Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM) are used for patients with diabetes to reliably monitor their glucose level throughout the day without needing to carry out finger-prick tests. Medical wire plays an essential role in these devices as it is relied upon to sense and transmit electronic data.

The CGM device is comprised of a monitor, transmitter and a sensor. The sensor is thinner than a needle and detects the glucose level using glucose oxidase and measuring the enzymatic reaction and the resulting production of hydrogen peroxide. Electrical signals are generated when hydrogen peroxide reacts to the sensor and sent to the transmitter where it can be transferred to a mobile reading device (such as a mobile phone).

Finding the most suitable medical-wire component is an important step for any medical device manufacturer, and for CGM devices there are certain features that OEMs must consider. The wire must be long-lasting, biocompatible and offer excellent conductive properties, as well as a suitable insulation coating.

As a trusted supplier of metal alloys, the Sandvik EXERA brand of ultra-fine medical wire is used in medical devices to transmit, sense and stimulate within the human body. With more than 200 metal alloys and customisations ranging from coatings, plating and coiling, Sandvik has worked with customers to create devices that safely monitor patient’s health. Of all the remotely monitored devices that Sandvik has helped to manufacture, glucose monitors have been requested in the largest volume.

According to the Sandvik specification sheets, the most suitable metal materials for manufacturing CGM devices are Platinum, Platinum Iridium, Platinum Clad Tantalum and Silver. EXERA® platinum-iridium alloys (EXERA® Pt10Ir and EXERA® Pt20Ir) offer excellent biocompatible properties, as well as excellent radiopacity, moderate strength and good formability. Depending on post-processing requirements, platinum-iridium alloys can be provided in an annealed, stress relieved or cold worked condition. For the insulation coating of medical wire used in CGM devices, Sandvik suggests its EXERA® Polyimide or Polyurethane coatings.

For more information about EXERA®  fine medical wire-components, including available materials and surface treatments, visit their website.