Preventive Medicine

Fine wire and value added processes for medical and industrial applications

By preventing medical conditions before they occur, patients can find sustainable healthcare and save resources, as well as improve the quality of life on an individual basis and on a large scale in communities and populations.

Wire for early breast cancer detection

If a mammography shows an abnormality, the surgeon needs to find and remove the lesion in a procedure known as a lumpectomy. By inserting the wire-component with the help of a needle, the surgeon can use medical imaging to guide the wire to the exact location of the mass. The design makes it possible for the surgeon to reposition the wire, if needed.

The wire is fitted with a barb that opens once the wire has reached the right place, effectively marking the lesion which can then be accurately removed in surgery and sent for testing to check if it is cancerous. Catching the disease at an early stage is considered crucial for increasing the success of subsequent treatment.

Medical wire-based components come in different lengths to accommodate for the size of the patient’s breast and depth of the lesion. Using the correct wire length means the surgeon can reach as far into the breast tissue as required to properly indicate the lesion’s position.

There are two significant benefits to using wire localization compared to other procedures: The surgery is less invasive because less breast tissue must be removed. Secondly, the procedure keeps scarring to a minimum. All without compromising the accuracy of cancer detection.

Real time monitoring for diabetes care

Devices such as continuous glucose monitors (CGM) or oximeters (which can either provide continuous monitoring or spot-checking) are part of an expanding range of monitors and sensors that were initially developed for clinical settings but have now been modified so that they can be used by individuals for use in the outside world. A breakthrough benefit of continuous monitoring of this kind is the potential for preventative medical intervention, as problems can be detected immediately.

The remotely monitored device that our ultra-fine wire is used in and that we help to manufacture in the largest volume is the continuous glucose monitors for people with diabetes. It can be set up so that others can monitor that same person’s glucose, so if a parent wants to monitor their child while they’re in school, they can get readings from the device throughout the day.

Heart failure prevention

Another area for preventative medicine are in devices that manage heart failure before it gets to an acute stage. Implantable monitoring devices can detect changes in pulmonary-artery pressure. Comprising an implantable pulmonary-artery sensor and a fine-wire transmission system, these devices allow patients to send readings directly to a physician.

Patients, healthcare providers, and loved ones will be alerted if the patient is at risk. Continuous monitoring allows for physicians to provide treatment or adjust medication based on real-time data without patients needing to frequently visit a healthcare facility.

Advancements in cardiovascular monitoring devices have changed and saved lives. Even athletes in peak physical shape have found themselves in need of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) and have not only been able to live a fulfilling life, but have been able to return to their sport.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD)
An ICD is placed under the skin and continually checks heart rate and rhythm using electrodes. If the ICD picks up a dangerous heart rhythm, it can intervene in a number of ways. For pacing, it delivers a series of fast-paced low-voltage electrical impulses to correct the heart rhythm, while for cardioversion it delivers one or more small electric shocks. For defibrillation, one or more larger electric shocks is delivered in order to return to a healthy heart rhythm.

Implantable cardioverter defibrillators are used by a wide range of people who have had a life-threatening abnormal heart rhythm and are at risk of it happening again, or tests show you are at risk of one in the future, usually due to inherited conditions such as Cardiomyopathy, Long QT syndrome or Brugada syndrome. Patients who have heart failure and are at risk of developing a life-threatening heart rhythm require cardiac resynchronization therapy with a defibrillator (CRT-D), which is a device that combines a pacemaker with an ICD.

The wire components in these devices are vitally important, as changes to pulmonary artery pressure must be reliably sensed and transmitted for the device to work. The ultra-fine medical wire from Alleima is perfectly calibrated for each application, utilizing a team of experts in metallurgy, process development, and surface treatments.