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Application Success: Electrophysiology Cardiac Mapping Catheters

An Electrophysiology device manufacturer required a connector with at least 64 signal contacts that was highly reliable, easy to use, EtO sterilizable, and cost effective, to link a disposable electronic cardiac catheter with a reusable cable that connects the catheter to their system.  There were 64 electrodes per catheter, spaced over 8 splines, with 8 electrodes per spline. The catheter supported diagnosis of arrhythmias, including atrial flutter, atrial tachycardia, ventricular tachycardia, and atrial fibrillation.  The catheter is used only once, but both reliability (due the critical nature of the procedure) and overall cost (since the disposable device cannot be reused on another patient) are essential.  Therefore, the interconnect cost had to be kept to a minimum, without affecting quality and dependability. The Smiths Interconnect team was awarded the project as the design was not only highly reliable but also tripled the density of the connector in a small footprint.

Solution: High Density HyperGrip®

Smiths Interconnect’s high density HyperGrip connectors were ideal because they offered up to 84 High Density Hypergrip Connectorsignal contacts in a reasonably sized, easy to use package.  The HyperGrip receptacle fit nicely into the catheter handle and the simpler target contacts were incorporated in the disposable receptacle, where they can be most cost effective. The design allowed for the contacts to be selectively loaded, since fewer than 84 contacts were required, enabling easier upgrade of the system in the future without changing the bill of material.

Smiths also worked with the customer to provide the mating disposable receptacle cable assembly, with 64 #42AWG wires, which they incorporate into the catheters, as well as the reusable extension cable terminated to the high density HG series plug, to mate these catheters to their system.  This allowed the device manufacturer to focus on designing the “business” end of the mapping catheter.

 

Customer Advantage:

  • High Density: Spring probe contacts more than triple the density of the HG3 connector (69 vs. 19 contacts) thereby reducing the number of cables in an Electrophysiology procedure room
  • Reliable: High cycle life increases the Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF)
  • Economical: Connectors shipped unassembled, simplifying the termination process,  and they may be keyed at point of assembly, eliminating the need to purchase differently keyed versions, reducing inventory costs

Crimp and Poke contacts: Eliminate the need to pre-tin, solder, and shrink boot during termination – reducing assembly costs and cost of ownership