The challenges in medical technology are enormous and the requirements for materials used for implants are especially high. Traditionally, mainly metallic titanium alloys are used in the human body. Besides biocompatibility and long-term stable mechanical properties other aspects like a good x-ray transparency also become important. A subdomain of neurosurgery deals with the treatment of aneurysms. An aneurysm is a local blood filled bulging of a blood vessel, and its presence can be very dangerous, as a ruptured aneurysm may lead to life-threatening bleedings. A standard treatment clamps the aneurysm at its base using a clip, so that it can be emptied on purpose. Currently, all aneurysm clips available on the market are metallic and therefore limit the visibility and possibility of monitoring postoperative conditions by CT scan (computer tomography)and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Within the project InnoClip IVW formed a team together with NEOS SURGERY and ADETE, dedicated to the development of a new x-ray transparent aneurysm clip based on biocompatible materials, namely carbon reinforced composites.
The use of polymeric materials reduces the formation of x-ray or MRI-artifacts during imaging procedures compared to titanium alloy aneurysm clips and enables less time consuming, more cost-effective and less risky patient follow-ups.
In addition, automated manufacturing processes can be used, which promise a significant productivity and cost advantage over the hand-crafted metal clamps. Within the project several design studies were conducted and detailed concepts for the implementation of a carbon fiber reinforced polymer aneurysm clip were developd. Currently, prototypes are in the manufacturing and testing phase.