Interesting applications from the bio-technology and medical technology industry
Cutting-edge electronic machines have been in use in the medical technology industry for many years. Equally, complex electronic equipment is used in the biotechnology industry for the evaluation of procedure, often based on chemical reactions (e.g. fluorescence).
With increasingly powerful, reliable and more compact electronics, it is possible to advance into new areas of medical and biotechnology. As a result, pacemakers and defibrillators are becoming increasingly durable and reliable with the aid of modern sensors. Prostheses can be adjusted specifically for their application using electronic sensors and actuators. Point-of-care diagnostics is becoming possible as a result of new and faster methods so infections can be detected in the shortest possible time - without time-consuming laboratory investigations and long waiting times.
Switch sensor in defibrillators Current pulses can save lives
Besides pacemaker implants, there are also ICD implants. ICD stands for “Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator”. This detects life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia and prevents them by triggering a strong current pulse. It functions in the same way as a conventional defibrillator, which is used by paramedics for resuscitation procedures.
An ICD remains in the body of people suffering from a chronic heart condition as a long-term permanent therapy. The implant is battery operated and is usually implanted directly under the skin near the shoulder.
- Very compact field sensor GF705 for detecting an external magnetic field for programming and/or identifying MRT diagnostics
- Passive sensor element with low power consumption and high reliability
- Non-contacting and reliable sensor principle
- No destruction or negative influence by strong magnetic fields
- Compact sensor housing (chip scale package)
Point-of-care diagnostics Future diagnostics just like on the Starship Enterprise
Everyone will be familiar with the tricoder that “Mr. Spock” used for extensive diagnostics purposes for injured people, at Captain Kirk’s side in the late 60s ? What was at the time a future vision for the 23rd century is already being developed by researchers today in the form of mobile point-of-care diagnostics equipment with impressive opportunities.
These are devices that are intended to replace laborious and costly laboratory analyses in order to enable fast and local results of blood tests, for example.
Airports, crisis areas, but also quick diagnoses for GPs or pharmacists are the areas targeted by this futuristic technology, which requires technology that is reliable but also simple to use and yet cost-effective.
- Antibodies are enriched with magnetic “beads” (microscopically small paramagnetic particles), which are mixed into the bodily fluids.
- A GMR sensor is integrated into a so-called ‘disposable’, which is equipped with microfluidic channels and conducts the bodily fluids over the integrated sensor.
- The adhered magnetic particles are detected by the sensitive sensor. This not only allows the presence of a pathogen to be identified, but also enables its concentration to be determined.
- Signal analysis and data storage take place electrically.
- Highly sensitive sensors for detecting the weak magnetic beads
- Very specific measurement with high local resolution
- Fast measurement principle with results within minutes
- Active principle recognizes not only positive results but also concentrations
Length measurement on the eye No glasses after cataract surgery
Patients afflicted with cataracts suffer from increasingly clouded eyesight. The disease causes the lens to cloud over, resulting in sufferers seeing things through a gray veil.
Cataract operations shatter and remove the clouded over lens in the eye. A new artificial lens is then implanted so that the patient can see clearly again.
A natural lens can vary its refractive power naturally, which is no longer possible with the artificial lens. As the clarity of sight depends on the length of the eyeball and the refraction of the lens, a lens with the correct refraction must be implanted during the operation.
Before the operation, the length of the eyeball must be determined very accurately. This is done using a laser that slides along a length measurement system. This shift allows the eyeball length to be calculated.
- Sensor module with an AMR FixPitch sensor AL795 and an interpolation ASIC with a resolution of 1 µm.
- Hard ferrite scale with 500 µm pole pitch and reference poles for referencing and self-monitoring of the system.
- Digital A/B/Z output signals for direct processing in the controller.
- Implementation as an easily adjusted PCB. During assembly of the system, a spacer block is placed between the scale and the sensor module and the sensor module is unscrewed.
- High level of accuracy – corresponds to about 0.5 diopter deviation when selecting lenses
- Simple and quick assembly – considerable reduction in assembly and adjustment costs
- Reference signal for self-monitoring of the system integrated onto the measurement scale
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