A hypotube is a component in advanced minimally-invasive catheters used in the medical device industry. It is used for the deployment of self- or balloon-expandable medical devices implanted for short or long periods in various medical indications. A hypotube is a metal tube with micro-features along its length made from metal and usually bonded with a polymer jacket.
Hypotubes require the polymer cover in order to minimize damage to the tissue and reduce friction, while maintaining the tube’s flexibility. For these reasons it is usually coated with elastic polymers such as silicone, polyurethane or PEBAX. Another reason for covering is sealing and leak prevention when fluid or gas is transferred through the hypotube. The metal and the polymer don’t normally bond together, thus, when surface activation is absent, the jacket may delaminate, especially at the ends, as time goes by.
Medibrane’s Tie Layer Technology
Covering a metal surface with a polymeric material can be quite challenging. The first challenge is to establish a bond between the metal and the polymer, two materials that do not normally bond with each other. For this reason, Medibrane’s engineers developed the unique adhesion platform.
The first step of Medibrane’s adhesion platform is surface activation that prepares the metal surface for bonding with a polymeric material. This treatment changes the chemistry of the metal surface to provide better mechanical attachment between the jacket and the hypotube. The second step is the encapsulation coating. The polymer creates a thin tie layer. This generates a very strong connection between the jacket and the encapsulated polymer.