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1. (WO2019002983) INSTRUMENTS CHIRURGICAUX À MÂCHOIRES OUVERTES ET FERMÉES ET ÉLÉMENT DE DÉCLENCHEMENT AXIALEMENT MOBILE ÉTANT INITIALEMENT POSITIONNÉ À PROXIMITÉ IMMÉDIATE DES MÂCHOIRES AVANT LE DÉCLENCHEMENT
Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

TITLE

SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH OPEN AND CLOSABLE JAWS AND AXIALLY MOVABLE I I RING MEMBER THAT IS INITIALLY PARKED IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO THE JAWS PRIOR TO FIRING BACKGROUND

[0001] The present invention relates to surgical instruments and, in various arrangements, to surgical stapling and cutting instruments and staple cartridges for use therewith that are designed to staple and cut tissue.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0002] Various features of the embodiments described herein, together with advantages thereof, may be understood in accordance with the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings as follows:

[0003] FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a surgical system comprising a handle assembly and multiple interchangeable surgical tool assemblies that may be used therewith;

[0004] FIG. 2 is an exploded assembly view of portions of the handle assembly and one of the interchangeable surgical tool assemblies depicted in FIG. 1 ;

[0005] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of one of the interchangeable surgical tool assemblies depicted in FIG. 1 ;

[0006] FIG. 4 is an exploded assembly view of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 3;

[0007] FIG. 5 is another exploded assembly view of a distal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIGS. 3 and 4;

[0008] FIG. 6 is another exploded assembly view of a distal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIGS. 3-5;

[0009] FIG. 7 is an exploded assembly view of a proximal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIGS. 3-6;

[0010] FIG. 8 is another exploded assembly view of a portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIGS. 3-7;

[0011] FIG. 9 is another exploded assembly view of a portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIGS. 3-8;

[0012] FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a proximal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIGS. 3-9;

[0013] FIG. 11 is another perspective view of the proximal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIGS. 3-10;

[0014] FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional perspective view of the proximal portion of the

interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIGS. 3-11 ;

[0015] FIG. 13 is another cross-sectional perspective view of the proximal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIGS. 3-12;

[0016] FIG. 14 is another cross-sectional perspective view of the proximal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIGS. 3-13;

[0017] FIG. 15 is a cross-sectional perspective view of a distal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIGS. 3-14;

[0018] FIG. 16 is a perspective view of another one of the interchangeable surgical tool assemblies depicted in FIG. 1 ;

[0019] FIG. 17 is an exploded assembly view of a proximal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 16;

[0020] FIG. 18 is another exploded assembly view of a distal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIGS. 16 and 17;

[0021] FIG. 19 is a perspective view of another one of the interchangeable surgical tool assemblies depicted in FIG. 1 ;

[0022] FIG. 20 is an exploded assembly view of a proximal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 19;

[0023] FIG. 21 is another exploded assembly view of a distal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIGS. 19 and 20;

[0024] FIG. 22 is a perspective view of another one of the interchangeable surgical tool assemblies depicted in FIG. 1 ;

[0025] FIG. 23 is an exploded assembly view of a proximal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 22;

[0026] FIG. 24 is another exploded assembly view of a distal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIGS. 22 and 23;

[0027] FIG. 25 is a side elevational view of a distal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 3 with the anvil thereof in a fully closed position;

[0028] FIG. 26 is an enlarged side elevational view of the anvil mounting portion and elongate channel of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 25;

[0029] FIG. 27 is a side elevational view of a distal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 16 with the anvil thereof in a fully closed position;

[0030] FIG. 28 is an enlarged side elevational view of the anvil mounting portion and elongate channel of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 27;

[0031] FIG. 29 is a side elevational view of a distal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 19 with the anvil thereof in a fully closed position;

[0032] FIG. 30 is an enlarged side elevational view of the anvil mounting portion and elongate channel of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 29;

[0033] FIG. 31 is a side elevational view of a distal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 22 with the anvil thereof in a fully closed position;

[0034] FIG. 32 is an enlarged side elevational view of the anvil mounting portion and elongate channel of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 31 ;

[0035] FIG. 33 is a side elevational view of a distal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 3 with the anvil thereof in a fully open position;

[0036] FIG. 34 is a side elevational view of a distal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 16 with the anvil thereof in a fully open position;

[0037] FIG. 35 is a side elevational view of a distal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 19 with the anvil thereof in a fully open position;

[0038] FIG. 36 is a side elevational view of a distal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 22 with the anvil thereof in a fully open position;

[0039] FIG. 37 is a side elevational view of a distal portion of another interchangeable surgical tool assembly with the anvil thereof shown in one open position in solid lines and another open position in phantom lines;

[0040] FIG. 38 is a side elevational view of a distal portion of another interchangeable surgical tool assembly with the anvil thereof in an open position;

[0041] FIG. 39 is a side elevational view of a distal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 3 with the anvil thereof in a fully open position;

[0042] FIG. 40 is an enlarged side elevational view of the anvil mounting portion and elongate channel of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 39;

[0043] FIG. 41 is a side elevational view of a distal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIGS. 39 and 40 with the anvil thereof in a fully closed position;

[0044] FIG. 42 is an enlarged side elevational view of the anvil mounting portion and elongate channel of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 16 with the anvil thereof in a fully open position;

[0045] FIG. 43 is a side elevational view of a distal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 42 with the anvil thereof in a fully closed position;

[0046] FIG. 44 is an enlarged side elevational view of the anvil mounting portion and elongate channel of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 19 with the anvil thereof in a fully open position;

[0047] FIG. 45 is a side elevational view of a distal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 44 with the anvil thereof in a fully closed position;

[0048] FIG. 46 is an enlarged side elevational view of the anvil mounting portion and elongate channel of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 22 with the anvil thereof in a fully open position;

[0049] FIG. 47 is a side elevational view of a distal portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 46 with the anvil thereof in a fully closed position;

[0050] FIG. 48 is a partial cross-sectional view of the anvil mounting portion and elongate channel of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 3 with the anvil in a fully open position;

[0051] FIG. 49 is a partial cross-sectional view of the anvil mounting portion and elongate channel of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 16 with the anvil in a fully open position;

[0052] FIG. 50 is a partial cross-sectional view of the anvil mounting portion and elongate channel of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 19 with the anvil in a fully open position;

[0053] FIG. 51 is a partial cross-sectional view of the anvil mounting portion and elongate channel of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 22 with the anvil in a fully open position;

[0054] FIG. 52 is another partial cross-sectional view of a portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 3 with the anvil of the surgical end effector thereof in a fully open position;

[0055] FIG. 53 is another partial cross-sectional view of a portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 52 with the anvil in a fully closed position;

[0056] FIG. 54 is another partial cross-sectional view of a portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 16 wherein the anvil is in a fully open position;

[0057] FIG. 55 is another partial cross-sectional view of a portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 19 wherein the anvil is in a fully open position;

[0058] FIG. 56 is another partial cross-sectional view of a portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 22 wherein the anvil is in a fully open position;

[0059] FIG. 57 is another partial cross-sectional view of a portion of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 3 wherein the firing member thereof is in a starting position;

[0060] FIG. 58 is a side elevational view of the surgical end effector of FIG. 57 with the anvil in a fully closed position;

[0061] FIG. 59 is another partial cross-sectional view of the portion of the surgical end effector of FIGS. 57 and 58 wherein the firing member is in initial engagement with the anvil thereof;

[0062] FIG. 60 is another partial cross-sectional view of the surgical end effector of FIGS. 57 and 58 after the firing member thereof has been distally advanced during the firing process;

[0063] FIG. 60A is a perspective view of a portion of a firing member assembly of surgical stapling instrument that includes a first firing member element and a second firing member element that is movable relative to the first firing member element between a locked and an unlocked position;

[0064] FIG. 60B is another perspective view of the firing member assembly of FIG. 60A with the second firing member element in the locked position;

[0065] FIG. 60C is a cross-sectional elevational view of the surgical stapling instrument of FIG. 60A with the firing member assembly in a starting position;

[0066] FIG. 60D is another cross-sectional view of the surgical stapling instrument of FIG. 60C illustrated in a locked out configuration;

[0067] FIG. 60E is a side view of a firing member assembly with the second firing member element in a lockout orientation;

[0068] FIG. 60F is another side view of the firing member assembly of FIG. 60E with the second firing member element illustrated in an unlocked or firing orientation;

[0069] FIG.60G is another partial perspective view of the surgical stapling instrument of FIG. 60A illustrated in an unlocked configuration;

[0070] FIG. 60H is a cross-sectional view of the surgical stapling instrument of FIG. 60A with an unfired surgical fastener cartridge operably supported in an elongate channel thereof and with the firing member assembly illustrated in a starting position;

[0071] FIG. 601 is another cross-sectional view of the surgical stapling instrument of FIG. 60H with the firing member assembly illustrated in a partially-fired configuration;

[0072] FIG. 61 is another side elevational view of the surgical end effector of FIGS. 57-60 with the anvil in an over closed position;

[0073] FIG. 62 is a partial side elevational view of the surgical end effector of the

interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 3 in a fully open position with the distal closure tube segment shown in phantom to illustrate the anvil retaining member;

[0074] FIG. 63 is another partial side elevational view of the surgical end effector of FIG. 62 with the anvil in a fully closed position;

[0075] FIG. 64 is a partial perspective view of a distal closure tube segment of the

interchangeable surgical tool assembly of FIG. 3 with the anvil in a fully closed position;

[0076] FIG. 65 is a top plan view of the distal closure tube segment and anvil of FIG. 64;

[0077] FIG. 66 is a partial cross-sectional view of the anvil and distal closure tube segment of FIGS. 64 and 65 illustrating the position of a proximal jaw opening feature when the anvil is in a fully closed position;

[0078] FIG. 67 is another partial cross-sectional view of a portion of the anvil and distal closure tube segment of FIGS. 64-66 illustrating the position of the proximal jaw opening feature when the anvil is between the fully open and fully closed positions;

[0079] FIG. 68 is another partial cross-sectional view of a portion of the anvil and distal closure tube segment of FIGS. 64-67 illustrating the position of the proximal jaw opening feature when the anvil is in the fully open position;

[0080] FIG. 69 is a partial cross-sectional view of the anvil and distal closure tube segment of FIGS. 64-68 illustrating the position of a distal jaw opening feature when the anvil is in a fully closed position;

[0081] FIG. 70 is a partial cross-sectional view of the anvil and distal closure tube segment of FIGS. 64-69 illustrating the position of the distal jaw opening feature when the anvil is between the fully open and fully closed positions;

[0082] FIG. 71 is another partial cross-sectional view of a portion of the anvil and distal closure tube segment of FIGS. 64-70 illustrating the position of the distal jaw opening feature when the anvil is in the fully open position;

[0083] FIG. 72 is a partial left side perspective view of the anvil and distal closure tube segment of FIGS. 64-71 with the anvil in a fully closed position;

[0084] FIG. 73 is a partial right side perspective view of the anvil and distal closure tube segment of FIGS. 64-72 with the anvil in a fully closed position;

[0085] FIG. 74 is a partial left side perspective view of the anvil and distal closure tube segment of FIGS. 64-73 with the anvil in a partially open position;

[0086] FIG. 75 is a partial right side perspective view of the anvil and distal closure tube segment of FIGS. 64-74 with the anvil in a partially open position;

[0087] FIG. 76 is a partial left side perspective view of the anvil and distal closure tube segment of FIGS. 64-75 with the anvil in a fully open position;

[0088] FIG. 77 is a partial right side perspective view of the anvil and distal closure tube segment of FIGS. 64-76 with the anvil in a fully open position; and

[0089] FIG. 78 is a graphical comparison between the jaw aperture angle and retraction of the distal closure tube segment of FIGS. 64-77.

[0090] Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views. The exemplifications set out herein illustrate various embodiments of the invention, in one form, and such exemplifications are not to be construed as limiting the scope of the invention in any manner.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0091] Applicant of the present application owns the following U.S. Patent Applications that were filed on even date herewith and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entireties:

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT

COMPRISING AN OFFSET ARTICULATION JOINT; Attorney Docket No.

END 8207USNP/ 170098;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT

COMPRISING AN ARTICULATION SYSTEM RATIO; Attorney Docket No.

END8210USNP/170099;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT

COMPRISING AN ARTICULATION SYSTEM RATIO; Attorney Docket No.

END 8204USNP/ 170100;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT

COMPRISING FIRING MEMBER SUPPORTS; Attorney Docket No. END8218USNP/170101;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT

COMPRISING AN ARTICULATION SYSTEM LOCKABLE TO A FRAME; Attorney Docket No. END8217USNP/070102;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT

COMPRISING AN ARTICULATION SYSTEM LOCKABLE BY A CLOSURE SYSTEM; Attorney Docket No. END821 lUSNP/170103;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT

COMPRISING A SHAFT INCLUDING A HOUSING ARRANGEMENT; Attorney Docket No. END 8215USNP/170107;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT

COMPRISING SELECTIVELY ACTUATABLE ROTATABLE COUPLERS; Attorney Docket No. END8201USNP/170104;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL STAPLING

INSTRUMENTS COMPRISING SHORTENED STAPLE CARTRIDGE NOSES; Attorney Docket No. END8206USNP/170105;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT

COMPRISING A SHAFT INCLUDING A CLOSURE TUBE PROFILE; Attorney Docket No. END 8212USNP/ 170106;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled METHOD FOR

ARTICULATING A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT; Attorney Docket No.

END8200USNP/170089M;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS

WITH ARTICULATABLE END EFFECTOR WITH AXIALLY SHORTENED ARTICULATION JOINT CONFIGURATIONS; Attorney Docket No. END8214USNP/170090;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS

WITH JAWS CONSTRAINED TO PIVOT ABOUT AN AXIS UPON CONTACT WITH A CLOSURE MEMBER THAT IS PARKED IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO THE PIVOT AXIS; Attorney Docket No. END8213USNP/170092;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL END EFFECTORS

WITH IMPROVED JAW APERTURE ARRANGEMENTS; Attorney Docket No.

END8203USNP/170093;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL CUTTING AND

FASTENING DEVICES WITH PIVOTABLE ANVIL WITH A TISSUE LOCATING ARRANGEMENT IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO AN ANVIL PIVOT; Attorney Docket No. END8205USNP/170094;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled JAW RETAINER

ARRANGEMENT FOR RETAINING A PIVOTABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENT JAW IN PIVOTABLE RETAINING ENGAGEMENT WITH A SECOND SURGICAL INSTRUMENT JAW; Attorney Docket No. END8216USNP/170095;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT

WITH POSITIVE JAW OPENING FEATURES; Attorney Docket No. END8208USNP/170096;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT

WITH AXIALLY MOVABLE CLOSURE MEMBER; Attorney Docket No.

END 8209USNP/ 170097;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT

LOCKOUT ARRANGEMENT; Attorney Docket No. END8233USNP/170084;

U. S. Design Patent Application Serial No. , entitled STAPLE FORMING

ANVIL; Attorney Docket No. END8236USDP/170109D;

U.S. Design Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL

INSTRUMENT SHAFT; Attorney Docket No. END8239USDP/170108D; and

U.S. Design Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL

FASTENER CARTRIDGE; Attorney Docket No. END8240USDP/170110D.

[0092] Applicant of the present application owns the following U.S. Patent Applications that were filed on June 27, 2017 and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entireties:

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL ANVIL

MANUFACTURING METHODS; Attorney Docket No. END8165USNP/170079M;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL ANVIL

ARRANGEMENTS; Attorney Docket No. END8168USNP/170080;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL ANVIL

ARRANGEMENTS; Attorney Docket No. END8170USNP/170081;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL ANVIL

ARRANGEMENTS; Attorney Docket No. END8164USNP/170082;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL FIRING MEMBER

ARRANGEMENTS; Attorney Docket No. END8169USNP/170083;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled STAPLE FORMING POCKET

ARRANGEMENTS; Attorney Docket No. END8167USNP/170085;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled STAPLE FORMING POCKET

ARRANGEMENTS; Attorney Docket No. END8232USNP/170086;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled SURGICAL END EFFECTORS

AND ANVILS; Attorney Docket No. END8166USNP/170087; and

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. , entitled ARTICULATION SYSTEMS

FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS; Attorney Docket No. END8171USNP/170088.

[0093] Applicant of the present application owns the following U.S. Patent Applications that were filed on December 21, 2016 and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entireties:

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/386,185, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENTS AND REPLACEABLE TOOL ASSEMBLIES THEREOF;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/386,230, entitled ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENTS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/386,221, entitled LOCKOUT ARRANGEMENTS FOR SURGICAL END EFFECTORS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/386,209, entitled SURGICAL END EFFECTORS AND FIRING MEMBERS THEREOF;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/386,198, entitled LOCKOUT ARRANGEMENTS FOR SURGICAL END EFFECTORS AND REPLACEABLE TOOL ASSEMBLIES;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/386,240, entitled SURGICAL END EFFECTORS AND ADAPTABLE FIRING MEMBERS THEREFOR;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,939, entitled STAPLE CARTRIDGES AND ARRANGEMENTS OF STAPLES AND STAPLE CAVITIES THEREIN;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,941, entitled SURGICAL TOOL

ASSEMBLIES WITH CLUTCHING ARRANGEMENTS FOR SHIFTING BETWEEN CLOSURE SYSTEMS WITH CLOSURE STROKE REDUCTION FEATURES AND ARTICULATION AND FIRING SYSTEMS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,943, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENTS AND STAPLE-FORMING ANVILS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,950, entitled SURGICAL TOOL

ASSEMBLIES WITH CLOSURE STROKE REDUCTION FEATURES;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,945, entitled STAPLE CARTRIDGES AND ARRANGEMENTS OF STAPLES AND STAPLE CAVITIES THEREIN;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,946, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENTS AND STAPLE-FORMING ANVILS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,951, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH JAW OPENING FEATURES FOR INCREASING A JAW OPENING DISTANCE;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,953, entitled METHODS OF STAPLING TISSUE;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,954, entitled FIRING MEMBERS WITH NON-PARALLEL JAW ENGAGEMENT FEATURES FOR SURGICAL END EFFECTORS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,955, entitled SURGICAL END EFFECTORS WITH EXPANDABLE TISSUE STOP ARRANGEMENTS;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,948, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENTS AND STAPLE-FORMING ANVILS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,956, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH POSITIVE JAW OPENING FEATURES;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,958, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH LOCKOUT ARRANGEMENTS FOR PREVENTING FIRING SYSTEM ACTUATION UNLESS AN UNSPENT STAPLE CARTRIDGE IS PRESENT;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,947, entitled STAPLE CARTRIDGES AND ARRANGEMENTS OF STAPLES AND STAPLE CAVITIES THEREIN;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,896, entitled METHOD FOR RESETTING A FUSE OF A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT SHAFT;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,898, entitled STAPLE FORMING POCKET ARRANGEMENT TO ACCOMMODATE DIFFERENT TYPES OF STAPLES;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,899, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING IMPROVED JAW CONTROL;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,901, entitled STAPLE CARTRIDGE AND STAPLE CARTRIDGE CHANNEL COMPRISING WINDOWS DEFINED THEREIN;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,902, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING A CUTTING MEMBER;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,904, entitled STAPLE FIRING MEMBER COMPRISING A MISSING CARTRIDGE AND/OR SPENT CARTRIDGE LOCKOUT;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,905, entitled FIRING ASSEMBLY

COMPRISING A LOCKOUT;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,907, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT SYSTEM COMPRISING AN END EFFECTOR LOCKOUT AND A FIRING ASSEMBLY LOCKOUT;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,908, entitled FIRING ASSEMBLY

COMPRISING A FUSE;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,909, entitled FIRING ASSEMBLY

COMPRISING A MULTIPLE FAILED-STATE FUSE;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,920, entitled STAPLE FORMING POCKET ARRANGEMENTS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,913, entitled ANVIL ARRANGEMENTS FOR SURGICAL STAPLE/FASTENERS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,914, entitled METHOD OF DEFORMING STAPLES FROM TWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF STAPLE CARTRIDGES WITH THE SAME SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENT;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,893, entitled BILATERALLY

ASYMMETRIC STAPLE FORMING POCKET PAIRS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,929, entitled CLOSURE MEMBERS WITH CAM SURFACE ARRANGEMENTS FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH SEPARATE AND DISTINCT CLOSURE AND FIRING SYSTEMS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385, 911, entitled SURGICAL

STAPLE/FASTENERS WITH INDEPENDENTLY ACTUATABLE CLOSING AND FIRING SYSTEMS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,927, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENTS WITH SMART STAPLE CARTRIDGES;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,917, entitled STAPLE CARTRIDGE

COMPRISING STAPLES WITH DIFFERENT CLAMPING BREADTHS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,900, entitled STAPLE FORMING POCKET ARRANGEMENTS COMPRISING PRIMARY SIDEWALLS AND POCKET SIDEWALLS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,931, entitled NO-CARTRIDGE AND SPENT CARTRIDGE LOCKOUT ARRANGEMENTS FOR SURGICAL STAPLE/FASTENERS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,915, entitled FIRING MEMBER PIN

ANGLE;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,897, entitled STAPLE FORMING POCKET ARRANGEMENTS COMPRISING ZONED FORMING SURFACE GROOVES;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,922, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT WITH MULTIPLE FAILURE RESPONSE MODES;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,924, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT WITH PRIMARY AND SAFETY PROCESSORS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,912, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH JAWS THAT ARE PIVOTABLE ABOUT A FIXED AXIS AND INCLUDE SEPARATE AND DISTINCT CLOSURE AND FIRING SYSTEMS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,910, entitled ANVIL HAVING A KNIFE SLOT WIDTH;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,906, entitled FIRING MEMBER PIN

CONFIGURATIONS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/386,188, entitled STEPPED STAPLE

CARTRIDGE WITH ASYMMETRICAL STAPLES;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/386,192, entitled STEPPED STAPLE

CARTRIDGE WITH TISSUE RETENTION AND GAP SETTING FEATURES;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/386,206, entitled STAPLE CARTRIDGE WITH DEFORMABLE DRIVER RETENTION FEATURES;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/386,226, entitled DURABILITY FEATURES FOR END EFFECTORS AND FIRING ASSEMBLIES OF SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENTS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/386,222, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENTS HAVING END EFFECTORS WITH POSITIVE OPENING FEATURES;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/386,236, entitled CONNECTION PORTIONS FOR DEPOSABLE LOADING UNITS FOR SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENTS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,887, entitled METHOD FOR ATTACHING A SHAFT ASSEMBLY TO A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT AND, ALTERNATIVELY, TO A SURGICAL ROBOT;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,889, entitled SHAFT ASSEMBLY

COMPRISING A MANUALLY-OPERABLE RETRACTION SYSTEM FOR USE WITH A MOTORIZED SURGICAL INSTRUMENT SYSTEM;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,890, entitled SHAFT ASSEMBLY

COMPRISING SEPARATELY ACTUATABLE AND RETRACTABLE SYSTEMS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,891, entitled SHAFT ASSEMBLY

COMPRISING A CLUTCH CONFIGURED TO ADAPT THE OUTPUT OF A ROTARY FIRING MEMBER TO TWO DIFFERENT SYSTEMS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,892, entitled SURGICAL SYSTEM

COMPRISING A FIRING MEMBER ROTATABLE INTO AN ARTICULATION STATE TO ARTICULATE AN END EFFECTOR OF THE SURGICAL SYSTEM;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,894, entitled SHAFT ASSEMBLY

COMPRISING A LOCKOUT;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,895, entitled SHAFT ASSEMBLY

COMPRISING FIRST AND SECOND ARTICULATION LOCKOUTS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,916, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING SYSTEMS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,918, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING SYSTEMS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,919, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING SYSTEMS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,921, entitled SURGICAL

STAPLE/FASTENER CARTRIDGE WITH MOVABLE CAMMING MEMBER

CONFIGURED TO DISENGAGE FIRING MEMBER LOCKOUT FEATURES;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,923, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING SYSTEMS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,925, entitled JAW ACTUATED LOCK ARRANGEMENTS FOR PREVENTING ADVANCEMENT OF A FIRING MEMBER IN A SURGICAL END EFFECTOR UNLESS AN UNFIRED CARTRIDGE IS INSTALLED IN THE END EFFECTOR;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,926, entitled AXIALLY MOVABLE

CLOSURE SYSTEM ARRANGEMENTS FOR APPLYING CLOSURE MOTIONS TO JAWS OF SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,928, entitled PROTECTIVE COVER

ARRANGEMENTS FOR A JOINT INTERFACE BETWEEN A MOVABLE JAW AND ACTUATOR SHAFT OF A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,930, entitled SURGICAL END EFFECTOR WITH TWO SEPARATE COOPERATING OPENING FEATURES FOR OPENING AND CLOSING END EFFECTOR JAWS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,932, entitled ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL END EFFECTOR WITH ASYMMETRIC SHAFT ARRANGEMENT;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,933, entitled ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENT WITH INDEPENDENT PIVOTABLE LINKAGE DISTAL OF AN ARTICULATION LOCK;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,934, entitled ARTICULATION LOCK ARRANGEMENTS FOR LOCKING AN END EFFECTOR IN AN ARTICULATED POSITION IN RESPONSE TO ACTUATION OF A JAW CLOSURE SYSTEM;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,935, entitled LATERALLY ACTUATABLE ARTICULATION LOCK ARRANGEMENTS FOR LOCKING AN END EFFECTOR OF A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT IN AN ARTICULATED CONFIGURATION; and

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,936, entitled ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH ARTICULATION STROKE AMPLIFICATION FEATURES.

[0094] Applicant of the present application owns the following U.S. Patent Applications that were filed on June 24, 2016 and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entireties:

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/191 ,775, entitled STAPLE CARTRIDGE

COMPRISING WIRE STAPLES AND STAMPED STAPLES;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/191 ,807, entitled STAPLING SYSTEM FOR USE WITH WIRE STAPLES AND STAMPED STAPLES;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/191 ,834, entitled STAMPED STAPLES AND STAPLE CARTRIDGES USING THE SAME;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/191 ,788, entitled STAPLE CARTRIDGE

COMPRISING OVERDRIVEN STAPLES; and

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/191,818, entitled STAPLE CARTRIDGE

COMPRISING OFFSET LONGITUDINAL STAPLE ROWS.

[0095] Applicant of the present application owns the following U.S. Patent Applications that were filed on June 24, 2016 and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entireties:

U. S. Design Patent Application Serial No. 29/569,218, entitled SURGICAL FASTENER; U. S. Design Patent Application Serial No. 29/569,227, entitled SURGICAL FASTENER; U. S. Design Patent Application Serial No. 29/569,259, entitled SURGICAL FASTENER CARTRIDGE; and

U. S. Design Patent Application Serial No. 29/569,264, entitled SURGICAL FASTENER CARTRIDGE.

[0096] Applicant of the present application owns the following patent applications that were filed on April 1, 2016 and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entirety:

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,325, entitled METHOD FOR OPERATING A SURGICAL STAPLING SYSTEM;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,321, entitled MODULAR SURGICAL

STAPLING SYSTEM COMPRISING A DISPLAY;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,326, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING

SYSTEM COMPRISING A DISPLAY INCLUDING A RE-ORIENT ABLE DISPLAY FIELD;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,263, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT HANDLE ASSEMBLY WITH RECONFIGURABLE GRIP PORTION;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,262, entitled ROTARY POWERED

SURGICAL INSTRUMENT WITH MANUALLY ACTUATABLE BAILOUT SYSTEM;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,277, entitled SURGICAL CUTTING AND STAPLING END EFFECTOR WITH ANVIL CONCENTRIC DRIVE MEMBER;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,296, entitled INTERCHANGEABLE

SURGICAL TOOL ASSEMBLY WITH A SURGICAL END EFFECTOR THAT IS SELECTIVELY ROTATABLE ABOUT A SHAFT AXIS;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,258, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING

SYSTEM COMPRISING A SHIFTABLE TRANSMISSION;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,278, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING SYSTEM CONFIGURED TO PROVIDE SELECTIVE CUTTING OF TISSUE;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,284, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING SYSTEM COMPRISING A CONTOURABLE SHAFT;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,295, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING SYSTEM COMPRISING A TISSUE COMPRESSION LOCKOUT;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,300, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING SYSTEM COMPRISING AN UNCLAMPING LOCKOUT;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089, 196, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING SYSTEM COMPRISING A JAW CLOSURE LOCKOUT;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,203, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING SYSTEM COMPRISING A JAW ATTACHMENT LOCKOUT;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,210, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING SYSTEM COMPRISING A SPENT CARTRIDGE LOCKOUT;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,324, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING A SHIFTING MECHANISM;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,335, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENT COMPRISING MULTIPLE LOCKOUTS;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,339, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENT;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,253, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING SYSTEM CONFIGURED TO APPLY ANNULAR ROWS OF STAPLES HAVING DIFFERENT HEIGHTS;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,304, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING SYSTEM COMPRISING A GROOVED FORMING POCKET;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,331 , entitled ANVIL MODIFICATION MEMBERS FOR SURGICAL STAPLE/FASTENERS;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,336, entitled STAPLE CARTRIDGES WITH ATRAUMATIC FEATURES;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,312, entitled CIRCULAR STAPLING SYSTEM COMPRISING AN INCISABLE TISSUE SUPPORT;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,309, entitled CIRCULAR STAPLING SYSTEM COMPRISING ROTARY FIRING SYSTEM; and

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/089,349, entitled CIRCULAR STAPLING SYSTEM COMPRISING LOAD CONTROL.

[0097] Applicant of the present application also owns the U.S. Patent Applications identified below which were filed on December 31, 2015 which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entirety:

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/984,488, entitled MECHANISMS FOR

COMPENSATING FOR BATTERY PACK FAILURE IN POWERED SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/984,525, entitled MECHANISMS FOR

COMPENSATING FOR DRIVETRAIN FAILURE IN POWERED SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS; and

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/984,552, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH SEPARABLE MOTORS AND MOTOR CONTROL CIRCUITS.

[0098] Applicant of the present application also owns the U.S. Patent Applications identified below which were filed on February 9, 2016 which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entirety:

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,220, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT WITH ARTICULATING AND AXIALLY TRANSLATABLE END EFFECTOR;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,228, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH MULTIPLE LINK ARTICULATION ARRANGEMENTS;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019, 196, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT ARTICULATION MECHANISM WITH SLOTTED SECONDARY CONSTRAINT;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,206, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH AN END EFFECTOR THAT IS HIGHLY ARTICULATABLE RELATIVE TO AN ELONGATE SHAFT ASSEMBLY;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,215, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH NON-SYMMETRICAL ARTICULATION ARRANGEMENTS;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,227, entitled ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH SINGLE ARTICULATION LINK ARRANGEMENTS;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,235, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH TENSIONING ARRANGEMENTS FOR CABLE DRIVEN ARTICULATION SYSTEMS;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,230, entitled ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH OFF-AXIS FIRING BEAM ARRANGEMENTS; and

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,245, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH CLOSURE STROKE REDUCTION ARRANGEMENTS.

[0099] Applicant of the present application also owns the U.S. Patent Applications identified below which were filed on February 12, 2016 which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entirety:

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/043,254, entitled MECHANISMS FOR

COMPENSATING FOR DRIVETRAIN FAILURE IN POWERED SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/043,259, entitled MECHANISMS FOR

COMPENSATING FOR DRIVETRAIN FAILURE IN POWERED SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/043,275, entitled MECHANISMS FOR

COMPENSATING FOR DRIVETRAIN FAILURE IN POWERED SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS; and

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/043,289, entitled MECHANISMS FOR

COMPENSATING FOR DRIVETRAIN FAILURE IN POWERED SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS.

[0100] Applicant of the present application owns the following patent applications that were filed on June 18, 2015 and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entirety:

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/742,925, entitled SURGICAL END EFFECTORS WITH POSITIVE JAW OPENING ARRANGEMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application

Publication No. 2016/0367256;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/742,941, entitled SURGICAL END EFFECTORS WITH DUAL CAM ACTUATED JAW CLOSING FEATURES, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0367248;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/742,914, entitled MOVABLE FIRING BEAM SUPPORT ARRANGEMENTS FOR ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0367255;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/742,900, entitled ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH COMPOSITE FIRING BEAM STRUCTURES WITH CENTER FIRING SUPPORT MEMBER FOR ARTICULATION SUPPORT, now U.S. Patent

Application Publication No. 2016/0367254;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/742,885, entitled DUAL ARTICULATION DRIVE SYSTEM ARRANGEMENTS FOR ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0367246; and

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/742,876, entitled PUSH/PULL ARTICULATION DRIVE SYSTEMS FOR ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0367245.

[0101] Applicant of the present application owns the following patent applications that were filed on March 6, 2015 and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entirety:

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/640,746, entitled POWERED SURGICAL INSTRUMENT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0256184;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/640,795, entitled MULTIPLE LEVEL

THRESHOLDS TO MODIFY OPERATION OF POWERED SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/02561185;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/640,832, entitled ADAPTIVE TISSUE

COMPRESSION TECHNIQUES TO ADJUST CLOSURE RATES FOR MULTIPLE TISSUE TYPES, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0256154;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/640,935, entitled OVERLAID MULTI SENSOR RADIO FREQUENCY (RF) ELECTRODE SYSTEM TO MEASURE TISSUE

COMPRESSION, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0256071;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/640,831, entitled MONITORING SPEED

CONTROL AND PRECISION INCREMENTING OF MOTOR FOR POWERED SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0256153;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/640,859, entitled TIME DEPENDENT

EVALUATION OF SENSOR DATA TO DETERMINE STABILITY, CREEP, AND

VISCOELASTIC ELEMENTS OF MEASURES, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0256187;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/640,817, entitled INTERACTIVE FEEDBACK SYSTEM FOR POWERED SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0256186;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/640,844, entitled CONTROL TECHNIQUES AND SUB-PROCESSOR CONTAINED WITHIN MODULAR SHAFT WITH SELECT CONTROL PROCESSING FROM HANDLE, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0256155;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/640,837, entitled SMART SENSORS WITH LOCAL SIGNAL PROCESSING, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0256163;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/640,765, entitled SYSTEM FOR DETECTING THE MIS-INSERTION OF A STAPLE CARTRIDGE INTO A SURGICAL

STAPLE/FASTENER, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0256160;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/640,799, entitled SIGNAL AND POWER

COMMUNICATION SYSTEM POSITIONED ON A ROTATABLE SHAFT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0256162; and

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/640,780, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING A LOCKABLE BATTERY HOUSING, now U.S. Patent Application

Publication No. 2016/0256161.

[0102] Applicant of the present application owns the following patent applications that were filed on February 27, 2015, and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entirety:

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/633,576, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT SYSTEM COMPRISING AN INSPECTION STATION, now U.S. Patent Application

Publication No. 2016/0249919;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/633,546, entitled SURGICAL APPARATUS CONFIGURED TO ASSESS WHETHER A PERFORMANCE PARAMETER OF THE SURGICAL APPARATUS IS WITHIN AN ACCEPTABLE PERFORMANCE BAND, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0249915;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/633,560, entitled SURGICAL CHARGING SYSTEM THAT CHARGES AND/OR CONDITIONS ONE OR MORE BATTERIES, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0249910;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/633,566, entitled CHARGING SYSTEM THAT ENABLES EMERGENCY RESOLUTIONS FOR CHARGING A BATTERY, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0249918;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/633,555, entitled SYSTEM FOR MONITORING WHETHER A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT NEEDS TO BE SERVICED, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0249916;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/633,542, entitled REINFORCED BATTERY FOR A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0249908;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/633,548, entitled POWER ADAPTER FOR A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0249909;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/633,526, entitled ADAPTABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENT HANDLE, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0249945;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/633,541, entitled MODULAR STAPLING ASSEMBLY, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0249927; and

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/633,562, entitled SURGICAL APPARATUS CONFIGURED TO TRACK AN END-OF-LIFE PARAMETER, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0249917.

[0103] Applicant of the present application owns the following patent applications that were filed on December 18, 2014 and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entirety:

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/574,478, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT SYSTEMS COMPRISING AN ARTICULATABLE END EFFECTOR AND MEANS FOR ADJUSTING THE FIRING STROKE OF A FIRING MEMBER, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0174977;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/574,483, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT ASSEMBLY COMPRISING LOCKABLE SYSTEMS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0174969;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/575,139, entitled DRIVE ARRANGEMENTS FOR ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application

Publication No. 2016/0174978;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/575,148, entitled LOCKING ARRANGEMENTS FOR DETACHABLE SHAFT ASSEMBLIES WITH ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL END EFFECTORS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0174976;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/575,130, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT WITH AN ANVIL THAT IS SELECTIVELY MOVABLE ABOUT A DISCRETE NON-MOVABLE AXIS RELATIVE TO A STAPLE CARTRIDGE, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0174972;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/575,143, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH IMPROVED CLOSURE ARRANGEMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0174983;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/575,117, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH ARTICULATABLE END EFFECTORS AND MOVABLE FIRING BEAM SUPPORT ARRANGEMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0174975;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/575,154, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH ARTICULATABLE END EFFECTORS AND IMPROVED FIRING BEAM SUPPORT ARRANGEMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0174973;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/574,493, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT ASSEMBLY COMPRISING A FLEXIBLE ARTICULATION SYSTEM, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0174970; and

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/574,500, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT ASSEMBLY COMPRISING A LOCKABLE ARTICULATION SYSTEM, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0174971.

[0104] Applicant of the present application owns the following patent applications that were filed on March 1, 2013 and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entirety:

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/782,295, entitled ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH CONDUCTIVE PATHWAYS FOR SIGNAL COMMUNICATION, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0246471 ;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/782,323, entitled ROTARY POWERED

ARTICULATION JOINTS FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0246472;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/782,338, entitled THUMBWHEEL SWITCH ARRANGEMENTS FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application

Publication No. 2014/0249557;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/782,499, entitled ELECTROMECHANICAL SURGICAL DEVICE WITH SIGNAL RELAY ARRANGEMENT, now U.S. Patent No.

9,358,003;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/782,460, entitled MULTIPLE PROCESSOR MOTOR CONTROL FOR MODULAR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent No.

9,554,794;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/782,358, entitled JOYSTICK SWITCH

ASSEMBLIES FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent No. 9,326,767;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/782,481, entitled SENSOR STRAIGHTENED END EFFECTOR DURING REMOVAL THROUGH TROCAR, now U.S. Patent No.

9,468,438;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/782,518, entitled CONTROL METHODS FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH REMOVABLE IMPLEMENT PORTIONS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0246475;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/782,375, entitled ROTARY POWERED

SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH MULTIPLE DEGREES OF FREEDOM, now U.S. Patent No. 9,398,911 ; and

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/782,536, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT SOFT STOP, now U.S. Patent No. 9,307,986.

[0105] Applicant of the present application also owns the following patent applications that were filed on March 14, 2013 and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entirety:

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,097, entitled ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING A FIRING DRIVE, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263542;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,193, entitled CONTROL ARRANGEMENTS FOR A DRIVE MEMBER OF A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT, now U.S. Patent No. 9,332,987;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,053, entitled INTERCHANGEABLE SHAFT ASSEMBLIES FOR USE WITH A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263564;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,086, entitled ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING AN ARTICULATION LOCK, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541 ;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,210, entitled SENSOR ARRANGEMENTS FOR ABSOLUTE POSITIONING SYSTEM FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263538;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,148, entitled MULTI-FUNCTION MOTOR FOR A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No.

2014/0263554;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,066, entitled DRIVE SYSTEM LOCKOUT ARRANGEMENTS FOR MODULAR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent No.

9,629,623;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,117, entitled ARTICULATION CONTROL SYSTEM FOR ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent No.

9,351,726;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,130, entitled DRIVE TRAIN CONTROL ARRANGEMENTS FOR MODULAR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent No. 9,351,727; and

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,159, entitled METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR OPERATING A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0277017.

[0106] Applicant of the present application also owns the following patent application that was filed on March 7, 2014 and is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety:

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/200,111, entitled CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent No. 9,629,629.

[0107] Applicant of the present application also owns the following patent applications that were filed on March 26, 2014 and are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entirety:

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/226,106, entitled POWER MANAGEMENT CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272582;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/226,099, entitled STERILIZATION

VERIFICATION CIRCUIT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272581;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/226,094, entitled VERIFICATION OF NUMBER OF BATTERY EXCHANGES/PROCEDURE COUNT, now U.S. Patent Application

Publication No. 2015/0272580;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/226,117, entitled POWER MANAGEMENT THROUGH SLEEP OPTIONS OF SEGMENTED CIRCUIT AND WAKE UP CONTROL, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272574;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/226,075, entitled MODULAR POWERED SURGICAL INSTRUMENT WITH DETACHABLE SHAFT ASSEMBLIES, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272579;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/226,093, entitled FEEDBACK ALGORITHMS FOR MANUAL BAILOUT SYSTEMS FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272569;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/226,116, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT UTILIZING SENSOR ADAPTATION, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No.

2015/0272571 ;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/226,071, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT CONTROL CIRCUIT HAVING A SAFETY PROCESSOR, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272578;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/226,097, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING INTERACTIVE SYSTEMS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272570;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/226,126, entitled INTERFACE SYSTEMS FOR USE WITH SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No.

2015/0272572;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/226,133, entitled MODULAR SURGICAL INSTRUMENT SYSTEM, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272557;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/226,081, entitled SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR CONTROLLING A SEGMENTED CIRCUIT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0277471;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/226,076, entitled POWER MANAGEMENT THROUGH SEGMENTED CIRCUIT AND VARIABLE VOLTAGE PROTECTION, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0280424;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/226,111, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING

INSTRUMENT SYSTEM, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272583; and

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/226,125, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING A ROTATABLE SHAFT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No.

2015/0280384.

[0108] Applicant of the present application also owns the following patent applications that were filed on September 5, 2014 and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entirety:

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/479,103, entitled CIRCUITRY AND SENSORS FOR POWERED MEDICAL DEVICE, now U. S. Patent Application Publication No.

2016/0066912;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/479,119, entitled ADJUNCT WITH

INTEGRATED SENSORS TO QUANTIFY TISSUE COMPRESSION, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0066914;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/478,908, entitled MONITORING DEVICE DEGRADATION BASED ON COMPONENT EVALUATION, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0066910;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/478,895, entitled MULTIPLE SENSORS WITH ONE SENSOR AFFECTING A SECOND SENSORS OUTPUT OR INTERPRETATION, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0066909;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/479,110, entitled POLARITY OF HALL

MAGNET TO DETECT MISLOADED CARTRIDGE, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0066915;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/479,098, entitled SMART CARTRIDGE WAKE UP OPERATION AND DATA RETENTION, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0066911 ;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/479,115, entitled MULTIPLE MOTOR

CONTROL FOR POWERED MEDICAL DEVICE, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0066916; and

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/479,108, entitled LOCAL DISPLAY OF TISSUE PARAMETER STABILIZATION, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2016/0066913.

[0109] Applicant of the present application also owns the following patent applications that were filed on April 9, 2014 and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entirety:

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/248,590, entitled MOTOR DRIVEN SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH LOCKABLE DUAL DRIVE SHAFTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0305987;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/248,581, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING A CLOSING DRIVE AND A FIRING DRIVE OPERATED FROM THE SAME ROTATABLE OUTPUT, now U.S. Patent 9,649,110;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/248,595, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT SHAFT INCLUDING SWITCHES FOR CONTROLLING THE OPERATION OF THE SURGICAL INSTRUMENT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0305988;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/248,588, entitled POWERED LINEAR

SURGICAL STAPLE/FASTENER, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No.

2014/0309666;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/248,591, entitled TRANSMISSION

ARRANGEMENT FOR A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT, now U.S. Patent Application

Publication No. 2014/0305991 ;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/248,584, entitled MODULAR MOTOR DRIVEN SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH ALIGNMENT FEATURES FOR ALIGNING ROTARY

DRIVE SHAFTS WITH SURGICAL END EFFECTOR SHAFTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0305994;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/248,587, entitled POWERED SURGICAL

STAPLE/FASTENER, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0309665;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/248,586, entitled DRIVE SYSTEM

DECOUPLING ARRANGEMENT FOR A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0305990; and

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/248,607, entitled MODULAR MOTOR DRIVEN SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH STATUS INDICATION ARRANGEMENTS, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0305992.

[0110] Applicant of the present application also owns the following patent applications that were filed on April 16, 2013 and which are each herein incorporated by reference in their respective entirety:

U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 61/812,365, entitled SURGICAL

INSTRUMENT WITH MULTIPLE FUNCTIONS PERFORMED BY A SINGLE MOTOR;

U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 61/812,376, entitled LINEAR CUTTER WITH POWER;

U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 61/812,382, entitled LINEAR CUTTER WITH MOTOR AND PISTOL GRIP;

U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 61/812,385, entitled SURGICAL

INSTRUMENT HANDLE WITH MULTIPLE ACTUATION MOTORS AND MOTOR CONTROL; and

U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 61/812,372, entitled SURGICAL

INSTRUMENT WITH MULTIPLE FUNCTIONS PERFORMED BY A SINGLE MOTOR.

[0111] Numerous specific details are set forth to provide a thorough understanding of the overall structure, function, manufacture, and use of the embodiments as described in the specification and illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Well-known operations, components, and elements have not been described in detail so as not to obscure the

embodiments described in the specification. The reader will understand that the embodiments described and illustrated herein are non-limiting examples, and thus it can be appreciated that the specific structural and functional details disclosed herein may be representative and illustrative. Variations and changes thereto may be made without departing from the scope of the claims.

[0112] The terms "comprise" (and any form of comprise, such as "comprises" and

"comprising"), "have" (and any form of have, such as "has" and "having"), "include" (and any form of include, such as "includes" and "including") and "contain" (and any form of contain, such as "contains" and "containing") are open-ended linking verbs. As a result, a surgical system, device, or apparatus that "comprises," "has," "includes" or "contains" one or more elements possesses those one or more elements, but is not limited to possessing only those one or more elements. Likewise, an element of a system, device, or apparatus that "comprises," "has," "includes" or "contains" one or more features possesses those one or more features, but is not limited to possessing only those one or more features.

[0113] The terms "proximal" and "distal" are used herein with reference to a clinician manipulating the handle portion of the surgical instrument. The term "proximal" refers to the portion closest to the clinician and the term "distal" refers to the portion located away from the clinician. It will be further appreciated that, for convenience and clarity, spatial terms such as "vertical", "horizontal", "up", and "down" may be used herein with respect to the drawings. However, surgical instruments are used in many orientations and positions, and these terms are not intended to be limiting and/or absolute.

[0114] Various exemplary devices and methods are provided for performing laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgical procedures. However, the reader will readily appreciate that the various methods and devices disclosed herein can be used in numerous surgical procedures and applications including, for example, in connection with open surgical procedures. As the present Detailed Description proceeds, the reader will further appreciate that the various instruments disclosed herein can be inserted into a body in any way, such as through a natural orifice, through an incision or puncture hole formed in tissue, etc. The working portions or end effector portions of the instruments can be inserted directly into a patient's body or can be inserted through an access device that has a working channel through which the end effector and elongate shaft of a surgical instrument can be advanced.

[0115] A surgical stapling system can comprise a shaft and an end effector extending from the shaft. The end effector comprises a first jaw and a second jaw. The first jaw comprises a staple cartridge. The staple cartridge is insertable into and removable from the first jaw; however,

other embodiments are envisioned in which a staple cartridge is not removable from, or at least readily replaceable from, the first jaw. The second jaw comprises an anvil configured to deform staples ejected from the staple cartridge. The second jaw is pivotable relative to the first jaw about a closure axis; however, other embodiments are envisioned in which the first jaw is pivotable relative to the second jaw. The surgical stapling system further comprises an articulation joint configured to permit the end effector to be rotated, or articulated, relative to the shaft. The end effector is rotatable about an articulation axis extending through the articulation joint. Other embodiments are envisioned which do not include an articulation joint.

[0116] The staple cartridge comprises a cartridge body. The cartridge body includes a proximal end, a distal end, and a deck extending between the proximal end and the distal end. In use, the staple cartridge is positioned on a first side of the tissue to be stapled and the anvil is positioned on a second side of the tissue. The anvil is moved toward the staple cartridge to compress and clamp the tissue against the deck. Thereafter, staples removably stored in the cartridge body can be deployed into the tissue. The cartridge body includes staple cavities defined therein wherein staples are removably stored in the staple cavities. The staple cavities are arranged in six longitudinal rows. Three rows of staple cavities are positioned on a first side of a longitudinal slot and three rows of staple cavities are positioned on a second side of the longitudinal slot. Other arrangements of staple cavities and staples may be possible.

[0117] The staples are supported by staple drivers in the cartridge body. The drivers are movable between a first, or unfired position, and a second, or fired, position to eject the staples from the staple cavities. The drivers are retained in the cartridge body by a retainer which extends around the bottom of the cartridge body and includes resilient members configured to grip the cartridge body and hold the retainer to the cartridge body. The drivers are movable between their unfired positions and their fired positions by a sled. The sled is movable between a proximal position adjacent the proximal end and a distal position adjacent the distal end. The sled comprises a plurality of ramped surfaces configured to slide under the drivers and lift the drivers, and the staples supported thereon, toward the anvil.

[0118] Further to the above, the sled is moved distally by a firing member. The firing member is configured to contact the sled and push the sled toward the distal end. The longitudinal slot defined in the cartridge body is configured to receive the firing member. The anvil also includes a slot configured to receive the firing member. The firing member further comprises a first cam

which engages the first jaw and a second cam which engages the second jaw. As the firing member is advanced distally, the first cam and the second cam can control the distance, or tissue gap, between the deck of the staple cartridge and the anvil. The firing member also comprises a knife configured to incise the tissue captured intermediate the staple cartridge and the anvil. It is desirable for the knife to be positioned at least partially proximal to the ramped surfaces such that the staples are ejected ahead of the knife.

[0119] FIG. 1 depicts a motor-driven surgical system 10 that may be used to perform a variety of different surgical procedures. As can be seen in that Figure, one example of the surgical system 10 includes four interchangeable surgical tool assemblies 1000, 3000, 5000 and 7000 that are each adapted for interchangeable use with a handle assembly 500. Each interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000, 3000, 5000 and 7000 may be designed for use in connection with the performance of one or more specific surgical procedures. In another surgical system embodiment, one or more of the interchangeable surgical tool assemblies 1000, 3000, 5000 and 7000 may also be effectively employed with a tool drive assembly of a robotically controlled or automated surgical system. For example, the surgical tool assemblies disclosed herein may be employed with various robotic systems, instruments, components and methods such as, but not limited to, those disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 9,072,535, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENTS WITH ROTATABLE STAPLE DEPLOYMENT ARRANGEMENTS, which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

[0120] FIG. 2 illustrates attachment of an interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000 to the handle assembly 500. It will be understood that any of the other interchangeable tool assemblies 3000, 5000, and 7000 may be coupled to the handle assembly 500 in a similar manner. The attachment arrangement and process depicted in FIG. 2 may also be employed in connection with attachment of any of the interchangeable surgical tool assemblies 1000, 3000, 5000 and 7000 to a tool drive portion or tool drive housing of a robotic system. The handle assembly 500 may comprise a handle housing 502 that includes a pistol grip portion 504 that can be gripped and manipulated by the clinician. As will be briefly discussed below, the handle assembly 500 operably supports a plurality of drive systems 510, 530 that are configured to generate and apply various control motions to corresponding portions of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000, 3000, 5000 and/or 7000 that is operably attached thereto.

[0121] As can be seen in FIG. 2, the handle assembly 500 may further include a handle frame 506 that operably supports the plurality of drive systems. For example, the handle frame 506 can operably support a "first" or closure drive system, generally designated as 510, which may be employed to apply closing and opening motions to the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000, 3000, 5000 and 7000 that is operably attached or coupled to the handle assembly 500. In at least one form, the closure drive system 510 may include an actuator in the form of a closure trigger 512 that is pivotally supported by the handle frame 506. Such arrangement enables the closure trigger 512 to be manipulated by a clinician such that when the clinician grips the pistol grip portion 504 of the handle assembly 500, the closure trigger 512 may be easily pivoted from a starting or "unactuated" position to an "actuated" position and more particularly to a fully compressed or fully actuated position. In various forms, the closure drive system 510 further includes a closure linkage assembly 514 that is pivotally coupled to the closure trigger 512 or otherwise operably interfaces therewith. As will be discussed in further detail below, in the illustrated example, the closure linkage assembly 514 includes a transverse attachment pin 516 that facilitates attachment to a corresponding drive system on the surgical tool assembly. In use, to actuate the closure drive system 510, the clinician depresses the closure trigger 512 towards the pistol grip portion 504. As described in further detail in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 14/226,142, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING A SENSOR SYSTEM, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272575, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety herein, when the clinician fully depresses the closure trigger 512 to attain the full closure stroke, the closure drive system 510 is configured to lock the closure trigger 512 into the fully depressed or fully actuated position. When the clinician desires to unlock the closure trigger 512 to permit it to be biased to the unactuated position, the clinician simply activates a closure release button assembly 518 which enables the closure trigger to return to unactuated position. The closure release button assembly 518 may also be configured to interact with various sensors that communicate with a microprocessor 560 in the handle assembly 500 for tracking the position of the closure trigger 512. Further details concerning the configuration and operation of the closure release button assembly 518 may be found in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272575.

[0122] In at least one form, the handle assembly 500 and the handle frame 506 may operably support another drive system referred to herein as a firing drive system 530 that is configured to apply firing motions to corresponding portions of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly that is attached thereto. As was described in detail in U.S. Patent Application Publication No.

2015/0272575, the firing drive system 530 may employ an electric motor 505 that is located in the pistol grip portion 504 of the handle assembly 500. In various forms, the motor 505 may be a DC brushed driving motor having a maximum rotation of, approximately, 25,000 RPM, for example. In other arrangements, the motor 505 may include a brushless motor, a cordless motor, a synchronous motor, a stepper motor, or any other suitable electric motor. The motor 505 may be powered by a power source 522 that in one form may comprise a removable power pack. The power pack may support a plurality of Lithium Ion ("LI") or other suitable batteries therein. A number of batteries connected in series may be used as the power source 522 for the surgical system 10. In addition, the power source 522 may be replaceable and/or rechargeable.

[0123] The electric motor 505 is configured to axially drive a longitudinally movable drive member (not shown) in a distal and proximal directions depending upon the polarity of the motor. For example, when the motor is driven in one rotary direction, the longitudinally movable drive member will be axially driven in a distal direction "DD". When the motor 505 is driven in the opposite rotary direction, the longitudinally movable drive member will be axially driven in a proximal direction "PD". The handle assembly 500 can include a switch 513 which can be configured to reverse the polarity applied to the electric motor 505 by the power source 522 or otherwise control the motor 505. The handle assembly 500 can also include a sensor or sensors (not shown) that is configured to detect the position of the drive member and/or the direction in which the drive member is being moved. Actuation of the motor 505 can be controlled by a firing trigger 532 (FIG. 1) that is pivotally supported on the handle assembly 500. The firing trigger 532 may be pivoted between an unactuated position and an actuated position. The firing trigger 532 may be biased into the unactuated position by a spring or other biasing arrangement such that when the clinician releases the firing trigger 532, it may be pivoted or otherwise returned to the unactuated position by the spring or biasing arrangement. In at least one form, the firing trigger 532 can be positioned "outboard" of the closure trigger 512 as was discussed above. As discussed in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272575, the handle assembly 500 may be equipped with a firing trigger safety button (not shown) to prevent inadvertent actuation of the firing trigger 532. When the closure trigger 512 is in the unactuated position, the safety button is contained in the handle assembly 500 where the clinician cannot readily access it and move it between a safety position preventing actuation of the firing trigger 532 and a firing position wherein the firing trigger 532 may be fired. As the clinician depresses the closure trigger 512, the safety button and the firing trigger 532 pivot down wherein they can then be manipulated by the clinician.

[0124] In at least one form, the longitudinally movable drive member may have a rack of teeth (not shown) formed thereon for meshing engagement with a corresponding drive gear arrangement (not shown) that interfaces with the motor. Further details regarding those features may be found in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0272575. At least one form also includes a manually-actuatable "bailout" assembly that is configured to enable the clinician to manually retract the longitudinally movable drive member should the motor 505 become disabled. The bailout assembly may include a lever or bailout handle assembly that is stored within the handle assembly 500 under a releasable door 550. See FIG. 2. The lever may be configured to be manually pivoted into ratcheting engagement with the teeth in the drive member. Thus, the clinician can manually retract the drive member by using the bailout handle assembly to ratchet the drive member in the proximal direction "PD". U.S. Patent No.

8,608,045, entitled POWERED SURGICAL CUTTING AND STAPLING APPARATUS WITH MANUALLY RETRACTABLE FIRING SYSTEM, the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein, discloses bailout arrangements and other components, arrangements and systems that may also be employed with any one of the various

interchangeable surgical tool assemblies disclosed herein.

[0125] Turning now to FIGS. 3 and 4, the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000 includes a surgical end effector 1500 that comprises a first jaw 1600 and a second jaw 1800. In one arrangement, the first jaw comprises an elongate channel 1602 that is configured to operably support a surgical staple/fastener cartridge 1700 therein. The second jaw 1800 comprises an anvil 1810 that is pivotally supported relative to the elongate channel 1602. The interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000 includes an articulation system 1300 that comprises an articulation joint 1302 and an articulation lock 1400 (FIGS. 4-6) which can be configured to releasably hold the surgical end effector 1500 in a desired articulated position relative to a shaft axis SAi.

Further details regarding the articulation system and articulation lock may be found in U.S. Patent Application entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING AN ARTICULATION

SYSTEM LOCKABLE TO A FRAME, Attorney Docket No. END8217USNP/170102, filed on even date herewith and hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

[0126] As can be further seen in FIGS. 4 and 7-9, the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000 includes a tool frame assembly 1200 that comprises a tool chassis 1210 that operably supports a nozzle assembly 1240 thereon. In one form, the nozzle assembly 1240 is comprised of nozzle portions 1242, 1244 as well as an actuator wheel portion 1246 that is configured to be coupled to the assembled nozzle portions 1242, 1244 by snaps, lugs, screws etc. The

interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000 includes a proximal closure assembly 1900 which is operably coupled to a distal closure assembly 2000 that is utilized to close and/or open the anvil 1810 of the surgical end effector 1500 as will be discussed in further detail below. In addition, the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000 includes a spine assembly 1250 that operably supports the proximal closure assembly 1900 and is coupled to the surgical end effector 1500. In various circumstances, for ease of assembly, the spine assembly 1250 may be fabricated from an upper spine segment 1251 and a lower spine segment 1252 that are interconnected together by snap features, adhesive, welding, etc. In assembled form, the spine assembly 1250 includes a proximal end 1253 that is rotatably supported in the tool chassis 1210. In one arrangement, for example, the proximal end 1253 of the spine assembly 1250 is attached to a spine bearing (not shown) that is configured to be supported within the tool chassis 1210. Such arrangement facilitates rotatable attachment of the spine assembly 1250 to the tool chassis 1210 such that the spine assembly 1250 may be selectively rotated about the shaft axis SAi relative to the tool chassis 1210. In particular, in one arrangement, for example, the proximal end 1253 of the spine assembly 1250 includes an upper lug seat 1254 (FIGS. 4, 5, 7, 8 and 10) and a lower lug seat (not shown) that are each configured to receive a corresponding nozzle lug 1245 extending inwardly from each of the nozzle portions 1242, 1244. Such arrangement facilitates rotation of the spine assembly 1250 about the shaft axis SAi by rotating the actuator wheel portion 1246 of the nozzle assembly 1240.

[0127] As can be seen in FIGS. 4 and 5, spine assembly 1250 further includes an intermediate spine shaft segment 1256 that has a diameter that is less than the diameter of the proximal end 1253 of the spine assembly 1250. The intermediate spine shaft segment 1256 of the upper spine segment 1251 terminates in an upper lug mount feature 1260 and the intermediate spine shaft segment of the lower spine segment 1252 terminates in a lower lug mount feature 1270. As can be most particularly seen in FIG. 6, for example, the upper lug mount feature 1260 is formed with a lug slot 1262 therein that is adapted to mountingly support an upper mounting link 1264 therein. Similarly, the lower lug mount feature 1270 is formed with a lug slot 1272 therein that is adapted to mountingly support a lower mounting link 1274 therein. The upper mounting link 1264 includes a pivot socket 1266 therein that is offset from the shaft axis SAi. The pivot socket 1266 is adapted to rotatably receive therein a pivot pin 1634 that is formed on a channel cap or anvil retainer 1630 that is attached to a proximal end portion 1610 of the elongate channel 1602. The lower mounting link 1274 includes lower pivot pin 1276 that adapted to be received within a pivot hole 1611 formed in the proximal end portion 1610 of the elongate channel 1602. See FIG. 6. The lower pivot pin 1276 as well as the pivot hole 1611 is offset from the shaft axis SAi. The lower pivot pin 1276 is vertically aligned with the pivot socket 1266 to define an articulation axis AAi about which the surgical end effector 1500 may articulate relative to the shaft axis SAi. Although the articulation axis AAi is transverse to the shaft axis SAi, the articulation axis AAi is laterally offset therefrom and does not intersect the shaft axis SAi.

[0128] Referring now to FIGS. 6 and 15, the anvil 1810 in the illustrated example includes an anvil body 1812 that terminates in anvil mounting portion 1820. The anvil mounting portion 1820 is movably or pivotably supported on the elongate channel 1602 for selective pivotal travel relative thereto about a fixed anvil pivot axis PAi (FIG. 15) that is transverse to the shaft axis SAi. In the illustrated arrangement, a pivot member or anvil trunnion 1822 extends laterally out of each lateral side of the anvil mounting portion 1820 to be received in a corresponding trunnion cradle 1614 formed in the upstanding walls 1612 of the proximal end portion 1610 of the elongate channel 1602. The anvil trunnions 1822 are pivotally retained in their corresponding trunnion cradle 1614 by the channel cap or anvil retainer 1630. The channel cap or anvil retainer 1630 includes a pair of attachment lugs 1636 that are configured to be retainingly received within corresponding lug grooves or notches 1616 formed in the upstanding walls 1612 of the proximal end portion 1610 of the elongate channel 1602.

[0129] In the illustrated example, the surgical end effector 1500 is selectively articulatable about the articulation axis AAi by the articulation system 1300. In one form, the articulation system 1300 includes proximal articulation driver 1310 that is pivotally coupled to an

articulation link 1320. As can be most particularly seen in FIG. 6, an offset attachment lug 1314 is formed on a distal end 1312 of the proximal articulation driver 1310. A pivot hole 1316 is

formed in the offset attachment lug 1314 and is configured to pivotally receive therein a proximal link pin 1326 formed on the proximal end 1325 of the articulation link 1320. A distal end 1322 of the articulation link 1320 includes a pivot hole 1324 that is configured to pivotally receive therein a channel pin 1618 formed on the proximal end portion 1610 of the elongate channel 1602. Thus, axial movement of proximal articulation driver 1310 will thereby apply articulation motions to the elongate channel 1602 to thereby cause the surgical end effector 1500 to articulate about the articulation axis AAi relative to the spine assembly 1250.

[0130] Movement of the anvil 1810 relative to the elongate channel 1602 is effectuated by axial movement of the proximal closure assembly 1900 and the distal closure assembly 2000. Referring now to FIGS. 4 and 7, in the illustrated arrangement, the proximal closure assembly 1900 comprises a proximal closure tube 1910 that has a proximal closure tube portion 1920 and a distal portion 1930. The distal portion 1930 has a diameter that is less than the diameter of the proximal closure tube portion 1920. The proximal end 1922 of the proximal closure tube portion 1920 is rotatably supported in a closure shuttle 1940 that is slidably supported within the tool chassis 1210 such that it may be axially moved relative thereto. In one form, the closure shuttle 1940 includes a pair of proximally-protruding hooks 1942 that are configured for attachment to the attachment pin 516 that is attached to the closure linkage assembly 514 of the handle assembly 500. The proximal end 1922 of the proximal closure tube portion 1920 is coupled to the closure shuttle 1940 for relative rotation thereto. For example, a U-shaped connector 1944 is inserted into an annular slot 1924 in the proximal closure tube portion 1920 and is retained within vertical slots 1946 in the closure shuttle 1940. Such arrangement serves to attach the proximal closure assembly 1900 to the closure shuttle 1940 for axial travel therewith while enabling the proximal closure assembly 1900 to rotate relative to the closure shuttle 1940 about the shaft axis SAi. A closure spring 1948 (FIGS. 12-14) extends over the proximal closure tube portion 1920 to bias the closure shuttle 1940 in the proximal direction PD which can serve to pivot the closure trigger 512 on the handle assembly 500 (FIG. 2) into the unactuated position when the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000 is operably coupled to the handle assembly 500.

[0131] Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 6, a distal portion 1930 of the proximal closure tube 1910 is attached to the distal closure assembly 2000. In the illustrated arrangement for example, the distal closure assembly 2000 includes an articulation connector 2010 that is coupled to a distal closure tube segment 2030. In the illustrated example, the distal closure tube segment 2030 has a diameter that is larger than the diameter of the distal portion 1930 of the proximal closure tube 1910. The articulation connector 2010 has a proximally extending end portion 2012 that is adapted to be received on a connection flange 1934 formed on the distal end of the distal portion 1930. The articulation connector 2010 may be retained on the connection flange 1934 by an appropriate fastener arrangement such as adhesive, welding, etc. The articulation connector 2010 includes upper and lower tangs 2014, 2016 protrude distally from a distal end of the articulation connector 2010 to be movably coupled to an end effector closure sleeve or distal closure tube segment 2030. The distal closure tube segment 2030 includes an upper tang 2032 and a lower tang (not shown) that protrude proximally from a proximal end thereof. An upper double pivot link 2060 includes proximal and distal pins 2061, 2062 that engage corresponding holes 2015, 2034 in the upper tangs 2014, 2032 of the articulation connector 2010 and distal closure tube segment 2030, respectively. Similarly, a lower double pivot link 2064 includes proximal and distal pins 2065, 2066 that engage corresponding holes 2019 in the lower tangs 2016 of the articulation connector 2010 and distal closure tube segment 2030, respectively. As will be discussed in further detail below, distal and proximal axial translation of the proximal closure assembly 1900 and distal closure assembly 2000 will result in the closing and opening of the anvil 1810 relative to the elongate channel 1602.

[0132] In at least one arrangement, the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000 further includes a firing system generally designated as 2100. In the illustrated example, the firing system 2100 includes a firing member assembly 2110 that is supported for axial travel within the spine assembly 1250. In the illustrated embodiment, the firing member assembly 2110 includes an intermediate firing shaft portion 2120 that is configured for attachment to a distal cutting portion or knife bar 2130. The firing member assembly 2110 may also be referred to herein as a "second shaft" and/or a "second shaft assembly". As can be seen in FIG. 5, the intermediate firing shaft portion 2120 may include a longitudinal slot 2124 in a distal end 2122 thereof which can be configured to receive a proximal end 2132 of the knife bar 2130. The longitudinal slot 2124 and the proximal end 2132 of the knife bar 2130 can be sized and configured to permit relative movement therebetween and can comprise a slip joint 2134. The slip joint 2134 can permit the intermediate firing shaft portion 2120 of the firing member assembly 2110 to be moved to articulate the end effector 1500 without moving, or at least substantially moving, the knife bar 2130. Once the end effector 1500 has been suitably oriented, the intermediate firing shaft portion 2120 can be advanced distally until a proximal sidewall of the longitudinal slot 2124 comes into contact with a portion of the knife bar 2130 to advance the knife bar 2130 and fire the surgical staple/fastener cartridge 1700 positioned within the elongate channel 1602. In the illustrated arrangement, a proximal end 2127 of the intermediate firing shaft portion 2120 has a firing shaft attachment lug 2128 formed thereon (FIG. 8) that is configured to be seated into an attachment cradle (not shown) that is on the distal end of the longitudinally movable drive member (not shown) of the firing drive system 530 within the handle assembly 500. Such arrangement facilitates the axial movement of the intermediate firing shaft portion 2120 upon actuation of the firing drive system 530.

[0133] Further to the above, the interchangeable tool assembly 1000 can include a shifter assembly 2200 which can be configured to selectively and releasably couple the proximal articulation driver 1310 to the firing system 2100. In one form, the shifter assembly 2200 includes a lock collar, or lock sleeve 2210, positioned around the intermediate firing shaft portion 2120 of the firing system 2100 wherein the lock sleeve 2210 can be rotated between an engaged position in which the lock sleeve 2210 couples the proximal articulation driver 1310 to the firing member assembly 2110 and a disengaged position in which the proximal articulation driver 1310 is not operably coupled to the firing member assembly 2110. When lock sleeve 2210 is in its engaged position, distal movement of the firing member assembly 2110 can move the proximal articulation driver 1310 distally and, correspondingly, proximal movement of the firing member assembly 2110 can move the proximal articulation driver 1310 proximally. When lock sleeve 2210 is in its disengaged position, movement of the firing member assembly 2110 is not transmitted to the proximal articulation driver 1310 and, as a result, the firing member assembly 2110 can move independently of the proximal articulation driver 1310. In various circumstances, the proximal articulation driver 1310 can be held in position by the articulation lock 1400 when the proximal articulation driver 1310 is not being moved in the proximal or distal directions by the firing member assembly 2110.

[0134] In the illustrated arrangement, the intermediate firing shaft portion 2120 of the firing member assembly 2110 is formed with two opposed flat sides 2121, 2123 with a drive notch 2126 formed therein. See FIG. 8. As can also be seen in FIG. 13, the lock sleeve 2210 comprises a cylindrical, or an at least substantially cylindrical, body that includes a longitudinal aperture 2212 that is configured to receive the intermediate firing shaft portion 2120 therethrough. The lock sleeve 2210 can comprise diametrically-opposed, inwardly-facing lock protrusions 2214, 2216 that, when the lock sleeve 2210 is in one position, are engagingly received within corresponding portions of the drive notch 2126 in the intermediate firing shaft portion 2120 and, when in another position, are not received within the drive notch 2126 to thereby permit relative axial motion between the lock sleeve 2210 and the intermediate firing shaft portion 2120.

[0135] Referring now to FIGS. 8 and 12-14, in the illustrated example, the lock sleeve 2210 further includes a lock member 2218 that is sized to be movably received within a notch 1319 in a proximal end 1318 of the proximal articulation driver 1310. Such arrangement permits the lock sleeve 2210 to slightly rotate into and out of engagement with the intermediate firing shaft portion 2120 while remaining in engagement with the notch 1319 in the proximal articulation driver 1310. For example, when the lock sleeve 2210 is in its engaged position, the lock protrusions 2214, 2216 are positioned within the drive notch 2126 in the intermediate firing shaft portion 2120 such that a distal pushing force and/or a proximal pulling force can be transmitted from the firing member assembly 2110 to the lock sleeve 2210. Such axial pushing or pulling motion is then transmitted from the lock sleeve 2210 to the proximal articulation driver 1310 to thereby articulate the surgical end effector 1500. In effect, the firing member assembly 2110, the lock sleeve 2210, and the proximal articulation driver 1310 will move together when the lock sleeve 2210 is in its engaged (articulation) position. On the other hand, when the lock sleeve 2210 is in its disengaged position, the lock protrusions 2214, 2216 are not received within the drive notch 2126 in the intermediate firing shaft portion 2120 and, as a result, a distal pushing force and/or a proximal pulling force may not be transmitted from the firing member assembly 2110 to the lock sleeve 2210 (and the proximal articulation driver 1310).

[0136] In the illustrated example, relative movement of the lock sleeve 2210 between its engaged and disengaged positions may be controlled by a shifter assembly 2200 that is interfaces with the proximal closure tube 1910 of the proximal closure assembly 1900. More specifically and with reference to FIGS. 8 and 9, the shifter assembly 2200 further includes a shifter key 2240 that is configured to be slidably received within a key groove 2217 formed in the outer perimeter of the lock sleeve 2210. Such arrangement enables the shifter key 2240 to move axially with respect to the lock sleeve 2210. Referring to FIGS. 8-11, the shifter key 2240

includes an actuator lug 2242 that extends through a cam slot or cam opening 1926 in the proximal closure tube portion 1920. See FIG. 9. A cam surface 2243 is also provided adjacent the actuator lug 2242 which is configured to cammingly interact with the cam opening 1926 so as to cause the shifter key 2240 to rotate in response to axial motion of the proximal closure tube portion 1920.

[0137] Also in the illustrated example, the shifter assembly 2200 further includes a switch drum 2220 that is rotatably received on a proximal end portion of the proximal closure tube portion 1920. As can be seen in FIGS. 10-14, the actuator lug 2242 extends through an axial slot segment 2222 in the switch drum 2220 and is movably received within an arcuate slot segment 2224 in the switch drum 2220. A switch drum torsion spring 2226 (FIGS. 12-14) is mounted on the switch drum 2220 and engages nozzle portion 1244 to apply a torsional bias or rotation (arrow SR in FIGS. 10 and 11) which serves to rotate the switch drum 2220 until the actuator lug 2242 reaches the end of the arcuate slot segment 2224. See FIGS. 11 and 12. When in this position, the switch drum 2220 may provide a torsional bias to the shifter key 2240 which thereby causes the lock sleeve 2210 to rotate into its engaged position with the intermediate firing shaft portion 2120. This position also corresponds to the unactuated configuration of the proximal closure assembly 1900. In one arrangement, for example, when the proximal closure assembly 1900 is in an unactuated configuration (anvil 1810 is in an open position spaced away from the surgical staple/fastener cartridge 1700) the actuator lug 2242 is located in the upper portion of the cam opening 1926 in the proximal closure tube portion 1920. When in that position, actuation of the intermediate firing shaft portion 2120 will result in the axial movement of the proximal articulation driver 1310. Once the user has articulated the surgical end effector 1500 to a desired orientation, the user may then actuate the proximal closure assembly 1900. Actuation of the proximal closure assembly 1900 will result in the distal travel of the proximal closure tube portion 1920 to ultimately apply a closing motion to the anvil 1810. This distal travel of the proximal closure tube portion 1920 will result in the cam opening 1926 cammingly interacting with the cam surface 2243 on the actuator lug 2242 to thereby cause the shifter key 2240 to rotate the lock sleeve 2210 in an actuation direction AD. Such rotation of the lock sleeve 2210 will result in the disengagement of the lock protrusions 2214, 2216 from the drive notch 2126 in the intermediate firing shaft portion 2120. When in such configuration, the firing drive system 530 may be actuated to actuate the intermediate firing shaft portion 2120 without actuating the proximal articulation driver 1310. Further details concerning the operation of the switch drum 2220 and lock sleeve 2210, as well as alternative articulation and firing drive arrangements that may be employed with the various interchangeable surgical tool assemblies described herein, may be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,086, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541, and U.S. Patent Application Serial No.

15/019,196, the entire disclosures of which are hereby incorporated by reference herein.

[0138] Referring again to FIGS. 8-13, the switch drum 2220 can further comprise at least partially circumferential openings 2228, 2230 defined therein which can receive circumferential lugs/mounts 1245 that extend from the nozzle portions 1242, 1244 and permit relative rotation, but not translation, between the switch drum 2220 and the nozzle assembly 1240. The nozzle lugs 1245 extend through corresponding openings 1923 in the proximal closure tube portion 1920 to be seated in lug seats 1254 in the spine assembly 1250. See FIGS. 8 and 9. Such arrangement enables the user to rotate the spine assembly 1250 about the shaft axis by rotating the nozzle assembly 1240.

[0139] As also illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 12-14, the interchangeable tool assembly 1000 can comprise a slip ring assembly 1230 which can be configured to conduct electrical power to and/or from the surgical end effector 1500 and/or communicate signals to and/or from the surgical end effector 1500, back to a microprocessor 560 (FIG. 2) in the handle assembly 500 or robotic system controller, for example. Further details concerning the slip ring assembly 1230 and associated connectors may be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,086, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541, and U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,196 which have each been herein incorporated by reference in their respective entirety as well as in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/800,067, entitled STAPLE CARTRIDGE TISSUE THICKNESS SENSOR SYSTEM, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No.

2014/0263552, which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety. As also described in further detail in the aforementioned patent applications that have been incorporated by reference herein, the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000 can also comprise at least one sensor that is configured to detect the position of the switch drum 2220.

[0140] Referring again to FIG. 2, the tool chassis 1210 includes at least one, and preferably two, tapered attachment portions 1212 formed thereon that are adapted to be received within corresponding dovetail slots 507 formed within the distal end portion of the handle frame 506 of the handle assembly 500. Various interchangeable surgical tool assemblies employ a latch system 1220 for removably coupling the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000 to the handle frame 506 of the handle assembly 500. As can be seen in FIG. 7, for example, in at least one form, the latch system 1220 includes a lock member or lock yoke 1222 that is movably coupled to the tool chassis 1210. In the illustrated embodiment, for example, the lock yoke 1222 has a U-shape with two spaced downwardly extending legs 1223. The legs 1223 each have a pivot lug (not shown) formed thereon that are adapted to be received in corresponding holes formed in the tool chassis 1210. Such arrangement facilitates pivotal attachment of the lock yoke 1222 to the tool chassis 1210. The lock yoke 1222 may include two proximally protruding lock lugs 1224 that are configured for releasable engagement with corresponding lock detents or grooves 509 in the distal end of the handle frame 506 of the handle assembly 500. See FIG. 2. In various forms, the lock yoke 1222 is biased in the proximal direction by a spring or biasing member 1225. Actuation of the lock yoke 1222 may be accomplished by a latch button 1226 that is slidably mounted on a latch actuator assembly 1221 that is mounted to the tool chassis 1210. The latch button 1226 may be biased in a proximal direction relative to the lock yoke 1222. The lock yoke 1222 may be moved to an unlocked position by biasing the latch button 1226 in the distal direction which also causes the lock yoke 1222 to pivot out of retaining engagement with the distal end of the handle frame 506. When the lock yoke 1222 is in

"retaining engagement" with the distal end of the handle frame 506, the lock lugs 1224 are retainingly seated within the corresponding lock detents or grooves 509 in the distal end of the handle frame 506.

[0141] In the illustrated arrangement, the lock yoke 1222 includes at least one and preferably two lock hooks 1227 that are adapted to contact corresponding lock lug portions 1943 that are formed on the closure shuttle 1940. When the closure shuttle 1940 is in an unactuated position, the lock yoke 1222 may be pivoted in a distal direction to unlock the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000 from the handle assembly 500. When in that position, the lock hooks 1227 do not contact the lock lug portions 1943 on the closure shuttle 1940. However, when the closure shuttle 1940 is moved to an actuated position, the lock yoke 1222 is prevented from being pivoted to an unlocked position. Stated another way, if the clinician were to attempt to pivot the lock yoke 1222 to an unlocked position or, for example, the lock yoke 1222 was inadvertently bumped or contacted in a manner that might otherwise cause it to pivot distally, the lock hooks 1227 on the lock yoke 1222 will contact the lock lug portions 1943 on the closure shuttle 1940 and prevent movement of the lock yoke 1222 to an unlocked position.

[0142] Referring again to FIG. 6, the knife bar 2130 may comprise a laminated beam structure that includes at least two beam layers. Such beam layers may comprise, for example, stainless steel bands that are interconnected by, for example, welding or pinning together at their proximal ends and/or at other locations along their length. In alternative embodiments, the distal ends of the bands are not connected together to allow the laminates or bands to splay relative to each other when the end effector is articulated. Such arrangement permits the knife bar 2130 to be sufficiently flexible to accommodate articulation of the end effector. Various laminated knife bar arrangements are disclosed in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,245, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH CLOSURE STROKE REDUCTION ARRANGEMENTS

which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. As can also be seen in FIG. 6, a firing shaft support assembly 2300 is employed to provide lateral support to the knife bar 2130 as it flexes to accommodate articulation of the surgical end effector 1500. Further details concerning the operation of the firing shaft support assembly 2300 and alternative knife bar support arrangements may be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,245, entitled

SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH CLOSURE STROKE REDUCTION ARRANGEMENTS

and U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,220, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT WITH ARTICULATING AND AXIALLY TRANSLATABLE END EFFECTOR, which are each hereby incorporated by reference herein in their respective entireties.

[0143] As can also be seen in FIG. 6, a firing member or knife member 2140 is attached to the distal end of the knife bar 2130. In one exemplary form, the firing member 2140 comprises a body portion 2142 that supports a knife or tissue cutting portion 2144. The body portion 2142 protrudes through an elongate slot 1604 in the elongate channel 1602 and terminates in a foot member 2146 that extends laterally on each side of the body portion 2142. As the firing member 2140 is driven distally through the surgical staple/fastener cartridge 1700, the foot member 2146 rides within a passage 1622 (FIG. 48) in the elongate channel 1602 that is located under the surgical staple/fastener cartridge 1700. In one arrangement, the body portion 2142 includes two laterally protruding central tabs 2145 that may ride above the central passage within the surgical staple/fastener cartridge 1700. See FIG. 6. The tissue cutting portion 2144 is disposed between a distally protruding top nose portion 2143. As can be further seen in FIG. 6, the firing member 2140 may further include two laterally extending top tabs, pins or anvil engagement features 2147. As the firing member 2140 is driven distally, a top portion of the body portion 2142 extends through a centrally disposed anvil slot 1814 and the anvil engagement features 2147 ride on corresponding anvil ledges 1816 formed on each side of the anvil slot 1814. In one arrangement, to facilitate assembly of the anvil 1810 and firing member 2140 arrangement, the top of the anvil body 1812 has an opening 1817 therein. Once the anvil 1810 is assembled onto the elongate channel 1602 and the firing member 2140 is installed, the opening 1817 is covered by an anvil cap 1819 that is affixed to the anvil body 1812 by welding or other suitable fastening means.

[0144] Returning to FIG. 6, the firing member 2140 is configured to operably interface with a sled assembly 2150 that is operably supported within a body 1702 of the surgical staple/fastener cartridge 1700. The sled assembly 2150 is slidably displaceable within the surgical

staple/fastener cartridge body 1702 from a proximal starting position adjacent the proximal end 1704 of the cartridge body 1702 to an ending position adjacent a distal end 1706 of the cartridge body 1702. The cartridge body 1702 operably supports therein a plurality of staple drivers (not shown) that are aligned in rows on each side of a centrally disposed slot 1708. The centrally disposed slot 1708 enables the firing member 2140 to pass therethrough and cut the tissue that is clamped between the anvil 1810 and the surgical staple/fastener cartridge 1700. The drivers are associated with corresponding staple/fastener pockets 1712 that open through an upper deck surface 1710 of the cartridge body 1702. Each of the staple drivers supports one or more surgical staple/fastener or fastener (not shown) thereon. The sled assembly 2150 includes a plurality of sloped or wedge-shaped cams 2152 wherein each cam 2152 corresponds to a particular line of fasteners or drivers located on a side of the slot 1708.

[0145] Attachment of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000 to the handle assembly 500 will now be described with reference to FIG. 2. To commence the coupling process, the clinician may position the tool chassis 1210 of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000 above or adjacent to the distal end of the handle frame 506 such that the tapered attachment portions 1212 formed on the tool chassis 1210 are aligned with the dovetail slots 507 in the handle frame 506. The clinician may then move the surgical tool assembly 1000 along an installation axis IA that is perpendicular to the shaft axis SAi to seat the tapered attachment portions 1212 in "operable engagement" with the corresponding dovetail receiving slots 507 in the distal end of the handle frame 506. In doing so, the firing shaft attachment lug 2128 on the intermediate firing shaft portion 2120 will also be seated in the attachment cradle (not shown) in the longitudinally movable drive member (not shown) within the handle assembly 500 and the portions of attachment pin 516 on the closure link 514 will be seated in the corresponding hooks 1942 in the closure shuttle 1940. As used herein, the term "operable engagement" in the context of two components means that the two components are sufficiently engaged with each other so that upon application of an actuation motion thereto, the components may carry out their intended action, function and/or procedure.

[0146] During a typical surgical procedure, the clinician may introduce the surgical end effector 1500 into the surgical site through a trocar or other opening in the patient to access the target tissue. When doing so, the clinician typically axially aligns the surgical end effector 1500 along the shaft axis (unarticulated state). Once the surgical end effector 1500 has passed through the trocar port, for example, the clinician may need to articulate the end effector 1500 to advantageously position it adjacent the target tissue. This is prior to closing the anvil onto the target tissue, so the closure drive system 510 would remain unactuated. When in this position, actuation of the firing drive system 530 will result in the application of articulation motions to the proximal articulation driver 1310. Once the end effector has attained the desired articulated position, the firing drive system 530 is deactivated and the articulation lock 1400 may retain the surgical end effector 1500 in the articulated position. The clinician may then actuate the closure drive system 510 to close the anvil 1810 onto the target tissue. Such actuation of the closure drive system 510 may also result in the shifter assembly 2200 delinking the proximal articulation driver from the intermediate firing shaft portion 2120. Thus, once the target tissue has been captured in the surgical end effector 1500, the clinician may once again actuate the firing drive system 530 to axially advance the firing member 2140 through the surgical staple/fastener cartridge 1700 to cut the clamped tissue and fire the staples into the cut tissue. Other closure and firing drive arrangements, actuator arrangements (both handheld, manual and automated or robotic) may also be employed to control the axial movement of the closure system components, the articulation system components and/or the firing system components of the surgical tool assembly 1000 without departing from the spirit and scope of the various inventions disclosed herein.

[0147] Returning now to FIG. 1, the surgical system 10 illustrated in that Figure includes four interchangeable surgical tool assemblies 1000, 3000, 5000 and 7000 that may each be effectively employed with the same handle assembly 500 to perform different surgical procedures. Turning now to FIGS. 16-18, the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 3000 includes a surgical end effector 3500 that comprises a first jaw 3600 and a second jaw 3800. In one arrangement, the first jaw comprises an elongate channel 3602 that is configured to operably support a surgical staple/fastener cartridge 3700 therein. The second jaw 3800 comprises an anvil 3810 that is pivotally supported relative to the elongate channel 3602. The interchangeable surgical tool assembly 3000 includes an articulation system 3300 that comprises an articulation joint 3302 and an articulation lock 3400 which can be configured to releasably hold the surgical end effector 3500 in a desired articulated position relative to a shaft axis SA2. Details regarding the construction and operation of the articulation lock 3400 as well as alternative lock configurations and operational details may be found in in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,086, entitled ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING AN

ARTICULATION LOCK, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541, the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein. Additional details concerning the articulation lock 3400 may also be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,196, filed February 9, 2016, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT ARTICULATION MECHANISM WITH SLOTTED SECONDARY CONSTRAINT, the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein.

[0148] As can be seen in FIG. 17, the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 3000 includes a tool frame assembly 3200 that comprises a tool chassis 3210 that operably supports a nozzle assembly 3240 thereon. In one form, the nozzle assembly 3240 is comprised of nozzle portions 3242, 3244 as well as an actuator wheel portion 3246 that is configured to be coupled to the assembled nozzle portions 3242, 3244 by snaps, lugs, screws etc. The interchangeable surgical tool assembly 3000 includes a proximal closure assembly 3900 which is operably coupled to a distal closure assembly 4000 that is utilized to close and/or open the anvil 3810 of the surgical end effector 3500 as will be discussed in further detail below. In addition, the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 3000 includes an "elastic" spine assembly 3250 that operably supports the proximal closure assembly 3900 and is coupled to the surgical end effector 3500. One exemplary form of spine assembly 3250 is disclosed in U.S. Patent Application Serial No.

15/385,911, entitled SURGICAL STAPLE/FASTENERS WITH INDEPENDENTLY

ACTUATABLE CLOSING AND FIRING SYSTEMS, the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein. For example, the spine assembly 3250 may comprise an elastic spine member that has a proximal end portion 3253 and a distal end portion 3280 that is separated from the proximal end portion 3253 of the elastic spine assembly 3250 by a stretch feature 3282 formed therebetween. In addition, a stretch limiting insert 3284 is retainingly supported between the distal end portion 3280 and the proximal end portion 3253. In various arrangements, the elastic spine assembly 3250 may be fabricated from, for example, suitable polymeric material, rubber, etc. which has a modulus of elasticity designated as MEi for reference purposes. The stretch limiting insert 3284 may have a modulus of elasticity designated as ME2 for reference purposes. In various circumstances, the stretch limiting insert 3284 also includes a pair of stretch limiters 3285 (only one is shown in FIG. 17). The stretch limiter 3285 may have a modulus of elasticity for reference purposes of ME3 In at least one arrangement, ME3 < ME2 < MEi. Further details about at least one implementation of the elastic spine assembly 3250 and stretch limiting insert 3284 may be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,911.

[0149] In the illustrated arrangement, the distal end portion 3280 of the spine assembly 3250 has an opening 3281 therein for ease of assembly. A spine cap 3283 may be attached thereto to cover the opening 3281 after the various components have been assembled therein. In assembled form, the proximal end portion 3253 of the spine assembly 3250 is rotatably supported in the tool chassis 3210. In one arrangement, for example, the proximal end of the proximal end portion 3253 of the spine assembly 3250 is attached to a spine bearing (not shown) that is configured to be supported within the tool chassis 3210. Such arrangement facilitates rotatable attachment of the spine assembly 3250 to the tool chassis 3210 such that the spine assembly 3250 may be selectively rotated about a shaft axis SA2 relative to the tool chassis 3210. In particular, in one arrangement, for example, the proximal end portion 3253 of the spine assembly 3250 includes two diametrically opposed lug seats 3254 (only one can be seen in FIG. 17) that are each configured to receive a corresponding nozzle lug (not shown) that extend inwardly from each of the nozzle portions 3242, 3244. Such arrangement facilitates rotation of the spine assembly 3250 about the shaft axis SA2 by rotating the actuator wheel portion 3246 of the nozzle assembly 3240.

[0150] Referring now to FIG. 18, the distal end portion 3280 of the elastic spine assembly 3250 is attached to a distal frame segment 3286 that operably supports the articulation lock 3400 therein. The spine assembly 3250 is configured to, one, slidably support a firing member assembly 4110 therein and, two, slidably support the proximal closure tube 3910 which extends around the spine assembly 3250. The spine assembly 3250 can also be configured to slidably support a proximal articulation driver 3310. As can be seen in FIG. 18, the distal frame segment 3286 is pivotally coupled to the elongate channel 3602 by an end effector mounting assembly 3290. In one arrangement, for example, the distal end of the distal frame segment 3286 has a pivot pin 3288 formed thereon. The pivot pin 3288 is adapted to be pivotally received within a pivot hole 3292 formed in pivot base portion 3291 of the end effector mounting assembly 3290. The end effector mounting assembly 3290 is attached to a proximal end 3610 of the elongate channel 3602 by a spring pin 3620 or other suitable member that is received within mounting holes 3611 in the proximal end portion 3610. The pivot pin 3288 defines an articulation axis AA2 that is transverse to the shaft axis SA2. See FIG. 18. Such arrangement facilitates pivotal travel (i.e., articulation) of the surgical end effector 3500 about the articulation axis AA2 relative to the elastic spine assembly 3250. The distal frame segment 3286 is further configured to support the articulation lock 3400 therein. Various articulation lock arrangements may be employed. At least one form of articulation lock 3400 is described in further detail in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,086, entitled ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL

INSTRUMENT COMPRISING AN ARTICULATION LOCK, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541, the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein. Additional details concerning the articulation lock may also be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,196, filed February 9, 2016, entitled SURGICAL

INSTRUMENT ARTICULATION MECHANISM WITH SLOTTED SECONDARY CONSTRAINT.

[0151] In the illustrated example, the surgical end effector 3500 is electively articulatable about the articulation axis AA2 by the articulation system 3300. In one form, the articulation system 3300 includes the proximal articulation driver 3310 that operably interfaces with the articulation lock 3400. The articulation lock 3400 includes an articulation frame 3402 that is adapted to operably engage a drive pin 3293 on the pivot base portion 3291 of the end effector mounting assembly 3290. In addition, a cross link 3294 may be linked to the drive pin 3293 and

articulation frame 3402 to assist articulation of the surgical end effector 3500. As indicated above, further details regarding the operation of the articulation lock 3400 and the articulation frame 3402 may be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,086, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541. Further details regarding the end effector mounting assembly and cross link 3294 may be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,245, filed February 9, 2016, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH CLOSURE STROKE REDUCTION ARRANGEMENTS, the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein. As further described therein, as well as in other disclosures incorporated by reference herein, axial movement of proximal articulation driver 3310 will result in the engagement/disengagement of the articulation lock 3400 to thereby apply articulation motions to the elongate channel 3602 and thereby cause the surgical end effector 3500 to articulate about the articulation axis AA2 relative to the spine assembly 3250.

[0152] The anvil 3810 in the illustrated example includes an anvil body 3812 that terminates in anvil mounting portion 3820. The anvil mounting portion 3820 is movably or pivotably supported on the elongate channel 3602 for selective pivotal travel relative thereto about a fixed anvil pivot axis PA2 (FIG. 18) that is transverse to the shaft axis SA2. In the illustrated arrangement, an anvil trunnion 3822 extends laterally out of each lateral side of the anvil mounting portion 3820 to be received in a corresponding trunnion pivot hole 3613 formed in the upstanding walls 3612 of the proximal end portion 3610 of the elongate channel 3602.

Movement of the anvil 3810 relative to the elongate channel 3602 is effectuated by axial movement of the proximal closure assembly 3900 and the distal closure assembly 4000. In the illustrated arrangement, the proximal closure assembly 3900 comprises a proximal closure tube 3910 that has a proximal end 3912 and a distal end 3914. The proximal end 3912 is rotatably supported in a closure shuttle 3940 that is slidably supported within the tool chassis 3210 such that it may be axially moved relative thereto. In one form, the closure shuttle 3940 includes a pair of proximally-protruding hooks 3942 that are configured for attachment to the transverse attachment pin 516 that is attached to the closure linkage assembly 514 of the handle assembly 500. The proximal end 3912 is coupled to the closure shuttle 3940 for relative rotation thereto. For example, a U-shaped connector 3944 is inserted into an annular slot 3916 in the proximal end 3912 and is retained within vertical slots 3946 in the closure shuttle 3940. Such arrangement serves to attach the proximal closure assembly 3900 to the closure shuttle 3940 for axial travel therewith while enabling the proximal closure tube 3910 to rotate relative to the closure shuttle 3940 about the shaft axis SA2. As was discussed above in connection with the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000, a closure spring (not shown) may extend over the proximal end 3912 of the proximal closure tube 3910 to bias the closure shuttle 3940 in the proximal direction PD which can serve to pivot the closure trigger 512 on the handle assembly 500 (FIG. 2) into the unactuated position when the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 3000 is operably coupled to the handle assembly 500 in the above described manner.

[0153] As can be seen in FIG. 18, the distal end 3914 of the proximal closure tube 3910 is attached to the distal closure assembly 4000. The distal end 3914 includes upper and lower tangs 3917, 3918 that are configured to be movably coupled to an end effector closure sleeve or distal closure tube segment 4030. The distal closure tube segment 4030 includes an upper tang 4032 and a lower tang 4034 that protrude proximally from a proximal end thereof. An upper double pivot link 4060 pivotally couples the upper tangs 3917 and 4032 and a lower double pivot link 4064 pivotally couples the lower tangs 3918 and 4034 together in the above-described manner. The distal advancement of the distal closure tube segment 4030 on the anvil mounting portion 3820 will result in closure or pivotal travel of the anvil 3810 towards the elongate channel 3602 about the fixed anvil pivot axis PA2. In the illustrated arrangement, the distal closure tube segment 4030 also includes positive jaw or anvil opening features 4040 that are configured to coact with surfaces or ramp portions on the anvil mounting portion 3820 so as to cause the anvil 3810 to pivot from a closed position to an open position as the distal closure tube segment 4030 is moved proximally back to a starting position. Other embodiments may not employ the positive jaw opening features, but may rely on springs or other biasing arrangements to bias the anvil to the open position when the distal closure tube segment has been retracted to its proximal-most starting position. Further details regarding configurations and operation of the anvil opening features may be found in for example, U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,911, entitled SURGICAL STAPLE/FASTENERS WITH INDEPENDENTLY ACTUATABLE CLOSING AND FIRING SYSTEMS.

[0154] In the illustrated arrangement, the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 3000 further includes a firing system generally designated as 4100. In various instances, the firing system 4100 includes a firing member assembly 4110 that is supported for axial travel within the spine assembly 3250. In the illustrated embodiment, the firing member assembly 4110 includes an

intermediate firing shaft portion 4120 that is configured for attachment to a distal cutting portion or knife bar 4130. A support bushing arrangement 4121 may be employed to support the intermediate firing shaft portion 4120 within the spine assembly 3250. The firing member assembly 4110 may also be referred to herein as a "second shaft" and/or a "second shaft assembly". As can be seen in FIG. 18, the intermediate firing shaft portion 4120 may include a longitudinal slot 4124 in a distal end 4122 thereof which can be configured to receive a proximal end 4132 of the knife bar 4130. The longitudinal slot 4124 and the proximal end 4132 of the knife bar 4130 can be sized and configured to permit relative movement therebetween and can comprise a slip joint 4134. The slip joint 4134 can permit the intermediate firing shaft portion 4120 of the firing member assembly 4110 to be moved to articulate the end effector 3500 without moving, or at least substantially moving, the knife bar 4130 as was discussed above. In the illustrated arrangement, a proximal end 4127 of the intermediate firing shaft portion 4120 has a firing shaft attachment lug 4128 formed thereon that is configured to be seated into the attachment cradle (not shown) that is on the distal end of the longitudinally movable drive member (not shown) of the firing drive system 530 within the handle assembly 500 as was discussed above. Such arrangement facilitates the axial movement of the intermediate firing shaft portion 4120 upon actuation of the firing drive system 530. Other attachment

configurations may also be employed to couple the intermediate firing shaft portion 4120 to other firing drive arrangements (e.g., manually actuated, robotic, etc.).

[0155] Further to the above, the interchangeable tool assembly 3000 can include a shifter assembly 4200 which can be configured to selectively and releasably couple the proximal articulation driver 3310 to the firing member assembly 4110 in the manner described above. In one form, the shifter assembly 4200 includes a lock collar, or lock sleeve 4210, positioned around the intermediate firing shaft portion 4120 of the firing member assembly 4110 wherein the lock sleeve 4210 can be rotated between an engaged position in which the lock sleeve 4210 couples the proximal articulation driver 3310 to the firing member assembly 4110 and a disengaged position in which the proximal articulation driver 3310 is not operably coupled to the firing member assembly 4110. As was discussed above, the intermediate firing shaft portion 4120 of the firing member assembly 4110 is formed with a drive notch 4126. The lock sleeve 4210 comprises a cylindrical, or an at least substantially cylindrical, body that includes a longitudinal aperture 4212 that is configured to receive the intermediate firing shaft portion 4120 therethrough. The lock sleeve 4210 can comprise diametrically-opposed, inwardly-facing lock protrusions 4214, 4216 that, when the lock sleeve 4210 is in one position, are engagingly received within corresponding portions of the drive notch 4126 in the intermediate firing shaft portion 4120 and, when in another position, are not received within the drive notch 4126 to thereby permit relative axial motion between the lock sleeve 4210 and the intermediate firing shaft 4120 as was discussed in further detail above. The lock sleeve 4210 further includes a lock member 4218 that is sized to be movably received within a notch 3319 in a proximal end of the proximal articulation driver 3310. When the lock sleeve 4210 is in its engaged position, the lock protrusions 4214, 4216 are positioned within the drive notch 4126 in the intermediate firing shaft portion 4120 such that a distal pushing force and/or a proximal pulling force can be transmitted from the firing member assembly 4110 to the lock sleeve 4210. Such axial pushing or pulling motion is then transmitted from the lock sleeve 4210 to the proximal articulation driver 3310 to thereby articulate the surgical end effector 3500.

[0156] As was discussed above, in the illustrated example, relative movement of the lock sleeve 4210 between its engaged and disengaged positions may be controlled by the shifter assembly 4200 that interfaces with the proximal closure tube 3910 of the proximal closure assembly 3900. The shifter assembly 4200 further includes a shifter key 4240 that is configured to be slidably received within a key groove (similar to the key groove 2217 illustrated in FIG. 8) formed in the outer perimeter of the lock sleeve 4210. Such arrangement enables the shifter key 4240 to move axially with respect to the lock sleeve 4210. Operation of the shifter assembly 4200 may be identical to the operation of the shifter assembly 2200 which was described in further detail above and which will not be repeated again for brevity. Further details, alternative arrangements and drive configurations that may be employed are disclosed in other arrangements that may be employed are disclosed in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,911, entitled SURGICAL STAPLE/FASTENERS WITH INDEPENDENTLY ACTUATABLE CLOSING AND FIRING SYSTEMS, U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,086, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541, and U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,196, the as well as other disclosures that have bee incorporated herein.

[0157] The interchangeable tool assembly 3000 can comprise a slip ring assembly 3230 which can be configured to conduct electrical power to and/or from the surgical end effector 3500 and/or communicate signals to and/or from the surgical end effector 3500, back to a

microprocessor 560 in the handle assembly 500 or robotic system controller, for example as was discussed above. Further details concerning the slip ring assembly 3230 and associated connectors may be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,086, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541, and U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,196 which have each been herein incorporated by reference in their respective entirety as well as in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/800,067, entitled STAPLE CARTRIDGE TISSUE TfflCKNESS SENSOR SYSTEM, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263552, which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

[0158] The illustrated interchangeable surgical tool assembly 3000 also employs a latch system 3220 for removably coupling the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 3000 to the handle frame 506 of the handle assembly 500, for example. The latch system 3220 may be identical to the latch system 1220 described in detail above. The knife bar 4130 may comprise a laminated beam structure that includes at least two beam layers. Such beam layers may comprise, for example, stainless steel bands that are interconnected by, for example, welding or pinning together at their proximal ends and/or at other locations along their length. In alternative embodiments, the distal ends of the bands are not connected together to allow the laminates or bands to splay relative to each other when the end effector is articulated. Such arrangement permits the knife bar 4130 to be sufficiently flexible to accommodate articulation of the end effector. Various laminated knife bar arrangements are disclosed in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,245, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH CLOSURE STROKE REDUCTION ARRANGEMENTS which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. As can also be seen in FIG. 18, a firing shaft support assembly 4300 is employed to provide lateral support to the knife bar 4130 as it flexes to accommodate articulation of the surgical end effector 3500. Further details concerning the operation of the firing shaft support assembly 4300 and alternative knife bar support arrangements may be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,245, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH CLOSURE STROKE REDUCTION ARRANGEMENTS and U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,220, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT WITH ARTICULATING AND AXIALLY TRANSLATABLE END EFFECTOR, which are each hereby incorporated by reference herein in their respective entireties.

[0159] As can also be seen in FIG. 18, a firing member or knife member 4140 is attached to the distal end of the knife bar 4130. The firing member 4140 is configured to operably interface with a sled assembly 4150 that is operably supported within the body 3702 of the surgical staple/fastener cartridge 3700. The sled assembly 4150 is slidably displaceable within the surgical staple/fastener cartridge body 3702 from a proximal starting position adjacent the proximal end 3704 of the cartridge body 3702 to an ending position adjacent a distal end 3706 of the cartridge body 3702. The cartridge body 3702 operably supports therein a plurality of staple drivers (not shown) that are aligned in rows on each side of a centrally disposed slot 3708. The centrally disposed slot 3708 enables the firing member 4140 to pass therethrough and cut the tissue that is clamped between the anvil 3810 and the staple cartridge 3700. The drivers are associated with corresponding staple pockets 3712 that open through the deck surface 3710 of the cartridge body 3702. Each of the staple drivers supports one or more surgical staple/fastener or fastener (not shown) thereon. The sled assembly 4150 includes a plurality of sloped or wedge-shaped cams 4152 wherein each cam 4152 corresponds to a particular line of fasteners or drivers located on a side of the slot 3708.

[0160] In one exemplary form, the firing member 4140 comprises a body portion 4142 that supports a knife or tissue cutting portion 4144. See FIG. 49. The body portion 4142 protrudes through an elongate slot 3604 in the elongate channel 3602 and terminates in a foot member 4146 that extends laterally on each side of the body portion 4142. As the firing member 4140 is driven distally through the surgical staple/fastener cartridge 3700, the foot member 4146 rides within a passage 3622 in the elongate channel 3602 that is located under the surgical

staple/fastener cartridge 3700. The tissue cutting portion 4144 is disposed between a distally protruding top nose portion 4143. As can be further seen in FIG. 18, the firing member 4140 may further include two laterally extending top tabs, pins or anvil engagement features 4147. As the firing member 4140 is driven distally, a top portion of the body portion 4142 extends through a centrally disposed anvil slot 3814 and the anvil engagement features 4147 ride on

corresponding ledges 3816 formed on each side of the anvil slot 3814. Further details concerning the firing member 4140, sled assembly 4150 and their various alternatives as well as examples of their operation will be discussed in further detail below and may also be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,911, entitled SURGICAL STAPLE/FASTENERS WITH INDEPENDENTLY ACTUATABLE CLOSING AND FIRING SYSTEMS. The

interchangeable surgical tool assembly 3000 may be to the handle assembly 500 in the manner as described above with respect to the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000.

[0161] Returning again to FIG. 1, as was discussed above, the surgical system 10 illustrated in that Figure includes four interchangeable surgical tool assemblies 1000, 3000, 5000 and 7000 that may each be effectively employed with the same handle assembly 500 to perform different surgical procedures. Turning now to FIGS. 19-21, the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 5000 includes a surgical end effector 5500 that comprises a first jaw 5600 and a second jaw 5800. In one arrangement, the first jaw comprises an elongate channel 5602 that is configured to operably support a surgical staple/fastener cartridge 5700 therein. The second jaw 5800 comprises an anvil 5810 that is movably supported relative to the elongate channel 5602. The interchangeable surgical tool assembly 5000 includes an articulation system 5300 that comprises an articulation joint 5302 and an articulation lock 5400 which can be configured to releasably hold the surgical end effector 5500 in a desired articulated position relative to a shaft axis SA3. Details regarding the construction and operation of the articulation lock 5400 as well as alternative lock configurations and operational details may be found in in U.S. Patent

Application Serial No. 15/385,894, entitled SHAFT ASSEMBLY COMPRISING A LOCK OUT, the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein. Alternative articulation lock arrangements may also be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No.

13/803,086, entitled ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING AN ARTICULATION LOCK, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541 and U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,196, filed February 9, 2016, entitled SURGICAL

INSTRUMENT ARTICULATION MECHANISM WITH SLOTTED SECONDARY CONSTRAINT, the entire disclosures of each such reference being hereby incorporated by reference herein.

[0162] As can be seen in FIG. 20, the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 5000 includes a tool frame assembly 5200 that comprises a tool chassis 5210 that operably supports a nozzle assembly 5240 thereon. In one form, the nozzle assembly 5240 is comprised of nozzle portions 5242, 5244 as well as an actuator wheel portion 5246 that is configured to be coupled to the assembled nozzle portions 5242, 5244 by snaps, lugs, screws etc. The interchangeable surgical tool assembly 5000 includes a proximal closure assembly 5900 which is operably coupled to a distal closure assembly 6000 that is utilized to close and/or open the anvil 5810 of the surgical end effector 5500 as will be discussed in further detail below. In addition, the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 5000 includes a spine assembly 5250 that operably supports the proximal closure assembly 5900 and is coupled to the surgical end effector 5500. In the illustrated arrangement, the spine assembly 5250 includes a distal end portion 5280 that has an opening 5281 therein for ease of assembly. A spine cap 5283 may be attached thereto to cover the opening 5281 after the various components have been assembled therein. In assembled form, a proximal end portion 5253 of the spine assembly 5250 is rotatably supported in the tool chassis 5210. In one arrangement, for example, the proximal end of the proximal end portion 5253 of the spine assembly 5250 is attached to a spine bearing (not shown) that is configured to be supported within the tool chassis 5210. Such arrangement facilitates rotatable attachment of the spine assembly 5250 to the tool chassis 5210 such that the spine assembly 5250 may be selectively rotated about the shaft axis SA3 relative to the tool chassis 5210. In particular, in one arrangement, for example, the proximal end portion 5253 of the spine assembly 5250 includes two diametrically opposed lug seats 5254 (only one can be seen in FIG. 20) that are each configured to receive a corresponding nozzle lug (not shown) that extend inwardly from each of the nozzle portions 5242, 5244. Such arrangement facilitates rotation of the spine assembly 5250 about the shaft axis SA3 by rotating the actuator wheel portion 5246 of the nozzle assembly 5240.

[0163] Referring now to FIG. 21, the distal end portion 5280 of the spine assembly 5250 is attached to a distal frame segment 5286 that operably supports the articulation lock 5400 therein. The spine assembly 5250 is configured to, one, slidably support a firing member assembly 6110 therein and, two, slidably support a proximal closure tube 5910 which extends around the spine assembly 5250. The spine assembly 5250 can also be configured to slidably support a first articulation driver 5310 and a second articulation driver 5320. As can be seen in FIG. 21, the distal frame segment 5286 is pivotally coupled to a proximal end 5610 of the elongate channel 5602. In one arrangement, for example, the distal end of the distal frame segment 5286 has a pivot pin 5288 formed thereon. The pivot pin 5288 is adapted to be pivotally received within a pivot hole 5611 formed in the proximal end portion 5610 of the elongate channel 5602. The pivot pin 5288 defines an articulation axis AA3 that is transverse to the shaft axis SA3. See FIG. 21. Such arrangement facilitates pivotal travel (i.e., articulation) of the surgical end effector 5500 about the articulation axis AA3 relative to the spine assembly 5250. The distal frame segment 5286 is further configured to support the articulation lock 5400 therein.

[0164] In the illustrated arrangement, a distal end 5314 of the first articulation driver 5310 is formed with a loop 5316 that is adapted to receive a first articulation pin 5618 therein that is formed on the proximal end portion 5610 of the elongate channel 5602. Similarly, a distal end 5324 of the second articulation driver 5320 has a loop 5326 that is adapted to receive a second articulation pin 5619 therein that is formed on the proximal end portion 5610 of the elongate channel 5602. In one arrangement, for example, the first articulation driver 5310 further comprises a proximal rack of teeth 5315 that is in meshing engagement with an idler gear 5330 rotatably supported in the spine assembly 5250. Similarly the second articulation driver 5320 further comprises a proximal rack of teeth 5325 that is in meshing engagement with the idler gear 5330. Thus, in such arrangement, movement of the first articulation driver 5310 in the distal direction DD will result in movement of the second articulation driver 5320 in the proximal direction PD. Movement of the first articulation driver 5310 in the proximal direction PD will result in the movement of the second articulation driver 5320 in the distal direction DD. Thus, such movement of the first and second articulation drivers 5310, 5320 will provide simultaneously pushing and pulling motions to the surgical end effector 5500 to articulate the surgical end effector about the articulation axis AA3.

[0165] The anvil 5810 in the illustrated example includes an anvil body 5812 that terminates in anvil mounting portion 5820. The anvil mounting portion 5820 is movably supported on the elongate channel 5602 for selective pivotal and vertical travel relative thereto. In the illustrated arrangement, an anvil trunnion 5822 extends laterally out of each lateral side of the anvil mounting portion 5820 to be received in a corresponding "open-ended" vertical cradle 5613 formed in upstanding walls 5612 of the proximal end portion 5610 of the elongate channel 5602. Movement of the anvil 5810 relative to the elongate channel 5602 is effectuated by axial movement of the proximal closure assembly 5900 and the distal closure assembly 6000. In the illustrated arrangement, the proximal closure assembly 5900 comprises the proximal closure tube 5910 that has a proximal end 5912 and a distal end 5914. The proximal end 5912 is rotatably supported in a closure shuttle 5940 that is slidably supported within the tool chassis 5210 such that it may be axially moved relative thereto. In one form, the closure shuttle 5940 includes a pair of proximally-protruding hooks 5942 that are configured for attachment to the transverse

attachment pin 516 that is attached to the closure linkage assembly 514 of the handle assembly 500. The proximal end 5912 of the proximal closure tube 5910 is coupled to the closure shuttle 5940 for relative rotation thereto. For example, a U-shaped connector 5944 is inserted into an annular slot 5916 in the proximal end 5912 and is retained within vertical slots 5946 in the closure shuttle 5940. Such arrangement serves to attach the proximal closure assembly 5900 to the closure shuttle 5940 for axial travel therewith while enabling the proximal closure tube 5910 to rotate relative to the closure shuttle 5940 about the shaft axis SA3. As was discussed above in connection with the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000, a closure spring (not shown) may extend over the proximal end 5912 of the proximal closure tube 5910 to bias the closure shuttle 5940 in the proximal direction PD which can serve to pivot the closure trigger 512 on the handle assembly 500 (FIG. 2) into the unactuated position when the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 5000 is operably coupled to the handle assembly 500 in the above described manner.

[0166] As can be seen in FIG. 21, the distal end 5914 of the proximal closure tube 5910 is attached to the distal closure assembly 6000. The distal end 5914 includes upper and lower tangs 5917, 7918 that are configured to be movably coupled to an end effector closure sleeve or distal closure tube segment 6030. The distal closure tube segment 6030 includes an upper tang 6032 and a lower tang 6034 that protrude proximally from a proximal end thereof. An upper double pivot link 6060 pivotally couples the upper tangs 5917 and 6032 and a lower double pivot link 6064 pivotally couples the lower tangs 5918 and 6034 together in the above-described manner. The distal closure tube segment 6030 includes an internal cam surface 6036 that is configured to cammingly engage an anvil cam surface 5821 on the anvil mounting portion 5820 The distal advancement of the distal closure tube segment 6030 on the anvil mounting portion 5820 will result in closure or pivotal travel of the anvil 5810 towards the elongate channel 5602. In the illustrated arrangement, upstanding anvil tabs 5827 are formed on the anvil mounting portion 5820 and are configured to be contacted by two positive jaw opening tabs 6038 that extend inwardly within the distal closure tube segment 6030. Each positive jaw opening tab 6038 is configured to engage a corresponding one of the anvil tabs 5827 to pivot the anvil 5810 to an open position when the distal closure tube segment 6030 is axially moved in the proximal direction PD.

[0167] In the illustrated arrangement, the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 5000 further includes a firing system generally designated as 6100. In various instances, the firing system 6100 includes the firing member assembly 6110 that is supported for axial travel within the spine assembly 5250. In the illustrated embodiment, the firing member assembly 6110 includes an intermediate firing shaft portion 6120 that is configured for attachment to a distal cutting portion or knife bar 6130. The firing member assembly 6110 may also be referred to herein as a "second shaft" and/or a "second shaft assembly". As can be seen in FIG. 21, the intermediate firing shaft portion 6120 may include a longitudinal slot 6124 in a distal end 6122 thereof which can be configured to receive a proximal end 6132 of the knife bar 6130. The longitudinal slot 6124 and the proximal end 6132 of the knife bar 6130 can be sized and configured to permit relative movement therebetween and can comprise a slip joint 6134. The slip joint 6134 can permit the intermediate firing shaft portion 6120 of the firing member assembly 6110 to be moved to articulate the end effector 5500 without moving, or at least substantially moving, the knife bar 6130 as was discussed above. In the illustrated arrangement, a proximal end 6127 of the intermediate firing shaft portion 6120 has a firing shaft attachment lug 6128 formed thereon that is configured to be seated into an attachment cradle (not shown) that is on the distal end of the longitudinally movable drive member (not shown) of the firing drive system 530 within the handle assembly 500 as was discussed above. Such arrangement facilitates the axial movement of the intermediate firing shaft portion 6120 upon actuation of the firing drive system 530. Other attachment configurations may also be employed to couple the intermediate firing shaft portion to other firing drive arrangements (e.g., manually actuated, robotic, etc.).

[0168] Further to the above, the interchangeable tool assembly 5000 can include a shifter assembly 6200 which can be configured to selectively and releasably couple the first articulation driver 5310 to the firing member assembly 6110 in the manner described above. In one form, the shifter assembly 6200 includes a lock collar, or lock sleeve 6210, positioned around the intermediate firing shaft portion 6120 of the firing member assembly 6110 wherein the lock sleeve 6210 can be rotated between an engaged position in which the lock sleeve 6210 couples the first articulation driver 5310 to the firing member assembly 6110 and a disengaged position in which the first articulation driver 5310 is not operably coupled to the firing member assembly 6110. As was discussed above, the intermediate firing shaft portion 6120 of the firing member assembly 6110 is formed with a drive notch 6126. The lock sleeve 6210 comprises a cylindrical, or an at least substantially cylindrical, body that includes a longitudinal aperture that is configured to receive the intermediate firing shaft portion 6120 therethrough. The lock sleeve 6210 can comprise diametrically-opposed, inwardly-facing lock protrusions 6214, 6216 that, when the lock sleeve 6210 is in one position, are engagingly received within corresponding portions of the drive notch 6126 in the intermediate firing shaft portion 6120 and, when in another position, are not received within the drive notch 6126 to thereby permit relative axial motion between the lock sleeve 6210 and the intermediate firing shaft 6120 as was discussed in further detail above. The lock sleeve 6210 further includes a lock member 6218 that is sized to be movably received within a notch 5319 in a proximal end of the first articulation driver 5310. When the lock sleeve 6210 is in its engaged position, the lock protrusions 6214, 6216 are positioned within the drive notch 6126 in the intermediate firing shaft portion 6120 such that a distal pushing force and/or a proximal pulling force can be transmitted from the firing member assembly 6110 to the lock sleeve 6210. Such axial pushing or pulling motion is then transmitted from the lock sleeve 6210 to the first articulation driver 5310. Axial movement of the first articulation driver 5310 results in the axial movement of the second articulation driver 5320 in an opposite direction to thereby articulate the surgical end effector 5500.

[0169] As was discussed above, in the illustrated example, relative movement of the lock sleeve 6210 between its engaged and disengaged positions may be controlled by the shifter assembly 6200 that interfaces with the proximal closure tube 5910 of the proximal closure assembly 5900. The shifter assembly 6200 further includes a shifter key 6240 that is configured to be slidably received within a key groove (similar to the key groove 2217 illustrated in FIG. 8) formed in the outer perimeter of the lock sleeve 6210. Such arrangement enables the shifter key 6240 to move axially with respect to the lock sleeve 6210. Operation of the shifter assembly 6200 may be identical to the operation of the shifter assembly 2200 which was described in further detail above and which will not be repeated again for brevity. Further details, alternative arrangements and drive configurations that may be employed are disclosed in Other

arrangements that may be employed are disclosed in U.S. Patent Application Serial No.

15/385,911, entitled SURGICAL STAPLE/FASTENERS WITH INDEPENDENTLY

ACTUATABLE CLOSING AND FIRING SYSTEMS, U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,086, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541, and U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,196, the as well as other disclosures that have been incorporated herein.

[0170] The interchangeable tool assembly 5000 can comprise a slip ring assembly 5230 which can be configured to conduct electrical power to and/or from the surgical end effector 5500 and/or communicate signals to and/or from the surgical end effector 5500, back to a

microprocessor 560 in the handle assembly 500 or robotic system controller, for example as was discussed above. Further details concerning the slip ring assembly 5230 and associated connectors may be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,086, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541, and U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,196 which have each been herein incorporated by reference in their respective entirety as well as in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/800,067, entitled STAPLE CARTRIDGE TISSUE TfflCKNESS SENSOR SYSTEM, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263552, which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

[0171] The illustrated interchangeable surgical tool assembly 5000 also employs a latch system 5220 for removably coupling the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 5000 to the handle frame 506 of the handle assembly 500, for example. The latch system 5220 may be identical to the latch system 1220 described in detail above. The knife bar 6130 may comprise a laminated beam structure that includes at least two beam layers. Such beam layers may comprise, for example, stainless steel bands that are interconnected by, for example, welding or pinning together at their proximal ends and/or at other locations along their length. In alternative embodiments, the distal ends of the bands are not connected together to allow the laminates or bands to splay relative to each other when the end effector is articulated. Such arrangement permits the knife bar 6130 to be sufficiently flexible to accommodate articulation of the end effector. Various laminated knife bar arrangements are disclosed in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,245, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH CLOSURE STROKE REDUCTION ARRANGEMENTS which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. As can also be seen in FIG. 21, a firing shaft support assembly 6300 is employed to provide lateral support to the knife bar 6130 as it flexes to accommodate articulation of the surgical end effector 5500. Further details concerning the operation of the firing shaft support assembly 6300 and alternative knife bar support arrangements may be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,245, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH CLOSURE STROKE REDUCTION ARRANGEMENTS and U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,220, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT WITH ARTICULATING AND AXIALLY TRANSLATABLE END

EFFECTOR, which are each hereby incorporated by reference herein in their respective entireties.

[0172] As can also be seen in FIGS. 21 and 50, a firing member or knife member 6140 is attached to the distal end of the knife bar 6130. The firing member 6140 is configured to operably interface with a sled assembly 6150 that is operably supported within the body 5702 of the surgical staple/fastener cartridge 5700. The sled assembly 6150 is slidably displaceable within the surgical staple/fastener cartridge body 5702 from a proximal starting position adjacent a proximal end 5704 of the cartridge body 5702 to an ending position adjacent a distal end 5706 of the cartridge body 5702. The cartridge body 5702 operably supports therein a plurality of staple drivers (not shown) that are aligned in rows on each side of a centrally disposed slot 5708. The centrally disposed slot 5708 enables the firing member 6140 to pass therethrough and cut the tissue that is clamped between the anvil 5810 and the staple cartridge 5700. The drivers are associated with corresponding staple pockets that open through the upper deck surface of the cartridge body 5702. Each of the staple drivers supports one or more surgical staple/fastener or fastener (not shown) thereon. The sled assembly includes a plurality of sloped or wedge-shaped cams 6152 wherein each cam corresponds to a particular line of fasteners or drivers located on a side of the slot 5708.

[0173] In one exemplary form, the firing member 6140 comprises a body portion 6142 that supports a knife or tissue cutting portion 6144. See FIG. 50. The body portion 6142 protrudes through an elongate slot 5604 in the elongate channel 5602 and terminates in a foot member 6146 that extends laterally on each side of the body portion 6142. As the firing member 6140 is driven distally through the surgical staple/fastener cartridge 5700, the foot member 6146 rides within a passage 5622 in the elongate channel 5602 that is located under the surgical

staple/fastener cartridge 5700. The tissue cutting portion 6144 is disposed between a distally protruding top nose portion 6143. As can be further seen in FIGS. 21 and 50, the firing member 6140 may further include two laterally extending top tabs, pins or anvil engagement features 6147. As the firing member 6140 is driven distally, a top portion of the body portion 6142 extends through a centrally disposed anvil slot 5814 and the anvil engagement features 6147 ride on corresponding ledges 5816 formed on each side of the anvil slot 5814. Further details concerning the firing member 6140, sled assembly 6150, and their various alternatives as well as examples of their operation will be discussed in further detail below and may also be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,911, entitled SURGICAL STAPLE/FASTENERS WITH INDEPENDENTLY ACTUATABLE CLOSING AND FIRING SYSTEMS. The interchangeable surgical tool assembly 5000 may be operably coupled to the handle assembly 500 in the manner as described above with respect to the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000.

[0174] Returning again to FIG. 1, as was discussed above, the surgical system 10 illustrated in that Figure includes four interchangeable surgical tool assemblies 1000, 3000, 5000 and 7000 that may each be effectively employed with the same handle assembly 500 to perform different surgical procedures. Turning now to FIGS. 22-24, the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 7000 includes a surgical end effector 7500 that comprises a first jaw 7600 and a second jaw 7800. In one arrangement, the first jaw comprises an elongate channel 7602 that is configured to operably support a surgical staple/fastener cartridge 7700 therein. The second jaw 7800 comprises an anvil 7810 that is movably supported relative to the elongate channel 7602. The interchangeable surgical tool assembly 7000 includes an articulation system 7300 that comprises an articulation joint 7302 and an articulation lock 7400 which can be configured to releasably hold the surgical end effector 7500 in a desired articulated position relative to a shaft axis SA4. Details regarding the construction and operation of the articulation lock 7400 as well as alternative lock configurations and operational details may be found in in U.S. Patent

Application Serial No. 13/803,086, entitled ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING AN ARTICULATION LOCK, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541, the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein.

Additional details concerning the articulation lock 7400 and/or alternative articulation lock arrangements may also be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,196, filed February 9, 2016, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT ARTICULATION MECHANISM WITH SLOTTED SECONDARY CONSTRAINT, the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein.

[0175] As can be seen in FIG. 24, the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 7000 includes a tool frame assembly 7200 that comprises a tool chassis 7210 that operably supports a nozzle assembly 7240 thereon. In one form, the nozzle assembly 7240 is comprised of nozzle portions 7242, 7244 as well as an actuator wheel portion 7246 that is configured to be coupled to the assembled nozzle portions 7242, 7244 by snaps, lugs, screws etc. The interchangeable surgical tool assembly 7000 includes a proximal closure assembly 7900 which is operably coupled to a distal closure assembly 8000 that is utilized to close and/or open the anvil 7810 of the surgical end effector 7500 as will be discussed in further detail below. In addition, the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 7000 includes a spine assembly 7250 that operably supports the proximal closure assembly 7900 and is coupled to the surgical end effector 3500. In the illustrated arrangement, the spine assembly 7250 includes a distal end portion 7280 that has an opening 7281 therein for ease of assembly. A spine cap 7283 may be attached thereto to cover the opening 7281 after the various components have been assembled therein. In assembled form, a proximal end portion 7253 of the spine assembly 7250 is rotatably supported in the tool chassis 7210. In one arrangement, for example, the proximal end of the proximal end portion 7253 of the spine assembly 7250 is attached to a spine bearing (not shown) that is configured to be supported within the tool chassis 7210. Such arrangement facilitates rotatable attachment of the spine assembly 7250 to the tool chassis 7210 such that the spine assembly 7250 may be selectively rotated about the shaft axis SA4 relative to the tool chassis 7210. In particular, in one arrangement, for example, the proximal end portion 7253 of the spine assembly 7250 includes two diametrically opposed lug seats 7254 (only one can be seen in FIG. 23) that are each configured to receive a corresponding nozzle lug (not shown) that extend inwardly from each of the nozzle portions 7242, 7244. Such arrangement facilitates rotation of the spine assembly 7250 about the shaft axis SA4 by rotating the actuator wheel portion 7246 of the nozzle assembly 7240.

[0176] Referring now to FIG. 24, the distal end portion 7280 of the spine assembly 7250 is attached to a distal frame segment 7286 that operably supports the articulation lock 7400 therein. The spine assembly 7250 is configured to, one, slidably support a firing member assembly 8110 therein and, two, slidably support a proximal closure tube 7910 which extends around the spine assembly 7250. The spine assembly 7250 can also be configured to slidably support a proximal articulation driver 7310. As can be seen in FIG. 24, the distal frame segment 7286 is pivotally coupled to the elongate channel 7602 by an end effector mounting assembly 7290. In one arrangement, for example, the distal end of the distal frame segment 7286 has a pivot pin 7288 formed thereon. The pivot pin 7288 is adapted to be pivotally received within a pivot hole 7292 formed in pivot base portion 7291 of the end effector mounting assembly 7290. The end effector mounting assembly 7290 is attached to a proximal end portion 7610 of the elongate channel

7602 by a spring pin 7620 or other suitable member that is received within mounting holes 7611 in the proximal end portion 7610. The pivot pin 7288 defines an articulation axis AA4 that is transverse to the shaft axis SA4. See FIG. 24. Such arrangement facilitates pivotal travel (i.e., articulation) of the surgical end effector 7500 about the articulation axis AA4 relative to the spine assembly 7250. The distal frame segment 7286 is further configured to support the articulation lock 7400 therein. Various articulation lock arrangements may be employed. At least one form of articulation lock 7400 is described in further detail in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,086, entitled ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING AN ARTICULATION LOCK, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541, the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein. Additional details concerning the articulation lock may also be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No.

15/019,196, filed February 9, 2016, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT ARTICULATION MECHANISM WITH SLOTTED SECONDARY CONSTRAINT.

[0177] In the illustrated example, the surgical end effector 7500 is electively articulatable about the articulation axis AA4 by the articulation system 7300. In one form, the articulation system 7300 includes the proximal articulation driver 7310 that operably interfaces with the articulation lock 7400. The articulation lock 7400 includes an articulation frame 7402 that is adapted to operably engage a drive pin 7293 on the pivot base portion 7291 of the end effector mounting assembly 7290. In addition, a cross link 7294 may be linked to the drive pin 7293 and articulation frame 7402 to assist articulation of the surgical end effector 7500. As indicated above, further details regarding the operation of the articulation lock 7400 and the articulation frame 7402 may be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,086, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541. Further details regarding the end effector mounting assembly and cross link 7294 may be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,245, filed February 9, 2016, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH CLOSURE STROKE REDUCTION ARRANGEMENTS, the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein. As further described therein, as well as in other disclosures incorporated by reference herein, axial movement of proximal articulation driver 7310 will result in the engagement/disengagement of the articulation lock 7400 to thereby apply articulation motions to the elongate channel 7602 and thereby cause the surgical end effector 7500 to articulate about the articulation axis AA relative to the spine assembly 7250.

[0178] The anvil 7810 in the illustrated example includes an anvil body 7812 that terminates in anvil mounting portion 7820. The anvil mounting portion 7820 is movably supported on the elongate channel 7602 for selective pivotal and axial travel relative thereto. In the illustrated arrangement, an anvil trunnion 7822 extends laterally out of each lateral side of the anvil mounting portion 7820 to be received in a corresponding "kidney-shaped" opening 7613 formed in upstanding walls 7612 of the proximal end portion 7610 of the elongate channel 7602.

Movement of the anvil 7810 relative to the elongate channel 7602 is effectuated by axial movement of the proximal closure assembly 7900 and the distal closure assembly 8000. In the illustrated arrangement, the proximal closure assembly 7900 comprises the proximal closure tube 7910 that has a proximal end 7912 and a distal end 7914. The proximal end 7912 is rotatably supported in a closure shuttle 7940 that is slidably supported within the tool chassis 7210 such that it may be axially moved relative thereto. In one form, the closure shuttle 7940 includes a pair of proximally-protruding hooks 7942 that are configured for attachment to the transverse attachment pin 516 that is attached to the closure linkage assembly 514 of the handle assembly 500. The proximal end 7912 of the proximal closure tube 7910 is coupled to the closure shuttle 7940 for relative rotation thereto. For example, a U-shaped connector 7944 is inserted into an annular slot 7916 in the proximal end 7912 of the proximal closure tube 7910 and is retained within vertical slots 7946 in the closure shuttle 7940. Such arrangement serves to attach the proximal closure assembly 7900 to the closure shuttle 7940 for axial travel therewith while enabling the proximal closure tube 7910 to rotate relative to the closure shuttle 7940 about the shaft axis SA4. As was discussed above in connection with the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000, a closure spring (not shown) may extend over the proximal end 7912 of the proximal closure tube 7910 to bias the closure shuttle 7940 in the proximal direction PD which can serve to pivot the closure trigger 512 on the handle assembly 500 (FIG. 2) into the unactuated position when the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 7000 is operably coupled to the handle assembly 500 in the above described manner.

[0179] As can be seen in FIG. 24, the distal end 7914 of the proximal closure tube 3910 is attached to the distal closure assembly 8000. The distal end 7914 includes upper and lower tangs 7917, 7918 that are configured to be movably coupled to an end effector closure sleeve or distal closure tube segment 8030. The distal closure tube segment 8030 includes an upper tang 8032 and a lower tang 8034 that protrude proximally from a proximal end thereof. An upper double pivot link 8060 pivotally couples the upper tangs 7917 and 8032 and a lower double pivot link 8064 pivotally couples the lower tangs 7918 and 8034 together in the above-described manner. The distal advancement of the distal closure tube segment 8030 on the anvil mounting portion 7820 will result in closure or pivotal travel of the anvil 7810 towards the elongate channel 7602. In the illustrated arrangement, an upstanding anvil tab 7824 is formed on the anvil mounting portion 7820 and extends into a horseshoe-shaped opening 8038. Opening 8038 defines an opening tab 8039 configured to operably interface with the anvil tab 7824 as the distal closure tube is retracted in the distal direction. Such interaction between the opening tab 8039 and the anvil tab 7824 applies an opening motion to the anvil 7810 to thereby cause the anvil 7810 to move to an open position.

[0180] In the illustrated arrangement, the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 7000 further includes a firing system generally designated as 8100. In various instances, the firing system 8100 includes the firing member assembly 8110 that is supported for axial travel within the spine assembly 7250. In the illustrated embodiment, the firing member assembly 8110 includes an intermediate firing shaft portion 8120 that is configured for attachment to a distal cutting portion or knife bar 8130. The firing member assembly 8110 may also be referred to herein as a "second shaft" and/or a "second shaft assembly". As can be seen in FIG. 24, the intermediate firing shaft portion 8120 may include a longitudinal slot 8124 in a distal end 8122 thereof which can be configured to receive a proximal end 8132 of the knife bar 8130. The longitudinal slot 8124 and the proximal end 8132 of the knife bar 8130 can be sized and configured to permit relative movement therebetween and can comprise a slip joint 8134. The slip joint 8134 can permit the intermediate firing shaft portion 8120 of the firing member assembly 8110 to be moved to articulate the end effector 7500 without moving, or at least substantially moving, the knife bar 8130 as was discussed above. In the illustrated arrangement, a proximal end 8127 of the intermediate firing shaft portion 8120 has a firing shaft attachment lug 8128 formed thereon that is configured to be seated into an attachment cradle (not shown) that is on the distal end of the longitudinally movable drive member (not shown) of the firing drive system 530 within the handle assembly 500 as was discussed above. Such arrangement facilitates the axial movement of the intermediate firing shaft portion 8120 upon actuation of the firing drive system 530. Other attachment configurations may also be employed to couple the intermediate firing shaft portion to other firing drive arrangements (e.g., manually actuated, robotic, etc.).

[0181] Further to the above, the interchangeable tool assembly 7000 can include a shifter assembly 8200 which can be configured to selectively and releasably couple the proximal articulation driver 7310 to the firing member assembly 8110 in the manner described above. In one form, the shifter assembly 8200 includes a lock collar, or lock sleeve 8210, positioned around the intermediate firing shaft portion 8120 of the firing member assembly 8110 wherein the lock sleeve 8210 can be rotated between an engaged position in which the lock sleeve 8210 couples the proximal articulation driver 7310 to the firing member assembly 8110 and a disengaged position in which the proximal articulation driver 7310 is not operably coupled to the firing member assembly 8110. As was discussed above, the intermediate firing shaft portion 8120 of the firing member assembly 8110 is formed with a drive notch 8126. The lock sleeve 8210 comprises a cylindrical, or an at least substantially cylindrical, body that includes a longitudinal aperture that is configured to receive the intermediate firing shaft portion 8120 therethrough. The lock sleeve 8210 can comprise diametrically-opposed, inwardly-facing lock protrusions 8214, 8216 that, when the lock sleeve 8210 is in one position, are engagingly received within corresponding portions of the drive notch 8126 in the intermediate firing shaft portion 8120 and, when in another position, are not received within the drive notch 8126 to thereby permit relative axial motion between the lock sleeve 8210 and the intermediate firing shaft 8120 as was discussed in further detail above. The lock sleeve 8210 further includes a lock member 8218 that is sized to be movably received within a notch 7319 in a proximal end of the proximal articulation driver 7310. When the lock sleeve 8210 is in its engaged position, the lock protrusions 8214, 8216 are positioned within the drive notch 7126 in the intermediate firing shaft portion 8120 such that a distal pushing force and/or a proximal pulling force can be transmitted from the firing member assembly 8110 to the lock sleeve 8210. Such axial pushing or pulling motion is then transmitted from the lock sleeve 8210 to the proximal articulation driver 7310 to thereby articulate the surgical end effector 7500.

[0182] As was discussed above, in the illustrated example, relative movement of the lock sleeve 8210 between its engaged and disengaged positions may be controlled by the shifter assembly 8200 that interfaces with the proximal closure tube 7910 of the proximal closure assembly 7900. The shifter assembly 8200 further includes a shifter key 8240 that is configured to be slidably received within a key groove (similar to the key groove 2217 illustrated in FIG. 8) formed in the outer perimeter of the lock sleeve 8210. Such arrangement enables the shifter key 8240 to move axially with respect to the lock sleeve 8210. Operation of the shifter assembly 8200 may be identical to the operation of the shifter assembly 2200 which was described in further detail above and which will not be repeated again for brevity. Further details, alternative arrangements and drive configurations that may be employed are disclosed in Other

arrangements that may be employed are disclosed in U.S. Patent Application Serial No.

15/385,911, entitled SURGICAL STAPLE/FASTENERS WITH INDEPENDENTLY

ACTUATABLE CLOSING AND FIRING SYSTEMS, U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,086, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541, and U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,196, the as well as other disclosures that have been incorporated herein.

[0183] The interchangeable tool assembly 7000 can comprise a slip ring assembly 7230 which can be configured to conduct electrical power to and/or from the surgical end effector 7500 and/or communicate signals to and/or from the surgical end effector 7500, back to a

microprocessor 560 in the handle assembly 500 or robotic system controller, for example as was discussed above. Further details concerning the slip ring assembly 7230 and associated connectors may be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/803,086, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263541, and U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,196 which have each been herein incorporated by reference in their respective entirety as well as in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/800,067, entitled STAPLE CARTRIDGE TISSUE TfflCKNESS SENSOR SYSTEM, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263552, which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

[0184] The illustrated interchangeable surgical tool assembly 7000 also employs a latch system 7220 for removably coupling the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 7000 to the handle frame 506 of the handle assembly 500, for example. The latch system 7220 may be identical to the latch system 1220 described in detail above. The knife bar 8130 may comprise a laminated beam structure that includes at least two beam layers. Such beam layers may comprise, for example, stainless steel bands that are interconnected by, for example, welding or pinning together at their proximal ends and/or at other locations along their length. In alternative embodiments, the distal ends of the bands are not connected together to allow the laminates or bands to splay relative to each other when the end effector is articulated. Such arrangement permits the knife bar 8130 to be sufficiently flexible to accommodate articulation of the end effector. Various laminated knife bar arrangements are disclosed in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,245, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH CLOSURE STROKE REDUCTION ARRANGEMENTS which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. As can also be seen in FIG. 24, a firing shaft support assembly 8300 is employed to provide lateral support to the knife bar 8130 as it flexes to accommodate articulation of the surgical end effector 7500. Further details concerning the operation of the firing shaft support assembly 8300 and alternative knife bar support arrangements may be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,245, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH CLOSURE STROKE REDUCTION ARRANGEMENTS and U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/019,220, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT WITH ARTICULATING AND AXIALLY TRANSLATABLE END EFFECTOR, which are each hereby incorporated by reference herein in their respective entireties.

[0185] As can also be seen in FIG. 24, a firing member or knife member 8140 is attached to the distal end of the knife bar 8130. The firing member 8140 is configured to operably interface with a sled assembly 8150 that is operably supported within the body 7702 of the surgical staple/fastener cartridge 7700. See FIG. 51. The sled assembly 8150 is slidably displaceable within the surgical staple/fastener cartridge body 7702 from a proximal starting position adjacent a proximal end 7704 of the cartridge body 7702 to an ending position adjacent a distal end 7706 of the cartridge body 7702. The cartridge body 7702 operably supports therein a plurality of staple drivers (not shown) that are aligned in rows on each side of a centrally disposed slot 7708. The centrally disposed slot 7708 enables the firing member 8140 to pass therethrough and cut the tissue that is clamped between the anvil 7810 and the staple cartridge 7700. The drivers are associated with corresponding staple pockets that open through the upper deck surface of the cartridge body 7702. Each of the staple drivers supports one or more surgical staple/fastener or fastener (not shown) thereon. The sled assembly includes a plurality of sloped or wedge-shaped cams wherein each cam corresponds to a particular line of fasteners or drivers located on a side of the slot 7708.

[0186] In one exemplary form, the firing member 8140 comprises a body portion 8142 that supports a knife or tissue cutting portion 8144. See FIG. 51. The body portion 8142 protrudes through an elongate slot 7604 in the elongate channel 7602 and terminates in a foot member 8146 that extends laterally on each side of the body portion 8142. As the firing member 8140 is driven distally through the surgical staple/fastener cartridge 7700, the foot member 8146 rides within a passage 7622 in the elongate channel 7602 that is below the staple cartridge 7700. The tissue cutting portion 8144 is disposed between a distally protruding top nose portion 8143. As can be further seen in FIG. 24, the firing member 8140 may further include two laterally extending top tabs, pins or anvil engagement features 8147. As the firing member 8140 is driven distally, a top portion of the body portion 8142 extends through a centrally disposed anvil slot 7814 and the anvil engagement features 8147 ride on corresponding ledges 7816 formed on each side of the anvil slot 7814. Further details concerning the firing member 8140, sled assembly 8150, and their various alternatives as well as examples of their operation will be discussed in further detail below and may also be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,911, entitled SURGICAL STAPLE/FASTENERS WITH INDEPENDENTLY ACTUATABLE CLOSING AND FIRING SYSTEMS. The interchangeable surgical tool assembly 7000 may be operably coupled to the handle assembly 500 in the manner as described above with respect to the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000.

[0187] As can be appreciated from the foregoing descriptions, the interchangeable surgical tool assemblies described herein may be actuated by the same handle assembly, robotic system or other automated actuation system. All of the above described interchangeable surgical tool assemblies comprise surgical cutting and fastening instruments that have somewhat similar closure and firing components. However, the closure and firing systems and components of each of these tool assemblies have differences that may seem somewhat subtle at first blush, but, as will be further discussed below, such differences can result in significant improvements in the material composition, design, construction, manufacture and use of such tools. As will become apparent as the present Detailed Description proceeds, the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 1000 contains subtle design differences when compared to the other interchangeable surgical tool assemblies 3000, 5000, 7000 described herein that can result in significant improvements in the overall functionality, reliability, and cost of the tool assembly. Moreover, we have discovered that, in some cases, a synergistic effect exists between certain component arrangements employed by the tool assembly 1000 which can further enhance the overall efficiency and functionality of the tool assembly 1000. In order to better understand these differences and improvements, certain components and systems of each of the tool assemblies 1000, 3000, 5000, 7000 will now be further described and compared to each other below.

[0188] For example, each of the interchangeable surgical tool assemblies 1000, 3000, 5000, 7000 must be able to apply a sufficient amount of closure force to cause the jaws to sufficiently clamp the target tissue so as to permit the firing member to properly treat the clamped tissue upon actuation of the firing drive system. For example, in the illustrated assemblies, the respective closure system components must be able to clamp the anvil and surgical

staple/fastener cartridge onto the target tissue to enable the firing member to properly sever the clamped tissue and eject lines of staples or fasteners on each side of the tissue cut line.

Depending upon the thickness and composition of the target tissue, significant closure forces and firing forces are often required. Thus, the closure and firing drive systems in the handle assembly housing, robotic housing, etc. must be able to generate such forces of sufficient magnitude (through the use of a motor or manually generated motion, for example) to sufficiently close the jaws and fire the firing member through the clamped tissue. Such procedures further require that the components within the interchangeable shaft assemblies to be sufficiently robust to accommodate the magnitudes of the forces being transmitted therethrough. In the past, the magnitudes of such forces often dictated that the closure system components, as well as the firing system components, be fabricated from metal or other suitable materials with relatively large cross-sectional thicknesses and of substantial reinforced configurations.

[0189] The tissue loads encountered during the clamping process typically create a large "moment" about the anvil pivot axis PA. The closure system components must be designed to counteract such moment. In various circumstances, for example, a moment about the anvil pivot axis PA in the opposite direction is needed. To maximize the efficiency of the system (e.g., minimize the magnitude of the force applied), the largest practical moment arm is desired.

However, as will be further discussed below, there are trade-offs with other design variables when seeking to establish a large counter moment. For example, there is a balance between the distance from the articulation joint to the first staple and the length of the moment arm for a closure system where the firing and closing systems are separate and distinct. The larger the moment arm of the closure system, the more efficiently it handles clamp loads and tissue compression. However, the distance between the articulation joint and the first staple may have a large impact on the access of the surgical end effector as it is positioned into tight spaces within a laparoscopic environment.

[0190] FIGS. 25-32 illustrate exemplary moment arms for each of the surgical end effectors 1500, 3500, 5500, 7500. Turning first to FIG. 25, as was described above, the anvil trunnions 1822 extend laterally out of each lateral side of the anvil mounting portion 1820 to be received in a corresponding trunnion cradle 1614 formed in the upstanding walls 1612 of the proximal end portion 1610 of the elongate channel 1602. The anvil trunnions 1822 are pivotally retained in their corresponding trunnion cradle 1614 by the channel cap or anvil retainer 1630. The channel cap 1630 includes a pair of attachment lugs 1636 that are configured to be retainingly received within corresponding lug grooves or notches 1616 formed in the upstanding walls 1612 of the proximal end portion 1610 of the elongate channel 1602. Such arrangement constrains the anvil 1810 to only pivot about the pivot axis PAi (see FIG. 3). Under such arrangement, the anvil mounting portion 1820 does not move axially or vertically. As the distal closure tube segment 2030 is advanced in the distal direction DD under a horizontal closure force FHi (FIG. 26), the interaction between an internal cam surface 2036 on the distal closure tube segment 2030 and an anvil cam surface 1821 on the anvil mounting portion 1820 results in the application of a closure force Fci to the anvil cam surface 1821. The closure force Fci comprises the resultant force of the horizontal closure force FHI and a vertical closure force Fyi and is essentially "normal to" or perpendicular to the cam surface 1821 on the anvil mounting portion 1820. See FIG. 26. MAI represents a closure moment arm from the anvil pivot axis PAi (coincident with the center of anvil trunnions 1822) to the point of contact between the internal cam surface 2036 on the distal closure tube segment 2030 and the anvil cam surface 1821 on the anvil mounting portion 1820 when the anvil 1810 has been pivoted to the fully closed position. In one example, the closure moment arm MAI may be approximately 0.415 inches, for example. MAI X FCI = a closure moment CMI that is applied to the anvil mounting portion 1820.

[0191] To ensure that the each side of the tissue cut line is fastened with staples or fasteners extending from the proximal end to the distal end of the tissue cutline, a proximal end portion 1818 of the anvil body 1812 is formed with two tissue stop formations or tissue locating features 1830 that extend downwardly from each lateral side of the anvil body 1812 (only one tissue stop formation 1830 may be seen in FIGS. 25 and 26). When the anvil 1810 is opened to receive the target tissue between the underside of the anvil and the cartridge deck surface, the downwardly extending tissue stop 1830 serve to prevent the target tissue from extending proximally past the proximal most staples/fasteners in the surgical staple/fastener cartridge 1700. If the tissue were to extend proximally beyond the proximal most staples/fasteners, that portion of tissue may be severed by the firing member during the firing process and may not be fastened which may lead to catastrophic results. The downwardly extending tissue stops 1830 may prevent this from happening. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 26, for example, the proximal-most

staple/fastener pockets 1720 are shown in phantom lines relative to the tissue stops 1830. As can be seen in that Figure, the tissue stop 1830 has a downwardly extending portion 1832 and a chamfered portion 1834. The target tissue is contacted by the portions 1832, 1834 to prevent the target tissue from extending proximally beyond the proximal most staples/fasteners that are supported in the proximal most staple/fastener pockets 1720 in the staple/fastener cartridge body 1702.

[0192] Returning again to FIG. 25, as the anvil 1810 is pivoted closed onto the target tissue (not shown) that is positioned between the underside or tissue contacting surface 1813 of the anvil body 1812, the tissue applies tissue forces TFI to the underside 1813 of the anvil body 1812 which cause the anvil 1810 to experience a tissue counter moment CTI that must be overcome by the closure moment CMI established by the closure system components. The example depicted in FIG. 25 illustrates equally distributed tissue forces TFI on the anvil 1810 and a tissue moment arm Μτι established by the clamped tissue (the clamped tissue is not shown in FIG. 25 for clarity purposes). As can be seen in that Figure, in that example, the tissue moment arm Μτι is considerably longer than the closure moment arm MAI (i.e., Μτι > MAI).

[0193] Turning next to FIGS. 27 and 28, as was described above, the anvil trunnions 3822 of the anvil 3810 of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 3000 extend laterally out of each lateral side of the anvil mounting portion 3820 to be received in corresponding trunnion holes 3613 formed in the upstanding walls 3612 of the proximal end portion 3610 of the elongate channel 3602. Such arrangement constrains the anvil 3810 to only pivot about the anvil pivot axis PA2 (see FIG. 18). Under such arrangement, the anvil mounting portion 3820 does not move axially or vertically. As the distal closure tube segment 4030 is advanced in the distal direction DD under a horizontal closure force FH2 (FIG. 28), the interaction between an internal cam surface 4036 on the distal closure tube segment 4030 and an anvil cam surface 3821 on the anvil mounting portion 3820 results in the application of a closure force Fc2 to the anvil cam surface 3821. The closure force Fc2 comprises the resultant force of the horizontal closure force FH2 and a vertical closure force FV2 and is essentially "normal to" or perpendicular to the anvil cam surface 3821 on the anvil mounting portion 3820. See FIG. 28. MA2 represents the closure moment arm from the anvil pivot axis PA2 (center of anvil trunnions 3822) to the point of contact between the internal cam surface 4036 on the distal closure tube 4030 and the anvil cam surface 3821 on the anvil mounting portion 3820 when the anvil 3810 has been pivoted to the fully closed position. In one example, closure moment arm MA2 may be approximately 0.539 inches, for example. MA2 X FC2 = a closure moment CM2 that is applied to the anvil mounting portion 3820.

[0194] In the example depicted in FIGS. 27 and 28, the anvil body 3812 is formed with two tissue stop formations or tissue locating features 3830 that extend downwardly from each lateral side of the anvil body 3812 (only one tissue stop formation 3830 may be seen in FIGS. 27 and 28). When the anvil 3810 is opened to receive the target tissue between the underside of the anvil and the cartridge deck surface, the downwardly extending tissue stop formations 3830 serve to prevent the target tissue from extending proximally past the proximal most

staples/fasteners in the surgical staple/fastener/fastener cartridge 3700. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 28, for example, the proximal-most staple pockets 3720 are shown in phantom lines relative to the tissue stop formations 3830. As can be seen in that Figure, the tissue stop formation 3830 has a downwardly extending portion 3832 and a chamfered portion 3834. The target tissue is contacted by the portions 3832, 3834 to prevent the target tissue from extending proximally beyond the proximal most staples/fasteners that are supported in the proximal-most staple/fastener pockets 3720 in the staple/fastener cartridge body 3702.

[0195] Returning again to FIG. 27, as the anvil 3810 is pivoted closed onto the target tissue (not shown) that is positioned between the underside or tissue contacting surface 3813 of the anvil body 3812, the tissue applies tissue forces TF2 to the underside 3813 of the anvil body 3812 which cause the anvil 3810 to experience a tissue counter moment CT2 that must be overcome by the closure moment CM2 established by the closure system components. The example depicted FIG. 27 illustrates equally distributed tissue forces Tp2 on the anvil 3810 and a tissue moment arm Μχ2 established by the clamped tissue (the clamped tissue is not shown in FIG. 27 for clarity purposes). As can be seen in that Figure, in that example, the tissue moment arm Μχ2 is considerably longer than the closure moment arm MA2 (i.e., Μχ2 > MA2).

[0196] Turning next to FIGS. 29 and 30, as was described above, the anvil trunnions 5822 of the anvil 5810 of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 5000 extend laterally out of each lateral side of the anvil mounting portion 5820 to be received in the corresponding "open-ended" vertical cradle 5613 formed in the upstanding walls 5612 of the proximal end portion 5610 of the elongate channel 5602. In this arrangement, the anvil trunnions 5822 are free to pivot within their respective cradles 5613 as the distal closure tube segment 6030 cammingly contacts the anvil cam surface 5821 on the anvil mounting portion 5820. Under such arrangement, the anvil 5810 does not move axially, but the anvil trunnions 5822 are free to move vertically (arrow V) within their respective cradles 5613. As the distal closure tube segment 6030 is advanced in the distal direction DD under the horizontal closure force FH3 (FIG. 30), the interaction between an internal cam surface 6036 on the distal closure tube segment 6030 and the anvil cam surface 5821 on the anvil mounting portion 5820 results in the application of a closure force Fc3 to the anvil cam surface 5821. The closure force Fc3 comprises the resultant force of the horizontal closure force FH3 and a vertical closure force FV3 and is essentially "normal to" or perpendicular to the anvil cam surface 5821 on the anvil mounting portion 5820. See FIG. 30. MA3 represents the closure moment arm from the anvil pivot axis PA3 (coincident with the center of anvil trunnions 5822) to the point of contact between the internal cam surface 6036 on the distal closure tube 6030 and the anvil cam surface 5821 on the anvil mounting portion 5820 when the anvil 5810 has been pivoted to the closed position. In one example, closure moment arm MA3 may be approximately 0.502 inches, for example. MA3 X FC3 = a closure moment CM3 that is applied to the anvil mounting portion 5820.

[0197] In the example depicted in FIGS. 29 and 30, the anvil body 5812 is formed with two tissue stop formations or tissue locator features 5830 that extend downwardly from each lateral side of the anvil body 5812 (only one tissue stop formation 5830 may be seen in FIGS. 29 and 30). When the anvil 5810 is opened to receive the target tissue between the underside of the anvil and the cartridge deck surface, the downwardly extending tissue stop formations 5830 serve to prevent the target tissue from extending proximally past the proximal most

staples/fasteners in the surgical staple /fastener cartridge 5700. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 29, for example, the proximal-most staple/fastener pockets 5720 are shown in phantom lines relative to the tissue stop formations 5830. As can be seen in that Figure, the tissue stop formation 5830 has a downwardly extending portion 5832 and a chamfered portion 5834. The target tissue is contacted by the portions 5832, 5834 to prevent the target tissue from extending proximally beyond the proximal most staples/fasteners that are supported in the proximal-most staple/fastener pockets 5720 in the staple/fastener cartridge body 5702.

[0198] Returning again to FIG. 29, as the anvil 5810 is pivoted closed onto the target tissue (not shown) that is positioned between the underside 5813 of the anvil body 5812, the tissue applies tissue forces TF3 to the underside or tissue contacting surface 5813 of the anvil body 5812 which cause the anvil 5810 to experience a tissue counter moment CT3 that must be overcome by the closure moment CM3 established by the closure system components. The example depicted in FIG. 29 illustrates equally distributed tissue forces TF3 on the anvil 5810 and a tissue moment arm Μτ3 established by the clamped tissue (the clamped tissue is not shown in FIG. 29 for clarity purposes). As can be seen in that Figure, in that example, the tissue moment arm Μτ3 is considerably longer than the closure moment arm MA3 (i.e., Μτ3 > MA3).

[0199] Turning now to FIGS. 31 and 32, as was described above, the anvil trunnions 7822 of the anvil 7810 of the interchangeable surgical tool assembly 7000 extend laterally out of each lateral side of the anvil mounting portion 7820 to be received in the corresponding "kidney-shaped" opening 7613 formed in the upstanding walls 7612 of the proximal end portion 7610 of the elongate channel 7602. When the anvil 7810 is in a "fully" open position, the anvil trunnions 7822 may generally be located in the bottom portion 7613B of the kidney slot 7613. The anvil 7810 can be moved to a closed position by distally advancing the distal closure tube segment 8030 in the distal direction DD so that the internal cam surface 8036 on the distal end 8035 of the distal closure tube segment 8030 rides up an anvil cam surface 7821 that is formed on the anvil mounting portion 7820 of the anvil 7810. As the internal cam surface 8036 on the distal end 8035 of the distal closure tube segment 8030 is distally advanced along the anvil cam surface 7821 on the anvil mounting portion 7820 under the horizontal closure force FH4 (FIG. 32), the distal closure tube segment 8030 causes the body portion 7812 of the anvil 7810 to pivot and move axially relative to the surgical staple/fastener cartridge 7700 as the anvil trunnions 7822 move upwardly and distally in the kidney slots 7613. When the distal closure tube segment 8030 reaches the end of its closure stroke, the distal end 8035 of the distal closure tube segment 8030 abuts/contacts an abrupt anvil ledge 7823 and serves to position the anvil 7810 so that the forming pockets (not shown) in the underside or tissue contacting surface 7813 of the body portion 7812 are properly aligned with the staples/fasteners in the staple/fastener cartridge 7700. The anvil ledge 7823 is defined between the anvil cam surface 7821 on the anvil mounting

portion 7820 and the anvil body portion 7812. Stated another way, in this arrangement, the anvil cam surface 7821 does not extend to an outermost surface 7817 of the anvil body 7812. When in that position, the anvil trunnions 7822 are located at top portions 7613T of the kidney slots 7613. MA4 represents the moment arm from the anvil pivot axis PA4 (coincident with the center of the anvil trunnions 7822) when the trunnions 7822 are located in the top portions 7613T of the kidney slots 7613 as shown. In one example, the moment arm MA4 may be approximately 0.184 inches, for example. MA4 X FH4 = a closure moment CM4 that is applied to the anvil mounting portion 7820.

[0200] In the example depicted in FIGS. 31 and 32, the anvil body 7812 is formed with two tissue stop formations or tissue locator formations 7830 that extend downwardly from each lateral side of the anvil body 7812 (only one tissue stop formation 7830 may be seen in FIGS. 31 and 32). When the anvil 7810 is opened to receive the target tissue between the underside of the anvil and the cartridge deck surface, the downwardly extending tissue stop formations 7830 serve to prevent the target tissue from extending proximally past the proximal most

staples/fasteners in the surgical staple/fastener cartridge 7700. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 31 , for example, the proximal most staple/fastener pockets 7720 are shown in phantom lines relative to the tissue stop formations 7830. As can be seen in that Figure, the tissue stop formation 7830 has a downwardly extending portion 7832 and a chamfered portion 7834. The target tissue is contacted by the portions 7832, 7834 to prevent the target tissue from extending proximally beyond the proximal most staples/fasteners that are supported in the proximal most staple/fastener pockets 7720 in the staple/fastener cartridge body 7702.

[0201] Returning again to FIG. 31 , as the anvil 7810 is pivoted closed onto the target tissue (not shown) that is positioned between the underside or tissue contacting surface 7813 of the anvil body portion 7812, the tissue applies tissue forces TF4 to the underside 7813 of the anvil body 7812 which cause the anvil 7810 to experience a tissue counter moment CT4 that must be overcome by a closure moment CM4 established by the closure system components. The example depicted FIG. 31 illustrates equally distributed tissue forces Tp4 on the anvil 7810 and a tissue moment arm Μχ4 established by the clamped tissue (the clamped tissue is not shown in FIG. 31 for clarity purposes). As can be seen in that Figure, in that example, the tissue moment arm Μχ4 is considerably longer than the closure moment arm MA4 (i.e., Μχ4 > MA4).

[0202] The illustrated exemplary interchangeable surgical tool assemblies 1000, 3000, 5000, 7000 comprise surgical stapling devices that employ "separate and distinct" closure and firing systems. That is, the closure system employed to close the jaws is separately actuatable from the firing system used to drive the firing member through the surgical staple/fastener cartridge to cut and fasten tissue. These separate and distinct closure and firing systems may be distinguishable from those surgical stapling instruments wherein actuation of the firing system to advance the firing member is required to move the jaws from an open position to a closed position. As will be discussed in further detail below, however, the firing members of some of the interchangeable surgical tool assemblies disclosed herein may also apply additional closure motions to the anvil as the firing member is fired (i.e., distally advanced through the surgical end effector). As can be seen from reference to FIGS. 25-32, in the illustrated examples, MA2 > MA3 > MAI > A4. FIGS. 25, 27, 29 and 31 also illustrate the resistive forces established by the tissue during the closure process. Tp represents the force generated by the tissue when the tissue is clamped between the anvil and the staple cartridge. These forces establish a "counter" moment CT that is applied to the anvil about the point/area where the distal closure tube segment is in camming contact with the anvil cam surface on the anvil mounting portion. In these illustrated examples, the tissue moment arm for each surgical instrument (tool assembly) is generally larger than the closure moment arm for that instrument. It may be appreciated from the difference between a typical tissue moment arm encountered when clamping tissue between the anvil and the surgical staple/fastener cartridge and the closure moment arm of the instrument results in the need for sufficient closure forces to be applied by the distal closure tube segment to the anvil in order to sufficiently close the anvil onto the tissue. Thus, the distal closure tube segment must be sufficiently strong and robust to handle the considerable stresses formed therein during the closure process. To establish a stress state in the distal closure tube segment that more closely resembles a "hoop stress" state instead of a "ring stress" state, the sidewalls of the distal closure tube segment may be thickened so as to contact the side walls and anvil mounting portions of the corresponding elongate channel. Such arrangement may also add strength to the overall hooplike structure of the tube. Maximizing the thickness on the anvil side of the distal closure tube segment may also improve the strength of the tube segment (hoop) while allowing room for a large bearing or cam surface to cam the anvil downward towards the cartridge. U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,911, entitled SURGICAL STAPLE/FASTENERS WITH

INDEPENDENTLY ACTUATABLE CLOSING AND FIRING SYSTEMS discloses several distal closure tube segment configurations which may be employed in the various

interchangeable surgical tool assemblies disclosed herein.

[0203] The forgoing discussion and comparisons may illustrate that closure system designs that have large closure moment arms may lead to improved efficiencies of the closure system components and can reduce the amount of closure forces that are required to achieve full anvil closure onto the tissue. However, as noted above, there may be tradeoffs with other design variables when attempting to maximize the closure moment arm. For example, another desirable attribute relates to "jaw aperture". "Jaw aperture" may refer to a distance JA which is measured from the middle of a distalmost staple or fastener center along a line that is perpendicular to the corresponding distalmost staple forming pocket on the underside or tissue contact surface of the anvil body portion. FIG. 33 illustrates the jaw aperture JAI for the surgical end effector 1500. In the illustrated example, the distalmost staple/fastener pockets 1730 contain the distalmost staples or fasteners (not shown) therein. Each distalmost staple or fastener corresponds to a distalmost staple/fastener forming pocket 1815 (shown in phantom in FIG. 33) that is formed in the underside or tissue contacting surface 1813 of the anvil body 1812. The distance JAI between the distalmost staple/fastener pocket 1730 and the corresponding distalmost staple/fastener forming pocket 1815 is the "jaw aperture" for the surgical end effector 1500. In at least one embodiment, for example, JAI is approximately 1.207 inches. FIG. 34 illustrates the jaw aperture JA2 for the surgical end effector 3500. In the illustrated example, the distalmost staple/fastener pockets 3730 contain the distalmost staples or fasteners (not shown) therein. Each distalmost staple or fastener corresponds to a distalmost staple/fastener forming pocket 3815 that is formed in the underside or tissue contact surface 3813 of the anvil body 3812. The distance JA2 between the distalmost staple/fastener pocket 3730 and the corresponding distalmost staple/fastener forming pocket 3815 is the "jaw aperture" for the surgical end effector 3500. In at least one embodiment, for example, JA2 is approximately 0.781 inches. FIG. 35 illustrates the jaw aperture JA3 for the surgical end effector 5500. In the illustrated example, the distalmost staple/fastener pockets 5730 contain the distalmost staples/fasteners (not shown therein). Each distalmost

staple/fastener corresponds to a distalmost staple/fastener forming pocket 5815 that is formed in the underside or tissue contact surface 5813 of the anvil body 5812. The distance JA3 between the distalmost staple/fastener pocket 5730 and the corresponding distalmost staple/fastener

forming pocket 5815 is the "jaw aperture" for the surgical end effector 5500. In at least one embodiment, for example, JA3 is approximately 0.793 inches. FIG. 36 illustrates the jaw aperture JA4 for the surgical end effector 7500. In the illustrated example, the distalmost staple/fastener pockets 7730 contain the distalmost staples or fasteners (not shown) therein. Each distalmost staple or fastener corresponds to a distalmost staple/fastener forming pocket 7815 that is formed in the underside or tissue contact surface 7813 of the anvil body 7812. The distance JA4 between the distalmost staple/fastener pocket 7730 and the corresponding distalmost staple/fastener forming pocket 7815 is the "jaw aperture" for the surgical end effector 7500. In at least one embodiment, for example, JA4 is approximately 0.717 inches. Thus, for these examples, JAI > JA3 > JA2 > JA4- AS such, comparatively, surgical end effector 1500 has the greatest jaw aperture.

[0204] In those surgical end effector designs that employ separate and distinct closure and firing systems that utilize an axially movable closure ring or distal closure tube segment such as the examples described above, the interrelationships between the anvil or jaw pivot axis PA and the distal end of the distal closure tube segment as well as the robustness of the anvil mounting portion may determine the magnitude of the jaw aperture that is attainable for each specific end effector design. These interrelationships may be better appreciated from reference to FIG. 37, for example. FIG. 37 depicts a surgical end effector 1500R that employs an anvil 1810R that has an anvil mounting portion 1820R that is shown in solid lines. The anvil mounting portion 1820R includes anvil trunnions 1822R that define a reference pivot axis PAR about which the anvil mounting portion 1820R may pivot relative to an elongate channel 1602R. The surgical end effector 1500R also employs a distal closure tube segment 2030R that has a distal end 2035R that is configured to cammingly contact the anvil mounting portion 1820R in the various manners discussed above. A surgical staple/fastener cartridge 1700R is supported in the elongate channel 1602R and has a cartridge deck surface or tissue contact surface 171 OR. FIG. 37 depicts a distance Dp between the reference pivot axis PAR and the distal end 2035R of the distal closure tube segment 203 OR. FIG. 37 illustrates the anvil 181 OR in solid lines. The anvil body 1812R is in its maximum open position when the distal closure tube segment 203 OR is in its proximal most starting position relative to the anvil mounting portion 1820R. The maximum aperture angle APAR for that configuration is approximately ten degrees, for example. This aperture angle APAR is typical for many end effector arrangements. In another end effector arrangement, the aperture angle is 12.25 degrees. In one arrangement, for example, DP may be approximately 0.200 inches. To attain a larger aperture angle APARI of, for example, twenty-two degrees, if the relationship between the distal end 2035R of the distal closure tube segment 203 OR and the reference pivot axis PAR remains unchanged, then a cross-sectional width M of an anvil mounting portion 1820Ri must undesirably be decreased. The anvil 1810Ri is illustrated in phantom lines. As can be seen in that Figure, an abrupt ledge must be formed between the anvil body 1812Ri and the anvil mounting portion 1820Ri such that the cross-sectional width thereof is reduced. The aperture angle APARI is measured from the underside 1813Ri of the anvil body 1812Ri and the deck surface 171 OR of the surgical staple/fastener cartridge 1700R. Such reduction in robustness of the anvil mounting portion of the anvil may lead to reduced anvil reliability and is less desirable than anvils that have anvil mounting portions with larger cross-sectional profiles.

[0205] Referring now to FIGS. 38 and 39, increases in jaw aperture (or aperture angle) may be more easily achieved as the pivot or pivot axis PA moves closer to the distal end of the starting or proximal position of the distal closure tube segment. FIG. 38 illustrates a surgical end effector 1500' that is substantially similar to surgical end effector 1500, except for the location of the pivot axis PA' relative to the distal end 2035 of the distal closure tube segment 2030. As can be seen in that Figure, the distance between the pivot axis PA' and the distal end 2035 of the distal closure tube segment 2030 when the distal closure tube segment 2030 is in its proximal-most starting position is represented by DP' and the aperture angle is APA. Stated another way, when the distal closure tube segment 2030 is in its starting position that corresponds with the fully open position of the anvil 1810, the distal end 2035 thereof is on a reference plane RF that is perpendicular to said shaft axis SA. The distance between the pivot axis PA' and the reference plane RF' measured along a line that is perpendicular to the reference plane RF' and extends through the pivot axis PA' is DP'. In at least one arrangement, DP' is approximately 0.200 inches and the aperture angle APA may be approximately 10°.

[0206] FIG. 38 illustrates the aperture angle APA of a surgical end effector 1500' with a distance DP' between the reference pivot axis PA' and the distal end 2035 of the distal closure tube segment 2030. Turning next to FIG. 39, as can be seen in that Figure, the distance DP between the pivot axis PA and the reference plane RF upon which the distal end 2035 of the distal closure tube segment 2030 is located when the distal closure tube segment 2030 is in its proximal most starting position is less than distance DP' and the aperture angle APAi is greater than APA. For example, in at least one embodiment, the distance DP is approximately 0.090 inches and the aperture angle APAi is approximately twenty two degrees. Thus, by moving the pivot axis PA closer to the distal end of the distal closure tube segment when the distal closure tube segment is in its proximal most starting position, the jaw aperture may be significantly increased without the need to reduce the cross-sectional width of the anvil mounting position. This may represent a significant improvement over other surgical end effector arrangements. In various circumstances, the center of the anvil trunnions 1822 may ideally be located between 0.010 - 0.060 inches from the distal end 2035 of the distal closure tube segment 2030 when the distal closure tube segment is in the starting (proximal most) position. A maximum distance for large jaw aperture applications may be, for example, 0.090 inches. As can also be seen in FIG. 39, when the anvil 1810 is in its fully open position as shown, the downwardly extending portion 1832 of the tissue stop 1830 generally stops at the staple cartridge deck surface 1710 to prevent any proximal movement of the target tissue during clamping.

[0207] FIGS. 40 and 41 illustrate tissue stop or tissue locator arrangements 1830 employed on one form of the surgical end effector 1500. As indicated above, the tissue stops 1830 comprise a downwardly extending portion 1832 and a chamfered portion 1834. The downwardly extending portion 1832 comprises a distal edge 1833 that terminates in a distal corner portion 1835. FIG. 40 illustrates the anvil 1810 in its fully open position. The underside 1813 of the anvil body 1812 is positioned at an aperture angle APAi. In at least one arrangement, the aperture angle APAi is greater than 12.25 degrees (12.25°) and may be as large as eighteen degrees (18°). When in that fully open position, the surgical end effector 1500 may further have a proximal aperture PAPPI that in at least one arrangement may be approximately 0.254 inches, for example. The proximal aperture defines how much tissue can be positioned between the proximal portions of the jaws (anvil and cartridge). A large proximal aperture may be most advantageous, for example, when cutting and fastening lung tissue which may be partially inflated when being introduced between the anvil and cartridge. The proximal aperture may be measured from the center of the proximal most fastener pocket or pocket pair directly vertical to the underside or tissue contact surface on the anvil body.

[0208] When the anvil 1810 is in the fully opened position as shown in FIG. 40, the distal corner 1835 does not extend above the cartridge deck surface 1710 so as to prevent tissue from moving proximal to the proximal most staples in the proximal most staple pockets 1720. In at least one embodiment, an upstanding channel stop portion 1619 may extend upwardly from the side walls of the elongate channel 1602 so as to coincide with each corresponding tissue stop 1830 to further prevent any proximal infiltration of tissue between the tissue stop 1830 and the channel stop portion 1619. FIG. 41 illustrates the anvil 1810 in a fully closed position. When in that position, the distal edges 1833 of the tissue stops 1830 are approximately aligned or coincident with the locations of the proximal most staples/fasteners in the staple/fastener cartridge 1700. The distance from the articulation axis AAi to the proximal most

staples/fasteners is identified as TSDI. In one arrangement, TSDI is approximately 1.044 inches, for example. When the anvil 1810 is fully closed, the tissue stops 1830 may be sized and shaped relative to the proximal end portion 1610 of the elongate channel 1602 so as to facilitate easy insertion through a correspondingly sized standard trocar. In at least one example, the tissue stops 1830 of the anvil 1810 are sized and shaped relative to the elongate channel 1602 so as to permit the surgical end effector 1500 to be inserted through a conventional 12mm trocar.

[0209] FIGS. 42 and 43 illustrate tissue stop arrangements 3830 employed on one form of the surgical end effector 3500. As indicated above, the tissue stops 3830 comprise a downwardly extending portion 3832 and a chamfered portion 3834. The downwardly extending portion 3832 comprises a distal edge 3833 that terminates in a distal corner portion 3835. FIG. 42 illustrates the anvil 3810 in its fully open position. The underside 3813 of the anvil body 3812 is positioned at an aperture angle APA2. In at least one arrangement, the aperture angle APA2 is approximately thirteen and one half degrees (13.5°). When in that fully open position, the surgical end effector 3500 may further have a proximal aperture PAPP2 that in at least one arrangement may be approximately 0.242 inches, for example. When the anvil 3810 is in the fully opened position as shown in FIG. 42, the distal corner 3835 does not extend above the cartridge deck surface 3710 so as to prevent tissue from moving proximal to the proximal most staples/fasteners in the proximal most staple/fastener pockets 3720. FIG. 43 illustrates the anvil 3810 in a fully closed position. When in that position, the distal edges 3833 of the tissue stops 3830 are approximately aligned or coincident with the locations of the proximal most staples/fasteners in the staple/fastener cartridge 3700. The distance from the articulation axis AA2 to the proximal most staples/fasteners is identified as TSDZ In one arrangement, TSD2 is approximately 1.318 inches, for example.

[0210] FIGS. 44 and 45 illustrate tissue stop arrangements 5830 employed on one form of the surgical end effector 5500. As indicated above, the tissue stops 5830 comprise a downwardly extending portion 5832 and a chamfered portion 5834. The downwardly extending portion 5832 comprises a distal edge 5833 that terminates in a distal corner portion 5835. FIG. 44 illustrates the anvil 5810 in its fully open position. The underside 5813 of the anvil body 5812 is positioned at an aperture angle APA3. In at least one arrangement, the aperture angle APA3 is approximately eight degrees (8°). When in that fully open position, the surgical end effector 5500 may further have a proximal aperture PAPP3 that in at least one arrangement may be approximately 0.226 inches, for example. When the anvil 5810 is in the fully opened position as shown in FIG. 44, the distal corner 3835 extends slightly above the cartridge deck surface 5710. FIG. 45 illustrates the anvil 5810 in a fully closed position. When in that position, the distal edges 5833 of the tissue stops 5830 are approximately aligned or coincident with the locations of the proximal most staples/fasteners in the staple/fastener cartridge 5700. The distance from the articulation axis AA3 to the proximal most staples/fasteners is identified as TSD3. In one arrangement, TSD3 is approximately 1.664 inches, for example.

[0211] FIGS. 46 and 47 illustrate tissue stop arrangements 7830 employed on one form of the surgical end effector 7500. As indicated above, the tissue stops 7830 comprise a downwardly extending portion 7832 and a chamfered portion 7834. The downwardly extending portion 7832 comprises a distal edge 7833 that terminates in a distal corner portion 7835. FIG. 46 illustrates the anvil 7810 in its fully open position. The underside 7813 of the anvil body portion 7812 is positioned at an aperture angle APA4. In at least one arrangement, the aperture angle APA4 is approximately ten degrees (10°). When in that fully open position, the surgical end effector 7500 may further have a proximal aperture PAPp4that in at least one arrangement may be approximately 0.188 inches, for example. When the anvil 7810 is in the fully opened position as shown in FIG. 46, the distal corner portion 7835 extends slightly below the cartridge deck surface 7710 so as to prevent tissue from getting proximal to the proximal most staples/fasteners in the proximal most staple pockets 7720. FIG. 47 illustrates the anvil 7810 in a fully closed position. When in that position, the distal edges 7833 of the tissue stops 7830 is approximately aligned or coincident with the locations of the proximal most staples/fasteners in the

staple/fastener cartridge 7700. The distance from the articulation axis AA4 to the proximal most staples/fasteners is identified as TSD4. In one arrangement, TSD4 is approximately 1.686 inches, for example.

[0212] In various circumstances, the relationships of the firing member to the articulation axis AA as well as to the jaw pivot axis PA about which the anvil pivots may bear upon the length of the articulation joint arrangement. Of course, longer articulation joint arrangements may detrimentally affect the end effector's maneuverability within tight spaces and also limit the magnitude of the jaw aperture that may ultimately be obtained by the end effector. FIG. 48 illustrates the surgical end effector 1500 in a fully open position. That is, the anvil 1810 has been pivoted to its fully open position and the firing member 2140 is in its home or starting position. The distance between the distal end of each of the anvil engagement features 2147 and the articulation axis AAi is represented by AJDi. In at least one example, AJDi is approximately 0.517 inches. By way of comparison and turning to FIG. 49, the distance AJD2 from the distal end of each of the anvil engagement features 4147 and the articulation axis AA2 is, in at least one example, is approximately 0.744 inches. Referring to FIG. 50, the distance AJD3 from the distal end of each of the anvil engagement features 6147 and the articulation axis AA3 is, in at least one example, is approximately 1.045 inches. Turning to FIG. 51 , the distance AJD4 from the distal end of each of the anvil engagement features 8147 and the articulation axis AA4 is, in at least one example, is approximately 1.096 inches. Thus, as can be seen from this comparison, the articulation joint arrangement (as measured by distances AJDi, AJD2, AJD3, AJD4) of the surgical end effector 1500 is more compact and thus may be more maneuverable than the surgical end effectors 3500, 5500 and 7500 in at least some surgical applications.

[0213] Another factor that may affect the length of the joint arrangement relates to the location of the firing member relative to the anvil pivot axis PA about which the anvil pivots. For example, FIG. 52 illustrates the anvil 1810 of surgical end effector 1500 in its fully open position. When in that position, the firing member 2140 is in its parked or "starting position". As can be seen in that Figure, one useful metric for comparing the "compactness" of the articulation joint arrangement is the proximal tab distance TDi between the proximal end 2149 of each of the top anvil engagement features 2147 and the anvil pivot axis PAi. In at least one preferred arrangement, the proximal tab distance TDi is approximately greater than thirty-five percent (35%) of the overall length TLi of each of the anvil engagement features 2147 when the anvil 1810 is in a fully open position and the firing member 2140 is in its proximal most or

starting position. Stated another way, when the anvil 1810 and the firing member 2140 are in the above described positions, at least 35% of each of the anvil engagement features 2147 extends proximally past the anvil pivot axis PAi. FIG. 53 illustrates the end effector 1500 with the anvil 1810 in the closed position and the firing member 2140 in its proximal most or starting position. As can be seen in that Figure, at least 35% of each of the anvil engagement features 2147 extends proximally past the anvil pivot axis PAi.

[0214] FIG. 54 illustrates the position of the firing member 4140 of the surgical end effector 3500 when the anvil 3810 is in its fully open position and the firing member 4140 is in its proximal most or starting position. As can be seen in that Figure, each of the anvil engagement features 4147 are completely distal to the anvil pivot axis PA2 thereby resulting in a longer articulation joint arrangement. Thus, the distance TD2, is the distal distance between the proximal ends 4149 of the anvil engagement features 4147 and the anvil pivot axis PA2. FIG. 55 illustrates the position of the firing member 6140 of the surgical end effector 5500 when the anvil 5810 is in its fully open position and the firing member 6140 is in its proximal most or starting position. As can be seen in that Figure, each of the anvil engagement features 6147 are completely distal to the anvil pivot axis PA3 thereby resulting in a longer articulation joint arrangement. Thus, the distance TD3, is the distal distance between the proximal ends 6149 of the anvil engagement features 6147 and the anvil pivot axis PA3. FIG. 56 illustrates the position of the firing member 8140 of the surgical end effector 7500 when the anvil 7810 is in its fully open position and the firing member 8140 is in its proximal-most or starting position. As can be seen in that Figure, each of the anvil engagement features 8147 are completely distal to the anvil pivot axis PA4 thereby resulting in a longer articulation joint arrangement. Thus, the distance TD4, is the distal distance between the proximal ends 8149 of the anvil engagement features 8147 and the anvil pivot axis PA . For comparison purposes, the surgical end effector 1500 is the only surgical end effector wherein a portion of the anvil engagement features on the firing member extend proximally past the anvil pivot axis when the firing member is in its proximal most or starting position. The anvil engagement features of each of the firing members of the surgical end effectors 3500, 5500 and 7500 are completely distal to their respective anvil pivot axes when the firing members are in their proximal most or starting position. Taking this comparison further, for example, the surgical end effector 1500 is the only surgical end effector wherein at least thirty-five percent (35%) of the anvil engagement features reside between the anvil pivot axis and the articulation axis when the firing member is in its starting position and the anvil is fully opened. Similar comparisons may be drawn from comparing the same distances between the location of the lower channel engagement features on the firing member to the jaw pivot axis when the firing member is in its proximal most starting position.

[0215] Another metric that may be used to assess the compactness of the articulation joint arrangement may comprise comparing the ratio between the distance from the articulation axis to the distal end of the anvil engagement features on the firing member (distances AJDi, AJD2, AJD3, AJD4 - FIGS. 48-51) relative to the distance from the articulation axis to the distal edge of the tissue stops or the proximal most staple/fastener (distances TSDi, TSD2, TSD3, TSD4 - FIGS. 41, 43, 45, 47) for each end effector. For example, in a preferred arrangement, AJD/TSD < 0.500. The ratio of AJD/TSD may be referred to herein as the "compactness ratio" of that particular surgical end effector. In one arrangement, for example, for end effector 1500, AJD1/TSD1 = 0.517 inches/1.044 inches = 0.495. In one illustrated example for end effector 3500, AJD2/TSD2 = 0.744 inches/1.318 inches = 0.564. In one illustrated example for end effector 5500, AJD3/TSD3 = 1.045 inches/1.664 inches = 0.628. In one illustrated arrangement, AJD4/TSD4 = 1.096 inches/1.686 inches = .650. Thus, in at least one preferred arrangement wherein the articulation joint arrangement is the most compact, has the largest jaw aperture and is the most maneuverable, the ratio between the distance from the articulation axis to the proximal end of the anvil engagement features on the firing member and the distance from the articulation axis to the distal edge of the tissue stops or the proximal most staple/fastener is approximately less than 0.500.

[0216] FIGS. 57-61 illustrate a progressive closure arrangement for moving the anvil 1810 of the surgical end effector 1500 from a fully open position to a closed position and then to an over closed position. FIGS. 57 and 58 illustrate the anvil 1810 in a closed position. In both of those Figures, the distal closure tube segment 2030 has been advanced in the distal direction DD to its fully closed position. As was discussed above, the interaction between an internal cam surface 2036 on the distal closure tube segment 2030 and an anvil cam surface 1821 on the anvil mounting portion 1820 causes the anvil 1810 to pivot to the closed position. As can be seen in FIG. 58, the staple forming underside or tissue contacting surface 1813 of the anvil body 1812 may be relatively parallel and spaced relative to the cartridge deck surface 1710 of the surgical staple/fastener cartridge. When in that initial closed position, the firing member 2140 is in its starting position as can be seen in FIG. 57. When in that position, the anvil engagement features 2147 of the firing member 2140 have not engaged the anvil 1810 but are in substantial horizontal alignment with the ledges 1816 formed in the anvil 1810. In at least one arrangement, a ramp segment 1829 is formed proximal to each of the horizontal anvil ledges 1816. FIG. 59 illustrates the position of the firing member 2140 after it has been distally advanced to a point wherein the anvil engagement features 2147 have initially engaged the horizontal anvil ledges 1816 on the anvil 1810 and FIG. 61 illustrates the position of the firing member 2140 and the anvil 1810 such that the anvil engagement features are in full engagement with the anvil ledges 1816 to apply an "over closure" force to the anvil 1810 as the firing member 2140 continues to be distally advanced. In at least one arrangement as illustrated in FIG. 61, for example, when the anvil 1810 is in the over closed position (with no tissue being clamped between the anvil and the cartridge), the distal portion of the anvil 1810 will contact with the cartridge deck surface 1710. As a result of such configuration, the force required to distally advance the firing member from its starting position to its ending position within the end effector may generally be less than other surgical end effector arrangements that do not employ such progressive closure arrangements.

[0217] FIG. 62 illustrates the anvil 1810 of the surgical end effector 1500 in a fully opened position. As was discussed above, each of the anvil trunnions 1822 are received in a

corresponding trunnion cradle 1614 that is formed in the upstanding walls 1612 of the proximal end portion 1610 of the elongate channel 1602. The anvil trunnions 1822 are pivotally retained in their corresponding trunnion cradle 1614 by the channel cap or anvil retainer 1630. The channel cap 1630 includes a pair of attachment lugs 1636 that are configured to be retainingly received within corresponding lug grooves or notches 1616 formed in the upstanding walls 1612 of the proximal end portion 1610 of the elongate channel 1602. During a portion of the closure stroke for the anvil 1810 on thick tissue, counterforces established during the tissue clamping process seek to push the anvil trunnions 1822 out of their respective trunnion cradles 1614. The channel cap 1630 includes a pair of slot cap portions 1632 that correspond to each trunnion cradle 1614. When the channel cap 1630 is installed onto the proximal end portion 1610 of the elongate channel 1602, each slot cap portion 1632 serves to retain the anvil trunnions 1822 within their respective trunnion cradles 1614 during the closure process. As can be seen in FIGS. 62 and 63, each slot cap portion 1632 may have an arcuate bottom portion 1638 that is configured to pivotally receive the corresponding anvil trunnion 1822. Each slot cap 1632 may

have a wedge shape to completely block the open end of the trunnion cradles 1614. Such channel cap arrangement 1630 may facilitate ease of assembly of the anvil 1810 to the elongate channel 1602. Once the anvil trunnions 1822 have been placed into their respective trunnion cradles 1614, the channel cap 1630 may then be installed as shown. In at least one arrangement, the distal closure tube segment 2030 serves to retain the channel cap 1630 in position which serves to prevent the anvil trunnions 1822 from moving vertically in their respective trunnion cradles 1614 during closure as shown in FIG. 63. In another arrangement, the attachment lugs 1636 may be frictionally retained within their respective notches 1616 or otherwise be retained therein by adhesive or other fastening means.

[0218] The four interchangeable tool assemblies 1000, 3000, 5000 and 7000 employ different jaw opening configurations to facilitate moving the anvil from a closed position to a fully open position. For example, the distal closure tube segment 4030 of the interchangeable tool assembly 3000 includes positive jaw or anvil opening features 4040 that correspond to each of the sidewalls of the distal closure tube segment 4030 and protrude inwardly therefrom. The positive anvil opening features 4040 extend inwardly through corresponding openings in the transitional sidewalls and may be welded to the distal closure tube segment 4030. In this arrangement, the positive anvil opening features are axially aligned with each other and are configured to operably interface with corresponding opening ramps formed on the undersides of the anvil mounting portion 3820. When the anvil 3810 and the distal closure tube segment 4030 are in their fully closed positions, each of the positive anvil opening features 4040 is located in a cavity that is established between the anvil opening ramps and the bottom portion of the elongate channel 3602. When in that position, the positive anvil opening features 4040 do not contact the anvil mounting portion 3820 or at least may not apply any significant opening motions or forces thereto. When the distal closure tube segment 4030 is moved in the proximal direction, the anvil opening features 4040 are brought into contact with the anvil opening ramps to cause the anvil 3810 to pivot to an open position. Further details regarding the positive anvil opening features 4040 may be found in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,911, entitled SURGICAL STAPLE/FASTENERS WITH INDEPENDENTLY ACTUATABLE CLOSING AND FIRING SYSTEMS.

[0219] With regard to the surgical end effector 5500 of tool assembly 5000, the distal closure tube segment 6030 includes two inwardly extending positive anvil opening tabs 6038 that may

be punched into the wall of the distal closure tube segment 6030. See FIG. 21. In the illustrated arrangement, the tabs 6038 are axially aligned with each other and are configured to contact corresponding upstanding anvil tails 5827 formed on the anvil mounting portion 5820. When the distal closure tube segment 6030 is moved in the proximal direction, the anvil opening features 6038 are brought into contact with the anvil tails 5827 to cause the anvil 5810 to pivot to an open position.

[0220] With regard to the surgical end effector 7500 of the tool assembly 7000, a positive anvil opening motion is applied to the anvil 7810 by the distal closure tube segment 8030 when the distal closure tube segment 8030 is moved proximally. As was discussed above, an upstanding anvil tab 7824 is formed on the anvil mounting portion 7820 and extends into the horseshoe-shaped opening 8038 in the distal closure tube segment 8030. See FIG. 24. Opening 8038 defines an opening tab 8039 that is configured to operably interface with the anvil tab 7824 as the distal closure tube segment 8030 is retracted in the distal direction. Such interaction between the opening tab 8039 and the anvil tab 7824 applies an opening motion to the anvil 7810 to thereby cause the anvil 7810 to move to an open position.

[0221] With regard to surgical end effector 1500 of the interchangeable tool assembly 1000, in the illustrated example, the distal closure tube segment 2030 employs two axially offset, proximal and distal positive jaw opening features 2040 and 2050 as illustrated in FIGS. 64-77. As can be seen in FIGS. 64 and 65, the proximal positive jaw opening feature 2040 is axially proximal to the distal positive jaw opening feature 2050 by an axial offset distance AOF. In FIG. 65, the proximal positive jaw opening feature 2040 is located on the right side (as viewed by a user of the tool assembly) of the shaft axis SAi. FIGS. 66, 72 and 73 illustrate the position of the proximal positive jaw opening feature 2040 when the anvil 1810 is in the closed position. As can be most particularly seen in FIG. 66, when in that position, the proximal positive jaw opening feature 2040 is in a right side or first relieved area 1825 formed in the anvil mounting portion 1820. FIGS. 69, 72 and 73 illustrate the position of the distal positive jaw opening feature 2050 when the anvil 1810 is in the closed position. As can be most particularly seen in FIG. 69, when in that position, the distal positive jaw opening feature is in contact with a stepped portion 1823 of the anvil cam surface 1821.

[0222] To commence the opening process, the jaw closure system is actuated to move the distal closure tube segment 2030 in the proximal direction PD. As the distal closure tube

segment 2030 is moved in the proximal direction PD, the proximal positive jaw opening feature 2040 contacts a first or right side jaw opening cam surface 1826 and begins to apply a jaw opening motion to the anvil 1810. See FIGS. 67, 74 and 75. As can be seen in FIGS. 70, 74 and 75, during this proximal movement of the distal closure tube segment 2030, the distal positive jaw opening feature 2050 is axially movable within a second or left relief area 1840 formed in the anvil mounting portion 1820. Thus, while the proximal positive jaw opening feature 2040 is applying a first or initial opening motion to the anvil mounting portion 1820, the distal positive jaw opening feature 2050 is not applying any significant opening motion to the anvil 1810. Further proximal motion of the distal closure tube segment 2030 will result in the distal positive jaw opening feature 2050 contacting a left anvil open tab 1842 and the proximal positive jaw opening feature 2040 disengaging the jaw opening cam surface 1826. Thus, the proximal positive jaw opening feature 2040 has disengaged the anvil mounting portion 1820 and is not applying any further opening motion thereto while the distal positive jaw opening feature 2050 is applying a second jaw opening motion to the anvil mounting portion 1820 to pivot the anvil 1810 to a fully open position illustrated in FIGS. 68, 71, 76 and 77.

[0223] FIG. 78 depicts the anvil or jaw opening process employed by the interchangeable tool assembly 1000 in graphical form. As can be seen in that Figure, the left or vertical axis of the graph represents the amount of jaw aperture from about 0° to about 22° ("anvil aperture angle") and the bottom or horizontal axis represents the approximate proximal axial travel of the distal closure tube segment 2030 from a position wherein the anvil is fully closed to a position wherein the anvil is fully open. As indicated above, the "anvil aperture angle" or "jaw aperture angle" may represent the angle between the cartridge deck surface or tissue contacting surface on the surgical fastener cartridge or "first jaw" and the fastener forming surface or tissue contacting surface on the anvil or "second jaw". When the anvil is fully closed, the anvil aperture angle may be approximately 0°, for example. In the illustrated arrangement, the distal closure tube segment 2030 can move proximally from a first position (1850 on the graph) that corresponds to the fully closed position a proximal distance of, for example, about 0.040 inches to a first intermediate position (1852 on the graph) before the proximal positive jaw opening feature 2040 begins to apply a first jaw opening motion to the anvil 1810. As the distal closure tube segment 2030 continues to move proximally from the first intermediate position 1852 to a second intermediate position (1854 on the graph) a further proximal distance of, for example, about 0.040 inches to about 0.120 inches, the proximal positive jaw opening feature 2040 moves the anvil 1810 through an anvil aperture angle from 0° to about 10°. While the distal closure tube segment 2030 continues to travel proximally from the second intermediate position 1854 to a third intermediate position (1856 on the graph) a further proximal distance (from about 0.120 inches to about 0.140 inches), the anvil remains at about a 10° anvil aperture angle. Further proximal movement of the distal closure tube segment 2030 from the third intermediate position 1856 to a fourth intermediate position (1858 on the graph) a proximal distance (from about 0.140 inches to about 0.240 inches), the distal positive jaw opening feature 2050 begins to apply a second jaw opening motion to the anvil 1810. As the distal closure tube segment 2030 continues to move proximally from the third intermediate position 1856 to a fourth intermediate position (1858 on the graph) a further proximal distance (from, for example, about 0.140 inches to about 0.240 inches), the distal positive jaw opening feature 2050 moves the anvil 1810 relative to the elongate channel 1602 such that the anvil aperture angle increases from about 10° to about 22°, for example. While the distal closure tube segment 2030 continues to travel proximally from the fourth intermediate position 1858 to a final proximal position (1860 on the graph) a further proximal distance (from about 0.240 inches to about 0.260 inches, for example), the anvil 1810 remains at a fully open position with an anvil aperture angle of approximately 22°.

[0224] The closure process of the illustrated example of the interchangeable tool assembly 1000 may be understood from reference to FIGS. 67-69 and 70-72, as well as FIG. 78. FIGS. 68 and 71 illustrate the anvil 1810 in its fully open position. As can be seen in those Figures, the proximal positive jaw opening feature 2040 is out of contact with the anvil mounting portion 1820 and the distal positive jaw opening feature 2050 is in contact with the left anvil open tab 1842. When the anvil closure process is commenced, the closure drive system is actuated to move the distal closure tube segment 2030 in the distal direction DD. As the distal closure tube segment moves from the final proximal position 1860 to the fourth intermediate position 1858 (FIG. 78), the anvil 1810 remains in its fully open position. Thus, once the closure process is commenced, in at least one example, the distal closure tube segment 2030 may move distally a first or initial predetermined axial closure distance before the anvil 1810 begins to move. Stated another way, the distal closure tube segment may move the first predetermined axial closure distance before any closure motion is applied to the anvil 1810. In at least one example, the first or initial predetermined closure distance may be approximately 0.020 inches. As the distal

closure tube segment 2030 continues to move distally through an intermediate axial closure distance, the distal end 2035 of the distal closure tube segment 2030 begins to contact the anvil cam surface 1821 on the anvil mounting portion 1820 (FIGS. 67 and 70) until the internal cam surface 2036 on the distal closure tube segment 2030 begins to cammingly contact the anvil cam surface 1821. As the internal cam surface 2036 travels up the anvil cam surface 1821, the anvil 1810 is pivoted to the fully closed position. The anvil cam surface 1821 and the internal cam surface 2036 may be configured to permit further distal travel of the distal closure tube segment 2030 from, for example, first intermediate point or position 1852 to the first position 1850 (FIG. 78). Thus, in at least one example, the distal closure tube segment 2030 may move distally a final predetermined axial closure distance during the closing process after the anvil 1810 has attained its fully closed position. In at least one example, the final predetermined axial closure distance may be approximately 0.040 inches.

[0225] In those surgical stapling devices that employ a firing member assembly that comprises a firing member that has a tissue cutting surface, it may be desirable for the firing system and portions of the end effector to be configured in such a way so as to prevent the inadvertent advancement of the firing member unless an unspent staple cartridge is properly supported in the end effector. If, for example, no staple cartridge is present at all and the firing member is distally advanced through the end effector, the tissue would be severed, but not stapled. Similarly, if a spent staple cartridge (i.e., a staple cartridge wherein at least some of the staples have already been fired therefrom) is present in the end effector and the firing member is advanced, the tissue would be severed, but may not be completely stapled, if at all. It will be appreciated that such occurrences could lead to undesirable catastrophic results during the surgical procedure. U.S. Patent No. 6,988,649 entitled SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENT HAVING A SPENT CARTRIDGE LOCKOUT, U.S. Patent No. 7,044,352 entitled SURGICAL STAPLING

INSTRUMENT HAVING A SINGLE LOCKOUT MECHANISM FOR PREVENTION OF FIRING, U.S. Patent No. 7,380,695 entitled SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENT HAVING A SINGLE LOCKOUT MECHANISM FOR PREVENTION OF FIRING, U.S. Patent

Application Publication No. 2016-0367247-A1, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING

INSTRUMENTS WITH LOCKOUT ARRANGEMENTS FOR PREVENTING FIRING SYSTEM ACTUATION WHEN A CARTRIDGE IS SPENT OR MISSING and U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 15/385,958, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH LOCKOUT

ARRANGEMENTS FOR PREVENTING FIRING SYSTEM ACTUATION UNLESS AN UNSPENT STAPLE CARTRIDGE IS PRESENT each disclose various firing member lockout arrangements. Each of those references is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety herein.

[0226] Referring to FIGS. 60A-60I, there is shown a surgical end effector 9010 that comprises a portion of a surgical tool assembly 9000 that comprises a first jaw 9020 and a second jaw 9120. In the illustrated arrangement, for example, the first jaw 9020 comprises an elongate channel 9022 that is configured to removably and operably support a surgical staple cartridge 9600 therein. The elongate channel 9022 is attached to an elongate shaft assembly 9300 of the surgical tool assembly. In the arrangement depicted in FIGS. 60C and 60D, for example, the elongate channel 9022 is pivotally coupled to a spine assembly 9310 of the elongate shaft assembly 9300 for selective articulation relative thereto. See FIGS. 60D, 60E, 60H and 601. The elongate shaft assembly 9300 may define a shaft axis SA. The second jaw 9120 comprises an anvil 9122 that is movably supported on the elongate channel 9022 and which is movable between open and closed positions by the closure system 9400. The anvil 9122 includes an anvil body 9124 and an anvil mounting portion 9126 that is pivotally supported for pivotal travel relative to the proximal end 9024 of the elongate channel 9022. The closure system 9400 may include, for example, an axially movable distal closure tube segment 9410 that is configured to cammingly engage a cam surface 9128 on the anvil mounting portion 9126 when the distal closure tube segment 9410 is axially advanced in the distal direction DD. The distal closure tube segment 9410 may also be configured to apply opening motions to the anvil mounting portion 9126 when the distal closure tube segment 9410 is moved in the proximal direction PD. See FIGS. 60C and 60D.

[0227] The surgical tool assembly 9000 further includes a firing system 9500 that, in the illustrated arrangement, comprises a firing member assembly 9510 that is configured to receive firing motions from a firing control system supported in a housing of a handheld control system or a robotic control system, for example. In the illustrated embodiment, one form of firing member assembly 9510 comprises a first firing member element 9520 that consists of a firing member body 9522 that supports a tissue cutting surface or blade 9524 thereon. The firing member body 9522 is coupled to a firing bar or knife bar 9530 that operably interfaces with corresponding portions of the firing system 9500 to receive the firing motions from the firing control system. The firing member body 9522 may include second jaw or anvil engagement

features 9526 that may comprise laterally extending tab features configured to be received within corresponding second jaw passages or slots 9125 in the anvil body 9124. In addition, the firing member body 9522 may further include first jaw or channel engagement features or a foot 9528 that is configured to be received in corresponding first jaw passages or slots or openings 9023 in the elongate channel 9022.

[0228] The staple cartridge 9600 comprises a cartridge body 9602. See FIGS. 60H and 601. The cartridge body 9602 includes a proximal end 9604, a distal end (not shown), and a deck 9606 extending between the proximal end and the distal end. In use, the staple cartridge 9600 is positioned on a first side of the tissue to be stapled and the anvil 9122 is positioned on a second side of the tissue. The anvil 9122 is moved toward the staple cartridge 9600 to compress and clamp the tissue against the deck 9606. Thereafter, staples or fasteners removably stored in the cartridge body 9602 can be deployed into the tissue. The cartridge body 9602 includes staple or fastener cavities (not shown) defined therein wherein staples or fasteners (not shown) are removably stored in the staple cavities. The staple cavities may be arranged in longitudinal rows. In one arrangement, for example, three rows of staple cavities are positioned on a first side of a longitudinal slot and three rows of staple cavities are positioned on a second side of the longitudinal slot. The longitudinal slot is configured to axially receive the first firing member element 9520 therethrough. Other arrangements of staple/fastener cavities and staples or fasteners may be possible.

[0229] The staples or fasteners are supported by staple drivers (not shown) that are movably supported in the cartridge body 9602. The drivers are movable between a first, or unfired position, and a second, or fired, position to eject the staples or fasteners from the cavities. The drivers are retained in the cartridge body 9602 by a retainer (not shown) which extends around the bottom of the cartridge body 9602 and includes resilient members configured to grip the cartridge body and hold the retainer to the cartridge body. The drivers are movable between their unfired positions and their fired positions by a sled 9610. The sled 9610 is movable between a proximal, or "unfired" position adjacent the proximal end 9604 and a distal or "fired" position adjacent the distal end (after firing). As can be seen in FIG. 60G, the sled 9610 comprises a plurality of ramped or cam surfaces 9620 that are configured to slide under the drivers and lift the drivers, and the staples or fasteners supported thereon, toward the anvil. An "unfired", "unspent", "fresh" or "new" staple cartridge 9600 means herein that the staple

cartridge 9600 has all of its staples or fasteners in their "ready -to-be-fired positions". When in that position, the sled assembly 9610 is located in its starting or "unfired" position. The new staple cartridge 9600 is seated within the elongate channel 9022 and may be retained therein by snap features on the cartridge body 9602 that are configured to retainingly engage corresponding portions of the elongate channel 9022. FIGS. 60G and 60H illustrate a portion of the surgical end effector 9010 with a new or unfired surgical staple cartridge 9600 seated therein. As can be seen in FIGS. 60G and 60H, the sled 9610 is in the unfired position. To prevent the firing system 9500 from being activated and, more precisely, to prevent the first firing member element 9520 from being distally driven through the surgical end effector 9010 unless an unfired or new surgical staple cartridge 9600 has been properly seated within the elongate channel 9022, the illustrated surgical tool assembly 9000 employs a firing member lockout system generally designated as 9700.

[0230] Referring now to FIGS. 60E and 60F, in one form, the firing member lockout system 9700 comprises a second firing member element or tippable element 9710 that comprises a sled engaging portion 9720. In the illustrated arrangement, the second firing member element 9710 is pivotally coupled to the firing member body 9522 by an attachment joint 9713 in the form of, for example, a pivot member or members 9714 that are pivotally received in corresponding pivot holes 9523 provided in the firing member body 9522 for pivotal travel relative thereto about a pivot axis PA that is transverse to the shaft axis SA. Such arrangement facilitates pivotal travel of the second firing member element 9710 relative to the firing member body 9522 between a locked position (FIG. 60E) and an unlocked position (FIG. 60F). In the illustrated example, the firing member body 9522 comprises a distal surface 9525 that is approximately perpendicular to the channel engagement features 9528 and a lockout surface 9527 that is angled relative to the distal surface 9525. In addition, one or more support ramps 9529 are formed on the firing member body 9522 that serve to define corresponding landing surfaces 9531 for receiving the second firing member element 9710 when in the locked configuration. See FIG. 60E.

[0231] As can be seen in FIG. 60F, when the second firing member element 9710 is in the unlocked position, a space, generally indicated as 9724, is provided between a proximal surface 9722 of the second firing member element 9710 and the distal surface 9525 of the firing member body 9522. Thus, when in the unlocked position, the proximal surface 9722 of the second firing member element 9710 is not in contact with the distal surface 9525 of the firing member body

9522. Referring now to FIGS. 60A-60D, the second firing member element 9710 further comprises at least one lockout-engaging portion 9730 that includes an angled lock end 9732 that is configured to engage a corresponding lock-out notch 9026 that is formed in the elongate channel 9022 when the second firing member element 9710 is in the locked position. In one embodiment, for example, the second firing member element 9710 includes two lockout-engaging portions 9730. As can also be seen in FIGS. 60A-60D, a lockout spring or biasing member 9740 is mounted in the proximal end 9024 of the elongate channel 9022 and includes two spring arms 9742 that each correspond to a lockout-engaging portion 9730. The spring arms 9742 serve to bias the second firing member element 9710 into the locked position as shown in FIGS. 60B-60D.

[0232] Turning now to FIGS. 60G-60I, the sled 9610 comprises an unlocking portion 9630 that is configured to engage the sled engaging portion 9720 on the second firing member element 9710 when the sled 9610 is in the unfired position. Such arrangement serves to pivot the second firing member element 9710 into the unlocked position. When in the unlocked position, the angled lock end 9732 of each lockout-engaging portion 9730 is pivoted out of the corresponding lock-out notch 9026 in the elongate channel 9022 so that the firing member assembly 9510 may be fired or distally advanced through the staple cartridge. If the staple cartridge that has been loaded into the elongate channel 9022 was previously fired or even partially fired, the sled 9610 will not be in the unfired position so as to pivot the second firing member element 9710 into the unlocked position. In such instance therefor, the clinician will be unable to distally advance or fire the firing member assembly 9510. When in the unlocked position, actuation of the firing system 9500 will result in the distal travel of the firing member assembly 9510. As indicated above, when the firing member assembly 9510 is driven distally, the second firing member element 9710 is in contact with the firing member body 9522 through the pivot members 9714. However, when the second firing member element 9710 is pivoted into the locked position (FIG. 60E), a portion of the proximal surface 9722 is in abutting contact with the angled lockout surface 9527 on the firing member body 9522. In addition, as can be most particularly seen in FIGS. 60E and 60F, the pivot hole 9523 in the firing member body 9522 is sized relative to the corresponding pivot member 9714 to provide clearance C therebetween so that the load is transferred through the second firing member element directly to the firing member body 9522 and not through the pivot members 9714. As can be seen in FIG. 60E, the angled lockout

surface 9527 facilitates pivotal travel of the sled engaging portion 9720 into the locked position. When the second firing member element 9720 is in the locked position, should the clinician inadvertently apply a firing motion FM to the firing member assembly 9510 in the distal direction DD, the engagement between the second firing member element 9720 and the lock-out notch 9026 in the elongate channel 9022 will prevent the distal advancement of the firing member assembly 9510 and cause a resultant unlocking load force UL to be applied to the second firing member element 9720. This unlocking load force UL will be applied to the angled lockout surface 9527 on the firing member body 9522 and will not be applied to the pivot members 9714. Such arrangement avoids loading or stressing the pivot members 9714 should the clinician inadvertently attempt to advance the firing member assembly 9510 when in the locked position. Thus, this configuration may prevent the pivot members 9714 from shearing off during such attempted advancement of the firing member assembly 9510.

[0233] Thus, the foregoing firing member assembly 9510 and firing member lockout assembly 9700 may provide several advantages. For example, as was discussed above, the distal surface 9525 on the firing member body 9522 carries the load during firing and avoids transferring such load to the pivot members that attach the second firing member element 9710 to the first firing member element 9520. When in the lockout state or locked position, the load is carried by the angled lock ends 9732 on the lockout engaging portions 9730. Such arrangement also avoids the need for the firing member assembly 9510 or more precisely the first firing member element 9520 from moving vertically which may inadvertently lead to misalignment with the anvil and elongate channel when moved into an unlocked state for firing. Moreover, because the first firing member element 9520 does not move vertically, the anvil engagement features as well as the channel engagement features may be advantageously shaped and designed to obtain desirable engagement with the anvil and channel during firing. The design and shape of the firing member body may also afford a large surface area for attachment to the knife bar by, for example, welding. For example, the distal end of the knife bar may be attached to the firing member body by a butt weld and a laser weld from both sides to interconnect the laminates forming the knife bar at the distal end. Such weld configuration may be more longitudinally compact than prior weld configurations and can lead to superior joint length. Other advantages may also be enjoyed from the foregoing firing member and lockout system arrangements.

[0234] Many of the surgical instrument systems described herein are motivated by an electric motor; however, the surgical instrument systems described herein can be motivated in any suitable manner. In various instances, the surgical instrument systems described herein can be motivated by a manually-operated trigger, for example. In certain instances, the motors disclosed herein may comprise a portion or portions of a robotically controlled system.

Moreover, any of the end effectors and/or tool assemblies disclosed herein can be utilized with a robotic surgical instrument system. U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/118,241, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENTS WITH ROTATABLE STAPLE DEPLOYMENT ARRANGEMENTS, now U.S. Patent No. 9,072,535, for example, discloses several examples of a robotic surgical instrument system in greater detail.

[0235] The surgical instrument systems described herein have been described in connection with the deployment and deformation of staples; however, the embodiments described herein are not so limited. Various embodiments are envisioned which deploy fasteners other than staples, such as clamps or tacks, for example. Moreover, various embodiments are envisioned which utilize any suitable means for sealing tissue. For instance, an end effector in accordance with various embodiments can comprise electrodes configured to heat and seal the tissue. Also, for instance, an end effector in accordance with certain embodiments can apply vibrational energy to seal the tissue.

[0236] Examples

[0237] Example 1 - A surgical instrument that comprises an elongate shaft assembly that defines a shaft axis. A surgical end effector is operably coupled to the elongate shaft assembly for selective articulation relative thereto about an articulation axis that is transverse to the shaft axis. The surgical end effector comprises a first end effector jaw that is coupled to an articulation joint that is coupled to the elongate shaft assembly. A second end effector jaw is coupled to the first end effector jaw for selective pivotal travel relative thereto about a jaw pivot axis that is transverse to the shaft axis. One of the first and second end effector jaws is configured to operably support therein a surgical fastener cartridge that comprises a proximal most fastener location. One of the first and second end effector jaws is movable between an open position and a fully closed position by an axially movable closure member that comprises a closure member cam surface that is configured for camming contact with a jaw cam surface on one of the first and second effector jaws. A first distance between the articulation axis and an area of camming contact between the closure member cam surface and the jaw cam surface divided by a second distance from the articulation axis to the proximal most fastener location is less than 0.5.

[0238] Example 2 - The surgical instrument of Example 1 , wherein the first distance between the jaw pivot axis and the area of camming contact between the closure cam member surface and the jaw cam surface divided by the second distance from the articulation axis to the proximal fastener location is greater than 0.2 and less than 0.5.

[0239] Example 3 - The surgical instrument of Examples 1 or 2, wherein the surgical fastener cartridge is supported in the first end effector jaw and wherein the second end effector jaw comprises an anvil comprising the jaw cam surface.

[0240] Example 4 - The surgical instrument of Examples 1, 2 or 3, wherein the jaw pivot axis is fixed.

[0241] Example 5 - The surgical instrument of Example 3, wherein the anvil comprises at least one tissue stop member comprising a distal tissue contact surface that corresponds to the proximal most fastener location when the anvil is in the fully closed position.

[0242] Example 6 - The surgical instrument of Examples 3 or 5, wherein the anvil comprises an anvil body and an anvil mounting portion that comprises the jaw cam surface and a pair of laterally extending anvil trunnions that are configured to be pivotally supported in corresponding openings in the first end effector jaw.

[0243] Example 7 - The surgical instrument of Examples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6, wherein the closure member comprises an axially movable distal closure tube segment comprising the closure member cam surface.

[0244] Example 8 - The surgical instrument of Example 7, wherein the elongate shaft assembly comprises a spine assembly that is operably coupled to the first end effector jaw and a proximal closure tube assembly that is movably supported for axial travel relative to the spine assembly and is pivotally coupled to the axially movable distal closure tube segment.

[0245] Example 9 - The surgical instrument of Example 8, wherein the proximal closure tube assembly operably interfaces with a closure system that is configured to selectively apply axial closure and opening motions to the proximal closure tube assembly.

[0246] Example 10 - The surgical instrument of Example 9, wherein the closure system is supported by a handheld housing.

[0247] Example 11 - The surgical instrument of Example 10, wherein the closure system is supported by a housing that operably interfaces with a robotic controlled actuator.

[0248] Example 12 - A surgical instrument that comprises an elongate shaft assembly that defines a shaft axis and further comprises a surgical end effector that is operably coupled to the elongate shaft assembly for selective articulation relative thereto about an articulation axis that is transverse to the shaft axis. The surgical end effector comprises an elongate channel that is coupled to an articulation joint that is coupled to the elongate shaft assembly. The elongate channel is configured to operably support a surgical fastener cartridge. The surgical fastener cartridge comprises a proximal most fastener location. The surgical end effector further comprises an anvil that is pivotally coupled to the elongate channel for selective pivotal travel relative thereto about a fixed anvil pivot axis that is transverse to the shaft axis. The anvil is movable between an open position and a fully closed position by an axially movable closure member that comprises a closure member cam surface that is configured for camming contact with an anvil cam surface on the anvil. A first distance between the articulation axis and an area of camming contact between the closure member cam surface and the cam surface divided by a second distance from the articulation axis to the proximal most fastener location is less than 0.5.

[0249] Example 13 - The surgical instrument of Example 12, wherein the first distance between the anvil pivot axis and the area of camming contact between the closure member cam surface and the anvil cam surface divided by the second distance from the articulation axis to the proximal most fastener location is greater than 0.2 and less than 0.5.

[0250] Example 14 - The surgical instrument of Examples 12 or 13, wherein the anvil comprises at least one tissue stop member that comprises a distal tissue contact surface that corresponds to the proximal most fastener location when the anvil is in the fully closed position.

[0251] Example 15 - The surgical instrument of Examples 12, 13 or 14, wherein the anvil comprises an anvil body and an anvil mounting portion that comprises the anvil cam surface and a pair of laterally extending anvil trunnions that are configured to be pivotally supported in corresponding openings in the elongate channel.

[0252] Example 16 - The surgical instrument of Examples 12, 13, 14 or 15, wherein the closure member comprises an axially movable distal closure tube segment that comprises the closure member cam surface.

[0253] Example 17 - The surgical instrument of Example 16, wherein the elongate shaft assembly comprises a spine assembly that is operably coupled to the elongate channel. A proximal closure tube assembly is movably supported for axial travel relative to the spine assembly and is pivotally coupled to the axially movable distal closure tube segment.

[0254] Example 18 - The surgical instrument of Example 17, wherein the proximal closure tube assembly operably interfaces with a closure system that is configured to selectively apply axial closure and opening motions to the proximal closure tube assembly.

[0255] Example 19 - The surgical instrument of Example 18, further comprising a firing member that is operably supported for axial travel through the surgical fastener cartridge upon application of axial firing motions thereto.

[0256] Example 20 - A surgical system that comprises a housing that operably supports a closure system therein. The surgical system further comprises an interchangeable surgical tool assembly that comprises an elongate shaft assembly that is operably and removably couplable to the housing such that a proximal closure portion thereof is configured to receive axial closure motions from the closure system. The elongate shaft assembly defines a shaft axis. A surgical end effector is operably coupled to the elongate shaft assembly for selective articulation relative thereto about an articulation axis that is transverse to the shaft axis. The surgical end effector comprises a first end effector jaw that is coupled to an articulation joint that is coupled to the elongate shaft assembly. A second end effector jaw is coupled to the first end effector jaw for selective pivotal travel relative thereto about a jaw pivot axis that is transverse to the shaft axis. One of the first and second end effector jaws is configured to operably support a surgical fastener cartridge that includes a proximal most fastener location. One of the first and second end effector jaws is movable between an open position and a fully closed position by an axially movable distal closure member that is operably coupled to the proximal closure portion of the elongate shaft assembly. The distal closure member comprises a closure member cam surface that is configured for camming contact with a jaw cam surface on one of the first and second end effector jaws. A first distance between the articulation axis and an area of camming contact between the closure member cam surface and the jaw cam surface divided by a second distance from the articulation axis to the proximal most fastener location is less than 0.5.

[0257] Example 21 - A surgical instrument comprising an elongate shaft assembly that defines a shaft axis. A surgical end effector is operably coupled to the elongate shaft assembly for

selective articulation relative thereto about an articulation axis that is transverse to the shaft axis. The surgical end effector also comprises a first end effector jaw that is coupled to an articulation joint that is coupled to the elongate shaft assembly. A second end effector jaw is coupled to the first end effector jaw for selective pivotal travel relative thereto about a jaw pivot axis that is transverse to the shaft axis. The surgical instrument further comprises an axially movable firing member that comprises at least one jaw engagement feature that is configured to apply a closure motion to the second end effector jaw as the axially movable firing member is moved from a starting position to an end position within the first end effector jaw. At least one jaw

engagement feature is configured such that a portion thereof is positioned between the jaw pivot axis and the articulation axis when the axially movable firing member is in the starting position.

[0258] Example 22 - The surgical instrument of Example 21, wherein the portion of at least one jaw engagement feature is positioned between the jaw pivot axis and the articulation axis when the axially movable firing member is in the starting position and the second end effector jaw is in a fully opened position.

[0259] Example 23 - The surgical instrument of Examples 21 or 22, wherein at least thirty five percent of each jaw engagement feature is located between the jaw pivot axis and the articulation axis when the axially movable firing member is in the starting position.

[0260] Example 24 - The surgical instrument of Example 22, wherein at least thirty-five percent of each jaw engagement feature is between the jaw pivot axis and the articulation axis when the axially movable firing member is in the starting position and the end effector second jaw is in a fully opened position.

[0261] Example 25 - The surgical instrument of Examples 21, 22, 23 or 24, further comprising an axially movable closure member that is independently movable relative to the axially movable firing member and is configured to selectively apply additional closure motions to the second end effector jaw.

[0262] Example 26 - The surgical instrument of Example 25, wherein the axially movable closure member comprises a closure member cam surface that is configured for camming contact with a jaw cam surface on the second end effector jaw.

[0263] Example 27 - The surgical instrument of Examples 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 or 26, wherein the axially movable firing member comprises a tissue cutting surface.

[0264] Example 28 - The surgical instrument of Examples 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 or 27, wherein the first end effector jaw comprises an elongate channel that is configured to operably support a surgical fastener cartridge therein and wherein the second end effector jaw comprises an anvil.

[0265] Example 29 - The surgical instrument of Examples 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 or 28, wherein the jaw pivot axis is fixed.

[0266] Example 30 - A surgical instrument comprising an elongate shaft assembly that defines a shaft axis. A surgical end effector is operably coupled to the elongate shaft assembly for selective articulation relative thereto about an articulation axis that is transverse to the shaft axis. The surgical end effector comprises an elongate channel that is coupled to the elongate shaft assembly and is configured to operably support a surgical fastener cartridge therein. An anvil is coupled to the elongate channel for selective pivotal travel relative thereto about a fixed jaw pivot axis that is transverse to the shaft axis. The surgical instrument further comprises an axially movable firing member that comprises at least one anvil engagement feature that is configured to apply a closure motion to the anvil as the axially movable firing member is moved from a starting position to an end position within the elongate channel. At least one anvil engagement feature is configured such that a portion thereof is positioned between the fixed jaw pivot axis and the articulation axis when the axially movable firing member is in the starting position.

[0267] Example 31 - The surgical instrument of Example 30, wherein the portion of the at least one anvil engagement feature is positioned between the fixed jaw pivot axis and the articulation axis when the axially movable firing member is in the starting position and the anvil is in a fully opened position.

[0268] Example 32 - The surgical instrument of Examples 30 or 31, wherein at least thirty-five percent of each anvil engagement feature is located between the fixed jaw pivot axis and the articulation axis when the axially movable firing member is in the starting position.

[0269] Example 33 - The surgical instrument of Examples 30, 31 or 32, wherein at least thirty-five percent of each anvil engagement feature is located between the fixed jaw pivot axis and the articulation axis when the axially movable firing member is in the starting position.

[0270] Example 34 - The surgical instrument of Example 30, wherein at least thirty-five percent of each anvil engagement feature is located between the jaw pivot axis and the

articulation axis when the axially movable firing member is in the starting position and the anvil is in a fully opened position.

[0271] Example 35 - The surgical instrument of Examples 30, 31, 32, 33 or 34,further comprising an axially movable closure member that is independently movable relative to the axially movable firing member and is configured to selectively apply additional closure motions to the anvil.

[0272] Example 36 - The surgical instrument of Example 35, wherein the axially movable closure member comprises a closure member cam surface that is configured for camming contact with an anvil cam surface on the anvil.

[0273] Example 37 - The surgical instrument of Examples 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 or 36, wherein the firing member comprises a tissue cutting surface.

[0274] Example 38 - The surgical instrument of Examples 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 or 36, wherein the firing member comprises a firing member body comprising a tissue cutting surface thereon and wherein at least one anvil engagement feature comprises a first anvil engagement tab that protrudes from a first lateral side of a top portion of the firing member body and a second anvil engagement tab that protrudes from a second lateral side of the top portion of the firing member body.

[0275] Example 39 - The surgical instrument of Example 38, wherein the firing member body extends through a slot in an anvil mounting portion of the anvil when the firing member is in the starting position.

[0276] Example 40 - A surgical system comprising a housing that operably supports a closure system and a firing system. The closure system and the firing system are independently actuatable relative to each other. The surgical system further comprises an interchangeable surgical tool assembly that comprises an elongate shaft assembly that is operably and removably couplable to the housing such that a proximal closure portion thereof is configured to receive axial closure motions from the closure system and a proximal firing member thereof is configured to receive firing motions from the firing system. The elongate shaft assembly defines a shaft axis. A surgical end effector is operably coupled to the elongate shaft assembly for selective articulation relative thereto about an articulation axis that is transverse to the shaft axis. The surgical end effector comprises an elongate channel that is coupled to the elongate shaft assembly and is configured to operably support a surgical fastener cartridge therein. An anvil is

coupled to the elongate channel for selective pivotal travel relative thereto about a jaw pivot axis that is transverse to the shaft axis. An axially movable firing member is operably coupled to the proximal firing member and comprises at least one anvil engagement feature that is configured to apply a closure motion to the anvil as the axially movable firing member is moved from a starting position to an end position within the elongate channel. At least one anvil engagement feature is configured such that a portion thereof is positioned between the jaw pivot axis and the articulation axis when the axially movable firing member is in the starting position.

[0277] Example 41 - The surgical system of Example 40, wherein the housing comprises a portion of a robotic system.

[0278] Example 42 - A surgical instrument comprising an elongate shaft assembly that defines a shaft axis. A first end effector jaw is coupled to the elongate shaft assembly and a second end effector jaw is coupled to the first end effector jaw for selective pivotal travel relative thereto between a fully open position and a fully closed position about a fixed jaw pivot axis that is transverse to the shaft axis and extends therethrough. The elongate shaft assembly comprises a closure member that is axially movable between a starting position that corresponds to the fully open position of the second end effector jaw and an ending position that corresponds to a fully closed position of the second end effector jaw relative to the first end effector jaw. When the closure member is in the starting position, a distal end thereof is located on a plane that is spaced distally from the jaw pivot axis a distance that is measured along the shaft axis that is no more than 0.090 inches.

[0279] Example 43 - The surgical instrument of Example 42, wherein when the closure member is in the starting position, the distal end of the closure member is located on the plane and the plane intersects the jaw pivot axis.

[0280] Example 44 - The surgical instrument of Examples 42 or 43, wherein the distance is within 0.010 - 0.060 inches.

[0281] Example 45 - The surgical instrument of Examples 42, 43 or 44, wherein the closure member comprises an axially movable distal closure tube segment that comprises a closure cam surface that is configured to cammingly engage a jaw cam surface on the second end effector jaw as the axially movable distal closure tube segment is moved from the starting position to the ending position.

[0282] Example 46 - The surgical instrument of Examples 42, 43, 44 or 45, wherein the first end effector jaw comprises an elongate channel that is configured to operably support a surgical fastener cartridge therein and wherein the second end effector jaw comprises an anvil.

[0283] Example 47 - The surgical instrument of Example 46, wherein the anvil comprises an anvil body and an anvil mounting portion that comprises an anvil cam surface and a pair of laterally extending anvil trunnions that are configured to be pivotally supported in corresponding openings in the elongate channel.

[0284] Example 48 - The surgical instrument of Examples 46 or 47, wherein the closure member comprises an axially movable distal closure tube segment that comprises a closure cam surface that is configured to cammingly engage the anvil cam surface on the anvil as the axially movable distal closure tube segment is moved from the starting position to the ending position.

[0285] Example 49 - The surgical instrument of Example 48, wherein the elongate shaft assembly comprises a spine assembly that is operably coupled to the elongate channel and a proximal closure tube assembly that is movably supported for axial travel relative to the spine assembly and is pivotally coupled to the axially movable distal closure tube segment.

[0286] Example 50 - The surgical instrument of Example 49, wherein proximal closure tube assembly operably interfaces with a closure system that is configured to selectively apply axial closure and opening motions to the proximal closure tube assembly.

[0287] Example 51 - The surgical instrument of Example 50, wherein closure system is supported by a handheld housing.

[0288] Example 52 - The surgical instrument of Example 50, wherein the closure system is supported by a housing that operably interfaces with a robotic controlled actuator.

[0289] Example 53 - A surgical instrument comprising an elongate shaft assembly that defines a shaft axis. An elongate channel is configured to operably support a surgical fastener cartridge therein and is operably coupled to the elongate shaft assembly for selective articulation relative thereto about an articulation axis that is transverse to the shaft axis. An anvil is pivotally coupled to the elongate channel for selective pivotal travel relative thereto between a fully open position and a fully closed position about a fixed jaw pivot axis that transversely intersects the shaft axis. The elongate shaft assembly comprises a closure member that is axially movable between a starting position that corresponds to the fully open position of the anvil and an ending position that corresponds to a fully closed position of the anvil. When the closure member is in the

starting position, a distal end thereof is located on a plane that is spaced distally from the jaw pivot axis a distance that is measured along the shaft axis that is no more than 0.090 inches.

[0290] Example 54 - The surgical instrument of Example 53, wherein when the closure member is in the starting position, the distal end of the closure member is located on the plane and the plane intersects the jaw pivot axis.

[0291] Example 55 - The surgical instrument of Examples 53 or 54, wherein the distance is within 0.010 - 0.060 inches.

[0292] Example 56 - The surgical instrument of Examples 53, 54 or 55, wherein the anvil comprises an anvil body and an anvil mounting portion that comprises an anvil cam surface and a pair of laterally extending anvil trunnions that are configured to be pivotally supported in corresponding openings in the elongate channel.

[0293] Example 57 - The surgical instrument of Examples 53, 54, 55 or 56, wherein the closure member comprises an axially movable distal closure tube segment that comprises a closure cam surface that is configured to cammingly engage the anvil cam surface on the anvil as the axially movable distal closure tube segment is moved from the starting position and to the ending position.

[0294] Example 58 - The surgical instrument of Example 57, wherein the elongate shaft assembly comprises a spine assembly that is operably coupled to the elongate channel and a proximal closure tube assembly that is movably supported for axial travel relative to the spine assembly and is pivotally coupled to the axially movable distal closure tube segment.

[0295] Example 59 - The surgical instrument of Example 58, wherein the proximal closure tube assembly operably interfaces with a closure system that is supported by a handheld housing and is configured to selectively apply axial closure and opening motions to the proximal closure tube assembly.

[0296] Example 60 - The surgical instrument of Example 58, wherein the proximal closure tube assembly operably interfaces with a closure system that is supported by a housing that is configured to interface with a robotic system. The closure system is configured to selectively apply axial closure and opening motions to the proximal closure tube assembly.

[0297] Example 61 - A surgical system that comprises a housing that operably supports a closure system. The surgical system further comprises an interchangeable surgical tool assembly that comprises an elongate shaft assembly that is operably and removably couplable to the

housing such that a proximal closure portion thereof is configured to receive axial closure motions from the closure system. The elongate shaft assembly defines a shaft axis. A surgical end effector is operably coupled to the elongate shaft assembly for selective articulation relative thereto about an articulation axis that is transverse to the shaft axis. The surgical end effector comprises an elongate channel that is coupled to the elongate shaft assembly and is configured to operably support a surgical fastener cartridge therein. An anvil is coupled to the elongate channel for selective pivotal travel relative thereto about a jaw pivot axis that transversely intersects the shaft axis. The elongate shaft assembly comprises a closure member that is axially movable between a starting position that corresponds to a fully open position of the anvil and an ending position that corresponds to a fully closed position of the anvil. When the closure member is in the starting position, a distal end thereof is located on a plane that is spaced distally from the jaw pivot axis a distance that is measured along the shaft axis that is no more than 0.090 inches.

[0298] Example 62 - A surgical stapling device that comprises an elongate shaft assembly that defines a shaft axis. A surgical end effector is operably coupled to the elongate shaft assembly by an articulation joint that is configured to facilitate selective articulation of the surgical end effector about an articulation axis that is transverse to the shaft axis. The surgical end effector comprises a surgical staple cartridge that operably supports a plurality of surgical staples therein. An anvil is supported for selective pivotal travel relative to the surgical staple cartridge between a fully open position and a closed position. The anvil comprises a plurality of staple forming pockets that correspond to the surgical staples in the surgical staple cartridge. The surgical stapling device further comprises an axially movable firing member that comprises at least one anvil engagement feature thereon that is configured to engage the anvil when the anvil is in the closed position as the axially movable firing member is moved from a proximal most position to a distalmost position. The surgical stapling device also comprises means for increasing a jaw aperture distance between a distalmost staple in the surgical staple cartridge and a corresponding one of the staple forming pockets in the anvil while minimizing a joint distance between the articulation axis and a distal end of the anvil engagement feature on the axially movable firing member when the axially movable firing member is in the proximal most position.

[0299] Example 63 - The surgical stapling device of Example 62, wherein the means for increasing comprises a closure member that is configured to apply closure motions to the anvil,

wherein the closure member is axially movable between a starting position corresponding to the fully open position of the second end effector jaw and an ending position corresponding to a fully closed position of the anvil. When the closure member is in the starting position and the axially movable firing member is in the proximal most position, the distal end of the closure member is distally spaced from the distal end of the anvil engagement feature a horizontal distance that is within a range of 0.4-0.9 inches.

[0300] Example 64 - The surgical stapling device of Example 63, wherein the horizontal distance is measured along a horizontal line that is parallel to or coincident with the shaft axis.

[0301] Example 65 - The surgical stapling device of Examples 62, 63 or 64, wherein the closure member comprises an axially movable distal closure tube segment that comprises a closure cam surface that is configured to cammingly engage a cam surface on the anvil as the axially movable distal closure tube segment is moved from the starting position to the ending position.

[0302] Example 66 - The surgical stapling device of Examples 62, 63, 64 or 65, wherein the surgical fastener cartridge is removably supported in an elongate channel that is operably coupled to the elongate shaft assembly by the articulation joint.

[0303] Example 67 - The surgical stapling device of Example 66, wherein the anvil comprises an anvil body and an anvil mounting portion that comprises an anvil cam surface and a pair of laterally extending anvil trunnions that are configured to be pivotally supported in corresponding openings in the elongate channel.

[0304] Example 68 - The surgical stapling device of Examples 63, 64, 65, 66 or 67, wherein the elongate shaft assembly comprises an axially movable proximal closure tube assembly and wherein the closure member comprises an axially movable distal closure tube segment that is operably coupled to the axially movable proximal closure tube assembly.

[0305] Example 69 - The surgical stapling device of Example 68, wherein the axially movable distal closure tube segment comprises a closure cam surface that is configured to cammingly engage the anvil cam surface on the anvil as the axially movable distal closure tube segment is moved from the starting position to the ending position.

[0306] Example 70 - The surgical stapling device of Examples 68 or 69, wherein the elongate shaft assembly comprises a spine assembly that is operably coupled to the elongate channel and movably supports at least a portion of the proximal closure tube assembly thereon and wherein the proximal closure tube assembly operably interfaces with a closure system that is configured to selectively apply axial closure and opening motions to the proximal closure tube assembly.

[0307] Example 71 - The surgical stapling device of Example 70, wherein the closure system is supported by a handheld housing.

[0308] Example 72 - The surgical stapling device of Example 70, wherein the closure system is supported by a housing that operably interfaces with a robotic controlled actuator.

[0309] Example 73 - A surgical instrument that comprises an elongate shaft assembly that has an elongate channel coupled thereto that is configured to operably support a surgical fastener cartridge therein. An anvil is pivotally coupled to the elongate channel for selective pivotal travel relative thereto between a fully open position and a fully closed position about a fixed jaw pivot axis. A closure member is configured to apply closure motions to the anvil to move the anvil between the fully open position and the fully closed position as the closure member is moved from a starting position to an ending position. The surgical instrument further comprises an axially movably firing member that has at least one anvil engagement feature thereon that is configured to apply additional closure motions to the anvil as the axially movable firing member is moved from a proximal most position to a distalmost position within the elongate channel. When the closure member is in the starting position and the axially movable firing member is in the proximal most position, a distal end of the closure member is distal to a distal end of the anvil engagement feature.

[0310] Example 74 - The surgical instrument of Example 73, wherein when the closure member is in the starting position and the axially movable firing member is in the proximal most position, the distal end of the closure member is distally spaced from the distal end of the anvil engagement feature a horizontal distance within a range of 0.4-0.9 inches.

[0311] Example 75 - The surgical instrument of Example 74, wherein the elongate shaft assembly defines a shaft axis and wherein the horizontal distance is measured along a horizontal line that is parallel to or coincident with the shaft axis.

[0312] Example 76 - The surgical instrument of Examples 73, 74 or 75, wherein the closure member comprises an axially movable distal closure tube segment that comprises a closure cam surface that is configured to cammingly engage an anvil cam surface on the anvil as the axially movable distal closure tube segment is moved from the starting position to the ending position. [0313] Example 77 - The surgical instrument of Example 76, wherein the elongate shaft assembly comprises a spine assembly that is operably coupled to the elongate channel. A proximal closure tube assembly is movably supported for axial travel relative to the spine assembly and is pivotally coupled to the axially movable distal closure tube segment.

[0314] Example 78 - The surgical instrument of Example 77, wherein the proximal closure tube assembly operably interfaces with a closure system that is configured to selectively apply axial closure and opening motions to the proximal closure tube assembly.

[0315] Example 79 - The surgical instrument of Example 78, wherein the closure system is supported by a handheld housing.

[0316] Example 80 - The surgical instrument of Example 78, wherein the closure system is supported by a housing that operably interfaces with a robotic controlled actuator.

[0317] Example 81 - A surgical system comprising a housing that operably supports a closure system. The surgical system further comprises an interchangeable surgical tool assembly that comprises an elongate shaft assembly that is operably and removably couplable to the housing such that a proximal closure portion thereof is configured to receive axial closure motions from the closure system. The elongate shaft assembly defines a shaft axis. The surgical tool assembly further comprises a surgical end effector that is operably coupled to the elongate shaft assembly for selective articulation relative thereto about an articulation axis that is transverse to the shaft axis. The surgical end effector comprises an elongate channel that is coupled to the elongate shaft assembly and is configured to operably support a surgical fastener cartridge therein. An anvil is coupled to the elongate channel for selective pivotal travel relative thereto between a fully open position and a fully closed position about a jaw pivot axis that is transverse to the shaft axis. The elongate shaft assembly comprises a distal closure member that is operably coupled to the proximal closure portion and is configured to apply closure motions to the anvil to move the anvil between the fully open position and the fully closed position as the distal closure member is moved from a starting position to an ending position. An axially movable firing member comprises at least one anvil engagement feature that is configured to apply additional closure motions to the anvil as the axially movable firing member is moved from a proximal most position to a distalmost position within the elongate channel. When the distal closure member is in the starting position and the axially movable firing member is in the proximal most position, a distal end of the distal closure member is distal to a distal end of the anvil engagement feature.

[0318] Example 82 - A surgical instrument comprising a surgical end effector that comprises a first jaw that defines a first tissue contacting surface and a second jaw that is pivotally coupled to the first jaw. The second jaw is selectively movable between a fully open position and a fully closed position about a fixed jaw pivot axis. The second jaw comprises a second tissue contacting surface that faces the first tissue contacting surface. At least one tissue locating feature is on the second jaw and extends downward beyond the second tissue contacting surface and is configured to prevent tissue received between the first and second tissue contacting surfaces from extending proximally beyond a distal end portion of the at least one tissue locating feature when the second jaw is in the fully closed position. When the second jaw is in the fully open position, the distal end portion of each tissue locating feature is positioned relative to a corresponding portion of the first tissue contacting surface to prevent a gap therebetween. A jaw aperture angle between the first and second tissue contacting surfaces when the second jaw is in the fully open position is greater than 12.25 degrees.

[0319] Example 83 - The surgical instrument of Example 82, wherein the distal end portion of each tissue locating feature is located a distance that is less than 0.750 inches from the fixed jaw pivot axis when the second jaw is in the fully closed position.

[0320] Example 84 - The surgical instrument of Examples 82 or 83, wherein the first jaw comprises an elongate channel that is configured to operably support a surgical fastener cartridge therein and wherein the first tissue contacting surface comprises a deck surface of the surgical fastener cartridge.

[0321] Example 85 - The surgical instrument of Examples 82, 83 or 84, wherein the second jaw comprises an anvil and wherein the second tissue contacting surface comprises a fastener forming undersurface of a portion of the anvil.

[0322] Example 86 - The surgical instrument of Example 85, wherein the anvil comprises an anvil body portion and wherein the at least one tissue locating feature is formed on a proximal portion of the anvil body portion.

[0323] Example 87 - The surgical instrument of Examples 82, 83, 84, 85 or 86, wherein the surgical end effector is sized to pass through a trocar cannula when the second jaw is in the fully closed position.

[0324] Example 88 - The surgical instrument of Examples 82, 83, 84, 85, 86 or 87, further comprising means for applying closing and opening motions to the second jaw.

[0325] Example 89 - The surgical instrument of Example 88, wherein the means for applying closing and opening motions comprises an axially movable closure tube. The closure tube comprises a closure cam surface on a distal end thereof that is configured to cammingly engage a jaw cam surface on the second jaw to apply closure motions thereto and at least one jaw opening feature that is configured to apply jaw opening motions to the second jaw when the axially movable closure tube is moved in a proximal direction.

[0326] Example 90 - A surgical instrument comprising a surgical end effector that comprises a surgical fastener cartridge that comprises a cartridge body that operably supports a plurality of surgical fasteners therein. The cartridge body defines a tissue contacting surface through which the surgical fasteners are ejected. An anvil is pivotally supported relative to the surgical fastener cartridge for selective pivotal travel relative thereto between a fully open position and a fully closed position about a fixed jaw pivot axis. The anvil comprises an anvil body that defines a fastener forming surface that comprises a plurality of fastener forming formations, wherein each fastener forming formation corresponds to one of the surgical fasteners in the surgical fastener cartridge. The fastener forming surface faces the tissue contacting surface on the surgical fastener cartridge. At least one tissue stop protrudes from the anvil body and extends downward beyond the fastener forming surface and is configured to prevent tissue received between the tissue contacting surface and the fastener forming surface from extending proximally beyond a distal end portion of the tissue stop when the anvil is in the fully closed position. When the anvil is in the fully closed position, the distal end portion of each tissue stop is spaced from the fixed jaw pivot axis an axial distance that is less than 0.750 inches and wherein a vertical distance between a distalmost one of the fasteners in the surgical cartridge and a corresponding one of the fastener forming formations on the fastener forming surface when the anvil is in the fully open position is at least 0.900 inches.

[0327] Example 91 - The surgical instrument of Example 90, wherein when the anvil is in the fully open position, a jaw aperture angle between the fastener forming surface and the tissue contacting surface is greater than 12.25 degrees.

[0328] Example 92 - The surgical instrument of Examples 90 or 91, wherein the surgical end effector is sized to pass through a trocar cannula when the anvil is in the fully closed position. [0329] Example 93 - The surgical instrument of Examples 90, 91 or 92, further comprising means for applying closing and opening motions to the anvil.

[0330] Example 94 - The surgical instrument of Example 93, wherein the means for applying closing and opening motions comprises an axially movable closure tube. The axially movable closure tube comprises a closure cam surface on a distal end thereof that is configured to cammingly engage an anvil cam surface on the anvil to apply closure motions thereto. At least one jaw opening feature is configured to apply jaw opening motions to the anvil when the axially movable closure tube is moved in a proximal direction.

[0331] Example 95 - The surgical instrument of Examples 90, 91, 92, 93 or 94, wherein the surgical end effector is operably coupled to an elongate shaft assembly that defines a shaft axis.

[0332] Example 96 - The surgical instrument of Example 95, wherein the tissue contacting surface of the cartridge body is parallel to the shaft axis and wherein the vertical distance is measured along a line extending from a distal most fastener and the corresponding fastener forming formation and perpendicular to the shaft axis.

[0333] Example 97 - The surgical instrument of Example 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95 or 96, wherein the when the anvil is in the fully open position, the distal end portion of each tissue stop is positioned relative to a corresponding portion of the tissue contacting surface to prevent a gap therebetween.

[0334] Example 98 - The surgical instrument of Example 97, wherein when the anvil is in the fully open position, a portion of each tissue stop is even with or extends below the tissue contacting surface to prevent tissue on the tissue contacting surface from extending proximally past the tissue stops.

[0335] Example 99 - The surgical instrument of Examples 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97 or 98, wherein when the anvil is in the fully open position, a portion of each tissue stop is even with or extends below the tissue contacting surface to prevent tissue on the tissue contacting surface from extending proximally past the tissue stops.

[0336] Example 100 - A surgical system comprising a housing that operably supports a closure system. An interchangeable surgical tool assembly comprises an elongate shaft assembly that is operably and removably couplable to the housing such that a proximal closure portion thereof is configured to receive axial closure motions from the closure system and defines a shaft axis. A surgical end effector is operably coupled to the elongate shaft assembly for selective articulation relative thereto about an articulation axis that is transverse to the shaft axis. The surgical end effector comprises a surgical fastener cartridge that comprises a cartridge body that operably supports a plurality of surgical fasteners therein and defines a tissue contacting surface through which the surgical fasteners are ejected. An anvil is pivotally supported relative to the surgical fastener cartridge for selective pivotal travel relative thereto between a fully open position and a fully closed position about a fixed jaw pivot axis. The anvil comprises an anvil body that defines a fastener forming surface that comprises a plurality of fastener forming formations, wherein each fastener forming formation corresponds to one of the surgical fasteners in the surgical fastener cartridge. The fastener forming surface faces the tissue contacting surface on the surgical fastener cartridge. At least one tissue stop protrudes from the anvil body and extends downward beyond the fastener forming surface and is configured to prevent tissue that is received between the tissue contacting surface and the fastener forming surface from extending proximally beyond a distal end portion of at least one tissue stop when the anvil is in the fully closed position. When the anvil is in the fully closed position, the distal end portion of each tissue stop is spaced from the fixed jaw pivot axis an axial distance that is less than 0.750 inches and wherein a vertical distance between a distalmost one of the fasteners in the surgical cartridge and a corresponding one of the fastener forming formations on the fastener forming surface when the anvil is in the fully open position is at least 0.900 inches.

[0337] Example 101 - The surgical instrument of Example 100, wherein, when the anvil is in the fully open position, a jaw aperture angle between the fastener forming surface the tissue contacting surface is greater than 12.25 degrees.

[0338] Example 102 - The surgical instrument of Examples 100 or 101, wherein the surgical end effector is sized to pass through a trocar cannula when the anvil is in the fully closed position.

[0339] Example 103 - A surgical instrument that comprises a first jaw that includes a pair of laterally aligned vertical slots that are formed in a proximal end portion of the first jaw. Each vertical slot has an open upper end. A second jaw is movably supported for selective pivotal travel relative to the first jaw between a fully open and a fully closed position. The second jaw comprises a second jaw body and a pair of pivot members that protrude laterally from a proximal end of the second jaw body. Each pivot member is pivotally received in a corresponding one of the vertical slots in the first jaw such that the pivot members may pivot therein to facilitate pivotal travel of the second jaw relative to the first jaw. The surgical instrument further comprises a retainer member that is configured to operably engage the proximal end portion of the first jaw and retain the pivot members in the corresponding vertical slots as the second jaw moves between the fully open and the fully closed positions. An axially movable closure member is configured to apply closing and opening motions to the second jaw and retain the retainer member in retaining engagement with the proximal end portion of the first jaw.

[0340] Example 104 - The surgical instrument of Example 103, wherein each pivot member has a circular cross-sectional shape and wherein the retainer member comprises a slot cap that corresponds to each vertical slot and is sized to extend therein through the open end. Each slot cap has an arcuate bottom portion that is configured to pivotally receive the corresponding pivot pin therein.

[0341] Example 105 - The surgical instrument of Example 103, wherein each vertical slot is formed in a corresponding upstanding vertical wall portion of the first jaw and wherein the retainer member comprises a retainer body that is sized to span between the vertical wall portions. The retainer member further comprises a slot cap that corresponds to each vertical slot and is sized to extend therein through the open end. A mounting formation is on the retainer body and corresponds to each upstanding vertical wall portion and is configured to be seated in a correspondingly shaped mounting opening therein.

[0342] Example 106 - The surgical instrument of Example 105, wherein the mounting formations are located proximal to the slot caps.

[0343] Example 107 - The surgical instrument of Examples 103, 104, 105 or 106, wherein the axially movable closure member comprises an axially movable distal closure tube segment that is sized to slidably move over the retainer member to provide opening and closing motions to the second jaw and retain the retainer member in retaining engagement with the proximal end portion of the first jaw.

[0344] Example 108 - The surgical instrument of Example 107, wherein the first jaw is operably coupled to an elongate shaft assembly.

[0345] Example 109 - The surgical instrument of Example 108, wherein the elongate shaft assembly comprises a spine assembly that is operably coupled to the first jaw. A proximal closure tube assembly is movably supported for axial travel relative to the spine assembly and is pivotally coupled to the axially movable distal closure tube segment.

[0346] Example 110 - The surgical instrument of Example 109, wherein the proximal closure tube assembly operably interfaces with a closure system that is configured to selectively apply axial closure and opening motions to the proximal closure tube assembly.

[0347] Example 111 - The surgical instrument of Example 110, wherein the closure system is supported by a handheld housing.

[0348] Example 112 - The surgical instrument of Example 110, wherein the closure system is supported by a housing that operably interfaces with a robotic controlled actuator.

[0349] Example 113 - A surgical instrument comprising an elongate channel that is configured to operably support a surgical fastener cartridge therein. The elongate channel includes a pair of laterally aligned vertical slots that are formed in a proximal end portion of the elongate channel wherein each vertical slot includes an open upper end. An anvil is movably supported for selective pivotal travel relative to the elongate channel between a fully open and a fully closed position. The anvil comprises an anvil body and a pair of anvil trunnions that protrude laterally from an anvil mounting portion of the anvil body. Each anvil trunnion is pivotally received in a corresponding vertical slot in the elongate channel such that the anvil trunnions may pivot therein to facilitate pivotal travel of the anvil relative to the elongate channel. The surgical instrument further comprises a retainer member that is configured to be supported on the proximal end portion of the elongate channel and pivotally retain each anvil trunnion in the corresponding vertical slots as the anvil moves between the fully open and fully closed positions. An axially movable closure member is configured to apply closing and opening motions to the anvil and retain the retainer member in retaining engagement with the proximal end portion of the elongate channel.

[0350] Example 114 - The surgical instrument of Example 113, wherein each anvil trunnion comprises a circular cross-sectional shape and wherein the retainer member comprises a slot cap that corresponds to each vertical slot and is sized to extend therein through the open end. Each slot cap has an arcuate bottom portion that is configured to pivotally receive the corresponding anvil trunnion therein.

[0351] Example 115 - The surgical instrument of Example 113, wherein each vertical slot is formed in a corresponding upstanding vertical wall portion of the elongate channel and wherein the retainer member comprises a retainer body that is sized to span between the vertical wall portions. The retainer member further comprises a slot cap that corresponds to each vertical slot and is sized to extend therein through the open end. The retainer member also comprises mounting formations on the retainer body that correspond to each upstanding vertical wall portion and are configured to be seated in a correspondingly shaped mounting opening therein.

[0352] Example 116 - The surgical instrument of Example 115, wherein the slot cap has a wedge shape that is configured to be inserted into the open end of the corresponding vertical slot.

[0353] Example 117 - The surgical instrument of Examples 113, 114, 115 or 116, wherein the retainer member is affixed to the elongate channel by at least one of frictional engagement with the elongate channel, adhesive and welding.

[0354] Example 118 - The surgical instrument of Examples 113, 114, 115, 116 or 117, wherein the axially movable closure member comprises an axially movable distal closure tube segment that is sized to slidably move over the retainer member to provide opening and closing motions to the anvil and retain the retainer member in retaining engagement with the proximal end portion of the elongate channel.

[0355] Example 119 - The surgical instrument of Examples 113, 114, 115, 116, 117 or 118, wherein the elongate channel is operably coupled to an elongate shaft assembly.

[0356] Example 120 - The surgical instrument of Example 119, wherein the elongate shaft assembly comprises a spine assembly that is operably coupled to the elongate channel and a proximal closure tube assembly that is movably supported for axial travel relative to the spine assembly and is pivotally coupled to the axially movable closure member.

[0357] Example 121 - A surgical system comprising a housing that operably supports a closure system. The surgical system further comprises an interchangeable surgical tool assembly that includes an elongate shaft assembly that is operably and removably couplable to the housing such that a proximal closure portion thereof is configured to receive axial closure motions from the closure system. The interchangeable surgical tool assembly further comprises a surgical end effector that comprises an elongate channel that is configured to operably support a surgical fastener cartridge therein and includes a pair of laterally aligned vertical slots that are formed in a proximal end portion of the elongate channel. Each vertical slot includes an open upper end. An anvil is movably supported for selective pivotal travel relative to the elongate channel between a fully open and a fully closed position. The anvil comprises an anvil body and a pair of anvil trunnions that protrude laterally from an anvil mounting portion of the anvil body. Each anvil trunnion is pivotally received in a corresponding vertical slot in the elongate channel such that the anvil trunnions may pivot therein to facilitate pivotal travel of the anvil relative to elongate channel. The surgical system further comprises a retainer member that is configured to be supported on the proximal end portion of the elongate channel and pivotally retain each anvil trunnion in the corresponding vertical slots as the anvil moves between the fully open and the fully closed positions. An axially movable closure member is configured to apply closing and opening motions to the anvil and retain the retainer member in retaining engagement with the proximal end portion of the elongate channel.

[0358] Example 122 - The surgical system of Example 121, wherein the axially movable closure member comprises an axially movable distal closure tube segment that is sized to slidably move over the retainer member to provide opening and closing motions to the anvil and retain the retainer member in retaining engagement with the proximal end portion of the elongate channel. The elongate shaft assembly further comprises a spine assembly that is operably coupled to the elongate channel; and a proximal closure tube assembly that is movably supported for axial travel relative to the spine assembly and is pivotally coupled to the axially movable distal closure tube segment.

[0359] Example 123 - A surgical instrument comprising a first jaw and a second jaw that is coupled to the first jaw for selective pivotal travel relative thereto between a fully open position and a fully closed position. An axially movable closure member is selectively axially movable in a closure direction to move the second jaw from the fully open position to the fully closed position and in an axial opening direction to move the second jaw from the fully closed position to the fully open position. The axially movable closure member comprises a first jaw opening feature that is configured to apply a first jaw opening motion to the second jaw. A second jaw opening feature is axially spaced from the first jaw opening feature such that, when the closure member is moved in the axial opening direction, the first jaw opening feature applies the first jaw opening motion to the second jaw and when the closure member has axially moved a predetermined axial distance in the axial opening direction, the first jaw opening feature discontinues application of the first jaw opening motion and the second jaw opening feature applies a second jaw opening motion to the second jaw to move the second jaw to the fully open position.

[0360] Example 124 - The surgical instrument of Example 123, wherein the first jaw opening feature is axially proximal to the second jaw opening feature.

[0361] Example 125 - The surgical instrument of Examples 123 or 124, wherein the first jaw defines a central jaw axis wherein the first jaw opening feature is axially spaced from the central jaw axis on a first lateral side thereof on the closure member and wherein the second jaw opening feature is spaced from the central jaw axis on a second lateral side thereof that is opposite to the first lateral side on the closure member.

[0362] Example 126 - The surgical instrument of Examples 123, 124 or 125, wherein the second jaw comprises a second jaw mounting portion that is pivotally supported on the first jaw. The second jaw mounting portion comprises a second jaw cam surface on the second jaw mounting portion and is configured to be axially cammingly contacted by the first jaw opening feature as the closure member is axially moved in the axial opening direction through the predetermined axial distance. The second jaw cam surface is configured to disengage the first jaw opening feature as the closure member continues to move in the axial opening direction beyond the predetermined axial distance. The second jaw mounting portion further comprises a second jaw cam surface that is configured to be axially camming contacted by the second jaw opening feature as the closure member continues to move in the axial opening direction beyond the predetermined axial distance.

[0363] Example 127 - The surgical instrument of Example 126, wherein the closure member is axially movable in the axial opening direction from a first position corresponding to the fully closed position of the second jaw to a first intermediate axial position without applying the first jaw opening motion thereto.

[0364] Example 128 - The surgical instrument of Example 127, wherein when the closure member is axially moved in the axial opening direction from the first intermediate axial position to a second intermediate axial position, the first jaw opening feature applies the first jaw opening motion to the second jaw to cause the second jaw to move relative to the first jaw through a second jaw aperture angle.

[0365] Example 129 - The surgical instrument of Example 128, wherein the second jaw aperture angle is 10°.

[0366] Example 130 - The surgical instrument of Examples 128 or 129, wherein when the closure member is axially moved in the axial opening direction between the second intermediate axial position and a third intermediate axial position, the first jaw opening feature does not move the second jaw relative to the first jaw beyond the second jaw aperture angle.

[0367] Example 131 - The surgical instrument of Example 130, wherein axial movement of the closure member in the axial opening direction from the third intermediate axial position to a fourth intermediate axial position, causes the second jaw opening feature to apply the second jaw opening motion to the second jaw.

[0368] Example 132 - The surgical instrument of Example 131, wherein axial movement of the closure member in the axial opening direction between the third intermediate axial position and the fourth intermediate axial position causes the second jaw to move relative to the first jaw to a second jaw aperture angle.

[0369] Example 133 - The surgical instrument of Example 132, wherein the second jaw aperture angle is 22°.

[0370] Example 134 - The surgical instrument of Examples 131, 132 or 133, wherein axial movement of the closure member in the axial opening direction from the third intermediate axial position to the fourth intermediate axial position causes the first jaw opening feature to discontinue application of the first jaw opening motion to the second jaw.

[0371] Example 135 - The surgical instrument of Example 134, wherein axial movement of the closure member in the axial opening direction from the fourth intermediate axial position to a final axial position causes the second jaw opening feature to discontinue application of the second jaw opening motion to the second jaw.

[0372] Example 136 - The surgical instrument of Examples 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134 or 135, wherein the first jaw comprises a surgical fastener cartridge and wherein the second jaw comprises an anvil.

[0373] Example 137 - A surgical instrument comprising an elongate channel that is configured to operably support a surgical fastener cartridge therein. An anvil is pivotally supported on the elongate channel for selective pivotal travel relative thereto between a fully open position and a fully closed position. An axially movable closure member is selectively axially movable in a closure direction to move the anvil from the fully open position to the fully closed position and in an axial opening direction to move the anvil from the fully closed to the fully open position. The axially movable closure member comprises a proximal jaw opening feature that is configured to apply a first jaw opening motion to the anvil. A distal jaw opening feature is axially spaced from the proximal jaw opening feature such that, when the closure member is moved in the axial opening direction, the proximal jaw opening feature applies the first jaw

opening motion to the anvil and when the closure member has axially moved a predetermined axial distance in the axial opening direction, the proximal jaw opening feature discontinues application of the first jaw opening motion and the distal jaw opening feature applies a second jaw opening motion to the anvil to move the anvil to the fully open position.

[0374] Example 138 - The surgical instrument of Example 137, wherein when the closure member is axially moved in the axial opening direction from a first intermediate axial position to a second intermediate axial position, the first jaw opening feature causes the anvil to move through a first jaw aperture angle that is measured between a deck surface of the surgical fastener cartridge that is supported in the elongate channel and a fastener forming underside of the anvil.

[0375] Example 139 - The surgical instrument of Example 138, wherein the first jaw aperture angle is 10°.

[0376] Example 140 - The surgical instrument of Examples 138 or 139, wherein when the closure member is axially moved in the axial opening direction between the second intermediate axial position and a third intermediate axial position, the first jaw opening feature does not move the anvil relative to the elongate channel beyond the first jaw aperture angle.

[0377] Example 141 - The surgical instrument of Example 140, wherein axial movement of the closure member in the axial opening direction from the third intermediate axial position to a fourth intermediate axial position, causes the second jaw opening feature to move the anvil through a second jaw aperture angle that is greater than the first jaw aperture angle.

[0378] Example 142 - A surgical instrument comprising an elongate channel that is configured to operably support a surgical fastener cartridge therein. An anvil is pivotally supported on the elongate channel for selective pivotal travel relative thereto between a fully open position and a fully closed position. An axially movable distal closure tube segment is selectively axially movable in a closure direction to move the anvil from the fully open position to the fully closed position and in an axial opening direction to move the anvil from the fully closed position to the fully open position. The axially movable distal closure tube segment comprises a proximal jaw opening feature that is formed on the distal closure tube segment and is configured to apply a first jaw opening motion to the anvil. A distal jaw opening feature is formed on the distal closure tube segment and is axially spaced from the proximal jaw opening feature such that, when the distal closure tube segment is moved in the axial opening direction, the proximal jaw opening feature applies the first jaw opening motion to the anvil and when the distal closure tube segment has axially moved a predetermined axial distance in the opening direction, the proximal jaw opening feature discontinues application of the first jaw opening motion and the distal jaw opening feature applies a second jaw opening motion to the anvil to move the anvil to the fully open position.

[0379] Example 143 - A surgical instrument comprising a first jaw and a second jaw that is coupled to the first jaw for selective pivotal travel relative thereto between a fully open position and a fully closed position. A closure member is configured to apply closure motions to the second jaw as the closure member is axially movable in a distal direction from a starting position corresponding to the fully open position of the second jaw to an ending position corresponding to the fully closed position of the second jaw. The closure member is further configured to move distally from the starting position an initial predetermined axial closure distance before applying the closure motion to the second jaw.

[0380] Example 144 - The surgical instrument of Example 143, wherein the initial

predetermined axial closure distance is 0.020 inches.

[0381] Example 145 - The surgical instrument of Examples 143 or 144, wherein closure member is configured to distally move through a final predetermined axial closure distance after the second jaw has been moved to the fully closed position.

[0382] Example 146 - The surgical instrument of Example 145, wherein the final

predetermined axial closure distance is 0.040 inches.

[0383] Example 147 - The surgical instrument of Examples 143, 144, 145 or 146, wherein the closure member comprises a closure camming surface that is configured to cammingly engage a jaw camming surface on the second jaw to apply the closure motions thereto.

[0384] Example 148 - The surgical instrument of Examples 143, 144, 145, 146 or 147, wherein the closure member further comprises means for applying opening motions to the second jaw when the closure member axially moves in a proximal direction from the ending position to the starting position.

[0385] Example 149 - The surgical instrument of Example 148, wherein the means for applying opening motions comprises a first jaw opening feature on the closure member that is configured to apply a first amount of jaw opening motion to the second jaw as the closure member is axially moved from the ending position to an intermediate axial position between the ending and starting position. The means further comprises a second jaw opening feature on the

closure member that is axially spaced from the first jaw opening feature and is configured to apply a second amount of jaw opening motion to the second jaw as the closure member is axially moved from the intermediate position to the starting position.

[0386] Example 150 - A surgical instrument comprising an elongate channel that is configured to operably support a surgical staple/fastener cartridge therein. An anvil is pivotally supported on the elongated channel for selective pivotal travel relative thereto between a fully open position and a fully closed position. A closure member is configured to apply closure motions to the anvil as the closure member is axially movable in a distal direction from a starting position corresponding to the fully open position of the anvil to an ending position corresponding to the fully closed position of the anvil. The closure member is configured to move distally from the starting position an initial predetermined axial closure distance before applying the closure motion to the anvil.

[0387] Example 151 - The surgical instrument of Example 150, wherein the initial predetermined axial closure distance is 0.020 inches.

[0388] Example 152 - The surgical instrument of Examples 150 or 151, wherein the closure member is configured to distally move through a final predetermined axial closure distance after the anvil has been moved to the fully closed position.

[0389] Example 153 - The surgical instrument of Example 152, wherein the final

predetermined axial closure distance is 0.040 inches.

[0390] Example 154 - The surgical instrument of Examples 152 or 153, wherein the closure member is configured to apply the closure motion to the anvil as the closure member moves distally through an intermediate predetermined axial closure distance after the closure member traveled the initial predetermined axial closure distance and prior to traveling the final predetermined axial closure distance.

[0391] Example 155 - The surgical instrument of Example 154, wherein the intermediate predetermined axial closure distance is 0.200 inches.

[0392] Example 156 - The surgical instrument of Examples 150, 151, 152, 153, 154 or 155, wherein the closure member comprises a closure camming surface configured to cammingly engage an anvil camming surface on an anvil mounting portion of the anvil to apply the closure motion thereto.

[0393] Example 157 - The surgical instrument of Examples 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156 or 157, wherein the closure member further comprises means for applying opening motions to the anvil when the closure member axially moves in a proximal direction from the ending position to the starting position.

[0394] Example 158 - The surgical instrument of Example 157, wherein the means for applying opening motions comprises a first jaw opening feature on the closure member that is configured to apply a first amount of jaw opening motion to the anvil as the closure member is axially moved from the ending position to an intermediate axial position between the ending position and starting position. The means further comprises a second jaw opening feature on the closure member that is axially spaced from the first jaw opening feature and is configured to apply a second amount of jaw opening motion to the anvil as the closure member is axially moved from the intermediate axial position to the starting position.

[0395] Example 159 - A surgical system comprising a housing that operably supports a closure system. The surgical system further comprises an interchangeable surgical tool assembly that comprises an elongate shaft assembly that is operably and removably couplable to the housing such that a proximal closure portion of the elongate shaft assembly is configured to receive axial closure motions from the closure system. The interchangeable surgical tool assembly further comprises a surgical end effector that is operably coupled to the elongate shaft assembly. The surgical end effector comprises an elongate channel that is coupled to the elongate shaft assembly and is configured to operably support a surgical fastener cartridge therein. An anvil is coupled to the elongate channel for selective pivotal travel relative thereto between a fully open position and a fully closed position. The elongate shaft assembly comprises an axially movable proximal closure member that is configured to receive the axial closure motions. A distal closure member is operably coupled to the proximal closure member and is configured to apply the axial closure motions to the anvil as the distal closure member is axially movable in a distal direction from a starting position corresponding to the fully open position of the anvil to an ending position corresponding to the fully closed position of the anvil. The distal closure member is configured to move distally from the starting position an initial predetermined axial closure distance before applying the closure motions to the anvil.

[0396] Example 160 - The surgical instrument of Example 159, wherein the distal closure member is configured to distally move through a final predetermined axial closure distance after the anvil has been moved to the fully closed position.

[0397] Example 161 - A surgical tool assembly that comprises a first jaw and a second jaw that is movable relative to the first jaw. The surgical tool assembly further comprises a firing system that comprises a firing member assembly that is configured to move distally from a starting position upon application of a firing motion thereto. The firing member assembly comprises a first firing member element and a second firing member element that is pivotally coupled to the first firing member element at an attachment joint. The second firing member element is configured to move between a locked position wherein the second firing member element is in locking engagement with a lockout portion of the first jaw to prevent the firing member assembly from moving distally from the starting position upon application of the firing motion thereto and an unlocked position wherein the firing member assembly is distally advanceable from the starting position upon the application of the firing motion to the firing member assembly. The surgical tool assembly further comprises means for preventing an unlocking load from being applied to the attachment joint when the second firing member is in the locked position and the firing motion is applied to the first firing member element.

[0398] Example 162 - The surgical tool assembly of Example 161, wherein the lockout portion comprises at least one lockout notch in the first jaw that is configured to retainingly engage the second firing member element when the second firing member element is in the locked position.

[0399] Example 163 - The surgical tool assembly of Examples 161 or 162, further comprising a biasing member in the first jaw that is configured to bias the second firing member element into the locked position.

[0400] Example 164 - The surgical tool assembly of Examples 161, 162 or 163, wherein the first firing member element comprises at least one first jaw engaging feature that is configured to be movably received within a corresponding first jaw passage and at least one second jaw engaging feature that is configured to be movably received within a corresponding second jaw passage.

[0401] Example 165 - The surgical tool assembly of Example 164, wherein when the firing member assembly is in the starting position, each first jaw engaging feature is in axial alignment with the corresponding first jaw passage and each second jaw engaging feature is in axial

alignment with the corresponding second jaw passage regardless of a position of the second firing member element.

[0402] Example 166 - The surgical tool assembly of Example 165, wherein when the firing member assembly is in the starting position and the second firing member element is in the locked position, each first jaw engaging feature is in axial alignment with the corresponding first jaw passage and each said second jaw engaging feature is in axial alignment with the

corresponding second jaw passage.

[0403] Example 167 - The surgical tool assembly of Examples 161, 162, 163, 164, 165 or 166, wherein the first jaw is configured to operably support a removable surgical component therein that operably supports a movable component element therein. The movable component element is movable between an unfired and fired positions. The second firing member element is configured to be moved from the locked position by the movable component element when the removable surgical component is supported in the first jaw and the movable component element is in the unfired position.

[0404] Example 168 - The surgical tool assembly of Examples 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166 or 167, wherein the first jaw is operably coupled to an elongate shaft that defines a shaft axis and wherein the second firing member element is pivotable relative to the first firing member element about a pivot axis that is transverse to the shaft axis.

[0405] Example 169 - The surgical tool assembly of Claim Examples 161, 162, 163, 164, 165,

166, 167 or 168, wherein the first firing member element comprises a tissue cutting surface.

[0406] Example 170 - The surgical tool assembly of Examples 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 168 or 169, wherein the first jaw is configured to operably support a surgical staple cartridge that operably supports a sled therein. The sled is movable between an unfired position and fired positions. The second firing member element is configured to be moved from the locked position by the sled when the surgical staple cartridge is supported in the first jaw and the sled is in the unfired position.

[0407] Example 171 - The surgical tool assembly of Examples 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166,

167, 168, 169 or 170, wherein the means for preventing comprises a distal surface and a lockout surface on the first firing member element. The distal surface is configured relative to a proximal surface on the second firing member element such that a space is provided

therebetween when the second firing member is in the unlocked position. The proximal surface abuts the lockout surface when the second firing member element is in the locked position.

[0408] Example 172 - The surgical tool assembly of Examples 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170 or 171, wherein the attachment joint comprises at least one pivot member on the second firing member element and pivotally received within a corresponding pivot hole in the first firing member element.

[0409] Example 173 - The surgical tool assembly of Example 172, further comprising a clearance between each pivot member and its corresponding pivot hole such that the unlocking load is not transferred to the at least one pivot member when the second firing member is in the locked position and the firing motion is applied to the first firing member element.

[0410] Example 174 - A stapling assembly comprising an anvil jaw and a staple cartridge jaw comprising a lockout surface. A firing member includes a distal end that comprises anvil-camming portions and channel-camming portions. The firing member further comprises a distal edge that comprises a cutting member and a lockout force-receiving surface. A lockout member is pivotally coupled to the distal end of the firing member by at least one pivot member. The lockout member is configured to engage the lockout surface of the staple cartridge jaw to block the advancement of the firing member when a staple cartridge is not installed within the staple cartridge jaw or when a partially-spent staple cartridge is installed within the staple cartridge jaw and a firing motion is applied to the firing member. The firing member and the lockout member are configured to prevent an unlocking load from being applied to the pivot members when the lockout member is in engagement with the lockout surface and the firing motion is applied to the firing member.

[0411] Example 175 - The stapling assembly of Example 174, wherein the staple cartridge jaw comprises a staple cartridge that includes a sled that is movable between an unfired position and a fired position. The sled is configured to engage the lockout member to prevent the lockout member from moving relative to the firing member to engage the lockout surface when the sled is in the unfired position.

[0412] Example 176 - The stapling assembly of Examples 174 or 175, further comprising a spring that is configured to bias the lockout member relative to the firing member into a locked configuration when a partially-spent staple cartridge is present and when a staple cartridge is not present.

[0413] Example 177 - The stapling assembly of Examples 174, 175 or 176, wherein the firing member is configured to not move substantially vertically.

[0414] Example 178 - A surgical fastening instrument that comprises a first jaw that is configured to operably support an unfired surgical fastener cartridge therein. An anvil is movably supported relative to the first jaw. The surgical fastening instrument further includes a firing system that comprises a firing member assembly that is configured to axially move between a starting position and an ending position. The firing member assembly comprises a firing member that comprises a cutting surface and a tippable element that is pivotally coupled to the firing member by an attachment joint. The tippable element is configured to move relative to the firing member between a locked position wherein the tippable element is in locking engagement with a lockout portion of the first jaw to prevent the firing member assembly from moving distally from the starting position upon application of a firing motion thereto and an unlocked position wherein the firing member assembly is distally advanceable from the starting position upon the application of the firing motion to the firing member assembly. The firing member and tippable element are configured to prevent an unlocking load from being applied to the attachment joint when the tippable element is the locked position and the firing motion is applied to the firing member assembly. The surgical fastening instrument further comprises means for biasing the tippable element into the locking engagement unless an unfired surgical fastener cartridge is operably supported in the first jaw.

[0415] Example 179 - The surgical fastening instrument of Example 178, wherein the attachment joint comprises at least one pivot member that is on the tippable element and is pivotally received within a corresponding pivot hole in the firing member.

[0416] Example 180 - The surgical fastening instrument of Example 179, further comprising a clearance between each pivot member and its corresponding pivot hole such that the unlocking load is not transferred to each pivot member when the tippable element is in the locked position and the firing motion is applied to the firing member assembly.

[0417] Many of the surgical instrument systems described herein are motivated by an electric motor; however, the surgical instrument systems described herein can be motivated in any suitable manner. In various instances, the surgical instrument systems described herein can be motivated by a manually-operated trigger, for example. In certain instances, the motors disclosed herein may comprise a portion or portions of a robotically controlled system.

Moreover, any of the end effectors and/or tool assemblies disclosed herein can be utilized with a robotic surgical instrument system. U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/118,241, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENTS WITH ROTATABLE STAPLE DEPLOYMENT ARRANGEMENTS, now U.S. Patent No. 9,072,535, for example, discloses several examples of a robotic surgical instrument system in greater detail.

[0418] The surgical instrument systems described herein have been described in connection with the deployment and deformation of staples; however, the embodiments described herein are not so limited. Various embodiments are envisioned which deploy fasteners other than staples, such as clamps or tacks, for example. Moreover, various embodiments are envisioned which utilize any suitable means for sealing tissue. For instance, an end effector in accordance with various embodiments can comprise electrodes configured to heat and seal the tissue. Also, for instance, an end effector in accordance with certain embodiments can apply vibrational energy to seal the tissue.

[0419] The entire disclosures of:

U.S. Patent No. 5,403,312, entitled ELECTRO SURGICAL HEMOSTATIC DEVICE, which issued on April 4, 1995;

U.S. Patent No. 7,000,818, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENT HAVING SEPARATE DISTINCT CLOSING AND FIRING SYSTEMS, which issued on February 21, 2006;

U.S. Patent No. 7,422, 139, entitled MOTOR-DRIVEN SURGICAL CUTTING AND FASTENING INSTRUMENT WITH TACTILE POSITION FEEDBACK, which issued on September 9, 2008;

U. S. Patent No. 7,464,849, entitled ELECTRO-MECHANICAL SURGICAL

INSTRUMENT WITH CLOSURE SYSTEM AND ANVIL ALIGNMENT COMPONENTS, which issued on December 16, 2008;

U. S. Patent No. 7,670,334, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT HAVING AN

ARTICULATING END EFFECTOR, which issued on March 2, 2010;

U.S. Patent No. 7,753,245, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENTS, which issued on July 13, 2010;

U.S. Patent No. 8,393,514, entitled SELECTIVELY ORIENT ABLE IMPLANTABLE FASTENER CARTRIDGE, which issued on March 12, 2013;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 11/343,803, entitled SURGICAL INSTRUMENT HAVING RECORDING CAPABILITIES; now U.S. Patent No. 7,845,537;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 12/031,573, entitled SURGICAL CUTTING AND FASTENING INSTRUMENT HAVING RF ELECTRODES, filed February 14, 2008;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 12/031,873, entitled END EFFECTORS FOR A SURGICAL CUTTING AND STAPLING INSTRUMENT, filed February 15, 2008, now U.S. Patent No. 7,980,443;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 12/235,782, entitled MOTOR-DRIVEN SURGICAL CUTTING INSTRUMENT, now U.S. Patent No. 8,210,411;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 12/249,117, entitled POWERED SURGICAL

CUTTING AND STAPLING APPARATUS WITH MANUALLY RETRACTABLE FIRING SYSTEM, now U.S. Patent No. 8,608,045;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 12/647,100, entitled MOTOR-DRIVEN SURGICAL CUTTING INSTRUMENT WITH ELECTRIC ACTUATOR DIRECTIONAL CONTROL ASSEMBLY, filed December 24, 2009; now U.S. Patent No. 8,220,688;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 12/893,461, entitled STAPLE CARTRIDGE, filed September 29, 2012, now U.S. Patent No. 8,733,613;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/036,647, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING

INSTRUMENT, filed February 28, 2011, now U.S. Patent No. 8,561,870;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/118,241 , entitled SURGICAL STAPLING

INSTRUMENTS WITH ROTATABLE STAPLE DEPLOYMENT ARRANGEMENTS, now U.S. Patent No. 9,072,535;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/524,049, entitled ARTICULATABLE SURGICAL INSTRUMENT COMPRISING A FIRING DRIVE, filed on June 15, 2012; now U.S. Patent No. 9,101,358;

U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/800,025, entitled STAPLE CARTRIDGE TISSUE THICKNESS SENSOR SYSTEM, filed on March 13, 2013, now U.S. Patent No. 9,345,481 ;

U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 13/800,067, entitled STAPLE CARTRIDGE TISSUE THICKNESS SENSOR SYSTEM, filed on March 13, 2013, now U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2014/0263552;

U. S. Patent Application Publication No. 2007/0175955, entitled SURGICAL CUTTING AND FASTENING INSTRUMENT WITH CLOSURE TRIGGER LOCKING MECHANISM, filed January 31, 2006; and

U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2010/0264194, entitled SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENT WITH AN ARTICULATABLE END EFFECTOR, filed April 22, 2010, now U.S. Patent No. 8,308,040, are hereby incorporated by reference herein.

[0420] Although various devices have been described herein in connection with certain embodiments, modifications and variations to those embodiments may be implemented.

Particular features, structures, or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments. Thus, the particular features, structures, or characteristics illustrated or described in connection with one embodiment may be combined in whole or in part, with the features, structures or characteristics of one ore more other embodiments without limitation. Also, where materials are disclosed for certain components, other materials may be used.

Furthermore, according to various embodiments, a single component may be replaced by multiple components, and multiple components may be replaced by a single component, to perform a given function or functions. The foregoing description and following claims are intended to cover all such modification and variations.

[0421] The devices disclosed herein can be designed to be disposed of after a single use, or they can be designed to be used multiple times. In either case, however, a device can be reconditioned for reuse after at least one use. Reconditioning can include any combination of the steps including, but not limited to, the disassembly of the device, followed by cleaning or replacement of particular pieces of the device, and subsequent reassembly of the device. In particular, a reconditioning facility and/or surgical team can disassemble a device and, after cleaning and/or replacing particular parts of the device, the device can be reassembled for subsequent use. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that reconditioning of a device can utilize a variety of techniques for disassembly, cleaning/replacement, and reassembly. Use of such techniques, and the resulting reconditioned device, are all within the scope of the present application.

[0422] The devices disclosed herein may be processed before surgery. First, a new or used instrument may be obtained and, when necessary, cleaned. The instrument may then be sterilized. In one sterilization technique, the instrument is placed in a closed and sealed

container, such as a plastic or TYVEK bag. The container and instrument may then be placed in a field of radiation that can penetrate the container, such as gamma radiation, x-rays, and/or high-energy electrons. The radiation may kill bacteria on the instrument and in the container. The sterilized instrument may then be stored in the sterile container. The sealed container may keep the instrument sterile until it is opened in a medical facility. A device may also be sterilized using any other technique known in the art, including but not limited to beta radiation, gamma radiation, ethylene oxide, plasma peroxide, and/or steam.

[0423] While this invention has been described as having exemplary designs, the present invention may be further modified within the spirit and scope of the disclosure. This application is therefore intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention using its general principles.

[0424] Any patent, publication, or other disclosure material, in whole or in part, that is said to be incorporated by reference herein is incorporated herein only to the extent that the incorporated materials do not conflict with existing definitions, statements, or other disclosure material set forth in this disclosure. As such, and to the extent necessary, the disclosure as explicitly set forth herein supersedes any conflicting material incorporated herein by reference. Any material, or portion thereof, that is said to be incorporated by reference herein, but which conflicts with existing definitions, statements, or other disclosure material set forth herein will only be incorporated to the extent that no conflict arises between that incorporated material and the existing disclosure material.