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Posted: August 22, 2008

Leading edge medical technology on display in November in Germany

(Nanowerk News) COMPAMED, the international leading trade fair for the supplier market of medical manufacturing opens its doors simultaneously to MEDICA from November 19 to 21, 2008 again in Düsseldorf, Germany. In 2007, 460 exhibitors presented a wide range of high-tech solutions to about 13,000 expert visitors of COMPAMED. Solutions varied from advanced materials, parts and components, and services up to complex micro- and nanotechnology. This success shall be updated with the next COMPAMED. Especially the Product Market "High-tech for Medical Devices", initiated by IVAM Microtechnology Network, as well as the accompanying forum will attract many visitors again. The IVAM joint pavilion with a new exhibitor record of about 40 companies and institutes shows a lot of innovations.
Electronic Manufacturing Services
This year, IVAM presents the new subject area “Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) for Medical Devices”. Especially with the view on the rising quality standards due to DIN 13485, EMS is a key topic in the field of medical engineering. Many manufacturers of components and systems outsource production to experts.
One of the exhibitors in the EMS area is PrehTronics GmbH, which develops electronic, printed circuit board assemblies and complete systems by using latest industrial PCs, display solutions, user interfaces and microcontroller platforms. PrehTronics is also specialist for industrialization and production of already developed customer products.
Laser technology
The Fraunhofer-Institute for Laser Technology ILT introduces its recently developed joining method LIFTEC, which is intended to join a metal or ceramic part to a polymer part. Laser welding of polymers is being extended to miniaturized components by the use of a fiber laser in conjunction with the highly dynamic beam steering strategy TWIST. Welding geometries less than 100 µm are feasible this way. Laser surface modification allows high resolution structuring of photochemical and topological properties. The wettability of medical products and components for bioanalytical systems can then be tailored for specific needs.
Innolume GmbH presents laser diodes covering the operational range from 1,050 to 1,320 nm. They enable customers to design cost-efficient, energy-saving and small-size medical laser systems. The applications of Innolume’s diode lasers range from surgical lasers via spectroscopy to light sources for medical imaging. The product portfolio includes high-power diode laser modules, narrow-spectrum diode lasers and semiconductor optical amplifiers.
IR Microsystems, subsidiary of Leister Process Technologies, manufactures compact gas sensors based on telecom-type laser diodes for applications in medical technology, process control, industrial safety and others. The gas detectors are offered to OEM customers as stand-alone systems or sub-mounts for the continuous monitoring of gases like O2, CO2, H2O, NH3 and CH4. Advantages are notable in terms of selectivity, life-time, calibration-free operation, cost-over time and response time. Applications in medical technology may include oxygen measurement in anaesthesia gas regulation and monitoring, cell incubation and pulmonary diagnostics.
Tracing of products for medicine and pharmacy with indelible ID-codes gain in importance, especially since the drug traceability proof is under discussion by the EMEA (European Medicines Agency) and the FDA (Federal Drug Association). The proof is intended to stem the market for inferior product imitations, which is steadily growing around the world. This is why 3D-Micromac AG developed a new technology for marking transparent materials with ultra-short pulse lasers. At this – different to conventional methods – the marking is not done at the surface, but inside the material.
RFID
alpha-board gmbh presents custom-made electronics design and manufacturing solutions such as the development of electronic modules and systems, PCB design and simulation of EMC. Additionally, the company assembles and delivers PCBs. Focus at COMPAMED is the labelling of electronic devices and PCBs for medical technology with RFID. Manufacturers profit from labelling their assembled PCBs with RFID technology by an improved allocation, traceability without gap, product lifecycle management and improved readability – for example in case of contamination or hard to reach positions. Furthermore, assembled PCB-related information can be stored.
Sensor technology
ACEOS GmbH presents ACE-Xmed, an oxygen sensor for breath-by-breath measurement, and ACE-DXmed, an auto-calibrating sensor module to simultaneously measure oxygen and carbon dioxide breath-by-breath. The sensors are unleaded, can be calibrated with ambient air and have not to be replaced periodically. Thus they are not only environmentally compliant, but also economical. They are used predominantly with medical devices for cardio pulmonary function testing (spiroergometric applications), for ventilation and for monitoring.
Pressure measurement is a key parameter to control and treat patient health disorders. In order to address the various needs of implanted systems, Tronics Microsystems S.A. launches an ultra-miniature wireless implantable absolute pressure sensor platform, which amongst others features titanium packaging, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) compatible materials and integrated temperature gage for compensation. Tronics customizes this platform to create small form factor implantable sensors adapted to customers’ requirements and application constraints.
Axetris, a division of LEISTER Process Technologies, presents the new massflow range MFM/MFC 2000 for measuring and controlling of gas flows as well as a broad range of MEMS-based infrared (IR) sources for gas analytics. The mass flow range is suited for stand-alone applications for the precise measurement and control of gas flows and as building block for larger OEM mass flow systems. High radiation efficiency, long lifetime, compact size and fast modulation speed are the characteristics of the wideband infrared (IR) source offered by Axetris. It is available in many variations with or without window (window options include Sapphire, Calcium- and Bariumfluoride) as well as reflectors.
Sensirion AG exhibits various sensor products for the accurate measurement of gas and liquid flow, differential pressure and humidity. Most important innovation is, according to sales director Andreas Jossi, “the first digital differential pressure sensor” SDP600/610 for demanding medical applications such as respiratory devices. Moreover, Sensirion will present a new solution for the non-invasive measurement of smallest liquid flows. The packaging technology is based on planar microfluidic substrates and yields “the world’s smallest and most precise flow sensor for microfluidics”, as sales director Ulf Kanne remarks. The technology is especially suitable for high-volume applications in the fields of medical diagnostics and drug delivery.
Micropumps
On time for the COMPAMED, the new micropump mp6 from Bartels Mikrotechnik GmbH is available. The double actuator system is the smallest serial produced piezoelectric diaphragm pump made from plastic on the market. The pump reaches a back pressure of 500 mbar by pumping water at a size of 30x15x3.8 mmł. In addition to the new design the chemical resistance is increased. “Visitors at the fair should convince themselves of the other benefits like the improved gas bubble tolerance and self-priming behaviour of the mp6”, advises product manager Severin Dahms.
PARItec GmbH also introduces its new, piezo-driven micropump. It was developed in co-operation with Fraunhofer IZM and offers advantages in handling of aggressive media and automated manufacturing due to a stainless steel pump chamber. Silicon valves account for a long life time and a good reproducibility. High flow rates as well as a high back pressure and low power consumption can be reached. The modular design allows flexibility for specific applications. Customers searching a complete microfluidic solution are supported in their evaluation with a demonstrator kit by PARItec.
Precision components
Servometer / PMG, LLC has refined the process for the design and manufacture of precision electroforms, producing parts that would be too small or fragile to machine or form by traditional mechanical means. These precise, thin-walled, metal components can be made as small as 0.020” (0.5 mm) out of nickel, copper, gold, silver or any combination thereof. The electroforms are produced by electrodepositing a thin layer of nickel on an aluminium mandrel of any shape – then chemically dissolving the mandrel to leave behind a hollow, thin-walled, metal form which becomes the electroform.
BellowsTech, LLC is specialized in the design and manufacture of precision edge welded bellows and assemblies, encompassing a wide array of alloys and dimensional configurations serving the high vacuum, aerospace, semiconductor, oil services, process control and medical device industries. The metal bellows provide a hermetic, all-metal pressure barrier and seal that flexes in one or more directions, providing the most flexibility in the smallest amount of space.
Micro Systems (UK) Ltd will be exhibiting micro-molded parts with small holes, meshes and micro/nano feature sizes, micro insert molded components, and process capability for closed-loop control of multi-cavity medical molds. Components to be shown include drug delivery clips, micro-connectors and a micro-lens with sub-micron surface features. By using recently developed methods to closed-loop in the injection process within medical molds, improvements in cavity-to-cavity repeatability in the order of 40 percent could be made across 32 cavities, which is combined with a significant improvement in molded part accuracy.
Micro motors
Linear and rotary movements can be produced directly and with a finely adjustable speed by the Elliptec Motor. It is small, light and suitable for servo tasks in consumer goods, optics, industrial and medical fields as well as for vacuum applications. To simplify the integration of a piezo drive in an application, Elliptec Resonant Actuator AG developed a module solution, which combines the Elliptec Motor, the driven element and the electronics in one compact housing. Through various software versions the modules can, depending on the application, rather be similar to a DC motor or a step motor.
PiezoMotor Uppsala AB is one of Sweden’s most promising high-tech companies, which develops, manufactures and brings to market several types of micro motors, all based on piezo technology. PiezoMotor AB markets the nano-precision Piezo LEGS motors and the extremely small PiezoWave motors designed for mass volume applications such as handheld devices, digital household electrical appliances as well as medical technology devices.
Measuring technology
Stents are a must in today's modern medicine. To assure quality and proper functioning of these implants, 2D and 3D surface measurement tools from Fries Research & Technology GmbH (FRT) are a solution. By means of multisensor technology, precise analyses of roughness, contour, topography and film thickness can be performed. FRT also develops individual solutions for medical applications such as a specimen holder for stents. The holder is designed for the precise rotation of stents on the measuring tool and assures easy sample positioning.
Another solution for surface control of implants are the non-destructive and automatable 3D measuring systems of NanoFocus AG. The µsurf explorer is especially suitable for laboratories and manufacturing processes. With the 3D microscope µsurf explorer, NanoFocus for the first time offers a standard package including the analysis software nanoExplorer.
Microproduction
IMS bv offers manufacturing solutions for the high-precision, electric and medical industry. One of the key aspects is the modular system build-up. Through this, production can grow from low to medium output levels, meaning high-quality production can be achieved against low investment risks. The modular build up also facilitates integration of customer-specific operations like micro welding, dispensing and handling. An example is ProMicro, a semi-automatic work cell for assembly of small products and components in the micro range. Philosophy behind the ProMicro is that value-added processes are automated and that non-value-added processes are done manually.
Coating
Specialty Coating Systems (SCS) will be exhibiting their Parylene conformal coating services at COMPAMED 2008 again. Parylene is a biocompatible, biostable polymer offering moisture, chemical and dielectric barrier properties to many medical devices including stents, catheters, pacemakers, needles, mandrels and elastomeric seals, to name a few.
Sterilization
Gas-plasma sterilization by means of hydrogen peroxide is an innovative sterilization procedure for medical products. This service is available with immediate effect from Meise GmbH Medizintechnik. One of the advantages compared to other sterilization procedures is the process temperature of 45 to 50 °C. Good results were achieved with the sterilization of plastics, but also of fine structures such as bio membranes. The case is similar when it comes to sensitive electronic components and accumulators – as a result of the slight performance losses, gas-plasma sterilization has already become routine here.
Further information and an exhibitor overview including contact data can be found at www.ivam.de/index.php?content=messe_details&id=323&clear=2.
Source: IVAM