We engineer and manufacture customized
biomedical textiles, specializing in braided and
nonwoven components for medical devices.

Braided Wire Structures for Medical Devices

Medical Braids

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 the 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 Braided Wire

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 produced by US BioDesign are typically 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 may be possible with flattened braided tubes. We can also design custom shapes to suit your specific need. 

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!

Tubular Medical Braids

Our tubular medical braids are made from nitinol (nickel-titanium) alloy, which exhibits shape memory, superelasticity, and biocompatibility that make them ideal for use in implantable medical devices. Ultrathin nitinol wires (as thin as a few hundred micrometers) can be braided into complex shapes with the strength and flexibility needed for delicate procedures. Tubular braids are commonly used for catheters, laproscopes, occulders, valve frames, and more.

Flat Medical Braids

Flat medical braids are produced either as a single layer of biocompatible wire or yarn or by carefully flattening a braided tube to create a double layer. Flat braids can be manufactured in essentially any length or width your application requires, and provide greater stability than tubular structures. We can produce flat medical braids from nitinol, stainless steel, radiopaque wire materials, resorbable medical yarns, and other highly specialized materials. We also manufacture flat medical tape and flat medical tethers using the same materials and similar processes.

Custom Medical Braids

With comprehensive manufacturing and materials expertise, US BioDesign can produce custom medical braids that meet your exact requirements. We will work with your engineering team to develop the perfect custom braided or shaped device for your unique application using nitinol shape memory alloy. We specialize in custom nitinol funnels for blood clot removal, but also provide custom nitinol braids for catheters, stents, endoscopic tubing guidewires, and other challenging applications.

We offer world-class manufacturing capabilities—many of which are unique in our industry—and complete, turnkey service to take your project from the first design stage through full production.

Nitinol Braids, PET Braids, Radiopacity, and Other Material Requirements for Medical Braids

We have extensive experience working with a variety of biocompatible raw materials for use in implantable medical devices.  These proven biocompatible materials include:

  • Nitinol
  • 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 and approved 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 on 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?

When you bring your project to us, our engineers will discuss your application with you and recommend a braiding pattern that will meet your design requirements.

Manufacturing Processes and Capabilities 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.

Some of our braiding processes are also quite advanced compared to other companies.  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. We can also braid certain tubular structures with closed wire loops on one end of the braid.

Design Considerations for Advanced 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 to iterate and test samples in real-time can greatly speed project results 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. Additionally, please browse our Virtual Sample Kit for inspiration from samples of our technology.