What You Should Know About Laser Ablation in Medical Device

For medical device applications that require coating removal of cylindrical components such as guide tubing and cables, laser ablation is becoming increasingly common. Advanced surface treatments, such as decolorizing or foaming polymers and darkening or annealing metal parts, are other typical uses.

Finest medical laser ablation is a clean, low-dust (or dust-free) approach for selectively eliminating wire layers or sections. It is an iterative non-contact process. In comparison to previous approaches, it is also a fully automated process with extremely high yields.

Laser ablation and medical device manufacturing: what you need to know - Medical Design and Outsourcing

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The following are the most common laser ablation applications:

Removal of Layers/Coatings 

Laser energy is used to vaporize, melt or oxidize the existing coating. Lasers can also be utilized to cut precise incisions in the lining for easy layer removal, either manually or automatically. 

The need for bare stripping is growing all the time, with ends and centers having to be removed selectively. Smaller diameter cables, such as those used to transfer electrical signals for stimulation purposes, have recently been utilized.

Roughness on the surface 

This can help with adhesive adherence or friction for easy handling.

The Insulating Layer is Removed 

The polyimide insulating layer can be removed from electrically insulated wires (trade name Kapton). Kapton absorbs a certain wavelength of laser light, leaving a clean metal surface for electrical contact.

Hydrophobic coatings such as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, trade name Teflon), silicone-based coatings, and thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), including different polyamide (nylon) coatings, can also be removed using the laser ablation technique.