Electrical Connectors: Design Considerations for Medical Devices
The myriad of devices used in surgical, interventional, imaging, diagnostic and therapeutic, sensors, and single-use medical applications use some form of transmission medium to transport electrical signals. While the construction of a cable seems relatively straightforward compared with the complexity of the apparatus it is connected to, the environmental considerations and regulations behind these constructions all bring with them additional design constraints. This article provides an overview of particular characteristics found in medical device cables and connectors along with some respective design considerations.
Medical settings are saturated with electrical equipment to supplement patient care. This equipment can vary from portable defibrillators to MRI machines. Connector heads used in these applications require a high resistance to dirt and moisture ingress as well as the ability to be easily mated and unmated. A pre-certified connector with an Ingress Protection (IP) rating of at least IP67 — a ranking that indicates a device is dust-proof and can withstand immersion in water for an extended period of time (e.g., 30 minutes) — would be favored because they would function regardless of time in storage or in case of accidental liquid entry. As an additional note, an IP69K rating would indicate further protection against high temperature and high-pressured spray downs at a close range. Connector heads at this ranking would be able to withstand both washdowns and submerges.
In collaboration with the Fort Wayne Metals Engineering team, Eric Dietsch focuses on supporting customers with material recommendations, product development, and education. Eric is available to help you and your company with any Nitinol-related questions or needs that you may have.
Medical Manufacturing Technologies, Inc. (MMT), a leading global provider of medical device manufacturing solutions, acquired Ireland-based Somex Automation and Ward Automation Galway. Recognized for developing best-in-class custom automation and integration solutions encompassing the entire product lifecycle, from design and development through production, testing, and packaging, these brands have become the flagship offerings of MMT Automation. To find out more about selecting and implementing automation solutions, MDB recently spoke with Dave McMorrow, Technical Director, MMT Automation and Michael Wall, Technical Director, Somex Automation, an MMT company.