• MD&M East Supplier Focus: CRI

    Braided catheter manufacturing shown in CRI's facilities. CRI (Booth #549; Indiana, IN) has expanded their product and service offerings to include interventional products. Brian Buntz“In addition to our new interventional product line, we continue to provide full product life cycle management including research, design, development, prototyping, verification and validation, testing, regulatory, mass production and distribution,” says Renée Clinard, the company’s sales manager.In the following...
  • Something Like a QR Code Can Keep Your Robot Out of Trouble

    Rethink Robotics found that a QR-code–like sticker can eliminate many headaches when something changes a manufacturing robot’s location. Chris Newmarker It turns out QR codes aren’t just for marketing. Something very much like a QR can help a manufacturing robot quickly find its position—something that is especially crucial in the ultraprecise world of medical device manufacturing, says Eric Foellmer, marketing manager at Rethink Robotics (Boston). Watch the video below of...
  • MD&M East Supplier Focus: Portescap

    Portescap's 22ECS45 ULTRA EC is a member of the company's Ultra EC series of brushless DC motors.Motor specialist Portescap (West Chester, PA) is featuring its Ultra EC brushless DC motors at MD&M East.Brian Buntz“The Ultra EC brushless motors offer greater power density and run much cooler than equivalent motors utilizing the patented EC coil,” explains the company’s program manager Dave Beckstoffer.The motor, which is featured at Booth #935 at the show, can be used for applications...
  • Why Medtech Reshoring Is Not Just a U.S. Thing

    A major contract manufacturing seeks to be a local producer—everywhere around the world. Chris Newmarker Phillips-Medisize has grown to 14 global locations.Medtech outsourcer Phillips-Medisize has greatly expanded its presence in China in recent years, opening a project site in Suzhou a year and a half ago and then announcing the creation of a design and development center there last month.  But this isn’t about the classic offshoring of medical device manufacturing away...
  • Introducing a Customizable Synthetic Spider Silk

    After years of studying spider silk, researchers have created a synthetic silk that proves to be as versatile as it is strong. Kristopher SturgisLab-grown fibers boast high resolution. The above images from an optical microscope and the below images from a scanning electronic microscope show the precision with which the fibers can be produced. “Silk has remarkable properties,” says Markus Buehler, MIT professor and head of the department of civil and environmental engineering, who recently had...
  • Guidewire PTFE Adhesion: The Aftermath of a Panic

    EPA’s decision to bar the compound PFOA from guidewire coatings sparked a crisis in the medical device industry. Here’s how one company tackled the problem.Bruce NesbittIn 2012, the EPA ordered that polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coatings no longer be made with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a surfactant linked to increasing film adhesion, but is suspected of possibly being carcinogenic. This triggered a performance crisis as the PFOA-free PTFE coatings began to flake off guidewires in service...
  • Inside the Cold Calculus of the Problem-Solving Engineer

    The general public doesn’t get engineers. Maybe it is time they should. Chris Newmarker It is an argument heard from time to time: an apparently cold-hearted or negligent company knew about a safety problem with a product and didn’t do enough.  Medtech has seen such accusations during billions of dollars worth of lawsuits involving faulty metal-on-metal hip implants and vaginal meshes. A special type of endoscope called a duodenoscope that is linked to deadly superbug...
  • Transplantable Rat Limb Grown in the Lab

    Researchers at Massachusetts General have developed an experimental technique that could be used to create complex tissues, and possibly whole bioartificial organ replacements. Kristopher SturgisFor a salamander or starfish, it is not big deal to lose a limb: they simply grow new ones.Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston are working in the lab to accomplish the same feat for other animals.Recently, a team led by Harold Ott, MD, have reportedly created the world’s first lab-...
  • Brain-Zapping Wearable Device Hits Market without FDA Clearance

    Thync, a startup with roots in Boston and Silicon Valley, has managed to bring a device that delivers electricity to the brain to the U.S. market after the FDA exempted it from needing regulatory approval.Brian BuntzThe transcranial direct current stimulation device from Thync (Los Gatos, CA) is said to alter a user’s mood—to make them feel either calmer or more alert—within minutes. The company is now launching a Google ad campaign promoting it as an alternative to caffeine.In fact, the latter...
  • Lab-Grown Brain Clusters Could Shed Light on Disease

    Stanford researchers are exploring a technique that allows them to culture and grow 3-D structures in a dish, enabling an increased understanding of mental disorders and illnesses. Kristopher SturgisNeurons and related cells have been coaxed into mimicking the structure of the human brain on a dish. Image from Sergiu Pasca / Stanford University.It’s alive! It’s alive!Those words from the 1931 film iteration of Frankenstein come to mind when hearing about the recent work of Stanford University...
  • How Medtech Companies Are Changing in 2015

    Qmed asked its network of suppliers to weigh in on shifts they are seeing this year from medical device makers. Here’s what they said. Brian BuntzThe medical device continues to confront seismic shifts. Many medtech companies are diversifying their business after realizing that they have more to do than just make medical devices—they must support an ecosystem that helps improve healthcare outcomes while ideally cutting costs.Respondents in a recent poll of MD&M East exhibitors touched on...
  • How to Cut Risk and Score More Medtech Home Runs

    In this article, Insight Product Development walks through the steps needed to minimize risk in medical device product development while increasing your odds of creating a medtech masterpiece.Craig Scherer Craig Scherer is a senior partner and cofounder of Insight Product Development.  Over more than 25 years, we’ve spent a substantial amount of time at Insight Product Development examining just how important it is to really understand device users, the environments devices are used in,...
  • The Medtech Adventures of Eddy the Engineer

    The story I’m about to tell you is about Eddy Engineer—a medical device newbie—and his trials and tribulations of bringing a new medical device to market.Jon SpeerThe Eureka MomentHave you ever had or been part of a new and exciting idea? An idea for a medical device product that can improve and save lives?Meet Eddy Engineer, who recently came up with such an idea: a brand new concept for a medical device.This “Eureka moment” is definitely one of the most exciting feelings in the world. To be a...
  • Dealing with Electronic Component Obsolescence in Medical Devices

    While many consumer devices have lifecycles of 18 months, medical device developers often must deal with lifecycles in excess of a decade.Larry BellImagine this nightmare scenario: you have placed a purchase order for your electronic medical device from your contract manufacturer (CM), and you get a phone call from that company’s customer service representative who explains: “Several parts for your device are no longer available, so we will not be able to fill your last order placed with us....
  • Why 3-D Printed Skin Makes Sense

    The beauty company L'Oreal is tapping the expertise of 3-D printed human tissue pioneer Organovo. We asked an additive manufacturing expert about the potential behind 3-D printing skin.Chris NewmarkerDerek Mathers, business development manager at Worrell Design, thinks the prospect of 3-D printed skin could potentially have vast implications for healthcare.It is probably one of the most interesting 3-D printing stories so far this year: L'Oreal USA struck a partnership between...
  • A Biodegradable Microchip Made of Wood

    A research team from the University of Wisconsin-Madison has developed a microchip that could be theoretically be placed in a forest and be degraded by fungus, rendering it as safe as fertilizer.Kristopher SturgisA cellulose nanofibril (CNF) computer chip on a leaf. Image from Yei Hwan Jung, Wisconsin Nano Engineering Device Laboratory.Developed in collaboration with Shaoqin “Sarah” Gong, a UW-Madison professor of biomedical engineering, and the Madison-based U.S. Department of Agriculture...
  • 5 Ways to Ensure Your Medical Device Customers Are Taken Care of after Launch

    It is important to have a solid product support strategy in place before your device hits the market. Here's how you do that.Qmed Staff(Image courtesy of Integrated Technologies Ltd.)It is one thing to develop a medical device product. It is quite another thing to move into the phase where the product is actually being used, and customer support is required.It all requires careful strategic planning, according to Integrated Technologies Ltd. (Ashford, United Kingdom), the European...
  • Is This How You Manufacture Graphene Efficiently?

    MIT researchers explore new ways to manufacture graphene efficiently and cost effectively.Kristopher SturgisThese images from the MIT researchers show copper substrate in the process of being coated with graphene. At left, the process begins by treating the copper surface, and, at right, the graphene layer starts o form. Upper images were taken with visible light microscopy, and lower images were from a scanning electron microscope. (Images courtesy of MIT)Graphene has become a hot commodity...
  • The Smartphone: The Sharpest Tool in the Healthcare Shed?

    With the proliferation of smartphones around the globe, we are truly in the midst of a Golden Age for interaction and user interface design that will shift the health landscape to provide myriad benefits to personal and public health.Jeff McCloud Smartphones have gone from being a mere wireless phone with a touchscreen to replacements for personal computers, wallets, keys, and personal trainers.As interaction designers, we are constantly bombarded with new hardware to take advantage of—each...
  • Here Are Our 5 Supplier Innovation Challenge Finalists

    Updated May 26, 2015 We are happy to announce five finalists in our Supplier Innovation Challenge, after receiving results of a "wild card" matchup for our fifth finalist spot. The Supplier Innovation Challenge winner will be selected during MD&M East, June 9–11 in New York City. Here are the five finalists: FINALIST: ProPlate (Professional Plating Inc.; Booth #2367)ProPlate is the maker of Torq-Lok,  a unique technology applied to braided catheters for enhanced...