New minimally invasive devices often require controlled navigation. Catheters and endoscopes frequently incorporate single or multi-directional steerable and deflectable designs to properly position the device and/or hold the distal tip of the device at a precise location.
Steerable Catheters are primarily used to navigate tortuous anatomy and aid in the placement of the catheter tip in precise locations. Typically, they are utilized within side vessels to introduce guidewires and other medical devices into desired locations.
The steerability of a catheter is generally measured by the transfer of torque from the proximal end to the distal end of a catheter, and this can be achieved by reinforcing the catheter shaft with a braid, a coil or a laser cut tube to create a single-fused composite shaft.
Deflection in catheters refers to the movement of the catheter tip independent of the rest of the catheter and allows for highly angular movement and exact positioning of the tip for imaging, ablation, or delivery applications.
Deflectable tips are most commonly controlled by an anchor ring near the tip and pull wires that run through the catheter shaft. For multi-angular deflection, multiple pull wires can be utilized with separate reinforced liners. Varying catheter shaft materials and reinforcement near the distal tip can lead to the targeted shape and degree of deflection.
Medical Murray specializes in handle design for steerable and deflectable catheter shafts. Medical Murray utilizes 3D printers and machined components to create rapid handle prototypes to prove form and function. Once confident in a design the components shift to using in-house injection molding equipment to make production quality components.