New Tube Contact Sensor for Detecting Blockages in Medical Infusion Lines

Morgan Technical Ceramics has launched a new tube contact sensor for accurate detection of occlusions in medical infusion lines. The sensor gives non-invasive detection of pressure changes in a flexible tube without the requirement for disposable cassettes and as a result provides medical device OEMs with a simple and reliable method of recognising when the tube is blocked.

The pressure sensor is suitable for use with soft thin walled tubing and can be clipped on and removed easily. It gives excellent performance and can detect both negative and positive changes in pressure from -0.5 to 1bar with a sensor accuracy of ± 0.05 bar.

This pressure sensor combines MEMS silicone machined technology with a precision machined lid and catch. It is suitable for a 4mm – 4.7mm outside diameter x 0.8mm wall thickness medical grade silicone rubber tubing. The housing geometry has been designed to minimise foot print and it comes with a short flexi circuit for easy connection via a standard ZIV connector (6 pin 0.5mm pitch).

The sensor can be customised to suit specific OEM requirements including tube diameter, housing geometry, materials and connector type. It can be mounted in any orientation and can be supplied without lid and catch if an alternative clamping mechanism is desired.

“Accurate detection of pressure is a key safety element for medical equipment such as infusion pumps, enteral feeding pumps, dialysis equipment and other fluid delivery applications,” says Richard Miles, R&D manager, Morgan Technical Ceramics. “A pressure change will indicate the line has become blocked or the drug container is empty and needs replacing. Our sensor gives users a straightforward way of detecting blockages and it can be integrated easily upstream or downstream of the pumping mechanism.”

Morgan Technical Ceramics has over 10 years experience in designing and manufacturing sensors for use in a variety of medical equipment. With its world-class design expertise and specialist manufacturing capabilities, the company works in partnership with leading medical device manufacturers to provide technical expertise and develop competitive custom solutions to meet their needs.

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