Nexus IE develops catheter coating test system for BioInteractions


21-08-2017

Product consultancy Nexus Intelligent Engineering (Nexus IE) has designed and developed a fully automated test system for BioInteractions, a leading supplier of medical device coatings, to help with the development and manufacture of new high performance catheters and guidewires for healthcare applications.

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The BIOFriC 1000 has been designed as an easy-to-use, dedicated system to measure the coefficient of friction of coated catheters and for use by medical R&D laboratories for the development of new materials or devices, or in product manufacturing environments.  The system can perform a single test to determine the lubricity (or slipperiness) and effectiveness of specific coatings or for repeated testing on the same device to determine the durability of a specific coating.  The BIOFriC 1000 can also be used to verify the performance of a manufacturer’s product coating process or for more efficient batch testing of final products.

“Nexus IE has designed the new BIOFriC 1000 system to work with BioInteractions products and to provide our customers with a fast and reliable assessment of how specific hydrophilic coatings can enhance product performance.  BioInteractions can now supply both the coating and test system that will enable medical device manufacturers to more easily assess different coating and catheter combinations while reducing their development timescales and costs when bringing innovative new products to market,” said Dr Alan Rhodes, CTO at BioInteractions.

The new coefficient of friction test system – which will be officially launched to the worldwide medical device community at MD&M West in Anaheim, California (6 - 8 February 2018) – has been designed to handle catheter lengths of up to 500 mm and at any diameter up to 20 mm.  The system works by holding the top of the catheter in a pair of serrated jaws, then pulling it vertically upwards with a known force and at a maximum speed of 50 mm per second through a clamp fitted with specialised silicone rubber pads.  The required pulling force is then used to calculate the coefficient of friction for the device under test.

A touchscreen integrated with a recipe-based control system allows operators to specify the speed, distance and number of cycles required per device, or to store and recall the required process conditions for specific production batches.  The system stores data from multiple runs for viewing or exporting, or can be integrated into a production management system if required.

BioInteractions offers a range of biocompatible coatings including innovative hydrophilic materials that have been specifically developed to enable easier catheter insertion and removal, and to minimise the risk of tissue damage and patient discomfort both during and after a procedure.

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