coupling as said collar is moved from the first position thereof toward the second position thereof;

iv) a countersink formed at an entrance to said bore;

g) a pin rigidly attached to said neck and extending into said close-ended slot so as to limit movement of said collar and to define the second position thereof; and

h) wherein supporting of at least a portion of the catheter coupling mitigates the occurrence of ultrasound transmission member breakage by reducing mechanical stress applied to the proximal end thereof.
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