Braided Structures for Medical Devices
Braiding technology can offer an amazing array of design possibilities. A braided tube may be designed to change size to fit into the smallest of catheters for deployment in minimally invasive surgery. Braided tubes may be designed with dense construction to occlude or slow the seepage of bodily fluids, or have controlled pore size to trap and filter particles. Braided nitinol tubes may be sized and shaped for minimally invasive deployment via catheter to trap and retrieve blood clots or foreign objects in the body. At US BioDesign, our ability to produce custom braided nitinol structures with the functionality you need is the direct result of our ability to understand your requirements and convert them into reality, using braiding technology.
Types of Medical Braids
Braided structures are generally categorized as: braided tubes, braided cables and flat braided structures. Typical braid patterns are 1x1, 2x1, and 2x2. Braided tubes may be designed to bend without kinking. Minimum elongated diameter and maximum compressed diameter are often key design considerations for most medical devices. Braided tubes are usually comprised of 100% nitinol or 100% stainless steel alloy wire. They also may be produced with 100% polymeric yarns (monofilament yarn and/ or multifilament yarn), or a combination of wire and polymeric yarn.
High strength braided cables typically have round cross sections, with or without core yarns, and often contain high strength polymeric multifilament yarns such as UHMWPE or Aramid. High strength braided cables may also have flat profiles instead of round. Flat braided cables are designed to have a single layer of wire or yarn. Braided tubes may be flattened after the braiding process to produce a double layer of wire or yarn. Flat braided cables are generally more stable than flattened, braided tubes; however, larger flat widths are possible with flattened braided tubes.
The US BioDesign team has the experience and expertise to help you select the right type of braided structure for your medical application; tubular, round, flat, flattened, or flat with round tips!
Nitinol Braids, PET Braids, Radiopacity, and Other Material Requirements for Medical Braids
We have extensive experience working with a variety biocompatible raw materials for use in implantable medical devices. These proven biocompatible materials include:
- Stainless steel (various alloys)
- Cobalt chrome
- Radiopaque metal wires and alloys – i.e. Tantalum, Platinum, Tungsten and others
- Monofilament and multi-filament polymer yarns
- Polymeric Medical Yarns - Polyester, polypropylene, polyethylene, ePTFE Resorbable Medical Yarns – PLLA, PLGA, PGA and others
Lot traceability is an important factor in our selection of raw materials. Our suppliers are carefully selected for their experience in supplying materials for use in medical devices and their ability to provide traceable, certificates of analysis.
Biomedical Braiding Patterns
What are the advantages and disadvantages of any particular braiding configuration? It depends how the braid will be used. Ask yourself these questions:
- 2x1 or 1x1?
- What are the differences and benefits of each pattern?
- When should a 2x2 pattern be used for medical devices?
- Are some braid patterns better of metal wire and monofilament polymers?
- ...versus other braid patterns that may work better for multifilament fibers?
Manufacturing Processes and Capabilities - Why US BioDesign is the Smart Choice for Your Next Braiding Project
US BioDesign owns and operates many different braiders. Some of them are unique to the medical device industry. We own and operate the largest medical braider in the world to produce implantable biomedical textiles. With 288 carriers and a footprint of 16 feet high by 16 feet wide and 16 feet long, this machine may resemble a “Star Gate” but it has the ability to mix and match yarns and wires so thin as to be almost invisible to achieve maximum densities at larger diameters.
The US BioDesign engineering and manufacturing teams have developed a proprietary process for braiding tapered tubes with more control of pick count density in the taper region and throughout the body of the braid, than conventional processes.
Design Considerations for Medical Braids
When a development project gets to that critical stage where the crucial final “tweaks” happen, we encourage our clients’ engineers to visit our manufacturing facility and work alongside our engineering team to get real time feedback during the manufacturing process. Rather than spend time and money on overnight shipments and conference calls, a hands-on approach can greatly speed development time and often results in a better final design.
Contact US BioDesign Today for Lifesaving Biomedical Textiles
At US BioDesign, you will work with engineers who possess in-depth knowledge of human biology and textile manufacturing technologies. This fosters exceptional engineer-to-engineer collaboration for biomedical projects of all sizes. To speak to one of our engineers about developing a braided structure for your device, contact US BioDesign today.