The company transforms lives through innovative medical solutions that improve the health of patients around the world. As a global medical technology leader for more than 30 years, the company advance science for life by providing a broad range of high performance solutions that address unmet patient needs and reduce the cost of healthcare.
The company is active in the field of interventional cardiology, rhythm management, electro-physiology, peripheral interventions, neuromodulation, endoscopy and urology.
In order to constantly innovate and to meet the high demands in its technological need the company looks for novel technologies and innovations.
The current technology request should be applicable for one or more of the above stated medical fields.
In this specific case the company is conducting a targeted search to identify technology to provide a super low friction inner surface in delivery catheters, which they produce. As such it should be able to replace the currently used and expensive polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) inner liner. PTFE is also known as Teflon. The goal is to establish collaborative efforts to accelerate commercialization of these technologies.
Delivery catheters and alike systems in the vascular, urology and endoscopy areas function basically as delivery tubes for all kind of compressed systems that can be deployed in the body, such as stents, filters, wires, embolic particles, and so on. The diameter of these catheters ranges from less than a 0,5 mm up to 4 mm and can have a length over 1 ½ meter. To provide a very low friction inner surface in these delivery catheters, it is custom to start with a very thin PTFE tubing which is later covered by other polymer layers to make a robust catheter. A typical example of a PTFE inner liner is shown in the figure.
Delivery catheter design is a balance between functionality and construction. Fundamental targets focus on catheter trackability, flexibility, pushability, torqueability and finally, but not least, having a super low friction on the internal surface. The lower the friction, the smaller a delivery load can be compressed and the smaller the catheter can be made. The current PTFE inner liners function well, but they are ( very) expensive and they force the production process to be complicated , hence also to add costs.
The company would expect the stage of the technology to be at or beyond proof of feasibility and preferably already be proven in commercial applications, not necessarily medical. Therefore the company is looking for SMEs or technical research groups experienced in the field of the development of super low friction inner surface materials and/or nanotechnology and/or surface modification technologies. The company envisions a license agreement or a technical cooperation agreement.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This technology request is part of an innovation challenge and is published on an open innovation platform from the 26th of August until October 6th 2019. If an organisation does express interest in cooperation with this firm before closing date, it will be guided towards this open innovation platform on which one can get in touch with the company experts. Mind that posts on this platform are not confidential.
Beside open discussions on the platform, sharing of confidential information will be made possible on demand. After that, the firm will select the SME's with whom they would like to cooperate in the development of a solution. Once the challenge is closed, EOI's for this technology request will be treated in the traditional way.