Six paths to medtech innovation at BIOMEDevice Boston/PLASTEC New England

Creative thinking, problem solving, and innovation: in one form or another, these are the foundations of the LearningLabs sessions scheduled at the co-located BIOMEDevice Boston and PLASTEC New England events in March. Specifically, these two-hour meetings will address issues such as implantable sensors, converting body movements into an energy source for implantable electronics, tailoring polymer properties for resorbable applications, and 3D printing. Here are six sessions from a dozen offered that will have particular appeal to medical device engineers and manufacturers.

Designing Next-Gen Medical Devices
It's hard for most people to think creatively, say speakers Dan Stipe and David Chapin from Forma Medical Device Design. Their session is designed to inspire attendees and, more importantly, arm them with methodologies, strategies, and tools that will allow them to tap into their innate creative nature.

Advanced Applications of Sensors in Medical Devices
Ubiquitous and cheap, sensors have enabled a number of medical technology breakthroughs. Michael O'Neil, Principal Engineer at DePuy Synthes, will discuss the current and future capabilities of sensing technology, its promise in orthopedic and cardiovascular applications, and the benefits of real-time monitoring. Part of the same LearningLabs session, David Gracias, Assistant Professor, John Hopkins University, will explain how self-assembly strategies enable the creation of 3D devices for biomedical applications.

Power and Battery Management
A trio of experts will address fundamental issues involving the energy needed to power electronic devices. Breakthrough technologies that can extend battery life will be explored by James Biskey, Senior Electronics Design Engineer at Medtronic. Ken Skodacek from FDA will tackle the regulatory challenges and opportunities of battery-powered medical devices. The fascinating field of implantable and wearable energy harvesting systems that could power pacemakers, for example, will be explored by Michael C. McAlpine, Assistant Professor, Princeton University.

3D Printing
It's been called disruptive, transformative, even awesome by users in the consumer realm-3D printing is all of that, and experts will tackle the technology from multiple angles at this session. Ankur Chandra, Professor of Surgery, University of Rochester, will present a case study for medical 3D printing. Applying this tool to industrial applications for tooling fabrication, assembly, fit checks, and more will be the focus of a presentation by Anthony Vicari from Lux Research. Allan Cronen, GVL Poly, will explain the potential of combining 3D printing with printable electronics.

Wireless Health Technologies
Before you can cut the cord on medical devices, you need to deal with a rat's nest of regulatory requirements. Nicholas Abbondante, Chief Engineer EMC at Intertek, will speak to the many challenges of converting a legacy device into a wireless product. He will be joined by a speaker from Fish & Richardson detailing the role of FDA and FCC in the approval of mobile devices and Sameer Jaiswal, Senior Manager, Quality and Regulatory, Voluntis, outlining a risk-based approach to developing wireless medical technology.

New Capabilities of Bioresorbable Polymers
Metal and plastic-based bioresorbable devices get equal billing at this session (if not in the title). Dennis Jamiolkowski, Distinguished Research Fellow, Ethicon, will discuss tailoring the degradation properties of polymers to achieve the desired functionality of a device. Biodegradable metal stents and the advantages and downsides of zinc for medical applications will be examined by Jaroslaw Drelich, Professor, Material Science and Engineering, Michigan Technological University. The session will wrap up with a conversation about failure analysis in polymer-based medical devices by Gavin Braithwaite, Vice President of Research, Cambridge Polymer Group.

BIOMEDevice Boston and PLASTEC New England come to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston on March 26 and 27. For the dates and times of the individual LearningLabs sessions, to download a complete brochure, and to register to attend, go to the LearningLabs page on the PLASTEC New England website.

Norbert Sparrow

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