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CATHETER TIP DEFLECTION FIXTURE SUMMARY
Pipeline designed and built a test fixture that is placed in a load testing machine for analyzing the rigidity of the distal tip of a catheter.

TEAM:
Mechanical Engineers

DESIGN TOOLS USED:
SolidWorks

MARKET:
Medical Device Manufacturing and R&D

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

  • Isolate the deflection to the distal tip only
  • Allow for different moment arm lengths via adjustable position of distal shaft holder relative to the load cell/anvil
  • Angle of distal shaft should be adjustable so the distal tip can be set as close to horizontal (normal to load cell) as possible
  • Load should be applied evenly on distal tip

SUMMARY OF ACTIVITIES

The catheter handle is set in its nest and allowed to freely rotate, and the distal shaft area is grasped by a clamping feature. The fixture was designed to maintain a straight catheter shaft so that the distal tip can be more easily aligned with a force probe. After being secured, the distal shaft area is pivoted up and down as needed using the integrated gauge block to align the distal tip to a perfectly horizontal position.

The position of the clamping block is adjustable using an included adjustment screw, in order to effectively align the distal tip with the anvil. This specially-designed anvil is then used to determine the force deflection curve while bending the catheter’s distal tip. Activities performed during development include preliminary design, internal design review meetings, detailed design, multiple design review meetings with customer team, final design, manufacturing, assembly, internal test and validation, delivery, customer test/validation/measurement systems analysis.

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