07213736 is referenced by 554 patents and cites 10 patents.

A surgical stapling instrument particularly suited to endoscopic use articulates an end effector (e.g., stapling and severing) that is actuated by a firing bar. An articulation mechanism in an elongate shaft incorporates electrically actuated polymer (EAP) actuators that laterally support the firing bar so that the firing bar is sufficiently constrained to avoid a blow-out, yet is guided without excessive friction and binding. Thereby, effective, consistent firing is accomplished without an undue increase in firing force required when the end effector is articulated.

Title
Surgical stapling instrument incorporating an electroactive polymer actuated firing bar track through an articulation joint
Application Number
11/83740
Publication Number
7213736 (B2)
Application Date
March 18, 2005
Publication Date
May 8, 2007
Inventor
Frederick E Shelton IV
Hillsboro
OH, US
Kenneth S Wales
Mason
OH, US
Agent
Dean L Garner
Assignee
Ethicon Endo Surgery
OH, US
IPC
A61B 17/00
A61B 17/072
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