Coil reinforced polymer tubes have enabled the development of a wide range of minimally invasive medical devices, including catheter solutions. The coil reinforcement increases the flexibility of the device inside the body, preventing the tube from kinking or collapsing.
These kink-resistant capabilities make it possible for catheters to access difficult to reach parts of the body. As a result, many coil reinforced catheter solutions have been developed and are currently being used for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
Just because there are effective coil reinforced catheter solutions in use doesn’t mean the medical device industry can declare mission accomplished, with a tick next to the box marked complete.
New treatments and therapies require even more advanced catheter solutions that feature thinner and thinner walls.
This is because catheters with ultra-thin walled polymer tubes allow the delivery of treatments that have greater viscosity levels without increasing the overall dimension of the catheter.
Ultra-thin walled catheters also make it possible to reduce the overall size of the device even further, making new treatments and diagnostic solutions possible, particularly in hard to reach areas of the body.
Overcoming the Challenge of Going Thinner and Thinner
Creating polymer tubes for catheter devices with ultra-thin walls is one challenge.
However, the main challenge comes with reinforcing those thin-walled polymer tubes, particularly in situations where the primary problem to resolve is kink prevention.
This is one of the areas of research and development that we have been working on at Arrotek, i.e. using reinforcement technologies like coiling combined with our extensive knowledge of polymers to develop tubing for advanced catheter devices with ultra-thin walls that are fully reinforced.
The wall thickness levels we are currently working with are as low as 0.1mm (0.004″). Reinforced polymer tubes with walls as thin as this makes it possible to create new and highly advanced catheter products.
Creating Opportunities to Improve Treatments and Enhance Patient Outcomes
Having the ability to design and manufacture reinforced ultra-thin tube structures opens up new possibilities for catheter design. The outer layer of the device can feature any medical-grade polymer, including nylon, Pebax, or urethane. With our advanced knowledge and expertise of polymers, we can also develop custom blends tailored for specific applications.
The PTFE inner layer of the device can be reinforced with a round or flat coil profile. The material options for the coil reinforcement include nitinol, stainless steel, platinum, fabric, and more.
Furthermore, the new technologies and solutions we have developed mean we can also design and manufacture more complex solutions to meet specific requirements. This includes varying the coil pitch on a single shaft, using braid over coil reinforcement, and developing braid to coil transitions.
Advanced Catheter Technology Innovation
The push for more advanced catheter technologies continues as entrepreneurs, medical device companies, and medical professionals seek to develop new devices that improve the care and treatment of patients.
Coil reinforced polymer tubes with ultra-thin walls make these new ideas and innovations possible.