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Title:
PADDED GLOVE
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A glove that includes at least one layer and one or more pads coupled with the at least one layer is disclosed. The one or more pads may be secured to the at least one layer using an adhesive, integrated with the at least one layer, etc. The one or more pads may be positioned such that the one or more pads are disposed between the user's hand and a laparoscopic instrument when in use. In this manner, the one or more pads may reduce and/or distribute the pressure on the digits and/or hands resulting from use of laparoscopic instruments or other types of instruments.


Inventors:
Zare, Marc M. (Palo Alto, CA, US)
Application Number:
13/215582
Publication Date:
02/23/2012
Filing Date:
08/23/2011
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/161.7
International Classes:
A41D13/08; A41D19/00
View Patent Images:
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Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A glove comprising: at least one layer operable to at least partially cover a digit, wherein said at least one layer is watertight; and a pad coupled with said at least one layer, wherein said pad is positioned away from a tip section of said at least one layer, and wherein said pad is operable to reduce pressure on said digit responsive to a force applied thereto.

2. The glove of claim 1, wherein said digit is selected from a group consisting of a thumb and a finger.

3. The glove of claim 1, wherein said at least one layer comprises at least one section, and wherein each section of said at least one section is selected from a group consisting of a medial section, lateral section, volar section, a dorsal section and said tip section.

4. The glove of claim 1, wherein said at least one layer comprises a plurality of sections, wherein a first portion of said pad is positioned at a first section of said plurality of sections, and wherein a second portion of said pad is positioned at a second section of said plurality of sections.

5. The glove of claim 4, wherein said first and second portions of said pad are connected by a third portion of said pad.

6. The glove of claim 1, wherein said pad is shaped to overlap at least one joint of said digit.

7. The glove of claim 1, wherein said at least one layer and said pad are integrated.

8. The glove of claim 1, wherein said pad is coupled with said at least one layer using an adhesive.

9. The glove of claim 1, wherein said at least one layer defines an opening operable to accept said digit, and wherein said pad is disposed on a side of said at least one layer facing said opening.

10. The glove of claim 1, wherein said at least one layer defines an opening operable to accept said digit, and wherein said pad is disposed on a side of said at least one layer opposite said opening.

11. The glove of claim 1, wherein said pad is removable.

12. The glove of claim 1, wherein said pad circumscribes said digit.

13. A surgical glove comprising: a first section having a first thickness; and a second section coupled with said first section and having a second thickness, wherein said second thickness is larger than said first thickness, and wherein said first and second sections are operable to at least partially cover a digit, wherein said first and second sections are watertight, and wherein said second section is operable to reduce pressure on said digit responsive to a force applied thereto by a surgical instrument.

14. The surgical glove of claim 13, wherein said digit is selected from a group consisting of a thumb and a finger.

15. The surgical glove of claim 13, wherein said first and second sections are each selected from a group consisting of a medial section, lateral section, volar section and a dorsal section.

16. The surgical glove of claim 13 further comprising: a third section coupled with said first section and having a third thickness, wherein said third thickness is greater than said first thickness.

17. The surgical glove of claim 13, wherein said second portion extends around said digit for at least 90 degrees.

18. The surgical glove of claim 13, wherein said second section comprises a material selected from a group consisting of a polymer, an elastomer, an elastomeric gel, a silicone gel, an air-filled silicone gel, an acrylic gel, a polymer gel, latex, and a foam.

19. The surgical glove of claim 13, wherein said second section comprises a pad and at least one layer.

20. The surgical glove of claim 19, wherein said pad is coupled with said at least one layer using an adhesive.

21. The surgical glove of claim 13, wherein said at least one layer defines an opening operable to accept said digit, and wherein said pad is disposed on a side of said at least one layer facing said opening.

22. The surgical glove of claim 13, wherein said at least one layer defines an opening operable to accept said digit, and wherein said pad is disposed on a side of said at least one layer opposite said opening.

23. An apparatus comprising: a glove comprising: at least one layer operable to at least partially cover a digit, wherein said at least one layer is watertight; and a pad coupled with said at least one layer, wherein said pad is positioned away from a tip section of said at least one layer, and wherein said pad is operable to reduce pressure on said digit responsive to a force applied thereto; and packaging operable to accept said glove.

24. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein said packaging is airtight.

25. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein said packaging comprises a first portion operable to accept said glove and further comprises a second portion operable to accept at least one other glove.

26. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein said first and second portions are joined at a seam, and wherein said seam is operable to form a hinge to allow said first and second portions to be folded on one another.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/498,618, filed Jun. 20, 2011, entitled “PRESSURE ALLEVIATING COMPONENT,” naming Marc M. Zare as the inventor, and having attorney docket number ZARE0001.B. The present application also claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/376,087, filed Aug. 23, 2010, entitled “PRESSURE ALLEVIATING COMPONENT,” naming Marc M. Zare as the inventor, and having attorney docket number ZARE0001.A. Those applications are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety and for all purposes.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In recent years, the popularity of laparoscopic or minimally invasive surgery has increased. Laparoscopic surgery typically involves using laparoscopic instruments (e.g., 100 of FIG. 1) and laparoscopes to perform surgical procedures through small openings or incisions in the abdominal wall (e.g., 110). Trocars or ports (e.g., 120) are inserted into the incisions and held in place by tissues of the abdominal wall, thereby forming a port or opening through which the laparoscopic instruments and laparoscopes can be inserted. Once the surgery is complete, the trocars are removed and the incisions are closed. In this manner, laparoscopic surgery can reduce scaring, recovery time and provide other known advantages.

Laparoscopic instruments are generally composed of several members. For example, handles 102 and 104 may be held similar to a pair of scissors (e.g., by inserting a thumb into ring 103 and the ring finger or other finger into ring 105) and used to articulate component 106. A linkage inside shaft 108 may connect component 106 to handles 102 and 104. Component 102 may be configured similar to a pair of pliers (e.g., to clamp, pull, etc.), a pair of scissors (e.g., to cut), or some other instrument. As such, component 106 may be used to perform surgical procedures inside the abdomen or another part of the body while manipulated outside the abdomen using handles 102 and 104.

Although laparoscopic instruments can be used to perform surgical procedures, the forces required to manipulate the handles can cause discomfort or injury to the hands. For example, typical laparoscopic surgeries require repeated manipulations of the handles of laparoscopic instruments. Each movement of the handles applies relatively high, localized pressure to the digits and/or other portions of the hand. Accordingly, the repeated manipulations of the laparoscopic instruments over an extended duration during surgery can cause injury to nerves, ligaments, tendons, muscles, bones, cartilage and other tissues of the digits and/or hands.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, a need exists to reduce and/or distribute the pressure on the digits and/or hands resulting from use of laparoscopic instruments or other types of instruments. A need also exists to reduce and/or distribute the pressure on the digits and/or hands resulting from use of laparoscopic instruments or other types of instruments while maintaining adequate tactile sensation and/or adequate dexterity. Additionally, a need exists to reduce and/or distribute the pressure on the digits and/or hands resulting from use of laparoscopic instruments or other types of instruments while reducing the likelihood of infection. Embodiments of the present invention provide novel solutions to these needs and others as described below.

Embodiments of the present invention are directed to a glove that includes at least one layer and one or more pads coupled with the at least one layer. The one or more pads may be secured to the at least one layer using an adhesive, integrated with the at least one layer, etc. The one or more pads may be positioned such that the one or more pads are disposed between the user's hand and a laparoscopic instrument (e.g., rings 103 and/or ring 105 of laparoscopic instrument 100) when in use. In this manner, the one or more pads may reduce and/or distribute the pressure on the digits (e.g., thumb, at least one finger, etc.) and/or hands resulting from use of laparoscopic instruments or other types of instruments.

In one embodiment, the one or more pads may be configured to maintain adequate tactile sensation (e.g., by using a relatively elastic and/or flexible material, by limiting the thickness of the pad, by positioning the one or more pads away from volar or palmar side of the hand, by positioning the one or more pads away from a tip of a digit, by positioning the one or more pads away from a pulp or pad of a digit, etc.). The one or more pads may be configured to maintain adequate dexterity (e.g., by locating the pad such that it does not overlap one or more joints of a digit, by reducing at least one dimension of the pad around a joint of the digit, by using a relatively elastic and/or flexible material, etc.). In one embodiment, the at least one layer may reduce or inhibit permeation of one or more materials (e.g., water, other fluids, organisms, etc.), thereby reducing the risk of infection to the user.

In one embodiment, a glove includes at least one layer operable to at least partially cover a digit, wherein the at least one layer is watertight. The glove also includes a pad coupled with the at least one layer, wherein the pad is positioned away from a tip section of at least one layer, wherein the pad is operable to reduce pressure on the digit responsive to a force applied thereto.

In another embodiment, a surgical glove includes a first section having a first thickness. The surgical glove also includes a second section coupled with the first section and having a second thickness, wherein the second thickness is larger than the first thickness. The first and second sections are operable to at least partially cover a digit, wherein the first and second sections are watertight, and wherein the second section is operable to reduce pressure on the digit responsive to a force applied thereto by a surgical instrument.

In yet another embodiment, an apparatus includes a glove. The glove includes at least one layer operable to at least partially cover a digit, wherein the at least one layer is watertight. The glove also includes a pad coupled with the at least one layer, wherein the pad is positioned away from a tip section of at least one layer, and wherein the pad is operable to reduce pressure on the digit responsive to a force applied thereto. The apparatus also includes packaging operable to accept the glove.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention is illustrated by way of example, and not by way of limitation, in the figures of the accompanying drawings and in which like reference numerals refer to similar elements.

FIG. 1 shows a conventional laparoscopic instrument.

FIG. 2A shows a first side of an exemplary glove in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2B shows a second side of an exemplary glove in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3A shows an exemplary digital section with a pad positioned to reduce overlap of joints of a digit in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3B shows an exemplary digital section with a pad positioned over a joint of a digit in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3C shows an exemplary digital section with a pad positioned over multiple joints of a digit in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3D shows an exemplary digital section with a pad positioned over at least one joint of a digit in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4A shows a cross-sectional view of an exemplary digital section with at least one pad disposed on a first side of at least one layer in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4B shows a cross-sectional view of an exemplary digital section with at least one pad disposed on a second side of at least one layer in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 shows a first side of an exemplary glove with at least one bridged pad in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 shows a second side of an exemplary glove with at least one bridged pad in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7A shows a cross-sectional view of an exemplary digital section with at least one bridged pad disposed on a first side of at least one layer in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7B shows a cross-sectional view of an exemplary digital section with at least one bridged pad disposed on a second side of at least one layer in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 shows a first side of an exemplary glove with at least one pad with a wide bridge in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 shows a second side of an exemplary glove with at least one pad with a wide bridge in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 10A shows a cross-sectional view of an exemplary digital section with a pad capable of circumscribing a user's digit and located on a first side of at least one layer in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 10B shows a cross-sectional view of an exemplary digital section with a pad capable of circumscribing a user's digit and located on a second side of at least one layer in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 11 shows an exemplary glove with at least one pad coupled with an inner section in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 12 shows an exemplary pad including at least one beveled edge in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 13A shows an exemplary pad with at least one depression in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 13B shows an exemplary pad with at least one protrusion in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 14 shows an exemplary pad assembly in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 15 shows an exemplary pad including a plurality of thicknesses in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 16 shows an exemplary apparatus including at least one packaged glove in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 17A shows an exemplary apparatus in an open position in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 17B shows an exemplary apparatus in a closed position in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Reference will now be made in detail to embodiments of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. While the present invention will be discussed in conjunction with the following embodiments, it will be understood that they are not intended to limit the present invention to these embodiments alone. On the contrary, the present invention is intended to cover alternatives, modifications, and equivalents which may be included with the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims. Furthermore, in the following detailed description of the present invention, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. However, embodiments of the present invention may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known methods, procedures, components, and circuits have not been described in detail so as not to unnecessarily obscure aspects of the present invention.

Embodiments of the Invention

FIG. 2A shows a first side of exemplary glove 200 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, while FIG. 2B shows a second side of exemplary glove 200 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 2A, glove 200 includes one or more pads (e.g., 211, 212, 213, 214, etc.) coupled with at least one layer 220. At least one layer 220 may include multiple digital sections (e.g., 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) operable to cover a digit (e.g., a thumb, at least one finger, etc.), where each digital section may include a respective medial section (e.g., 231, 261, etc.), a respective lateral section (e.g., 232, 262, etc.), a respective volar or palmar section (e.g., 233, 263, etc.), a respective dorsal section (e.g., 234, 264, etc.), and a respective tip section (e.g., 235, 265, etc.). The one or more pads (e.g., 211, 212, 213, 214, etc.) may be positioned such that the one or more pads are disposed between the user's hand and a laparoscopic instrument (e.g., ring 103 of laparoscopic instrument 100 depicted as outline 280, ring 103 of laparoscopic instrument 100 depicted as outline 285, etc.) when in use. For example, pads 211 and 212 may be positioned on digital section 230 (e.g., on lateral section 232 and medial section 231, respectively), whereas pads 213 and 214 are positioned on digital section 260 (e.g., on lateral section 262 and medial section 261, respectively). In one embodiment, glove 200 may include at least one pad (e.g., 211, 212, 213, 214, etc.) that is positioned on or overlapping a side (e.g., a medial section, a lateral section, a volar or palmar section, or a dorsal section, some combination thereof) of a digital section (e.g., 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) and positioned away from (e.g., not positioned on or overlapping) a tip of the digital section and/or a portion of the digital section covering a pulp or pad of a digit. In this manner, the one or more pads may reduce and/or distribute the pressure on the digits (e.g., thumb, at least one finger, etc.) and/or hands resulting from an instrument, thereby reducing risk of injury (e.g., non-penetrating injury) to the nerves (e.g., digital nerves, etc.), ligaments, tendons, muscles, bones, cartilage and other tissues of the digits and/or hands.

Glove 200 may be used with one or more types of instruments. For example, glove 200 may be used with laparoscopic instruments (e.g., to perform laparoscopic surgery), other surgical instruments (e.g., to perform other types of surgery such as arthroscopic surgery, neurosurgery, open surgery, other types of surgery, etc.), etc. As another example, glove 200 may be used with dental instruments (e.g., to perform dentistry), instruments used by paramedics, instruments used by nurses, instruments used by beauticians, etc. And as yet another example, glove 200 may be used with ringed instruments (e.g., laparoscopic instrument 100, scissors, etc.), other types of instruments (e.g., rongeurs, dissectors, gouges, scalpels, scissors, pliers, etc.), etc. As such, although one or more embodiments of the present invention may be described with respect to laparoscopic instruments and/or laparoscopic surgery, it should be appreciated that such description is exemplary and not intended to limit the scope of the present invention.

As shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B, each digital section (e.g., 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) may be configured to fit over a different digit of a user's hand. For example, digital section 230 may be a thumb section, and thus, configured to cover or overlap a thumb. The remaining digital sections (e.g., 240, 250, 260 and 270) may be fingers sections and configured to cover or overlap fingers (e.g., the index finger, the middle finger, the ring finger, and the pinky finger, respectively). Additionally, in one embodiment, the digital sections (e.g., 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) may be coupled with or directly connected to at least one inner section (e.g., inner section 290 of FIG. 2A covering the palm of the user's hand, inner section 295 of FIG. 2B covering the back of the user's hand, etc.). In one embodiment, an inner section (e.g., 290 and/or 295) may be coupled with or include a cuff portion, where the cuff portion may extend away from one or more digital sections (e.g., 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) and cover or overlap a sleeve of a sterile gown (e.g., to reduce risk of contamination).

In one embodiment, glove 200 may be specific to a left hand or a right hand. For example, glove 200 may be configured to fit on a user's right hand, where glove 200 may not fit on the user's left hand or may not fit comfortably on the user's left hand. As another example, glove 200 may be configured to fit on a user's left hand, where glove 200 may not fit on the user's right hand or may not fit comfortably on the user's right hand. Alternatively, glove 200 may be configured to fit both a right hand and a left hand in one embodiment.

In one embodiment, glove 200 may be disposable (e.g., intended for a single use). Alternatively, glove 200 may be reusable (e.g., intended for a multiple uses and/or capable of being sanitized and/or sterilized).

As shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B, the one or more pads (e.g., 211, 212, 213, 214, etc.) and/or at least one layer (e.g., 220) may be configured to maintain adequate tactile sensation. For example, the one or more pads (e.g., 211, 212, 213, 214, etc.) and/or at least one layer (e.g., 220) may be made from a material that is relatively elastic and flexible. In one embodiment, at least one layer 220 may be made from latex, polyisoprene, neoprene, nitrile, silicone, another rubber or polymer, etc. The one or more pads (e.g., 211, 212, 213, 214, etc.) may be made from a polymer or elastomer such as Medalist® 447 (e.g., from Teknor Apex), Elastocon® 2810 (e.g., from Elastocon TPE Technologies, Inc.), Dynaflex® G6703 (e.g., from GLS Corporation), latex, silicone, silicone gel, air-filled silicone gel, acrylic gel (e.g., from 3M Corporation), another polymer gel, foam, another polymer, etc. In one embodiment, the one or more pads (e.g., 211, 212, 213, 214, etc.) may be made from a material with a hardness ranging from approximately 10 Shore OO to approximately 15 Shore A, ranging from approximately 25 Shore OO to approximately 10 Shore A, ranging from approximately zero Shore A to approximately 10 Shore A, etc. It should be appreciated that materials in one or more of these hardness ranges may provide adequate pressure distribution and/or reduction properties while also providing adequate tactile sensation, dexterity or providing other benefits and/or advantages.

In one embodiment, tactile sensation may be maintained by limiting the thickness of the one or more pads (e.g., to less than approximately 10 mm, less than approximately 7 mm, less than approximately 6 mm, less than approximately 2 mm, less than approximately 1 mm, between approximately 1 mm and approximately 2 mm, etc.) and/or the at least one layer (e.g., to less than approximately 0.4 mm, less than approximately 0.3 mm, less than approximately 0.25 mm, etc.). And in one embodiment, tactile sensation may be maintained by positioning the one or more pads away from areas of the digits and/or hand used to feel, grasp, or perform other operations. For example, the one or more pads (e.g., 211, 212, 213, 214, etc.) may be positioned away from the volar or palmar side of the hand and/or digits, away from the tip of one or more digits, away from the pulp or pad of a digit, etc.

As shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B, the one or more pads (e.g., 211, 212, 213, 214, etc.) and/or at least one layer (e.g., 220) may be configured to maintain adequate dexterity. For example, the one or more pads (e.g., 211, 212, 213, 214, etc.) may be located such that the one or more pads do not overlap one or more joints of a digit (e.g., as shown in FIG. 3A) in one embodiment. As another example, adequate dexterity may be provided by reducing at least one dimension of the one or more pads around a joint of a digit (e.g., as shown in FIGS. 3B and 3C). And as yet another example, the one or more pads (e.g., 211, 212, 213, 214, etc.) and/or at least one layer (e.g., 220) may be made from a material that is relatively elastic and flexible, thereby providing adequate dexterity regardless of location of the one or more pads (e.g., overlapping one or more joints, positioned away from one or more joints, etc.). As such, dexterity may be improved by enabling a user to more easily bend and move digits while wearing the glove (e.g., 200).

In one embodiment, the one or more pads (e.g., 211, 212, 213, 214, etc.) may be located such that the one or more pads do not overlap one or more joints of a digit (e.g., as shown in FIG. 3A) in one embodiment. Alternatively, the one or more pads (e.g., 211, 212, 213, 214, etc.) may be located such that the one or more pads do overlap at least one joint of a digit (e.g., as shown in FIGS. 3B, 3C, 3D, etc.) in one embodiment.

FIG. 3A shows exemplary digital section 300A with pad 310 positioned to reduce overlap of joints of a digit in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 3A, pad 310 may be located between joints of a digit (e.g., represented by dashed lines 320 and 330) when the glove is worn by a user. Pad 310 may be located on digital section 300A so that it does not overlap one or more of the joints of the digit in one embodiment. Alternatively, pad 310 may be located on digital section 300A so that it partially overlaps (e.g., does not completely overlap) one or more of the joints of the digit. And in one embodiment, pad 310 may be located on digital section 300A so that it does not span one or more of the joints of the digit. Since the overlap of one or more joints by pad 310 is reduced as shown in FIG. 3A, a user may more easily bend and move the digit within digital section 300A and therefore dexterity may be improved.

Digital section 300A may be a thumb section (e.g., 230) or a finger section (e.g., 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) in one embodiment. Pad 310 may be a pad coupled with a thumb section (e.g., pad 211 and/or pad 212) or a pad coupled with a finger section (e.g., pad 213, pad 214, a pad coupled with another finger section, etc.) in one embodiment.

Pad 310 may be made from a polymer or elastomer such as Medalist® 447 (e.g., from Teknor Apex), Elastocon® 2810 (e.g., from Elastocon TPE Technologies, Inc.), Dynaflex® G6703 (e.g., from GLS Corporation), latex, silicone, silicone gel, air-filled silicone gel, acrylic gel (e.g., from 3M Corporation), another polymer gel, foam, another polymer, etc. In one embodiment, pad 310 may be made from a material with a hardness ranging from approximately 10 Shore OO to approximately 15 Shore A, ranging from approximately 25 Shore OO to approximately 10 Shore A, ranging from approximately zero Shore A to approximately 10 Shore A, etc. It should be appreciated that materials in one or more of these hardness ranges may provide adequate pressure distribution and/or reduction properties while also providing adequate tactile sensation, dexterity or providing other benefits and/or advantages.

FIG. 3B shows exemplary digital section 300B with pad 340 positioned over a joint of a digit in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 3B, pad 340 may be located so that it spans or overlaps a joint of a digit (e.g., represented by dashed line 350) when the glove is worn by a user. At least one dimension of pad 340 may be reduced around or at the joint (e.g., as shown by the difference between dimensions 342 and 344). Since the pad (e.g., 340) includes less material around the joint, a user may more easily move and bend the digit within digital section 300B and therefore dexterity may be improved.

In one embodiment, pad 340 may be located on digital section 300B so that overlap of one or more other joints of the digit is reduced. For example, pad 340 may be located on digital section 300B so that it does not overlap one or more other joints of the digit (e.g., represented by dashed line 360). As another example, pad 340 may be located on digital section 300B so that it partially overlaps (e.g., does not completely overlap) one or more other joints of the digit (e.g., represented by dashed line 360). And in one embodiment, pad 340 may be located on digital section 300B so that it does not span one or more other joints of the digit (e.g., represented by dashed line 360). Since the overlap of one or more other joints by pad 340 is reduced as shown in FIG. 3B, dexterity may be further improved.

As shown in FIG. 3B, digital section 300B may be a thumb section (e.g., 230) or a finger section (e.g., 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) in one embodiment. Pad 340 may be a pad coupled with a thumb section (e.g., pad 211 and/or pad 212) or a pad coupled with a finger section (e.g., pad 213, pad 214, a pad coupled with another finger section, etc.) in one embodiment.

Pad 340 may be made from a polymer or elastomer such as Medalist® 447 (e.g., from Teknor Apex), Elastocon® 2810 (e.g., from Elastocon TPE Technologies, Inc.), Dynaflex® G6703 (e.g., from GLS Corporation), latex, silicone, silicone gel, air-filled silicone gel, acrylic gel (e.g., from 3M Corporation), another polymer gel, foam, another polymer, etc. In one embodiment, pad 340 may be made from a material with a hardness ranging from approximately 10 Shore OO to approximately 15 Shore A, ranging from approximately 25 Shore OO to approximately 10 Shore A, ranging from approximately zero Shore A to approximately 10 Shore A, etc. It should be appreciated that materials in one or more of these hardness ranges may provide adequate pressure distribution and/or reduction properties while also providing adequate tactile sensation, dexterity or providing other benefits and/or advantages.

FIG. 3C shows exemplary digital section 300C with pad 370 positioned over multiple joints of a digit in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 3C, pad 370 may be located so that it spans or overlaps multiple joints of a digit (e.g., represented by dashed lines 380 and 390) when the glove is worn by a user. At least one dimension of pad 370 may be reduced around the multiple joints (e.g., as shown by the difference between dimensions 372 and 374 with respect to dimension 376). Since the pad (e.g., 370) includes less material around the multiple joints, a user may more easily move and bend the digit within digital section 300C and therefore dexterity may be improved.

As shown in FIG. 3C, digital section 300C may be a thumb section (e.g., 230) or a finger section (e.g., 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) in one embodiment. Pad 370 may be a pad coupled with a thumb section (e.g., pad 211 and/or pad 212) or a pad coupled with a finger section (e.g., pad 213, pad 214, a pad coupled with another finger section, etc.) in one embodiment.

Pad 370 may be made from a polymer or elastomer such as Medalist® 447 (e.g., from Teknor Apex), Elastocon® 2810 (e.g., from Elastocon TPE Technologies, Inc.), Dynaflex® G6703 (e.g., from GLS Corporation), latex, silicone, silicone gel, air-filled silicone gel, acrylic gel (e.g., from 3M Corporation), another polymer gel, foam, another polymer, etc. In one embodiment, pad 370 may be made from a material with a hardness ranging from approximately 10 Shore OO to approximately 15 Shore A, ranging from approximately 25 Shore OO to approximately 10 Shore A, ranging from approximately zero Shore A to approximately 10 Shore A, etc. It should be appreciated that materials in one or more of these hardness ranges may provide adequate pressure distribution and/or reduction properties while also providing adequate tactile sensation, dexterity or providing other benefits and/or advantages.

FIG. 3D shows exemplary digital section 300D with pad 310D positioned over at least one joint of a digit in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 3D, pad 310D may be located so that it spans or overlaps at least one joint of a digit (e.g., represented by dashed lines 320D and 330D) when the glove is worn by a user. In one embodiment, pad 310D may protect the at least one joint that it overlaps (e.g., from non-penetrating injury caused by a laparoscopic instrument, another surgical instrument, a dental instrument, an instrument used by paramedics, an instrument used by nurses, an instrument used by beauticians, a ringed instrument, other types of instruments, etc.).

As shown in FIG. 3D, digital section 300D may be a thumb section (e.g., 230) or a finger section (e.g., 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) in one embodiment. Pad 310D may be a pad coupled with a thumb section (e.g., pad 211 and/or pad 212) or a pad coupled with a finger section (e.g., pad 213, pad 214, a pad coupled with another finger section, etc.) in one embodiment.

Pad 310D may be made from a polymer or elastomer such as Medalist® 447 (e.g., from Teknor Apex), Elastocon® 2810 (e.g., from Elastocon TPE Technologies, Inc.), Dynaflex® G6703 (e.g., from GLS Corporation), latex, silicone, silicone gel, air-filled silicone gel, acrylic gel (e.g., from 3M Corporation), another polymer gel, foam, another polymer, etc. In one embodiment, pad 310D may be made from a material with a hardness ranging from approximately 10 Shore OO to approximately 15 Shore A, ranging from approximately 25 Shore OO to approximately 10 Shore A, ranging from approximately zero Shore A to approximately 10 Shore A, etc. It should be appreciated that materials in one or more of these hardness ranges may provide adequate pressure distribution and/or reduction properties while also providing adequate tactile sensation, dexterity or providing other benefits and/or advantages.

Turning back to FIGS. 2A and 2B, the one or more pads (e.g., 211, 212, 213, 214, etc.) and/or at least one layer (e.g., 220) may be configured to reduce or inhibit permeation of one or more materials (e.g., water, other fluids, organisms, etc.). For example, at least one digital section (e.g., 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) may be watertight or otherwise configured to reduce or inhibit permeation of one or more materials (e.g., water, other fluids, organisms, etc.) from the environment (e.g., outside of glove 200) to one or more digits of the user's hand. As another example, at least one inner section (e.g., 290, 295, etc.) may be watertight or otherwise configured to reduce or inhibit permeation of one or more materials (e.g., water, other fluids, organisms, etc.) from the environment (e.g., outside of glove 200) to the user's hand. As such, in one embodiment, glove 200 may be configured to reduce the risk of infection to the user.

Although FIGS. 2A and 2B depict a specific number of pads, it should be appreciated that glove 200 may include any number of pads in other embodiments. For example, a given digital section (e.g., 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) may include only one pad, more than two pads, etc. As another example, at least one pad may be disposed at or on only one digital section or more than two digital sections in other embodiments. Additionally, although FIGS. 2A and 2B depict pads of a specific shape and size, it should be appreciated that glove 200 may include one or more pads of any shape and/or size. For example, one or more pads of glove 200 may be circular, oval, square, rectangular, triangular, hexagonal, etc. As another example, one or more pads may overlap or occupy different areas of at least one layer 220 in other embodiments. As yet another example, one or more pads may be different thicknesses (e.g., than that depicted in FIGS. 2A and 2B, from one another, etc.) in other embodiments. Further, although FIGS. 2A and 2B depict pads in specific positions, it should be appreciated that glove 200 may include one or more pads in one or more other positions in other embodiments.

Although FIGS. 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D depict a specific number of pads, it should be appreciated that a given digital section (e.g., 300A, 300B, 300C, 300D, etc.) may include any number of pads in other embodiments. Additionally, although FIGS. 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D depict pads of a specific shape and size, it should be appreciated that the pads may be any shape and/or size. For example, one or more pads of a given digital section may be circular, oval, square, rectangular, triangular, hexagonal, etc. As another example, one or more pads may overlap or occupy different areas of a given digital section (e.g., 300A, 300B, 300C, 300D, etc.) in other embodiments. Further, although FIGS. 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D depict pads in specific positions, it should be appreciated that the pads may be in one or more other positions in other embodiments.

FIG. 4A shows a cross-sectional view of exemplary digital section 400A with at least one pad disposed on a first side of at least one layer 220 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 4A, at least one layer 220 may define an opening (e.g., 430) capable of accepting a digit (e.g., 440), where pads 410 and 420 may be disposed on a first side (e.g., the side facing opening 430 and/or digit 440) of at least one layer 220. Pads 410 and/or 420 may be secured to at least one layer 220 (e.g., using an adhesive) in one embodiment. Alternatively, pads 410 and/or 420 may be integrated with (e.g., co-molded, volcanically fused, manufactured as a single piece, etc.) at least one layer 220. And in one embodiment, pads 410 and/or 420 may be secured or held in place by another glove (e.g., depicted by dashed line 450) worn inside of at least one layer 220 and pads 410 and 420.

As shown in FIG. 4A, at least one layer 220 and at least one pad (e.g., 410 and/or 420) may create a plurality of sections with different thicknesses. For example, a first section (e.g., including only at least one layer 220 and located towards the top and/or bottom of digital section 400A as depicted in FIG. 4A) may have a first thickness that is less than a second thickness of a second section (e.g., including at least one layer 220 and pad 410 and located towards the left of digital section 400A as depicted in FIG. 4A). As another example, a first section (e.g., including only at least one layer 220 and located towards the top and/or bottom of digital section 400A as depicted in FIG. 4A) may have a first thickness that is less than a third thickness of a third section (e.g., including at least one layer 220 and pad 420 and located towards the right of digital section 400A as depicted in FIG. 4A).

Digital section 400A may be a thumb section (e.g., 230) or a finger section (e.g., 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) in one embodiment. Pad 410 and/or pad 420 may be a pad coupled with a thumb section (e.g., pad 211 and/or pad 212) or a pad coupled with a finger section (e.g., pad 213, pad 214, a pad coupled with another finger section, etc.) in one embodiment.

Pad 410 and/or 420 may be made from a polymer or elastomer such as Medalist® 447 (e.g., from Teknor Apex), Elastocon® 2810 (e.g., from Elastocon TPE Technologies, Inc.), Dynaflex® G6703 (e.g., from GLS Corporation), latex, silicone, silicone gel, air-filled silicone gel, acrylic gel (e.g., from 3M Corporation), another polymer gel, foam, another polymer, etc. In one embodiment, pad 410 and/or 420 may be made from a material with a hardness ranging from approximately 10 Shore OO to approximately 15 Shore A, ranging from approximately 25 Shore OO to approximately 10 Shore A, ranging from approximately zero Shore A to approximately 10 Shore A, etc. It should be appreciated that materials in one or more of these hardness ranges may provide adequate pressure distribution and/or reduction properties while also providing adequate tactile sensation, dexterity or providing other benefits and/or advantages.

FIG. 4B shows a cross-sectional view of exemplary digital section 400B with at least one pad disposed on a second side of at least one layer 220 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 4B, at least one layer 220 may define an opening (e.g., 480) capable of accepting a digit (e.g., 440), where pads 460 and 470 may be disposed on a second side (e.g., opposite opening 480 and/or digit 440) of at least one layer 220. Pads 460 and/or 470 may be secured to at least one layer 220 (e.g., using an adhesive) in one embodiment. Alternatively, pads 460 and/or 470 may be integrated with (e.g., co-molded, volcanically fused, manufactured as a single piece, etc.) at least one layer 220. And in one embodiment, pads 460 and/or 470 may be secured or held in place by another glove (e.g., depicted by dashed line 490) worn outside of at least one layer 220 and pads 460 and 470.

As shown in FIG. 4B, at least one layer 220 and at least one pad (e.g., 460 and/or 470) may create a plurality of sections with different thicknesses. For example, a first section (e.g., including only at least one layer 220 and located towards the top and/or bottom of digital section 400B as depicted in FIG. 4B) may have a first thickness that is less than a second thickness of a second section (e.g., including at least one layer 220 and pad 460 and located towards the left of digital section 400B as depicted in FIG. 4B). As another example, a first section (e.g., including only at least one layer 220 and located towards the top and/or bottom of digital section 400B as depicted in FIG. 4B) may have a first thickness that is less than a third thickness of a third section (e.g., including at least one layer 220 and pad 470 and located towards the right of digital section 400B as depicted in FIG. 4B).

Digital section 400B may be a thumb section (e.g., 230) or a finger section (e.g., 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) in one embodiment. Pad 460 and/or pad 470 may be a pad coupled with a thumb section (e.g., pad 211 and/or pad 212) or a pad coupled with a finger section (e.g., pad 213, pad 214, a pad coupled with another finger section, etc.) in one embodiment.

Pad 460 and/or 470 may be made from a polymer or elastomer such as Medalist® 447 (e.g., from Teknor Apex), Elastocon® 2810 (e.g., from Elastocon TPE Technologies, Inc.), Dynaflex® G6703 (e.g., from GLS Corporation), latex, silicone, silicone gel, air-filled silicone gel, acrylic gel (e.g., from 3M Corporation), another polymer gel, foam, another polymer, etc. In one embodiment, pad 460 and/or 470 may be made from a material with a hardness ranging from approximately 10 Shore OO to approximately 15 Shore A, ranging from approximately 25 Shore OO to approximately 10 Shore A, ranging from approximately zero Shore A to approximately 10 Shore A, etc. It should be appreciated that materials in one or more of these hardness ranges may provide adequate pressure distribution and/or reduction properties while also providing adequate tactile sensation, dexterity or providing other benefits and/or advantages.

Although FIGS. 4A and 4B depict a specific number of pads, it should be appreciated that a given digital section may include any number of pads in other embodiments. For example, a given digital section (e.g., 400A, 400B, etc.) may include only one pad, more than two pads, etc. Additionally, although FIGS. 4A and 4B depict pads of a specific shape and size, it should be appreciated that a given digital section (e.g., 400A, 400B, etc.) may include one or more pads of any shape and/or size. For example, one or more pads of a given digital section (e.g., 400A, 400B, etc.) may be circular, oval, square, rectangular, triangular, hexagonal, etc. As another example, one or more pads may overlap or occupy different areas of at least one layer 220 in other embodiments. As yet another example, one or more pads may be different thicknesses (e.g., than that depicted in FIGS. 4A and 4B, from one another, etc.) in other embodiments. Further, although FIGS. 4A and 4B depict pads in specific positions, it should be appreciated that a given digital section (e.g., 400A, 400B, etc.) may include one or more pads in one or more other positions in other embodiments.

FIG. 5 shows a first side of exemplary glove 500 with at least one bridged pad in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 5, pad 510 (e.g., located at digital section 230) and/or pad 520 (e.g., located at digital section 260) may be a bridged pad. For example, side sections 511 and 512 of pad 510 (e.g., disposed at or on lateral section 232 and medial section 231, respectively) may be connected by bridge section 513 (e.g., disposed at or on volar section 233 of digital section 230). As another example, side sections 521 and 522 of pad 520 (e.g., disposed at or on lateral section 262 and medial section 261, respectively) may be connected by bridge section 523 (e.g., disposed at or on volar section 263 of digital section 260). In one embodiment, one or more of the side sections (e.g., 511, 512, 521, 522, etc.) may be similar to or implemented using one or more pads of any of the previous Figures (e.g., pad 211, pad 212, pad 213, pad 214, pad 310, pad 340, pad 370, pad 310D, pad 410, pad 420, pad 460, pad 470, etc.).

In one embodiment, glove 500 may include at least one pad (e.g., 510, 520, etc.) that is positioned on or overlapping a side (e.g., a medial section, a lateral section, a volar or palmar section, or a dorsal section, some combination thereof) of a digital section (e.g., 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) and positioned away from (e.g., not positioned on or overlapping) a tip of the digital section and/or a portion of the digital section covering a pulp or pad of a digit. And in one embodiment, pad 510 and/or pad 520 may be “U”-shaped. For example, bridge section 513 and side sections 511 and 512 may form a “U” shape in one embodiment. As another example, bridge section 523 and side sections 521 and 522 may form a “U” shape in one embodiment.

In one embodiment, the bridge section (e.g., 513, 523, etc.) of a pad (e.g., 510, 520, etc.) may reduce cost or otherwise assist in manufacturing the glove. For example, the bridge section (e.g., 513, 523, etc.) may help control the distance between the side sections (e.g., 511 and 512, 521 and 522, etc.), control the relative positioning of the side sections (e.g., 511 and 512, 521 and 522, etc.), etc. As another example, the bridged section may reduce the cost of manufacturing one or more pads (e.g., by enabling the side sections that may otherwise be two separate pads to be manufactured as a single piece).

In one embodiment, one or more of the bridged pads (e.g., 510, 520, etc.) may include a second bridge section (e.g., not shown) located on a dorsal side of one or more digital sections of glove 500 (e.g., similar to bridge sections 614 and 624 of FIG. 6). As such, in one embodiment, the pad may circumscribe a digital section and/or a user's digit within a digital section of glove 500 (e.g., as shown in FIGS. 10A and/or 10B). Alternatively, one or more of the bridged pads (e.g., 510, 520, etc.) may not include a second bridge section located on a dorsal side of one or more digital sections of glove 500 (e.g., similar to bridge sections 614 and 624 of FIG. 6), and therefore, may not circumscribe (e.g., completely encircle) a digital section and/or a user's digit within a digital section of glove 500.

As shown in FIG. 5, the one or more pads (e.g., 510, 520, etc.) may be configured to maintain adequate dexterity. For example, the one or more pads (e.g., 510, 520, etc.) may be located to reduce or prevent overlap of the bridge sections (e.g., 513, 523, etc.) with one or more joints of a digit. As another example, one or more of the bridge sections (e.g., 513, 523, etc.) may be disposed between multiple joints of a digit. In this manner, adequate dexterity may be provided while also providing the advantages of a bridged pad (e.g., 510, 520, etc.) discussed herein.

The one or more pads (e.g., 510, 520, etc.) may be configured to maintain adequate tactile sensation. For example, the one or more pads (e.g., 510, 520, etc.) may be made from a material that is relatively elastic and flexible. In one embodiment, pads 510 and/or 520 may be made from a polymer or elastomer such as Medalist® 447 (e.g., from Teknor Apex), Elastocon® 2810 (e.g., from Elastocon TPE Technologies, Inc.), Dynaflex® G6703 (e.g., from GLS Corporation), latex, silicone, silicone gel, air-filled silicone gel, acrylic gel (e.g., from 3M Corporation), another polymer gel, foam, another polymer, etc. In one embodiment, pads 510 and/or 520 may be made from a material with a hardness ranging from approximately 10 Shore OO to approximately 15 Shore A, ranging from approximately 25 Shore OO to approximately 10 Shore A, ranging from approximately zero Shore A to approximately 10 Shore A, etc. It should be appreciated that materials in one or more of these hardness ranges may provide adequate pressure distribution and/or reduction properties while also providing adequate tactile sensation, dexterity or providing other benefits and/or advantages.

In one embodiment, tactile sensation may be maintained by limiting the thickness of the one or more pads (e.g., to less than approximately 10 mm, less than approximately 7 mm, less than approximately 6 mm, less than approximately 2 mm, less than approximately 1 mm, between approximately 1 mm and approximately 2 mm, etc.). And in one embodiment, tactile sensation may be maintained by positioning the one or more pads away from areas of the digits and/or hand used to feel, grasp, or perform other operations. For example, the one or more pads (e.g., 510, 520, etc.) may be positioned away from the volar or palmar side of the hand and/or digits, away from the tip of one or more digits, away from the pulp or pad of a digit, etc.

As shown in FIG. 5, glove 500 may be used with one or more types of instruments. For example, glove 500 may be used with laparoscopic instruments (e.g., to perform laparoscopic surgery), other surgical instruments (e.g., to perform other types of surgery such as arthroscopic surgery, neurosurgery, open surgery, other types of surgery, etc.), etc. As another example, glove 500 may be used with dental instruments (e.g., to perform dentistry), instruments used by paramedics, instruments used by nurses, instruments used by beauticians, etc.

And as yet another example, glove 500 may be used with ringed instruments (e.g., laparoscopic instrument 100, scissors, etc.), other types of instruments (e.g., rongeurs, dissectors, gouges, scalpels, scissors, pliers, etc.), etc. As such, although one or more embodiments of the present invention may be described with respect to laparoscopic instruments and/or laparoscopic surgery, it should be appreciated that such description is exemplary and not intended to limit the scope of the present invention.

In one embodiment, glove 500 may be specific to a left hand or a right hand. For example, glove 500 may be configured to fit on a user's right hand, where glove 500 may not fit on the user's left hand or may not fit comfortably on the user's left hand. As another example, glove 500 may be configured to fit on a user's left hand, where glove 500 may not fit on the user's right hand or may not fit comfortably on the user's right hand. Alternatively, glove 500 may be configured to fit both a right hand and a left hand in one embodiment.

In one embodiment, glove 500 may be disposable (e.g., intended for a single use). Alternatively, glove 500 may be reusable (e.g., intended for a multiple uses and/or capable of being sanitized and/or sterilized).

Although FIG. 5 depicts a specific number of pads, it should be appreciated that glove 500 may include any number of pads in other embodiments. For example, a given digital section (e.g., 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) may include only one bridged pad, more than two bridged pads, at least one bridged pad and at least one non-bridged pad (e.g., 211, 212, 213, 214, 310, 340, 370, 310D, 410, 420, 460, 470, etc.), etc. As another example, at least one pad may be disposed at or on only one digital section or more than two digital sections in other embodiments. Additionally, although FIG. 5 depicts pads of a specific shape and size, it should be appreciated that glove 500 may include one or more bridged pads of any shape and/or size. For example, one or more portions of one or more bridged pads of glove 500 may be circular, oval, square, rectangular, triangular, hexagonal, etc. As another example, one or more bridged pads may overlap or occupy different areas of at least one layer 220 in other embodiments. As yet another example, one or more bridged pads may be different thicknesses (e.g., than that depicted in FIG. 5, from one another, etc.) in other embodiments. Further, although FIG. 5 depicts pads in specific positions, it should be appreciated that glove 500 may include one or more bridged pads in one or more other positions in other embodiments.

FIG. 6 shows a second side of exemplary glove 600 with at least one bridged pad in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 6, pad 610 (e.g., located at digital section 230) and/or pad 620 (e.g., located at digital section 260) may be a bridged pad. For example, side sections 611 and 612 of pad 610 (e.g., disposed at or on lateral section 232 and medial section 231, respectively) may be connected by bridge section 613 (e.g., disposed at or on volar section 233 of digital section 230). As another example, side sections 621 and 622 of pad 620 (e.g., disposed at or on lateral section 262 and medial section 261, respectively) may be connected by bridge section 623 (e.g., disposed at or on volar section 263 of digital section 260). In one embodiment, one or more of the side sections (e.g., 611, 612, 621, 622, etc.) may be similar to or implemented using one or more pads of any of the previous Figures (e.g., pad 211, pad 212, pad 213, pad 214, pad 310, pad 340, pad 370, pad 310D, pad 410, pad 420, pad 460, pad 470, etc.).

In one embodiment, glove 600 may include at least one pad (e.g., 610, 620, etc.) that is positioned on or overlapping a side (e.g., a medial section, a lateral section, a volar or palmar section, or a dorsal section, some combination thereof) of a digital section (e.g., 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) and positioned away from (e.g., not positioned on or overlapping) a tip of the digital section and/or a portion of the digital section covering a pulp or pad of a digit. And in one embodiment, pad 610 and/or pad 620 may be “U”-shaped. For example, bridge section 613 and side sections 611 and 612 may form a “U” shape in one embodiment. As another example, bridge section 623 and side sections 621 and 622 may form a “U” shape in one embodiment.

In one embodiment, the bridge section (e.g., 613, 623, etc.) of a pad (e.g., 610, 620, etc.) may reduce cost or otherwise assist in manufacturing the glove. For example, the bridge section (e.g., 613, 623, etc.) may help control the distance between the side sections (e.g., 611 and 612, 621 and 622, etc.), control the relative positioning of the side sections (e.g., 611 and 612, 621 and 622, etc.), etc. As another example, the bridged section may reduce the cost of manufacturing one or more pads (e.g., by enabling the side sections that may otherwise be two separate pads to be manufactured as a single piece).

In one embodiment, one or more of the bridged pads (e.g., 610, 620, etc.) may include a second bridge section (e.g., not shown) located on a dorsal side of one or more digital sections of glove 600 (e.g., similar to bridge sections 514 and 524 of FIG. 5). As such, in one embodiment, the pad may circumscribe a digital section and/or a user's digit within a digital section of glove 600 (e.g., as shown in FIGS. 10A and/or 10B). Alternatively, one or more of the bridged pads (e.g., 610, 620, etc.) may not include a second bridge section located on a dorsal side of one or more digital sections of glove 600 (e.g., similar to bridge sections 514 and 524 of FIG. 5), and therefore, may not circumscribe (e.g., completely encircle) a digital section and/or a user's digit within a digital section of glove 600.

As shown in FIG. 6, the one or more pads (e.g., 610, 620, etc.) may be configured to maintain adequate dexterity. For example, the one or more pads (e.g., 610, 620, etc.) may be located to reduce or prevent overlap of the bridge sections (e.g., 613, 623, etc.) with one or more joints of a digit. As another example, one or more of the bridge sections (e.g., 613, 623, etc.) may be disposed between multiple joints of a digit. In this manner, adequate dexterity may be provided while also providing the advantages of a bridged pad (e.g., 610, 620, etc.) discussed herein.

The one or more pads (e.g., 610, 620, etc.) may be configured to maintain adequate tactile sensation. For example, the one or more pads (e.g., 610, 620, etc.) may be made from a material that is relatively elastic and flexible. In one embodiment, pads 610 and/or 620 may be made from a polymer or elastomer such as Medalist® 447 (e.g., from Teknor Apex), Elastocon® 2810 (e.g., from Elastocon TPE Technologies, Inc.), Dynaflex® G6703 (e.g., from GLS Corporation), latex, silicone, silicone gel, air-filled silicone gel, acrylic gel (e.g., from 3M Corporation), another polymer gel, foam, another polymer, etc. In one embodiment, pad 610 and/or 620 may be made from a material with a hardness ranging from approximately 10 Shore OO to approximately 15 Shore A, ranging from approximately 25 Shore OO to approximately 10 Shore A, ranging from approximately zero Shore A to approximately 10 Shore A, etc. It should be appreciated that materials in one or more of these hardness ranges may provide adequate pressure distribution and/or reduction properties while also providing adequate tactile sensation, dexterity or providing other benefits and/or advantages.

In one embodiment, tactile sensation may be maintained by limiting the thickness of the one or more pads (e.g., to less than approximately 10 mm, less than approximately 7 mm, less than approximately 6 mm, less than approximately 2 mm, less than approximately 1 mm, between approximately 1 mm and approximately 2 mm, etc.). And in one embodiment, tactile sensation may be maintained by positioning the one or more pads away from areas of the digits and/or hand used to feel, grasp, or perform other operations. For example, the one or more pads (e.g., 610, 620, etc.) may be positioned away from the volar or palmar side of the hand and/or digits, away from the tip of one or more digits, away from the pulp or pad of a digit, etc.

As shown in FIG. 6, glove 600 may be used with one or more types of instruments. For example, glove 600 may be used with laparoscopic instruments (e.g., to perform laparoscopic surgery), other surgical instruments (e.g., to perform other types of surgery such as arthroscopic surgery, neurosurgery, open surgery, other types of surgery, etc.), etc. As another example, glove 600 may be used with dental instruments (e.g., to perform dentistry), instruments used by paramedics, instruments used by nurses, instruments used by beauticians, etc. And as yet another example, glove 600 may be used with ringed instruments (e.g., laparoscopic instrument 100, scissors, etc.), other types of instruments (e.g., rongeurs, dissectors, gouges, scalpels, scissors, pliers, etc.), etc. As such, although one or more embodiments of the present invention may be described with respect to laparoscopic instruments and/or laparoscopic surgery, it should be appreciated that such description is exemplary and not intended to limit the scope of the present invention.

In one embodiment, glove 600 may be specific to a left hand or a right hand. For example, glove 600 may be configured to fit on a user's right hand, where glove 600 may not fit on the user's left hand or may not fit comfortably on the user's left hand. As another example, glove 600 may be configured to fit on a user's left hand, where glove 600 may not fit on the user's right hand or may not fit comfortably on the user's right hand. Alternatively, glove 600 may be configured to fit both a right hand and a left hand in one embodiment.

In one embodiment, glove 600 may be disposable (e.g., intended for a single use). Alternatively, glove 600 may be reusable (e.g., intended for a multiple uses and/or capable of being sanitized and/or sterilized).

Although FIG. 6 depicts a specific number of pads, it should be appreciated that glove 600 may include any number of pads in other embodiments. For example, a given digital section (e.g., 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) may include only one bridged pad, more than two bridged pads, at least one bridged pad and at least one non-bridged pad (e.g., 211, 212, 213, 214, 310, 340, 370, 310D, 410, 420, 460, 470, etc.), etc. As another example, at least one pad may be disposed at or on only one digital section or more than two digital sections in other embodiments. Additionally, although FIG. 6 depicts pads of a specific shape and size, it should be appreciated that glove 600 may include one or more bridged pads of any shape and/or size. For example, one or more portions of one or more bridged pads of glove 600 may be circular, oval, square, rectangular, triangular, hexagonal, etc. As another example, one or more bridged pads may overlap or occupy different areas of at least one layer 220 in other embodiments. As yet another example, one or more bridged pads may be different thicknesses (e.g., than that depicted in FIG. 6, from one another, etc.) in other embodiments. Further, although FIG. 6 depicts pads in specific positions, it should be appreciated that glove 600 may include one or more bridged pads in one or more other positions in other embodiments.

FIG. 7A shows a cross-sectional view of exemplary digital section 700A with at least one bridged pad disposed on a first side of at least one layer 220 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 7A, at least one layer 220 may define an opening (e.g., 730) capable of accepting a digit (e.g., 440), where bridged pad 710 may be disposed on a first side (e.g., the side facing opening 730 and/or digit 440) of at least one layer 220. Pad 710 may be secured to at least one layer 220 (e.g., using an adhesive) in one embodiment. Alternatively, pad 710 may be integrated with (e.g., co-molded, volcanically fused, manufactured as a single piece, etc.) at least one layer 220. And in one embodiment, pad 710 may be secured or held in place by another glove (e.g., depicted by dashed line 750) worn inside of at least one layer 220 and pad 710.

As shown in FIG. 7A, at least one layer 220 and at least one pad (e.g., 710) may create a plurality of sections with different thicknesses. For example, a first section (e.g., including only at least one layer 220 and located towards the bottom of digital section 700A as depicted in FIG. 7A) may have a first thickness that is less than a second thickness of a second section (e.g., including at least one layer 220 and pad 710 and located towards the left, top and/or right of digital section 700A as depicted in FIG. 7A).

Digital section 700A may be a thumb section (e.g., 230) or a finger section (e.g., 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) in one embodiment. Pad 710 may be a bridged pad coupled with a thumb section (e.g., pad 510, pad 610, pad 810 of FIG. 8, pad 910 of FIG. 9, etc.) or a bridged pad coupled with a finger section (e.g., pad 520, pad 620, pad 820 of FIG. 8, pad 920 of FIG. 9, a pad coupled with another finger section, etc.) in one embodiment.

Pad 710 may be made from a polymer or elastomer such as Medalist® 447 (e.g., from Teknor Apex), Elastocon® 2810 (e.g., from Elastocon TPE Technologies, Inc.), Dynaflex® G6703 (e.g., from GLS Corporation), latex, silicone, silicone gel, air-filled silicone gel, acrylic gel (e.g., from 3M Corporation), another polymer gel, foam, another polymer, etc. In one embodiment, pad 710 may be made from a material with a hardness ranging from approximately 10 Shore OO to approximately 15 Shore A, ranging from approximately 25 Shore OO to approximately 10 Shore A, ranging from approximately zero Shore A to approximately 10 Shore A, etc. It should be appreciated that materials in one or more of these hardness ranges may provide adequate pressure distribution and/or reduction properties while also providing adequate tactile sensation, dexterity or providing other benefits and/or advantages.

FIG. 7B shows a cross-sectional view of exemplary digital section 700B with at least one bridged pad disposed on a second side of at least one layer 220 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 7B, at least one layer 220 may define an opening (e.g., 780) capable of accepting a digit (e.g., 440), where pad 760 may be disposed on a second side (e.g., opposite opening 480 and/or digit 440) of at least one layer 220. Pad 760 may be secured to at least one layer 220 (e.g., using an adhesive) in one embodiment. Alternatively, pad 760 may be integrated with (e.g., co-molded, volcanically fused, manufactured as a single piece, etc.) at least one layer 220. And in one embodiment, pad 760 may be secured or held in place by another glove (e.g., depicted by dashed line 790) worn outside of at least one layer 220 and pad 760.

As shown in FIG. 7B, at least one layer 220 and at least one pad (e.g., 760) may create a plurality of sections with different thicknesses. For example, a first section (e.g., including only at least one layer 220 and located towards the bottom of digital section 700B as depicted in FIG. 7B) may have a first thickness that is less than a second thickness of a second section (e.g., including at least one layer 220 and pad 760 and located towards the left, top and/or right of digital section 700B as depicted in FIG. 7B).

Digital section 700B may be a thumb section (e.g., 230) or a finger section (e.g., 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) in one embodiment. Pad 760 may be a pad coupled with a thumb section (e.g., pad 510, pad 610, pad 810 of FIG. 8, pad 910 of FIG. 9, etc.) or a pad coupled with a finger section (e.g., pad 520, pad 620, pad 820 of FIG. 8, pad 920 of FIG. 9, a pad coupled with another finger section, etc.) in one embodiment.

Pad 720 may be made from a polymer or elastomer such as Medalist® 447 (e.g., from Teknor Apex), Elastocon® 2810 (e.g., from Elastocon TPE Technologies, Inc.), Dynaflex® G6703 (e.g., from GLS Corporation), latex, silicone, silicone gel, air-filled silicone gel, acrylic gel (e.g., from 3M Corporation), another polymer gel, foam, another polymer, etc. In one embodiment, pad 720 may be made from a material with a hardness ranging from approximately 10 Shore OO to approximately 15 Shore A, ranging from approximately 25 Shore OO to approximately 10 Shore A, ranging from approximately zero Shore A to approximately 10 Shore A, etc. It should be appreciated that materials in one or more of these hardness ranges may provide adequate pressure distribution and/or reduction properties while also providing adequate tactile sensation, dexterity or providing other benefits and/or advantages.

Although FIGS. 7A and 7B depict a specific number of pads, it should be appreciated that a given digital section may include any number of bridged pads or non-bridged pads (e.g., 211, 212, 213, 214, 310, 340, 370, 310D, 410, 420, 460, 470, etc.) in other embodiments. For example, a given digital section (e.g., 700A, 700B, etc.) may include only one pad, more than two pads, etc. Additionally, although FIGS. 7A and 7B depict bridged pads of a specific shape and size, it should be appreciated that a given digital section (e.g., 700A, 700B, etc.) may include one or more bridged pads of any shape and/or size. For example, one or more portions of one or more bridged pads of a given digital section (e.g., 700A, 700B, etc.) may be circular, oval, square, rectangular, triangular, hexagonal, etc. As another example, one or more bridged pads may overlap or occupy different areas of at least one layer 220 in other embodiments. As yet another example, one or more bridged pads may be different thicknesses (e.g., than that depicted in FIGS. 7A and 7B, from one another, etc.) in other embodiments. Further, although FIGS. 7A and 7B depict pads in specific positions, it should be appreciated that a given digital section (e.g., 700A, 700B, etc.) may include one or more bridged pads in one or more other positions in other embodiments.

FIG. 8 shows a first side of exemplary glove 800 with at least one pad with a wide bridge in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 8, pad 810 (e.g., located at digital section 230) and/or pad 820 (e.g., located at digital section 260) may have a wide bridge. For example, side sections 811 and 812 of pad 810 (e.g., disposed at or on lateral section 232 and medial section 231, respectively) may be connected by bridge section 813 (e.g., disposed at or on volar section 233 of digital section 230), where bridge section 813 may be the same width or approximately the same width as side sections 811 and 812. As another example, side sections 821 and 822 of pad 820 (e.g., disposed at or on lateral section 262 and medial section 261, respectively) may be connected by bridge section 823 (e.g., disposed at or on volar section 263 of digital section 260), where bridge section 823 may be the same width or approximately the same width as side sections 811 and 812. In one embodiment, one or more of the side sections (e.g., 811, 812, 821, 822, etc.) may be similar to or implemented using one or more pads of any of the previous Figures (e.g., pad 211, pad 212, pad 213, pad 214, pad 310, pad 340, pad 370, pad 310D, pad 410, pad 420, pad 460, pad 470, etc.).

In one embodiment, glove 800 may include at least one pad (e.g., 810, 820, etc.) that is positioned on or overlapping a side (e.g., a medial section, a lateral section, a volar or palmar section, or a dorsal section, some combination thereof) of a digital section (e.g., 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) and positioned away from (e.g., not positioned on or overlapping) a tip of the digital section and/or a portion of the digital section covering a pulp or pad of a digit.

In one embodiment, the bridge section (e.g., 813, 823, etc.) of a pad (e.g., 810, 820, etc.) may reduce cost or otherwise assist in manufacturing the glove. For example, the bridge section (e.g., 813, 823, etc.) may help control the distance between the side sections (e.g., 811 and 812, 821 and 822, etc.), control the relative positioning of the side sections (e.g., 811 and 812, 821 and 822, etc.), etc. As another example, the bridged section may reduce the cost of manufacturing one or more pads (e.g., by enabling the side sections that may otherwise be two separate pads to be manufactured as a single piece).

In one embodiment, one or more of the bridged pads (e.g., 810, 820, etc.) may include a second bridge section (e.g., not shown) located on a dorsal side of one or more digital sections of glove 800 (e.g., similar to bridge sections 914 and 924 of FIG. 9). As such, in one embodiment, the pad may circumscribe a digital section and/or a user's digit within a digital section of glove 800 (e.g., as shown in FIGS. 10A and/or 10B). Alternatively, one or more of the bridged pads (e.g., 810, 820, etc.) may not include a second bridge section located on a dorsal side of one or more digital sections of glove 800 (e.g., similar to bridge sections 914 and 924 of FIG. 9), and therefore, may not circumscribe (e.g., completely encircle) a digital section and/or a user's digit within a digital section of glove 800.

As shown in FIG. 8, the one or more pads (e.g., 810, 820, etc.) may be configured to maintain adequate dexterity. For example, the one or more pads (e.g., 810, 820, etc.) may be located to reduce or prevent overlap of the bridge sections (e.g., 813, 823, etc.) with one or more joints of a digit. As another example, one or more of the bridge sections (e.g., 813, 823, etc.) may be disposed between multiple joints of a digit. In this manner, adequate dexterity may be provided while also providing the advantages of a bridged pad (e.g., 810, 820, etc.) discussed herein.

The one or more pads (e.g., 810, 820, etc.) may be configured to maintain adequate tactile sensation. For example, the one or more pads (e.g., 810, 820, etc.) may be made from a material that is relatively elastic and flexible. In one embodiment, pad 810 and/or 820 may be made from a polymer or elastomer such as Medalist® 447 (e.g., from Teknor Apex), Elastocon® 2810 (e.g., from Elastocon TPE Technologies, Inc.), Dynaflex® G6703 (e.g., from GLS Corporation), latex, silicone, silicone gel, air-filled silicone gel, acrylic gel (e.g., from 3M Corporation), another polymer gel, foam, another polymer, etc. In one embodiment, pad 810 and/or 820 may be made from a material with a hardness ranging from approximately 10 Shore OO to approximately 15 Shore A, ranging from approximately 25 Shore OO to approximately 10 Shore A, ranging from approximately zero Shore A to approximately 10 Shore A, etc. It should be appreciated that materials in one or more of these hardness ranges may provide adequate pressure distribution and/or reduction properties while also providing adequate tactile sensation, dexterity or providing other benefits and/or advantages.

In one embodiment, tactile sensation may be maintained by limiting the thickness of the one or more pads (e.g., to less than approximately 10 mm, less than approximately 7 mm, less than approximately 6 mm, less than approximately 2 mm, less than approximately 1 mm, between approximately 1 mm and approximately 2 mm, etc.). And in one embodiment, tactile sensation may be maintained by positioning the one or more pads away from areas of the digits and/or hand used to feel, grasp, or perform other operations. For example, the one or more pads (e.g., 810, 820, etc.) may be positioned away from the volar or palmar side of the hand and/or digits, away from the tip of one or more digits, away from a pulp or pad of a digit, etc.

As shown in FIG. 8, glove 800 may be used with one or more types of instruments. For example, glove 800 may be used with laparoscopic instruments (e.g., to perform laparoscopic surgery), other surgical instruments (e.g., to perform other types of surgery such as arthroscopic surgery, neurosurgery, open surgery, other types of surgery, etc.), etc. As another example, glove 800 may be used with dental instruments (e.g., to perform dentistry), instruments used by paramedics, instruments used by nurses, instruments used by beauticians, etc. And as yet another example, glove 800 may be used with ringed instruments (e.g., laparoscopic instrument 100, scissors, etc.), other types of instruments (e.g., rongeurs, dissectors, gouges, scalpels, scissors, pliers, etc.), etc. As such, although one or more embodiments of the present invention may be described with respect to laparoscopic instruments and/or laparoscopic surgery, it should be appreciated that such description is exemplary and not intended to limit the scope of the present invention.

In one embodiment, glove 800 may be specific to a left hand or a right hand. For example, glove 800 may be configured to fit on a user's right hand, where glove 800 may not fit on the user's left hand or may not fit comfortably on the user's left hand. As another example, glove 800 may be configured to fit on a user's left hand, where glove 800 may not fit on the user's right hand or may not fit comfortably on the user's right hand. Alternatively, glove 800 may be configured to fit both a right hand and a left hand in one embodiment.

In one embodiment, glove 800 may be disposable (e.g., intended for a single use). Alternatively, glove 800 may be reusable (e.g., intended for a multiple uses and/or capable of being sanitized and/or sterilized).

Although FIG. 8 depicts a specific number of pads, it should be appreciated that glove 800 may include any number of pads in other embodiments. For example, a given digital section (e.g., 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) may include only one bridged pad, more than two bridged pads, at least one bridged pad and at least one non-bridged pad (e.g., 211, 212, 213, 214, 310, 340, 370, 310D, 410, 420, 460, 470, etc.), etc. As another example, at least one pad may be disposed at or on only one digital section or more than two digital sections in other embodiments. Additionally, although FIG. 8 depicts pads of a specific shape and size, it should be appreciated that glove 800 may include one or more bridged pads of any shape and/or size. For example, one or more portions of one or more bridged pads of glove 800 may be circular, oval, square, rectangular, triangular, hexagonal, etc. As another example, one or more bridged pads may overlap or occupy different areas of at least one layer 220 in other embodiments. As yet another example, one or more bridged pads may be different thicknesses (e.g., than that depicted in FIG. 8, from one another, etc.) in other embodiments. Further, although FIG. 8 depicts pads in specific positions, it should be appreciated that glove 800 may include one or more bridged pads in one or more other positions in other embodiments.

FIG. 9 shows a second side of exemplary glove 900 with at least one pad with a wide bridge in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 9, pad 910 (e.g., located at digital section 230) and/or pad 920 (e.g., located at digital section 260) may be a bridged pad. For example, side sections 911 and 912 of pad 910 (e.g., disposed at or on lateral section 232 and medial section 231, respectively) may be connected by bridge section 913 (e.g., disposed at or on volar section 233 of digital section 230). As another example, side sections 921 and 922 of pad 920 (e.g., disposed at or on lateral section 262 and medial section 261, respectively) may be connected by bridge section 923 (e.g., disposed at or on volar section 263 of digital section 260). In one embodiment, one or more of the side sections (e.g., 911, 912, 921, 922, etc.) may be similar to or implemented using one or more pads of any of the previous Figures (e.g., pad 211, pad 212, pad 213, pad 214, pad 310, pad 340, pad 370, pad 310D, pad 410, pad 420, pad 460, pad 470, etc.).

In one embodiment, glove 900 may include at least one pad (e.g., 910, 920, etc.) that is positioned on or overlapping a side (e.g., a medial section, a lateral section, a volar or palmar section, or a dorsal section, some combination thereof) of a digital section (e.g., 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) and positioned away from (e.g., not positioned on or overlapping) a tip of the digital section and/or a portion of the digital section covering a pulp or pad of a digit.

In one embodiment, the bridge section (e.g., 913, 923, etc.) of a pad (e.g., 910, 920, etc.) may reduce cost or otherwise assist in manufacturing the glove. For example, the bridge section (e.g., 913, 923, etc.) may help control the distance between the side sections (e.g., 911 and 912, 921 and 922, etc.), control the relative positioning of the side sections (e.g., 911 and 912, 921 and 922, etc.), etc. As another example, the bridged section may reduce the cost of manufacturing one or more pads (e.g., by enabling the side sections that may otherwise be two separate pads to be manufactured as a single piece).

In one embodiment, one or more of the bridged pads (e.g., 910, 920, etc.) may include a second bridge section (e.g., not shown) located on a dorsal side of one or more digital sections of glove 900 (e.g., similar to bridge sections 814 and 824 of FIG. 8). As such, in one embodiment, the pad may circumscribe a digital section and/or a user's digit within a digital section of glove 900 (e.g., as shown in FIGS. 10A and/or 10B). Alternatively, one or more of the bridged pads (e.g., 910, 920, etc.) may not include a second bridge section located on a dorsal side of one or more digital sections of glove 900 (e.g., similar to bridge sections 814 and 824 of FIG. 8), and therefore, may not circumscribe (e.g., completely encircle) a digital section and/or a user's digit within a digital section of glove 900.

As shown in FIG. 9, the one or more pads (e.g., 910, 920, etc.) may be configured to maintain adequate dexterity. For example, the one or more pads (e.g., 910, 920, etc.) may be located to reduce or prevent overlap of the bridge sections (e.g., 913, 923, etc.) with one or more joints of a digit. As another example, one or more of the bridge sections (e.g., 913, 923, etc.) may be disposed between multiple joints of a digit. In this manner, adequate dexterity may be provided while also providing the advantages of a bridged pad (e.g., 910, 920, etc.) discussed herein.

The one or more pads (e.g., 910, 920, etc.) may be configured to maintain adequate tactile sensation. For example, the one or more pads (e.g., 910, 920, etc.) may be made from a material that is relatively elastic and flexible. In one embodiment, pad 910 and/or 920 may be made from a polymer or elastomer such as Medalist® 447 (e.g., from Teknor Apex), Elastocon® 2810 (e.g., from Elastocon TPE Technologies, Inc.), Dynaflex® G6703 (e.g., from GLS Corporation), latex, silicone, silicone gel, air-filled silicone gel, acrylic gel (e.g., from 3M Corporation), another polymer gel, foam, another polymer, etc. In one embodiment, pad 910 and/or 920 may be made from a material with a hardness ranging from approximately 10 Shore OO to approximately 15 Shore A, ranging from approximately 25 Shore OO to approximately 10 Shore A, ranging from approximately zero Shore A to approximately 10 Shore A, etc. It should be appreciated that materials in one or more of these hardness ranges may provide adequate pressure distribution and/or reduction properties while also providing adequate tactile sensation, dexterity or providing other benefits and/or advantages.

In one embodiment, tactile sensation may be maintained by limiting the thickness of the one or more pads (e.g., to less than approximately 10 mm, less than approximately 7 mm, less than approximately 6 mm, less than approximately 2 mm, less than approximately 1 mm, between approximately 1 mm and approximately 2 mm, etc.). And in one embodiment, tactile sensation may be maintained by positioning the one or more pads away from areas of the digits and/or hand used to feel, grasp, or perform other operations. For example, the one or more pads (e.g., 910, 920, etc.) may be positioned away from the volar or palmar side of the hand and/or digits, away from the tip of one or more digits, away from the pulp or pad of a digit, etc.

As shown in FIG. 9, glove 900 may be used with one or more types of instruments. For example, glove 900 may be used with laparoscopic instruments (e.g., to perform laparoscopic surgery), other surgical instruments (e.g., to perform other types of surgery such as arthroscopic surgery, neurosurgery, open surgery, other types of surgery, etc.), etc. As another example, glove 900 may be used with dental instruments (e.g., to perform dentistry), instruments used by paramedics, instruments used by nurses, instruments used by beauticians, etc. And as yet another example, glove 900 may be used with ringed instruments (e.g., laparoscopic instrument 100, scissors, etc.), other types of instruments (e.g., rongeurs, dissectors, gouges, scalpels, scissors, pliers, etc.), etc. As such, although one or more embodiments of the present invention may be described with respect to laparoscopic instruments and/or laparoscopic surgery, it should be appreciated that such description is exemplary and not intended to limit the scope of the present invention.

In one embodiment, glove 900 may be specific to a left hand or a right hand. For example, glove 900 may be configured to fit on a user's right hand, where glove 900 may not fit on the user's left hand or may not fit comfortably on the user's left hand. As another example, glove 900 may be configured to fit on a user's left hand, where glove 900 may not fit on the user's right hand or may not fit comfortably on the user's right hand. Alternatively, glove 900 may be configured to fit both a right hand and a left hand in one embodiment.

In one embodiment, glove 900 may be disposable (e.g., intended for a single use). Alternatively, glove 900 may be reusable (e.g., intended for a multiple uses and/or capable of being sanitized and/or sterilized).

Although FIG. 9 depicts a specific number of pads, it should be appreciated that glove 900 may include any number of pads in other embodiments. For example, a given digital section (e.g., 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) may include only one bridged pad, more than two bridged pads, at least one bridged pad and at least one non-bridged pad (e.g., 211, 212, 213, 214, 310, 340, 370, 310D, 410, 420, 460, 470, etc.), etc. As another example, at least one pad may be disposed at or on only one digital section or more than two digital sections in other embodiments. Additionally, although FIG. 9 depicts pads of a specific shape and size, it should be appreciated that glove 900 may include one or more bridged pads of any shape and/or size. For example, one or more portions of one or more bridged pads of glove 900 may be circular, oval, square, rectangular, triangular, hexagonal, etc. As another example, one or more bridged pads may overlap or occupy different areas of at least one layer 220 in other embodiments. As yet another example, one or more bridged pads may be different thicknesses (e.g., than that depicted in FIG. 9, from one another, etc.) in other embodiments. Further, although FIG. 9 depicts pads in specific positions, it should be appreciated that glove 900 may include one or more bridged pads in one or more other positions in other embodiments.

FIG. 10A shows a cross-sectional view of exemplary digital section 1000A with a pad capable of circumscribing a user's digit and located on a first side of at least one layer 220 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 10A, at least one layer 220 may define an opening (e.g., 1030) capable of accepting a digit (e.g., 440), where pad 1010 may be disposed on a first side (e.g., the side facing opening 1030 and/or digit 440) of at least one layer 220. Pad 1010 may be secured to at least one layer 220 (e.g., using an adhesive) in one embodiment. Alternatively, pad 1010 may be integrated with (e.g., co-molded, volcanically fused, manufactured as a single piece, etc.) at least one layer 220. And in one embodiment, pad 1010 may be secured or held in place by another glove (e.g., depicted by dashed line 1050) worn inside of at least one layer 220 and pad 1010.

As shown in FIG. 10A, digital section 1000A may be a thumb section (e.g., 230) or a finger section (e.g., 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) in one embodiment. Pad 1010 may be a pad coupled with a thumb section (e.g., pad 510, pad 610, pad 810 of FIG. 8, pad 910 of FIG. 9, etc.) or a pad coupled with a finger section (e.g., pad 520, pad 620, pad 820 of FIG. 8, pad 920 of FIG. 9, a pad coupled with another finger section, etc.) in one embodiment.

Pad 1010 may be made from a polymer or elastomer such as Medalist® 447 (e.g., from Teknor Apex), Elastocon® 2810 (e.g., from Elastocon TPE Technologies, Inc.), Dynaflex® G6703 (e.g., from GLS Corporation), latex, silicone, silicone gel, air-filled silicone gel, acrylic gel (e.g., from 3M Corporation), another polymer gel, foam, another polymer, etc. In one embodiment, pad 1010 may be made from a material with a hardness ranging from approximately 10 Shore OO to approximately 15 Shore A, ranging from approximately 25 Shore OO to approximately 10 Shore A, ranging from approximately zero Shore A to approximately 10 Shore A, etc. It should be appreciated that materials in one or more of these hardness ranges may provide adequate pressure distribution and/or reduction properties while also providing adequate tactile sensation, dexterity or providing other benefits and/or advantages.

FIG. 10B shows a cross-sectional view of exemplary digital section 1000B with a pad capable of circumscribing a user's digit and located on a second side of at least one layer 220 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 10B, at least one layer 220 may define an opening (e.g., 1080) capable of accepting a digit (e.g., 440), where pad 1060 may be disposed on a second side (e.g., opposite opening 480 and/or digit 440) of at least one layer 220. Pad 1060 may be secured to at least one layer 220 (e.g., using an adhesive) in one embodiment. Alternatively, pad 1060 may be integrated with (e.g., co-molded, volcanically fused, manufactured as a single piece, etc.) at least one layer 220. And in one embodiment, pad 1060 may be secured or held in place by another glove (e.g., depicted by dashed line 1090) worn outside of at least one layer 220 and pad 1060.

As shown in FIG. 10B, digital section 1000B may be a thumb section (e.g., 230) or a finger section (e.g., 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.) in one embodiment. Pad 1060 may be a pad coupled with a thumb section (e.g., pad 510, pad 610, pad 810 of FIG. 8, pad 910 of FIG. 9, etc.) or a pad coupled with a finger section (e.g., pad 520, pad 620, pad 820 of FIG. 8, pad 920 of FIG. 9, a pad coupled with another finger section, etc.) in one embodiment.

Pad 1020 may be made from a polymer or elastomer such as Medalist® 447 (e.g., from Teknor Apex), Elastocon® 2810 (e.g., from Elastocon TPE Technologies, Inc.), Dynaflex® G6703 (e.g., from GLS Corporation), latex, silicone, silicone gel, air-filled silicone gel, acrylic gel (e.g., from 3M Corporation), another polymer gel, foam, another polymer, etc. In one embodiment, pad 1020 may be made from a material with a hardness ranging from approximately 10 Shore OO to approximately 15 Shore A, ranging from approximately 25 Shore OO to approximately 10 Shore A, ranging from approximately zero Shore A to approximately 10 Shore A, etc. It should be appreciated that materials in one or more of these hardness ranges may provide adequate pressure distribution and/or reduction properties while also providing adequate tactile sensation, dexterity or providing other benefits and/or advantages.

Although FIGS. 10A and 10B depict a specific number of pads, it should be appreciated that a given digital section may include any number of bridged pads or non-bridged pads (e.g., 211, 212, 213, 214, 310, 340, 370, 310D, 410, 420, 460, 470, etc.) in other embodiments. For example, a given digital section (e.g., 1000A, 1000B, etc.) may include only one pad, more than two pads, etc. Additionally, although FIGS. 10A and 10B depict bridged pads of a specific shape and size, it should be appreciated that a given digital section (e.g., 1000A, 1000B, etc.) may include one or more bridged pads of any shape and/or size. For example, one or more portions of one or more bridged pads of a given digital section (e.g., 1000A, 1000B, etc.) may be circular, oval, square, rectangular, triangular, hexagonal, etc. As another example, one or more bridged pads may overlap or occupy different areas of at least one layer 220 in other embodiments. As yet another example, one or more bridged pads may be different thicknesses (e.g., than that depicted in FIGS. 10A and 10B, from one another, etc.) in other embodiments. Further, although FIGS. 10A and 10B depict pads in specific positions, it should be appreciated that a given digital section (e.g., 1000A, 1000B, etc.) may include one or more bridged pads in one or more other positions in other embodiments.

FIG. 11 shows exemplary glove 1100 with at least one pad 1110 coupled with inner section 295 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 11, pad 1110 may be coupled with inner section 295 to reduce pressure in the area of the median nerve of the hand, thereby reducing the risk of injury to the median nerve. Forces applied to inner section 295 may result from use of laparoscopic instruments (e.g., 100), other surgical instruments (e.g., rongeurs, dissectors, gouges, scalpels, scissors, etc.), dental instruments, instruments used by paramedics, instruments used by nurses, instruments used by beauticians, ringed instruments (e.g., laparoscopic instrument 100, scissors, etc.), other types of instruments (e.g., rongeurs, dissectors, gouges, scalpels, scissors, pliers, etc.), etc.

Pad 1110 may be disposed on the inside of at least one layer 220 (e.g., the side of at least one layer 220 facing the palm of the hand) in one embodiment. In one embodiment, pad 1110 may be disposed on the outside of at least one layer 220 (e.g., the side of at least one layer 220 opposite the side facing the palm of the hand). In one embodiment, pad 1110 may be integrated with (e.g., co-molded, volcanically fused, manufactured as a single piece, etc.) at least one layer 220. And in one embodiment, pad 1110 may be secured or held in place by another glove worn inside and/or outside of at least one layer 220 and pad 1110.

As shown in FIG. 11, the at least one pad (e.g., 1110, etc.) may be made from a material that is relatively elastic and flexible. In one embodiment, pad 1110 may be made from a polymer or elastomer such as Medalist® 447 (e.g., from Teknor Apex), Elastocon® 2810 (e.g., from Elastocon TPE Technologies, Inc.), Dynaflex® G6703 (e.g., from GLS Corporation), latex, silicone, silicone gel, air-filled silicone gel, acrylic gel (e.g., from 3M Corporation), another polymer gel, foam, another polymer, etc. In one embodiment, pad 1110 may be made from a material with a hardness ranging from approximately 10 Shore OO to approximately 15 Shore A, ranging from approximately 25 Shore OO to approximately 10 Shore A, ranging from approximately zero Shore A to approximately 10 Shore A, etc. It should be appreciated that materials in one or more of these hardness ranges may provide adequate pressure distribution and/or reduction properties while also providing adequate tactile sensation, dexterity or providing other benefits and/or advantages.

In one embodiment, glove 1100 may be specific to a left hand or a right hand. For example, glove 1100 may be configured to fit on a user's right hand, where glove 1100 may not fit on the user's left hand or may not fit comfortably on the user's left hand. As another example, glove 1100 may be configured to fit on a user's left hand, where glove 1100 may not fit on the user's right hand or may not fit comfortably on the user's right hand. Alternatively, glove 1100 may be configured to fit both a right hand and a left hand in one embodiment.

In one embodiment, glove 1100 may be disposable (e.g., intended for a single use). Alternatively, glove 1100 may be reusable (e.g., intended for a multiple uses and/or capable of being sanitized and/or sterilized).

Although FIG. 11 depicts a specific number of pads, it should be appreciated that glove 1100 may include any number of pads in other embodiments. For example, a plurality of pads may be disposed at inner section 295, at least one pad may be disposed at inner section 290, etc. As another example, glove 1100 may include at least one pad disposed at one or more digital sections (e.g., 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, etc.). Additionally, although FIG. 11 depicts pads of a specific shape and size, it should be appreciated that glove 1100 may include one or more pads of any shape and/or size. For example, one or more pads of glove 200 may be circular, oval, square, rectangular, triangular, hexagonal, “L”-shaped, “J”-shaped, etc. Further, although FIG. 11 depicts pad 1100 in a specific position, it should be appreciated that glove 1100 may include one or more pads in one or more other positions in other embodiments.

FIG. 12 shows exemplary pad 1200 including at least one beveled edge in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 12, surfaces 1210 and/or 1220 may form one or more beveled edges of pad 1200.

Pad 1200 may be used to implement one or more of the other pads described herein. For example, one or more of the other pads described herein (e.g., pad 211, pad 212, pad 213, pad 214, pad 310, pad 340, pad 370, pad 310D, pad 410, pad 420, pad 460, pad 470, pad 510, pad 520, pad 610, pad 620, pad 710, pad 760, pad 810, pad 820, pad 910, pad 920, pad 1010, pad 1060, pad 1100, pad 1300A of FIG. 13A, pad 1300B of FIG. 13B, pad 1410 of FIG. 14, pad 1500 of FIG. 15, etc.) may include one or more beveled edges as discussed with respect to FIG. 12.

A beveled edge on pad 1400 may provide one or more advantages. For example, a beveled surface may increase the surface area of the top side of pad 1200 (e.g., the top surface defined by surface 1230 and beveled surfaces 1210 and/or 1220 is larger than a flat surface such as surface 1240), thereby providing better adhesion to at least one layer 220. As another example, where surface 1240 is disposed on or coupled with at least one layer 220, beveling of one or more edges of pad 1400 may reduce the risk of delamination of pad 1400 from at least one layer 220 caused by interference (e.g., catching, snagging, etc.) with other objects.

Pad 1200 may be disposed on the inside of at least one layer 220 (e.g., the side of at least one layer 220 facing the palm of the hand) in one embodiment. In one embodiment, pad 1200 may be disposed on the outside of at least one layer 220 (e.g., the side of at least one layer 220 opposite the side facing the palm of the hand). In one embodiment, pad 1200 may be integrated with (e.g., co-molded, volcanically fused, manufactured as a single piece, etc.) at least one layer 220. And in one embodiment, pad 1200 may be secured or held in place by another glove worn inside and/or outside of at least one layer 220 and pad 1200.

Pad 1200 may be made from a polymer or elastomer such as Medalist® 447 (e.g., from Teknor Apex), Elastocon® 2810 (e.g., from Elastocon TPE Technologies, Inc.), Dynaflex® G6703 (e.g., from GLS Corporation), latex, silicone, silicone gel, air-filled silicone gel, acrylic gel (e.g., from 3M Corporation), another polymer gel, foam, another polymer, etc. In one embodiment, pad 1200 may be made from a material with a hardness ranging from approximately 10 Shore OO to approximately 15 Shore A, ranging from approximately 25 Shore OO to approximately 10 Shore A, ranging from approximately zero Shore A to approximately 10 Shore A, etc. It should be appreciated that materials in one or more of these hardness ranges may provide adequate pressure distribution and/or reduction properties while also providing adequate tactile sensation, dexterity or providing other benefits and/or advantages.

Although FIG. 12 depicts a specific number of beveled edges on pad 1200, it should be appreciated that pad 1200 may include any number of beveled edges in other embodiments. Additionally, although FIG. 12 depicts beveled surfaces of a specific shape and size, it should be appreciated that pad 1200 may include one or more beveled surfaces of any shape and/or size. Further, although FIG. 12 depicts beveled edges, it should be appreciated that an edge may be alternatively featured (e.g., filleted, etc.).

FIG. 13A shows exemplary pad 1300A with at least one depression in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 13A, depression 1310 and depression 1320 may be defined in surface 1330. Depression 1310 and/or depression 1320 may be a groove, channel, cavity, hole, etc. In one embodiment, pad 1300A may provide one or more advantages such as increased friction and/or grip to reduce slippage of instruments with respect to the glove, increased bonding strength between the pad and the at least one layer (e.g., by providing cavities or other areas where the adhesive can flow around the at least one depression, by increasing the surface area of the one or more surfaces of the pad to be adhered to or coupled with the at least one layer, etc.), etc.

Pad 1300A may be used to implement one or more of the other pads described herein. For example, one or more of the other pads described herein (e.g., pad 211, pad 212, pad 213, pad 214, pad 310, pad 340, pad 370, pad 310D, pad 410, pad 420, pad 460, pad 470, pad 510, pad 520, pad 610, pad 620, pad 710, pad 760, pad 810, pad 820, pad 910, pad 920, pad 1010, pad 1060, pad 1100, pad 1200, pad 1300B of FIG. 13B, pad 1410 of FIG. 14, pad 1500 of FIG. 15, etc.) may have one or more depressions defined therein as discussed with respect to FIG. 13A.

Pad 1300A may be disposed on the inside of at least one layer 220 (e.g., the side of at least one layer 220 facing the palm of the hand) in one embodiment. In one embodiment, pad 1300A may be disposed on the outside of at least one layer 220 (e.g., the side of at least one layer 220 opposite the side facing the palm of the hand). In one embodiment, pad 1300A may be integrated with (e.g., co-molded, volcanically fused, manufactured as a single piece, etc.) at least one layer 220. And in one embodiment, pad 1300A may be secured or held in place by another glove worn inside and/or outside of at least one layer 220 and pad 1300A.

Pad 1300A may be made from a polymer or elastomer such as Medalist® 447 (e.g., from Teknor Apex), Elastocon® 2810 (e.g., from Elastocon TPE Technologies, Inc.), Dynaflex® G6703 (e.g., from GLS Corporation), latex, silicone, silicone gel, air-filled silicone gel, acrylic gel (e.g., from 3M Corporation), another polymer gel, foam, another polymer, etc. In one embodiment, pad 1300A may be made from a material with a hardness ranging from approximately 10 Shore OO to approximately 15 Shore A, ranging from approximately 25 Shore OO to approximately 10 Shore A, ranging from approximately zero Shore A to approximately 10 Shore A, etc. It should be appreciated that materials in one or more of these hardness ranges may provide adequate pressure distribution and/or reduction properties while also providing adequate tactile sensation, dexterity or providing other benefits and/or advantages.

Although FIG. 13A depicts a specific number of depressions defined in pad 1300A, it should be appreciated that pad 1300 may have any number of depressions defined therein in other embodiments. Additionally, although FIG. 13A depicts depressions of a specific shape and size, it should be appreciated that one or more depressions defined in pad 1300A may be of any shape and/or size. For example, one or more depressions defined in pad 1300A may be square, rectangular, semi-circular, curved, etc.

FIG. 13B shows exemplary pad 1300B with at least one protrusion in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 13B, protrusion 1340 and protrusion 1350 may protrude or extend from surface 1360. Protrusion 1340 and protrusion 1350 may be a land, spike, etc. In one embodiment, pad 1300B may provide one or more advantages such as increased friction and/or grip to reduce slippage of instruments with respect to the glove, increased bonding strength between the pad and the at least one layer (e.g., by providing cavities or other areas where the adhesive can flow around the at least one protrusion, by increasing the surface area of the one or more surfaces of the pad to be adhered to or coupled with the at least one layer, etc.), etc.

Pad 1300B may be used to implement one or more of the other pads described herein. For example, one or more of the other pads described herein (e.g., pad 211, pad 212, pad 213, pad 214, pad 310, pad 340, pad 370, pad 310D, pad 410, pad 420, pad 460, pad 470, pad 510, pad 520, pad 610, pad 620, pad 710, pad 760, pad 810, pad 820, pad 910, pad 920, pad 1010, pad 1060, pad 1100, pad 1200, pad 1300A, pad 1410 of FIG. 14, pad 1500 of FIG. 15, etc.) may include one or more protrusions as discussed with respect to FIG. 13B.

Pad 1300B may be disposed on the inside of at least one layer 220 (e.g., the side of at least one layer 220 facing the palm of the hand) in one embodiment. In one embodiment, pad 1300B may be disposed on the outside of at least one layer 220 (e.g., the side of at least one layer 220 opposite the side facing the palm of the hand). In one embodiment, pad 1300B may be integrated with (e.g., co-molded, volcanically fused, manufactured as a single piece, etc.) at least one layer 220. And in one embodiment, pad 1300B may be secured or held in place by another glove worn inside and/or outside of at least one layer 220 and pad 1300B.

Pad 1300B may be made from a polymer or elastomer such as Medalist® 447 (e.g., from Teknor Apex), Elastocon® 2810 (e.g., from Elastocon TPE Technologies, Inc.), Dynaflex® G6703 (e.g., from GLS Corporation), latex, silicone, silicone gel, air-filled silicone gel, acrylic gel (e.g., from 3M Corporation), another polymer gel, foam, another polymer, etc. In one embodiment, pad 1300B may be made from a material with a hardness ranging from approximately 10 Shore OO to approximately 15 Shore A, ranging from approximately 25 Shore OO to approximately 10 Shore A, ranging from approximately zero Shore A to approximately 10 Shore A, etc. It should be appreciated that materials in one or more of these hardness ranges may provide adequate pressure distribution and/or reduction properties while also providing adequate tactile sensation, dexterity or providing other benefits and/or advantages.

Although FIG. 13B depicts pad 1300B with a specific number of protrusions, it should be appreciated that pad 1300 may include any number of protrusions in other embodiments. Additionally, although FIG. 13B depicts protrusions of a specific shape and size, it should be appreciated that pad 1300B may include one or more protrusions of any shape and/or size. For example, one or more protrusions of pad 1300A may be square, rectangular, semi-circular, curved, etc.

FIG. 14 shows exemplary pad assembly 1400 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. Pad assembly 1400 includes pad 1410, adhesive 1420 and removable backing 1430. Removable backing 1430 may protect the adhesive surface (e.g., from dirt, moisture, or other contaminants) until removable backing 1430 is removed. Once removable backing 1430 is removed, pad 1410 may be coupled with and/or secured to at least one layer (e.g., 220) of a glove (e.g., 200, 500, 600, 800, 900, 1100, etc.) using adhesive 1420. In one embodiment, pad 1410 may be removed (e.g., from at least one layer 220) and reused (e.g., reapplied to at least one layer 220, to another glove, etc.).

Pad assembly 1400 may be used to implement one or more of the other pads described herein. For example, one or more of the other pads described herein (e.g., pad 211, pad 212, pad 213, pad 214, pad 310, pad 340, pad 370, pad 310D, pad 410, pad 420, pad 460, pad 470, pad 510, pad 520, pad 610, pad 620, pad 710, pad 760, pad 810, pad 820, pad 910, pad 920, pad 1010, pad 1060, pad 1100, pad 1200, pad 1300A, pad 13008, pad 1500 of FIG. 15, etc.) may include an adhesive for securing the pad as discussed with respect to FIG. 14.

In one embodiment, pad assembly 1400 may be manufactured and/or sold separately from a glove (e.g., 200, 500, 600, 800, 900, 1100, etc.). In this manner, a user may apply one or more pads to a glove (e.g., an inside surface of at least one layer 220, an outside surface of at least one layer 220, etc.), thereby enabling a user to customize a glove to suit specific needs of that user.

Pad 1410 may be made from a polymer or elastomer such as Medalist® 447 (e.g., from Teknor Apex), Elastocon® 2810 (e.g., from Elastocon TPE Technologies, Inc.), Dynaflex® G6703 (e.g., from GLS Corporation), latex, silicone, silicone gel, air-filled silicone gel, acrylic gel (e.g., from 3M Corporation), another polymer gel, foam, another polymer, etc. In one embodiment, pad 1410 may be made from a material with a hardness ranging from approximately 10 Shore OO to approximately 15 Shore A, ranging from approximately 25 Shore OO to approximately 10 Shore A, ranging from approximately zero Shore A to approximately 10 Shore A, etc. It should be appreciated that materials in one or more of these hardness ranges may provide adequate pressure distribution and/or reduction properties while also providing adequate tactile sensation, dexterity or providing other benefits and/or advantages.

Although FIG. 14 depicts pad 1410 with a specific shape and/or size, it should be appreciated that pad 1410 may be a different shape and/or size in other embodiments. For example, pad 1410 may be circular, oval, square, rectangular, triangular, hexagonal, “L”-shaped, “J”-shaped, “U”-shaped, etc.

FIG. 15 shows exemplary pad 1500 including a plurality of thicknesses in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 15, section 1510 of pad 1500 may include first thickness 1515, whereas section 1520 of pad 1500 may include second thickness 1525. First thickness 1515 may be constant across first section 1510 in one embodiment, and second thickness 1525 may be constant across second section 1500 in one embodiment. Additionally, the thickness of pad 1500 may vary along one or more sections (e.g., section 1530 and 1540). The thickness of pad 1500 may vary linearly or as a non-linear function.

Pad 1500 may be used to implement one or more of the other pads described herein. For example, one or more of the other pads described herein (e.g., pad 211, pad 212, pad 213, pad 214, pad 310, pad 340, pad 370, pad 310D, pad 410, pad 420, pad 460, pad 470, pad 510, pad 520, pad 610, pad 620, pad 710, pad 760, pad 810, pad 820, pad 910, pad 920, pad 1010, pad 1060, pad 1100, pad 1200, pad 1300A, pad 1300B, pad 1410, etc.) may include one or more beveled edges as discussed with respect to FIG. 12.

Pad 1500 may be disposed on the inside of at least one layer 220 (e.g., the side of at least one layer 220 facing the palm of the hand) in one embodiment. In one embodiment, pad 1500 may be disposed on the outside of at least one layer 220 (e.g., the side of at least one layer 220 opposite the side facing the palm of the hand). In one embodiment, pad 1500 may be integrated with (e.g., co-molded, volcanically fused, manufactured as a single piece, etc.) at least one layer 220. And in one embodiment, pad 1500 may be secured or held in place by another glove worn inside and/or outside of at least one layer 220 and pad 1500.

Pad 1500 may be made from a polymer or elastomer such as Medalist® 447 (e.g., from Teknor Apex), Elastocon® 2810 (e.g., from Elastocon TPE Technologies, Inc.), Dynaflex® G6703 (e.g., from GLS Corporation), latex, silicone, silicone gel, air-filled silicone gel, acrylic gel (e.g., from 3M Corporation), another polymer gel, foam, another polymer, etc. In one embodiment, pad 1500 may be made from a material with a hardness ranging from approximately 10 Shore OO to approximately 15 Shore A, ranging from approximately 25 Shore OO to approximately 10 Shore A, ranging from approximately zero Shore A to approximately 10 Shore A, etc. It should be appreciated that materials in one or more of these hardness ranges may provide adequate pressure distribution and/or reduction properties while also providing adequate tactile sensation, dexterity or providing other benefits and/or advantages.

Although FIG. 15 depicts pad 1500 with a specific number of thicknesses, it should be appreciated that pad 1500 may include any number of thicknesses in other embodiments. Additionally, although FIG. 15 depicts pad 1500 with a specific number of regions with varying thickness, it should be appreciated that pad 1500 may include any number of regions with varying thickness in other embodiments. Further, although FIG. 15 depicts pad 1500 with a specific shape and size, it should be appreciated that pad 1500 may be a different shape and/or size in other embodiments.

As described herein, one or more of the pads (e.g., pad 211, pad 212, pad 213, pad 214, pad 310, pad 340, pad 370, pad 310D, pad 410, pad 420, pad 460, pad 470, pad 510, pad 520, pad 610, pad 620, pad 710, pad 760, pad 810, pad 820, pad 910, pad 920, pad 1010, pad 1060, pad 1100, pad 1200, pad 1300A, pad 1300B, pad 1410, pad 1500, etc.) may protect against non-penetrating injury. For example, one or more of the pads may reduce and/or distribute the pressure on the digits (e.g., thumb, at least one finger, etc.) and/or hands resulting from an instrument (e.g., a laparoscopic instrument, another surgical instrument, a dental instrument, an instrument used by paramedics, an instrument used by nurses, an instrument used by beauticians, a ringed instrument, other types of instruments, etc.), thereby reducing risk of injury (e.g., non-penetrating injury) to the nerves (e.g., digital nerves, etc.), ligaments, tendons, muscles, bones, cartilage and other tissues of the digits and/or hands.

FIG. 16 shows exemplary apparatus 1600 including at least one packaged glove in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 16, packaging 1610 and packaging 1620 may each contain or enclose a glove (e.g., glove 1615 and glove 1625, respectively). Packaging 1610 and packaging 1620 may be sealed to reduce or inhibit contaminants from coming into contact with the gloves (e.g., 1615 and 1625). In one embodiment, packaging 1610 and packaging 1620 may be airtight. Additionally, packaging 1610 and packaging 1620 may provide a sanitized and/or sterilized environment for the gloves (e.g., 1615 and 1625). Further, in one embodiment, packaging 1610 and/or packaging 1620 may have a transparent or partially transparent window allowing a glove (e.g., 1615, 1625, etc.) to be viewed while still in the packaging.

Glove 1615 may be implemented in accordance with any of the gloves described herein (e.g., 200, 500, 600, 800, 900, 1100, etc.) and/or include one or more of the pads described herein (e.g., pad 211, pad 212, pad 213, pad 214, pad 310, pad 340, pad 370, pad 310D, pad 410, pad 420, pad 460, pad 470, pad 510, pad 520, pad 610, pad 620, pad 710, pad 760, pad 810, pad 820, pad 910, pad 920, pad 1010, pad 1060, pad 1100, pad 1200, pad 1300A of FIG. 13A, pad 1300B, pad 1410, pad 1500, etc.). Glove 1625 may be implemented in accordance with any of the gloves described herein (e.g., 200, 500, 600, 800, 900, 1100, etc.) and/or include one or more of the pads described herein (e.g., pad 211, pad 212, pad 213, pad 214, pad 310, pad 340, pad 370, pad 310D, pad 410, pad 420, pad 460, pad 470, pad 510, pad 520, pad 610, pad 620, pad 710, pad 760, pad 810, pad 820, pad 910, pad 920, pad 1010, pad 1060, pad 1100, pad 1200, pad 1300A of FIG. 13A, pad 13008, pad 1410, pad 1500, etc.).

In one embodiment, glove 1615 may be configured to fit on a user's right hand, whereas glove 1625 may be configured to fit on a user's left hand. In one embodiment, glove 1625 may be configured to fit on a user's right hand, whereas glove 1615 may be configured to fit on a user's left hand. And in one embodiment, glove 1615 and/or glove 1625 may be configured to fit both a right hand and a left hand in one embodiment.

In one embodiment, each packaging (e.g., 1610 and 1620) may contain only a single glove. In other embodiments, a packaging (e.g., 1610 and 1620) may contain more than one glove. Where a packaging contains more than one glove, a layer (e.g., a paper layer or layer of another material) may be used to wrap the gloves before insertion into the packaging (e.g., 1610, 1620, etc.).

Although FIG. 16 depicts packaging 1610 and packaging 1620 with a specific shape and/or size, it should be appreciated that packaging 1610 and/or packaging 1620 may have any shape and/or size in other embodiments. Although FIG. 16 depicts glove 1615 and glove 1625 with a specific shape and/or size, it should be appreciated that glove 1615 and/or glove 1625 may have any shape and/or size in other embodiments.

FIG. 17A shows exemplary apparatus 1700 in an open position in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, while FIG. 17B shows exemplary apparatus 1700 in a closed position in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 17A, packaging 1610 and packaging 1620 may be bound by hinge or seam 1710. Hinge or seam 1710 may rotatably couple packaging 1610 with packaging 1620. As such, apparatus 1700 may be opened (e.g., as shown in FIG. 17A) and/or closed (e.g., as shown in FIG. 17B) similar to a book.

Although FIG. 17 depicts packaging 1610 and packaging 1620 with a specific shape and/or size, it should be appreciated that packaging 1610 and/or packaging 1620 may have any shape and/or size in other embodiments. Although FIG. 17 depicts glove 1615 and glove 1625 with a specific shape and/or size, it should be appreciated that glove 1615 and/or glove 1625 may have any shape and/or size in other embodiments.

In the foregoing specification, embodiments of the invention have been described with reference to numerous specific details that may vary from implementation to implementation. Thus, the sole and exclusive indicator of what is, and is intended by the applicant to be, the invention is the set of claims that issue from this application, in the specific form in which such claims issue, including any subsequent correction. Hence, no limitation, element, property, feature, advantage, or attribute that is not expressly recited in a claim should limit the scope of such claim in any way. Accordingly, the specification and drawings are to be regarded in an illustrative rather than a restrictive sense.