Business Development Manager for Life and Analytical Sciences, National Instruments
National Instruments has a comprehensive technological portfolio that is used in the design, development, deployment, manufacturing, and test of many devices involved in surgery.
“If you can measure, you can understand, and by understanding you can improve it.” Our influence comes from our ability to abstract complexity from the use of computational environments for data acquisition and control, signal processing, analysis, modeling, hardware in the loop, functional prototyping, design verification, and many other tools, which allow the domain expert to be proactively involved and push the evolutionary envelope of surgical devices.
We have been involved in the research of the next generation of many different types of surgical devices and instruments. Some examples include: tracking and guiding technologies, different types of electromechanical actuators (robots), multi-spectrum and radiation-based imaging systems, laser and RF energy delivering devices, drug delivery devices, physiological monitoring devices, resuscitative devices, minimally invasive surgical devices, external and internal cardiac assist devices and pumps, and respiration assist devices to name a few.
In short, our influence is most of the time indirect, yet significant, as we provide a broad technological portfolio of hardware and software that is used by medical manufacturers to conceive and improve their devices
VP of Marketing, Micro Power
Micro Power is committed to providing surgical instrument OEMs with leading technology and a new competitive advantage. In the last two years, Micro Power performed extensive research and testing to overcome the electrical, environmental, mechanical, and chemical challenges in producing battery packs that can be used in a surgical environment. The challenge for these battery packs is to repeatedly withstand the sterilization process, whether it is Ethylene Oxide (ETO) gas, gamma radiation, hydrogen peroxide gas, or steam sterilization. Micro Power has designed, tested, and manufactured lithium batteries that perform after exposure to many of these sterilization processes.
Recently, Micro Power started to manufacture rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs that can be sterilized via hydrogen peroxide gas without performance degradation. The sterilization of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries with hydrogen peroxide gas enables hospitals to utilize a popular sterilization process while providing surgeons with the most power for their surgical tools. Powered surgical instruments using lithium-ion chemistry can deliver eight times the power over older nickel chemistry, and can survive 300-400 sterilizations. Additionally, we have introduced modern lithium battery technology–fuel gauging, cell balancing, high current capabilities, battery-to-host communications–to the manufacturers of surgical instruments.
L.A. Design Director, Product Development Technologies (PDT)
PDT is changing the way nurses and doctors interact with devices used during surgical procedures by strategically designing the user experience. This is crucial as it can greatly reduce devastating mistakes. Armed with the latest technologies, our team creates robust user interfaces on various medical devices, incorporating new safety features to make input errors a thing of the past. Our user interface designers have more tools available than ever before, allowing them to truly impact medical devices, their users, and patients. Touch screens, improved resolution, flexible screens, and lower power requirements are pushing the boundaries on our medical projects, creating improved devices that both users and patients are benefitting from. We’re also developing connected devices that provide real time results, allowing caregivers to make life-saving decisions.
In addition, because our team designs interfaces that are intuitive, our clients are realizing cost savings through reduced training and support expenses. They’re also finding that redevelopment costs are lower because their devices can be updated with software and interfaces rather than complete product overhauls. These cost savings will allow them to focus on other developments that will ultimately aid in healing and provide advanced medical treatments.
Technical Sales Manager, Sensor Products Inc.
Pressurex sensor film, which measures and characterizes pressure at the interface of virtually any two surfaces, has been used in many biomechanical studies to test and modify the design of surgical devices. It is placed at the interface of contacting surfaces and changes color directly proportional to the pressure applied. The film can be compared to a color calibration chart or imaged for further analysis and accuracy to ±2%.
In a recent study, Pressurex was used to examine the compressive biomechanical behavior of the vertebral end plate with varying sizes of disc replacement implants. Vertebral end plate support is necessary for successful lumbar total disc replacement (TDR) surgery. Failure to achieve anterior column support as a result of lumbar TDR device undersizing could lead to implant subsidence and fracture.
It has also been frequently used in connection with components and surgical procedures relating to total knee anthroplasty over the past 20 years.
Pressurex sensor film is a convenient medium for measuring interfacial stresses at joint surfaces, both physiological and prosthetic. It conforms to curvaceous surfaces and can be hand or laser cut to specific shapes and dimensions. It reveals the pressure distribution of joint and bone interfaces, and measures impact force in gait analysis and weight bearing responses on prosthesis.
The film is also used in plastic and metal injection molding for manufacture of medical devices that must meet stringent performance and tolerance criteria. Pressurex reveals the precise pressure distribution along the parting line and helps to ensure uniform mating and open vents.