"PEEK is the one of the highest performing materials we extrude and it has some natural lubricity, but not as much as fluoropolymers," states Zeus staff material scientist Irina Roof, PhD. "Zeus set out to alter the surface of a PEEK tube to make PEEK surface lubricity closer to that of fluoropolymers."
When contemplating how to improve the lubricity of their high-performance PEEK (polyetheretherketone) polymer, Zeus took a cue from Mother Nature, and looked to something as simple as the lotus leaf. PEEK Surface Engineered products work much the same way as natural protrusions on lotus and water lilies that allow water to bead on them instead of wetting the leaves.
Roof elaborates that Zeus customers have reported a tremendous decrease in drag force with the PEEK Engineered Surface tubing. "Imagine the pushability of PEEK with the lubricity of a fluoropolymer," explains Roof. "In addition, what we’re offering is 100% PEEK with no fillers, so customers won’t need to qualify product through the FDA. Zeus’ new Engineered Surface PEEK tubing simply uses enhanced PEEK properties and is therefore ideal for use as introducers and minimally invasive delivery therapy aids."
Stronger, more lubricious material such as PEEK Engineered Surface Tubing means potentially less trauma to patients due to less surface contact. Roof notes that Zeus surface engineering methodology can also be applied to fluropolymers, decreasing the coefficient of friction on what is already the most lubricious known substance to man.
Zeus has a world-renowned sampling programme to allow customers to evaluate products for their next generation prototypes.
PEEK Engineered Surface Tubing is the perfect example of what makes Zeus a leading partner in medical innovations," notes Roof. "We are regularly finding new ways this product benefits our customers and have become well known as a solutions provider. The next step is for our customers to take these surface engineered tubes into their environments for testing. After that, the possibilities are endless."