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Leading Medical Equipment Manufacturer Engages with Zytronic on Particle Counting Product


07 July 2009

Zytronic has been chosen to supply medical instrumentation manufacturer Beckman Coulter Inc. with the transparent shielded doors necessary to protect its new Multisizer 4 COULTER COUNTER particle analysis system from the detrimental effects of electromagnetic interference (EMI).

Using an electrical sensing zone technique, the Multisizer 4 has been designed for use in a broad range of applications where it is vital to accurately measure minute quantities of particulate matter, especially important within medical, research and certain industrial applications. Uses include cell analysis, bacterial monitoring, and the contaminant control of hydraulic fluids. In addition, sub-visible protein aggregate analysis for biopharmaceuticals benefits from design improvements that enhance detection performance and eliminate noise interference. The specially shielded advanced glass door design and lower volume apertures enables reliable detection, and analysis of sub-visible protein aggregates between 400 nm and 1 µm. The Multisizer 4 has been designed to deliver an increased dynamic range, allowing a broadened spectrum of particle sizes to be analysed.

Zytronic already supplies RF shielded windows used within other Beckman Coulter particle-size analyzermodels. However, with the Multisizer 4, rather than a conventional flat design, the brief was to produce custom-designed curved and screen-printed doors in order to enhance both the aesthetics and function of the unit. With expertise in RF shielded window manufacture spanning over 25 years, this was a challenge that Zytronic was able to overcome.

Jennifer Young, vice president of Beckman Coulter Particle Characterization, comments: “With the high sensitivity of this particular product, any electromagnetic disturbance could affect accuracy and thereby impair its performance. It was therefore necessary to find a shielding solution that could control this vital aspect. We’ve been working with Zytronic for almost two decades, and once again they’ve delivered a highly reliable and cost-effective solution to meet our customers’ specific requirements.”

The curved RFI shielded doors produced by Zytronic consist of a micro-fine woven copper mesh which has been optically laminated, between two layers of screen printed and precision curved glass. The resulting assembly has a total thickness less than 5mm. In addition, the copper mesh has a conductive blackened coating applied to help reduce any unwanted reflectance, which could detract from a technician’s ability to see within the analyzer.

When asked about the success of this latest project with Beckman Coulter, Zytronic’s sales and marketing director Ian Crosby said: “The curved RFI shielded doors developed for the Multisizer 4 particle counter have been designed to allow clear viewing of the test sample within the unit, whilst preventing any EMI in the surrounding environment from disturbing the extremely sensitive electronic components functioning within. This protection is vital to ensure the systems accurate analysis every time.”

Beckman Coulter, the stylized logo, Multisizer and COULTER COUNTER are registered trademarks of Beckman Coulter, Inc.