Laser-drilled multi-lumen catheter
The fabrication of devices for peripheral arterial disease often requires precise laser micro-hole drilling.
Peripheral arterial disease can lead to amputation, especially with patients with critical limb ischemia. Treatment by thrombolysis requires precise small holes in multi-lumen catheters to deliver thrombolytic agents to treat symptomatic, acute, proximal deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
There are challenges for applying interventional techniques to the superficial femoral artery (SFA), popliteal arteries and distal tibial vessels. UV lasers can be used for micro-drilling, stripping and skiving operations to address these challenges. For example, drilling holes of typical diameter between 25 and 125 micron with hot needles and mechanical drills are not adequate, as they do not deliver consistent hole diameters, leaving jagged/melted edges and loose chads.
Lasers can also dynamically, change the hole diameter and hole taper, an important design consideration for engineers concerned with flow rates, especially along the distal length of the catheter.
Drug-eluting balloons (DEB) are an alternative to drug-eluting stents (DES). The balloons deliver an anti-restenosis drug during inflation. Novel methods to deliver the drug include laser-drilled holes in double-walled balloons. There is considerable interest to use DEBs in the periphery because in areas such as below-the-knee, stents are subject to high torsion and flexion forces that can lead to device fatigue and failure. To introduce drugs with an inflated balloon, laser drilling is used to drill an array of tiny holes in the single or double-walled balloons. These holes (as small as 5 microns in diameter) must be small enough to prevent the collapse or deflation of the balloon but large enough to allow delivery of the drug.