Laser Stripping of Medical Components
Medical components that are in contact with tissue within the body must be made of bio-compatible materials. Examples of such materials are PFA, PTFE and nylons such as Pebax and Grilamid.
Medical components often have the highest requirements in terms of strip quality, residue and clean transitions between stripped and unstripped zones.
Many bio-compatible materials cannot be effectively stripped with the UV light of the Odyssey system. Fluoropolymers are largely transparent at this wavelength.
Carbon dioxide laser light is strongly absorbed by these materials, but the "hot" stripping of the Mercury systems is often not suitable for precision medical requirements. Below are a few examples:
A heart pacemaker electrode is a highly flexible spring has a very thin clear insulation (often PTFE) that is not easy to strip using conventional laser stripping technology. Although a Mercury system can vaporize the insulation, the heat from the laser pulses deforms the spring so that it loses its mechanical properties.
Hypodermic tubing often includes a thick bio-compatible layer. This coating must be removed at the end of the tube for connection to the medical device (such as an angioplasty balloon). It is critical to main the outside diameter of the tube and standard carbon dioxide laser technology creates too shallow a transition between stripped and unstripped portions of the tube, with heat swelling occurring at the transition.