New hydrophilic coatings offer convenience, durability, and economic benefits.

Sean Stucke and David Babcock

Glass simulated use models used to evaluate coating integrity for neurovascular catheters, sheaths, and guidewires (left), and peripheral PTA catheters (right).

Hydrophilic coatings are unmatched in their ability to impart a high degree of lubricity to medical devices, and have made a significant contribution to vascular access and patient care....

February 8th, 2017

As the medical device industry advances, plastics used for medical devices must be chemical resistant, able to withstand daily wear and tear, and be optimized for patient safety.

Ellen Turner

Eastman's Tritan material can be used in medical housings.

Today’s material suppliers are challenged to create materials that meet the demands of an evolving medical field. In an increasingly advanced industry, plastics used for medical devices must be able to resist heat, cleaners, and disinfectants, as well as the wear and tear they will experience on a daily basis. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) should consider halogen-free plastics, and opaque offerings should be tough, flame retardant, and available in many...

February 7th, 2017

Edwards Lifesciences, part of the lead pack of companies racing toward a transcatheter mitral valve replacement, announced it has paused its trials for its CardiAQ transcatheter mitral program.

Marie Thibault

The CardiAQ-Edwards transcatheter mitral valve system is undergoing additional design validation testing.

Edward Lifesciences has announced it is pumping the brakes on trials for its CardiAQ-Edwards transcatheter mitral valve system. The pause is the result of a decision to study a valve feature—not identified in more detail—through additional design validation testing, according to management commentary on the company's latest earnings call.

The move to take on more testing resulted from...

February 2nd, 2017

Theft of intellectual property is a real threat in the medical device industry, and cybersecurity is only the first step to protecting precious IP.

Bart Reitter

When we speak with our medical device customers around the world, one of the issues foremost in their minds is the potential for intellectual property (IP) theft. In an industry so heavily dependent on innovation, device companies go to great lengths to safeguard their competitive advantages as each passing year brings new rivals, novel solutions, and greater potential for theft. Whether entering a new market, incorporating connected products to their existing solutions or expanding their distribution network, IP concerns are ever present.

It’s a valid concern, as the economic damage of IP theft is estimated at over $300 billion per year. This...

January 30th, 2017

Here’s how manufacturing can help the medtech industry meet the growing health demands of baby boomers.

Todd Nelson

With aging baby boomers leading the way, older Americans will outnumber children in this country in less than two decades, according to U.S. Census Bureau projections.

Those age 65 and older will overtake the number and percentage of those under age 18 by 2035 as the population of older Americans will more than double, from 46 million today to more than 98 million by 2060. In addition, those age 65 and older are living longer, working longer, and more educated than past generations. Simply put, “boomers will not get old,” as demographer, author, futurist (and...

January 26th, 2017

We're looking for session proposals on topics including design, value-based care, technical challenges, and emerging technologies for the MD&M East Conference set to take place in New York City June 13-15, 2017.  

January 26th, 2017

During usability testing, finding the root cause of errors will enable developers to fix problematic device design characteristics.

Stephen B. Wilcox, PhD, FIDSA and Peter Sneeringer, MS

The most important data generated when conducting usability testing with prototype medical devices are use errors. Potential users “use” prototype medical devices in simulated form. They make errors. Those errors, in turn, have causes. Identifying the causes is the key to eliminating the errors.

This is what Root Cause Analysis is all about—finding the causes of errors made in usability testing. The term “root cause” is used to emphasize that the goal is to find the “deep” or “underlying” causes, as opposed to the superficial causes. The root causes lead to things that can be fixed,...

January 26th, 2017

Medical device companies that devote resources to every phase of the patient relationship will have the biggest opportunity to secure market dominance.

Chase Hensel

Chronic disease in the United States is widespread, costing the country $2.5 trillion in healthcare spending. Approximately half of adults have one or more chronic health conditions, with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity among them. Certain health and lifestyle choices, as well as limited access to quality healthcare and disease education, all play a role in a growing number of Americans requiring lifelong medication due to chronic illness and experiencing poorer...

January 25th, 2017

Just as the integrated circuit revolutionized electronics, additive manufacturing techniques have the potential to create a new generation of integrated & miniaturized diagnostic systems that will revolutionize diagnostics.

Nick Rollings

Pressures on centralized, lab-based diagnostic services are expected to increase in the coming years with an aging population. The NHS responded to this emerging scenario in mid-2015 with a Personalized Medicine strategy that proposes earlier use of Point of Care (PoC) diagnostics and real-time monitoring of conditions to achieve the best outcomes.

Centralized, lab-based diagnostics will struggle to provide this...

January 25th, 2017

An expert offers a primer on popular medical device coatings and their applications.

Kevin Guenther

A catheter with a lubricious coating.

In the world of low friction, lubricious coatings for medical devices are diverse and complex. There are many different types of coatings, each with their own advantages, disadvantages, and applications. This is a basic overview of the most popular medical device coatings and what can be expected from each type.

Lubricious coatings are most commonly distinguished by their degree of lubricity, or the amount of reduction in friction they provide. To understand what these measurements mean, we must first learn how these measurements are obtained. In the medical device industry,...

January 24th, 2017