Medical Technology: Information from Zwick Roell on New Testing Technologies

When future technologies are mentioned, the booming field of medicine ranks among the leaders. As a market leading supplier of materials and components testing systems, Zwick is experiencing an increasing demand for complex material and component testing equipment. The number of orders from the medical industry has doubled in the past two years, mainly because the final product directly impacts human health so the highest requirements for quality apply.

Legal stipulations and standards pose further challenges for testing laboratories and, in response, Zwick now offers complete solutions for the medical industry based on decades of experience and has created its own dedicated competence centre. The company is cooperating with the renowned Institute of Orthopedic Research and Biomechanics, which has resulted in the development of complex testing configurations.

For mechanical tests in research, development, production and final packaging, Zwick is developing customized solutions together with industry and the institutes for various segments, such as medical and surgical instruments, medical textiles, medical silicones and elastomers, biomechanics, orthopedics and biomedicine.

New Zwick biaxial testing for the right twist

The ideal torque transmission from the proximal to the distal tip of an I-V product can be determined with the biaxial zwicki. The new table-top testing machine Z2.5/TN with 5Nm torsion drive allows superimposed torsion tests with tensile or compression introduction up to a maximum 2.5kN.

The novelty is in the new two-axle solution which, among other things, was developed especially for medical technology and biomedicine. This clever solution allows uniaxial or combined axial/torsion tests to be performed with a single testing machine. The test procedures of the two axles can be combined freely and can optionally also be performed in the horizontal direction.

Simulation of the physiological condition with the horizontal Allround-Line

The catheter, guide wire, or another minimally invasive instrument goes through three phases in the ‘torturous path’. From the insertion into the artery, through the straight portions of the artery, to the curving of the artery by more than 90°, the different strengths of the catheter can be measured in these three phases:

  • Initial insertion force of the catheter
  • Advancing force
  • Flexibility of a catheter tip for curvatures greater than 90°

In the further development of these systems, the attempt is made to reduce the friction coefficient as well as the breakaway torque. The horizontal Allround-Line testing machine implemented by Zwick allows the shearing forces during the simulation of the insertion of a catheter to be determined with great precision.

New submersible accessories for testing in artificial environment

Fast absorbable materials, which are being used more and more in traumatology, surgery and wound healing, change their material characteristics increasingly through contact with media such as blood, water or saline solution. This must be regulated, so that the application of the absorbable biomaterials can be targeted. For the production and development it is necessary to know and, if applicable, optimize the changes in stiffness, tensile strength, as well as yield point. The Zwick temperature bath allows an in-vivo environment for fast absorbable materials to be tested. The appropriate submersible accessories for fixing specimens are also available.

A flexible and modular system of machines, specimen grips, accessories and software is available for the optimal configuration of all testing procedures. Zwick provides a complete service package for meeting all standards and supporting the customer in the validation processes such as IQ/OQ.

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