Wire mesh and wire cloth play important roles throughout a broad range of manufacturing, pharmaceutical and food processing applications. However, it is in the medical field that they often directly improve a patient’s quality of life – and in many cases, save it.
There are many daily uses in the medical industry where wire cloth mesh are found before they even make their way into a patient’s body. Stainless steel mesh baskets are used to hold medical tools, equipment and samples. Autoclave baskets are another common hospital application that help promote hygiene. The high temperatures and pressure kill all the bacteria and viruses on surgical equipment sitting in the autoclave basket.
Stents are small wire mesh tubes used in many medical procedures. They are often inserted to permanently hold open arteries. When an artery feeding the heart muscle (coronary artery) is narrowed by a buildup of fatty deposits, it reduces blood flow and causes chest pain. If a clot forms and completely blocks blood flow to part of the heart muscle, a heart attack occurs. Stents help keep coronary arteries open and significantly reduce the chances of a heart attack.
Nickel-titanium (Nitinol) alloys are an amazing mesh material for self-expanding stents, graft support systems, filters and baskets. They are known for their strength, super-elastic properties and thermal shape memory – meaning they resume a predetermined shape by heating after being deformed. They are also ten times more elastic than the best stainless steels used in medicine today. The flexibility of Nitinol enables devices to enter the body through catheters or other methods with a very small profile. Once inside the body, they are released to unfold and expand to a much larger size.
Nitinol mesh stents can handle serious bending without buckling, kinking or permanent deformation. This is an important feature of Nitinol stents in blood vessels that could be deformed through outside forces. In the carotid artery, there is a potential risk for other types of stents to be permanently deformed through outside pressure. This results in a partially or completely blocked vessel once again after a stent’s buckling strength is exceeded.
More than 600,000 knee replacements are performed annually in the US. Often, artificial knee joints must undergo knee revision operations later in a patient’s life as the bones and artificial joint fail over time.
The surgery requires removal of bone and the old prosthesis so that the femur bone can be reshaped. If the old implant loosened because it moved downward into the softer tibia tissue, the surgeon will pack the space with morselized bone from a donor before putting in the new implant. This technique is known as impaction grafting and is usually reinforced with wire mesh.
Although the uses for wire mesh cloth and wire cloth filter in the medical industry are somewhat technical, here are few key thoughts to remember.
Stainless steel mesh baskets and wire cloths are used because they are easy to sanitize, which increases patient safety.
Nitinol is a relatively new alloy used in stent meshes due to its high strength, ability to deform after being cooled and resume its previous shape after being heated. This permits new internal applications not possible with stainless steel.
Knee surgeries and other joint replacement procedures often use metal mesh to strengthen bones and surrounding tissue.
Newark Wire Cloth is a recognized leader in the wire cloth manufacturing industry, creating off-the-shelf and custom woven wire cloth for any and every application– including the medical field. It has specialized in the fabrication of wire cloth parts and assemblies for the past 105 years. Contact us today to discuss how wire cloth can help improve the health and hygiene of your patients, hospital, or healthcare facility.