Microfabrica Introduces Set of Miniature 'Building Blocks' for Minimally-Invasive Medical Devices


1-mm turbine, miniaturized 'car jack', and micro-chainmail demonstrate the company's ultra-precision EFAB manufacturing technology

VAN NUYS, Calif., Dec. 18 /- Microfabrica Inc. will introduce at Medical Design & Manufacturing West a set of highly-miniaturized 'building blocks' which designers of minimally-invasive medical devices can use to develop innovative new products. Water-powered turbines just over 1 mm in diameter which spin at 120,000 revolutions per minute, millimeter-scale 'car jack'-like expanders, ultra-flexible micro-chainmail metal fabric, micro- needles, miniature ratchets, hinges, slides, and springs, and multi-lumen metal shapes are among the building blocks to be featured. Enabled by the company's unique EFAB manufacturing technology, these building blocks - and devices based on them - will be on display in Booth 466, Hall E, Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA, January 29-31, 2008.

According to Microfabrica chief executive officer Vacit Arat, "EFAB has already been used successfully in a variety of non-medical applications, and the technology's reliability and design flexibility have been put to test. Leveraging that experience, Microfabrica introduced the technology to select medical device companies in the last 12 months, and the response has been overwhelming. Several major players have already taken advantage of the technology to enable next-generation devices and dramatically cut cost." Beginning with MD&M, Microfabrica will make its technology broadly available to medical device manufacturers. The company's building blocks are meant to demonstrate what is possible and give engineers a head start on leveraging EFAB in their designs.

"The micro-turbine - probably the world's smallest - might be used as a high-speed distal actuator in thrombectomy, atherectomy, and intravascular ultrasound catheters, eliminating the need for a drive cable," noted Adam Cohen, chief technology officer of Microfabrica. "The expander can anchor and manipulate a catheter or retract tissue, while chainmail-based fabric is well-suited for distal protection or retrieval, especially in tortuous vessels, due to its unusual flexibility. Meanwhile, robust, hollow microneedles can enable intradermal and precision drug delivery systems."

EFAB technology differs from conventional manufacturing processes in several ways. By applying to mechanical device fabrication the techniques used to make computer chips, EFAB provides an accuracy and repeatability on the order of 0.001 mm, as well as direct scalability from prototype to volume production. The technology also offers an unprecedented new capability: it can directly produce assemblies such as mechanisms with dozens of moving parts, without the need for assembly. Compared with machining, metal injection molding, and electrical discharge machining, EFAB offers greater complexity, smaller features, and often greater accuracy and lower cost. Compared with laser or photochemical machining and stamping, EFAB offers greater accuracy, smaller features, and freedom from artifacts. The technology is mature, well-characterized, and extremely versatile. Products for specialties such as interventional cardiology and neurointerventional radiology, endoscopy, head, neck and neurosurgery, drug delivery, gastroenterology, urology, cardiac rhythm management, cardiac and vascular surgery, ophthalmology, and cosmetic surgery are under discussion or in commercial development.

About Microfabrica
Microfabrica Inc. (http://www.microfabrica.com/) is a leading manufacturer of micro and millimeter-scale mechanical devices used in a variety of medical, electronics and defense applications. The company's unique EFAB technology offers an unprecedented capability to cost-effectively, flexibly manufacture highly-miniaturized components and mechanisms in production volumes. EFAB is the only manufacturing technology to produce robust, fully-assembled devices millimeters to centimeters in size with micron-scale features. EFAB technology opens up a world of possibilities for sophisticated, miniaturized devices otherwise impossible or impractical to produce.

CONTACT:
Irene Ajemyan of Microfabrica Inc.,
+1-818-786-3322 ext. 150

Web site: http://www.microfabrica.com/

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