Nowadays, cataract surgery is a routine procedure. But this is only possible because companies like BYTEC Medizintechnik develop devices that enable eye surgeons to carry out operations accurately, error-free and in accordance with their own personal requirements. Piezo, proportional and fast-switching valves from Festo, designed in the form of a control block, allow the necessary rapid incisions to be made.
“QUBE” and “QUBE pro” are surgical systems during cataract operations (grey star) and retina surgery. The specialists at BYTEC adapt software and flexible automation components to the individual needs and requirements of the eye surgeons. This makes it easy and convenient for the surgeons to use the highly precise cutting and suction instruments, which are controlled by the QUBE pro.
An intuitive user interface at the touchscreen simplifies use of the QUBE pro for eye surgeons. A clear display with special symbols makes it possible to navigate through the programs in a logical and reliable way.
A dual linear control pedal ensures a continuous, processes-oriented surgical procedure. During initial start-up, BYTEC service specialists program each and every instrument together with the eye surgeons, taking their individual working methods into consideration. Additional functions, including safety functions, can be activated via eight foot pedals.
Piezo and proportional technology
During cataract surgery, the opacified lens is broken up by an ultrasound probe. A high-precision suction/rinsing device, which is controlled by proportional valve MPYE from Festo, removes the resulting lens fragments. During this procedure, the required infusion pressure is controlled by piezo valve VEAB from Festo. After the residual tissue has been rinsed and removed, the surgeon inserts the new, artificial and clear lens.
“Safety takes first priority in our development goals. During the development phase, we go to the limits of what is technically feasible for all the components and systems used in order to finally obtain certifications from approval organisations like the FDA,” reports Dipl.-Ing. Paul Willi Coenen, President and CEO of BYTEC.
The technical basis for most functions is a complete pneumatic control unit consisting of solenoid valves and piezo valves. It drives the surgical tools, the vacuum-assisted suction removal and the delivery of liquids.
“The higher the cutting rate, the better and more precisely the surgeon can work with the cutter in the anterior segment,” says Coenen, “which is why we were looking for valves which would make these high cutting rates possible.” The fast-switching valves MHA2 from Festo achieve rates of up to 7500 cuts per minute in the QUBE pro in order to be able to use the cutter for removing tissue accurately.
Perspective with integration technology
Together with BYTEC, Festo developed a compact valve control block for the QUBE pro. By using so-called integration technology, a manifold duct plate was created which integrates all the pneumatic connections for a protected, tubeless supply in the form of ducts. In addition, the integration technology also allowed various hollow spaces and silencers to be included. Otherwise, this would have required separate special components. As a result, the control block requires 50% less installation space than a conventional solution with numerous individual tubing connections for each pneumatic component. The manifold duct plate has a common electrical interface for all solenoid coils and sensor signals.
BYTEC, located in Germany, is a contract service provider for developing and manufacturing of medical devices for surgery, therapy and diagnostics.
About the author
Dr. Andreas Schüle
Business Development LifeTech
Festo AG & Co. KG