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Miniature Motors Help Bring Medical Diagnostics to the Patient

March 16, 2023

Today’s healthcare, pharmaceutical, and agriculture industries demand faster yet more compact diagnostics equipment that will deliver accurate and repeatable results. Miniature electric motors, along with smaller and inexpensive electronic components, are increasingly used in laboratory and diagnostic equipment designs to help achieve these size and performance goals.

For example, medical diagnostic and monitoring machines are transitioning from the laboratory to the patient’s point of care, whether at the hospital, the doctor’s office, or the patient’s home. This allows for a quicker diagnosis and earlier detection of health conditions or negative trends that could adversely affect the patient.

This new trend is possible thanks to miniature point-of-care (PoC) analyzers. These compact, portable machines are typically battery-powered and include reagent cartridges that allow for diagnoses in minutes. PoC analyzers rely on miniature motors to perform various operations such as mixing reagents, moving the cartridge, and for spectrometry tests, moving the mirror. Engineers can choose from several motor technologies to implement into their designs depending on their size, performance, price, and efficiency requirements. Among them, most engineers choose either coreless brush DC motors or small stepper motors. Here are the benefits for each type:

Coreless brush DC Motors
High efficiency
No iron losses
Longer operation on a single charge
Stepper Motors
Rotate incrementally at each current pulse for easy control
No feedback sensor required
Linear travel accuracy and high resolution for accurate, repeatable motion

Work With Your Motor Manufacturer

A single motor technology cannot fit every PoC analyzer application, so designers should evaluate both the benefits and advantages of each motor type. Be sure to review your options with your miniature motor manufacturer in order to select the technology that best fits your requirements. Portescap application engineers can work with you to help develop unique and customized laboratory devices that will perform with precision and reliability during continuous operations.

For more information contact us or read the full whitepaper here