A new tight-tolerance microextrusion medical tubing product line, made from thermoplastics and other highly-engineered materials, is being launched by Natvar, a Tekni-Plex company. Microextrusion tubing has been developed in recent years to service a wide variety of demanding neurovascular interventional therapies and surgical applications. More expensive materials such as glass and fluoropolymers have been used to produce microextrusion tubing due to their ability to consistently hold tolerances. This is a necessary attribute to drive product innovation and enable procedures which require significantly smaller devices.
"Natvar's considerable investment in state-of-the-art manufacturing enables us to microextrude monolayer, coextruded, multi-lumen tubing or profiles in a variety of thermoplastic (PVC, urethanes, TPEs) materials at CPK1 values above 2.0. The ability to run thermoplastics means that medical device companies can realize desired performance attributes at a fraction of the cost associated with fluoropolymers and glass," said Bob Donohue, general manager, Natvar.
Natvar's new microextrusion tubing comes in wall thicknesses ranging from .003 to .005 inches. It can be coextruded in up to four layers. The manufacturing line can also run fluoropolymers to deliver specific attributes or in instances when the company wants to avoid validating costs associated with a different material.
"We already have produced microextrusion tubing within a short development lead time. We have been successful in getting products right in the first pass, eliminating the need to create multiple generations. This capability is an added bonus for those with tight speed-to-market objectives," Donohue said. Natvar's technology investment is backed by in-house engineers with significant expertise in developing products for stringent medical device applications. Target applications for the microextrusion tubing line include IV cannulas, pediatric devices, infant microcatheters, guidewires, catheter leads and any others where diameter and tight tolerances are necessary to achieve product objectives.