The latest in precision technology presented at Euspen 2015

The annual congress of the European Society of Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology (euspen) took place in Leuven between 1 and 5 June this year. As in previous years those attending the congress could count on a whole series of captivating presentations, complemented by a poster session covering a wide range of subjects including precision mechanics in (micro) biology and advanced machine metrology. 

One of the big attractions at euspen this year included medical technology applications and specifically, the high precision systems for eye operations and the so-called 'deep-brain-stimulation'. Andy Gijbels from KU Leuven presented an innovative system that allows medication to be introduced into the blood vessels on the retina. The extremely narrow diameter of these blood vessels, the limited space and the risk of causing damage, together make it essential that the surgeon can feel the precise 'force feedback' from the instruments as soon as he enters the vessel. With an accuracy of 0.2 mN, the equipment makes it possible to carry out complicated eye operations more safely and quickly.

MRI compatible instrument for deep brain stimulation (TU Eindhoven)

Marc Janssens from TU Eindhoven showed the MRI compatible instrument for deep brain stimulations. The innovative design with higher torsional and flexural stiffness makes it possible to reach the treatment zone with an electrode more accurately. As the instrument is made entirely from PEEK it can be used in conjunction with an MRI scanner, thereby making the surgeon's job easier.

Metrology

In addition to medical applications, interest has also been shown from people working with advanced metrology. A practical and relevant demonstration was given by Florentina Pavliček of Inspire AG. She demonstrated the influence of room climate control settings on both the measuring equipment and the item in question. She concluded that an acclimatisation period of at least one week is required prior to taking high precision measurements. A laser system that can detect chronic inflammation of the joints was also presented in the same session.

It has become clear from this successful euspen congress that precision technology is increasingly taking on a more interdisciplinary form and that collaboration from mechanical engineering and microelectronics with for example, medical science, is playing an ever important role.

Photographs: euspen/TU Eindhoven

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