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Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders affect millions of people making their method of diagnosis and treatment a constantly evolving field. Whether functional or motility, these disorders are costly and can often be misdiagnosed. At Zeus, we understand the needs and demands of clinicians who frequently require specialized devices to treat these sometimes stigmatizing disorders. Our expertise in polymer extrusion has made us the global leader for medical device components that these specialists can count on.
GI evaluation can be a complex process because of the varying and overlapping symptoms with other conditions. While tools such as x-ray, laboratory testing, computerized tomography (CT), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) are common in assessing the health of the GI tract, they are not always dispositive towards a diagnosis. In addition, external imaging methods may not reveal the true extent of damage to the GI tract. Quite often, a physical examination of the interior of the GI tract is necessary to pinpoint damaged tissue and determine a course of treatment. As examples, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcers, Crohn’s disease, and hiatal hernias all leave visible signs in the GI tract that can be seen using endoscopic methods.
Zeus has been partnering with the medical sector almost since our beginning to produce advanced catheter and other medical device components that can stand up to the harsh environment of the GI tract. Our PTFE Sub-Lite-Wall™ spiral stripe heat shrink and custom multi-lumen extrusions are used to create devices that can successfully maneuver through the GI tract and deliver treatment or diagnosis. Zeus technology delivers tight tolerance extruded components from USP Class VI approved resins that are biocompatible and sterilizable.
We have worked with device engineers in the GI and endoscopy space for years helping to advance treatments that improve patient well-being. We can help you as well. Contact our team today or call toll-free in the US 1-800-526-3842 to learn more about how Zeus products can assist in advancing care for your patients. Internationally, you can reach us at +1-803-268-9500.
Catheter Braiding – When metals cannot be used in certain critical procedures, Zeus offers a variety of drawn fibers and monofilaments such as our Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) as a non-metallic and flexible alternative to stainless steel braiding. Our braiding components help catheters retain the preferred traits of torquability, kink resistance, pushability, and distal end deflectability. Our non-metal braiding materials are MRI-compatible and available in rectangle and round profiles
Diagnostic – When visualization is the goal, our biocompatible tubing and catheter components are chemically inert and will not react with the body or disinfectants. These device components are also amenable to a range of sterilization protocols to minimize the risk of infections.
Endoscopy – Our Sub-Lite Wall™ PTFE channel liners for endoscopy applications provide superior lubricity, electrical performance, chemical resistance, and are UV sterilizable. Because of their extremely low coefficient of friction, these custom super-thin walled extrusions are ideal as inner walls through which instruments can be passed and help to keep overall diameters to a minimum.
Fiber Optics – Zeus coats optical fibers with a variety of polymer resins including our Thermally Stable PEEK. Our coatings are made with materials that are Class VI approved and can withstand gamma sterilization, autoclaving, and many other sterilization protocols based on your specific resin.
Introducer Sheaths – These devices provide the means for getting your intervention where it is needed. Our sheath construction components provide lubricity and flexibility while maintaining small diameter tubing sizes.
Guide Wire Coverings – These heat shrink coverings can be tailored according to diameter and taper. These coverings provide high lubricity for smooth tracking in difficult GI spaces and maneuverability at distal regions.
Laparoscopic Components – Zeus extrusions prevent device failure by reducing friction, heat, and vibration produced in laparoscopic energy devices. Our extruded tubing and heat shrinks create a precise fit with excellent electrical insulation properties.
Channel Liners – Typically made of PTFE, these inner liners of provide the utmost in lubricity, electrical performance, chemical resistance, and are UV sterilizable.
Customized Tubing – We offer a wide range of fluoropolymers and specialized plastics with a history of success in medical device applications. For your particular needs, we can provide custom etching, flaring, tipping, engineered surface tubing, and prototype sampling with quick turnaround and complete technical support.
Jacketing Materials – These products are developed to provide additional structural support when added as layers during catheter construction and wall build-up. Removable jackets are also available (such as Zeus FluoroPEELZ™ peelable heat shrink) that can be used to reflow underlying polymer coating and jacketing material such as over the catheter braiding. Zeus offers nylon and Pebax® polymer jacketing to meet these specialized manufacturing needs.
Multi-Lumen Tubing – This tubing is made with multiple passages through which multiple treatments or instruments can be directed towards a site. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography catheters (ERCP) benefit from this capability as our multi-lumen configurations allow for the passage of multiple accessories such as guide wires, irrigation, steering cables, and more through the device. This tubing is made with tight tolerances, unsurpassed capabilities, and superior quality standards. We can also pad print or draw down multi-lumen tubing to provide a more complete product and reduce processing steps. Our multi-lumen tubings are available in PFA, FEP, Pebax®, etched PTFE Sub-Lite-Wall™, and expanded PTFE (Aeos™ ePTFE).
Non-metallic Braiding Materials – Zeus drawn fiber and liquid crystal polymer (LCP) monofilament provide an excellent alternative to metal wire braid for applications such as for MRI imaging where metals cannot be used.
FEP – Fluorinated ethylene propylene, or FEP, is a melt-processable fluoropolymer which allows for long, continuous lengths and has several distinct advantages over PTFE. FEP is a preferred choice when optical clarity is vital while still maintaining flexibility. In heat shrinkable form, FEP has a lower recovery temperature than PTFE, and FEP can be used to reflow softer underlying materials such as Pebax® for catheter jackets. This chemically inert material has low gas permeability and possesses an excellent UV transmission rating and dielectric strength. FEP is also gamma, ETO, e-beam, and autoclave sterilizable and can operate in sustained temperatures from -328 °F (-200 °C) to 399 °F (204°C).
LCP – Liquid crystal polymer, or LCP, is a thermoplastic resin which exhibits unique properties. This material has a host of desirable traits including exceptional mechanical strength, heat tolerance for autoclaving, and chemical inertness. Through Zeus’ innovative proprietary processing, we have developed an LCP monofilament fiber for use as catheter braiding. This material possesses excellent tensile strength and surpasses many similar monofilaments such as nylon, polyethylene naphthalate (PEN), and even polyether ether ketone (PEEK) in terms of stiffness. Most importantly, however, LCP monofilament used as catheter braiding results in a device that is fully compatible with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures.
Nylon – In addition to Pebax®, Zeus extrudes nylon tubing and can assist in the selection of the specific grade of nylon best suited for your jacketing or surface application. Our engineered nylon is available in a wide range of grades suited for many custom applications including our Sub-Lite-Wall™, Zytel® (Nylon 6/6; Zytel® 42A and ST801), Rilsan® (Nylon 11; Rilsan® B), Grilamid® (Nylon 12; Grilamid® L25, Rilsan® A, Vestamid® L2140, Grilamid® TR55 and TR55LX), Vestamid®, and others.
Pebax® – Commonly known as PEBA, or polyether block amide, this material is used as a jacketing material in catheters providing structural support and strength while retaining flexibility. Pebax® is a versatile polymer with high elastic memory. Pebax®’s properties can be easily altered by varying its monomeric ratios and block types thus imparting a wide range of mechanical properties including flexibility. As engineered surface tubing, Pebax® catheter jacketing greatly enhances pushability of the device. This material is available in Shore D hardness ranges from 35 to 72.
PEEK – Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) is a high performance fluoropolymer with excellent heat endurance and one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios available for a thermoplastic. PEEK products are used in a variety of medical applications due to their columnar stiffness and torsional strength even with very thin walls. PEEK can be produced with IDs as small as 0.002″ (0.051 mm) and walls as thin as 0.0015″ (0.0381 mm) nominal. PEEK Drawn Fiber is an alternative for catheter braiding where metal may not be preferable (such as with MRI, etc.). PEEK tubing is lightweight and able to withstand operating temperatures of 500 ºF (260 ºC). This biocompatible material tolerates high burst pressures and is thermoformable. PEEK is also resistant to gamma radiation, wear, and impact.
PEEKshrink™ – Another advanced product from Zeus, this shrink-to-fit plastic provides a layer of protection for critical components which is particularly beneficial in medical applications where encapsulation is required. The polymer’s inherent purity and lubricity make it a prime choice for catheter and endoscopy components.
PTFE – Polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, is a highly lubricious material and the preferred material in many applications in the medical field. This material has the lowest coefficient of friction of any polymer and is biocompatible (USP Class VI approved). PTFE easily tolerates ETO and autoclave sterilizations and can perform at temperatures from -328 °F (-200 °C) to 500 °F (260 °C). This diverse polymer is available in a variety of forms including special profiles, monofilament, and multi-lumen for passing of wire guides, irrigation, steering cables, and more.
Aeos™ ePTFE – This advanced polymer product from Zeus features microscopic pores in its structure by expanding PTFE under precise conditions. The resulting porous products are imparted with unique physical properties that make them ideal for use in medical devices. Aeos™ ePTFE has many of the same exceptional attributes as PTFE but differs because it provides the unique properties for applications requiring porosity.
Sub-Lite-Wall™ – This novel super-thin walled PTFE is used for the lining of catheter inside diameters (IDs) and allows easier access to difficult-to-reach body spaces. This material can be supplied etched on the outside diameter (OD) to allow better bondability with other materials. PTFE Sub-Lite-Wall™ Heat Shrink improves the lubricity of wire guides over long lengths making it ideal for endoscopy applications.