wiring leading to a microchip embedded in a stainless steel tip
at the distal end of the catheter. This microchip measures brain
pressure, oxygen levels and temperature levels inside the brain of
severely injured trauma patients.
“The increasingly advanced neurological and neurovascular
devices coming into the market show how thermoplastic poly-
mers, metals and electronics are combined into one product,”
said Rudi Gall, managing director for Raumedic, a Leesburg, Va.-
based provider of extrusion/tubing, molding, and assembly ser-
vices to the medical device industry.“Metal wires or cables can be
embedded inside tubing walls or are run inside the inner lumen
of the tubing to allow for electronic data transfer and transmis-
sion from the medical device/patient.”
Top Quality, Tight Tolerances
OEMs have high expectations when it comes to quality and tight
tolerances. For example, tubing can get as small as 0.1 millimeters (mm)— 0.004 inch—interior diameter (ID) with a tolerance
of 0.0005 inches—a fraction of the size of a human hair. Coil-reinforced catheter sizes can be as small as 1 Fr. Tolerances can be
equally impressive for larger catheter shafts. For example, Teleflex
Medical OEM, a Gurnee, Ill.-based global provider of custom-engineered medical components, including tubing, catheters and
balloons, can make a large-diameter ( 35 Fr), lined, reinforced
Automation continues to play a critical role in the success of more complex, functional products because it generates consistent quality and improved repeatability.
Photo courtesy of Freudenberg Medical.