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Medical Technology Report

Article-Medical Technology Report

Medical Technology Report

Medtronic has developed a new delivery system for AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm)endovascular surgery to deploy stent grafts through a patient 's arteries.The delivery system also provides a new platform for Medtronic Vascular's endovascular product lines.

Called the Xcelerant delivery system,it provides doctors an ergonomic tool for precisely deploying stent grafts. The Xcelerant system is designed for volume manufacturing, and the handheld unit snaps together to simplify the final assembly steps.Engineers eliminate all mechanical fasteners and minimized gluing operations.They also used overmolded plastic parts to create a strong industrial design. A unique gear reduction system in the handle of the delivery system and a release that disengages the gearing provide a convenient,ergonomic method for doctors to use slow, controlled or rapid deployment of the stent material.

Feedback is Key

Many design engineers in the medical industry believe customers want the consistent feel and tactile feedback of traditional mechanical switches.But membrane switches offer a low and simplified assembly.

A major medical OEM that builds MRIs,CAT scans,and x-ray machines came up with a design that combines both the consistent feel of traditional switches and the thinness,reliability,and scalability of membrane switches. Engineers worked with Memtron,a licensee of Duraswitch technology, which provides membrane panel assemblies that incorporate both pushbuttons and rotary switches.These rotary switches also feature a rotor that 's an integral part of the keypad, an important feature in medical devices that undergo cleaning operations.

Pump may Douse Heart Problems

An inventor better known for helping Hollywood create special effects is now hoping to do something to save lives. He 's converting a pump now used for firefighting to one for pumping blood just like a human heart.

A team headed by Eddie Paul, president of E.P.Industries currently seeking funding to develop an artificial heart that uses a centrifugal pump.It 's based on what 's called the cylindrical energy module (CEM), which Paul patented in 1991. He claims it achieves 24 times the output of comparably sized pumps.

Q & A- Smart Instruments up next

You pioneered use of CCDs in medical-equipment design.What new enabling technologies hold the most promise for medical design today?

A couple of technologies that hold promise are conductivity of medical instruments and molecular diagnostic medicine.By conductivity,I mean the ability of diagnostic instruments to store and then seamlessly network the information to clinicians so they have access to important data when and where they need it.The usefulness of many diagnostic instruments increases tremendously if their data is coupled with other instruments.Another exciting enabling technology is Molecular Diagnostic Medicine.This technology is made possible by the decoding of the human genome plus the genomes of many animals and pathogens.

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