Switches and Connectors

Wireless data collected directly from patients during normal physical activities could enable the development of better knee implants

September 5, 2008

5 Min Read
Switches and Connectors

Originally Published MPMN September 2008


Switches and Connectors

Differential switches

An ultrasensitive line of RoHS-compliant miniature pressure, vacuum, and differential switches are used in such medical applications as oxygen-level monitors, sip-and-puff mobility control, and respiratory devices. The Designflex switch line is enhanced by a variety of housing, mounting, port, diaphragm, and set-point configurations. Designed to provide high durability and long life, the switches can withstand sterilization. Custom switch designs are also offered.
World Magnetics, Traverse City, MI

Push-button switches

A series of sealed push-button switches includes a flat-top plunger switch that allows for customization, including customer-specific markings, backlit legends, custom-molded caps, and wire assemblies. The IPP series is suitable for medical equipment and any other application requiring a sealed ergonomic electrical interface. Available in versions offering momentary and maintained function, the switches come with a black bezel frame and a choice of seven actuator colors, and feature a reliable elastomeric seal. They are sealed to IP67. Manufactured with gold-plated silver contacts and supplied either prewired or with solder lug terminals, these push-button switches are rated for 100 mA and 200,000 cycles at 24 V dc and for 2 A and 10,000 cycles at 125 V ac.
Apem Components Inc., Haverhill, MA

Panel-mount connectors

Featuring circular industrial connectors with a one-touch bayonet locking system and color-coded leads, a line of connectors has been expanded to include front and rear versions of the XS5M panel-mount plugs and XS5P panel-mount sockets. Smartclick connectors provide an audible and tactile click to indicate that a lock is secure. Designed to reduce assembly time associated with screw-style connectors, this line of connectors also can provide better seal performance compared with screw-style products because the potential for over- or under-tightening of a seal is eliminated. Equipment downtime can be reduced by the connectors’ shock- and vibration-resistant design and their secure locks.
Omron Electronic Components LLC, Schaumburg, IL

Canted-coil spring contacts

Providing reliable electrical contact solutions, a company offers connectors featuring its canted-coil spring technology. The combination of the canted-coil spring and metal housing in the Bal Contact connector ensures constant electrical contact during lead-insertion processes for cardiac or neurostimulation applications. Using multiple contact points for increased conductivity, the connectors function at a low operating temperature and perform self-cleaning in dynamic or vibrating environments, which helps improve the connectors’ life cycle and durability. Each connector coil deflects independently to compensate for contact and surface variations. Several spring materials are offered; among them is platinum iridium, which provides corrosion and oxidation resistance suited for medical electronic applications.
Bal Seal Engineering Inc., Foothill Ranch, CA

Sensor control system connectors

A manufacturer offers a family of connectors and related products that provide durable, reliable, and easy field-termination interconnection for discrete wire applications commonly found in sensor control systems. The family includes Mini-Clamp II connectors, the Mini-Clamp II 371–series wire-mount plug, and the Mini-Clamp II 373–series wire-mount socket. The compact design of the RoHS-compliant wire-mount plugs helps save board space. The connectors feature integrated cable retention and can accept multiple wire diameters. The manufacturer also offers a die-cast version of its surface-mount mini-delta-ribbon 102–series right-angle receptacle, which can be used in patient-monitoring equipment and oximeters.
3M Interconnects, St. Paul, MN

Spring-probe connectors

Connectors featuring spring-probe technology are designed to enable high-density connections, shorten board-to-board heights, and simplify product design by eliminating mating counterparts. Providing continuity in high-shock and high-vibration environments, the connectors are suited for use in portable defibrillators, organ transplant systems, surgical tools, and MRI equipment. Featuring ingress protection and resistance to dust and chemicals, the connectors can perform in a range of temperatures. Contact-to-contact spacing is as small as 0.4 mm and signal paths can be as short as 2.4 mm. Connectors for blind mating are also offered.
Interconnect Devices Inc., Kansas City, KS


Expanding its line of board-to-board and cable-to-board products, a manufacturer offers a family of interconnects designed for applications where signal integrity and durability are critical. Edge Rate contacts provide impedance matching and high cycle life. They also can help reduce broadside coupling and crosstalk, according to the manufacturer. Board-level systems featuring these contacts include the ERM8 and ERF8 series of the contacts’ interconnect strip system and the high-speed RiseUp MicroCard stacking system. Also in the expanded product family, the Searay open-pin-field arrays and differential-pair arrays offer maximum grounding and routing flexibility.
Samtec Inc., New Albany, IN

Miniature connectors

Available in up to 65 contact configurations, tiny connectors use contacts that have a low mass and an engagement force of approximately 1 oz. The low mass of the size 30 Mite-Y-Pin contacts prevents interruptions in the NanoMiniature connectors’ shock and vibration modes. Because the connectors are used in such medical applications as drug delivery and invasive and noninvasive patient monitoring and imaging, the contacts are contained in a liquid-crystal polymer insulator, which is housed in a metal shell for maximum reliability. In addition to selecting from a variety of plating materials, customers can choose among aluminum, stainless steel, or titanium metal housings.
Ulti-Mate Connector Inc., Orange, CA

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