INNOVATIVE SCALPEL BENEFITS FROM COPOLYMER COMPONENTS

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ANAHEIM, CALIF. — I.C. Medical Inc. manufactures the PenEvac electrocautery scalpel system using three grades of Phillips Chemical Co.'s K-Resin styrene butadiene copolymer.

``I make one size, and it fits them all,'' Ioan Cosmescu, I.C. Medical president and chief executive officer, said in a telephone interview.

A shroud holds an electrosurgical pencil, and the system suctions away surgical smoke and particulate, protecting staff and patients from the toxins, smell and transmission of bacteria and viruses.

In 1993, Cosmescu, the inventor, made the shroud of polycarbonate. Several sizes were needed, and 0.60-inch walls made the shroud bulky and uncomfortable for doctors during a long operation. Thinner walls would have fractured.

The K-Resin version, introduced in late 1995, has a wall thickness of 0.25-0.30 inch and maintains structural integrity.

Further, K-Resin is flexible enough to hold many different types of electrocautery surgical pencils on the market.

A PenEvac ``scalpel'' is attached to the firm's Crystal Vision automatic smoke evacuation system, which has a high-velocity vortex.

The surgeon has an unobstructed view. The PenEvac's clear tip is injection molded with K-Resin KR01 copolymer with a wall thickness of 0.20 inch.

The material supplier is a division of Phillips Petroleum Co. of Bartlesville, Okla.

I.C. Medical was formed in 1989 and employs 16 at a 10,000-square-foot facility in Glendale, Ariz.

The firm designs, develops and injection molds many of its own parts on a 110-ton JSW press, 83-and 28-ton Arburgs and a 75-ton Van Dorn machine, and also has an electronics assembly line.

An in-house machine shop designs and makes the firm's molds.