An Overview of Medical Sensors

Table of Contents

Medical sensors are essential parts of some medical devices and help to detect biological, chemical, or physical processes in our body through transmitting and reporting signals. Minimally invasive sensors provide several advantages to the doctors such as

  • Reaching several difficult regions of our body has become significantly easy for the doctors with the sensors.
  • In the case of cryo cancer treatment where freezing and heating are essential to eliminate the cancers, sensors are useful.
  • Sensors are required to reduce the disruption of the functioning of the body and minimize the consumption of energy.
  • Sensors help doctors to enhance the lifespan of the implants.

As the demand for tiny medical sensors is increasing, the designers are also becoming aware of the manufacturing technologies for the medical sensors. However, minimally invasive medical sensors involve the making of micro-coils and ultra-fine wires, and to prepare the ultra-fine wires and micro-coils, manufacturers should have effective knowledge about the technologies and manufacturing process. The preparation of medical sensors needs custom-made and precise equipment that the manufacturers should design and build in-house.

Requirements for Manufacturing Coils

There are several manufacturing requirements for the coils that are used in the medical sensors such as
i) The micro coils for medical sensors must follow the predetermined specifications of the clients.

ii) As the primary goal of the manufacturers is to avoid any kind of faults, therefore, the manufacturing process of the coils must follow very high standards and the coils should go through a variety of quality checks.

iii) Manufacturing of the micro-coils requires special equipment that you can not purchase from the market. Instead, depending on the purpose of use, you should design the machinery and develop them from the scratch.

iv) The manufacturing facility should get the approval of the ISO 13485 and the clients should be allowed to inspect the manufacturing process.

v) In order to trace the materials back to the raw materials, the manufacturers should maintain the traceability of the materials. One should maintain the traceability in a way that it is to determine information such as the maker of the device, manufacturing date, worker involved in the manufacturing process, etc.

Applications of Medical Sensors:

Medical sensors are useful in several applications including

  • Diagnostics: In order to conduct wireless communication through miniature implants, sensors are essential.
  • Active Implants: For the preparation of active implants that are used for controlling and monitoring deep brain stimulation and miniature pacemakers, sensors are necessary.
  • Therapeutic Applications: In the case of therapeutic applications such as preparing the devices of electricity-based ablations (e.g.- RF and microwave) and electrophysiology treatments (e.g.- neural or cardiac), medical sensors play an effective role.
  • Navigation and Orientation: Navigation and orientation sensors help in several applications such as endoscopic manipulation, targeted drug delivery, stent positioning, implanted markers, targeted radiation catheters, and highly accurate ablations.
  • Orthopedic and Dental Treatments: Medical sensors also have significant applications in orthopedic and dental treatments through making a connection between micro-coils and the operating system that uses electromagnetic pulses.
  • Temperature Measurement: Using miniature thermocouples on the basis of thermo-pressure bonding technology, sensors help to measure temperature.

What Does It Take to Make Miniature Coils?

The connectivity to the medical sensors comes from ultra-fine wires. These ultra-fine wires can be made by copper or other conductive materials. Due to the miniature size of the sensors, the diameter of the ultra-fine wires can be down to 59 AWG (0.00035 inches or 9 microns) that is near about ten times thinner than a human hair. In order to make micro-coils, the winding process of the ultra-fine wire around a pin or core takes place. As it is not easy to handle and work with ultra-fine wires, manufacturers should develop in-house winding machines that have control systems and a state-of-the-art micro-motion facility.

Connectivity Solution:

Connecting ultra-fine wires is essential for the development of micro-coils. However, it has been found that the heat-based soldering methods for connecting ultra-fine wires are not useful for several drawbacks such as poor conductivity, heat damage, oxidation of the connection, degraded connections, etc. In order to mitigate these problems, the ultimate solution is the thermo-pressure bonding technology that helps to connect ultra-fine wires of similar diameters as well as a wire with another wire of twelve times thicker diameter.



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