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Q: What characteristics are important in a catheter?

A: Every catheter style is different and the performance requirements are primarily based on the end application. In general there are several things to consider when designing a catheter. These are: Size, number of lumens, number of layers, the profile of the catheter and the lumens, flexibility vs. stiffness, responsiveness to torque, bondability, chemical resistance, lubricious needs, kink-resistance, wall strength, radiopaque characteristics, ability to be marked and printed upon, thermoplastic selection (choosing the right material for the complex requirement), thermoplastic availability (strongly tied to cost), thermoplastic color, thermoplastic purity, elongation characteristics, elongation memory (i.e. does it stay stretched), thermoplastic bio-additives or coatings, durometer and durometer changes, as well as tapering and bump transitions.

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