Nexans’ NEWSENSE® Microcables Open Up New Dimensions In Invasive Surgery

Apr 9, 2018

Nexans Newsense medical cable

  • Nexans has developed a new micro-extrusion process that creates the thinnest possible insulating jacket to enable minimally invasive medical cables to be manufactured with diameters of less than 0.1 mm.

Paris La Défense, April 11, 2018 – Modern medicine is on a constant quest to develop minimally invasive surgical and diagnostic procedures. This presents medical device manufacturers with a major, ongoing challenge to increase the miniaturization of their components. Providing the vital power and data connection for these miniature devices is driving the development of a new generation of microcables with diameters of just 0.1 mm or even less. Today, the game is changing with the introduction of Nexans’ range of NEWSENSE® microcables with an insulation jacket of only 15 microns thick.

Designing cables smaller than the eye can see

While medical microcables must ensure the performance, reliability and safety essential for any medical application, their size also plays a decisive role in reducing the impact of invasive procedures. One of the main limiting factors in the miniaturization of cables is the thickness of the insulating jacket. Until now, with a “standard” extrusion process, it was not possible to go below 30 microns thickness – or 30 thousandths of a millimeter (mm). Although at this size the insulation is just a little thinner than the finest human hair (75-125 microns) it would still take up some 84 percent of the overall cross-section of a 0.1 mm diameter cable.

With its new extrusion process, Nexans is able to reduce the insulation jacket of its NEWSENSE® cables down to 15 microns thickness. This allows the manufacture of smaller diameter cables that offer a variety of advantages for invasive surgery. They are easier to insert inside catheters, such as when used in trans-catheter applications in cardiovascular electrophysiology and neurology. They are also less traumatic for patients when used for direct insertion in the body, such as with pacemakers.

A further benefit of the new design is that it offers the capability to incorporate more cables within the same cross-section to allow increased functionality. The extruded layer is also smooth, regular and cosmetically appealing as well as easy to strip for termination.

One of the first NEWSENSE® designs is a new space-saving cable for trans-catheter applications. This design uses two AWG52 (20 micron copper diameter) insulated wires stranded together as a twisted pair.  Shielding against external electromagnetic disturbances is provided by 15 micron diameter wires in silver plated copper alloy. Externally, the cable has a biocompatible, low-friction fluoropolymer jacket extruded with a 0.14 mm final outer diameter.

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“ Le marché des câbles médicaux affiche une croissance annuelle de 5 à 10 % et le développement de ces nouveaux microcâbles va permettre à Nexans d’y renforcer sa position déjà solide, ainsi qu’ouvrir des possibilités prometteuses pour de nouvelles applications. Ce projet a véritablement repoussé les limites des technologies d’extrusion et son succès témoigne du niveau élevé de coopération entre notre usine de câbles médicaux et le Centre de Recherche de Nexans à Lyon. ”

Thierry Malvache

Responsable des produits médicaux pour Nexans

NEWSENSE® microcables, together with other medical cables, are manufactured at Nexans France specialized facility in Draveil, France.


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