06984203 is referenced by 456 patents and cites 212 patents.

An endoscope with guiding apparatus is provided. The endoscope has an elongate body with a steerable distal portion, an automatically controlled portion, a flexible and passively manipulated proximal portion, and an externally controlled and manipulatable guiding apparatus. The guiding apparatus may be positioned within the endoscope or may be positioned adjacent to the endoscope. An interlocking device is provided to slidably interlock the guiding apparatus and the endoscope. When the guide is in a flexible state, it can conform to a curve or path defined by the steerable distal portion and the automatically controlled portion. The guide can then be selectively rigidized to assume that curve or path. Once rigidized, the endoscope can be advanced along the guide in a monorail or “piggy-back” fashion so that the flexible proximal portion follows the curve held by the guide until the endoscope reaches a next point of curvature within a body lumen.

Title
Endoscope with adjacently positioned guiding apparatus
Application Number
10/306580
Publication Number
6984203 (B2)
Application Date
November 27, 2002
Publication Date
January 10, 2006
Inventor
Arthur R Ratchford
Menlo Park
CA, US
Amir Belson
Cupertino
CA, US
Wade A Keller
San Jose
CA, US
Joseph M Tartaglia
Morgan Hill
CA, US
Agent
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Assignee
Neoguide Systems
CA, US
IPC
A61B 1/04
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