There are always innovations in the world of optics and medical glass. A fairly recent innovation is laser-based glass micro bonding technology. This technique is exceptional because it requires no heat or other materials to bond. This fairly new process is used for medical devices and also has applications in the aerospace, energy, and automotive industries. Read on to learn more about this medical and technical glass and how the process works.
Medical Glass: How Does Laser-based Glass Micro Bonding Technology Work?
Micro bonding uses a “glass only” method, which is glass-to-glass or glass-to-silicon, unlike glass-to-metal bonding. No heat or added materials are used in the bonding process. The process itself allows for vacuum-tight optical devices and ultra-miniature electronic devices, such as implantable glass, which is medical glass used for several procedures. This far-reaching bonding process also allows for micro-electro-mechanical systems, which can be used for the Internet of Things (IoT).
Glass-to-glass or glass-to-silicone micro bonding is much more reliable for medical glass than previous glass-to-metal bonding. This is because glass-to-glass or silicone allows for no gap between the layers of the device. This allows for the manufacture of much smaller medical implants and smaller chip and wafer-scale devices.
This medical glass micro bonding process can be performed at room temperature because it does not require heat. Micro bonding is a much better choice if you manufacture electronic components with high heat sensitivity, as these components are easily encapsulated.
The glass-to-glass (or silicone) micro bonding process is becoming preferred over glass-to-metal, even though titanium has been the gold standard for roughly 40 years. Glass wafers, as compared to metal, offer more efficient data transfer, reprogramming of implants, and recharging, making it a perfect choice for implantable medical devices.
Medical Glass & Real-world Applications: Implantable Medical Devices
An implantable medical device is much less invasive than some other procedures when a patient is ill. In addition, these wireless, chip-size implants are highly reliable because of the micro bonding process. However, in order for medical professionals to receive the signals that the implantable glass is transmitting, a simple procedure must be performed.
In order to send signals from the medical glass to your healthcare provider, you will ingest a small pill called an ingestible sensor. An ingestible sensor combined with the implant has several applications. In most cases, if there is an issue, it will alert you because you will have an app on your smartphone or tablet that is wirelessly connected to the pill.
These sensors can alert doctors when patients don’t take their medicine, but they also can alert physicians to potential problems within the body. For example, implantable medical devices are used for cancer patients for monitoring.
So, how does the information get from the pill to your smartphone and physician? The pill works with the implantable medical device, but the ingestible sensor has special properties. Attached to the pill are zinc and copper electrodes. Once the pill reaches the stomach, stomach acid powers the voltaic current after receiving the zinc ions. This signal is so strong that it can power a 900 mHz transmitter. This is how the information is transmitted.
Medical Glass: The Future of Implantable Medical Devices
Because of their reliability and lack of gap, glass-to-glass micro bonding is becoming more prevalent. In 2018, the prominent specialty glass manufacturer, SCHOTT, acquired the Finnish company Primoceler Oy, which is a pioneer in micro glass bonding. This allows for greater growth and use of this medical glass and implantable medical devices.
Primoceler Oy became part of SCHOTT’s electronic packaging division. As a result, more and more optics and glass manufacturers will inevitably begin to use the micro bonding process in the near future.
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