Laparoscopic devices need to perform many functions that make it challenging to find the right balance of materials and size. Obviously the object of less invasive surgery is to make smaller holes in the body, so the instruments need to be small in scale while capable of doing everything a surgeon can do with his hands. This poses many engineering challenges to both materials and process.
Dielectrics has been working on LIS devices since the early 90's and has launch some of the more influential instruments on the market today. Common features of these devices include soft retraction, tissue dissection, organ/biopsy containment, pneumoperitoneum maintenance, trocar anchoring, gas-less mechanical assists, soft-tissue protection, and hand access.
The advantage of RF and impulse welding is that it can be used to combine materials of different durometers, and in some cases different resin families. It can also be used to make highly compliant components that will have structural rigidity without damaging delicate internal tissues (e.g. TPU dissection balloons).
Dielectrics has also been instrumental in developing novel processes and materials that allowed for instruments to be built in ways that never before existed. Some of this IP was developed internally, and some of it under contract for our clients. We were able to draw from many years of material development, machine building, and tooling design knowledge to create cost-effective, but very feature-rich designs.
Some of the materials we have utilized are:
- TPE (gels)
Please check out United States Surgical, Smith + Nephew