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Putnam, Connecticut – Foster Corp. officials introduce LoPro Plus radiopaque compounds reinforced with nanoparticles for improved pushability of thin wall catheters. These compounds allow for extrusion of single layer tubes with radiopacity and strength properties equivalent to conventional two layer tubes, in which each layer provides the distinct properties. LoPro Plus reduces material and inventory costs when compared to standard two layer constructions.
Radiopaque compounds typically include 30% to 40% barium or bismuth filler to provide fluoroscopic visibility of catheters within blood vessels; however, these fillers are not designed to improve strength properties. Improved pushability and torque for catheters that must reach deep in the body or precise locations often requires coextrusion of additional layers using polymers with high strength properties. This can increase manufacturing costs due to the purchase and inventory management of multiple materials. LoPro Plus compounds combine radiopacity and strength enhancement in a single material designed to replace the two materials used for traditional extrusions.
LoPro Plus compounds use particles that are less than a nanometer thick and up to 1,500 times the thickness in length. These extremely small reinforcements are dispersed throughout the polymer at the molecular level to improve physical properties. When added to radiopaque filled compounds in small quantities, the nano particles improve rigidity without increasing brittleness. Recent studies performed by Foster indicate the addition of 3% nanoparticles to a 72 durometer polyether block amide (PEBA) with 35% bismuth filler, improves flexural modulus by 60% and increases elongation by 10%.
“Catheters require enhanced performance properties to reach deeper inside the body. At the same time, device manufacturers are aggressively pursuing cost reductions associated with these devices,” said Bill Blasius, Manager of R&D and Polymer Science for Foster Corporation. “LoPro Plus compounds are designed to replace multi-layer tubes with a single layer, which will reduce material and inventory costs.”
LoPro Plus compounds are the latest addition to Foster’s portfolio of radiopaque polymers that leverage nano technology for enhanced performance.
Source: Foster Corp.
Chicago – Make plans to attend the IMTS 2014 Conferences to learn about Transform Your Manufacturing with Process Control.
DATE: Monday, September 8 from 3:15 PM - 4:10 PM ROOM: W-192B
SPEAKER: Dan Skulan, Midwest Sales Manager, Renishaw Inc.
Renishaw will demonstrate how its Productive Process Pyramid can be applied as a framework to identify and control sources of variation in manufacturing. Real examples of successes at Renishaw and its partners show how anyone involved with the manufacturing processes can reap rewards by tackling variation at its source, understanding how companies have eliminated their process setting problems, improved traceability, and reduced scrap.
The educational and informative conferences run Sept. 8-11, 2014 in the West Building, Level 1. To register for this or any session, visit http://www.imts.com/education/imtsconference.html.
New York, N.Y. – This case study, from Solvay Specialty Polymers – a leading global supplier of high-performance thermoplastics offered for use in a range of markets including implantable and non-implantable medical devices – highlights the use of its high-performance polymers in the healthcare field. Surgical retractors made of Ixef polyarylamide (PARA) and AvaSpire polyaryletherketone (PAEK) show strong commercial promise and are the latest examples from Solvay which showcase the advantages of high-performance polymers over metals in medical devices.
An active participant in the metal replacement market for over 25 years, Solvay undertook an innovative commercial approach by applying its knowledge and expertise to develop case studies that help customers see the cost and performance advantages of high-performance polymers in medical devices. The current case study focuses on both single-use and reusable retractor applications that use Ixef PARA and AvaSpire PAEK resins to replace traditional metal instruments.
“Specifying plastics for medical devices can be a major challenge for those who have been used to working with and designing with metals,” said Dane Waund, global market manager for healthcare for Solvay Specialty Polymers. “To help customers make this transition, we conducted an in-depth study on end-use performance, biological safety, and economics, and developed a practical seven-step metal replacement plan.”
Waund noted that high-performance polymers offer the same level of strength and rigidity as some metals at ambient temperature along with added advantages. High-performance polymers deliver cost benefits, enhanced aesthetics, and ergonomic improvements including a range of grip options. They can also be colored, thus enabling the production of devices in a variety of sizes that can be easily and quickly identified in the operating room.
The Hohmann retractor, a popular device used in surgical procedures, was selected for the metal replacement case study because of the challenging requirements including high mechanical loads. In single-use applications, Ixef PARA was used due to its strength and stiffness, excellent surface finish, and compatibility with gamma radiation sterilization. Ixef PARA’s strength and rigidity surpasses that of known competitive thermoplastics, including carbon fiber-reinforced polyetheretherketone (PEEK). This enables instrument designs which offer comparable performance to that of their stainless steel counterparts. The material is injection molded, thus eliminating machining and reducing cost over stainless steel.
For reusable devices, AvaSpire PAEK delivers a range of advantages including a high stiffness-to-weight ratio, hydrolytic stability at elevated temperatures, excellent chemical resistance, as well as excellent aesthetics and colorability.
Stiffness, strength, and compatibility with disinfectants and steam sterilization are critical requirements for reusable retractors, making AvaSpire PAEK ideal for these applications. The material is also easy to process, allowing designs incorporating long, thin geometries to be produced via injection molding.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin – GE Healthcare officials announced FDA approval and the U.S. launch of their new breast imaging technology, the Invenia ABUS, proven to help clinicians find 35.7% more cancers in women with dense breasts than mammograms alone1.
"A growing body of research suggests the importance of screening ultrasound for women with dense breast tissue – that's about 40% of women," said breast imaging specialist Elise L. Berman, M.D., of Fairfax Radiological Consultants. "Mammography is still considered the gold standard for breast cancer screening but is less sensitive in women who have dense breast tissue. Supplementing the mammogram with automated breast ultrasound screenings should help us find tumors that cannot be seen on the mammogram and at an earlier stage than would have otherwise been found. We are optimistic that this more personalized screening approach can help us save more women's lives."
The Invenia ABUS enhances the patient experience by using 3D ultrasound technology to comfortably and quickly image women with dense breast tissue in approximately 15 minutes with new features that conform to a woman's body and provide more enhanced images. This launch comes at a critical time when there is growing awareness of the increased risk of cancer for women with high breast density. The more dense breast tissue a woman has, the higher her risk of developing breast cancer2 – oftentimes up to 4 to 6 times greater risk than women who do not have dense breast tissue3.
"Phelps Memorial Hospital Center prides itself on keeping up with cutting-edge technologies and we are very excited for our hospital and community to integrate this new technology into our mammography program," noted Senior Administrative Director of Ancillary Services at Phelps Memorial Hospital, Michael Glennon. "This highly sophisticated ABUS is more efficient than the traditional ultrasound exam and will significantly enhance our diagnostic capabilities and potentially improve outcomes for our patients."
Recognizing that breast cancer screenings can be an emotionally stressful experience for the patient, GE Healthcare has designed the Invenia ABUS with the patented Reverse Curve™ transducer to conform to a woman's anatomy, for better comfort and image performance. Further, the system uses Compression Assist, a feature which applies light levels of compression automatically to the breast for increased ease and image reproducibility. Following on the initial Fairfax and Westchester launches, GE plans to roll out the Invenia ABUS nationwide in 2014, with health providers across the country.
"We are excited about launching our most innovative and intuitive ABUS system yet, the Invenia ABUS, and are proud to make our first installs at the renowned facilities at Fairfax Radiological and Phelps Memorial," said Anders Wold, president and CEO of GE's ultrasound business. "As part of our ongoing commitment to improving women's health, GE Healthcare is focused on providing timely and meaningful technological innovations spanning the care continuum, including those for the screening of patients with dense breasts."
Source: GE Healthcare
1 FDA PMA P110006 summary of safety and effectiveness.
2 Boyd NF et al. Mammographic Density and the Risk and Detection of Breast Cancer. NEJM 2007; 356: 227-36. Boyd, et al, NEJM Jan 2007.
3 Tabar L, et al. Swedish two county trial: impact of mammographic. 2011;260:658 63.