Advanced Catheters

With the recent introduction of Biomerics Advanced Catheter, a merger between Biomerics and Access Point Technology (located in Rogers, MN), we’ve received numerous inquiries regarding “advanced catheters,” what they are, and how they work. Although the idea of “advanced catheters” isn’t novel, it is only within the past 15-20 years that “advanced catheters” have truly started to grow in popularity. So, this week we asked our team at Biomerics Advanced Catheter to give us a rundown on what “advanced catheters” are and on the solutions Biomerics offers in this innovative field.

What is an “advanced catheter”?

According to Bill Alexander, Director of Business Development at Biomerics Advanced Catheter, “An ‘advanced catheter’ is a minimally invasive medical device that typically consists of a thin walled, braid reinforced tube or shaft with multiple durometers. In certain cases, ‘advanced catheters’ enable physicians to map the cardiovascular system and/or ablate cardiac tissue. In other cases, these catheters facilitate the placement and delivery of other implantable devices (e.g. heart valves, stents, emboli, etc.).”

Craig Stowell, VP of Operations at Biomerics Advanced Catheter, added, “Generally, ‘advanced catheters’ are used in minimally invasive peripheral vascular, cardiovascular, and neurovascular procedures. Peripheral ‘advanced catheters’ are typically larger than 6 French (Fr), cardiovascular ‘advanced catheters’ generally run under 6Fr, and neurovascular ‘advanced catheters’ can go as small as 2.3Fr—depending on the specific application.”

What’s the difference between an “advanced catheter” and a traditional catheter?

“‘Advanced catheter’ designs tend to be less ‘forgiving’ than other, traditional catheters (e.g. PICCs and CVCs). This is especially true when it comes to manufacturing,” remarked Craig. “These catheters require strict attention to detail—even a slight change in material can have a dramatic effect on device performance. Take cardiovascular and neurovascular catheters, for example. Every material found in these two types of catheters is optimized to meet the rigorous wall thickness specifications required for such small sizes.

“Certain characteristics such as pushability (the ability to push the catheter during introduction into the body), trackability (the ability of the catheter to move or “track” around tortuous curves and angles within the body), torqueability (the ability to rotate the distal [front] end of the catheter from the proximal [back] end of the catheter), and kink resistance (the ability of the catheter to resist kinking while navigating vascular pathways) are crucial to the success of an ‘advanced catheter’ design. Traditional catheters aren’t as focused on these characteristics; they are instead designed to optimize other factors.”

Mapping Catheter

“Although neither is more ‘innovative’ than the other, the complexity of ‘advanced catheter’ constructions is the biggest difference between ‘advanced catheters’ and traditional catheters,” added Bill. “‘Advanced catheters’ usually have thinner walls and incorporate different technologies. They’re also used for different purposes. For example, an ‘advanced catheter’ could be used to initially map an area of the cardiovascular system where a CVC will be inserted. The two (‘advanced catheters’ and ‘traditional catheters’) aren’t mutually exclusive, but rather are designed to work together to improve patient outcomes.”

What markets are “advanced catheters” used in?

When asked this question, Bill responded, “The list of markets is almost endless. ‘Advanced catheters’ are used in peripheral vascular, neurovascular, electrophysiological, cardiac rhythm management, structural heart, orthopedic, urological, and endoscopic applications. If a procedure requires mapping, accessing small vessels, or complex device delivery, an ‘advanced catheter’ will almost always be used.”

Craig added, “When it comes to applications, ‘advanced catheters’ are used in most minimally invasive procedures. The three biggest markets in which ‘advanced catheters’ are found are peripheral vascular, cardiovascular, and neurovascular. This list isn’t exhaustive though—if you’re trying to access the tiny vascular pathways of the body, you’ll need an ‘advanced catheter’.”

How have ‘advanced catheters’ changed the medical device and healthcare industries?

“As ‘advanced catheters’ have evolved, they have enabled physicians to access certain areas of the body that were once impossible to reach using minimally invasive techniques,” explained Craig. “These catheters are instrumental in the ongoing effort to improve patient outcomes and optimize surgical procedures.”

“Thanks to ‘advanced catheters,’ conditions that once required invasive techniques, such as open heart surgery, can now be treated using minimally invasive practices,” added Bill. “By minimizing physical trauma to the patient, ‘advanced catheters’ have helped reduce infection rates, recovery time, hospital stays, and overall healthcare costs.

“Also, these ‘advanced catheters’ allow us to map areas of the body and ablate tissue found deep within the body—something we couldn’t do with traditional catheters. This has opened the door to treatments and surgeries that would have been unimaginable 20 or 30 years ago.”

Advanced Catheter

What ‘advanced catheter’ solutions does Biomerics offer?

At Biomerics Advanced Catheter, we specialize in the design, development, and production of ‘advanced catheters’ and medical devices used in minimally invasive diagnostic and interventional procedures. We are focused on next-generation solutions for cardiovascular, structural heart, electrophysiology, cardiac rhythm management, vascular access, and pain management markets. The Biomerics Advanced Catheter team has pioneered ‘advance catheter’ technologies since the original stent delivery systems in the 1980s. Our experience and expertise enables us to partner with customers throughout the lifecycle of their ‘advanced catheter’ products and systems.

To learn more, send us an email (csr@biomerics.com), give us a call (801-355-2705), or visit the Advanced Catheter section of our website.

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