Vote for Medical Design Briefs' 2018 Annual Readers' Choice Awards


Each month, the editors of Medical Design Briefs choose a Product of the Month that has exceptional technical merit and practical value for MDB's design engineering readers. Now that these have been selected, we're asking readers to help choose the Readers' Choice Product of the Year Awards. You're invited to cast your vote for the one product among the 12 Products of the Month that you feel was the most significant new product introduced to the engineering community in 2018. The product receiving the most votes will be named Medical Design Briefs' Readers' Choice Product of the Year.


Voting deadline is January 19, 2019


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The 2018 Nominees (vote for only one):


PTFE Catheter
Zeus Industrial Products, Orangeburg, SC, has released its latest thin-walled PTFE catheter liner as part of its Sub-Lite-Wall® StreamLiner™ series. StreamLiner VT has a maximum wall thickness of 0.001 in. (0.025mm) in an ID size range of 0.004–0.120 in. (0.107– 3.05 mm). As a free extrusion, the StreamLiner series makes for a sturdier and more robust finished device while retaining necessary functional properties such as torqueablity, pushability, and flexibility. Both the StreamLiner XT and StreamLiner VT feature the company’s proprietary LoPro™ technology. The lubricious StreamLinerXT PTFE liner greatly improves deployment force through the lumen of the catheter for improved minimally invasive procedures. Both the XT and VT versions allow greater access to small vessels, including peripheral and neurovasculature, enabling medical device engineers and clinical interventionalists to improve procedural success rates and minimize patient trauma.
DC Micro Welder
Amada Miyachi America, Monrovia, CA, offers a linear DC micro welder paired with an electronic resistance spot welding head. The UB29 also features the company’s Advanced Data Analysis Monitor (ADAM). The linear DC welder features precision control for micro-miniature resistance welding. It is ideal for wire assemblies, sensors, connectors, squibs, catheters, orthodontic appliances, pacemakers, and implantable hearing devices. The Series 320 electronic resistance spot welding head is a high-precision, low-force head designed specifically for applications requiring precise position and force control. This versatile series has numerous features to meet the process demands of microelectronics manufacturing, yet is robust enough to endure industrial requirements and environments. ADAM monitors what happens during the weld, as well as what happens before the weld is triggered, offering a 360° view of the process. Sophisticated SPC capabilities enable customers to analyze and collect data. Other key features include current, voltage, power, resistance, force, and cover gas flow monitoring; high resolution sensors; pre- and post-trigger viewing; envelope limits; and Ethernet communications capability.
Easy Locking Connector
Binder USA, Camarillo, CA, has released a series of easy locking connectors with a unique circular layout that features 12 gold-plated pins. The 570 ELC series connectors are designed for applications such as patient monitoring in the medical and home healthcare industry. An intuitive locking system with snap hooks and a clearly set mating position (set through shape of mating area) prevents mismating. The female panel mount connector provides IP54 protection from intrusion of liquids, water splash, and touching of the contacts. Mechanical resistance is greater than 5,000 mating cycles. The series also features 24 AWG wire and a temperature range of –25° to +85 °C. The connectors have a rated current of 2 A and a rated voltage of 150 V. The housing is made of PA66.
Ultrasmall Heat Shrink Tubing
Junkosha, Tokyo, Japan, has released an ultra-small peelable heat-shrink tubing (PHST) and a high-shrink ratio PHST. The ultrasmall PHST is suitable for laminating a jacket coating to tiny guide wires (for example, 0.011 and 0.014 in.), leveraging the fact that PHST has a recovered ID down to 0.009 in. The miniature guide wires are idea for applications such as the navigation of vessels to reach a lesion or vessel segment within, for example, the brain or heart. The high-shrink ratio PHST (2:1) is ideal for processes where tapered microcatheter shafts are used or where tolerance take-up is an issue.
Fusion Suture
Teleflex Medical OEM, Gurnee, IL, has developed a new suture technology that transitions from round suture to a flat braid center segment and back to round suture. The Force Fiber Fusion™ Suture has a broader footprint and offers a more uniform distribution of pressure than similar suture. This may reduce tissue strangulation and a “cutting effect” in applications where tissue pull-through may be a concern. Prepared from ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), the suture is softer and more pliable than similar products on the market. It is also strong, durable, and lubricious. The suture is braided using a proprietary, continuous process that creates seamless transitions between each segment. The suture is cleared in the United States for approximation and/or ligation of soft tissue, including the use of allograft tissue for orthopedic procedures. It is offered in USP suture sizes 1 to 5 and available in a large assortment of color and pattern options. Widths, lengths, and patterns can be customized to meet specific requirements.
Medical Vision Computer
Active Silicon, Iver, UK, has released its latest embedded vision product, a medical vision computer designed to acquire image data from USB3 VisionTM cameras. The Vision Processing Unit (VPU) processes the image stream in real time and provides several options for data output, including 3G-SDI. The unit has four inputs for USB3 Vision cameras and four 3G-SDI outputs arranged as two channels of 3G-SDI video, each with a duplicate output. Internally the VPU consists of a COM Express carrier card, onto which the processor module and a PCIe/104 acquisition card are fitted. The whole assembly is fitted into a custom housing.
Medical Tantalum Capacitors
AVX Corp., Fountain Inn, SC, has released a series of medical-grade tantalum capacitors for noncritical medical devices. The T4Z Medical Series HRC4000 capacitors are designed to replace commercial capacitors in the filtering, hold-up, and charging circuits of noncritical medical devices that require high-reliability and strict change control. Devices include implantable, non-life-sustaining devices, such as heart monitors; external, life-sustaining devices, such as automated external defibrillators; and external non-life-­sustaining devices, including patient monitoring equipment. The capacitors are based on the company’s MIL-PRF-55365 product line. Case sizes range from 2.54 x 1.27 x 1.27 mm (L x W x H) ±0.38 mm and 0.016 g to 7.24 x 3.81 x 2.79 mm ±0.38 mm and 0.335 g with solder-plated, solder-fused, gold-plated, or 100 percent tin terminations. They offer capacitance values extending from 0.1 to 330 µF, eight standard voltage ratings spanning 4–50 V, and rated operating temperatures extending from –55° to +125 °C.
High-Definition Sensor
OmniVision Technologies, Santa Clara, CA, has released the latest member of its high definition (HD) medical image sensor family. The OH01A employs the PureCel®-S stacked-die architecture to provide the compact size, high resolution, and cost-effectiveness required for the next generation of disposable and reusable endoscopes and catheters. The sensor is the world’s first medical image sensor to provide 1280 x 800 resolution at a rate of 60 frames per second (FPS) in a tiny 2.5 x 1.5 mm package. These features make it an ideal imaging solution for many diagnostic endoscope procedures, including airway-management (esophagoscopes, laryngoscopes, thorascopes, pleuroscopes, bronchoscopes, mediastinoscopes) and urology (utero-renoscope) applications. Being stereo-ready, two sensors can be synchronized to create 3D images for surgical procedures. Power consumption is 25 percent lower than that of previous-generation medical image sensors, which keeps the distal tip of the endoscope cooler for greater patient comfort. A high chief ray angle of 32° enables a wider field of view in a slimmer module, resulting in a shorter rigid endoscope distal tip that allows for a tight bend radius.
Advanced Wound Care Products
Vancive Medical Technologies, an Avery Dennison business, Chicago, IL, offers six advanced wound care materials for private labeling by medical device original equipment manufacturers (OEMs): silicone wound contact layer, thin absorbent wound dressing, odor-absorbing hydrocolloid, superabsorbent dressing, silicone adhesive coated polyurethane foam, and barrier film spray and swab. The silicone wound contact layer is a low adherent, non-irritating, porous, nonwoven fabric coated with a soft silicone adhesive. It can remain on a wound for several days. The thin absorbent wound dressing, which features Thin Absorbent Skin Adhesive™ (TASA™) technology, is conformable, exceptionally thin (0.12 mm), and absorbent. Indicated for lightly to moderately exudating wounds, it also is transparent. The odor-absorbing hydrocolloid remains intact on the wound, aiding in removal. It is available in standard and bordered options as well as square and sacral sizes. The superabsorbent dressing is designed to handle moderate to heavy wound exudate. It can remain on a wound for extended periods (up to seven days). Multilayerd silicone adhesive coated polyurethane foam is available for use in flat foam dressings or bordered dressings for management of moderate to heavily exudating wounds. Its polyurethane top layer, which can be printed with OEM branding, acts as a bacteria barrier while allowing moisture vapor transfer.
Additive Manufacturing Materials
Victrex, Lancashire, UK, has developed a high-strength material for laser sintering (LS) that attains lower refresh rates, resulting in improved recycling for unsintered powder. Another material is a filament with better Z-strength than existing polyaryletherketone (PAEK) materials and better printability for filament fusion (FF). A first generation of PAEK material for LS can only be recycled in a very low extent and required nearly full refresh of the printing bed with new powder, and PEEK filaments available for FF have poor interlayer bonding, leading to a loss in Z-strength. The new polymer grades have shown encouragingly low refresh rates (improves recycle for unsintered powder) with similar mechanical properties in LS, and good mechanical properties and printability in FF.
Lifting Column
LINAK, Louisville, KY, has launched a new actuator for healthcare equipment. The LA40 HP handles heavy loads by delivering a push of 8,000 N at full stroke and adheres to the strict safety standards and testing requirements for medical applications. The actuator was designed for a wide range of applications and is ideal for surgery and treatment tables, dental chairs, and hospital beds. The unit has an IPX6 DURA™ rating, making it easy to clean. With an advanced ratchet-spline, it prevents potential crush injuries caused by moving parts and thus provides greater safety for both patients and clinicians.
Medical Power Supply
Bear Power Supplies, Phelps, NY, has designed a CF-rated medical power supply for surgical instruments and other medical applications. The rugged 9-W AC/DC converter is sealed and encapsulated to withstand wash down and rigorous drop testing. It meets UL60601-1 and UL60601-2 standards for medical equipment. The compact medical power supply has less than 10 μA leakage current and measures less than 4 cu in. It has 120 VAC input and +9.1 VDC output. Other voltages are available on request. The power supply can be customized to meet OEM requirements for power, voltage, form factor, number of outputs, and other specifications.