One of the most dynamic sectors in healthcare is the active implantable medical device (AIMD) with unique products to include pacemakers, defibrillators and other cardia rhythm management devices. Outside the cardiac market though, there is another field within AIMD that is rapidly growing, and this is Neuromodulation.1
Neuromodulation is the therapeutic alternation, stimulation, inhibition or regulation of activity in the central, peripheral or autonomic nervous system, electrically or pharmacologically and includes treatments for chronic pain management, stimulation for movement disorders, urological disorders, spasticity and gastric deficiencies
As researchers seek to better understand neural networks, improve existing therapies and develop new ones, printed implantable electrodes may provide performance, size, and cost benefits. PEEK-OPTIMATM polymers have been analysed to assess its potential benefits to the AIMD sector. These include:
Research into the adhesion behaviour in PEEK-OPTIMATM implantables has enabled designers with a range of AIMD solutions, which include fusion welding, laser welding, ultrasonic welding and adhesive joining, all of which are proven to generate strong joints.2 Tests conducted with several adhesives concluded that the strength of PEEK-to-peek joints using implantable silicone adhesive remained mostly unchanged before and after sterilisation by steam, ErO and gamma.2
Printed implantable electrodes are one of many examples of how our biomaterials deliver superior device performance. Receptive to being printed on by normal methods such as screen, transfer and ink-jet printing, platinum and silver PEEK electrodes are flexible and resistant to manual bending, ultraviolet and EtO sterilisation and 72-hour saline immersion.