Flexible Circuits to Contribute to Smaller Medical Devices

Minco, a designer and manufacturer of critical components for critical applications, is dubbing flexible circuits as the answer to many medical device manufacturers’ question of how to produce smaller, thinner and lighter applications.

The combination of high density surface mount technology (SMT), micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and nano-scale construction enables a new wave of medical devices that benefit from increased use of flexible circuits.

“Flexible circuits are driving the medical implants industry to the next level,” said Merle Tingelstad, Minco market intelligence analyst. “Manufacturers strive to achieve zero defect reliability, size reduction and enhanced feature sets – flexible circuits make these goals attainable.”

Flexible circuitry is used in applications that require the circuit to bend, flex and conform to fit the application’s specific use.

When integrating a flex circuit into an application, the design engineer must factor in all of the parameters that will have an impact on the circuit's ability to bend. It is important to keep sight of the requirements that will be imposed on the flex circuit and the limitation of the materials used.

Integrated properly, a flexible circuit can offer many more benefits to the end application than a conventional hard-wire circuit.

“Enhancing the reliability and accuracy of an application is more than the inclusion of flexible materials.” said Merle Tingelstad, “It’s the actual design and integration of the flexible circuit that is important.”

Flexible circuits are now being used in medical devices that include cardiac implants such as pacemakers and defibrillators, neurological implants, infusion drug pumps and cochlear implants.

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