As the requirements for medical tubing increase, engineers are looking for new solutions that provide the exact tolerances and proprieties they need to be implemented over the entire length of a catheter. In many cases, catheters require different properties from the proximal to distal ends of the catheter. This, coupled with smaller sizes and tighter tolerances is causing extrusion engineers to develop new materials, tooling, and process technologies to develop advanced bump tubing.
Next generation bump tubes designs include:
- Variable materials or durometers over the length of the extrusion.
- Multi-lumen designs.
- Changing diameters and profiles over the length of the extrusion.
- Variable reinforcement.
- Multi-step bump tubes.
- Fast or slow taper solutions.
- Reverse taper tubes.
What is bump tubing?
Bump tubing, (also known as tapered, or drawn down tubing) is a type of extrusion that varies in diameter over the length of the extrusion. Bump tubing is used in a wide-range of catheters including vascular access catheters, steerable catheters, drainage catheters, cardiopulmonary catheters, introducers, and various interventional radiology devices. Typically, the distal end is smaller and interfaces with human anatomy to meet the needs of a particular procedure while the larger end (proximal) interfaces with procedural equipment. Bump tubing can provide unique tube properties such as burst, flow, kink, pushability, and catheter tip whip.
Bump tubing has been used in the medical market since the early nineties, however, in recent years, next-generation advanced bump tubes are becoming the preferred solution for engineers as they work to push the boundaries of catheter performance overall. These advanced bump tubes can greatly expand the capabilities of catheters in smaller and less invasive sizes.
What are the unique manufacturing challenges for advanced bump tubing?
Bump tubes require precise tooling and process controls to produce tight tolerance and consistent tapers. Advanced bump tubes take these manufacturing technologies and process expertise to the next level. The incorporation of multi-materials, reinforcements, multi-lumens, variable tooling, and multi-step tubes require highly developed, integrated closed loop control systems and advanced tooling. The expertise to design, develop, and operate these systems utilizes many years of experience.
Another challenge is the ability to manufacture and modify precision cut extrusion tooling such as manifolds, heads, tips, and dies. This tooling expertise is required to make quick changes to tooling to “tune” a process. These capabilities combined with a deep understanding of materials and process technologies has greatly expanded tube capabilities and associated catheter design.
What are the benefits of Advanced Bump tubes?
Advanced bump tubes can enable or improve various catheter properties including:
- Higher flowrates at lower pressures.
- Higher burst pressures.
- Improved stiffing or softening in the body.
- Improved catheter kink resistance.
- Reduction in catheter extravasation.
- Smaller catheter diameters for the reduction in thrombus, infection, etc.
- Stripping or sight windows in catheters.
- Thinner or thicker walls and septum.
- Improved guidewire or other device movements.
- Improved steerability.
- Improved pushability.
- Higher speed and lower cost complex catheters.
- Variable material properties.
- Improved assembly processes.
The unique customizations available via advanced bump extrusions enable engineers to tighten tolerances, push current boundaries and enable advancements to be made in minimally invasive procedures.
How can Biomerics Advanced Extrusion help?
Biomerics is the industry leader in advanced bump extrusions. Our Advanced Catheter and Advanced Extrusion groups located in Brooklyn Park, MN help apply advanced bump tubes to next generation catheter design. Our unique in-house tooling, materials, braiding, and bump process technologies allow us to quickly design and develop extrusions that meet your desired specifications. Our extrusion engineers are available to discuss your application and provide recommendations on how to apply these technologies to your catheter.