RxFiber developing new generation of medical fibers

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RxFiber LLC RxFiber LLC founder Robert Torgerson

Increased concern about patient safety is creating a business opportunity for biomaterial fibers maker RxFiber LLC.

Windsor, Calif.-based RxFiber makes medical-grade biomaterial fibers for the medical device industry. The firm was founded by Rob Torgerson, who has more than 25 years of R&D experience with medical device companies.

“It’s been difficult to get custom fibers,” Torgerson said at the recent Plastics in Medical Devices, a conference hosted by Plastics News in Cleveland. He added that to date most medical fibers have been based on products such as DuPont Co.’s Dacron, a 64-year-old PET fiber product line.

Dacron and similar products are used in endovascular medical devices, as well as in sutures and other applications in the cardiovascular, spinal and orthopedic fields. But those products have their limitations, Torgerson said, such as losing tenacity over time.

As an alternative, RxFiber has introduced RxFibron HT, a “next generation” fiber with 50 percent more tenacity than traditional fibers, but with only 2/3 the mass of fibers used for strength-designed parts.

In addition to competing with PET fibers, RxFibron HT also could replace UHMWPE in braided sutures, Torgerson said.

Medical device makers “are concerned about cost and product consistency, but they’re also concerned about patient safety and product failures that could result in injury or even death,” he added.