Optimizing Cytopathology Cell Collection for Patient Safety and Comfort
The clinical sampling process for collecting cells involves strict guidelines and best practices. Proper collection and handling, coupled with keeping patients safe and comfortable, requires the precise use of complex tools. Using inferior equipment can impact the integrity of a specimen and result in patient injury.
The American Society of Cytopathology cites several techniques for collecting cell specimens, including using twisted wire brushes. Specimens can be acquired from any surface of a patient’s body and transferred to examination slides. A cell collection brush must be manufactured in such a way as to maintain sample integrity, maximize safety, and minimize patient discomfort or bleeding, especially in internal sample collection.
Sanderson MacLeod’s reusable and disposable cytology brushes optimize sample collection and maintain patient safety and comfort. The brushes are available in lengths of up to 250 centimeters. Brush part diameters are 1 to 7 millimeters and can be custom shaped and trimmed for maximum sample collection.
Additional cytology brush features include:
- stainless steel wire diameters between .012 and .032 inch to reduce the risk of kinking
- fiber diameters between .0025 and .006 inch to allow for application-specific customization
- brush tapering and shaping to ensure maximum brush-surface contact for enhanced cell collection
Our industry-leading, world-class twisted wire cytology cell collection brushes provide distinct features not found in other brushes. As a large-quantity contract manufacturer for OEMs in the medical field, we have worked diligently with our customers to reach beyond the demands of the marketplace. One advancement is the option of using polypropylene fibers in our endoscope cleaning, cytology, and interdental brushes.
Polypropylene fiber is a thermoplastic polymer, which is extremely durable and resistant to many chemical solvents. It is softer and gentler than traditional nylon fiber. Polypropylene fibers are available in all standard diameters and a wide variety of colors. Our polypropylene fiber medical brushes are available for all medical applications. All medical brush products use FDA-approved materials and are individually documented to ensure regulatory compliance. Both nylon and polypropylene brushes come standard with antimicrobial fibers.
Sanderson MacLeod follows a strict closed-floor production model, allowing only our own employees in the production area. This practice ensures the highest level of confidentiality when manufacturing proprietary brushes. Brushes are never outsourced to other plants, mitigating risk of intellectual property theft or misuse.
The Z-Tip Prevents Patient Injury During Cytological Cell Collection
Sanderson MacLeod has been an innovator in the twisted wire brush industry by constantly researching better ways to solve customer problems. When the company set out to fix flaws in medical brush tips, we revolutionized the brush industry.
Patients experience discomfort or risk injury during cell collection when a brush tip falls off or has a sharp protrusion. Traditional brush tips can fall off, sharp core wires can protrude from the tip, and the tips can bend and break. We solved these problems by looking outside of the brush industry and collaborating with experts in materials joining engineering. We conducted hundreds of hours of research, trials, and testing to create a new manufacturing process that uses high-energy, fusion-welding technologies. The result is an entirely new protective brush tip that melts the brush’s preconstructed core wire into a consistent, smooth, and inseparable protective tip, known as the Z-Tip.
In addition to this innovative design, we produce a brush tip with a mirror-like smooth surface, so the tip can’t fall off, the core wire won’t protrude through the tip, and the dimensions and orientation are always consistent. The Z-Tip twisted wire medical brush is created in one in-line, fully automated process, which reduces internal inspection time and costs.
The most important aspect of the Z-Tip is that it will not create microscopic scars while cleaning endoscope equipment. By not creating scars that trap contaminants, the Z-Tip promotes endoscope sterility. The Z-Tip is available for all commonly used twisted wire medical brush applications.
Domestically Produced: Twisted Wire Medical Brushes Made in the USA
Sanderson MacLeod made the decision early on to manufacture only for OEM customers. This allows us to develop strong partnerships with customers, keep costs down, and invest in people, equipment, and technology to continually improve operations in terms of speed, quality, reliability, cost savings, and engineering design. All of our design, manufacturing, and distribution happens at our plant in Palmer, Massachusetts. The driving factor for maintaining all production and operations in the United States is that we can meet exacting standards and manufacture the highest-quality twisted wire brushes on the market.
Design Breakthroughs: Sanderson MacLeod’s Efforts in Perfecting Cytology Cell Collection Brushes
The twisted wire brush designers and engineers at Sanderson MacLeod continuously pursue ways to perfect the cytology cell collection brush. Their efforts have resulted in countless improvements and innovations.
Through close collaboration with our customers, we leverage advanced planning, design, engineering, production, and delivery methodologies for all of our brushes. It’s through these collaborative efforts that our brush design innovation and breakthroughs happen. We work with customers to achieve desired results faster and with more accuracy, often leading to new and exciting features and products.
In-House Twisted Wire Brush Scientific Research and Design Capabilities
Advances in technology, automation, and computer-aided design and manufacturing have helped propel Sanderson MacLeod’s ability to deliver world-class products to our OEM customers. But being a world leader means constantly striving to do things better. That’s why we are proud to have dedicated a part of our plant to research and science.
In our one-of-a-kind laboratory, customers can work directly with Sanderson MacLeod’s design engineers on current and future brush designs. Those designs can then be rapidly put into production to help meet customers’ needs.
Rapid Virtual Prototyping with SanMac 3D
We turned to the software used by major motion picture animators to allow us to produce realistic renderings of design prototypes that can be easily modified. The SanMac 3D software is less expensive and faster than traditional sampling methods, letting us create virtual twisted wire brush designs that offer 360-degree visibility and industrialization feasibility testing prior to prototype build-outs. By using this method, we maximize design creativity while saving time, money, and unnecessary delays. This technology, combined with 60 years of experience and expertise, guarantees that development is quick, on budget, and ready for large-scale production.
The Sanderson MacLeod Difference
Sanderson MacLeod is the only brush manufacturer that specializes in twisted wire brushes. For more than 50 years, we have been the source of twisted wire brushes for some of the largest companies in the world. We have a demonstrated history of innovation, including the distinction of inventing the first twisted wire mascara brush.
Our company employs approximately 100 people in a state-of-the-art, 137,000-square-foot facility in Palmer, Massachusetts. We are equipped with a modern, FDA-compliant quality control laboratory to ensure that our products are of the highest quality.
A LEAN Manufacturing Company
One of the most compelling aspects of Sanderson MacLeod’s business is our dedication to LEAN Manufacturing. This philosophy allows us to produce twisted wire brushes more efficiently and effectively. Enhanced inventory control systems, product use analysis, and on-floor production optimization save our customers money in innovative ways. Sanderson MacLeod has been widely recognized as a LEAN Manufacturer, leading to awards such as Business of the Year, Employer of Choice, the Super 60 Award, and the coveted ABMA William A. Cordes Innovation Excellence Award.
Our quality control department uses the latest metrology equipment, including the Nikon I NEXIV Vision system, which lets us conduct fast, accurate measurements on first-piece, in-process, and finished-good parts. Our quality control program also includes video-edge detection and automated statistical process control documentation to ensure fast, accurate, and demonstrably superior inspection capabilities.