Custom catheter tubing with a reinforced proximal end and nonreinforced distal end is manufactured by Polymedex by means of an integrated extrusion, wire wrapping and welding technique. The method reportedly produces higher yields and reduces process variability compared with hand lay-up assembly techniques.
Modern minimally invasive devices demand refined material requirements that may be at odds with each other. Completely reinforced catheters may lack adequate flexibility at the distal end. Nonreinforced tubing may fall short on rigidity at the proximal end. Embedded stainless-steel wire on the proximal portion of the tube improves pushability, torque transmission and kink resistance, whilst the distal end remains flexible, optically clear and transparent to x-rays.
The aforementioned hand lay-up method produces devices with these properties by aligning and assembling the tubing using adhesives, heat shrinking, annealing and other manual techniques. Considerable variation can result, making it difficult to achieve a validated process, and yields can be relatively low. By contrast, Polymedex’s integrated process produces high yields and can be validated for long-term production stability, according to Dennis Cherok, Director of Device Assembly.
Proximally reinforced catheter shaft tubing is supplied in diameters suitable for neurovascular applications up to 25.4 mm and for gastrointestinal and other natural orifice devices. Reinforcement options include braided wire for torque transmission and coiled wire to optimise kink resistance.
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