Blood-Pressure Monitoring During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have been in hospitals under critical care this year. These patients require beat-to-beat blood-pressure monitoring, which helps clinicians see important vital signs about the patient in real time over the length of the critical-care treatment and make clinical decisions accordingly. Therefore, continuous, reliable monitoring of a patient’s blood pressure is as important as ever.

Merit Sensor has been a supplier of blood-pressure sensors since 2010. Our parent company, Merit Medical, to whom we supply blood-pressure sensors, is one of the global leaders in blood-pressure transducers. Check out their newest transducer, the Meritrans DTXPlus. Through our experience and that of our parent company, we have learned what matters most to clinicians using invasive blood-pressure devices.

Meritrans DTXPlus Blood Pressure Transducer

Merit Medical’s Meritrans DTXPlus

One important factor is that the fluid column from the needle to the sensor should be free of bubbles. Bubbles dampen the pressure pulses in the fluid column and, therefore, degrade the conversion of the pressure signal. To prevent bubbles, clinicians routinely tap or whack the blood-pressure transducer with a hemostat or forceps. This certainly poses a risk to the integrity of the pressure sensor and can cause even greater issues than just dampened signals. However, due to the insight provided by our parent company and our in-house expertise, we have improved the BP Series design over the years and have produced a robust pressure sensor that is able to withstand this common debubbling practice.

Merit Sensor's BP Series pressure sensor

Merit Sensor’s BP Series

Another common-enough issue that could destroy a pressure sensor is the inadvertent opening of the transducer’s stopcock to an undesired pressure source. For example, when a clinician injects medicine or contrast through the line, there is a pressure spike of around 300 psi in the line. This is considerably greater than the typical pressure of blood pressure, which is around 2 psi. In order that the pressure sensor be accurate at such a low pressure, it must contain a very thin MEMS diaphragm. At Merit Sensor we have designed a blood-pressure-sensor package that provides accuracy at low pressure yet robustness when exposed to overpressure. The BP Series has a typical burst pressure of > 800 psi. As long as the overpressure does not damage the MEMS diaphragm or the sensor package, the sensor will return to its specified performance once it is again within its operating pressure range of −30 to 300 mmHg.

In addition to providing a robust pressure sensor that can withstand forceful tapping and high overpressure, Merit Sensor has complete control over its manufacturing processes and supply chain. We own and operate a wafer fab in South Jordan, Utah (USA). Our on-site wafer fab enables us to monitor production closely and ensure high quality with everything we produce. It also gives us the flexibility to meet unique requirements of our customers, who might have a unique application for a blood-pressure sensor. With Merit Sensor you get reliability as well as flexibility.

To learn more about the advantages of owning and operating a wafer fab, read this interview published by AZoSensors.

Pressure Measurement for Ventilators and Respirators

Merit Sensor has a long history of supplying products to the medical-device industry. We are owned by Merit Medical, a leading manufacturer and marketer of disposable medical devices used in interventional, diagnostic, and therapeutic procedures.

A couple of the products we supply for medical applications are the BP Series for monitoring blood pressure, where accuracy and reliability are extremely important, and the AP Series for angioplasty, where knowing the precise pressure of the catheter balloon is essential.

The current demand for mechanical ventilators and respirators due to the COVID-19 pandemic presents us with another opportunity to fill a need in the medical field. The use of pressure sensors in ventilators and respirators is similar to their use in CPAP and BiPAP. Essentially, when the lungs need assistance taking in air, a machine blows the required amount of air into the lungs. But how does the medical professional monitor and control the required amount of air, or positive airway pressure? This is where pressure sensors play a critical role.

LP Series pressure sensor for mechanical ventilators

Merit Sensor’s LP Series is the ideal pressure sensor for these applications. The LP Series can measure pressure as low as 1 inH₂O (250 Pa) with resolution better than 0.001 inH₂O (<0.1 Pa). It was designed to measure differential or gauge pressure, depending on the application. It contains two pressure ports to which tubing can be connected, one tube directing pressure to the topside of the MEMS sensing element and the other tube directing pressure to the backside of the MEMS sensing element. It comes in several calibrated pressure ranges, functions with a 3.3- or 5-volt supply, and offers I²C or analog output.

Cross-section image 2 of LP Series pressure sensor

The LP Series, along with all of Merit Sensor’s other products, is made in our on-site wafer fab and assembly areas in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Manufacturing our products in our own facility ensures that we have control over product quality and supply chain. It also allows us to customize products to meet the unique demands of our various customers and markets.

We are proud to be a reliable supplier for life-enhancing and life-saving devices, and we hope that our products can play an important role in helping humanity, especially at this time.

Custom Pressure Sensors for the Aerospace Industry

The aerospace industry is known for having some of the harshest environments on the planet and finding a pressure sensor to withstand those harsh environments can be extremely difficult.  The TR Series pressure sensor and HM Series MEMS sensing element are built to withstand temperatures as low as -40°C and as high as 150°C, making them ideal candidates for the Aerospace industry.  The TR Series and HM series measure pressure via direct media pressure sensing to the backside of the die.  Direct media pressure sensing translates into excellent system design flexibility leading to lower cost and ease of manufacture.

TR Aerospace Image

TR Series – TR Series with Ferrule – HM Series Die

So whether your application is Flight control surface positioning, auto-pilot, jet engine throttle and thrust reverser controls, auto-pilot input, landing gear steering and thrust vector control, turbine guide vane, valve controls, turbine actuators, and engine controls or any other number of Aerospace applications Merit Sensor has the right sensor assembly or MEMS sensing element for you.

Merit Sensor Systems, Inc. has partnered with customers for more than 20 years to design, fabricate, assemble and package reliable, cost-effective piezoresistive pressure sensor solutions.

Merit Sensor offers full-service design capabilities, in-house wafer fabrication, flexible shipping, packaging and assembly, piezoresistive technology (PRT), expansive pressure ranges (0.15 psi to 15,000 psi), complete pressure measurement (absolute, gage, differential and vacuum). Additionally, Merit Sensor is able to provide unparalleled flexibility to customize pressure sensing solutions to fit into our customers’ applications. Most customers in the Aerospace industry require a high level of customization because of the demand of the applications.

Unlike other pressure sensor suppliers, Merit Sensor can provide customers with completely customized pressure sensor designs with large or smaller/limited production runs. Our customers range from pressure sensor transducer manufacturers who are already experts in pressure sensing technology and rely on Merit Sensor for highly stable and sensitive MEMS sensing elements (bare die), to customers who have little to no experience in the pressure sensing world and look to Merit Sensor to assist with a completely custom design and implementation of a pressure sensor that best fits their application.

At Merit Sensor our engineers are application experts. We are ready to help customers design your application to work with a pressure sensor, and/or design a customized pressure sensing solution that works for your application. If you are unsure whether a pressure sensor is right for your application, Merit Sensor can help you make that determination.

More questions? Request a quote for a pressure sensor to meet all your automotive engineering needs.

TR Series for Medical Pressure Sensor Applications

When it comes to your patients, you know what’s best. If you could have everything your way, you would. With Merit Sensor’s piezoresistive pressure sensors, you can.

In 1991 when Merit Medical needed a reliable pressure sensor for one of its devices, their search for the right pressure sensor turned up empty. It was then that Merit Sensor was born and we have been constantly innovating to design and customize industry-specific solutions for all your pressure sensing needs ever since.

Our latest innovation, the TR Series, combines Merit Sensor’s proprietary Sentium MEMS piezoresistive technology with state-of-the-art pressure sensor ASIC signal management for best-in-class performance. The TR Series can be used in air pressure sensors, liquid pressure sensors, and gas pressure sensors. It is designed for harsh media compatibility over extreme and extended temperatures (-40°C to 150°C) with a total error band of less than 1%.

We know there are a lot of unpredictable variables you deal with in the medical industry. Pressure sensors shouldn’t be one of them. Whether used in diagnostic or analysis equipment, our MEMS pressure sensors are designed for unparalleled accuracy and reliability.

Further customization options include:

  • Full-service design capabilities
  • In-house wafer fabrication
  • Flexible shipping, packaging, and assembly
  • Piezoresistive technology (PRT)
  • Expansive pressure ranges (.15 psi to 15,000 psi)
  • Absolute, gage, differential, and vacuum pressure measurement

Explore our pressure sensor customization options further or request a quote on our existing series. Whatever your needs, we are your match. If we can’t build it for you, we’ll find someone who can.

Pressure Sensor For All Your Automotive Engineering Needs?

There’s a reason you are still looking for the right automotive pressure sensor. It’s never been on the market… until now.

At Merit Sensor, we are constantly innovating to find the best design. ‘Best’ might seem like a relative term, but not when it comes to our product. Our latest innovation, the TR-Series Pressure Sensor, is the ideal application for high-performance automotive applications.

When it comes to automotive engineering, there are plenty of pieces to the puzzle. Pressure sensors are one of them. Multiple, to be more accurate. Everything from airbag to oil pressure sensors.

We could talk features all day.

You want to know about PSI? It ranges from 30 to 300 PSI.

Flexibility? The TR-Series is designed with sensitivity, resistance, bridge constraint, and more. But forget features. When it comes down to it, you have to be able to trust a pressure series.

Like you, we never know where your automobiles will end up so we plan for the unexpected and the impossible. From freezing temperatures of -40° C to a boiling 150° C, the TR-Series pressure sensor is designed for optimal performance in almost any temperature for extended periods. The TR-Series is a harsh media sensor, so it’s compatible with any harsh environment the pressure sensor could be exposed do including air, liquid, and gas.

The TR-Series was designed for all your automotive pressure sensor needs.

TR-Series-oil-pressure-sensor

The TR Series pressure sensor is used in the following applications:

  • Transmission pressure sensor
  • Oil pressure sensor
  • Fuel rail pressure sensor
  • EGR/Exhaust pressure sensor
  • Fluid pressure sensor, fuel pressure sensors, and other liquid pressure sensor
  • Fuel tank pressure sensor
  • Fuel vapor pressure sensor
  • Fuel rail pressure sensor

More questions? Request a quote for a pressure sensor to meet all your automotive engineering needs.