2006-034980 is referenced by 210 patents.

PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To provide an improved surgical instrument for preventing malfunction.SOLUTION: This surgical stapling and severing instrument, suitable for endoscopic treatment, has a handle that produces a closing movement and a firing movement independently for actuating an end effector. The handle produces a plurality of firing movements in order to reduce the amount of force necessary to actuate the end effector. A coupled transmission reduces the necessary length of the handle and achieves a hard and strong structure when straightened for firing. The transmission is energized so that the instrument cannot fire unless an electric lockout mechanism, such as an electroactive polymer (EAP) actuator, is actuated. An exemplary lockout is a spring-energized side nail firing mechanism effected by an EAP block actuator. Another lockout is a fire trigger EAP lock. Further, a closed yoke EAP or a manual pull back EAP lock for locking a firing mechanism can be used.

Title
Surgical instrument having electroactive polymer block lockout mechanism
Application Number
2005-217080
Publication Number
2006-034980
Application Date
July 27, 2005
Publication Date
February 9, 2006
Inventor
Timperman Eugene L
Shelton Frederick E Iv
Assignee
Ethicon Endo Surgery
IPC
A61B 17/068