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Shape memory polymer (SMP) gripper with a release sensing system

United States Patent

August 15, 2000
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Visit the Industrial Partnerships Office Website
A system for releasing a target material, such as an embolic coil from an SMP located at the end of a catheter utilizing an optical arrangement for releasing the material. The system includes a laser, laser driver, display panel, photodetector, fiber optics coupler, fiber optics and connectors, a catheter, and an SMP-based gripper, and includes a release sensing and feedback arrangement. The SMP-based gripper is heated via laser light through an optic fiber causing the gripper to release a target material (e.g., embolic coil for therapeutic treatment of aneurysms). Various embodiments are provided for coupling the laser light into the SMP, which includes specific positioning of the coils, removal of the fiber cladding adjacent the coil, a metal coating on the SMP, doping the SMP with a gradient absorbing dye, tapering the fiber optic end, coating the SMP with low refractive index material, and locating an insert between the fiber optic and the coil.
Maitland; Duncan J. (Pleasant Hill, CA), Lee; Abraham P. (Walnut Creek, CA), Schumann; Daniel L. (Concord, CA), Silva; Luiz Da (Danville, CA)
The Regents of the University of California (Oakland, CA)
09/ 116,019
July 15, 1998
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.