Wyoming Patent of the Month – May 2021

Surgical procedures are typically very precise. At the same time, surgeons often use powered instruments such as drills and saws. These two factors don’t always seem to go hand in hand, as the surgeon must rely solely on their senses to ensure the powered tools would be placed and used appropriately. This can be incredibly difficult when considering the potential impacts of small errors. For instance, when drilling through bone, when the drill finally breaks through on the other side, you experience “the plunge”. This plunge refers to the sudden forward movement of the drill as the resistance of the bone disappears. The surgeon has to anticipate this and ensure not to let the plunge result in the drilling of adjacent tissues. Obviously, this anticipation and the ability to adjust for it is not always possible. McGinley Engineered Solutions worked to solve this limitation, creating a method to better sense surgical tool placement.

They designed a measurement system that works with the power tools and helps to align placement of the tool. With the use of a displacement sensor, the system can determine the relative displacement of the tool to the anatomy of the patient. An additional sensor monitors the tool drive as it works on the anatomy. This signal helps track false placement based on noise (eg. drilling in bone vs cartilage has different sounds). This gives the ability overall for the surgeon to be made aware of the leading edge of the tool relative to the anatomic structures of the patient. As these sensors take in information, they transmit it to an attached processor and offer alerts to the surgeon as conditions change. This gives the surgeon better knowledge and control throughout the procedure.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

Who We Are:

Swanson Reed is one of the U.S.’ largest Specialist R&D tax advisory firms. We manage all facets of the R&D tax credit program, from claim preparation and audit compliance to claim disputes.

Swanson Reed regularly hosts free webinars and provides free IRS CE and CPE credits for CPAs. For more information please visit us at www.swansonreed.com/webinars or contact your usual Swanson Reed representative.

Recent Posts