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Bespoke rig validates critical medical device sensors

29 September 2013

Morgan Advanced Ceramics manufactures a variety of air in-line sensors, occlusion and flow sensors for the healthcare market.

In order to support this work, Morgan Advanced Materials has recently invested in state-of-the-art testing equipment at its Southampton facility, enabling enhanced in-house medical sensor prototyping and testing.

Able to test a range of standard and customised medical sensors at pressures of 0.3bar absolute, the rig incorporates a function generator, oscilloscope, impedance analyser, digital pressure sensor and Coriolis flow meter with a resolution of 0.02 - 3000ml/min, an accuracy of ±0.2 percent, and repeatability of ±0.05 percent. 

Morgan Advanced Ceramics’ air in-line sensors detect the presence of air bubbles in liquid lines, protecting patients while undergoing procedures such as, drug therapy, dialysis, infusions and enteral feeding. Designs and configurations can be adapted to suit individual OEM requirements in terms of tube diameters, clamping methods, mounting arrangements and interfaces with disposable cassettes.

Occlusion sensors offer non-invasive detection of pressure changes - both upstream and downstream of the pump mechanism - in the flexible tubes used in equipment such as infusion pumps, enteral feeding pumps, dialysis equipment and other fluid applications.

They ensure the safe delivery of the fluid to the patient in the correct quantity while protecting against fluid surges and will raise an alarm if a line becomes blocked. Morgan Advanced Materials’ Richard Miles takes up the story:

“Primarily, our customised test rig has been designed to fully and accurately test prototype sensors prior to them going into full production. The rig - which is built to our own specification and has the ability to create bubbles of a pre-determined size, as small as 0.5 microlitres - tests sensitivity, repeatability, time stability and hysteresis, giving us a detailed picture of how an individual product is performing.

"The sensor and testing market presents a wealth of opportunities for ceramic technology, a material which offers a more resilient and accurate solution than those traditionally used in measurement and testing applications.”

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