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Specialized Medical Cables
Prototype to Production Prototype to Production
MADE INTH E
Micron-Scale Circuit Development & Manufacturing
FLEX • THIN FILM • ELECTROFORMING
Single & multi-layer
with < 10 micron
traces and spaces
Fill your brain with our
online flex design guidelines.
1. Application — The supplier needs to know what the device
will do. Will it measure Doppler blood flow or liquid levels?
Will it perform bubble or flow sensing, acoustic or medical imaging? Are you looking for surgical tool use, power
applications, or HIFU (high intensity focused ultrasound)
to detect hyperthermia? Will it perform nebulization, cell
disruption, or cosmetic or physical therapeutics?
2. Environment of Use — The performance of any transducer is
controlled by various physical properties associated with the
material, so it is crucial to choose a system that is optimized
for its environment of use. What temperature range will the
transducer be subjected to? Is it liquid or air coupled? Is its
intended use active or passive, hand-held or robotic, topical
or skin contact, intra-operative or surgical? Will it be sterilization compatible, implantable, or external?
3. Electrical Circuit Considerations — A piezoelectric transducer’s
electrical impedance is a complicated, yet pertinent, factor to
optimizing its performance — the circuit to which it is connected must have certain characteristics, which are dictated by
the component’s design. What are the intended drive voltage
limits and range? Will the device operate with AC or DC,
wirelessly or cabled? Will it use electrical impedance matching
information or have specific electrode material requirements?
4. Acoustic Performance Envelope — The signals emitted from
ultrasonic piezoceramic transducers undergo attenuation as
they propagate. High-frequency acoustic waves are especially
susceptible to absorption with the increase of distance and
thus, they experience large transmission loss gradually. The
opposite is true for low-frequency ultrasonic waves. Which is
more appropriate for the device? Will it employ high or low
acoustic coupling? Will it be a resonant or anti-resonant device? What’s the intended frequency domain? Will it employ
continuous or pulse echo functionality?
5. Tolerances — What are the electrical, acoustic, dimensional, and
environmental requirements? Will there need to be special
packaging considerations? All transducers react differently
when exposed to varied electrical, acoustic, and environmental
factors. Piezoceramics can be damaged by excessive temperature, mechanical stress, or electric fields; when combined, they
may cause damage that would not have resulted from a single
stressor. It’s important to take all these factors into consideration when specifying a piezoceramic type.
6. Competitive Influences — From a production and user experience point of view, how do you envision the device and
its cost-value relationship? Is it low-cost, single-use, and
disposable, or re-usable? Does it employ commercial off-the-shelf technology? What stage of development is the device
at now? Will there be an extensive prototyping phase? Will
production be high-volume? For export?
Each one of these factors plays very strongly into the decision
to identify which solution will work best for each customer and
application. When combined into a holistic application strategy,
knowing this information allows a piezoceramic supplier to offer
the best possible product while also creating a fruitful relationship
that can continue to provide solutions for years to come.