Patent Number: 6,310,642

Title: Reduced area imaging devices incorporated within surgical instruments

Abstract: A reduced area imaging device is provided for use in medical or dental instruments such as an endoscope. In one configuration of the imaging device, the image sensor is placed remote from the remaining circuitry. In another configuration, all of the circuitry to include the image sensor is placed in a stacked fashion at the same location. In a first embodiment of the invention, the entire imaging device can be placed at the distal tip of an endoscope. In a second embodiment, the image sensor is remote from the remaining circuitry according to the first configuration, and wherein a control box can be provided which communicates with the image sensor and is placed remotely from the endoscope. In another embodiment, the imaging device can be incorporated in the housing of a standard medical camera which is adapted for use with traditional rod lens endoscopes. In yet another embodiment, the imaging device can be wholly incorporated within the endoscope by placing the image sensor and timing and control circuitry within the distal tip of the endoscope, and placing the remaining processing circuitry within the handle of the endoscope. In any of the embodiments, the image sensor may be placed alone on a first circuit board, or timing and control circuits may be included on the first circuit board containing the image sensor. One or more video processing boards can be stacked in a longitudinal fashion with respect to the first board, or the video processing boards may be placed in the control box or in the handle of the endoscope.

Inventors: Adair; Edwin L. (Castle Pines Village, CO), Adair; Jeffrey L. (Highlands Ranch, CO), Adair; Randall S. (Denver, CO)

Assignee: Micro-Medical Devices, Inc.

International Classification: A61B 1/05 (20060101); H01L 25/16 (20060101); H04N 5/225 (20060101); H04N 3/15 (20060101); A61B 1/005 (20060101); H04N 007/18 ()

Expiration Date: 10/30/2018