Precision flow control: Accelerating efficiency

Wladyslaw Wygnanski and Charles Potter, directors at CamconMedical, explain how binary actuation valve technology could be the healthcare system’s answer to creating greater efficiencies in devices that demand precise, rapid and energy-efficient flow control.

In the midst of a medical technology revolution it has been found that there is a distinct need to provide more effective, innovative and adaptable clinical solutions for gas and liquid fluid control in modern clinical and laboratory settings. Whether it is precisely controlling gas in oxygen therapy, controlling the dosage of drugs or efficiently controlling the flow of fluids inside or outside the body, there is huge potential to advance fluid control technology to help address an array of unmet patient and clinical needs across multiple medical specialties.

Although the healthcare and life sciences industries have a vast array of devices and systems that use fluid control, there is space in the market for a versatile valve technology that can enhance the performance of current devices and create new innovations. However, as with all technology, a new

discovery can only create impact in healthcare if the science can be readily applied to address an existing unmet need. True innovation needs to deliver on all three dimensions of value – clinical benefit, patient quality of life and economic value to the whole system. Binary actuation technology (BAT) aims to apply these values by utilising its rapid, precise, silent and low energy flow control of liquid and gas, which can have huge benefits for a multitude of clinical applications. Further still, BAT’s technology is designed to minimise energy wastage – a valuable asset – as the mechanism requires only a short electric pulse to trigger each changeover process when the valve is switching between open and closed.

The science behind BAT

As a concept, BAT has an established heritage in other industries. Its inception 20 years ago was due to an engineering request within the marine industry, requiring an energy efficient sound source for fog horns anchored in the English Channel, which depend on a limited source of solar energy. Inventor and engineer, Wladyslaw

Wygnanski, knew that for this mechanism to be energy efficient, it would require a very fast pneumatic on/off valve able to generate a short air blast lasting less than 1 millisecond. When developing this valve, Wladyslaw found that internal energy recycling was the best solution for the needs of this mechanism. This became the principle at the heart of BAT and once developed, studies of the sound source using this system demonstrated an energy efficiency increase from 3% for a typical loudspeaker to 49% – an incredible achievement. Despite the low energy requirements of valves that harness the technology, the science that underpins this ‘catapult' mechanism means that the opening and closing of the valve is incredibly fast and can work at high repetitive speeds. This, in turn, allows the valve technology to provide precise control of the gas or liquid that is passing through the valve cylinder. This rare combination of high speed and low energy resulting in precise control of liquid and gas flow is a characteristic that can be applied to a wide variety of applications which require fluid control.

While the flow control market within healthcare and the life sciences is vast, it is also diverse and, as such, there is already a demand for new valve technology tobe versatile.

MAY 2019

Charles Potter, director at Camcon Medical

Wladyslaw Wygnanski, director at Camcon Medical and inventor of binary actuation technology

Clinical versatility

Any medical system or device requiring accurate and efficient flow control can benefit from BAT. While the flow control market within healthcare and the life sciences is vast, it is also diverse and, as such, there is already a demand for new valve technology to be versatile. BAT’s simplicity and adaptive capabilities is equally as important as the science that underpins the technology itself. By working closely with leading clinicians, Camcon Medical has identified numerous ex-vivo and in-vivo applications of binary actuation technology. Its versatility and scaleability makes it a viable option for medical devices, but also an array of implantable device applications, which is an exciting prospect as this is an area that is inviting innovation. The technology could potentially be manufactured to replace missing biological structures, support a


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