Designer's Corner

Capstan-drive pump

Medical laboratory equipment and other analytical instruments often deal with minute volumes of samples and reagents. The MBP 2000 handles precision volume-dispensing duties with a friction-based syringe-drive mechanism. It works like this: The syringe plunger is linked to a flat-sided shaft which bears against a hardened roller driven by a servo or stepper motor. A hardened, spring-biased roller supports the output shaft opposite the drive roller. To eliminate overhung loads, two supplementary rollers support the driver on its own side of the shaft. The system eliminates backlash, thus simplifying construction and programming chores.

Jerry Rochte, Advanced Liquid Handling, 214 Elkhorn Rd., Williams Bay, WI 53191, FAX (414) 245-1823.


In-situ endoscope washer

Fiber-optic endoscopes let doctors peer into areas of the body previously accessible only by surgery. One drawback: body fluids and debris frequently cloud an endoscope's illumination and viewing windows. Inserted down the endoscope's biopsy channel, this simple balloon-ended catheter washes those windows with jets of saline from perforations around the balloon's base.

Unlike external, difficult-to-sterilize nozzles, the catheter should be inexpensive to manufacture and thus disposable. Because it reduces the need to remove endoscopes periodically for cleaning, the device should also shorten the duration of such exams.

Sue Baker, Aeronautical Systems Division/Public Affairs, Wright Laboratories, Wright Patterson AFB, OH 45433, (513) 255-2725.


Conformal cold packs

Reusable and leak-resistant, ErgoFormcold packs improve on ice bags or endothermic chemical packs for relieving pain. Each model features individually contoured, RF-sealed urethane cells containing a proprietary, water-based gel. Since the gel and the urethane cells remain pliable at temperatures as low as 20 degrees F, the Velcro-fastened cold pack speeds relief by contacting more of an injured area than point sources can.

ErgoForm: Lynne Tapper, ErgoMed, Inc., Park West Station, Box 20185, New York, NY 10025-1511, (800) 919-3746.

Urethane: JPS Elastomerics Corp., 395 Pleasant St., Northampton, MA 01060, (413) 586-8750.

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