Medical technology and equipment advances quickly in today’s economy. Much of this is thanks to new findings in the engineering field. Medical engineering, also called biomedical engineering, is a field where equipment and products are designed by engineers for exclusive medical needs. One great example of this are x-ray machines, which need to be developed to capture images of the human anatomy accurately.
All of this equipment requires many small parts working in unison. Some engineers need to develop very small components and chemical substances for these machines for the purposes of bio-compatibility. Bio-compatibility is defined by an artificial product’s ability to function in the human body without an adverse effect. One such product needed for bio-compatibility is the diamond like carbon.
This product is an amorphous carbon compound that still retains the properties of a diamond. This product is put inside many medical devices since the molecular make-up of the carbon compound allows for electricity to flow easily while minimizing friction. For example, this diamond like product is used in numerous medical techniques, like brachytherapy.
Brachytherapy is when radiation is directly given onto internal body tissue. With the help of this carbon compound, devices can be made to deliver this radiation safely and effectively. In addition, the carbon product has a high bio-compatibility, meaning it will not adversely affect the body on contact.
The engineering feats do not end there. To get this carbon compound and others like it into tiny medical devices, different engineering techniques need to be used. These techniques help to push compounds into a state of matter called a thin film. A thin film is a substance that is only a couple of nanometers thick. A thin film is created by using extreme temperatures, brought by heat or plasma, to convert the compound into a vapor form. Then, the compound is pushed into a device within a vacuum environment. The vacuum environment makes sure no organic or inorganic materials enter into the device. Once the thin film is in the device, it will return to its solid or liquid matter form. Such techniques help compounds like the carbon diamond substance enter very small devices.
This diamond product is not the only engineering application companies produce and research. Companies across the world research and develop new products all of the time so that internal medical devices and analytic devices, like x-ray machines, can be developed. As the years progress, biomedical engineers will create new substances and find new ways to enhance medical devices for patients everywhere.