Integrated Cooling for Medical Aesthetics

Medical aesthetic systems use lasers to accomplish hair removal, tattoo removal, vascular lesion procedures and body sculpting.  When laser procedures are done, the patient can experience pain and discomfort, limiting the time of exposure or otherwise impacting the quality of the treatment.  Thermoelectric and refrigeration based air or liquid chillers have been used to cool the patients during treatment but they are large stand-alone chillers and expensive to install and operate.  Thermoelectric cooling systems can be small but are severely limited in cooling capacity, have high power consumption, and have poor performance in high delta T applications or high ambient temperature applications.   Aspen Systems was approached by a medical device company looking for a shoe-box sized chiller that could integrate directly into the chassis of their medical device and be controlled by their master controller.

Working closely with the customer’s engineers, the Aspen Systems product development team designed a miniature chiller subassembly including the main refrigeration components (compressor, condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator) and the coolant pump, condenser fan, temperature sensors, wire harnesses and circuit boards all contained in an open sheet metal chassis.  Using the speed control input on the drive board of the variable speed compressor, the customer was able to directly control the refrigeration system and accurately govern the temperature of the delivered coolant.  A mechanical design was created for the interface with the existing chassis and a design for manufacturability exercise was undertaken to assure that the cooling system, manufactured by Aspen Systems, would easily integrate at the contract manufacturer’s facility.

The cooling system designed and manufactured by Aspen Systems under our ISO 9001:2015 quality management system is fully compliant with customers who are developing and supplying medical devices under their ISO 13485 system.  The miniature chiller developed under this project has been in continuous production for over 5 years.  It is small, efficient, integrated into the customer’s device and sets a new standard for cooling systems used in medical devices.  With thousands of units in operation worldwide, our customer has been very pleased with the program.