Pushing the Boundaries of Catheter Wall Thickness to Improve Patient Outcomes

Minimally invasive catheter technologies have been transforming patient treatments, care, and outcomes for decades. With new advances come new challenges and a desire to push the technology further.

Today, this means developing catheter solutions capable of transporting new treatments and therapies that require a wider diameter to pass through without any increase in the overall width of the device. Other challenges include developing catheters thin enough to safely navigate very small vasculatures to access areas of the body that are delicate and challenging to reach, such as the brain and the lower leg.

Therefore, new catheter solutions need to be thinner and more flexible while maintaining structural strength, torque and push capabilities.

With these solutions available at Arrotek, medical device innovators, entrepreneurs, and product designers can create new catheter delivery and access solutions that will enhance patient care beyond what is possible today.

Transforming Healthcare

Ger O’Carroll, Director at Arrotek, said: “The pace of change and innovation in this field of medical devices is transformative for healthcare. Advanced catheter technologies enable physicians to reach new parts of the body and deliver treatments and therapies with more user control and feedback.

“As we look to the future, we are seeing advances in AI, robotics, and imaging technologies that will move catheter design even further. Therefore, it is essential that the medical device industry continuously innovates and improves the catheter products and solutions that are available.”

Achieving Ultra-Thin Catheter Solutions

The design of extrusions is crucial to the production of thin-walled catheter solutions, but polymer tubes alone have a minimum wall thickness before which they become non-functional.

As a result, by adding reinforced structures within the extrusion this is the solution to developing catheters with minimal thickness walls.

Ger said: “At Arrotek, we have invested in research and development to create reinforced tube structures with wall thicknesses below 0.1mm (0.004″). These thin-walled reinforced tube structures enhance the mechanical and functional properties of the device.

“We have also invested in our production capabilities to manufacture thin-walled reinforced tubing at scale”.

“We have always been at the cutting-edge of medical device design here at Arrotek. With our new thin-walled reinforced catheter capabilities, we can offer customers reduced product design timescales for catheter development in addition to manufacturing capabilities for pilot production runs or full-scale manufacturing of new catheter devices.”