Significant Challenges In The Miniaturization Of Medical Devices

The trend in medical device market is to make the electronics smaller, lighter, more portable, and more affordable for remote clinics in rural settings. This tele-health initiative enables healthcare to reach more people, in remote places, and to provide the medical care with the best doctors, and most advanced technology.  Today, design engineers of medical electronic diagnostics or monitoring devices are faced with developing a new product that must work in harsh environment with extreme temperatures, and exposed to non-traditional shock vibration not found in a hospital setting.

For Molex the solution proposed to these problems are our stacking PCB to PCB with our very low profile SlimStack™ (503548/503552 series) board-to-board connectors (height 0.7mm) that had narrow footprint (2.5mm wide) and high retention force dual contact system to provide strong locking for electrical signal integrity . These stacking connectors are made of hi-temperature LCP plastic rated up to 260 deg C) and are plated in gold flash (4u” min).  Gold plating of signal contacts is best material used for harsh environment.  All of our Micro BtB/FPC are designed with gold plating and Hi-temp LCP materials   We offer FPC solutions as small as 0.2mm pitch

Designers continue to pack more features into thinner and smaller spaces.  Thus, connector density and thermal management become a bigger problem. Molex is introducing new MEMS technology to shrink these micro-miniature connectors to ultra-low profile of 0.2mm, a 60% space savings reduction over traditional stamped and formed connectors.  This MEMS technology used in micro flex to board and board-to-board applications have been tested up to 60G shock/vibration and can provide up to 5A of continuous current for low power.  Good for harsh applications.

Lastly, Medical electronic devices such as tablets, portable ultrasounds, diagnostic monitors are being designed with the fastest and new IC chips that to run complex algorithms.  As they become smaller and more user- friendly for the patient/doctor to use, they generate more heat that makes it difficult for traditional heat sinks to work effectively. To resolve the thermal management problem, Molex’s new FGHP (Fine Grid Heat Pipe) technology can spread the heat more quickly away from the heat source, reduce the size/weight of copper material needed, and save space with low profile (height 2mm) and allow the medical device to work more efficiently.

What do you think is a significant challenge in the miniaturization of medical devices? I want to read your thoughts on this subject. Leave a comment.