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Title:
PROCESS OF CHANGING CROSS-SECTIONAL SHAPE WITHIN A TEXTILE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/017945
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A method of changing the cross-sectional shape of at least a portion of a textile having a different cross-sectional shape using tension, radial motion, and optionally, heat, is disclosed. Also an apparatus is disclosed for performing this process, as well as a product made by the same.

Inventors:
KIEFER, Robert, A. (1123 Doylestown Pike, Quakertown, PA, 18951, US)
SPANGENBERG, Nathan (1950 Freier Road, Quakertown, PA, 18951, US)
BURKE, Stephanie (672 Harrisburg School Road, Quakertown, PA, 18951, US)
OLTMAN, Matthew (514 W. Market Street, Perkasie, PA, 18944, US)
MOLZ, Thomas, R. (2373 Greensward South, Warrington, PA, 18976, US)
Application Number:
US2017/043268
Publication Date:
January 25, 2018
Filing Date:
July 21, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
US BIODESIGN, INC. (101 E. Mill Street, Suite PQuakertown, PA, 18951, US)
International Classes:
D04H3/00; D04H1/00
Domestic Patent References:
2015-11-12
Foreign References:
US4272950A1981-06-16
US20140343580A12014-11-20
US20130261662A12013-10-03
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SCOLA, Daniel, A., Jr. et al. (Hoffmann & Baron, LLP6900 Jericho Turnpik, Syosset NY, 11791, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED:

1. A method for making a textile having more than one cross-sectional shape comprising:

providing a textile having a first cross-sectional shape, a longitudinal length and opposed side portions, the longitudinal length defining an longitudinal axis;

selecting a portion of the textile to define a selected portion distinct from a non- selected portion;

applying a first tensile force to the selected portion of the textile;

moving the opposed side portions of the selected portion of the textile in a radial direction which is circumferential to the longitudinal axis to form a second cross-sectional shape which is different from the first cross-sectional shape;

setting the second cross-sectional shape; and

applying a second tensile force to the selected portion of the textile;

wherein the selected portion of the textile has the second cross-sectional shape and the non-selected portion of the textile has the first cross-sectional shape.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the first cross-sectional shape is a rectangular shape.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the textile is in a form of an elongate tape.

4. The method of any preceding claim, wherein the second cross-sectional shape is a circular shape.

5. The method of claim 1, 2 or 3, wherein the second cross-sectional shape is an oval shape.

6. The method of any preceding claim, wherein the step of moving the opposed side portions of the selected portion of the textile in a radial direction further comprises twisting the selected portion of the textile.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the twisting the selected portion of the textile is at a rate from about 2 turns per inch of longitudinal length of the selected portion to about 10 turns per inch of longitudinal length of the selected portion.

8. The method of claim 6, wherein the twisting the selected portion the textile is at a rate from about 3 turns per inch of longitudinal length of the selected portion to about 5 turns per inch of longitudinal length of the selected portion.

9. The method of claim 6, wherein the twisting the selected portion of the textile is at a rate of about 4 turns per inch of longitudinal length of the selected portion.

10. The method of any preceding claim, wherein the selected portion of the textile further comprises opposed first and second longitudinal ends; and wherein the step of applying the first tensile force to the selected portion of the textile further comprises:

releasably securing the first longitudinal end at a fixed gripper;

releasably securing the second longitudinal end at a rotating gripper; and

twisting the selected portion of the textile at the rotating gripper while applying the first tensile force.

11. The method of any preceding claim, wherein the step of moving the opposed side portions of the selected portion of the textile in a radial direction further comprises curling the opposed side portions of the selected portion of the textile.

12. The method of any preceding claim, wherein the step of setting the second cross- sectional shape further comprises:

providing a heat source; and

heating the selected portion of the textile with the heat source.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the textile comprises a polymeric material; and wherein the heating step comprises heating the selected portion of the selected textile to a temperature at or near a melt temperature of the polymeric material.

14. The method of claim 12, wherein the setting step further comprises:

compressing the selected portion of the textile.

15. The method of claim 12, wherein the setting step further comprises:

removing the heat source after heating prior to the step of applying the second tensile force to the selected portion of the textile.

16. The method of claim 6, wherein the first tensile force is from about 1 pound-force to about 2 pounds-force.

17. The method of claim 11, wherein the first tensile force is from about 2 pounds- force to about 70 pounds-force.

18. The method of any preceding claim, wherein the second tensile force is from about 1 pound-force to about 5 pounds-force.

19. The method of any preceding claim, wherein the textile comprises a polymeric material selected from the group consisting of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) polyesters, polypropylenes, poly ethylenes, polyurethanes, polyolefins, polyvinyls, polymethylacetates, polyamides, naphthalane dicarboxylene derivatives, polyvinyl chloride, polytetrafluoroethylene, expanded

polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE), fluorinated ethylene propylene copolymer, polyvinyl acetate, polystyrene, naphthalene dicarboxylate derivatives, polyurethane, polyurea, polyamides, polycarbonates, poly aldehydes, polyester copolymers, styrene-butadiene copolymers, polyethers, poly(L-lactide) (PLLA), poly(D,L-lactide) (PLA), poly(glycolide) (PGA), poly(L-lactide-co-D,L-lactide) (PLLA/PLA), poly(L-lactide-co-glycolide)

(PLLA/PGA), poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLA/PGA), poly(glycolide-co-trimethylene carbonate) (PGA/PTMC), polydioxanone (PDS), Polycaprolactone (PCL),

polyhydroxybutyrate (PHBT), poly(phosphazene) poly(D,L-lactide-co-caprolactone) PLA/PCL), poly(glycolide-co-caprolactone) (PGA/PCL), polyphosphate ester) and any combination thereof.

20. The method of any preceding claim, wherein the textile is

a braided textile, a knitted textile, a woven textile, an electro-spun textile, or any combination thereof.

21. The method of any preceding claim, further comprising:

providing a sacrificial wire; and

helically winding the selected portion of the textile about the sacrificial wire.

22. The method of claim 21, further comprising:

removing the sacrificial wire after setting the second cross-sectional shape.

23. An apparatus for forming a varied cross-sectional shape within a textile comprising:

a fixed gripper for releasably securing a first portion of the textile;

a rotatable gripper for releasably securing and twisting a second portion of a the textile; and

a heating and compression element positionable between the fixed gripper and the rotatable gripper.

24. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein the heating and compression element comprises a hot compression die.

25. The apparatus of claim 24, further comprising an infrared heat source.

25. The apparatus of claim 24, wherein the hot compression die is a 3D die.

26. A textile suture made up of polymeric fibers having a varied cross-sectional shape made by the process of claim 1, wherein the polymeric fibers are integrally woven between the selected portion of the textile and the non-selected portion of the textile.

27. The polymeric suture of claim 26, wherein an interface between the selected portion of the textile and the non- selected portion of the textile is free of stitches and glue.

28. The polymeric suture of claim 26, wherein the selected portion of the textile has a circular or oval cross-sectional shape.

29. The polymeric suture of claim 26, wherein the non-selected portion of the textile has a flat rectangular cross-sectional shape.

30. A textile suture made up of integrally woven polymeric fibers comprising: at least one selected portion having a first cross-sectional shape; and at least one non-selected portion having a second cross-sectional shape.

31. The textile suture of claim 30, comprising two selected portions with each having a round cross-sectional shape, and one selected portion having a square or rectangular cross- sectional shape.

32. The textile suture of claim 31, wherein the two selected portions are located at the ends of the suture.

Description:
PROCESS OF CHANGING CROSS-SECTIONAL SHAPE

WITHIN A TEXTILE

FIELD

[0001] The disclosure is related to a means for making textiles having more than one cross-sectional shape by using a combination of tension and/or compression and/or twisting and heat.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Currently certain textiles are formed using complicated machines that make textiles into their final shape. These machines tend to be very expensive and tend to have slow production rates. The orthopedic high strength suture market is evolving and flat sutures are becoming more preferable to conventional round sutures. The flat cross-sectional shape of newer suture designs is better at distributing stress over the anatomy without causing pull through. Pull through is when a suture has such a high load applied through it that it cuts through the tissue that it is holding. However, it is preferred that flat sutures have round or elliptical cross sections at the ends of the structure for ease of use of current suture passer technology and entry into the anatomy, among other purposes. The rounded ends of the suture allow the suture to be integrated into the suture passer instrumentation that is used to deliver the suture into the anatomy. For example, U.S. Patent Application Number

2005/0192631 describes a technique for making high strength suture tape by combining a round tape and a flat tape. The following disclosure proposes a novel method for forming a second cross-sectional shape into a portion of a suture or textile having a first cross-sectional shape, for example, forming round segments at the end of or in portions of the length of a flat polymer based textile. SUMMARY

[0003] A method is disclosed for making a textile having more than one cross- sectional shape. An embodiment is a method for forming a round cross-sectional shape on one or both ends of a flat tape high strength suture. That method includes providing a textile having a first cross-sectional shape, a longitudinal length and opposed side portions, the longitudinal length defining an longitudinal axis; selecting a portion of the textile to define a selected portion distinct from a non-selected portion; applying a first tensile force to the selected portion of the textile; moving the opposed side portions of the selected portion of the textile in a radial direction which is circumferential to the longitudinal axis to form a second cross-sectional shape which is different from the first cross-sectional shape; setting the second cross-sectional shape; and applying a second tensile force to the selected portion of the textile. The selected portion then has the second cross-sectional shape and the non- selected portion of the textile has the first cross-sectional shape.

[0004] The method may use heat applied to the textile, which causes the polymer used in the textile to slightly melt on the surface in an advantageous way. The textile may be a flat suture which may be twisted one or more times while placed under tension, for example, between a fixed gripper and a rotating gripper. Heat may then be applied to the twisted textile. Once the surface of textile has reached a specified temperature, the heating source may be removed and the textile may be stretched with an axial load. This produces a drawing effect and sets the permanent shape of the second cross-sectional shape, e.g., round or oval, of a portion of the textile, e.g., flat suture.

[0005] A process for forming a second cross-sectional shape within a textile disclosed herein may comprise the steps of: (a) isolating a portion of flat textile tape having a length; (b) applying limited tension (i.e., a first tensile force) to the portion; (c) applying a twist operation to the portion, thereby essentially changing the cross-sectional shape of structure change from flat to a second cross-sectional shape; (d) heating of the twisted portion with a heat source to a temperature at or slightly above the melt temperature of the material of the textile tape; (e) removing the heat source; and (f) increasing the tension (i.e., a second tensile force) of the heated twisted portion to produce a drawing effect.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] Figure 1 : Round/flat/round suture structure. Both of the ends on the suture have been rounded using the processing techniques described herein. [0007] Figure 2: Flat/round/flat suture structure. This figure shows a suture having a round cross section within the length of a discrete suture length.

[0008] Figure 3: Top view of an exemplary machine used to make discrete lengths of flat suture with round ends.

[0009] Figure 4: Side view of an exemplary machine used to make discrete lengths of flat suture with round ends.

[0010] Figure 5: Isometric view of an exemplary machine used to make discrete lengths of flat suture with round ends. This view shows the rotating gripper found within the ring structure.

[0011] Figure 6: View of hot compression die. This die will be heated and compression applied between the two die component halves to shape the textile.

[0012] Figure 7: View of textile with helical formed shape on end of a discrete length. The center shaft is a sacrificial mandrel that will be removed after shaping has completed.

[0013] Figure 8: Compression roller forming dies. These dies can be heated and used to compress the textile into the shape of the dies.

[0014] Figure 9: A suture having a textile shape that is created by only using isolated axial tension. The cross-sectional shape of the structure is C shaped and becomes more round under higher tension loads.

[0015] Figure 10: Isometric view of the suture of figure 9.

[0016] Figure 11 : A clam shell design of a hot-compression rigid die. The entrance side of the die is the current shape of the textile.

[0017] Figure 12: A view of a hot compression die showing shape of the output side feature is the intended shape of textile after processing. The die shown would create a width rolled circular cross-sectional shape.

[0018] Figure 13: Highly drawn flat to round textile.

[0019] Figure 14: Isometric view of a helical flat textile shaped structure formed by using a sacrificial shaping mandrel during processing.

[0020] Figure 15: Isometric view of a curved die. It is envisioned that a heated textile could be ran over this type of surface to create a curved product.

[0021] Figure 16: Side view of the curved die of figure 15.

[0022] Figure 17: Textile having a shape that would be created by using the type of curved former found in figure 15 and figure 16. [0023] Figure 18: Textile having a shape that is other than round. This shape would be very stiff in the vertical axis. This type of forming is capable of creating a fabric that has anisotropic properties.

[0024] Figure 19: Isometric view of a flat braided textile having button holes formed into it. The shaping needle is inserted into the braided structure while at ambient temperature. After insertion, the shaping needle is heated to a temperature that changes the crystallinity of the polymer and the hole remains within the braided structure after removal of the needle.

[0025] Figure 20: Isometric view of a flat braided textile with a button hole created using the technique also used to create figure 19.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0026] A method for making a textile having more than one cross-sectional shape is disclosed. That method includes: (a) providing a textile having a first cross-sectional shape, a longitudinal length and opposed side portions, the longitudinal length defining a longitudinal axis; (b) selecting a portion of the textile to define a selected portion distinct from a non- selected portion; (c) applying a first tensile force to the selected portion of the textile; (d) moving the opposed side portions of the selected portion of the textile in a radial direction which is circumferential to the longitudinal axis to form a second cross-sectional shape which is different from the first cross-sectional shape; (e) setting the second cross-sectional shape in the selected portion; and (d) applying a second tensile force to the selected portion of the textile. The selected portion of the textile has the second cross-sectional shape and the non- selected portion of the textile has the first cross-sectional shape.

[0027] Any cross-sectional shape may be formed within any portion(s) and at any length(s) of the textile. This second cross-sectional shape may be, for example, circular (or round), oval, helical, C-shaped, star shaped, square, rectangular, etc. For example: round or oval portions may be formed at one or both ends of the textile, wherein the textile has a flat first cross-sectional shape; a helical portion may be formed in one or more middle portions of the textile, wherein the textile has a flat or round first cross-sectional shape; or a C shaped portion may be formed in one or more middle portions or ends of the textile, wherein the textile has a flat or round first cross-sectional shape. There are any number of possible combinations of cross-sectional shapes and placement within the length of the textile. [0028] The textile may be of any first cross-sectional shape. This first cross-sectional shape may be, for example, circular (or round), oval, star shaped, square, rectangular, etc. The textile may be a flat or round braided structure or suture. It may be an elongate tape, or flat tape suture. The textile may be made from any known material found in the art, including but not limited to polyethylene (PE) (e.g., ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene), polyester (PET), resorbable poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA), resorbable polycaprolactone (PCL), resorbable polyglycolide or poly(glycolic acid) (PGA) and all molar ratios of the like, polydioxanone (PDO), aromatic polyesters (including but not limited to Liquid Crystal Polymer), high strength nylons (including but not limited to Kevlar), nylon,

polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), and any combination thereof. Alternatively, the textile may comprise a polymeric material selected from the group consisting of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) polyesters,

polypropylenes, polyethylenes, polyurethanes, polyolefins, polyvinyls, polymethylacetates, polyamides, naphthalane dicarboxylene derivatives, polyvinyl chloride,

polytetrafluoroethylene, expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE), fluorinated ethylene propylene copolymer, polyvinyl acetate, polystyrene, naphthalene dicarboxylate derivatives, polyurethane, polyurea, polyamides, polycarbonates, poly aldehydes, polyester copolymers, styrene -butadiene copolymers, polyethers, poly(L-lactide) (PLLA), poly(D,L-lactide) (PLA), poly(glycolide) (PGA), poly(L-lactide-co-D,L-lactide) (PLLA/PLA), poly(L-lactide-co- glycolide) (PLLA/PGA), poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLA/PGA), poly(glycolide-co- trimethylene carbonate) (PGA/PTMC), polydioxanone (PDS), Polycaprolactone (PCL), polyhydroxybutyrate (PHBT), poly(phosphazene) poly(D,L-lactide-co-caprolactone) PLA/PCL), poly(glycolide-co-caprolactone) (PGA/PCL), polyphosphate ester) and any combination thereof.

[0029] The textile may be fabricated by any textile forming process including but not limited to: braiding, knitting, weaving, non-wovens with mechanical interlock feature, non- wovens with thermal interlock or electrospinning having a shape change operation done to them. The textile may be a braided textile, a knitted textile, a woven textile, an electro-spun textile, non-woven, or any combination thereof.

[0030] One or more portions of the textile is selected distinct from a non-selected portion for further processing in accordance with the disclosure. The selected portion(s) may be of any length and at any position within the textile. There may be one, two, three, four or more portions selected for further processing. The selected portions may be processed to be of the same cross-sectional shape or each may be processed to be of differing cross-sectional shapes.

[0031] Various shapes may be formed in any portion or multiple portions of the textile. The formation of different cross-sectional shapes may impart specific and useful properties to the textile often depending on the conditions used during processing. The amount of twist, the temperature, the tension applied, and the selection of other hot or cold molded compression dies may be varied to achieve different properties, shapes and sizes of the desired final textile.

[0032] In certain applications, it may be useful to have the second cross-sectional shape portion within the length of a textile rather than at the ends thereof. The processing machine or apparatus may be designed and programmed to create the varied cross-sectional shape at any point or points throughout the length of the textile. The second cross-sectional shape may even be formed in the full length of a textile to be stored on a spool or other storage technique, or at any position within a length of the textile.

[0033] Flat textiles that are processed in accordance with the disclosure to incorporate one or more round cross-sectional portions can be expected to have aspect ratios approximately equivalent to the mathematical value of π. If the heated round section is pulled with higher forces then the diameter of the round section or round sections will be lower than this mathematical relationship. In some circumstances, it may be beneficial to have a much smaller diameter round section relative to a specific starting width of a braided flat tape. This can be achieved by applying a higher tension value into the twisted and heated round section immediately after or during heating. The higher tension will cause a significantly higher drawing effect within the round section. Two non-limiting examples of this mathematical relationship: 1) a flat suture that is 3mm wide would be expected to be lmm in diameter; and 2) with higher tension and higher draw ratios, a 3mm wide suture would be expected to be smaller than lmm in diameter.

[0034] A first tensile force is applied to the selected portion of the textile. The first tensile force may be applied by closing both a fixed at one end of the selected portion and a traverse gripper at the other end of the selected portion. This tension is created by moving the traverse gripper away from the fixed gripper. The first tensile force may be about 0.5 pound-force to about 80 pounds-force, about 1 pound-force to about 70 pounds-force, about 2 pounds-force to about 70 pounds-force, about 1 pound-force to about 50 pounds-force, about 1 pound-force to about 20 pounds-force, about 1 pound-force to about 10 pounds-force, or about 1 pound-force to about 2 pounds-force. The amount of tension applied is determined by the desired end shape of the selected portion, e.g., rounded. A higher tension will produce a rounded section on the portion of textile that is between the grippers. When using tension and twisting to produce a solid cross section construct then the first tensile load may be applied so that the subsequently applied movement (e.g., twist) is evenly spread along the selected portion. In an embodiment, when a twisting motion is to be subsequently applied, the first tensile force may be about 0.5 pound-force to about 80 pounds-force, about 1 pound- force to about 20 pounds-force, about 1 pound-force to about 10 pounds-force, or about 1 pound- force to about 2 pounds-force. In an embodiment, when a curling motion is to be subsequently applied, the first tensile force may be about 0.5 pound-force to about 80 pounds-force, about 1 pound-force to about 70 pounds-force, about 2 pounds-force to about 70 pounds-force, or about 1 pound-force to about 50 pounds-force,

[0035] The opposed side portions of the selected portion of the textile is moved in a radial direction which is circumferential to the longitudinal axis. This movement may be accomplished using a twisting motion by using any machinery that may accomplish said purpose. In an embodiment, to accomplish the twisting, the first longitudinal end may be secured (releasably) by a fixed gripper, and the second longitudinal end may be secured (releasably) by a rotating gripper. The rotating gripper is then rotated to twist the selected portion of the textile while applying the first tensile force. This process essentially forms a cross-sectional shape which is different from the first cross-sectional shape.

[0036] The amount of twist is proportional to the starting width of the textile.

Twisting the selected portion of the textile may be done at a rate from about 2 turns per inch of longitudinal length of the selected portion to about 10 turns per inch of longitudinal length of the selected portion, at a rate from about 3 turns per inch of longitudinal length of the selected portion to about 5 turns per inch of longitudinal length of the selected portion, or at a rate of about 4 turns per inch of longitudinal length of the selected portion. It has been found that the hardness or compressive strength of the selected portion (e.g., rounded section) may be increased by using a higher twist rate. A higher twist rate may also produce a smoother selected portion. It has also been found that the larger starting width of a flat textile tape will require more twisting than a narrower one to produce the same results.

[0037] This movement may also be accomplished by curling the opposed side portions of the selected portion of the textile by using any machinery that may accomplish said purpose.

[0038] In the step of setting the second cross-sectional shape in the selected portion, the second cross-sectional shape of the selected portion of the textile is formed. Optionally, setting the shape comprises: providing a heat source and heating the selected portion with the heat source. The selected portion of the textile may be heated to a temperature at, above or near the melt temperature of the polymeric material. The heat source may be an infrared heat source or any heated die or molded compression die.

[0039] To sufficiently heat the surface of a textile, using an infrared heat source may require a longer period of time and may also require a higher temperature than using a heated die. The heat source may comprise both an infrared heat source and a heated die or molded compression die. The heated die may have a cross-sectional shape formed therein that is different from the cross-sectional shape of the textile. Any heated die of any shape machined therein may be used. The heated die may be used in combination with applied pressure to compress the select portion of the textile, thereby ultimately altering its cross-sectional shape. In an embodiment, the heated die may have any shape machined into it as long as the cross- sectional area of the shape is 1% to 50% smaller than the first cross-sectional area of the textile being processed.

[0040] The die may be a 3D die. This die is able to heat and cool quickly to be able to shape only the targeted selected portion of the textile. On one side it has a round opening through which the textile may pass. On the exit side, another shape such as rectangular, square, W, N or V, is formed in the die, see for example Figures 11 and 12. In this way, the textile enters the heated 3D die and then is folded and pleated as it passes through the shaped exit to permanently form another shape. Once the 3D die is cooled, the remainder of the textile can be pulled through the die without permanently changing its shape.

[0041] The compression die may be heated, ambient or chilled and may be used instead of an infrared heat source, such as a set block, or be used in addition to an infrared heat set block. The compression die may use hydraulic or pneumatic pressure to actuate and generate significant pressure within the textile. This is generally known as hot or cold forming.

[0042] Optionally, setting the shape may also comprise one or more of the following steps: compressing the selected portion of the textile; and/or removing the heat source after heating. Compressing may be accomplished by using a weighted hot or cold compression die.

[0043] A second tensile force is applied to the set selected portion of the textile. The second tensile strength may be applied by moving the traverse gripper at one end of the selected portion relative to the fixed gripper at the other end of the selected portion. The amount of tension that is applied defines the relationship between the starting width/shape of a textile and the width/shape of the selected portion. For example, a higher tension will reduce the diameter of the selected portion, e.g., rounded, relative to a constant width of the textile. The second tensile force may be about 0.5 pound-force to about 20 pounds-force, about 0.5 pound-force to about 10 pounds-force, about 1 pound-force to about 10 pounds- force, or about 1 pound-force to about 5 pounds-force.

[0044] Any method disclosed herein may further include providing a sacrificial wire and helically winding the selected portion of the textile about the sacrificial wire.

Alternatively the method may further include inserting the sacrificial wire through the twisted portion of the textile. The sacrificial wire may be within the entire length of the twisted (or shaped) portion. The textile may then be processed as described above and then the sacrificial wire removed after setting the second cross-sectional shape and, optionally, after applying the second tensile force to generate a hollow cylindrical portion, for example within a round portion of the textile. The sacrificial wire may be made of any material and may be of any thickness and length. If the wire is made of a similar material to that of the textile, then the wire may be fused into the textile if a high enough temperature is used during processing.

[0045] An apparatus for forming a varied cross-sectional shape within a textile is disclosed. The apparatus may be used for performing any method disclosed above. The apparatus may include a fixed gripper for releasably securing a first portion of the textile; a rotatable gripper for releasably securing and twisting a second portion of the textile; and a heating and compression element positioned between the fixed gripper and the rotatable gripper. The terms and conditions used in this embodiment have the same meaning as defined above.

[0046] The heating and compression element may comprise a heated die or a hot or cold compression die. The heating and compression element may be a hot compression die, and may further comprise an infrared heat source.

[0047] A textile is also disclosed that is made up of polymeric fibers having a varied cross-sectional shape, wherein the polymeric fibers are integrally woven throughout the textile, made by: (a) providing the textile having a first cross-sectional shape, a longitudinal length and opposed side portions, the longitudinal length defining a longitudinal axis; (b) selecting a portion of the textile to define a selected portion distinct from a non-selected portion; (c) applying a first tensile force to the selected portion of the textile; (d) moving the opposed side portions of the selected portion of the textile in a radial direction which is circumferential to the longitudinal axis to form a second cross-sectional shape which is different from the first cross-sectional shape; (e) setting the second cross-sectional shape in the selected portion; and (d) applying a second tensile force to the selected portion of the textile. The terms and conditions used in this embodiment have the same meaning as defined above.

[0048] The textile may include an interface between the selected portion of the textile and the non-selected portion of the textile free of stitches and glue.

[0049] The selected portion of the textile has a circular or oval cross-sectional shape, and/or the non-selected portion of the textile has a flat rectangular cross-sectional shape.

[0050] The term "integrally woven" means that the parts or segments of the textile, e.g., suture, are woven together to make the whole of the textile. The integrally woven textile formed in accordance with the disclosure may be made to be any length and of any diameter.

[0051] Another embodiment is a textile suture made up of integrally woven polymeric fibers comprising at least one selected portion having a first cross-sectional shape, and at least one non-selected portion having a second cross-sectional shape. The terms and conditions used in this embodiment have the same meaning as defined above.

[0052] The textile suture may comprise one or two selected portions and each selected portion may have a round cross-sectional shape. When there are two selected portions, they may be located at the ends of the suture.

[0053] The following examples are meant to be exemplary and not limiting of the embodiments described herein.

EXAMPLES

[0054] Example 1: A high strength suture comprised of 17 ends of 125 denier PE was used. This braided textile has an initial rectangular cross-sectional shape before any further processing. The lot size or length of material would be defined by the capacity of the braiding machine and would be taken up on a master spool 7, positioned at one end of the apparatus, at lengths that could range from several meters all the way up to 10,000 plus meters. The master spool would then be removed from the braiding equipment and fitted to the round tipping machine shown in Figure 3, 4 and 5. The end of the suture tape would be inserted through the fixed gripper 12 and then through the rotating gripper 9 and then the machine would be started. For this particular combination, it has been found experimentally that to achieve the best tipping configuration for this example the suture is twisted at a rate of 4 turns per inch while the tip is placed under one to two pounds of tension. The length of twisted region is two inches long for a total of 8 turns. Then the machines infrared heat set block 14 is inserted around the twisted region of the suture. Ideal temperature for PE is approximately 250°C with a dwell time of five seconds. The infrared heat set block 14 is then withdrawn and the machine creates tension by under-driving the master spool 7 while the traverse gripper 15 moves away from the master spool. This produces a drawing effect within the yarns and makes them have better heat treated characteristics and a stiffer rounded section. This combination produced a flat suture structure 2 with a round cross section end 1, 3, as shown in Figure 1. The flat section of the suture had a width of 1.9mm and a rounded tip diameter of 0.6mm. It is understood that the machine incorporates a length indexing traverse gripper 15, a mechanical cutter 10 or laser cutter and a storage bin 11. These components would be used to allow the machine to continually run and continue to make discrete round/flat suture parts.

[0055] The machine and method described above to produce a round shaped end could alternatively incorporate a heated die, as shown in Figure 6 with any shape machined into it. This would allow for forming almost any shape into a portion of the textile. The heated die could be heated, ambient or chilled and could replace the infrared heat set block 14 or be used in addition to the infrared heat set block. The heated die set could use hydraulic or pneumatic pressure to actuate and would generate significant pressure within the textile, i.e., hot or cold forming.

[0056] Example 2: In this example, 13 ends of 100 denier PE are processed to create a round cross-sectional shape portion in the center of the suture, as shown in Figure 2, of the discrete one meter of final cut length. The ends of the suture length 4, 6 are flat and the center section 5 is processed to be round. The machine allows the length of the suture to be longer on the end. The fixed gripper 12 would have approximately one half of the intended length of the final product. This machine would require different programming commands that are well understood by people skilled in the art of PLC logic and other motion control software systems.

[0057] Example 3: A round braided textile that is comprised of 16 ends of 100 denier

PET could be wrapped around a sacrificial mandrel 16 using the fixture found in Figure 7. Once the textile is wrapped around the mandrel as shown in Figure 7, then the heating block 14 is extended to heat the textile. The sacrificial mandrel 16 is removed after setting of the shape and the braid retains a helical shape 17 as compared to the straight portion 18.

[0058] Example 4: A flat braid comprised of 17 ends of 125 denier PE was processed to make a textile having varied cross-sectional shapes as found in Figure 9. Using an apparatus similar to the one found in Figure 3, the braid spool 7 was installed onto machine. The end of the flat braid was connected to the traverse gripper 15 and the machine was started. The traverse gripper was instructed to apply a significant amount of tension within the flat braid. Loads between 2 to 70 pounds will cause this effect but more preferably loads in the higher end of this spectrum produced the best results. The tension causes the flat braid 21 to curl on the edges and if enough tension is applied the braid will roll completely into a round cross section 23 as generally shown in Figures 9 and 10. Then the heated block 14 was traversed outward to heat treat the newly formed round cross section 23 for 3 seconds at a temperature 250°C. Then the heated block 14 was removed and the traverse gripper 15 was moved slightly faster than the let off servo motor 8. This generated tension within the textile. For this example, it was found that 1 to 5 pounds of tension produced the best results.

[0059] Example 5: A round braid comprised of 8 ends of 200 denier PLGA was compressed and heat treated with a heated compression die as shown in Figure 6. The heated compression die was added to apparatus of in Figure 3 taking the place of the heated block 14, which was removed.

[0060] Example 6: A flat braid comprised of 17 ends of 100 denier PE was passed through a heated 3D die 24 in Figure 11 to produce a round end on a flat tape construct. The entrance side of the die 24 is rectangular in shape and the exit side of the die has a round shape 25 as shown in Figure 12. This 3D die was used in place of the heated die 14 in Figure 3. The flat braid textile was passed through the 3D die and inserted in the fixed gripper 12. The fixed gripper then moved away from the spool 7 and pulled the flat textile through the 3D die. The 3D die is made with a very low thermal mass and is quickly heated and cooled back to ambient temperature when the machine is programmed to produce a round portion within the flat tape. Then the traverse gripper 15 then moved away further from the spool 7. This length was defined by the operator. Then the fixed gripper 12 was closed to hold the flat tape. The scissor 10 was actuated to cut the braided construct in correct position which is defined by the operator. The traverse gripper 15 then opened to drop the tape with rounded ends into the storage bin 11. This process may continue until the correct number of units are made. The cross sectional shape of the round shape exit 25 end of the 3D die can be but is not limited to W, N or V profiles. Figure 18 shows a textile processed with a V profile die, wherein the selected portion 31 has a V shape and the non-selected portion 32 remains flat.

[0061] Example 7: To produce a highly drawn structure as show in Figure 13, a high strength suture comprised of 17 ends of 125 denier PE was used. Highly drawn refers to a higher degree of molecular orientation within the textile section that has been altered. This allows for a smaller diameter of the round section relative to the original shape of the textile. A higher degree of draw also inherently increases the stiffness of the polymer. This braided structure had a rectangular cross-sectional shape 26 before application of any processing disclosed herein. The master spool 7 of braided material was attached to the apparatus of Figure 3, 4 and 5. The end of the suture tape was inserted through the fixed gripper 12 and then through the rotating gripper 9 and then the machine was started. For this particular combination, it was found that to achieve the best configuration, the suture would be twisted at a rate of 4 turns per inch while the selected portion at the end (or tip) is placed under one to two pounds of tension. The length of twisted region was measured at two inches long for a total of 8 turns. Then the infrared heat set block 14 was inserted around the twisted portion of the suture. Ideal temperature for PE would be approximately 250°C with a dwell time of five seconds. The infrared heat set block 14 was then withdrawn and tension was created by under-driving the master spool 7 while the traverse gripper 15 moves away from the master spool. A significantly higher tension was used compared to Example 1, thereby producing a significantly more pronounced drawing effect as compared with Example 1. This combination produced a flat suture 26 with a round cross section end 27. The flat section 26 had a width of 1.9mm and a rounded tip 27 had a diameter of 0.4mm. It is understood that the machine would incorporate a length indexing traverse gripper 12, a mechanical cutter 10 or laser cutter, and a storage bin 11. These components would be used to allow the machine to continually run and continue to make round/flat suture portions.

[0062] Example 8: To produce a button hole type feature within the width of the braid, a PET braid comprised of 13 ends of 150 denier PET was used. The spool of braided material was installed onto a variant of the machine of Figure 3. This variant machine had a needle type heated element 35 as shown in Figure 19 in place of or in addition to the heated block 14. This needle type heated element would not be heated until it is ready to be inserted into the braid. The needle would be inserted between two picks within the braid 33 to minimize any detrimental effects caused within the braid by piercing individual yarns. Once the needle is inserted to full depth, the internal heating element within the needle, would be applied to bring the temperature of the adjacent yarn to its heat treatment temperature or all the way up to and including the materials melt temperature, which for this example is 205 °C. Then a cooling mechanism using compressed air would be applied to cool the needle type heated element. The needle would be removed once it had been cooled adequately and the machine run similarly to the one in Example 1 to cut the textile into a discrete length if desired. The resulting braid would have pockets or holes 34 and 37 as shown in Figures 19 and 20. Depending on design, the diameter of the heated needle could cause a change in the width of the construct 38.

[0063] Example 9: A high strength suture comprised of 17 ends of 125 denier PE was used. This braided structure had a rectangular cross-sectional shape before processing. The master spool 7 would then be removed from the braiding equipment and fitted to the round tipping machine Figure 3, 4 and 5. The end of the suture tape would be inserted through the fixed gripper 12 and then through the rotating gripper 9 and then the machine would be started. For this particular combination, a radial forming block Figures 15 and 16 was fitted to the machine to the right position of the heated block 14 in Figure 3. It has been found that it was possible to achieve a curved round section 28, as shown in Figure 17. The best configuration for this example is achieved by twisting the braided suture at a rate of 4 turns per inch while the end (tip) is placed under one to two pounds of tension. The length of the twisted region would be two inches long for a total of 8 turns. Then the machines infrared heat set block 14 would be inserted around the twisted region of the suture. Ideal temperature for PE would be approximately 250°C with a dwell time of five seconds. The infrared heat set block 14 is then withdrawn and the machine moves the indexing gripper 15. The radial forming block Figure 15 would be raised so that the rounded suture section would run over the v block profile. The under drive condition can be creating by moving the traverse gripper 15 faster than the let off 8 or the tension can be created by raising the radial forming block Figure 15 within the path of the rounded suture. It has been found that a curved bias 28 can be added to the rounded section 30 of braid having a rectangular non- selected portion 29. This produces a drawing effect within the yarns and makes them have better heat treated characteristics and a stiffer curved and rounded section. This combination produced a flat suture structure 29 with a round cross section end 30. The flat section 29 of the suture had a width of 1.9mm and a rounded tip 30 diameter of 0.6mm. While this example shows forming a single round cross-sectional portion at the end of the suture, one or more round cross-sectional portions may also be formed along any point or section of the suture length.

[0064] Example 10: A flat braid that was comprised of 17 ends of 125 denier PE was fixtured to produce a textile shape as found in Figure 9. Using a fixture similar to the one found in Figure 3, the braid spool 7 was installed onto machine. The end of the flat braid was connected to the traverse gripper 15 and the machine was started. The traverse gripper was programmed to apply almost no tension during the heating phase— loads below 1 pound and approaching no tension. The traverse gripper 15 was instructed to continue to apply low tension causing the shaped round section to axial shorten and grow in diameter. Then the heated block 14 was removed and the system remained static for 5 seconds to allow the heated section to cool. Then the traverse gripper 15 was moved over the storage bin 11 and released the braid. As in other examples, the machine may be programmed to continue to repeat the process, as desired.

[0065] As those skilled in the art will appreciate, numerous changes and

modifications may be made to the embodiments described herein, without departing from the spirit of the disclosure. It is intended that all such variations fall within the scope of the invention.