|The Z-Tip is fabricated using high-energy fusion-welding technologies to melt a preconstructed core-wire section of a twisted wire brush into a smooth and inseparable protective tip.|
Brushes serve a multitude of everyday purposes. They vacuum your rug, remove lint from your jacket, and style your hair. Less well known is that brushes are also used by manufacturers of endoscopy and cytology instruments to perform QA/QC operations. However, endoscopy and cytology brushes also require special tips to protect equipment. The problem is, not all tips are created equal.
Determined to devise a process for making brush tips that avoids the pitfalls of today’s standard manufacturing methods, Sanderson MacLeod has developed the Z-Tip, a component that is fabricated using a combination of high-energy fusion-welding technologies to melt a preconstructed core-wire section of a twisted-wire brush into a consistently smooth and inseparable protective tip. “Made of surgical-grade stainless steel, the advantage of the Z-Tip is that it is the same metallurgic unit as the core wire of the brush itself,” remarks Mark Borsari, vice president of strategy and development for Sanderson MacLeod.
Available for all commonly used twisted-wire medical brush applications, the Z-Tip has a mirror-like surface that will not scratch or scar. Its one-piece construction ensures that the tip cannot fall off and the wire cannot protrude through the tip. Furthermore, because the Z-Tip brush and tip form a single metallurgic unit, there are no biocompatibility issues. And because it cannot scar, the tip enhances endoscope sterility by preventing the formation of grooves that trap contaminants.
“Previously, there were four types of commonly used medical brush protective tips—the insert-molded tip, the light-cured acrylic tip, the hand-crimped tip, and the fan tip,” Borsari explains. “But all four of these traditional medical brush tips have significant flaws.” For example, insert-molded tips can detach from the brush’s twisted wire, or they can cause the core wire to protrude through the plastic tip surface. Like insert molding, light-cured acrylic tips can cause the core wire to protrude through the acrylic surface, according to Borsari. They can also result in a rough surface and inconsistent tip dimensions. Detachment problems also afflict hand-crimped tips, while inadequate protection in fan-tipped brushes can lead to scratching, poking, and scarring of medical equipment.
“Protective tips for endoscopy and cytology applications are already an industry standard,” Borsari remarks. Currently, the Z-Tip is being manufactured for endoscopy cleaning brushes and cytology brushes, both of which have broad applications because endoscopic and diagnostic cell collection procedures are used in many parts of the body, Borsari notes. “The Z-Tip is valuable for any situation in which a twisted-wire brush is used to clean or collect material from the inside of tubing or any type of tubular equipment.”
Published in MPMN, September 2010, Volume 26, No. 7
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