- Accelerate Your Prototyping
Neurovascular disease affects the network of blood vessels in and surrounding the brain leading to potentially fatal conditions such as strokes and aneurysms. With as many as 6 million Americans affected by cerebral aneurysms alone annually, the need for improved neurovascular interventional therapies is profound. At Zeus, we specialize in the ultra-thin, strong, flexible, and precision extruded products necessary to successfully navigate the extremely small vessels of the neurovascular network.
Endovascular therapies have evolved significantly within the last decade due in large part to a proliferation of several innovative microsurgical device treatments. Conditions such as arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), strokes, aneurysms, carotid artery disease, and intracranial atherosclerotic disease (ICAD) can all be treated with today’s minimally invasive techniques.
In keeping with these advances, Zeus manufactures a range of catheter components and biomaterials that are particularly well-suited for the neurovascular system. We manufacture the industry’s thinnest PTFE extruded liners with wall thicknesses < 0.001″ (0.025 mm) and tolerances approaching ± 0.0005″ (0.0127 mm).
Our other catheter components include an extensive range of jacketing, braiding, and fusing sleeves to create precise micro-catheters capable of reaching narrow treatment sites. We also manufacture novel implantable biomaterial products with custom strength and degradation profiles that help clear blocked vessels and save lives.
Our Team is Your Team
At Zeus, we strive to meet the demands of the medical sector every day and improve the level of deliverable care. As part of that mission, we continually partner with engineers, researchers, and clinicians to address and provide solutions to the neurovascular market. We will work with you to advance your prototype from design to production and can even assist with small scale product assembly.
To learn more about our neurovascular catheter components, biomaterials, or to request a sample, contact us or call today toll-free in the US 1-800-526-3842. Internationally, please call +1-803-268-9500.
Balloon – For delivery of balloon-tipped catheters, Zeus components can provide solutions for balloon and stent protectors, customized and multi-lumen tubing, and liners for your specialized microcatheter needs.
Diagnostic – When visualization is of primary importance, such as in brain angiography, our biocompatible catheter components are chemically unreactive not only with the body but also with dyes which are commonly used for contrast material. Zeus components are able to withstand a range of sterilization protocols to minimize the risk of catheter-associated infections.
Dilation – Catheter procedures focused on widening narrow biological passages have a variety of roles in health care. Whether for stent placement, drug delivery, or stroke treatment, Zeus catheter components are capable of meeting the highly defined functional needs for these applications as well the biocompatibility and usage life for these devices.
Imaging – For procedures where maximum flexibility to navigate difficult anatomical micro-spaces, Zeus’ polymer linings and coatings provide optimum performance. Our drawn fiber and other monofilaments – including our liquid crystal polymer (LCP) – increase catheter stability and torque response while enabling the capture of detailed geometries and electrical maps. Zeus fibers and monofilaments are an excellent replacement for metals where certain applications preclude these materials such as MRI.
Lead Delivery – Our products are conceived and created to support the critical demands of lead placement into target tissues. Our neurological catheter componentry provides the flexibility for these small devices to safely traverse the intracranial network of blood vessels. These devices provide the means to address conditions ranging from aneurysm occlusion, vascular malformations, chronic pain, drug delivery, tumor embolization, vasospasm therapy, and brachytherapy.
Micro-Catheters – With improving technologies to create ever-smaller implantable devices, physicians likewise need catheter componentry capable of performing these catheterization procedures. Zeus has focused our efforts to create a thinner, stronger, and more flexible PTFE liner and other catheter components to deliver advanced lifesaving treatments.
Neurostimulation – Whether for direct stimulation of nerves or to relieve pain, these applications have been greatly improved through the use of catheters to place neurostimulation and modulator devices more accurately. Zeus catheter components are optimized for these device delivery applications. Extensive customization is also available giving you more control over key parameters such as pushability, strength, kink resistance, torquability, and lubricity.
Catheter Braiding – When metals cannot be used in certain critical procedures, Zeus offers drawn fibers available in PEEK as well as our liquid crystal polymer (LCP) monofilament as non-metallic alternatives to stainless steel braiding for catheter reinforcement. These materials are MRI-compatible and available in flat and rounded profiles.
Catheter Liners – Typically made of etched PTFE or our Aeos® ePTFE, these extruded catheter inner liners provide the utmost in lubricity, electrical performance, chemical resistance, and are UV sterilizable.
Customized Tubing – Zeus offers 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 with full technical support.
Fusing Sleeves – Heat shrinkable fluoropolymer tubing provides an excellent way to add a protective and tight jacket covering for joined catheter components or simply as an outer covering for the catheter itself. We offer FEP heath shrink tubing and FluoroPEELZ® peelable heat shrink as fusing sleeves which can withstand high temperatures and contribute extremely high lubricity.
Jacketing Materials – Catheter jackets provide additional structural support when added as layers during catheter construction and wall build-up. Removable jackets (such as Zeus FluoroPEELZ®) are also available that can be used to reflow underlying polymer coating and jacketing material such as over braiding. Zeus offers nylon and Pebax® polymer jacketing to meet these catheter manufacturing needs.
Multi-lumen Catheter Tubing – This tubing is made with multiple passages through which multiple treatments or instruments can to directed towards a site. These tubings are made with tight tolerances, unsurpassed capabilities, and superior quality standards. These specialized tubings are available in a variety of biocompatible resins and are USP Class VI approved.
Processing / Support Mandrels – As a building block for catheter construction, this polymer core provides the central arbor around which the catheter is made and supports the desired interior diameter (ID) of the catheter tubing. After construction, the mandrel is removed to produce the final ID. Our catheter fluoropolymer components are highly lubricious and are ideal for use as mandrels for their ease of removal; these mandrels are available in PEEK and PTFE.
Biomaterials – The emergence of biomaterials, substances or materials that can exist in the body, has become a driving force in medical innovation. Bioabsorbables are especially suitable for medical applications and provide an alternative to traditional polymers and metal components because they can be absorbed by the body. Recognizing this industry need, Zeus has expanded our capabilities in multiple areas to develop the most advanced biomaterials in the industry.
Absorv® Bioabsorbable Extrusions – These polymer products can safely be implanted in the body and remain for controlled lengths of time before being absorbed without adverse interactions. We partner with our customers to develop and deliver advanced polymers to meet their precise degradation rates and specifications. These FDA-approved extruded products are available in multiple different polymer combinations.
Aeos® ePTFE – These advanced products from Zeus feature microscopic pores in the structure of the material by expanding PTFE under exacting conditions. The resulting porous products are imparted with unique physical properties that make them ideal for use in medical devices such as endovascular stent grafts, suture-like devices, cosmetic implants, dental and glass ionomer uses, structural heart, and tissue engineering. Aeos® ePTFE has many of the same exceptional attributes as PTFE but differs because it provides unique properties for applications requiring porosity.
Bioweb® Electrospun Nonwovens – Zeus Bioweb® is a technology produced through electrospinning PTFE into polymeric fibers with extremely small thicknesses ranging from nano- to micro-scale. Together, these electrospun fibers form microporous materials with a broad range of properties. Similar to expanded PTFE, Bioweb® has a lower basis weight but has comparable chemical and temperature resistance. Bioweb® is used in medical and industrial applications for biological interactions or for specialty filtration. Our process allows us to create encapsulation technology, spin membrane/sheet, and develop 3-D structures for coating substrates of varying shapes and sizes.
ETFE – A copolymer of ethylene and tetrafluoroethylene, ETFE tubing affords excellent resistance to impact, abrasion, and stress cracking. ETFE possesses superior toughness, stiffness, and durability all while being chemically inert. As heat shrink, ETFE provides a “shrink to fit” layer of protection for critical components used in a variety of applications including medical devices. The material can be extruded in multiple forms including flexible convoluted tubing. ETFE can operate in temperatures ranging from -238 °F (-150 °C) to 298 °F (148 °C), has low water absorption, and performs well after ETO, autoclave, and gamma sterilizations.
FEP – Fluorinated ethylene propylene, or FEP is a melt processable fluoropolymer that allows for long, continuous lengths and has several distinct advantages over PTFE. FEP tubing is usually chosen for applications that require more optical clarity and flexibility. In heat shrinkable form, FEP has a lower recovery temperature than PTFE and can be used to reflow softer underlying materials such as Pebax® for catheter jackets. This fluoropolymer can also be made into convoluted products. This chemically inert material has low gas permeability, possesses an excellent UV transmission rating and dielectric strength; and is gamma, ETO, e-beam, and autoclave sterilizable. FEP can operate in sustained temperatures from -328 °F (-200 °C) to 399 °F (204°C).
FEP FluoroPEELZ® – This peelable heat shrink is ideal for fusing sleeves for catheter construction. Removing FluoroPEELZ® during the last production step is faster, easier, and safer than standard FEP heat shrink removal.
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 – Aside from Pebax®, Zeus extrudes nylon tubing (including multi-lumen) and can assist in the selection of the specific grade of nylon best suited for your catheter jacketing 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® – This material (also known as PEBA, or polyether block amide) is used as a jacketing material in catheters which provides 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. This material is available in Shore D hardness ranges from 35 to 72.
PEEK – Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) is a high performance fluoropolymer that has excellent heat endurance and one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios of any thermoplastic. PEEK products are used in a variety of medical applications due to their columnar stiffness and torsional strength in very thin walls. PEEK can be sourced with IDs as small as 0.002″ (0.051 mm) with walls as thin as 0.0015″ (0.0381 mm) nominal and can also be used for support mandrels. PEEK Drawn Fiber is an excellent option for braiding in catheters where metal may be undesirable (i.e. MRI, etc.). This material can also be used as an alternative to other material such as glass. PEEK tubing is lightweight and can withstand operating temperatures of 500 ºF (260 ºC). PEEK is biocompatible, thermofomable, and tolerates high burst pressures; it is resistant to gamma radiation, wear, and impact; and possesses exceptional torsional stability.
PFA – Perfluoroalkoxy, or PFA, possesses excellent lubricity, clarity, flexibility, and chemical resistance making it highly versatile; it can be manufactured in a variety of extruded products including custom sizes, profiles, and multi-lumens. PFA is highly flexible, chemically resistant to all common solvents, possesses low gas permeability, and has ultra-low levels of ionic extractables. PFA retains its mechanical strength even at temperatures up to 500 °F (260 °C). PFA has a UL 94 flame resistance rating of V-0 and can tolerate ETO, e-beam, and autoclave sterilizations making it well-suited to medical applications.
PTFE – Polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, is a highly lubricious material and is preferred in many applications in the medical field. This material has the lowest coefficient of friction of any polymer, is biocompatible (USP Class VI approved), and easily tolerates ETO and autoclave sterilizations. PTFE may be supplied etched on the outside diameter (OD) to allow better bondability with other materials. PTFE’s temperature range is -328 °F (-200 °C) to 500 °F (260 °C) and can be extruded in precision tolerances. 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. Because of its lubricity, PTFE is also a good option as a support mandrel.
PTFE Sub-Lite-Wall® – This specialized PTFE is used for the lining of catheter inside diamters (IDs) and allows easier access to difficult-to-reach body spaces; it also can be etched. PTFE Sub-Lite-Wall® Heat Shrink improves the lubricity of wire guides over long lengths for use in endoscopy applications.