Manheim, Pennsylvania -Engineers at Fenner Precision have produced a 60mm circumference belt with a 1mm pitch for a blood pressure monitor - "by far the smallest belt ever produced" by the maker of belts, tyres and pulleys.
A Fenner team worked with engineers from medical device maker Tensys Medical Inc. of San Diego, California, to develop this belt for the TL-150 Continuous, Non-invasive Blood Pressure Monitoring System.
"This is a significant breakthrough for engineers who struggle to meet the consumers' demand for miniaturised precision medical devices and robotics," said Tony Watts, global marketing manager for Fenner Precision of Manheim, in a press statement.
Fenner said the high-torque, curvilinear belt is made of "extremely durable polyurethane;" the clean-running, non-dusting, chemically resistant material can withstand temperatures of -40°C to 80°C.
The belt allows the motors and gears to maintain precise positioning of the sensor over the artery. The unit can operate for up to 18 hours at a time.
"Because the TL-150 is used to continuously monitor pressure during surgical procedures, precision, size and dependability was of the utmost concern," said Chris Jones, ceo of Tensys Medical, in the Fenner statement.
Watts added that, although the belt was developed for a specific use, "we see potential for use in oxygen pumps, insulin pumps, home dialysis and prosthetics as well as non-medical implications such as security, aerospace, robotics, automotive and even hobbies."
"With our new production process, we can produce this very small belt in very high volumes with quick lead times," the Fenner executive added.
PIC: A `Tensys monitoring device being fitted.