Tips for Selecting Insulating Materials for Medical Electronics

Insulating and jacketing material options for wire and cable are innumerable, even if the field is narrowed to those with some qualification for use in medical electronics. Material selection for medical electronics is a complicated decision that begins with defining “qualification” and “medical”. Device manufacturers rely on a combination of inhouse experiences, cable suppliers, testing laboratories, consulting services, standards, guidance documents, and other publications. Their requirements for new devices may be defined strictly by the FDA, or may further incorporate application, market, or manufacturer preferences. For example, there are a great number of materials that will meet FDA requirements for surface contact patient monitoring cable materials, but a flexible and highly durable, silky-textured, cost competitive material may be preferred by the user. A specification may also call for a higher level of biocompatibility than is strictly required by the FDA. This may be the result of existing qualifications obtained with those materials, or it may be an over-specification that should be explored.

Posted in: Features, MDB, Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Electronic Components, Electronics, Thermal Management, Medical


R&D Roundup: August

Student Device May Help Avoid Repeated Breast Cancer Surgeries During a lumpectomy, surgeons can’t immediately tell whether all the cancer cells were removed. The excised tissue must be preserved and analyzed in a time-consuming process. And, because of this delay, one in five patients must undergo a second surgery to remove remaining cancerous cells.

Posted in: Features, MDB, Electronics, Diagnostics, Imaging, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy, Surgical Robotics/Instruments, Sensors


Brain Retraining Device for Stroke Rehabilitation

Ateam of researchers in the Interdisciplinary Division of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) say that they have created the world’s first brain training device, which can detect brainwaves, and use them to control the movement of limbs paralyzed from stroke, or to even control a robotic hand based on its sophisticated algorithm.

Posted in: Features, MDB, Electronics, Diagnostics, Imaging, Medical, Patient Monitoring, Rehabilitation & Physical Therapy, Sensors, Software


Elastic Electronics Grows Own Wires

A team of engineers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, found that networks of spherical nanoparticles embedded in elastic materials could make the best stretchy conductors. Flexible electronics have a wide variety of possibilities, they say, from bendable displays and batteries to medical implants that move with the body.

Posted in: MDB, News, Electronics, Implants & Prosthetics, Medical, Nanotechnology


Building 3D Structures with Liquid Metal

Scientists at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, developed a 3D printing technology to create free-standing structures made out of liquid metal at room temperature. They discovered that a liquid metal alloy of gallium and indium reacts to the oxygen in the air at room temperature to form a “skin” that allows the structures to retain their shapes, they said.

Posted in: MDB, News, Electronics, Medical


The Pursuit of Power for Surgical Instruments

As an increasing number of patients enter the operating room, more and more orthopedic surgeons are becoming orthopedic patients themselves. According to a survey entitled “Occupational Hazards Facing Orthopedic Surgeons,” featured in the March 2012 issue of The American Journal of Orthopedics, orthopedic surgeons are subjected to a multitude of occupational hazards during surgeries, including injury to back, neck, shoulders, arms, and hands. In fact, 66 percent of the orthopedic surgeons surveyed had neck and lower back pain, 49 percent experienced shoulder pain, and 26 percent had wrist pain. More specifically, 24 percent had rotator cuff pathology and cervical disc herniation, 11 percent had carpal tunnel syndrome, and 20 percent had lumbar disc herniation.

Posted in: Features, MDB, Custom & Contract Manufacturing, Electronics, Mechanical Components, Automation & Controls, Medical, Surgical Robotics/Instruments, Motion Control, Motors & Drives



Keystone Electronics Corp., Astoria, NY, has released the 2nd edition of its full line catalog of interconnect components and electronic hard ware featuring more than 5,000 quality products within easy-to-locate product categories. It is illustrated with detailed drawings, specifications, and product photographs in both Imperial and Metric dimensions.

Posted in: MDB, Products, Electronic Components, Electronics, Medical


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