Raydiance Unveils Innovation
NEW YORK, June 11, 2009 -- Vascular stents - small tube-like devices that are sometimes inserted into arteries during angioplasty to ensure that the artery remains open - are common medical devices. However, the difficulty of making these tiny devices increases their manufacturing cost considerably. They must be made carefully and precisely in order to avoid creating burrs, slag or heat-affected zones that could compromise the integrity of the device.
During the inaugural talk at the Innovation Briefs Theatre during MD&M East, a medical device manufacturing trade show at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City, Scott Davison, president of Raydiance Inc. of Petaluma, Calif., presented a new way to create stents that could bypass many of these problems. Innovation Briefs is a new platform developed to showcase presentations from medical device OEM suppliers, consisting of 30-40 minute discussions of new products and technologies.
Raydiance, which currently produces the world's only commercial-grade ultrafast laser, has been developing the use of ultrafast lasers to athermally ablate precise designs for stent manufacture. In his discussion, titled "Commercial-Grade Ultrafast Laser Powers Innovation in Stent Manufacturing," Davison spoke of how the lasers can be used in materials ranging from polymers to Nitinol.
The trend in medical microdevice manufacturing over the past few years has been in the development of new materials with very specific applications - bioabsorbable polymers, exotic alloys and shape-memory metals. Unfortunately, many of these novel substances are very soft or are difficult to shape with traditional lasers, and devices created this way are subject to many clean-up steps before they can be polished and packaged.
By using their commercial-grade laser, which has a pulse time of less than a picosecond and a peak power of 25 JW/cm2, scientists at the company are able to create micron and submicron features in even the most difficult of these new materials without the need for time-consuming cleanup steps. One case study of one stent design being manufactured by the system demonstrated a 42 percent reduction in the total processing time due to this.
Rebecca C. Jernigan
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