multi lumen tubing manufactured by New England Catheter

Why Custom Medical Tubing May Be Right for You

Posted 12 September 2016 12:00 AM by Administrator

There are hundreds of uses for medical tubing, each with different physical requirements and often times requiring custom configurations. In these situations, New England Catheter is able to provide development and prototype services which allows customers to modify existing designs or create custom tubing to meet new applications. This customization assures that the tubing will serve their specialty application needs.

Reasons to Customize Tubing

Clients seek customization to improve the physical characteristics of the tubing to meet specific needs such as flexibility, torque response, kink resistance, lubricity on ID and OD, etc. For example, customers may request a 1 to 1 torque response or provide us with a bend radius requirement and we customize the design to meet those specifications. Most customers request customization because:

  • Pre-existing tubing does not perform to their needs.
  • New surgical or treatment techniques require tubing performance capabilities that are not available with off-the-shelf tubing.
  • Prototype equipment or protocols are being developed that require specialized tubing.

Modifications to existing tubing can provide additional functionality, improved longevity, change from disposable to reusable or vice versa, and improved quality. Examples of additional functionality include:

  • Adding electrical wires into the wall of the tubing so it can provide power to a device or sensor capabilities without needing to run wires down the ID (Hybrid Tubing).
  • Adding reinforcement or changing materials to increase the longevity of the product.
  • Modifying the design to improve the quality of the item which can lead to extended longevity or improvement of a specific performance requirement.

New England Catheter collaborates with our customers to find the best solution to address their tubing performance needs.

Common Customization Requests

Our customized products span all types of medical applications and devices and our expertise means we are not limited to one specific application, surgery, or use. We utilize a wide range of materials and can create an endless number of designs. This allows us to provide flexible tubing for navigating the body and also very stiff tubing which is used as an introducer. The design options are only limited by our customer’s needs.

When a customer requests customized tubing, they often take one of three approaches. They will provide us with:

  1. A sample of an in-use product and specifics on what design elements they want improved. In this situation, we have a baseline design and can make changes to achieve the desired performance capabilities; or
  2. Basic information about their needs and we design a “new” tube for them. They may have ID and OD requirements and a bend radius they need to meet or other requirements. We review the requirements and develop a design that meets these specifications; or
  3. A detailed specification of a product where we can create tubing to meet the customer’s design specifications.

Here are generalized examples of specialty application tubing we have customized for clients around the world:

  • Cardiac - angiography tubing and tubing for stent delivery
  • Endoscopes and Colonoscopes - working channels, tubes for delivering devices like scissors or cauterization tools, and micro catheters
  • Neurology - very small catheters used to navigate within the brain which allows surgeons to address aneurysm repairs and other needs
  • Surgical Robotics – internal robot tubing and external tubing for devices used by the robot
  • New Tubing designs for new devices and new technology

We have customized tubing for other applications as well and will collaborate with you to design the perfect tubing to meet your needs.

Customization Categories

We can customize any tubing to meet your medical and non-medical needs. We have an extensive raw materials inventory but will also special order raw materials for your specific requirements or work with your materials. Specialty tubing customization categories are:

  • Hybrid Configurations. These catheters have additional elements such as electrical properties, signal carrying capabilities, strength members or one or more lumens. You can request conductors inside the wall of a catheter tube, lumens located within a multi-conductor cable, or some other custom configuration specific to meet your needs.
  • High Pressure Tubing. Our state-of-the-art extrusion capabilities allows us to meet your application needs such as specific pressure performance with a thin wall requirement or high absolute pressure withstand to 30,000 psi or higher.
  • Flexible Tubing. Our reinforced and non-reinforced flexible tubing has endless medical applications and can be modified to meet your specific application needs. In addition to our manufacturing capabilities, our state-of-the-art measuring systems and in-house testing assures that the customized product will meet every aspect of your requirements.
  • Extruded Parallel Tubing. Also known as paratubing, we can create custom parallel tubing products in a wide range of thermoplastics and designs including the additional elements of electrical properties, signal carrying capabilities, or strength members.

Our post-processing services assure that your order will be finished to your exact specifications. These services include parylene coating, centerless grinding, precision cut-to-length, and extruded tube annealing. We also provide services to fulfill your finished tubing needs including tipping, flaring and other thermal forming processes.

Advancements in medicine occur at a rapid pace and these specialty applications often require tubing capabilities that are not yet off-the-shelf ready. Rather than struggle to make existing tubing work, contact us and design the right tubing for your needs. Click here today to learn more.


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