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Biomedical Polymers and Compounds™

medical catheters

Fluoropolymers in Medical Catheters

Fluoropolymers are commonly used for the construction of medical catheters.  Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is the material of choice for low friction, inner liners of guide catheters used in cardiology and neurology.  Fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) is used for vascular access sheaths and shrink tubing.

The Language of Medical Catheter Polymers

Durometer is arguably the most common polymer attribute discussed by medical catheter engineers.  For example, an ‘80A thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)’ reference includes the durometer: 80, A scale. A measure of polymer hardness, durometer is directly applicable to certain catheter requirements. Soft polymer tips minimize vascular trauma. Harder catheter liners are necessary to resist abrasion from wires and instruments. Durometer also correlates to modulus, a measure of polymer flexibility that is important for catheter shafts.

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