In various biomedical applications extrusion represents a common manufacturing process for polymeric semi-finished products. Extrusion allows the processing of a wide range of biomaterials, as well as different cross-sectional geometries. The present work focuses on the development of an extrusion process for polymer micro-tubes used for medical devices manufacturing, e.g. microstents for minimally invasive glaucoma therapy. Semi-finished products were manufactured by means of extrusion and dip-coating. Morphology was investigated using biaxial laser measurement and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). For the analysis of mechanical and thermal properties of the specimens uniaxial tensile testing and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were performed. While dip-coated micro-tubes reveal a smooth and homogeneous surface, SEM micrographs of extruded micro-tubes exhibit some longitudinal grooves. Mechanical properties of extruded and dip-coated micro-tubes are comparable, so that the presented extrusion process can be regarded suitable for the manufacturing of polymer microtubes in a sub-millimeter scale. A future improvement of nozzle design will allow for a smooth surface of extruded semi-finished products.
© 2019 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Public License.