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Z-Axis Connector Elements for Surgical Instruments

Z-Axis Connector Elements are used in surgical instruments, to test implantable medical devices, and in hand-held blood testing devices. The two main benefits for the surgical instrument application are: (1) The seal that the connector creates which reduces the effects of bodily fluids on contact integrity. (2) Multiple wire contacts are made to the flex circuit pads for added reliability.

Although not shown in these photographs, retaining features can be incorporated into the elastomeric connector element to increase mechanical integrity.

Custom Connector Uses in Common Medical Devices

A pacemaker manufacturer uses a Z-Wrap custom connector to contact the shell of the device for final testing. The soft gold wires make an electrical connection without scratching the case and the multiple wire paths allow for long life in the fixture.

A glucose monitoring device was demonstrated using a hybrid connector that allowed for connections to LCD glass and I/O probes for a data recorder. The LCD glass connections are made with traditional carbon LCD connector materials while the data contacts were made with gold plated wire. Relatively expensive gold wire is only used where needed, and the application illustrates the ability to share power and data contacts on the same connector

Surgical Device Connector
Exploded View
Generic Pacemaker
LCD Connector with Z-Wrap Center

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