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Robotics Takes on the Life Sciences

September 17, 2013 3:02 pm | by Mike Szesterniak, Industry Market Manager—Life Sciences, Parker Hannifin | Parker Hannifin Corp. | Comments

Life sciences is one industry that is currently undergoing a turbulent development environment. Major advancements such as next-generation DNA sequencing and molecular imaging are expected to drive growth in categories such as immunochemistry and genetic testing. Add to this that changes in government regulations and market conditions are forcing life science OEMs to build their products using faster, smaller more modular technologies.

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Fighting an Invisible Enemy

September 16, 2013 2:15 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor, ECN | Comments

Though medical devices are always moving towards less invasive, more effective technology, they face a constant, persistent and ever-evolving enemy in deadly bacteria and infections. Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) can be caused by any infectious agent and result in 99,000 deaths per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New Regulations to Minimize Risk of Electromagnetic Interference

September 13, 2013 4:26 pm | by Ozgur Ozturk, Senior Business Manager, TUV Rheinland of North America | Tuv Rheinland Of North America | Comments

While all electronic products must comply with electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) requirements, EMC evaluation of medical devices is expanded to include product safety. This step-up is understandable as human health and life are frequently dependent on medical devices in a healthcare setting.

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Optimization Through Customization

September 11, 2013 2:10 pm | by John P. Walter, President and CEO, Precipart, & Abby Dress, Associate Professor, Long Island University | Comments

Many engineers and purchasing agents think it is more expensive to custom design a component or assembly these days when often customization can save on total costs. How can this be when an off-the-shelf unit typically is less expensive than its custom-produced counterpart?

The NEXThaler: A New Type of Inhaler

September 11, 2013 1:58 pm | by Melissa Fassbender, Associate Editor, MDT | Cambridge Consultants Inc | Comments

A pharmaceutical company that developed a new powder asthma medication needed a delivery device. They identified a product development firm that handled all aspects of the development of an inhaler device with an intuitive design.     

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Designer-Molder Collaboration Streamlines Device Production

September 10, 2013 3:25 pm | by Jim Ritzema, Director of Operations, Rogan Corporation | Rogan Corporation | Comments

Discussion and collaboration between a medical device designer and a molding partner early in the design process can save significant expense and help avoid manufacturing obstacles that would otherwise not emerge until production has begun. This article looks at the great benefits realized from early cooperation between these two parts of the product development lifecycle.

The Plastic Protecting the First UL-Approved Lithium Autoclavable Surgical Battery

September 9, 2013 3:39 pm | by Solvay Specialty Polymers | Solvay Specialty Polymers, Conmed Corp. | Comments

ConMed Corp., a leading global supplier of arthroscopic devices, multi-specialty endoscopic medical video systems, and powered surgical instruments, faced several stiff challenges when it embarked on the development of the industry’s first UL-approved autoclavable battery.

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Modeling the Electrochemistry of Blood Glucose Test Strips

September 6, 2013 3:09 pm | by Gary Dagastine | COMSOL, Inc. | Comments

Self-monitoring of blood glucose levels is vital to effective diabetes control, and so every day, diabetics around the world share the same routine: They place a drop of their blood on a test strip and insert the strip into a meter to measure their glucose level. But few of them probably stop to think that the humble little plastic test strip that makes self-monitoring possible is actually a highly engineered sensor.

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Lean Initiatives Improve Medical Manufacturing Quality

September 5, 2013 4:15 pm | by Roy Bernard, Director of Global Supply Chain Management, Connecticut Spring & Stamping | Connecticut Spring & Stamping | Comments

A lean initiatives program, undertaken over a period of years to improve quality and on-time delivery, has been a boon to the company’s ability to meet medical device makers’ needs. About three years ago, the company refocused its ongoing lean manufacturing initiatives to take aim at improving the company’s bottom line by eliminating waste while improving quality and delivery.

European Market for Orthopedic Biomaterials

September 4, 2013 4:44 pm | by Kamran Zamanian, Ph.D. and Horace Wei MSc., Market Research Analyst, iData Research | Comments

The European market for orthopedic biomaterials saw a decline between 2010 and 2012 due to a period of economic uncertainty and severe budgetary restrictions. However, this rate of decline has been diminishing, a promising sign for future growth.

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An Ounce of Extrusion, A Pound of Cure

September 3, 2013 2:53 pm | by Jim Sartell, Medical Market Leader, Alexandria Industries | Comments

The TomoTherapy System boasts one of the most reliable uptime rates in the industry at approximately 99 percent, but when shortcomings with a supplier’s couplings for the system’s electro/pneumatic/mechanical assembly threatened its accuracy and uptime, Accuray sought an immediate solution.

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The Fine Art of Machining

August 28, 2013 3:15 pm | by Sean Fenske, Editor-in-Chief, MDT | Okuma America Corporation, Crescent Industries, Inc. | Comments

While machining may not be specified as much as it once was in the medical device industry (outside of the orthopedic realm, that is), it is still very much a necessary component fabrication process for this industry. In fact, machining is being utilized across an array of device sectors, from surgical tools, fixation devices, and dental implants to components for medical pumps, instrumentation, and implantables.

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Disposables in the O.R.

August 28, 2013 3:03 pm | by James B. Schultz, Executive Vice President, ECA Medical Instruments | Comments

While the use of disposables in healthcare is certainly nothing new, their implementation as instrumentation in orthopedic procedures is. Offering an array of benefits for OEMs and hospitals alike, such as cost savings, improved efficiencies, and enhanced safety, without sacrificing the durability and strength of more traditional instruments, it’s no wonder this trend is occurring.

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The Exciting Future of Advanced Cardiovascular Devices

August 28, 2013 2:51 pm | by Melissa Barnes, Associate Editor, MDT | Comments

Within the medical device technology industry, the cardiovascular sector is one of the largest and most stable, due to immediate demand and necessity. As with all areas in the field, engineers continuously strive to design more minimally invasive devices, but with cardiovascular diseases at the top of the list in a growing elderly population, there is an urgent need for continuous advancement.

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Collaborative Development of Innovative Blood Testing Technology

August 27, 2013 2:33 pm | by Geert Van Steenberge, Ph.D., Research Team Leader, and Jeroen Missinne, Ph.D., Post-Doc Research Engineer, CMST (imec’s associated lab) | Imec | Comments

Leading companies and institutes in protein diagnostics and micro-nano-bio research, including Philips, imec, Hytest, PolyAn, Bremen University, and Eindhoven University of Technology, have joined forces to investigate next-generation technologies with the goal of enabling new, highly sensitive, point-of-care blood tests.

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