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Novel coating for medical devices enhances ultrasound imaging


Connect, March/April 1999

For current information see Phyz TM biocompatible coating

A coating has been developed successfully by TWI in collaboration with St George's Hospital and BTG which provides significant enhancement of biopsy needles under ultrasound imaging.

Fine needle aspirates, biopsies and drainage procedures under ultrasound guidance are common procedures, carried out in many hospitals. Accurate localisation of the device is a pre-requisite for a successful outcome. This is difficult to achieve with small diameter needles or catheters using current ultrasound sensitive devices.

Medical biopsy needles and close-up of coated tips
Medical biopsy needles and close-up of coated tips
Enlargement of the biopsy needles showing bubbles generated at the surface
Enlargement of the biopsy needles showing bubbles generated at the surface

The coating consists of a polymeric matrix and a bubbling agent. The novel preparation and deposition techniques have been developed to produce a coating with the desired properties.

The coated needles have been used successfully for in-vitro trials using a tissue-mimicking phantom.

It is expected that the patented new coating technology will have a significant impact on the success of ultrasound-guided biopsy procedures.

This work has been funded jointly by BTG and the Department of Health through a MedLINK grant.

Companies interested in developing this new coating should contact Ewen Kellar in the Advanced Materials and Processes Department. E-mail: ewen.kellar@twi.co.uk

For more information please email:


contactus@twi.co.uk