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A new source of PEEK microtubes for the medical device sector

24 February 2011

International Polymer Engineering (IPE) has expanded its product line, with small-diameter microtubes and profiles made of KetaSpire polyetheretherketone (PEEK) resin from Solvay Advanced Polymers. This new focus on PEEK tube and profile is in response to growing demand from the medical sector. The products offer greater strength and rigidity than PTFE microtubes and are easier to work with than those made from stainless steel.

The range of medical applications include catheters, endoscopic working channels, and laparoscopic instruments. IPE has produced microtubes made of unfilled KetaSpire KT-820 NT PEEK as small as 0.74mm OD by 0.41mm ID and 1.96mm OD by 1.45mm ID. The company can make PEEK tubes with diameters of up to 6.35mm.

KetaSpire PEEK is one of the industry’s most chemically resistant plastics, which also offers excellent strength, superior fatigue resistance, and a continuous-use temperature of 240°C. It can withstand more than 1,000 cycles of steam sterilization without any significant loss of properties and is also compatible with other sterilisation methods, including ethylene oxide, vaporised hydrogen peroxide, and gamma radiation.

Based on biocompatibility testing as defined by ISO 10993-1, KetaSpire PEEK demonstrates no evidence of cytotoxicity, sensitization, intracutaneous reactivity or systemic toxicity.

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