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

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.

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

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.

The medical cable market is growing by some five to 10 percent year on year, and the development of the new microcables will enable Nexans to reinforce its already strong position and open up some exciting possibilities for new applications,” said Thierry Malvache, Nexans Medical Product Manager. “This project has really pushed the envelope of what is possible with extrusion technology, and its success is a tribute to the high level of cooperation between our medical cable factory and the Nexans Research Center in Lyon.”           
 

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

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Nexans brengt energie tot leven via een uitgebreid assortiment kabels en kabeloplossingen die wereldwijd klanten helpen betere prestaties neer te zetten. De teams van Nexans stellen zich als partners ten dienste van hun klanten in vier grote sectoren: energietransmissie en -distributie (energienetten op het land en onderzees), energiebronnen (olie & gas, mijnbouw en hernieuwbare energiebronnen), transport (weg, spoor, lucht, zee) en bouw (commerciële en residentiële bouw en datacenters). De strategie van Nexans is gebaseerd op de voortdurende innovatie van producten, oplossingen en diensten net als op de ontwikkeling van haar werknemers, de begeleiding van klanten en de introductie van veilige en milieuvriendelijke industriële processen. In 2013 werd Nexans de eerste speler in de kabelindustrie die een Stichting oprichtte om duurzame initiatieven te ondersteunen die achtergestelde gemeenschappen wereldwijd toegang tot energie geven. Nexans is een actief lid van Europacable, de Europese associatie van fabrikanten van draad en kabel, en ondertekende het Europacable Industry Charter. Met dit handvest drukken de leden hun inzet uit voor de beginselen en doelstellingen van ethische, duurzame en hoogwaardige ontwikkeling en productie van kabels. Met een industriële aanwezigheid in 40 landen en commerciële activiteiten wereldwijd biedt Nexans werk aan bijna 26.000 mensen. De Groep realiseerde in 2015 een omzet van 6,2 miljard euro. Nexans is genoteerd op de beurs van NYSE Euronext in Parijs, compartiment A.

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