With the medical market still growing at a double-digit rate, a number of companies introduced new materials, as well as products made from new materials, at Medical Design & Manufacturing East, held June 8-10 in New York. Many of the introductions are aimed at improving patient safety.
* Ritter GmbH of Waldenbuch, Germany, introduced its longer-life Polysteribox sterilization and transportation container made from a new Ultem polyetherimide health-care-grade resin from Sabic Innovative Plastics in Pittsfield, Mass. Because of the properties of the new resin, the Polysteribox has greater alkalinity resistance and can undergo autoclave sterilization for 1,000 cycles at temperatures of up to 298° F. The higher temperature destroys more pathogens, shortens the autoclave time from 30 minutes to 20 minutes, and gives reusable medical devices a longer life, according to the companies.
* RTP Co. in Winona, Minn., introduced its RTP 2700 series of biocompatible styrene-based thermoplastic elastomeric compounds for medical devices ranging from drug-delivery systems that require overmolding to disposable devices that require good needle-stick and reseal performance. The compounds are pretested for cytotoxicity, irritation and acute systemic toxicity. RTP said the compounds offer a number of advantages, including gamma and ethylene oxide sterilizability, and can be processed via multishot molding and bonded to polypropylene substrates.
* PolyMedex Discovery Group in Putnam, Conn., introduced a line of custom catheter tubing with wire reinforcements imbedded in the wall at the tube's proximal end. There is no reinforcement at the distal end. The tubes use integrated extrusion to reduce cost and to eliminate the use of adhesives, heat shrinking and annealing performed during the hand assembly of catheters that need optical clarity and X-ray transparency.
* Teleflex Medical OEM in Kenosha, Wis., introduced its Force Fiber high-strength suture made from coextruding ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene and a fluoropolymer (EFEP), which eliminates the need for etching.
* Eastman Chemical Co. in Kingsport, Tenn., and its partners unveiled a mobile wireless device worn on a patient's arm for continued monitoring of vital signs. The ViSi system from Sotera Wireless Inc. of San Diego was developed in collaboration with Eastman, PolyOne Corp. of Avon Lake, Ohio, DD Studio of Carlsbad, Calif., and injection molder Phillips Plastics Corp. of Hudson, Wis. The device's housing, lens and printed circuit board assembly and connectors are made from Tritan copolyester MX711 chosen because of its durability, chemical resistance and its cold-swaging properties that allow it to be fit together without adhesives, chemicals or mechanical fasteners. It is overmolded with GLS Versaflex OM 360 thermoplastic elastomer from PolyOne Corp. to prevent moisture and water from getting inside.
* PolyOne introduced its WithStand antimicrobial additive technology designed to help curb microbe growth. The new material is available as a stand-alone additive concentrate or it can be compounded into the polymer. Also, PolyOne's GLS business unit in its Specialty Engineered Materials group unveiled an orthodontic pacifier, made from VersaflexCL2242 by Branam Oral Health Technologies Inc. of Oregon, Ohio, that promotes proper jaw development in infants.
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