Temperature stability is vital in medical/clinical diagnostic equipment such as reagent and centrifuge equipment. Even small fluctuations in the operating temperature of these machines can significantly affect the test results. In addition, small portable medical diagnostic machines are growing in popularity for point of care (POC) and lab on chip (LOC) testing devices. These machines require cooling solutions with a compact form factor and low weight. Thermoelectric modules (TEMs) offer advanced temperature control in a small, lightweight package while increasing reliability and lowering maintenance cost.
For example, a patient’s sample is taken at the doctor’s office and transported to centralized testing centers, which have large automated medical diagnostic systems. These instruments test several hundreds of patient vials per hour and contain a wide test menu, which diagnose numerous illnesses, such as tumors, diabetes and allergies. Sample preparation requires reagents to agitate human sample and yield accurate results. Reagents are consumable. Cooling units are used to refrigerate reagents, which extends life and lower costs.
The trend to miniaturize analytical and medical instruments to free up precious lab space has led engineers to pack more functionality into a smaller footprint. This increases the heat flux density and thermal challenges. For systems that require refrigeration, such as incubators, centrifuges, liquid chromatography and chemical analyzers, temperature control systems play an important role in optimization of test results. Thermoelectric assemblies with integrated temperature control meet these thermal challenges. The Tunnel Series TEA offers cooling capacities up to 100 watts with higher efficiencies that run quieter, while the SuperCool Series TEA offers cooling capacities > 200 watts in a smaller form factor.
When combined with an advanced SR-54 Series temperature controller, these TEAs offer temperature control to within +/- 1 °C. The SR-54 temperature controller also provides monitoring and alarm functionality to identify a problematic fan, thermoelectric module, over-temperature thermostat and temperature sensor failure — all of which are critical to maximize medical equipment uptime. The controller requires minimal programming and can be easily adhered to a TEA or system enclosure. The controller also lowers operational noise, as fan speeds can be lowered once the specified temperature has been reached.
Read more: Compact Temperature Control for Medical Diagnostic and Analytical Instrumentation Application Note
Rapid thermal cycling and precision temperature control is crucial to speed up DNA amplification. PCR systems use thermoelectrics to thermal cycle DNA samples to create millions of strands of DNA for analysis.
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