At Zeus, we pride ourselves on manufacturing high quality medical device componentry. We have helped manufacturers around the world for over 50 years get extruded components that push boundaries in surgical fields. LCP monofilament fiber is our latest advancement in this area and continues our history of innovation.
LCPs – liquid crystal polymers – are thermoplastic resins which exhibit unique properties. These special plastics, however, are often difficult to process and can be cost-prohibitive to maximize end-user benefit. We have perfected a process to produce LCP as a monofilament fiber with all of the significant properties of LCPs such as exceptional mechanical strength, heat tolerance for autoclaving, and chemical inertness.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) was first introduced in the 1970’s as a potential medical tool. Since then, MRI has become a household word and an industry standard for medical diagnosis and treatment regarding soft tissue visualization. However, procedures which require catheterization still utilize x-ray to guide the catheter because of the metal catheter components which are incompatible with MRI. These x-ray procedures thus expose patients and clinicians to ionizing radiation.
More recently, however, there has been renewed emphasis on eliminating the radiation component from catheter procedures. To meet this newest challenge, we at Zeus have developed an LCP monofilament fiber which is ideally suited for catheter braiding reinforcement to be used in catheter construction. This fiber contains no metal and thus is MRI-compatible; it also eliminates the need for radio-opaque contrast material or expensive platinum marker bands typically used in x-ray procedures.
Catheter Braiding – For intravascular and minimally invasive medical procedures, LCP monofilament provides superior performance as catheter reinforcement braiding. LCP fiber is particularly preferable for procedures which preclude the use of metals such as MRI. Using LCP monofilament braiding results in a catheter with excellent torquability, pushability, and deflectability at the distal end.
Because minimally invasive procedures have become routine today, the potential applications for this LCP monofilament are broad. Many of these applications where catheters are employed would benefit from our LCP fiber, ranging from diagnostic, therapeutic, to investigational.
Zeus LCP monofilament fiber is easily braided with industry standard equipment. Our fiber likewise displays less fray (“bird nesting”) than comparable monofilament and multifilament fibers when braiding. Our LCP fiber has excellent tensile strength, resists kinking, and can be wound onto Steeger and Wardwell bobbins and DIN 160 spools. For deflectable catheters, Zeus LCP performs better than glass-filler materials and the catheter retains exceptional deflectability at the distal end. Replacing metal catheter shafts such as nitinol, stainless steel, or tungsten with non-metal material, our LCP reinforcement allows catheters to be used in MRI and similar procedures. Due to its wide working temperature range of -58 °F (-50 °C) to 302 °F (150 °C), our LCP monofilament is autoclavable and is Class VI approved. We at Zeus can provide this monofilament with very tight tolerances.