We typically don’t profile individual components that make up the insides of medical devices, but when we see a tiny novel motor come to market, we get excited of its potential to miniaturize all kinds of gadgets. New Scale Technologies out of Victor, NY has released the ultrasonic SQUIGGLE RV motor system that is only 2.8mm wide and can drive a shaft at 10 mm /sec. And it does this at .5μm resolution (that’s half a millionth of a meter). It seems that where small size and precision are key, such as in invasive medical devices, a motor so small could open new possibilities in angio interventions, laparoscopy, drug delivery, and therapeutic systems.
From the product announcement:
The NSD-2101 accepts direct 2.3 VDC to 5.5 VDC battery power and uses patented full-bridge switching technology to create the ultrasonic motor drive frequency. The IC also has patent-pending smart drive features built in that optimize motor performance while minimizing power consumption over a broad range of operating and environmental conditions. The NSD-2101 requires only DC battery power and digital I2C control commands to achieve unrivaled miniature motion control performance.
The SQL-RV-1.8 motor achieves forces in excess of 50 grams and high resolution to 0.5 micrometer. It can run at speeds greater than 7 mm/sec with power consumption of less than 350 mW when moving under typical loading conditions. This corresponds to a DC current of only 120 mA for a typical 3 VDC battery. Its unique self-locking design means that zero power is needed to hold the motor position, providing additional power savings.
New Scale’s TRACKER™ NSE-5310 linear encoder, the world’s smallest linear position sensor, can be integrated with the SQUIGGLE RV system for high system repeatability with submicron resolution.
Some ideas for medical applications of the device:
Robotic surgical devices. SQUIGGLE motors and TRACKER position sensors can be used for everything from robotic grippers and retractors to miniature mobile robots for minimally invasive surgery. Endoscopes. Small enough to fit inside the head of a standard endoscope, SQUIGGLE motors and TRACKER position sensors can add more capabilities: focus a lens, manipulate a scraper, collect a sample, dispense a liquid. Implantable devices. The SQUIGGLE motor would allow adjustment of implanted devices in situ, preserving optimal performance. Microfluidics. SQUIGGLE motors and TRACKER position sensors can be used to create tiny microfluidic pumps in handheld devices for POC testing, which promises faster results, improved time to treatment and cost containment. Drug delivery. SQUIGGLE motors enable the development of smaller, more efficient pumps such as next-generation insulin pumps (wearable or implantable) – offering longer battery life, better accuracy and simplified pump operation (no gear box). They are also used in research for precise drug delivery in MRI systems.
Product page: SQUIGGLE Motor for medical applications…
Press release: New SQUIGGLE® RV micro motion system operates directly from a 3 VDC battery for industry’s lowest power consumption and smallest system size…
(hat tip: Eureka Magazine)