Continuous process for electropolishing surgical needles

  • US 5,935,411 A
  • Filed: 05/16/1997
  • Issued: 08/10/1999
  • Est. Priority Date: 05/16/1997
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. A continuous process for electropolishing surgical needles, said process comprising:

  • mounting a plurality of surgical needles to an electrically conductive carrier means, said needles comprising an elongated member having a distal piercing tip and a proximal suture mounting end;

    moving the carrier means and needles, such that at least a section of each of the needles moves along a path in a direction through an electropolishing bath, said bath comprising an aqueous electrolyte and a cathodic electrode and an anodic electrode, wherein the anodic electrode is electrically contacted to the carrier means;

    moving the bath in a direction such that the direction of the bath is about 180 degrees opposite to the direction of movement of the needles for at least one-half of the path of the needles through the bath;

    passing an electrical current through the needles in the bath;

    maintaining the needles in the electropolishing bath for a sufficient residence time at a sufficient temperature and a sufficient current flow to effectively remove metal from the surface of the surgical needles.

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