�With regard to medical electronics, there's certainly been a trend toward more regulation and increasing scrutiny about the design process as a whole,� said Paul Nickelsberg, president and senior engineer at Orchid Technologies Engineering and Consulting, Inc., a Maynard, Massachusetts company that specializes in the design, product development, and production of high-tech custom electronics. �That represents opportunities and difficulties for organizations that are trying to sell or bring to market medical devices.�
Nickelsberg can attest to the huge panorama of applications that have opened up for medical electronic devices that do things like measure temperature and pressure, or turn a pump, or radiate something with energy. �It's such a wide field,� he says. �We've worked on everything from CT scanners to infrared light detection equipment. Some of them are very tiny and simple, and some of them are absolutely enormous and full of all kinds of regulation.�
One of Orchid's medical projects was the design of a high-speed transconductance amplifier, a device that detects buildup of plaque in veins and arteries by sensing the tiniest variations in fluorescent light levels inside the human body. The amplifier system is excited by a laser light source and is reported to be capable of detecting infrared light levels below -40dbm, with a frequency response flat to 35 KHz. Orchid provided multiple iterations of the system design, helping its client through the proof-of-concept phases of a technically challenging project.
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