Solutions We've Pioneered

ProPlate’s dedicated new product development team supports new medical device projects from concept through commercialization through our proven process roadmap.

ProPlate® has a library of solutions for a wide range of parts and industries. We are always pleased to take on new challenging projects.

Below are a few examples of Catheter Performance Innovations we have pioneered.

Gold, blue, and split catheter gold plated animation with white backdrop
ProPlate’s Vizi-Band® Radiopaque Marker Sample kit is a useful representation of our radiopaque marker coating innovation and capabilities. The sample kit includes 5 stainless steel hypo-tubes of Vizi-Band® with thicknesses ranging from 500μ”-2,100μ”


Radiopaque Marker Coating

Contests & Awards:

2015 Minnesota MedTech Week Innovation Contest-Top 10 Finalist: Vizi-Band®

2015 MD&M West & UBM Canon Supplier Innovation Challenge-Top 10 Finalist: Vizi-Band®

2016 BIOMEDevice San Jose Innovation Contest-Top 5 Finalist: Vizi-Band®

2017 BIOMEDevice Boston Must See Product-Top 11 Finalist: Vizi-Band®

2017 MD&M Minneapolis Emerging Technologies Tour-Top 5 Finalist: Vizi-Band®

The Product: Vizi-Band®

Vizi-Band® is a radiopaque marker coating innovation. It is a proprietary metal coating process that atomically bonds directly to a catheter, guidewire, stent, or similar component. The highly radiopaque and biocompatible metal coating can be selectively applied to any section of the desired component, with endless options for customization depending on the application and intended use. Vizi-Band® is a replacement for traditional marker bands with potential performance and cost advantages.

The Challenge

The struggles with marker bands and radiopacity in medical devices encompass challenges in achieving secure attachment and stability, as they can detach or migrate during device insertion, leading to incorrect positioning. Additionally, ensuring the necessary radiopacity while maintaining mechanical properties proves difficult, often requiring a delicate balance of materials. Installing marker bands and ring electrodes into complex geometries is also a major challenge regarding traditional bands. Innovations in advanced material composites, nanotechnology, and bioabsorbable marker bands aim to address these issues, but they can sometimes fail to provide an option that will last long-term and for all applications. Vizi-Band® aims to solve these issues with a metal coating that can be applied to just the area needed that satisfies both radiopacity and device stability in the body.

Catheter Marker Bands

Marker bands help with the placement and guidance of catheters during medical procedures due to their radio-opaque properties. A traditional marker band is a short, thin-walled tube machined from gold or platinum that is mechanically crimped or swaged at specific locations on a catheter to provide high levels of visibility under an x-ray fluoroscope. This allows surgeons to precisely locate the catheter placement deep within the body to deploy stents, balloons, and other devices. 

The Engineered Solution

ProPlate® worked in order to achieve comparable radiopacity to traditional markers. A set of studies were conducted until ProPlate® was satisfied with the results. Through these trials, ProPlate® developed Vizi-Band®, a highly radiopaque and biocompatible metal coating that can be selectively applied to any area of the desired component, with endless options for design and brightness customization. Custom tooling and masking were developed to ensure consistent and accurate positioning of the Vizi-Band® marker coating along the catheter, guidewire, hypotube, stent, or similar components. Vizi-Band® allows a manufacturer to reduce the labor component of handling and attaching the traditional marker bands, reduce the cost of machining them from solid gold, and improve distal tip flexibility. Vizi-Band® not only improved application performance by reducing the catheter profile but also eliminated the risk of traditional marker band dislodgement due to it being atomically bonded to the component.

The Benefits
  • Reduce Device Profile
  • Improve Distal Tip Flexibility
  • Eliminate Dislodgement
  • Atomically Bonded Coating
  • Custom Shapes, Designs & Marker Placement
  • Tailored RO Brightness
ProPlate’s Vizi-Band® Radiopaque Marker Sample kit is a useful representation of our radiopaque marker coating innovation and capabilities. The sample kit includes 5 stainless steel hypo-tubes of Vizi-Band® with thicknesses ranging from 500μ”-2,100μ”
Have more Questions? Request a capabilities presentation with one of our business development specialists.
The Product: Meta-Poly®

Meta-Poly® is a proprietary plating process that atomically bonds metal directly to a polymer substrate without using toxic chromic acid. Although medical device uses for Meta-Poly® are vast, it is especially exciting for catheter applications. With this innovation, manufacturers can precisely add radiopaque markers and current-conducting paths onto polymers. The type of metal is tailored to the application, and Meta-Poly® can be selectively applied to the desired component with endless design options.

Coating Precious Metal onto Polymers

Metal on polymers was first widely used by the automotive industry in the 1960s. It is still frequently performed by that industry today. It is commonly achieved through the electroless plating process. Traditionally, before coating can be applied, a chemical etching process is performed to prepare the surface of the polymer.

The Challenge

The chemical etching process traditionally used to prepare the plastic surface for plating involves toxic chromic acid-based solutions. Although this may be beneficial for adhesion and an acceptable process for the automotive industry, this toxic surface preparation is not acceptable for medical industry applications. There are readily available alternative methods, such as painting the polymer with metallic-filled paint so that the layer of paint is conductive and electroplating can then be applied. However, this method is also problematic in critical applications like medical devices due to the bond being only as strong as the paint, which causes adhesion failures. 

The Engineered Solution

After a complete analysis of the manufacturing process, an innovative use of current technologies was developed by ProPlate® to electroplate polymer substrates without the use of chemical etching or metal-filled paints. Because this proprietary process does not involve chemical etching, biocompatibility is not an issue. With ProPlate’s Meta-Poly® innovation, the bond between the polymer substrate and electroplated metal is comparable to a metal-to-metal atomically electroplated bond, eliminating the adhesion issues experienced using alternative methods. Although the medical device applications are limitless, Meta-Poly® is especially exciting for catheter applications. For example, ProPlate® can selectively add radiopaque markers and current-conducting paths to polymers. Meta-Poly® provides the same benefits as plating on metallic surfaces, eliminates the risk of dislodgment, maintains a low profile, offers cost reduction, and provides endless possibilities for design customization.

The Benefits
  • Reduce Device Profile
  • Biocompatible
  • Atomically Bonded Coating
  • Selectively Applied
  • Electrically Conductive
  • Maintain Polymer Plasticity
Potential Applications
  • Micro-Circuitry & Electrodes
  • Sensing & Signals
  • Stimulation & Ablation
  • Monitoring & Diagnostics

Our robust metallizing processes are thoroughly designed and maintained to ensure the highest quality standards. Medical Device Quality System: ISO 13485:2016 Certified


AU & PT Ring Electrodes

Client: Medical Equipment and Supplies OEM

Catheter Performance Innovations electrodes
The Product
Catheter Electrodes

There are several broad categories of electrodes used in catheter assemblies; ring electrodes, electrode pads, probes, cores, and wires. Traditionally catheter manufacturers and OEMs implement platinum-iridium(Pt/Ir) or stainless-steel electrode components through laser micro-machining, crimping, coiling, or swaging onto industry-standard nitinol, tungsten, MP35N, or stainless-steel base materials. These electrodes are typically applied to the tips of catheters, pull ring assemblies, discrete struts of stents, flexible laser-slotted hypo-tubes and rigid hypo-tubes, guidewire tips, needles, mandrel cores, and other similar catheter-based components. The most common functional uses of catheter electrodes are broadly categorized as ablation, stimulation, and sensing electrodes. More specifically, several designs are commonly used in electrode applications: monopolar, concentric, and macro electrode designs…

To read more about the challenge and engineered solution please download the full case study.

ProPlate® partners with industry-leading medical technology companies around the world who share our core values; Innovative, Collaborative, Critical Thinking, Driven, Quality Minded, and Reputable.

Pull Rings

Stainless Steel Catheter Pull Ring 

Client: Medical Equipment and Supplies OEM

Gold plating services Catheter Performance Innovations pull ring
The Product
Catheter Pull Rings

A pull ring is part of a medical catheter assembly. The pull ring allows for steerability and deflection of the catheter during a procedure. Typically, to deflect the tip of a catheter, a wire that runs the length of the catheter shaft is pulled, joined to the catheter’s distal tip. The pull wire is commonly installed by welding a stainless-steel wire to a stainless-steel ring and then installing the ring within the distal end of the catheter through a reflow process or similar. When the wire is pulled from the assembly’s proximal end, the ring location will determine the deflected shape. Frequently a catheter needs to deflect in two directions for a procedure, which requires two pull wires installed within the ring on opposite sides from each other. At the proximal end of a pull, wire assembly is usually a handle, giving the operator of the catheter the option to contract and release the tip of the guidewire as the catheter is placed…

To read more about the challenge and engineered solution please download the full case study.

Contact us to request information about our plating and metal finishing services

We Are Dedicated to Partnering With Our Customers

Professional Plating Inc. has specialized in engineered coating solutions for the medical industry for more than 35 years. The company works with customers from the prototype development stage through production to create custom electroplating solutions designed for unique requirements. ProPlate® has pioneered selective precious metal plating innovations for medical devices and applications such as balloon catheters, radiopaque markers, and catheter-based components and continues to be an industry-leading electroplater.

Catheter Electrodes Case Study
Pull-Rings-Case Study

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