Tungsten-filled plastic replaces gold as catheter marker


Putnam Plastics Corp. (Dayville, CT), which focuses on advanced extrusion for minimally invasive medical devices, is introducing a line of tungsten-filled polymer marker bands for fluoroscopic illumination of catheter tips. The goal is to reduce costs through elimination of the gold or platinum marker bands typically used. According to Putnam, the market bands also offer greater adhesion to catheter shaft tips.

The purpose of the short, thin-wall tubes made from gold or platinum placed on the tip of a catheter shaft is to provide radiopacity, or a high level of visibility under fluoroscopy. That's important because it allows surgeons to precisely locate the catheter features deep within the body for deployment of balloons, stents, and other devices in blood vessels....
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