Diatek Medical in San Diego developed one of the first infra red ear thermometers. It required a mechanism that placed a disposable protective cover over the sensor tip each time the device was used. Diatek had worked on solving this problem for well over a year when it decided to seek help outside. They collected together a group of very talented engineers from several famous institutions including Hughes and JPL. Ian Ayton was invited to attend this group based on his mechanism design reputation at Mattel and very quickly devised the most effective solution. In just 6 weeks he fabricated a working prototype which immediately became the accepted design solution. This mechanism was defined using the popular CAD software “CadKey”. For many years afterwards, CadKey used an illustration of this mechanism as part of their logo as an example of the capabilities of their software product.

CCI Life Systems needed help designing the tubing system for a portable peritoneal dialysis machine which utilized the filtering properties of an aluminum oxide compound originally developed for use on spacecraft. This light weight device required the development of a fluid distribution system to purify peritoneal fluids. Ian Ayton’s responsibility on this project was to design the disposable tubing set and build samples of the device for clinical trials performed at the VA hospital in Los Angeles.

Laser Therapeutics required help in designing a mechanism that permitted the attenuation and guidance of laser light on their cancer therapy devices. Important design criteria for this device was to provide easy adjustability of the support structure, low cost, accuracy and dimensional stability. The design solution Ian provided was prototyped by him and later was adopted as an industry standard method for accomplishing this task.

Currently, Ian Ayton is directly involved with the development of a revolutionary implantable vascular device for a startup company in Santa Rosa California. His initial involvement, along with the primary inventor, was to create a prototype of the device sufficient to demonstrate the feasibility of the concept to a level that would encourage the acquisition of venture capital. Eighteen months later the company has grown from the original three to almost 40 employees. Project progress has been so encouraging that investment capital is now easy to obtain, in fact offers for capital are currently being turned down. Ian is still involved with some of the more challenging problems on this project that still require resolution.