Ceramic Blades for Microsurgical Instruments

Period of Performance: 04/01/1993 - 09/30/1993


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Technology Assessment & Transfer, Inc.
133 Defense Highway, Suite 212 Array
Annapolis, MD 21401
Principal Investigator


This application proposes research on the fabrication and testing of advanced ceramic blades for microsurgical cutting shears used in ophthalmic neurologic, plastic and otologic procedures. Current stainless steel blades wear rapidly in use and further when subjected to an autoclave environment for sterilization. Because of the higher hardness and chemical inertness of ceramic materials, ceramic blades have the potential to reduce wear by one hundred-fold or more. Ceramic blanks will be processed, cut and lapped, and then laser machined to the exact shape of current metal blades. Comparative wear test of ceramic and metal blades will then be carried out using an oscillating (fretting) wear tester. The wear improvement of the ceramic blades will be documented and these blades will then be tested by an ophthalmic surgeon on swine eyes. Phase II of this project will extend this Phase 1 effort to clinical evaluation with prototype ophthalmic instruments.