Meet Siemens Healthineers Scientist Yvonne Candidus

Meet Siemens Healthineers Scientist Yvonne Candidus

 November 01, 2022

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Siemens Healthineers sees many impressive women working within its organization, achieving outstanding advancements.

Meet Yvonne Candidus, a college-educated materials scientist who has overseen the development of local coils at Siemens Healthineers for 26 years.

Anybody who has ever had an MRI scan knows one fact of life quite well: It amounts to a very close encounter with lots and lots of plastic. This dependency on plastic hardly stops with the bore of the MRI system and the local coils that may be placed around the part of the body that will be examined – an MRI system uses the widest variety of this material on many other places as well.

Yvonne knows exactly why things are this way. For an MRI scan to be helpful, a coil must fit as perfectly as possible – while being just as comfortable.

From rock-hard foam plastic to cozy pillows

Siemens Healtineers Yvonne Candidus

Years ago, local coils were relatively immovable pockets that contained antennas. No more. Today’s coils are flexible, an achievement made possible by ultrasound welding technology. The result is a small, very comfortable pillow. In the Magnetic Resonance Experience Center in Erlangen, the plastics expert has been presenting the results of work that her team and she have been conducting for months: a flexible local coil. The plastic is indeed pliable.

The team started the journey that led to this innovation by initially weighing two questions: How flexible should the coil be? And how small could the antenna housing be made? They then consulted with the high frequency developers involved in the project. Afterward, they went about the task of coming up with the right mix of materials – a job in which they put their knowledge of plastics to the test. Plastic can have such a wide variety of characteristics: It can be hard, soft or lightweight. It can stand up to heat and radiation. And it is flexible to work with.

“Naturally, the most important requirement of all is that the material used in the local coil should be non-imaging,” Yvonne says. “This is another reason why plastic is frequently the material of choice in medical technology.”

Having made their selection, the team members then began to produce their first prototypes. “We almost always use 3D printers to do this job,” explains Yvonne. “Afterward, we conduct a range of tests with the prototypes.”

During this work, the team examines such questions as flammability or resistance to media or UV radiation. One particularly important question is whether the prototype is compatible with disinfectants and cleaning agents. “Plastics are all-rounders,” says Sebastian Köppl, the colleague from materials engineering who conducts the tests. “We can’t do without them in medical technology.”

Feeling closely bonded with the product 

Siemens Healthineers Yvonne Candidus

After the casting process is completed, the coils are hardened in ovens and then cool down. While Yvonne does much work by hand – from drawings to prototypes – the processing of the plastics here is fully automated, an advance that put an end to the manual lamination of former times.

But the engineer still feels closely bonded with the product: “We conduct all sorts of analysis of plastic and the product itself to produce consistent quality. We do testing to determine the compatibility of our plastic mixture with the other materials used in the coil and optimize the processing parameters.”

Brilliant and exciting work from Yvonne and her colleagues indeed.

Join impressive women like Yvonne at Siemens Healthineers 

Siemens Healthineers wants to be an employer of choice for everyone who seeks to continuously learn, innovate, and pioneer breakthroughs in healthcare.

Want to join a team of employees that push the boundaries of what’s possible in healthcare to help improve people’s lives around the world?

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