A manufacturer of cutting edge medical devices was developing a new cardiac ablation system to treat heart arrhythmias. They required a highly reliable, but cost effective, interconnect between a single use catheter and a reusable cable that must be sterilized between patients, a total of 10 to 20 times. Though the catheter is used only once, the connectors must provide absolute dependability in light of the critical nature of the procedure. Additionally, since the disposable device cannot be reused on another patient, its overall cost is of particular consequence.
The mating connector on the reusable cable is subjected to EtO, Sterrad®*, and/or multiple steam autoclave sterilizations, since that cable must traverse the sterile field boundary … yet it must also be cost effective since autoclaving can diminish the life of the cable, thus making it a ‘limited-use’ device. In addition, this cable must maintain its reliability while mating to multiple disposable catheters. And an added requirement was that the connectors must be intuitive and simple to use with gloved hands during the operation.
The manufacturer chose the standard Eclipta connector because its form, fit, and function were ideal for their application – simple to use and easy to incorporate into their handle design. And the cost of the disposable connector was very cost effective, compared to competitive designs. Specifically, utilizing the end of the pc board (which was already required inside the handle) as the “contacts” in the connector, reduces both the connector and assembly costs, because the fine wires on both sides of the connector can simply be mass terminated to the pc board, rather than requiring them to be individually soldered to discrete contacts.