When Precision CNC Machining Is A Race Against Time

When a new disease emerges, there’s a race to find the cause -bacterial, viral, fungal, environmental -some combination of those?  The cause informs us on how to fight the disease.  You wouldn’t think of a precision CNC machining shop like Macfab being involved in a race for a cure for a deadly disease, but that’s exactly where we are.

It may not sound encouraging to say we’ve been at this for years, but Sepsis is a disease as old as mankind.  It has a head start.  Once the domain of test tubes and microscope slides, medicine is now focused on DNA sequencing and editing, medical imaging, and devices that were unimaginable even a few years ago.  Macfab has long been a leader in these pursuits with our precision medical CNC machining.

Start the Clock

Sepsis can kill in 24 hours, has very high mortality rates, and is very difficult to treat.  The cause can be bacterial, viral, or fungal, and it’s the #1 killer worldwide overall.  It used to be called “blood poisoning”, but it’s really an infection that causes the body to attack itself.  The biggest hurdle to treatment is determining what the infectious agent is.

Doctors have long relied on blood tests to identify sepsis and pin down the cause in each particular patient.  Sending those blood tests to high-complexity labs for analysis often means waiting three or four days for results.  Sepsis won’t wait that long.  Doctors can try various treatments, but those treatments can cause their own problems.  If doctors don’t guess right, they can do more harm than good, and mortality rises every hour without effective treatment.  Rapid diagnosis is the only way to save those lives.

Shaving Days and Saving Lives

Several years ago, Macfab was approached by a company that had the goal of providing same-day identification of the pathogen causing a patient’s sepsis.  A streamlined, dedicated system that can generate reliable results in a day will save thousands of lives every year.  In the US alone, sepsis kills 250,000 people and costs $24 Billion annually.  This is the technology that will make a difference.

We didn’t have to think about it; this is the kind of work that Macfab was established to do.  Using the same blood sampling standards already in use, they have developed a way to produce reliable sepsis results in one-half to one-quarter of the time of existing technologies -and those results are more than 97% accurate.

Medical CNC Machining for the Win

The next hurdle is to package the test into a unit that can be deployed widely, and that’s where Macfab’s medical CNC machining comes into play.  Testing systems that work with biological samples like blood have to be incredibly precise.  Moving the sample and processing it has to be failure-proof.  Those pathogens can escape through the tiniest gaps.  If that happens deep inside an analyzer, cleaning the contamination and testing to verify that it is clean can take days.  As the sample is processed, the Medical CNC machined parts have to maintain positive control of the environment at all points.

Maintaining that level of precision while not impacting the efficacy of the test is a delicate dance.  For these units to save lives, they need to be available to doctors everywhere.  That means they need to be robust, as well.

The final result will be simply amazing.  Countless lives will be saved worldwide.  Macfab is incredibly proud to be involved in this work.  Working with the company, designing, prototyping, and testing is very rewarding.  It’s a race we will all win in the end.


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