outcomes,” offers Emily Barnes, product development manager for
medical sales at Zeus. “We see this most dramatically with bioabsorb-able tubing, which is designed with tailored degradation profiles that
allow the material to perform in the body for a finite period of time.”
While Harrington and Barnes mention several very interesting ad-
vances that material innovations are enabling for medical technology
through tubing, there are more worth noting.
“Ongoing advancements in materials offers improved functionality
in radiopacity, anticoagulation properties, lubricity, and biostability,
explains Andres Rodriguez, materials engineer at Avalon. “Polymer
solution casting can easily provide seamless material transitions that
can offer varied property profiles along the shaft of a medical device.”
“Custom formulations can deliver unique project applications.
UV cured silicone material, for example, cures more completely and
at a much higher rate than traditional plati-
num-cured silicone and allows delivery of more
product at a cost effective price,” says Sosa.
“Additionally, material properties can help to
prevent infections when antimicrobial modifi-
cations are incorporated into the material.”
As devices become more sophisticated and
offer greater functionality, more “stuff” has
to travel through tubing. While single lumen
tubing is needed for a range of applications, de-
signers are looking at multiple lumens in order
to cut down on the number of tubes required
within an often already constrained space.
“With the request for tighter tolerances and
the lot-to-lot variability of silicone material it
can be difficult to maintain multiple lumens.
Profiles may need to be modified slightly to en-
sure a robust and efficient production process.
Multiple iterations of tooling may be required
to hone in on the tighter tolerances. Having the
proper fixtures for measurement and inspection
technique is also helpful,” says Sosa.
“Multi-lumen tubing has become more
complex as medical devices are requiring or
increasing the intended clinical application
with newer technology,” explains Ihab Khayal,
product engineer at Avalon. “Multi-lumens
now have various lumen sizes within the single
shaft, making concentricity of each lumen more
difficult to achieve along with obtaining the
right wall thickness for each lumen’s intended
Barnes adds, “The challenge comes with
being presented with an idea for a design that
may not be sustainable in full-scale production.
There are times where multi-lumen profiles
can be overdesigned with dimensions that are
difficult — if not impossible — to measure.”
To read more from the tubing Roundtable,
check out this feature on the MDT website
and we will also feature each Q&A with each