Micro Molding & Material Integration in Implantable DevicesMay 15, 2013
The demand for minimally invasive procedures is growing. Patients want to spend less time and money on the operating table and in the recovery room. However, minimally invasive procedures often require minimally invasive medical devices. Such small devices can be highly complex and difficult to make, and thus device manufacturers have needed to come up with ways to keep them cost effective.
Size is critical when implanting a device into the human body. The goal of the medical device industry is to create such devices that can change an open surgery into a minimally invasive procedure, which means small needs to become smaller. Many designs call for the integration of dissimilar materials, such as silicone, plastic, and stainless steel. This often requires gluing, welding, or coating at a microscopic level, and can create many problems for ill-equipped manufacturers.
Proper equipment, tools, and experience are necessary to make lightweight and micro-sized implantable devices. Micro molding has emerged as the solution to many of these issues. Precision molding technologies have enabled design engineers to come up with more innovative and complicated molded geometries. These requirements can only be met by experienced molders with these size products who understand the tool design and processing complexities. Micro molding also reduces the complexity of assembling the finished product through its ability to sculpt extremely small and multifaceted pieces. Hopefully, device designers will be motivated to tackle more and more complicated designs by creating minimally invasive devices made with micro molding technologies.