How can we optimise medical device design for safety by using simulation?

MED Institute has successfully optimised the design of medical devices for safety during MRI scans with the help of simulation technology. In this article, find out how their engineers have used simulation software to analyse the heating effects of MRI systems on medical devices to inform their design's materials and geometry to engineer a safer product..

Over 80 million magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are conducted worldwide every year. MRI systems come in many different shapes and sizes, and are identified by their magnetic field strength. These scanners can range from below 0.55 tesla (T) to 3 T and beyond, where tesla is the unit for the static magnetic field strength. For patients with implanted metallic medical devices, the strong magnetic fields generated by MRI systems can pose several safety concerns.

For instance, high-powered magnets generate forces and torques that can cause the implant to migrate and potentially harm the patient. In addition, the gradient coils in MRI systems, used for spatial localisation, can cause gradient-induced heating, vibrations, stimulation of the tissue and device malfunction. Lastly, the large radiofrequency (RF) coil in MRI systems can cause the electrically conductive implant to electromagnetically resonate (called the “antenna effect”), resulting in RF-induced heating that can potentially burn the patient.

MED Institute, a full-service contract research organization (CRO) for the medical device industry, is using multiphysics simulation to better understand the effects of RF-induced heating of medically implanted devices for patients that need MRI scans.

If you'd like to read the full user story, you can continue reading here: