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Cardiac monitoring system exploits high bonding strength of polycarbonate

Bayer MaterialScience AG : 04 November, 2004  (New Product)
Cardiac surgeons are constantly looking for ways to help improve the post-surgical outcomes of their patients. Now thanks to a device developed by Terumo Cardiovascular Systems, featuring Bayer MaterialScience’s Makrolon Rx2530 polycarbonate, surgeons can measure myocardial pH levels during heart surgery.

The Khuri Myocardial pH Monitoring System, developed by Terumo Cardiovascular Systems, a global manufacturer of medical devices, measures the pH in specific regions of the heart tissue to help prevent myocardial ischemia during surgery which can lead to accelerated apoptosis (cell death). (New studies are establishing relationships between regulating myocardial pH levels and improved patient outcomes.) Prior to the development of the Khuri monitoring system, surgeons could not accurately measure pH in heart tissue. Now surgeons can immediately determine if their efforts to maintain normal pH levels are having an impact.

To measure the myocardial pH, the surgeon inserts two glass electrodes into the posterior and anterior regions of the left ventricle. These electrodes, which also include an electrochemical (EC) junction component moulded of Bayer’s Makrolon Rx2530 polycarbonate, measure the tissue pH and temperature of the heart. This information is then sent via signal wires to an accompanying monitor that communicates the pH levels numerically.

Working with medical device design and moulding company, ACI Medical in San Marcos, California, Terumo Cardiovascular Systems selected Makrolon Rx2530 polycarbonate as the material to be used for the EC junction. 'Several materials were considered for this application,' said Tom Hacker, product design specialist for Terumo. 'But Bayer’s Makrolon Rx2530 polycarbonate was the only one that offered the multiple characteristics we needed to house the electrodes, signal wires, and thermistors needed to accurately measure tissue pH and temperature.'

Makrolon Rx 2530 polycarbonate resin has a high bonding strength needed to hold the components of the electrode and signal wires together and the clarity to allow Terumo Cardiovascular Systems to visually inspect the assembly for proper connections. Its chemical and electrical inertness prevent the signal wires from accepting anything but the data from the electrode. Additionally, because Makrolon Rx 2530 polycarbonate is a gamma stable grade polycarbonate, resisting yellowing when exposed to gamma radiation during the sterilization processes necessary prior to use.

Terumo Cardiovascular Systems Corporation ( manufactures and markets products for the cardiac surgery, interventional, and neurovascular markets. It is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan with manufacturing operations in Ann Arbor, as well as Elkton, Maryland; Ashland, Massachusetts; Tustin, California; and Matamoros, Mexico. It is a subsidiary of Terumo Corporation of Japan. Terumo Corporation is a premier global medical company with 2003 annual sales in excess of $1.9 billion. Terumo Corporation develops, manufactures, and markets a wide range of medical products including syringes, needles, catheters, and blood bags.
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