Cover Story Tubing
needed. With polymer solution casting, the process provides the ability to embed
components in virtually any configuration.
As an example, polymer solution casting works effectively with laser cut
hypotubes, gaining interest for the ability to add flexibility and strength seamlessly along the length of the shaft. Liquid polymer over a hypotube provides
kink resistant, flexible and varying column strength, and a thin, smooth coating
over the hypotube along with a lubricious PTFE liner. There is good material
adhesion and encapsulation to both the PTFE liner and hypotube.
Avalon’s technology lends itself well to creating wire-reinforced shafts for catheter and delivery devices with the ability to optimize column strength, flexibility,
and wall thickness for ideal shaft transitioning and steerability. Polymer solution
casting can achieve better integration of the polymer with braiding, coiling, or
hypotubes when compared to conventional polymer reflow techniques.
Dependent upon material, the thin layering process can range from 0.00025 to
0.04in. Additional layering can be applied to the proximal end for strength and
thinner layering to the distal end for flexibility.
Quick Prototyping and Cost-Efficiency
Polymer solution casting offers quick prototyping options for research and
development. Development costs can be relatively less with this method compared to other fabrication techniques as the molds are economical and manufacturing is easily scalable as needed. Polymer solution casting offers highly-cus-tomized shaft performance characteristics without the assembly and secondary
As medical devices become more complex, standard extrusion technology pushes
its limits and polymer solution casting can offer an alternative with feature-rich
options and device design flexibility. MDT
Left: Kink resistant, flexible, coil tubing. Right: Variety of wire-reinforced tubing
(printing and multi-lumen).