Not long ago, I was invited by a friend who is in the scrap and reclaim business to become part of a team venture. Any science stuff he would come across, I was to identify, test, and sell. The reward was I would get half the profits. The first thing I identified was a robotic arm. I quickly declared it was a sprue picker. It was used in the manufacture of injection molded plastic parts. This connects to facelift surgery.
A Sprue Picker?
A sprue picker is used in the manufacture of MicroAire’s Endotine® ribbon. What is that? It is a kind of very thin, flex plastic that looks like a braid with tiny tines or teeth along its length. It hooks to soft body tissue by means of underlying muscle tissue, holding it in a position chosen by the surgeon during an operation. Endotine® ribbon is meant for cosmetic use, most notably in facelift surgery. Using segments of ribbon, the physician embeds the tines, pulling the tissues into desired positions. The ribbon is left in place and the surgeon finishes up.
Do you wonder what exactly a sprue picker is? Well, not watch this YouTube video comparing an air-operated (pneumatic) sprue picker with an electric picker?
How the Ribbon Works – Facelift Surgery
Does this mean the ribbon stays unchanged in the body? No. Endotine® ribbon is made of polylactic and polyglycolic acids. The Endotine® ribbon dissolves over a two to three month period.
Lifting with the ribbon is most used in minor facial cosmetics, rather than an extensive facelift. This YouTube video illustrates the process and its results.