Electrochemical milling

The trend towards miniaturization is advancing with ever increasing speed, and this also applies in medical technology applications. Ophthalmic surgery, neurosurgery and ENT surgery have long played a pioneering role in the use of microsurgical instruments. In ophthalmic surgery, especially retinal operations, microforceps 0.3 millimetres in diameter have been successfully used for a considerable time.

Significant technical and personal investment
Due to the demanding requirements, both technical and medical, applicable to microsurgical instruments, it has only been possible to produce these up to now with considerable input of technical and personal resources. For example, most of the microforceps currently available for ophthalmic surgery are produced by conventional spark-erosion technology or conventional micro-machining, both of which afterwards require costly manual finishing. To minimize the consequent high production costs, three companies, 1stQ GmbH (manufacturers of medical technology products), primeTEC GmbH & Co KG (R&D,  project management) and Ecmtec GmbH (R&D ECF technology and service providers) are treading a new path. This cooperative project aims to use the new ECF microtechnology (electrochemical micro-milling) to develop a new disposable micro-forceps for microsurgical use in the field of ophthalmic surgery. ECF technology makes it possible to produce metal micro-structures and micro-shapes without costly refinishing.

The prototype already meets all the requirements for a marketable microforceps. Project leader Markus Gäckle, CEO of primeTEC, is satisfied:

“The first prototype microforceps produced by ECF already demonstrates the extraordinary potential of this new technology, with which both simple and complex geometries can be produced to micro-scale in metal materials with extreme geometrical accuracy and without the need for expensive finishing operations. This opens up the possibility, which did not exist before, of making new, innovative micro-instruments, or even transforming known types of reusable micro-instruments, into qualitatively high-value disposable micro-instruments.”

Want to know more?
Do not hesitate to contact Ecmtec there:
ECMTEC GmbH
Robert-Bosch-Str. 3
71088 Holzgerlingen (Germany)
Tel.: 07031/86652-0
Fax: 07031/86652-5

There will be more to come in Eurotec.

Cheers
py