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Cutting-Edge Technology Yields Sharper Blades

Originally Published MPMN September 2002

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Cutting-Edge Technology Yields Sharper Blades

Ion-beam milling produces ultrafine surgical instruments

The Ultra-Quantum process offered by MDW Technologies uses ion-beam milling to produce surgical blades with radii of curvature of 37 Å.
(click to enlarge)

Combining MEMS micromachining with high-energy physics, a process uses focused-ion-beam milling to produce cutting edges that are sharper than those obtained by previous methods. "Your average razor blade has a 600–1000-Å radius of curvature," explains Martin Newman, a principal with MDW Technologies (Newport Beach, CA). "With Ultra-Quantum technology, we can produce blades with radii of just 37 Å." Available in most metals, the cutting devices are even sharper than diamond blades, yet cost only a fraction as much. "While the actual expense varies from project to project, Ultra-Quantum blades are generally comparable in cost to disposable metal products," says Newman.

Suited for value-added medical devices and minimally invasive surgical instruments, Ultra-Quantum blades allow designers to build products that are sharper, smaller, and more functional. "Because the blades are sharper, surgeons can make finer dissections and cleaner cuts, leading to quicker healing," explains Newman. According to company sources, the blades also exhibit a uniformity and durability that allows them to last longer than some other devices on the market. For manufacturers, the blades offer the benefit of batch-to-batch consistency.

Zachary Turke

MDW Technologies LLC, 20101 SW Birch St., Ste. 130-D, Newport Beach, CA 92660; phone: 888/603-3255; fax: 949/757-0456; http://homepage.mac.com/disaacs/ultaquantum/ultraquantum.html

Copyright ©2002 Medical Product Manufacturing News

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