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The Technology and Science of Medical Devices

Sadly, many people have been confused and misled by incomplete, and sometimes incorrect, information about how medical devices and instruments function. Frequently, the descriptions of how medical devices and instruments function are filled with technical terms and jargon that prevent ordinary people from understanding otherwise simple concepts.

Below are links to papers written by Warren P. Heim of Team Medical to help address these problems. Much of the content of these articles comes from the work done by Mr. Heim at Team Medical. When other sources are used they are referenced.

This compilation started in January 2015 with one article that describes how electrosurgery cuts tissue.

How Electrosurgery Really Cuts Tissues -- click to download PDF
Summary: In the 1990s I started detailed investigations of the interactions of electrical energy with tissues during electrosurgery. For many years I had heard various conjectures about how the high voltage electrical energy delivered to tissue caused cutting and coagulation. Many of those conjectures were stated with great assurance, but without any substantive backing or support from withstanding challenges by either testing or theoretical calculations.

Briefly, none of the common conjectures about how electrosurgery cuts tissue withstand scrutiny. Each of the common conjectures is listed below along with the reasons why each conjecture is not correct. The list starts with the most common conjecture about how electrosurgery cuts tissue, the exploding cell theory. According to this conjecture the onslaught of electrical energy at the edge of the electrosurgical electrode (such as a blade) heats the water inside cells, causing the water to boil, leading to a rapid increase in volume resulting in cells exploding. This concept was first proposed by Valleylab (e.g., United States Patent 3987795, Electrosurgical devices having sesquipolar electrode structures incorporated therein, 1976) and has been subsequently repeated by others (e.g., Pearce JA: Electrosurgery. New York, John Wiley and Sons, 1986). (Download the PDF for the complete paper.)

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Since 1996 Team Medical’s only business is medical device Research and Development and medical device manufacturing process development. Our strong analytical capabilities and laboratory and shop facilities provide full-range consulting services

Team Medical solves problems and answers tough questions. Team Medical's long history developing medical devices and evaluating medical device technology and business opportunities frequently leads to inquiries regarding what Team Medical can do to accelerate product development or evaluate business opportunities.

Over 100 medical device projects have been done. Refer to the other tabbed pages above for details.

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    Team Medical, LLC
    300-15th Street
    Boulder, CO 80302

    (303) 546-6400

Team Medical is managed by Warren P. Heim, P.E., inventor on over 30 issued U.S. patents, successful entrepreneur with over 30 years of medical device experience, who has provided consulting services to many firms, including Abbott Laboratories, C.R. Bard, Baxter, Edwards Life Sciences, Linvatec (division of Conmed), Medtronic, St. Jude Medical, Johnson & Johnson, Smith+Nephew, Valleylab (Covidien)-Medtronic. Liberal arts and engineering degrees from Dartmouth College in 1973, 1974, 1975
Warren on Pawnee Peak Summit