I love these examples of small, relatively simple medical device applications that can deliver such big value and comfort to patients. Chuck, you say that the device has already been used on upwards of 1,000 patients. Does that mean it's an available offering that's cleared the requisite FDA approval process?
TJ: I don't know if they could have used a different magnetic material, but I do know that they wanted a very powerful coupling force between the magnets because they are phyically separated by the plastic tube. It takes very strong hands to pull them apart. That's why they wanted neodymium.
Yesterday's articles included one about rare earth metal shortages caused by China cutbacks. The product described in this article uses a neodymium magnet. Is its component materials sourced from China? Could this product have been made with a magnet that was not rare-earth, or something other than neodymium?
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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