Medical devices need many different signal types often combined with other structures such as lumens for fluids in a single composite cable. Power conductors, video coax, digital transmission lines are all part of today’s complex medical diagnostic and treatment devices. Material choices are critical to meeting performance requirements and need to be designed into the overall assembly while maintaining compatibility with connectors, contacts, and sterilization methods. Wire sizes down to AWG 48 in controlled impedance constructions are often needed for IV or invasive products for vision systems, diagnostic ultrasound and patient monitoring applications. The ability to provide cables that incorporate these features requires years of experience with the correct manufacturing methods and materials to provide the reliability inherent in the medical device market place.
Today’s diagnostic medical devices are getting smaller therefore driving the need for smaller interconnects. Whether circular or rectangular, both the system end and the distal end of the assembly will need connectors with tight pitch contacts. Design for manufacturablity drives the connector choice that will terminate to large and small conductors to provide the proper signal integrity for the device. Some connectors will require .025” pitch on the contacts or smaller, often requiring a FPC or PCB interface between the cable and connector. Automated strip and prep for the cable is key to consistent signal integrity and optimized yield on assembly manufacturing.
For multiple use assemblies full testing must be completed to insure robust resistance to hazardous environments such as OR’s. Managing the transition from the device at the distal end of the assembly to the cable then to the hardware controlling the device is critical to the success of the device. Additionally, sterilization methods vary, autoclave, VHP, Sterris/Sterad all have different material and mechanical tests to assure longevity.
Single use devices must be mechanically reliable but cost effective so materials have to be chosen accordingly.
Sterilization method, single use, disposable