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Surgical Instruments Have Built-in Safeguards to Ensure Single Use

A family of single-patient instruments features an injection-molded plastic sheath that deforms when autoclaved, thereby preventing reuse.

A line of single-use instruments from Maillefer Instruments (Ballaigues, Switzerland; www.maillefer.ch) is designed to reduce the risk of cross-contamination during surgical procedures. The disposable, rotary cutting instruments feature a plastic sheath that deforms when autoclaved to ensure they cannot be reused. If the plastic sheath is cut from the shank, the handpiece of the instrument loses stability, also preventing future use.

Reportedly providing high cutting speeds and accurate control to the user, the instruments are suited for applications in bone surgery, implantology, and traumatology. "The technology can be applied to basically all rotary surgical instruments," explains Rafal Romanowicz, key account manager at Maillefer. "For reconstructive surgery, the instruments can be used in conjunction with drills to prepare the bone for the screws that will keep a plate in place," he adds. "The tools can also be used as shaping drills for the placement of bone implants."

The surgical instruments can be tailored to specific applications. For example, the plastic sheath can be color coded to facilitate instrument identification during clinical procedures, and the products can be laser marked and chemically etched. The metal component of the instruments is available in tungsten carbide, carbon steel, and stainless steel. In addition, the instruments can be coated with diamond and materials such as gold, titanium nitride, and diamond-like carbon. Prototypes for custom instruments can be developed upon request, and standard, reusable versions of the instruments without plastic sheaths are also offered.

Copyright ©2006 Medical Product Manufacturing News
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