Welding methods for joining thermoplastic polymers for the hermetic enclosure of medical devices

  • Amanat N
  • James N
  • McKenzie D
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Abstract

New high performance polymers have been developed that challenge traditional encapsulation materials for permanent active medical implants. The gold standard for hermetic encapsulation for implants is a titanium enclosure which is sealed using laser welding. Polymers may be an alternative encapsulation material. Although many polymers are biocompatible, and permeability of polymers may be reduced to acceptable levels, the ability to create a hermetic join with an extended life remains the barrier to widespread acceptance of polymers for this application. This article provides an overview of the current techniques used for direct bonding of polymers, with a focus on thermoplastics. Thermal bonding methods are feasible, but some take too long and/or require two stage processing. Some methods are not suitable because of excessive heat load which may be delivered to sensitive components within the capsule. Laser welding is presented as the method of choice; however the establishment of suitable laser process parameters will require significant research. © 2010.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Direct bonding
  • Implantable devices
  • Joining polymers
  • Medical device
  • Polymeric encapsulation

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Authors

  • Negin Amanat

  • Natalie L. James

  • David R. McKenzie

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