Developing the Vasculature
of Medical Devices
By Sean Fenske, Editor-in-Chief
Tubing represents the veins and arteries of many different types of medical technologies. It carries critical elements wherever they need to be — within a
device, throughout the human body, or as a
bridge between the two. It must provide passage for gas, fluid, electronics, and even small
devices to travel seamlessly, sometimes with
several of those components within the same
single tube (just through different lumens).
Given its importance in medical technology
and how critical it is for design engineers to
stay abreast of the latest advances, we took
this topic to the Roundtable.
Since tubing is often such an integral part of
a medical technology, the designers continue
to demand that the limits be pushed in the
development of tubing solutions. This is no
different with some of the latest advancements realized recently.
“The extrusion of thermoplastic elastomer
(TPE) tubing has improved processing and
biocompatibility,” says Tom Harrington,
Technical Director at Kent Elastomer Prod-
ucts. “Extrusion offers synthetic materials
with low extractible content. This improves
biocompatibility when used in the body or in
contact with pharmaceutical products.”
Diego Sosa, Extrusion Manufacturing Engi-
neer at Helix Medical shares his own thoughts
on tubing advancements, “Tighter tolerances
allow for smaller micro extrusions, and more
precision applications. With micro extrusions,
we are now able to go inside the body for
ophthalmic, neurology, and cardiology appli-
cations. Advancements are enabling thin-wall,
multi-lumen, and striped tubing configurations
for complex tubing applications.”
“Every day, we work with engineers where
science is paired with supplier innovation to
advance the performance of medical pro-
cedures and there, in turn, improve clinical
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