Medical & Laboratory Equipment

The tasks of analytical devices and machines used in laboratories are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Precision and speed are important requirements despite the compact dimensions. FAULHABER with its wide variety of dynamic miniature and micro drives offers custom-made solutions.

Application Highlights

Analytical device Gyrolab xPlore TM

Researchers hope that they will soon be able to fight cancer cells without damaging healthy tissue, thanks to so-called biologicals. These new active components spot specific molecular characteristics of abnormal cells and help to destroy them systematically. A large number of pharmaceutical candidates must be examined to find customized biologicals for various types of cancers.

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Laboratory automation

Countless samples are tested daily in analytical laboratories. The benefits of automation in this area is obvious: They make it possible to achieve faster results, higher throughput, fewer errors and lower personnel costs. In order to ensure smooth operation, high dynamics and precision are extremely important for the drive systems. We spoke to Dr. Aihua Hong about the requirements and developments in this market segment, for which she is responsible at FAULHABER.

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Anaesthesia and ventilation system

There are many experiences we would happily do without. Operations under general anaesthetic and with artifi cial respiration are defi nitely one of them. Compared with previous generations, we have a crucial advantage as medical technology has been developing at breath-taking speed in the last few years. In this way anaesthesia and ventilation systems make a major contribution to making the anaesthesia that is needed for operations safer and gentler. Perfectly-tuned drive solutions play a key role for these demanding systems.

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Myoelectric prosthesis

Tie shoelaces, fold bed linen, tear open a bag of crisps – the list of things that are difficult to do with one hand goes on and on. People with a congenital amputation or who have lost a hand due to an accident are confronted with such obstacles every day. To make daily life easier, the British company Steeper developed the Bebionic myoelectric hand prosthesis. Powerful FAULHABER motors ensure that the prosthesis can grip without any problems, quickly and firmly and maintain a constant gripping force.

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Endodontics

Endodontics or endodontology is a specialist area of dentistry. The most common procedure is the root canal treatment that a tooth receives in the case of inflamed pulp (also known as the "dental nerve"). Many of you will have experienced this procedure at first hand: The dentist removes the "nerve", cleans the root canal and then fills it. This treatment requires extreme care and is by no means simple because the tooth is to be preserved and the patient must then remain free of pain for as long as possible. New knowledge, methods and systems now ensure that difficult root canal treatment procedures can today be performed successfully and with minimal discomfort for the patient. Modern drive technology has made a significant contribution to this. FAULHABER DC-microdrives are the driving force of new endodontics systems that are today becoming more common in dental practices.

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Prosthetics LifeHand

Grasping with suitable pressure, without damaging or dropping objects, touching and feeling the shape and texture of something: healthy people do this hund reds of times each day without having to consider it. How ever, these movements embody a complex sequence. Artificially reproducing this sequence mounts to a real challenge, which a team of researchers have now successfully mastered for the fi rst time with the LifeHand 2 project − supported by micromotors from FAULHABER.

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Tattoo machine

For some years now, tattoos have gained mainstream acceptance. Just in Germany there are about five million people who have a tattoo. Women are also now enhancing their beauty with "permanent make-up", whereby eyeliner or lip contours are permanently applied. What does this have to do with FAULHABER? In the handy machines used for tattoos and permanent make-up there are DC-Micromotors – made in Schönaich.

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Sample distribution system

Automation in medical laboratory diagnostics: Most of us have probably had to provide a blood or urine sample as a patient at the doctor for preventive medical check-ups, prior to operations or for diagnostic purposes. The samples are placed in small test tubes, labelled, taken to the laboratory and – a couple of days later – we, the patients, are informed of the result; we learn our blood, sugar, liver or kidney values. But where is this laboratory located in which our health is analysed, and what exactly happens there? 

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Robotic assistant for TMS

Stimulation of parts of the brain: Transcranial magnetic stimulation, abbreviated TMS, is a type of medical treatment in which focussed, strong magnetic fields can be used to both stimulate as well as inhibit areas of the cerebral cortex. With certain neurological and psychological illnesses, this can be used as an alternative to medicinal treatments and offers the advantage of being neither invasive nor painful.

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ViKY (Vision Control for endoscopY)

Minimally invasive surgery for laparoscopy relies on highly-sensitive drive technology Modern medical technology makes operations safer and allows conventional surgical methods to be replaced with operations which put less strain on patients.

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Blood pressure measuring

Dangerously high blood pressure is a frequently undiagnosed illness in the fast-paced world of today. This is a serious problem, as high blood pressure left untreated for many years can trigger a whole series of secondary diseases and skyrocketing treatment costs. To ensure optimal diagnosis and correct medication doses, blood pressure monitoring over a relatively long period of time is essential. A new measuring device in miniature form facilitates extensive, long-term monitoring, without impeding the day-to-day lives of patients. Modern microdrives inside the device ensure the necessary mechanical execution of electronic commands.

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Drug dispenser

A newly developed drug dispenser makes life much easier. Manual work becomes superfluous due to an intelligent automated storage, distribution and dispensing system. The system provides ready-picked "shopping baskets" in accordance with prescription input. This innovation is made possible by the use of powerful yet ­space-saving micromotors used as part of the distribution mechanism.

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Diagnostic and therapy capsules

Technical equipment and systems need power, but electricity can only be stored in small quantities. If wired power is the preferred option, the cables often get in the way. One remedy is provided by systems based on induction or radio waves. But the cost of such systems is mostly greater than their benefit. A new method of "free" power transmission is setting new standards in terms of efficiency and space-saving. It enables actuators and sensors in industrial applications and technical systems to be powered conveniently and at low cost, continuously or discontinuously depending on requirements.

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XYZ manipulator

"To sound someone out", this phrase is familiar to all of us. In the context of nerve cells, however, some medical scientists have taken this statement literally. The complex interplay of individual nerve cells or entire groups of nerves has developed into an increasingly practice­related field of fundamental research. The data acquired here can improve the use of control interfaces for artificial limbs or help alleviate the impact of nervous disorders like Parkinson’s disease with new therapies. Here, too, state-of-the-art miniature motors are the key to success. They represent reproducible, accurate motion with minimal space requirement, an important prerequisite in the µm-world of nerve cells.

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Controlled prosthetic leg

"When it comes to finding technological ways of dealing with the loss of a limb, for example as the result of the amputation of a leg, two key things need to be taken into account. Firstly, it took nature a long time to develop the perfect "apparatus" to allow humans to move around. Secondly, people are creatures of habit – they tend to carry on moving in the way they‘re used to. All the solutions which have been tried to date, from wooden legs to high-tech prostheses using state-of-the-art materials, have worked in a purely passive way. Something that these devices all have in common is that their function doesn't change during movement. Now, however, a new solution has been developed, centred around the use of microprocessor-controlled prostheses. Just like natural limbs, these can react automatically, adapting to the current situation. Lightweight micromotors, combined with intelligent control technology, offer the chance to walk in a way that feels very similar to natural movement – providing clear benefits for users in terms of both safety and comfort.

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Blood circulation scanner

An adequate blood supply is essential to living tissue, providing oxygen and nutrients. Poor circulation is thus always a sign of problems somewhere in the body. Often, a simple examination of the skin or tissue is enough to allow such a diagnosis. This is where a newly developed blood circulation measuring device can really show what it's made of: a laser beam scans the patient's circulation through the tissue. A stepper motor works to mechanically position the laser beam. In this way, the sensor system is able to provide reproducible results on a miniature scale. For applications in this field, exact step sizes, appropriate low backlash reduction gears, efficient control, durability and, above all, slimline design are essential prere­quisites for success.

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Laboratory analysis systems

Many standard recurring jobs in routine medical laboratory work are being performed through partial automation and additional manual work involving increased staffing levels, e.g. blood group determination or anti-body tests. Massive savings can be achieved by using state-of-the-art laboratory analysis systems. Their special design enables continuous, fast and reliable laboratory work while deploying fewer members of staff and providing an increased level of safety. It goes without saying that the systems correspond to the common safety requirements in function as well as evaluation performance. Analysis unit, computer and drives are adapted to the challenges of long-term medical usage.

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Microkeratome

Today, there are many methods of surgery, covering the whole body from head to toe. Eye surgery has now become a standard operation. State-of-the-art technologies, such as laser equipment, have become widespread. All the instruments and apparatus have to be precise and reliable.

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Blood glucose meter

Leading a normal life – even as a diabetic. This is no longer wishful thinking but a reality. Thanks to advances made in the last few years, today diabetics can test their own blood glucose levels and adjust their medication accordingly – giving more independence and quality of life.

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Miniature hexapods

A miniature, high precision hexapod with 6 DOF is used as guidance assistance for spinal surgery. The bone-mounted system, named SpineAssist, will accurately guide the surgeon for maximized precision when placing implants destined to stabilize spinal (vertebrae) fusions in both open and minimally invasive surgery. A part from the miniature hexapod robot, the system also consists of a preoperative planning software with automatic fluoroscopic and CT image processing and a set of rigid bone fixation clamps and platforms.

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