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End-Use Case Study

  • Inserts molded from polyethersulfone with radiopacifiers
  • Green PC handle overmolded with grey, eliminating secondary labeling

Surgical ToolWhen human heart valves malfunction, there are various procedures which can alleviate the problem. For many cases of valve dysfunction, the surgeon may be able to repair the original valve instead of replacing it. Repair is often advantageous for the patient. Repairing a valve, rather than replacement, may reduce the chance of re-operation, and patients may not require as much anticoagulation medication.

Baxter Healthcare Corp., Edwards CVS Division, a leader in heart valve repair products, developed the Cosgrove-Edwards® Annuloplasty System for use in repair procedures. The system incorporates an implantable, flexible band made of silicone and polyester velour. The band reinforces the surgeon’s repair, while allowing for the natural movement of the patient’s valve anatomy.

To simplify implantation, the band is mounted onto a special disposable template which is used with a reusable, snap-fit handle.

Surgical Tool 2The handles and ring templates are made of RTP 300 Series (polycarbonate) precolored specialty compounds. The color matches are critical. The handle’s green portion is over-molded with gray, allowing the insert to be visible through the gray. The over-molding eliminates the need for hot stamping or other labeling processes.

The radiopaque plugs, which allow for X-ray detection, are insert molded into the template. The plugs are made of a polyethersulfone specialty compound which is autoclavable. The radiopacity is achieved through a slight loading of special fillers.

Critical color matching was a challenge RTP Company met directly, according to Baxter. The ability to keep just-in-time schedules, even for small quantities, was an added benefit, they said.