Tapered, Flexible Sleeve for Inserting a Silicone Breast Implant

Status: Completed
Deadline: April 25, 2016
Award: $2,000 for each accepted prior art citation

The Seeker is looking for prior art citations from sources from outside the United States that have been publicly disclosed or described prior to December 7, 2007 that clearly show or specifically describe a continuously tapered, flexible sleeve suitable for inserting into the human body in a surgical application.

Specifically, the Seeker wants information from patent or non-patent documents prior to December 7, 2007 that reference a prior art with images showing a flexible, conically-shaped device being used for surgical insertion of a prothesis. It must unmistakably illustrate that the sleeve is tapered with a first opening larger than the a second opening. Such a tapered sleeve is described and illustrated in patent (US 8,211,173). The figures below are from this patent:

Figure 1 shows a tapered conical sleeve (10) with the first opening (12) at a larger end of the sleeve and a smaller opening (14). Figures 2 and 3 show the sleeve containing an implant (20) being moved through the smaller opening (14). All images are from US 8,211,173.

For this search, relevant citations of greatest interest will relate to photographs or drawings of the sleeves that are described in the Mladick references (1, 2, 3). The published photographs in article 1 are not sufficiently clear to show the tapered conical sleeve. The other two (2, 3) Mladick references are letters in journals and do not have any images. A reference with the sleeve openings being the same size may be of interest but this is not optimal.

Information can be from primary or secondary sources and in any language. Submissions of non-English information will be reviewed more rapidly if you provide an English translation of the relevant passages.

The information will most likely be found in publically disclosed sources including but not limited to: scientific literature, presentations, public lectures, oral proceedings, conference proceedings, posters, research reports or proposals, citations, laboratory manuals, or publically available thesis.

Published work from major medical research or scientific publications or from U.S. sources are less likely to provide a successful solution to this Challenge because these have already been extensively explored.

Patents and non-patent literature reference listed in the spreadsheet available here have already been explored and are not eligible for consideration.

Patent Applications and Patents NOT eligible for consideration:
CA 2 230 615 C
CA 2 512 203 A1
CA 2 525 546 A1
D 723 164 S1
DE 3 027 681 A1
EP 0,102,342 B1
EP 0,228,375 A1
EP 2,487,881
EP 1,214,109 A1
WO 103,239 2A
0,161,253 A1
0,184,100 A1
0,212,333 A1
0,218,709 A1
3,335,769 A
3,541,868 A
4,204,543 A
4,300,542 A
4,641,648 A
4,778,553 A
4,995,906 A
5,054,500 A
5,333,330 A
5,383,894 A
5,423,776 A
5,458,559 A
5,554,117 A
5,897,589 A
5,639,274 A
5,571,178 A
5,571,208 A
5,723,006 A
5,782,913 A
5,966,748 A
6,123,683 A
6,267,772 B1
6,383,191 B1
6,434757 B1
6,547,771 B2
6,796,875 B1
7,076,285 B2
7,163,495 B2
7,185,655 B1
7,584,755 B
8,206,443 B2
8,211,173 B2
8,313,760 B2
8,550,090 B2
8,555,893 B2
8,801,782 B2
9,017,403 B2

To be considered, Submissions must:
  1. Have been be available or dated prior to December 7, 2007; and
  2. Clearly illustrate or distinctly describe a tapered, flexible sleeve with one opening larger than the other opening being used for surgical insertion of a prosthesis.

Key terms, key phrases:
sleeve, funnel, tapered sleeve

  1. RICHARD A. MLADICK, M.D., F.A.C.S. "No-Touch" Submuscular Saline Breast Augmentation Technique, Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 17:183-192, 1993 , New York, NY. (Click on "Look Inside").

  2. RICHARD A. MLADICK, M.D., F.A.C.S. SIGNIFICANCE OF Staphylococcus epidermidis CAUSING SUBCLINICAL INFECTION, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery: 15 April 2005 - Volume 115 - Issue 5 - pp 1426-1427, Virginia Beach, VA

  3. RICHARD A. MLADICK, M.D., F.A.C.S. Prevention of Capsular Contracture, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery: May 1999 - Volume 103 - Issue 6 - pp 1773-1774, Virginia Beach, VA

A prior art citation is any presentation, oral proceeding, grant proposal, lecture notes, thesis (PhD or Masters), conference proceeding, conference poster, foreign language citation, government report or other dissemination of information or technology that publicly discloses the specific concepts related to the search prior to the date indicated.

Please be VERY specific about how your submission meets the request criteria, and include a copy of the actual citation, not just an excerpt.