Metal replacement on surgical instrument

Surgical instruments used for adenoid and tonsil surgeries have had metal parts replaced with a 50% glass-fibre reinforced polyarylamide (PARA) supplied by Solvay. The Elasso Surgical Instruments’ Tissue Removal Device is a single-use electrocautery instrument that requires high flexural strength to provide the viable alternative to metal. Maintaining precision and surgical efficacy of its instrument without compromising the rigidity was key during development.

Olivier Lecerf, chief operating officer at Elasso Surgical Instruments, said: “We pursued a very ambitious design for our single-use Elasso instrument, which relies on very long, thin forceplike arms fabricated from Solvay’s high-performance polymer rather than metal to ensure better leverage, reach and control.

“We tested several very high-end polymers, but only Solvay’s Ixef GS-1022 PARA resin delivered the necessary combination of high flow in the mould and outstanding strength and stiffness in the finished part to give the forceps the leverage that our design targeted.”

Over two million adenotonsillectomies and adenoidectomies are performed annually worldwide with many of the instruments used to cut tissue having shortcomings during surgical procedures and in postsurgical recovery. Blue and gray-colored grades of Ixef GS-1022 PARA form the device arms, which end in a metal loop that is heated by an electrical current to a temperature that precisely cuts and cauterises isolated tissue.

Justin Cuningham

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