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PCB007-May2021

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74 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2021 students/employees into the activity and pro- vides a strong vector for learning. Audits Audits usually strike fear and anxiety when the term is even mentioned. However, this ac- tivity is not intended to be feared. is is a valu- able tool to review a process, work instruction, or even a production area. e idea is to ascer- tain whether everything is working as intend- ed and identify any possible challenges that re- quire attention. is can simply be employees in a certain workspace reviewing their tools and supplies, equipment, and general work environment. It also can be more in-depth to review key performance indicators (KPIs) to see whether predetermined outputs are being maintained. QMS Review Finally, the actual system should receive peri- odic reviews. is is a requirement in ISO9001. If the tool shed is in disrepair, how can we tune up our operations? Work instructions, pro- cedures, and company policies should be re- viewed to make sure they are always ready to support the team that needs them. We need to make sure our team has the tools they need when they need them. Stay sharp, my friends! PCB007 Todd Kolmodin is VP of quality for Gardien Services USA and an expert in electrical test and reliability issues. To read past columns or contact Kolmodin, click here. Widely used to monitor and map biological sig- nals, to support and enhance physiological func- tions, and to treat diseases, implantable medical devices are transforming healthcare and improving the quality of life for millions of people. Researchers are increasingly interested in designing wireless, miniaturized implantable medical devices for in vivo and in situ physiological monitoring. These devices could be used to monitor physiological conditions, such as temperature, blood pressure, glucose, and respiration for both diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Researchers at Columbia Engineering report that they have built what they say is the world's small- est single-chip system, consuming a total volume of less than 0.1 mm 3 . The system is as small as a dust mite and visible only under a microscope. In order to achieve this, the team used ultrasound to both power and communicate with the device wireless- ly. The study was published online May 7 in Science Advances. "We wanted to see how far we could push the lim- its on how small a function- ing chip we could make," said the study's leader Ken Shepard, Lau Family pro- fessor of electrical engi- neering and professor of biomedical engineering. "This is a new idea of 'chip as system'—this is a chip that alone, with nothing else, is a complete function- ing electronic system. This should be revolutionary for developing wireless, miniaturized implantable medical devices that can sense different things, be used in clinical applications, and eventually ap- proved for human use." The design was done by doctoral student Chen Shi, who is the first author of the study. Shi's design is unique in its volumetric efficiency, the amount of function that is contained in a given amount of volume. Traditional RF communications links are not possible for a device this small because the wavelength of the electromagnetic wave is too large relative to the size of the device. Because the wavelengths for ultrasound are much smaller at a given frequency because the speed of sound is so much less than the speed of light, the team used ultrasound to both power and communicate with the device wirelessly. They fabricated the "an- tenna" for communicating and powering with ultra- sound directly on top of the chip. (Source: Columbia University) Tiny, Wireless, Injectable Chips Use Ultrasound to Monitor Body Processes

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