In the medical field, managing fluids and gases, both inside and outside of the body, presents many unique challenges. Products are designed to filter, pressurize, clean, deliver or regulate fluids and gases using complex subsystems that must work in harmony across the critical categories of safety, efficacy, and cost effectiveness.
Customized fluid and gas management medical devices often include pumps, filters, compressors, manifolds, valves and complex routing of plumbing and wiring, all tied together with precise control algorithms. The system’s design must ensure proper operation in a number of environments (consider field-based trauma settings like helicopters, ambulances and accident scenes, to clinical settings, to home use) and at the hands of both medically-trained professionals and patients from all walks of life.
The Spectrum of Medical Fluid and Gas Management
Within the medical field, there is a spectrum of uses that requires consistent fluid and gas management. Further, the current medical device marketplace is continually making changes and innovating new solutions to improve both lifesaving and life-improving products. As demand for reliable and economical devices continues, Minnetronix creates game-changing designs for fluidics-based medical devices that facilitate a range of clinical procedures.
Drug and Therapy Delivery
Many medical procedures involve the delivery of fluids and gases as treatments for illnesses. Devices often deliver fluids or gases as medications and nutrition. These might be applied directly into a patient’s vascular system or inhaled through a breathing device such as a nebulizer or breathing tube. Further, medical devices are commonly used to provide nutrition to patients who cannot consume food or water by mouth.
Some examples of these drug and therapy procedures include:
- Cryoablation: This procedure is used to kill tumors, cancer cells, or abnormal tissue using an extremely cold liquid to freeze and destroy cells. The components commonly used in this procedure include liquid nitrogen, liquid nitrous oxide, or compressed argon gas.
- Nebulized Drug Delivery: This is a method of delivery used to administer medication in the form of a mist that is inhaled in the lungs. Common uses include the treatment of respiratory diseases such as asthma, COPD, or cystic fibrosis.
- Infusion Therapy: Also called intravenous therapy, this procedure involves administering medication directly into a patient’s bloodstream.
- Orbital Atherectomy: This procedure is used to surgically remove coronary artery calcium (CAC) to prepare a vessel for further coronary surgery, such as the implementation of a coronary stent.
Patients with heart or pulmonary issues often require assistance to monitor their heartbeat or keep their heart functioning properly. Perhaps the most widely-known cardiac rhythm management device is the pacemaker. This device monitors heartbeats and delivers low-level electrical pulses to keep the heart pumping at a normal pace. Some patients might require an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), which can deliver both low- and high-level electrical pulses to regulate heartbeats.
From the perspective of fluids-based cardiopulmonary support, if a patient suffers from heart failure, they might require a Mechanical Circulatory Support Device (MCSD) such as a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD). These are pumps that take over the function of the left or right ventricle of the heart.
Implementation of an MCSD may be permanent or temporary, depending on the needs of the patient. Additionally, Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) is a technique used to provide prolonged cardiac and respiratory support to those unable to sustain life on their own. Both examples require expertise managing flows and pressures of complex biologic fluids in addition to considerations like the integrity of cellular components, e.g. red blood cells, and mitigation of unwanted biologic processes like thrombogenesis.
Filtration and Contamination Control
An important aspect of fluid and gas management is medical filtration and contamination control. Many important devices are designed to keep a barrier between the patient and breathing equipment when air or other gas mixtures are delivered. Additional applications include the ability to remove toxins from biologic fluids. These barriers can both reduce cross-contamination between patients and return patients to health, as in the case of dialysis or Minnetronix’ proprietary Neurapheresis system.
Medical sampling can include gathering materials from the body to perform a medical diagnosis or evaluation. Samples like vials of blood or breath vapor are used for further patient treatments, medical tests, or other procedures.
Sampling might also be conducted to determine the quality of a gas or liquid in a stream or storage container. These samplers must be highly accurate and used in an atmosphere the retains quality control features such as pressure or temperature.
Fluid and Gas Removal
Managing medical liquid waste poses many challenges. In a medical setting, removal features that require a mechanical solution might include the containment of liquid, precise flow control, or pressure regulation. The removal of biological and non-biological fluids and gases is involved in many medical procedures and treatments. Some examples are wound healing, filtration, hemostasis, and clot management. Certain medical procedures also require sterile removal as well as filtration, such as the process of extracting plasma.
Creating Innovative Solutions with Minnetronix
Working alongside an industry professional like Minnetronix fosters innovation in medical settings, no matter the size of the medical system. These partnerships allow professionals to work extensively on product functions and testing.
We understand that different fluids and gases, including biologics, have different dynamics and applications. From flow and volume to fluid type, temperature, and pressure, our deep understanding allows us to provide the desired performance. Partnering with Minnetronix to create custom medical devices and systems not only produces new solutions but also enhances the value of current medical applications.
Accelerate getting your device to market with our Fluid and Gas Management development and production team. Learn more about a partnership with Minnetronix.