Design and produce an intelligent pump for procedures on the extremely vulnerable eye: that was the assignment that DEMCON received from D.O.R.C., an international supplier of eye surgery appliances and instruments. This assignment was part of the development of a new operating system known as EVA. A good solution for pumping sterile rinsing fluid through the eye was crucial to the success of the project. Through their operating principle, conventional pumps such as venturi or hose pumps create a pulsing fluid flow which can cause complications in the eye.
More effectively and more stably operation
DEMCON developed a completely new concept: a valve pumping system with several suction units and pressure sensors. For this design DEMCON made full use of its experience with complex high-tech systems. During the development process DEMCON built the first EVA and afterwards established series production of the core component of EVA in Enschede. The new pump was given linear actuators, known from machines for the semi-conductor industry. These linear motors do not have the pulsating operation of the existing pumps. In the new concept, the fluid flow and pressure are known at the same time and by keeping accurate timing under control, enabling the surgeon to operate more effectively and more stably. During the operation, the rinsing fluid is pumped through a sterile disposable cartridge. DEMCON helped to develop a cartridge that works and can be produced with high quality at low costs.
The modular structure and the control of the system were important design challenges for DEMCON. Important aspects here included safety, energy/heating control and communication between the different modules, including a laser, a lighting unit and a foot pedal. Ultimately, DEMCON integrated the modules into a completely new system: EVA, with VacuFlow VTi (Valve Timing intelligence).
Special attention was devoted to the operation of EVA via a touch screen in combination with a foot pedal which can control different functions, including the pump. The challenge was to offer surgeons simple, user-friendly operation of the different modules, in order to minimise the risk of errors and ensure safety for the patient.
DEMCON supported D.O.R.C. in the testing and technical documentation for the certification of EVA as a medical device. With EVA, there is now a special innovative system for eye operations on the market. During the development process, DEMCON built the first pump modules and, for the time being, provides for the serial production for the core of EVA in Enschede.