Rick Shorey, Sr. Sales Engineer and Project Manager at Avalon Laboratories was a part of the staff written article, “Getting Inside: Implantables and Technologies that Deliver Them.” He took time to present a full array of responses that were not able to be included in the article, so they are presented here.

Q: What types of devices will begin to be implanted in the near future that have not traditionally been? Why? How?
Microchips for delivering drugs with time released capabilities or neuroscience, neuromodulation and/or monitoring devices material selection is key for both the implantable and delivery device. Depending upon duration and type of application biocompatible material requirements will need to be evaluated. Avalon is working with a few companies now to explore the accurate encapsulation materials and developing delivery device. 

Avalon has manufactured products with a co-polymer of silicone and polyurethane. The silicone content provides long term biological stability and flexibility. The polyurethane component offers advantageous mechanical properties (durability) and processing versatility. Some of its attributes include: thin wall thickness, implant grade, excellent biostability for long-term use, lubricity and hemostability/antithrombotic.

This material can be used for encapsulating electronics or sensors for long term implantable devices or along a shaft assembly and offers thin wall coating capabilities for micro components along with micro-catheter shafts and delivery devices.

Q: How is the miniaturization trend impacting implantables and the delivery devices used with them?
Micro-catheter designs require thin wall thickness while still requiring accurate pressure and flow mechanics. So, there’s a balance that needs to be maintained between wall thickness specifications that can meet pressure testing, tolerances and manufacturing repeatability to meet requirements. Avalon has many product development projects currently with both coil and hypotube micro shaft assemblies to determine thinnest wall thickness capabilities with Avalon’s polymer solution casting technology. Also, exploring increasing wall thickness on a section of a shaft assembly along with creating a seamless transition.