Suppliers Presented Themselves
from their Best Side Again at COMPAMED 2017
A total of 780 exhibitors from 35 countries, even greater international participation and almost 20,000 trade visitors - COMPAMED, the leading trade fair for suppliers of medical technology products and services that is always staged in parallel to the world's largest medical trade fair, i.e. MEDICA (more than 5,100 exhibitors from 66 countries, which in 2017 ran from 13 to 16 November) maintains its heading towards success. The fact that the supplier sector for the medical technology industry remains optimistic about growth is without a doubt a contributor to its success. Digitisation and miniaturisation are currently the most important drivers that are pushing progress in micro-technology as well as other areas rapidly forwards. "The demand for smart miniaturised components destined for use in medical products and efficient high-precision production processes is still rapidly increasing," says the IVAM, the Professional Association for Microtechnology.
The association, which serves an international product market, attends the fair every year; its motto for COMPAMED 2017 was 'Hightech for Medical Devices'. The specialists for small parts see micro-technology, nano-technology, photonics, MEMS (microsystem technology) and new materials as key technologies.
These 'keys' are also the focus of HNP Mikrosysteme (HNPM), which specialises in so-called micro annular gear pumps for microfluidics that are able to dose small and smallest quantities of liquid with the utmost of precision. The company presented its 'mzr Touch Control', which offers a new type of graphic control for pumps, at COMPAMED. The compact units for controlling individual pumps come with a simple and intuitive interface. The combination of touch control and pump enables users to set dosages from 0.25 micro litres and pumping quantities that range from between one micro litre and 288 millilitres per minute. Micro annular gear pumps are miniaturised rotary displacement pumps with internal motors that possess external gears and external rotors with internal gears. "These eccentrically-mounted rotors form a system of several conveyor chambers that remain sealed at all points in time during the rotational movement. They are used in medical technology particularly for diagnostics, e.g. for analysing blood samples," explained Dr Dorothee Runge, who is responsible for Technical Sales at HNPM's Life Sciences Division.
Smart 'peas' that can be sterilised
The Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nanosystems (ENAS) is also pursuing the trend towards miniaturisation. The institute travelled to COMPAMED 2017 with its 'Sens-o-Spheres' project, which has been developed in conjunction with the Bioprocess Engineering Faculty at the Technical University of Dresden and industrial partners. 'Sens-o-Spheres' are pea-sized sensors that are around eight millimetres in diameter and that are used to monitor bio-reactor processes in the millilitre to litre range. Using the currently smallest sensors in the world, they move freely within the reaction volume and so supply continuous measurements from all areas of the reactor. "We can also deploy several spheres at the same time and so utilise many wirelessly transmitted measurements," said Tobias Lüke, a scientist at the ENAS. The clever sterilisable 'peas' have been designed to help improve and develop processes in the pharmaceuticals and life-sciences industries. They can be recharged overnight.
Learning to walk again thanks
to shoe insoles with pressure sensors
ENAS' colleagues from the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology (ISIT) are working on entirely different applications for their sensors. Their sensors are used to measure the distribution of pressure in shoe insoles and so map gait and walking profiles. The data is sent via Bluetooth to a PC or smartphone and then processed there acoustically or visually. "By analysing gaits and using acoustic signals while doing so, it is our aim to help people doing sports during their free time prevent injuries, rehabilitate better and improve their results," says Lars Blohm, a scientist carrying out research into bio-sensor technology and system integration at ISIT. Developments have been assisted by the Institute for Sports Medicine in Hamburg; other approaches include the measurement of moisture and temperatures.
Beutter, a manufacturer of high-quality precision components, possesses special skills in the manufacture of precision-engineered components with tight tolerances. The company makes individual parts and assemblies for technical medical instruments, prostheses and implants up to the highest Risk Class III category. "We manufacture small batches of sophisticated parts in quantities ranging between 50 and 1,000 units and have all the machining production processes, such as turning, milling, grinding and honing that are required to do so, available to us in-house," says Dr Wolf-Dieter Kiessling, Managing-Shareholder at Beutter. The company just recently developed a medical port, i.e. a permanent subcutaneous interface to the bloodstream, for one of its customers. It consists of a titanium ring and a silicone membrane that can be punctured up to 1,000 times. Beutter offers special skills in handling and combining materials that are very difficult to work with and that are very demanding in regard to biocompatibility and fatigue-resistance, particularly when in contact with tissue.
Metals, alloys and particularly plastics are materials that are important to the manufacture of products destined for the medical technology sector. The demands being placed on systems and assemblies made from polymers continue to increase steadily. Riegler, a plastics-processing company, has been meeting these demands for more than 30 years and is currently manufacturing moulded parts that weigh only between 0.007 and 800 grams. It draws on state-of-the-art manufacturing processes to do so: "We are currently actively pursuing the trend towards 3D printing and have presented our first prototypes to customers. We are not only focusing on printing components, we are also concentrating particularly on the printing of tools," says Dr Thomas Jakob, Head of the Medical Technology Business Unit at Riegler. Our activities have also enabled us to realise prototypes quickly and cost-effectively.
Our Trade Fair Journal "messekompakt.com NEWS from COMPAMED 2017" (ePaper) can be found here: https://www.messekompakt.com/news-from-compamed-2017
Our Picture-Gallery can be found here:
Images: R. Eberhard, messekompakt.com, EBERHARD print & medien agentur gmbh
Source: Messe Düsseldorf