When manufacturing medical guidewires, different materials may be used for the outer coil and core areas. Each material has their own distinct engineering advantage. Also, the outer coils may be plated with radio-opaque materials (like Gold or Platinum) to aid visibility during a procedure. Below is a representative but not necessarily complete list of materials used in the fabrication of guidewires.
Gold (Au) Radio-opaque properties
Nitinol (NiTi) Nitinol is a Nickel-Titanium alloy, which has exceptional shape-memory, but limited rigidity, making it an excellent choice when used in tandem with a more rigid substance.
Platinum (Pt) Radio-opaque properties
Most guidewires have some form of exterior coating that reduces friction. Other coatings are available that provide a variety of advantages, including:
Hydrophilic coating Lubricates for more gentle navigation and good trackability
Anti-thrombogenic/Heparin coating Inhibits clotting
Hydrophobic coating Enhances tactile response for the operator creating more responsive feel during surgical maneuvers
Silicone coating Reduces friction
Tetrafluoroethylene (TFE) coating Reduces friction