Resource efficient design

BlueLavage product innovation

Die Blue­La­va­ge Saug- und Spül­pis­to­le ist ein Sys­tem zur Gewe­be­rei­ni­gung wäh­rend chir­ur­gi­scher Ein­grif­fe. Es spült Knochen- und Gewe­be­par­ti­kel, Bak­te­ri­en und Fremd­ma­te­ri­al aus der Wun­de und saugt die­se kon­ti­nu­ier­lich ab. Gemein­sam mit unse­rem Part­ner UTK Solu­ti­ons ent­wi­ckel­ten wir die­se völ­lig neu­ar­ti­ge res­sour­cen­ef­fi­zi­en­te Ein­heit im Bereich der Medizintechnik. 

What's behind the idea?

The use of resour­ces plays a major role in medi­cal tech­no­lo­gy. Pro­ducts in this area are sub­ject to high requi­re­ments in terms of use and mate­ri­al, which ser­ve to ensu­re ste­ri­li­ty, for exam­p­le. It seems that dis­posable pro­ducts are indis­pensable for hygie­ne reasons. 

Around 434,000 flus­hing sys­tems are used in ope­ra­ting thea­ters in Ger­ma­ny alo­ne every year. The­se are regu­lar­ly dis­po­sed of com­ple­te­ly imme­dia­te­ly after use. The annu­al con­sump­ti­on of around 334 t of pla­s­tic, 2.6 mil­li­on bat­te­ries and 434,000 motors is far too resource-intensive. And the­se figu­res only refer to a sin­gle product.

Blue­La­va­ge rethinks the eco­lo­gi­cal­ly most pro­ble­ma­tic com­pon­ents of the sys­tem. UTK Solu­ti­ons came to us with the idea of recy­cling parts of the pro­duct. And in this way to redu­ce almost 50% of the regu­lar was­te of pla­s­tic and electronics.

For this per­for­mance, Blue­La­va­ge has alre­a­dy been tes­ted with the Effi­ci­en­cy Award NRW 2019, and the IF Design Award 2021 excel­lent.



We deve­lo­ped con­cepts that made it pos­si­ble to sepa­ra­te the housing and dri­ve unit. In a work­shop, we work­ed out ways to rea­li­ze the idea and at the same time meet the strict hygie­ne and safe­ty gui­de­lines for ste­ri­le inten­si­ve care medicine.

The inno­va­ti­ve sepa­ra­ti­on of the Blue­La­va­ge into a single-use hand­pie­ce and a reusable dri­ve unit with paten­ted locking leads to a signi­fi­cant impro­ve­ment in sus­tainable pro­duc­tion and use com­pared to con­ven­tio­nal solu­ti­ons. In this way, the engi­ne can be reu­sed up to 150 times. The neces­sa­ry ste­ri­li­ty requi­re­ments are met by a pack­a­ging con­cept with an ergo­no­mic inser­ti­on fun­nel. The fun­nel enables the dri­ve unit to be inser­ted hygie­ni­cal­ly during the operation.

Formal layout

For reasons of hygie­ne, the hand­pie­ce is desi­gned as a dis­posable pro­duct with a sin­gle use. A low level of ver­ti­cal inte­gra­ti­on and short pro­duc­tion cycles keep the ener­gy requi­red for pro­duc­tion and the cos­ts of the short-lived housing low.

The choice of colour, dif­fe­rent sur­face qua­li­ties and the subt­le honey­comb pat­tern in the front logo area nevert­hel­ess crea­te an appro­pria­te­ly valuable, pro­fes­sio­nal look that cor­re­sponds to the envi­ron­ment. The focus of the design on its func­tion­al are­as sim­pli­fies hand­ling and gives the single-use pro­duct the neces­sa­ry con­fi­dence in its reliability.

Product function, ergonomics and handling

With the help of the ergo­no­mic inser­ti­on aid, the Drive­U­nit can be inser­ted in such a way that neither the ope­ra­tor nor the ste­ri­le out­side of the hand­pie­ce are contaminated.

The self-explanatory design and the spe­cial cou­pling bet­ween the dri­ve unit and the pump pre­vent incor­rect ope­ra­ti­on. The cur­rent sta­tus of ope­ra­tio­nal rea­di­ness is per­ma­nent­ly dis­play­ed by a sta­tus LED. Due to the rough­ness in the grip­ping area, the hand­pie­ce can be gui­ded safe­ly. The rin­sing stage can be adapt­ed to spe­ci­fic requi­re­ments at any time. In favor of safe­ty, bat­te­ries and elec­tri­cal cables can be dis­pen­sed with in the ope­ra­ting area.

Unique selling proposition and innovation

70% of the suc­tion and rin­sing sys­tems in Ger­ma­ny are pro­du­ced in a less eco­lo­gi­cal way as purely dis­posable pro­ducts. Exis­ting multiple-use sys­tems have the dis­ad­van­ta­ge that after use they can no lon­ger be used wit­hout being ste­ri­li­zed again. In con­trast, the inno­va­ti­ve Drive­U­nit of the Blue­La­va­ge, which is housed com­ple­te­ly insi­de the hand­pie­ce, does not come into cont­act with the ste­ri­le area thanks to the cover and the use of the inser­ti­on aid. The­r­e­fo­re, ste­ri­liza­ti­on of the Drive­U­nit is not requi­red at all. This and its modern, simp­le design makes Blue­La­va­ge uni­que on the market.

Influence together

With Blue­La­va­ge, com­pared to com­pa­ra­ble pro­ducts, 53 t of elec­tro­nic was­te, 164 t of pla­s­tic and 2.6 mil­li­on AA bat­te­ries can be saved annu­al­ly in Ger­ma­ny alo­ne. It is less expen­si­ve than the com­pe­ti­ti­on, and all parts that do not come into direct cont­act with the pati­ent during sur­gery are reu­sed. The­re are also many advan­ta­ges in the ope­ra­ting room due to the high ope­ra­ting safety.

The pro­duct is uni­que, envi­ron­men­tal­ly fri­end­ly, and with over 1.2 mil­li­on ope­ra­ti­ons using such sys­tems across Euro­pe, the­re is a gre­at need, as well as an enorm­ous poten­ti­al for savings in resour­ce consumption.

Design, engi­nee­ring and pro­duc­tion go hand in hand when deve­lo­ping pro­ducts. Again and again we can start at the inter­faces of the are­as. This crea­tes oppor­tu­ni­ties to exert influence, to cri­ti­cal­ly ques­ti­on exis­ting sys­tems and to deve­lop changes.

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