Nordson MARCH

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Nordson MARCH provides innovative plasma processes and equipment to meet specific application requirements of the medical device manufacturing industry. Nordson MARCH's plasma treatment delivers superior performance, higher quality and reliability for improved bonding, increased wettability, hydrophilicity, hydrophobicity, lubricity and biocompatibility. It removes nano-level contaminants, introduces specific functional groups and deposits a variety of biocompatible coatings.

Cardiac Rhythm Devices - In the manufacture of pacemakers and defibrillators, plasma treatment is used in the header assembly, in creating the electronics package, cleaning the can post laser welding, and treatment of the external electronic leads. Plasma cleans mold release and activates the surface of pacemaker and defibrillator headers to improve the bond between the header and can. Plasma can also be used to remove titanium oxide from laser welding processes. It is a superior final cleaning step that helps improve the biocompatibility and bondability of many medical product or components.

If the medical device will be conformally coated, plasma cleaning prior to conformal coating improves the adhesion and flow characteristics of the coatings applied. The enhanced surface wettability from plasma treatment results in improved adhesion of the conformal coating to difficult-to-adhere-to substrates.

Catheters / Stents - In catheter manufacturing, plasma treatment strengthens the balloon-catheter bond and improves the uniformity and adhesion of hydrophilic and lubricious coatings to various catheters. Additionally, plasma deposition techniques are employed to directly deposit coatings that provide enhanced biocompatibility or allow direct coupling of bioactive agents to improve the catheters in-vivo performance. Plasma can also be used to remove polishing residues from implantable metals stents. It is a superior final cleaning step that helps improve the biocompatibility and bondability of many medical product or components.

Ocular / Ophthalmic - Contact or intraocular lens manufacturing and coating operations are processes that can benefit from using plasma to clean the reusable fixture components. Plasma deposition is used to provide coatings for contact or intraocular lenses to improve wettability, and enhance adhesion of liquid based chemistries.

Contact lens plasma treatment is a common functionalization application where the lens surface is oxidized to create a hydrophilic lens surface that is resistant to protein deposition. The plasma process allows for improved comfort and longer wear. An additional example is the use of plasma to remove contamination from process carriers used in the manufacture of contact lenses. Plasma cleaning can permit rework or maintain multiple use fixtures and process components by eliminating build-up that may occur through repetitive use.

Filter Media - The performance of filter media can be dramatically enhanced by the use of plasma via functionalization and deposition processes. Deposition of materials on filter media that function as tie layers for the attachment of an anti-coagulant such as heparin and anti-viral or anti-microbial molecules to surfaces has also been proven.

Medical Electronics - In the assembly of medical device microelectronics, Nordson MARCH's plasma treatment technology modifies surfaces for better adhesion.

Wire Bonding for Medical Devices - Gas plasma technology cleans the pads prior to wire bonding to improve bond strengths and yields. Poor bond strengths and low yields are often due to upstream contamination sources or the selection of materials in medical devices.

Underfill for Medical Electronics - Plasma-enhanced surface preparation prior to the underfill process has proven to increase underfill wicking speed, increase fillet height and uniformity, minimize voiding, and improve underfill adhesion.

Encapsulation & Molding for Medical Devices - Plasma processing greatly improves adhesion of mold compounds by increasing the substrate surface energy and results in increased package reliability.

Bonding Dissimilar Materials - Plasma has been proven to help bond dissimilar materials including metals and various plastics. It can reduce manufacturing time and costs by potentially eliminating the need for primers. Stronger bonds from plasma can be a combination of several plasma processes. Depending on the process gas selected, plasma can clean, activate and roughen the surface to optimize the strength and quality of the bond by enhancing the physical and chemical aspects of the bond.

Microfluidics Wettability - Microfluidic devices have extremely small channels which allow the analyte to flow through the channels to the detector or processing element. Critical to the success of the microchannel is its wettability as any trapped bubbles will result in device failure by preventing the analyte fluid flow. Plasma can be used to improve the wettability of these inherently hydrophobic polymeric channels to ensure that the fluid flows reliably.

Tack Reduction - Polymers used in medical devices such as silicone are selected due to their chemical properties and inherent biocompatibility. Silicone materials however suffer from the tackiness of the material. Plasma deposition processes have been used to reduce the coefficient of friction of tacky materials while maintaining the materials bulk properties.

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