device manufacturers who produce single-use or limited-use disposable
attachments (e.g. catheters, filters, tubing, medical lasers, etc.) that plug
in to a base controller can now add a non-volatile memory device to the
attachment, even if their attachments contain no active electronics. Adding a
GammaSafe memory token to an attachment enables several applications. For
example, the GammaSafe memory token can store an encrypted product
authentication code to protect against counterfeit disposables. The re-writable
memory can also be used to limit the usage of the attachment, ensuring that it
is not used more than the prescribed number of times. The disposable's model number and associated parameters, along with calibration information can be written to the GammaSafe token during
production; then, in the field, this data can be automatically transferred to
the base controller unit, eliminating the chance for human error from incorrect
In addition to the memory token, the GammaSafe product line includes a line
of mating receptacles. The GammaSafe receptacles are based on Datakey
Electronics' SlimLine receptacle design and are available in through-hole (GR4220PCB), surface-mount (GR4220SMT), and panel mount (GR4310 and GR4410) models. The panel-mount receptacles are available in
splash-proof (IP65-rated), immersion (IP67-rated), and EMI-reduction
versions--supporting a variety of medical device applications, especially
those with wash-down requirements. GammaSafe receptacles accept both
GammaSafe and SlimLine memory tokens--GammaSafe memory tokens for use
with disposable attachments, and larger-capacity SlimLine memory tokens for
applications like firmware updates or for downloading logged data.
circuitry is needed--the contacts of the GammaSafe receptacle simply connect
directly to the microcontroller's SPI port. When the GammaSafe memory token is
inserted into the receptacle, the microcontroller can read and write to it just
as if it was an SPI EEPROM IC soldered to the board. Further, because the
GammaSafe system is contact-based, as opposed to wireless, there is no
ambiguity as to which memory device is being read--a frequent concern with RFID
and other wireless systems.
GammaSafe memory token is offered with an optional integrated tether. The
optional tether consists of a 5-inch (12.7 cm) cable-tie that has been
"pre-looped" and integrated into the head of the memory token. This
allows OEMs an easy way to attach the GammaSafe token to their disposable
GammaSafe memory token also features an optional sterilization indicator,
which is housed within a recessed window on the front side of the token.
Before sterilization, the indicator is yellow/orange in color. After gamma
sterilization (10kGy dosage or greater), the indicator changes to a vivid red
color. This optional feature enables medical personnel to confirm at-a-glance
that the sealed medical device they are about to open has indeed undergone
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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