Protecting Robotic Surgery Systems from Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)
Robotic surgery systems or robot-assisted surgery, offer immense patient benefits — from shorter recovery time, to better surgeon visualization, which leads to a more precise, effective and successful surgery. Robot systems are used for various surgical procedures, including urologic, gynecologic, cardiothoracic, general, and head and neck surgeries. Manufacturers and designers of these surgical systems are now focusing on robot specialization instead of all-encompassing surgical systems.
This means there will be more specialized systems developed to perform specific surgeries, and the breadth of those procedures is expanding too. General surgery uses are increasing the fastest, followed by gynecology and urology uses. In 2017, there were 877,000 robotic surgeries performed in the US alone. That number is expected to rise exponentially in the years to come.
Any medical device that employs onboard electronics can be impacted by EMI
Robotic surgery system manufacturers and engineers consider EMI shielding when designing their systems. EMI shielding prevents equipment failure and keeps manufacturers compliant with federal regulations. Understanding EMI and taking steps to prevent it is paramount, as the resultant issues could cause robots to behave unexpectedly, such as requiring frequent restarts, showing a limited radio frequency range, moving unintentionally or affecting other nearby robots.
Remember, EMI is when electromagnetic emissions from a device or natural source interfere with another device or system. EMI might occur if the following three factors are present — the source of EMI, a coupling path and a receptor.
The coupling path from the source to the receptor can be either an electric current, magnetic field or an electromagnetic field. The EMI source can be a natural source, such as lightning. It can also come from devices such as radios, computers, wireless networks, cell phones or any electric device designed to transmit signals.
Robotic surgery systems are computer controlled, and therefore sensitive electronic components must be shielded from electromagnetic interference (EMI) and generated heat must be effectively dissipated from various integrated circuits (ICs). On top of these stringent requirements, components must be able to withstand high heat sterilization, and resist damage caused by harsh chemical cleaning agents in the hospital environment.
Discover the top four EMI shielding and thermal interface material applications for robotic surgery systems
- Electronics generate heat. Thermal interface materials are used to dissipate heat away from the heat generating component onto a heatsink. This task is completed by using a thermal interface material (TIM). Popular TIMs include thermal gap pads and thermal dispensable compounds. Parker Chomerics manufactures thermally conductive gap filler pads which offer excellent thermal properties and the highest conformability at low clamping forces. There are a variety of thermal performances available from 1-6.5 W/m-K thermal conductivity.
- Electrically conductive elastomers are reliable over the life of the equipment, and the same gasket is both an EMI shield and an environmental seal. Electrically conductive elastomer are available in many different conductive filler and binder options, in virtually any size or shape you can design.
- Electrically conductive plastics provide "immunity" for sensitive components from incoming electromagnetic interference (EMI) and/or prevent excessive emissions of EMI to other susceptible equipment. Available in a variety of available options.
- Electrically conductive paints and coatings are available in a variety of options, designed for high levels of EMI shielding on plastic or composite substrates.
With proven solutions in EMI shielding and critical thermal management, Parker Chomerics gives you a wealth of integrated, multi technology systems and components that meet or exceed your specifications and expectations.
This blog post was contributed by Jarrod Cohen, marketing communications for Parker Chomerics.