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Air-in-line sensor enables safe delivery of fluids to patients

14 May 2009

Morgan Technical Ceramics has introduced a new air-in-line sensor for use in medical devices that deliver fluids to patients’ circulatory systems. The ultrasonic sensors give reliable and accurate detection of the presence of air bubbles in fluids, providing OEMs with a key safety element for equipment, such as infusion pumps.

Accurate detection of air bubbles is vital in maintaining the health and recovery of patients. Air embolisms can lead to serious complications in blood flow and the new sensors prevent excessive amounts of air from reaching the patient’s blood. The sensors are suitable for use with many medical devices including infusion pumps, enteral feeding pumps and dialysis equipment.

The sensors, which are based on proven ultrasonic piezoceramic technology, are suitable for use with a four millimetre PVC or silicon tubing and can be mounted in any orientation. They are capable of detecting air bubbles of down to one millimetre in diameter (0.5uL). Each one operates with a nominal resonant frequency of 1.45MHz and is capable of a receive sensitivity of 30dB down from the drive. The sensors can be supplied individually, or as part of a custom designed system.

“Our customised manufacturing capability enables us to provide bespoke solutions – from the bare tuned piezo ceramic disc or plate to a fully functional packaged sensor, with optional additional features such as flow stop mechanisms, optical sensors for the tube and mechanism location detection, and pressure sensors to detect occlusions,” says Tony Beswick, General Manager (Southampton, UK), Morgan Technical Ceramics.

Resistance to wear and its inherent stability make ceramic an ideal material for a wide range of medial applications from implants to surgical tools. Morgan Technical Ceramics works with many leading medical device manufacturers, providing them with technical expertise and ceramic components for applications including ultrasonic imaging, surgical cutting and bone growth simulation.

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