Posted: August 21, 2009

Exhibitors Showcase High-Tech for Medical Devices

(Nanowerk News) COMPAMED, the international leading trade fair for the supplier market of medical manufacturing, opens its doors in the scope of MEDICA from November 18 to 20, 2009 in Düsseldorf, Germany, again. Experts of the medical technology industry show new developments, ranging from plastic and ceramic components to surfaces and material analysis, as well as sensor technology and implants at the IVAM Product Market "High-tech for Medical Devices". The focal themes include nanomed, advanced materials, microtechnology and high-tech manufacturing. A highlight will be the topic "Quality management using excellent measurement, testing and analyzing technology". The Product Market and the forum are organized by IVAM Microtechnology Network.
Quality management for medical technology products
Now-a-days stents and canulas are used very often in medical technology. Those important components constantly have to meet a high standard in quality and µm reproducibility. Therefore ISIS sentronics GmbH has developed the compact stand-alone table-top device i-Dex t, which will be presented at the IVAM joint pavilion in the framework of COMPAMED. The integrated sensors StraDex and RayDex allow a measurement of the inner and outer diameter as well as of the wall thickness within 100 nm repeatability. The outer and inner thickness of coatings can also be simultaneously evaluated. Optionally strut widths, contours and roughness are measured with the same system.
The optical 3D measurement device InfiniteFocus from Alicona Imaging GmbH is often used in the dental industry. Form and roughness measurements significantly enhance quality assurance of e.g. tooth implants. In-process roughness measurements guarantee the necessary surface state for the proper adhesion with the tissue. Also, inside form measurements of implants are performed. The numerical verification of sealing ensures that no bacterial invasion occurs. Comparative measurements to a CAD dataset ensure dimensional accuracy. "Due to the vertical resolution of up to 10 nm, InfiniteFocus is also used by precision tool designers. Even very small radii of e.g. drills are measured within seconds. Also, 360° measurements of shaft tools enormously increase cost effectiveness", adds CEO Dr. Stefan Scherer.
Carl Zeiss Industrielle Messtechnik GmbH will present the O-INSPECT multi-sensor measuring machine. It was specially developed for the quality assurance and initial sampling of small, complex parts in the plastics industry, medical and automobile technology and precision mechanics. O-INSPECT combines flexibility with reproducible results in one measuring run and one setting. A ZEISS 12 x zoom lens is used in addition to the VAST XXT scanning sensor. Large bore holes and contours are scanned with VAST XXT or inspected using single-point measuring. Various stylus systems further enhance the system's flexibility. Deviations from the nominal data are visible in real time via the camera image shown in the CAD display without additional measurements.
NanoFocus AG's analysis systems allow high precision micro and nano scale 3D surface measurements. The systems work at high measurement and analysis speeds for use near production lines, offering quality assurance and thereby manufacturing efficiency.
Fries Research & Technology GmbH (FRT) offers a comprehensive range of metrological surface measuring systems for the non-destructive investigation of topography, thickness, roughness, abrasion, and many other properties.
ZygoLOT is a supplier to well-known medical technology companies such as Altatec. ZygoLOT's NewView product family measures surface texture within seconds. No special part preparation is required; and the measuring tool presents easy to understand 3D maps of the surface to sub-nanometer precision.
Advanced materials
The department Biomaterials Technology of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Applied Materials Research IFAM shows its expertise in the area of process development for biomaterials. Products with microstructured titanium surfaces and a coexisting sub-microstructure resulting in improved ingrowths of implants in the human body as well as small, complex components made of ceramic and polymer will be presented. Biopolymers reinforced by the integration of metal ions into their matrixes will also be shown. Due to the application of micro extrusion and micro injection molding, nearly every material can be processed and molded into complex geometries under series conditions.
Specialty Coating Systems (SCS) will be exhibiting their Parylene conformal coating services. Parylene coatings are biocompatible and biostable, and offer moisture, chemical and dielectric barrier properties to many medical devices including stents, catheters, pacemakers, needles, mandrels, and elastomeric seals, to name a few. "In addition to Parylene coatings, we will also be discussing our new adhesion promotion technologies with visitors", announces SCS Senior Medical Market Specialist Lonny Wolgemuth.
JENOPTIK Polymer Systems GmbH will show a double-sided microlens array in plastic. It enables, among others, homogenization of laser sources as well as beam guidance in laser projection systems. Especially in the area of health care and life science, these microlens arrays can be used, for example, in lighting applications for examinations and surgeries, or for beam shaping in diagnosis and therapy. The use of plastics enables an economic production.
IMT Masken und Teilungen AG, a Swiss manufacturer of optical glass components, will be exhibiting at COMPAMED for the second time. "We exhibited in 2008 in order to address the still infant market for glass components for microfluidic and biophotonic applications – we were pleasantly surprised by the result", explains Dr. Alexios Tzannis. IMT is applying its competences in large scale manufacturing to meet the demand from the medical industry for high-end microstructures on and in glass. "Our know-how in microchannels, electrodes, optical wave guides, micro-optics and coatings combined with our capabilities in large scale manufacturing has been welcomed by the industry. Glass has definite advantages in some applications; we look forward to participate in these", says Tzannis.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will present recent developments for high-precision laser manufacturing using new generations of laser sources. The TWIST process leads to an increase of the application field for the laser welding of polymers, allowing higher process flexibility and precision. The Fraunhofer ILT will present a new, compact and competitive laser welding station with small footprint using fiber lasers and galvanometer scanners, which is able to weld complex parts within a few seconds, allowing cost-effective production of small and medium-sized lot sizes with a minimum of time-to-market. A potential application for this machine is inter alia the manufacturing of microfluidic components and microtiter plates.
IMS B.V. offers turn-key, custom-made manufacturing solutions for the medical, high-precision and electronics industry. At COMPAMED the Dutch company will present ProMicro, a semi-automatic work cell for micro systems. The philosophy behind the platform is the automation of value-added processes and manual performance of non-value added processes. With ProMicro, customers can easily ramp up their production from small numbers to volumes of up to 2 million pieces per year, which provides them with a fast response in case of growing demand. Micro assembly processes such as laser welding, dispensing, gluing and UV curing are executed on the platform. Main features are its 6 Sigma assembly capability, high positioning accuracy of better than 5 µm and handling of micro parts smaller than 2.5 mm.
Micro Systems (UK) Ltd will have a micro-molding machine running on its stand demonstrating fully automated production of micro-medical components. The company will also exhibit micro-molded parts with small holes, meshes and micro/nano feature sizes, and micro insert-molded components. Components to be shown include catheter tips, bio-resorbable components for surgical applications, drug delivery clips featuring a 7 mm long, 0.32 mm dia hole at a compound angle, micro-connectors with 0.2 mm dia through-holes, parts for microfluidics, and plastic diffractive optics.
HARTING AG Mitronics from Switzerland offers a complete value chain for 3D-MID packages from development to production of customer-specific products. The company realizes innovative multifunctional packages for e.g. MEMS, sensors and RFID transponders. 3D-MID housings made in liquid crystal polymer (LCP) or polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) can support the realization of additional functions. The utilization of the third dimension opens up new possibilities for the construction of sensors. HARTING provides molding tools and handling systems for the complete product life cycle from prototypes to high-volume production.
Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS)
Anybody visiting alpha-board gmbh will learn how to save time in hardware development projects and about possibilities to reduce space and weight of electronic products for medical technology. Time savings are realized, for example, when designing PCBs. alpha-board uses the tool Mentor Expedition and works in shifts to save up to 60 percent of the time needed for PCB designs. For customers this means less interim financing, earlier cash flows from the product and less time-to-market.
ECR Swiss EMS specializes on the production and testing of high-value electronic assembly groups as well as on the final assembly of technically complex appliances, which are used in medical, machine, measurement and sensor technology.
livetec engineering GmbH located in Lörrach, Germany, predominantly offers solutions for medical tasks. They focus mainly on medical technology (cardiology, electrophysiology), wireless communication technology, and remote monitoring and diagnostics. livetec also offers solutions for wireless sensors (implantable or extra-corporal) which communicate with their environment by means of a low-power wireless communication interface.
PrehTronics is a medium-sized EMS service company of LACROIX Electronique and belongs to the LACROIX Group, which has 2,300 employees world-wide and had a turnover of 250 million Euros in 2008. LACROIX Electronique as a part of the LACROIX Group generated a turnover of nearly 115 million Euros in 2008 with about 1,400 employees. As an EMS provider present in Germany, France, the Maghreb countries and Eastern Europe, LACROIX Electronique offers tailored assembly groups.
Bartels Mikrotechnik GmbH will present news from its two business divisions microEngineering and microComponents: bringing novel technologies into medical applications, the microEngineering division offers development support and product innovation through microtechnology. New technologies for fluid transport with high potential in diagnostic testing, based on the example of electrowetting, are presented. In microComponents the focus lies on flow controlled micropump systems addressing the demands of the medical market concerning accuracy, safety and monitoring. With either a patented intrinsic low costs sensing solution or a hybrid system including silicone flow sensors, different accuracy and flow ranges can be achieved.
With its new miniaturized, piezo-driven O-run membrane pump, PARItec GmbH will present an innovation that can be integrated flexibly in a wide variety of medical technology products. Based on MICROrun technology the pump covers flow ranges from 0.05 to 100 ml/min (water), features counter pressure resistance up to 500 mbar (water), and is self-aspirating and gas-bubble tolerant. The output capability manages viscosities as high as 1,000 mPa. The O-run therefore can be used to transport such media as glycerine, for example. The spectrum of application for the O-run piezo membrane pump comprises therapeutic, respiratory, diagnostic and infusion systems, mobile and stationary laboratory devices, and industrial production and test systems of all kinds.
Piezoelectric components for drive technology
Physik Instrumente (PI) will present numerous piezoelectric components and drive solutions for medical technology. Space saving piezoelectric actuators and motors are used where ultra-fast or high-precision motion is required. This is the case for micro pumps, dispensers or dosing valves for volumes of micro- and nanoliters or for the generation of homogeneous aerosol. Piezoelectric drives consume a low amount of electrical power, which is an important feature for mobile devices. Furthermore, they promise a high reliability. They do not need mechanical components such as shafts or gear boxes, which can be found as weak points in classical drive systems.
Sensor technology
At COMPAMED, Sensirion AG will prove its competence in flow measurement. On the one hand, the differential pressure sensors of the SDP600 series will be presented to the visitors. The digital sensors have been successfully used in medical ventilation since 2009. On the other hand the experts from Switzerland will demonstrate their technological ability to detect air bubbles along with the precise measurement of liquid flow. This feature allows a significant increase in process safety, particularly in the fields of medical diagnostics and infusion technology. Furthermore, Sensirion will introduce the new humidity and temperature sensor SHT21, which is, according to product manager Dr. Michael Hunziker, "the world's smallest digital humidity sensor".
It is the first time that ACEOS GmbH will show its OEM oxygen- and carbondioxid-module with optional volume flow measurement. The ACE-DXmed has an integrated pump and analyzes the gas concentration within milliseconds. Through the optional FDA certified volume flow sensor it is now possible to determine the amount of gas (e.g. for breath analysis) as well. The board the size of a postcard meets the RoHS standard, is calibration free, auto compensated and has no consumables. "Our international customers are ISO 13485 certified manufacturers for cardiopulmonary stress testing devices, breath and lunge diagnostic devices, but also bio engineering manufacturers", explains Gunnar Jung, product manager at ACEOS.
Driven by the need for improved cancer diagnosis and monitoring, the SmartHEALTH project will enable enhanced diagnostics leading to earlier results; thus contributing to increased quality of life. The SmartHEALTH session in context of the forum focuses on key development and integration areas to deliver the pervasive healthcare vision of eHealth, which includes for example sensor technologies, microfluidics, ICT-enabled instruments and web-based bio-data interpretation. "IVAM has provided the opportunity, with the ideal audience, at the right stage in the project lifetime, to showcase the next generation of smart diagnostic systems fully integrated into healthcare systems in Europe", states SmartHEALTH coordinator Prof. Calum McNeil.
Source: IVAM (press release)
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